COVID-19’s impact on SIUE: then and now
EMILY STERZINGER editor-in-chief
While the pandemic isn’t over yet, with restrictions lightening, SIUE’s public health experts look back on the last few years’ impact on SIUE.
Public Health Response Coordinator Michael Schultz said that the information used to make decisions was information received from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Illinois Department of Public Health, as well as the governor’s directives.
“Like everybody else, it was a moving target throughout the pandemic. There was a team that met weekly, at least weekly, sometimes two or three times a week, to manage the pandemic,” Schultz said.
units such as Illinois Department of Public Health and Madison County Public Health before the pandemic.
“In January, when we were aware that there was a coronavirus starting to impact internationally, we sort of rallied the troops around and said ‘We need to meet as an emergency management program to address the issue for the university,’” Greenwalt said.
Schultz said that he’s not sure COVID will ever get to the point where SIUE will close again.
that would need to happen, but at this point I don’t see the numbers for that to happen, and looking at the area, we’re not there either,” Schultz said.
Greenwalt said she hoped everyone thought SIUE handled the COVID-19 pandemic fairly well. Health Service was able to partner with the rest of the university to give guidance.
a population, whereas medical health denotes a case by case basis.
Schultz affirmed the right of individuals to still wear a mask, and said those who do should not be questioned on it.
Michael Schultz, Public Health Response Coordinator
“Because of the amount of people that are vaccinated now, and the precautions that are built up and the amount of people that have already had COVID,” Schultz said. “I don’t know that we would ever get to that point where we need to close down.”
“[Schultz] was a tremendous help trying to get us our statistics,” Greenwalt said. “I think that we were able to at least give enough safety information and try to keep the university as healthy as possible; obviously we recognize many people did contract COVID, but as far as having a negative outcome, I think we did pretty well.”
Schultz said that SIUE did an “all right” job handling the pandemic.
“I don’t know that anybody can say they did an exemplary job because of the changing targets that we had to always chase,” Schultz said.
Riane Greenwalt, director of Health Service, said that Health Service was used to being in close contact with public health
Schultz also said that if any mitigation would need to kick in, SIUE may need to go back to fully masking on campus.
“That would be the first mitigation
Greenwalt noted a difference between public health and medical health, describing them as partners that don’t impact each other as much as one would think. Public health generally refers to the collective health of
“I don’t think a judgment should be made on anybody that wears a mask,” Schultz said. “I think they’re doing that not only to protect themselves but to protect others. I think that’s something we learned through the pandemic and will hopefully continue. The science still says to stay up on your vaccinations and I would encourage people to do that.”
Counseling services directors equip campus with tools, resources through Mental Health First Aid
DYLAN HEMBROUGH reporter
Many faculty and staff were recently trained in the Mental Health First Aid curriculum by counseling services directors Lisa Thompson-Gibson and Jessica Ulrich.
“Mental Health First Aid is a standardized curriculum through the National Council for Mental Well-Being, so facilitators are trained to use their curriculum verbatim, and that is for fidelity of the content,” Thompson-Gibson said. “It’s evidencebased training.”
Thompson-Gibson said Mental Health First Aid, or MHFA, is meant to mirror what most people generally think of as physical health crisis intervention.
“If you think about first aid from a physical perspective, when we learn about CPR, we aren’t being trained to be first responders and medical personnel,” Thompson-Gibson said. “We’re trained to stabilize the person that’s having some sort of physical distress. This is sort of the parallel to that.”
MHFA was first created in
Australia and brought to the U.S. in 2008 through the Missouri and Maryland mental health departments. A commonly-used acronym in the program is “ALGEE,” which stands for “Assess for risk of suicide or harm, Listen non-judgementally, Give reassurance and information, Encourage appropriate professional help, Encourage self-help and other support strategies,” according to the MHFA website.
“There are different tracks of MHFA,” Thompson-Gibson said. “There’s one for general populations, there’s one for youth, [and] there’s one for higher education, which is the one that we’re going to be delivering on Friday. The training is about seven and a half hours long, and it has some distinct pieces to it that have to do with understanding points of help-seeking that happens for people, what might deter people from help-seeking, things about stigma, trying to minimize those particular concerns and considerations, as well as giving the participants an understanding of some of the more general mental health concerns or crises.”
General mental health con-
cerns or crises Thompson-Gibson and Ulrich brought up during this training include depression, anxiety, psychosis, trauma and substance abuse, as well as signs that may point to these concerns.
“A lot of what we were doing was giving some background information on what some various signs and symptoms are of early, middle, and then crisis stage … for different signs of distress,” Ulrich said. “[We were] teaching them to identify those early warning signs, how to intervene at an early phase so that it doesn’t progress into more of a crisis situation, and then making them aware that there are resources available to provide to individuals who are in distress, mostly because faculty and staff are on the front lines when it comes to intervening with individuals with mental health concerns.”
Ulrich said that, though this initiative began at SIUE in October of last year, she hopes to have it taught twice a semester from here on out.
“Our goal is to try to teach it probably two times a semester to be able to just continuously arm the campus with tips and
strategies for identifying and helping folks that are struggling with mental health concerns,” Ulrich said.
