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ISSUE 91.12 | 02/15/2017

Nathan Mena shows off his wares. Check em out at: | PC: Jorrdan Bissell


uring the