Ulrich said the MHFA program has been offered to different departments at SIUE over time, including social work, the school of pharmacy and the school of dental medicine. While the plan is to offer general courses, some departments have required MHFA training for their students because of the level of patient interaction associated with those careers.
“Folks that are going to have patients are going to have these opportunities to intercede and do referrals,” Thompson-Gibson said. “Not that we wouldn’t see a need for support in other disciplines, because I think it’s just across all society, but wanting to equip those folks that are in the position of regularly helping, to help them have the confidence that they need to stabilize somebody … and help them get the help they need.”
Ulrich said part of the program focuses on self-care for those utilizing what they learned in the MHFA course.
“I think first of all … being comfortable to approach them, knowing what tools and strategies [and] resources are there to offer support, and then practicing self-care themselves as well,” Ulrich said. “A lot of times serving in that capacity can be emotionally draining, and we need to make sure that they’re practicing selfcare in order to continue helping the campus community.”
Ulrich said she hopes MHFA will help the campus population, faculty, staff and students alike, to better engage with one another when it comes to these potential mental health concerns.
“The feedback that we receive from faculty and staff is that they don’t feel comfortable [or] trained in order to navigate these concerns,” Ulrich said. “I’m really hopeful that it gives the campus community the confidence to be able to identify someone in distress and know what resources and where to direct them to.”
Thompson-Gibson said plans are in the works for another MHFA training session on Thursday, March 2, and Friday, March 3, in SSC 1201 from 8 a.m. to noon.
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Thursday, January 19, 2023 Vol. 76 No. 16 Wintry ghost stories offered at Lovejoy Library PAGE 3
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
Edwardsville Library encourages young readers to read out loud with dogs
basketball takes home win from Lindenwood
The science still says to stay up on your vaccinations and I would encourage people to do that.”
NEWS IN BRIEF
SIUE main campus experienced water outage, currently under boil order
The Edwardsville main campus experienced a water outage after Facilities Management found a water main break.
The repair was made several hours after the campus was notified, but campus is still under a boil order as of press time.
The boil order following the outage affects all campus facilities including toilets, faucets and water fountains. SIUE Dining Service has announced that adjustments are being made to operations. Starbucks is currently only able to serve cold brew, refreshers or food and pastry items.
Dining Services is only offering take away containers, but most operations are now back to normal.
While students are being asked to conserve water, if they choose to use water, it is advised that water should be boiled for at least five minutes before being used for cooking or drinking. Water can be used for flushing toilets or showering, but it is advised to avoid using it for any consumption, including brushing teeth.
For students living on campus, housing will provide water bottles at the front desks.
Facilities Management will test the water and receive the results within 48 hours. The boil order will be lifted when the water is tested safe for consumption.
Two credit cards, a debit card and a wallet were all found in the MUC, and a MacBook was reported missing.
A hit-and-run was reported in the Woodland Hall Parking Lot.
A pair of AirPods and some money were stolen from a purse in Science Building West.
An offensive sticker was found on a fire extinguisher in the 400 wing of the Cougar Lake Apartments. BIRT was notified.
A woman was heard screaming outside the 400 wing of the Cougar Lake Apartments. She was locked out of her apartment, and eventually found a way back in.
alestlelive.com PAGE 2 Thursday, 01.19.23
Facilities Management covered water fountains on campus due to a boil order Tuesday morning.
| Emily Sterzinger / The Alestle
AUDREY O’RENIC copy editor
From books to audio readings, the “Spooky Stories & Other Horrors: The Tradition of Scary Stories during the Holiday Season” exhibit at the Lovejoy Library will be sure to send shivers down your spine.
Allison Barrows, senior library lecturer, organized the project.
“I thought it’s a really interesting time to keep the tradition alive… I think people would enjoy it because it expands people’s knowledge… it’s a unique aspect of the season,” Barrows said.
The exhibit features large panels of graphics and quotes that explain the history of ghost stories during the holidays, a table filled with spooky books for students to read, a large handmade fireplace and a YouTube playlist to watch. Barrows said there are three main parts of the exhibit: telling, reading and listening.
“I thought [the exhibit] would be fun because you could add graphics to it and try to make it as expansive as possible with the time we have,” Barrows said.
Barrows said current professor of English and her former graduate advisor Dr. Jessica DeSpain recommended alumna
Sarah Burt to aid in the project.
“[Burt] went through and did a few stories and introduced the whole thing, both in the video section of the exhibit and then also in some of the panels,” Barrows said.
In order to tie it into the library, Barrows said she ordered books related to the exhibit for students to read.
“We needed ghost stories for people to check out [and read, so] we bought some books… and made some bookmarks in the MakerLab,” Barrows said.
The exhibit includes a special panel where students can scan a code and read ghost stories on their own time.
“So I found out The Guardian… had a bunch of writers do Christmas ghost stories, and I’m like ‘People can scan [the QR code] and read the
ghost stories at their own leisure.’”
The exhibit also includes video storytellings read by Burt, and filmed and edited by Bill Weidler, MakerLab manager.
“Our social media graduate assistant Haven Wright [said] ‘Hey, nothing’s been uploaded to our YouTube channel in a while…’ so we created a playlist for [the] winter ghost stories,” Barrows said.
Barrows said Weidler added graphics to the video whereas Burt added the music by playing her guitar. The exhibit also features its signature fireplace prop, completely handmade by Weidler and decorated by Barrows.
“I started off with the idea of a fireplace for finals week… and then after that, I was like ‘Hey, we can co-use this for finals week and also the ghost stories…’
so that was one of the pieces I wanted to use for telling the stories in front of it,” Barrows said.
Barrows said that Weidler was a big help with making her ideas come to life.
“So you know, whenever we do a project together, it’s always like back and forth brainstorming ideas, tweaking ideas of what we’re looking for,” Weidler said. “Once I got an idea of the easiest way to construct a nice-looking fireplace, I utilized the equipment that’s in the MakerLab.”
Weidler said the fireplace made for a homey environment.
“I have had many students come and check out this area and compliment the fireplace… it just makes that corner just a little more warm,” Weidler said.
Barrows said she got inspiration for the project from an old blog post she made.
“I used to work at Edwardsville Public Library and I did a blog post on the tradition of ghost stories at Christmas… so when I started working here I wanted to do it again but in a more expansive aspect,” Barrows said. “I’m glad it came together as it did.”
For more information on the exhibit or to watch the stories, visit Lovejoy Library’s Youtube channel.
Pritzker signs assault weapon sales, manufacturing ban
PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois
SPRINGFIELD — On the first full day of his second term, Gov. JB Pritzker on Tuesday signed a bill banning the sale, distribution and manufacture of high-power assault weapons, .50 caliber rifles and ammunition, and large-capacity magazines while still allowing people who already own such weapons to keep them.
Pritzker signed the bill during a ceremony in the Statehouse just hours after the final version of it cleared the House, making Illinois the ninth state in the nation to impose such a ban.
“I’m signing this legislation tonight so that it can take immediate effect and we can end the sale of these weapons of war as soon as possible,” Pritzker said.
The House had passed a similar bill early Friday morning and sent it to the Senate, where it appeared over the weekend to run into roadblocks. But negotiations continued behind the scenes throughout the weekend and into Monday when a final deal came together just as Gov. JB Pritzker, who campaigned on a pledge to pursue an assault weapons ban, was being inaugurated into his second term in office.
As recently as Sunday, the House and Senate seemed to be far apart, both on the weapons ban and a bill expanding access to reproductive health services, two of the biggest items being considered in a lame duck session that will conclude Tuesday.
“I will fight for the needs of Illinoisans and I will not accept a watered-down version of legislation that falls unacceptably short of the comprehensive solutions that the people of this state deserve,” House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch, D-Hillside, said in a statement released Sunday afternoon.
But by Monday night, he, Pritzker and Senate President Don Harmon, D-Oak Park, announced that they were all in agreement on a final proposal.
One of the key sticking points concerned a requirement that people who currently own such weapons register them with the Illinois State Police. Those individuals would be required to disclose the make, model and serial number of the specified weapons to obtain a special endorsement on their Firearm Owners Identification, or FOID card. The House had included that in the bill it passed shortly after midnight Friday morning, but an early draft of a Senate plan reportedly proposed dropping it.
The final version of the bill, contained in a package of amendments to House Bill 5471, includes the requirement but extends the deadline for compliance to Jan. 1, 2024, instead of 180 days after the governor signs the bill into law, as the House had proposed.
The Senate language was unveiled during a committee hearing Monday morning, only a few hours before inauguration ceremonies for the governor and other constitutional officers were about to begin blocks away in a downtown Springfield convention center.
Other changes included a more up-to-date list of weapons that would fall within the banned category along with authority for the Illinois State Police to modify the list through administrative rules to capture new and copycat models as they come onto the market.
The Senate bill also clarifies that any device that makes a semi-automatic weapon fire more rapidly – whether it converts the weapon into a fully automatic one or merely increases the rate of fire – will be illegal. And it defines large-capacity magazines as those capable of holding more than 10 rounds for a long gun or 15 rounds for a handgun.
The Senate version also does
not change the age limit to obtain a FOID card, meaning people between the ages of 18 and 21 will still be able to obtain one with the consent of a parent or guardian. The House had proposed eliminating that exception.
“It really is the House structure,” Harmon said of the bill after a Monday committee hearing. “We have been careful to be precise, that we are articulating the list of guns where an endorsement would require the make, model and serial number so that owners know exactly what they need to do.”
In an effort to ease concerns from hunters and sportsmen, the bill also contains a provision authorizing the Department of Natural Resources to adopt administrative rules exempting weapons used only for hunting that are expressly permitted under the Illinois Wildlife Code.
That, however, was not enough to quell the opposition of gun rights advocates who argued that the weapons to be banned are “commonly used” weapons in American society and thus, under standards of recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings, will likely be deemed unconstitutional.
“I think folks at home need to know, and folks here in the chamber, that many of the commonly used semi-automatic shotguns
will still have to be registered as assault weapons,” Sen. Terri Bryant, R-Murphysboro, said during debate on the floor of the Senate. “So even though some may come off, we’re still going to have many commonly used shotguns that will be listed as assault weapons.”
Democrats pushed the bill through the Senate 34-20, sending it to the House, where it passed 68-41 on Tuesday afternoon with two Republican votes: outgoing House Minority Leader Jim Durkin, R-Western Springs, and Rep. Bradley Stephens, R-Rosemont. Otherwise, GOP members echoed Bryant’s sentiments.
“I can tell you that we will not comply, and you’re not going to do a darn thing about it,” Rep. Blaine Wilhour, R-Beecher City, said during House floor debate. “Because the law, the constitution and the founding principles are on our side.”
During the debate, Welch, with his mother seated next to him, spoke of how his aunt was shot and killed in her car while leaving church in the mid-1980s, and how his mother ended up adopting her sister’s three daughters.
“Let’s end families having to change overnight,” Welch said. “Let’s not lose any more brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, children to gun violence.”
alestlelive.com PAGE 3 Thursday, 01.19.23
I started off with the idea of a fireplace for finals week… and then after that, I was like ‘Hey, we can co-use this for finals week and also the ghost stories.’”
Senior Library Lecturer Allison Barrows
Kids practice reading judgment-free with therapy dogs
NICOLE BOYD opinion editor
Donna Bardon, a therapy dog handler, takes Woody to the Edwardsville Public Library once a month.
Bardon, who works at Got Your Six – an organization that trains service dogs for veterans and first responders with PTSD – said she originally got Woody as a rescue dog to be trained as a walking companion for her daughter, who is disabled.
Bardon said reading to a dog makes kids less self-conscious, because Woody never interrupts or corrects.
“Occasionally we get a kid who’s afraid of dogs and my approach is, ‘You don’t have to touch Woody and if you want to read from over there, that’s fine and he can enjoy the story,’” Bardon said. “Generally, by the time the 15 minutes is up they’ve got their arms around Woody.”
Megan Prueter, head of youth services at the Edwardsville Public Library, said these events are a fun way to get kids comfortable with reading out loud because they won’t be judged.
“Whether you mess up or not, the dog’s not going to know, so it’s really just having something there that’s calming and cute, something that’s
nice, and you’re not focused on if you say something wrong,” Prueter said.
Prueter said although people can register for 15-minute time slots, there’s usually plenty of time for people coming into the library to read to the dogs too.
“It just makes everyone happy and you get to love on the dog and read, so it’s just really calm, just a fun thing to do and come and hang out at the library with the dog,” Prueter said.
Bardon said while the organization’s main business is to train service dogs for veterans and first responders with PTSD, Woody also visits nursing homes, particularly Alzheimer’s and dementia patients.
“They want to talk about their dogs. You’re dealing with long-term memory as opposed to short-term memory because they’re not going to remember what they had for lunch, but they do remember their childhood,” Bardon said.
Bardon said Got Your Six was started to try to meet the high demand for service dogs, as she said it takes a year to train a service dog and there are not many nationally recognized service organizations that train dogs for PTSD.
She said each dog is customized to the person to whom it
will be assigned.
“If a person is paralyzed on their left side, the dog will be taught to walk on the right side. It will be trained to pick things up off the floor if the person couldn’t reach,” Bardon said.
Prueter said Bardon and Woody come one Saturday each month, and another dog named Max comes one Tuesday each month.
Upcoming library events including ‘Read to a Dog’ and appointments can be found on the
Find a routine with Campus Rec group classes and resources
FRANCESCA BOSTON lifestyles editor
Campus Rec offers not only many group classes, which are offered weekly, but spaces to move your body outside of the traditional cardio and weightlifting found in a normal gym.
The indoor pool offers students a chance to improve their swimming skills, while the climbing gym can introduce a new sport to all students for free.
Campus Rec offers group classes, including new cardio kickboxing class. Other classes include a Tabata class, a type of high intensity workout, cycling class or a Cougar Combat class. For lower intensity classes, Campus Rec offers a Barre class, a type of low-impact strength building class, or a yoga class.
Classes do not require a previous sign up, but if a student wishes, reservations can be made on the Campus Rec website, according to Ashley Tocco, fitness programs coordinator for Campus Rec.
Tocco said there are also intermural and clubs sports that have short seasons, and are a good choice for students who want to stay active as well.
12:15pm Lunch Crunch @ SIUE Student Fitness
4:00pm Cardio Kickboxing @ SIUE Student Fitness Center, 5:00pm Pump @ SIUE Student Fitness Center, 6:15pm Raise the Barre @ SIUE Student Fitness Center
12:15pm Lunch Crunch @ SIUE Student Fitness 4:00pm Cardio Kickboxing @ SIUE Student Fitness Center, 5:00pm Pump @ SIUE Student Fitness Center, 6:15pm Raise the Barre @ SIUE Student Fitness Center
12:15pm Lunch Crunch @ SIUE Student Fitness 4:00pm Cardio Kickboxing @ SIUE Student Fitness Center, 5:00pm Pump @ SIUE Student Fitness Center, 6:15pm Raise the Barre @ SIUE Student Fitness Center
contact the editor: firstname.lastname@example.org 650-3527 NEXT WEEK: METRO EAST EATS FEATURING SANDWICHES
alestlelive.com PAGE 4 Thursday, 01.19.23
Brooke Wieser, 7 years old, practices her reading skills to Woody, a certified therapy dog. | Winter Racine / The Alestle
AJ Wieser, who is 9 years old, reads outloud to Woody, a therapy dog, who leans against him in support. | Winter Racine / The Alestle
Edwardsville Public Library website.
@ SIUE Student Fitness Center 10:30am Yoga @ SIUE Student Fitness Center 12:15pm Lunch Crunch @ SIUE Student Fitness Center 3:00pm Power Yoga @ SIUE Student Fitness Center 7:15am CougarFit @ SIUE Student Fitness Center 10:30am Yoga @ SIUE Student Fitness Center 12:15pm Lunch Crunch @ SIUE Student Fitness Center 3:00pm Power Yoga @ SIUE Student Fitness Center 12:30pm Tabata Tuesdays SIUE Student Fitness 4:00pm Cardio Kickboxing SIUE Student Fitness 5:15pm Cycle 45 @ SIUE Student Fitness Center 5:30pm Water Aerobics Vadalabene Center 12:30pm Tabata Tuesdays SIUE Student Fitness 4:00pm Cardio Kickboxing SIUE Student Fitness 5:15pm Cycle 45 @ SIUE Student Fitness Center 5:30pm Water Aerobics Vadalabene Center 7:15am CougarFit @ SIUE Student Fitness Center 12:15pm Yoga @ SIUE Student Fitness Center 5:00pm Cycle 45 @ SIUE Student Fitness Center 5:30pm Circuit @ SIUE Student Fitness Center 7:15am CougarFit @ SIUE Student Fitness Center 12:15pm Yoga @ SIUE Student Fitness Center 5:00pm Cycle 45 @ SIUE Student Fitness Center 5:30pm Circuit @ SIUE Student Fitness Center 8:15am Yoga @ SIUE Student Fitness Center 8:15am Yoga @ SIUE Student Fitness Center 10:15am Cycle 45 @ SIUE Student Fitness Center 10:15am Cycle 45 @ SIUE Student Fitness Center 8:15am Yoga @ SIUE Student Fitness Center 10:15am Cycle 45 @ SIUE Student Fitness Center 12:15pm Lunch Crunch @ SIUE Student Fitness 4:00pm Cardio Kickboxing @ SIUE Student Fitness Center, 5:00pm Pump @ SIUE Student Fitness Center, 6:15pm Raise the Barre @ SIUE Student Fitness Center 7:15am CougarFit @ SIUE Student Fitness Center 10:30am Yoga @ SIUE Student Fitness Center 12:15pm Lunch Crunch @ SIUE Student Fitness Center 3:00pm Power Yoga @ SIUE Student Fitness Center 12:30pm Tabata Tuesdays SIUE Student Fitness 4:00pm Cardio Kickboxing SIUE Student Fitness 5:15pm Cycle 45 @ SIUE Student Fitness Center 5:30pm Water Aerobics Vadalabene Center 7:15am CougarFit @ SIUE Student Fitness Center 12:15pm Yoga @ SIUE Student Fitness Center 5:00pm Cycle 45 @ SIUE Student Fitness Center 5:30pm Circuit @ SIUE Student Fitness Center 8:15am Yoga @ SIUE Student Fitness Center 10:15am Cycle 45 @ SIUE Student Fitness Center FOR COMPLETE SCHEDULE: www.siue.edu/campus-recreation/programs-services/group-ﬁtness-schedule.shtml GROUP FITNESS SCHEDULE JAN - FEB POOL HOURS: M - F: 11:30a - 1:30p / 4p - 7p CLIMBING GYM: TU / TH: 5p - 9p
Campus Activities Board kicks off semester with ‘Just Dance’ game night
CHLOE WOLFE photographer
Students played board games, trivia, Wii or Just Dance at the CAB Just Dance game night last week.
Even though the event was Just Dance themed, several board games such as Uno and Cards Against Humanity were offered to students to play throughout the event, a Wii and trivia were offered to students
who did not want to dance.
The CAB also offered a selection of snacks and drinks including popcorn and Capri Suns.
The main event was Just Dance pulled up on the presentation board in the Morris University St. Clair Room. Students could request a song to dance to, and across the room students would stand up from their board games to dance along. Songs ranged from Boney M. to Lady Gaga.
REVIEW: ‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ is a stunning film with a faulty message
BRUCE DARNELL sports editor
While undeniably a beautiful movie, core themes are lost due to its cast of alien characters.
The original “Avatar,” released in 2009, was a record-breaking film in many ways. It is the highest grossing film of all time, beaten only by “Avengers: Endgame” for a few years, and then was re-released in China. The CGI was groundbreaking, leagues ahead of other movies released at the time. The new film, “Avatar: The Way of Water,” is also expected to break new ground in sales and is a marvel with its CGI effects.
There is so much in this movie to discuss when it comes to visuals — making it understandable that it took over a decade to get released. A key aspect of the movie’s visuals is the world of Pandora, which is executed very well. There are many awe-inducing bits of geography throughout the whole movie, and the detailing of things like vegetation and water — which is a key bit later in the movie — are done near perfectly. You can see the mist in forests and light poke through water. It felt as though it were filmed on location, in some foreign part of the world never seen before.
There are also so many tiny details in the animation that can go easily unnoticed when viewing. One scene had a character named Spider, a human boy
that grew up on Pandora, end up in a situation that drew blood from his nose. In the next scene, you could see the dried blood under his nose, which is such a small detail that it’s hard to imagine seeing it in your everyday movie.
While the movie certainly did its visuals well, the whole premise of the movie is where it falls short. This isn’t necessarily the fault of the sequel, but more of a fault within the whole franchise. The movie suffers from what I like to call “Zootopia Syndrome.” The movie “Zootopia” is a metaphor for racism, but it’s a bad metaphor. In “Zootopia,” there are predator animals and prey animals, and all the prey are hurtful, distrusting and prejudiced against all the predators. The reason the metaphor doesn’t work is because the two groups are intrinsically different; people are not different to the lengths that predator and prey animals are.
This same scenario is shown in “Avatar: The Way of Water,” as well as the original “Avatar.” Both movies are about indigenous people getting their land violently stolen from them. Cameron, the director of both movies, said that it isn’t supposed to be subtle. Each movie operates in this framework, and “The Way of Water” even includes clear representations of Pacific Islanders, more specifically the Maori of Polynesia. However, the representation of indigenous peoples in this movie is not done by humans; rather they are represented as the most literal
definition of an “other:” They are all big, blue aliens.
When you tell a story about the colonization of Indigenous People, it’s important to be sensitive of stereotypes. Making them seem like foreign entities separated by a distance so great that within its miles are gigantic planets and stars is not the best idea to get the point across. It almost reads like European-supremacist propaganda from the early 1500s. There
is no way to portray the horrifying tale of colonization properly when done within the framework that both movies have sternly locked themselves in.
It’s disappointing that a movie filled with such wonderful and groundbreaking visual elements is brought down wholly by its awful portrayal of Indigenous groups and the legacy of violence committed upon them. Watch for the beauty, not for the story.
alestlelive.com PAGE 5 Thursday, 01.19.23
| Thea Weltzin / The Alestle
Junior Sharnae Collins plays a round of Wii bowling. | Chloe Wolfe / The Alestle
A group of freshman students engage in a fierce game of Uno, one of the many games offered at the CAB Just Dance Game Night. | Chloe Wolfe / The Alestle
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Residents shouldn’t have to worry about dorm temperatures
Every winter, students living on campus struggle to remain warm or keep their room a comfortable temperature due to poor temperature regulation in residence buildings, which is an issue the university continues to neglect.
Despite the years of complaints from residents of their rooms regarding uncomfortable temperatures, the problem has not been resolved and there’s been no communication from the university of a plan to address it.
Even beyond failing to acknowledge the concern, they sometimes even act in a way that actively makes the situation worse. For example, on Dec. 21,
2022, residents received an email from Facilities Management stating they would be lowering the thermostat during the periods of subzero weather, only returning to normal operational levels when the region rose above this level.
They explained in the email that Ameren requested everyone reduce their temperatures to keep from overloading the system and hitting blackouts due to a potential increase in demand for energy usage and that, similar “to the February cold weather event in 2021, this could lead to excess energy charges should the university exceed its allotted amounts.”
While this explanation was understandable in this case, the communication was poor as the email was sent out the same day they decreased the temperatures,
giving residents very little time to prepare for this change. Further, housing policies prevent students from having space heaters in their dorm rooms, which makes sense from a perspective of reducing the risk of fires, but further limit residents’ abilities to combat this temperature decrease aside from leaving their residence building entirely.
During some periods in the winter, including this instance, there are students who even experienced the inside of their windows collecting ice from a lack of heat in their rooms, which is an especially prevalent issue in the basement dorms, showing this isn’t just a one-time instance.
Another recent case showing this lack of care for temperature regulation was in October of last
year. There were a few weeks when Housing not only refused to turn on the heat, but in several rooms they entirely forgot to turn the air conditioning off, creating even colder temperatures inside the rooms than it was outside.
It’s understandable that when regulating temperatures for an entire building, it’s going to be impossible to please everyone. However, year after year more instances concerning comfort and safety with building temperatures are occurring, and residents are continuing to call for the university to address this. As these residents feel unheard by the university, we at The Alestle hope to see them finally address this worry and improve the living conditions for students on campus.
Condemning all masculinity is what Andrew Tate wants
GABE BRADY managing editor
Usually, toxic masculinity is considered to be the negative aspects of masculinity all rolled together. It’s misogyny, lack of emotion, violent tendencies and much more. Plenty of people know men who dig into these traits as an act of protest, proud of what is shunned, and they hurt many friends and family. However, masculinity itself is not the problem.
Yes, toxic masculinity is at fault for a great deal of issues we have as a society, but teaching men to hate themselves for being men is going to take them one step closer to people who feed on that insecurity, like Andrew Tate. A large part of his teachings — among the misogyny, transphobia and homophobia — is that men should not hate masculinity, but embrace it. When the alternative is self-hatred, it’s not surprising to see how some men have been radicalized by Tate and others like him.
It’s also incredibly easy for
well-meaning men to accidentally slip down this pipeline. In researching this opinion piece, I looked for an article about men crying, because although many people will say that men should cry, there are also many who don’t want to have to actually see a man cry. I found this article that very candidly stated when it was and wasn’t socially acceptable for a man to cry. As I was reading it, I noticed strange phrases that seemed to have some misogynistic undertones, like talking about women “… who are insecure and want an emotionally weak man who needs them.” Further on the blog, I found another article that displayed how to use a woman’s insecurities to date her, a classic concept among those like Tate.
I did eventually find a study about men crying from a more reputable source. The vast majority of men and women think that women find a man who is emotionally open and cries to be attractive, but there were 16 percent more women than men who believed this. In this survey, many women said they’d cried
in public before, but most men said they only cried in private.
However, crying isn’t the only problem with men and emotions. When asked who they confide in about emotional troubles, women listed people like their friends, partner or siblings, and only 9 percent of them said no one. For men? Approximately 26 percent said no one.
Plenty of films and books have been taken by this manosphere movement and had their images changed from critiques of masculinity to “sigma males” and “manly men who don’t care about others.” There’s “Fight Club” by Chuck Palahniuk, which was intended as a depiction of how easy it is for men to be radicalized because of society’s view of toxic masculinity, but many men believe it to be about how cool it is to be a man. “American Psycho” is a satirization of business culture, but the main character, Patrick Bateman, has become an icon for many men.
As a man, I needed positive roles that used masculinity to see
myself in to grow as a person. I’ve recently become a big fan of British band IDLES. Their music is loud, full of heavy guitar and yelling, but yelling about things like masculinity being a mask, being open about your own sexuality and fighting racists at a bar. Tony Soprano from the television series “The Sopranos” is also a progressive picture of masculinity, in my opinion, and he hasn’t been corrupted by manosphere men. He goes to therapy, he tells his children he loves them, he has panic attacks, he is attached to the little things in life (like the family of ducks that leaves his backyard pool), but he’s still an adult man and crime lord.
To every man reading this, being a man isn’t inherently bad. It’s up to us to show that masculinity can be good. There’s strength in crying with your friends. There’s strength in telling others you need help. There’s strength in being open about how you feel. It feels impossible to do at times, but it’s for the best and it does help, I promise.
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January 19, 2023
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20 - Feb. 18)
This isn’t the time to wheel and deal or challenge someone in a close relationship. Maintain your momentum with an existing project, honor your obligations and remain focused on facing up to reality.
PISCES (Feb. 19 - March 20)
Place the emphasis on spiritual rather than material values when dealing with loved ones and business associates. Don’t hesitate to offer your advice or assistance but be careful not to take sides in a dispute.
ARIES (March 21 - April 19)
Someone may come to you for expert advice. Be generous with your time and expertise but don’t volunteer to take on new obligations. An open and friendly manner can make it easy to arrive at a compromise.
TAURUS (April 20 - May 20)
Someone’s criticism may leave you feeling emotionally vulnerable at first. Unpack the situation in your mind to learn a needed lesson instead of shaming yourself. Exercise caution when there is a family feud.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20)
You are likely willing to do the extra work to achieve immediate gratification of your desires. However, keep your money in your pocket because you might not be realistic about the value of a fascinating new purchase.
CANCER (June 21-July 22)
Restrain your impulses — this is the wrong time to charge forward blindly. You might look away from opportunities that don’t feel quite right. Avoid friction by being more thoughtful and considerate of others.
LEO (July 23 - Aug. 22)
Try not to let yourself become irritated by someone who seems to expect you to jump to obey their every whim or directive. You will be in a better position to share the wealth if you are cooperative and prove you are a team player.
VIRGO (Aug. 23 - Sept. 22)
Turn a foe into a friend. Use your astute observations to find common ground that can bring you and another person closer. Use your people skills to sidestep arguments even if others seem especially disagreeable.
LIBRA (Sept. 23 - Oct. 22)
Roll up your shirtsleeves and dive right into the job. Switch your practical know-how on high for the best success. Some people may be impressed by your output even if they do not understand all your methods.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23 - Nov. 21)
Give your imagination free rein even if you are tied to a desk. You may want to wallow in creature comforts when everyone else is working their fingers to the bone. However, you can still put together a powerful presentation.
SAGITARIUS (Nov. 22 - Dec. 21)
Focus on being creative and working as a team player. You could be tempted to take drastic measures to ensure financial stability. Sidestep new purchases and avoid signing agreements or financial contracts.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22 - Jan. 19)
Keep turning the wheels and be persistent about reaching your objectives. You can be most effective if you remain open to original ideas. Rather than throwing your weight around, discuss win-win alternatives.
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Women’s basketball keeps the pressure up against Lindenwood
GABRIEL BRADY managing editor
Women’s basketball helped their conference record with a win against Lindenwood University this past Saturday.
The score at four minutes into the first quarter was 5-2. SIUE had secured a lead, and kept it for the duration of the game.
Two baskets at the foul line from junior forward Olivia Clayton and a basket at 5:07 from senior forward Ajulu Thatha built up that lead even further. Less than a minute after, Thatha kept up the pressure with another layup, thanks to an assist from sophomore guard Sofie Lowis.
Lowis said Thatha’s skills in the paint are something the rest of the players on the team know and make sure to utilize when they can.
“It’s because of [Thatha], for sure,” Lowis said. “She demands the ball, and that’s kind of been our game plan in our organized match-ups. I’m constantly thinking ‘Get her the ball, get her the ball.’ It’s great to get assists, and it’s great to see her finishing them up.”
Another assist at about two minutes from Lowis gave freshman guard Macy Silvey a chance for a basket as well, bringing the score to 13-4.
With 36 seconds left in the first quarter, sophomore guard Molly Sheehan scored two baskets at the foul line, bringing the score to 17-6 at the end of the first quarter.
At 9:36 in the second quarter, Silvey stepped up once again
and immediately stole the ball from Lindenwood, leading to a turnover from Thatha. About a minute later, Thatha got another turnover in. This paid off at 8:01 when junior forward Madison Webb scored a turnaround jump shot, with an assist from Sheehan, bringing the score to 19-8.
The score was 23-8, at 6:03, when freshman guard Anna Blank’s strong block stopped Lindenwood in their tracks. Shortly after, Clayton got a turnover, but Lindenwood stole it back for a quick basket at 5:14.
Despite holding the lead for the vast majority of the game, Lindenwood kept up the pressure throughout. Head Coach Sam Smith said Lindenwood is a team that plays hard, regardless of the scoreboard, throughout the game.
“That’s kind of been Lindenwood’s thing this year, just making people crank it out, making everything really difficult,” Smith said. “We didn’t shoot great from the three [pointer line], but we had some goals and things we wanted to focus on in the second half of the game, and we did a better job with that.”
The combined efforts of freshman forward Destine Duckworth and Silvey walled off a Lindenwood player at 5:46. About a minute later, Sheehan was given a shot at the foul line, and scored both of them, bringing the scores to 25-14.
A good layup from Lowis, which was between two different layups from Clayton, assisted by Sheehan, brought the score to 3316. Despite Lindenwood building up their score, the Cougars kept building faster.
Smith said the assists and the tight togetherness of the team is a key to winning in any sport.
“I think we were really balanced, right from the start. We got touches from almost everyone on the inside,” Smith said. “We’ve just got to continue to have that balance in touches, that balance in scoring.”
In the final minute of the second quarter, three different shots at the foul line gave Lindenwood four points overall. Going into the third quarter, the score was 33-20.
The third quarter started with an attempted 3 from Webb, which was not good; however, Thatha came in on the rebound and got a basket anyway. Webb redeemed herself at 8:46 with a clean basket off the backboard, assisted by Sheehan. About a minute and a half later, Sheehan scored a basket of her own, this time assisted by Sheehan. The score was 39-27.
From 6:42 to 5:42, Thatha scored two separate baskets and Sheehan scored one more. Thatha said her extended time on the team has given her a lot of practice and a lot of skill with working around defenses.
“I think it’s just my teammates recognizing that nobody can guard me, so we just keep
passing the ball,” Thatha said. “I think that’s where we did well.”
After those rapid baskets, Lindenwood took their first timeout at 5:20. The score was 48-28.
Lindenwood slowly built up their score throughout the rest of the quarter, and although SIUE did as well, the gap did begin to close. After Lowis assisted Duckworth with a basket at 1:09, the score was 55-41.
With 39 seconds left until the final quarter, Lindenwood called another timeout. When they came back, Lindenwood scored a quick basket, though Thatha scored another at :24, assisted by Lowis.
Right at the buzzer for the end of the third quarter, Duckworth made a basket, but at the same time, Lindenwood was fouled for their defense against Lowis. After the play was put under review, Lowis was given two shots at the line, and made both.
Going into the final quarter of the game, the score was 5945. After a quick basket from Thatha with help from Sheehan, the game became somewhat stagnant. Both teams were trying to build up their scores, but both defenses held strong.
A shot at the foul line from
Lowis and a basket from Ajulu, assisted by Sheehan yet again, broke the stagnation, though Lindenwood did score a basket in between them.
An incredibly strong Lindenwood defense at around five minutes left in the game made SIUE almost take a shot timer violation twice. However, the team kept trying to shoot, resetting the timer each time.
Smith said the team’s skill at adjusting after rebounds was another component that helped them win the game.
“A big part was winning the rebounding battle we were in the entire game,” Smith said. “I think that was really big for us in the second half, giving ourselves second opportunities and forcing 21 turnovers. That’s a big part of our success.”
The audience was worked into a fervor as Lindenwood’s defense kept denying SIUE the basket, but their offense was not able to take the ball from SIUE. The tension was finally broken at 4:35 with a basket from Webb, assisted by Blank.
Towards the end of the game, a role reversal happened, with Lowis scoring a jump shot, assisted by Thatha. A minute later, at 1:23, Lindenwood scored a jump shot, as well, but Sheehan got the ball to Thatha for a basket to cancel it out.
In the final minute, Sheehan scored two shots at the foul line. Despite a basket from Lindenwood with six seconds on the clock, the score at the end of the game was 74-63.
The women’s team’s next game is Thursday, Jan. 19 at 5 p.m. against Morehead State.
Here’s who you should be looking out for in the upcoming spring season
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alestlelive.com Thursday, 01.19.23
WEEK: WOMEN’S TENNIS
FIRST MATCH OF
That’s kind of been Lindenwood’s thing this year, just making people crank it out, making everything really difficult.”
Sam Smith, Head Coach Women’s Basketball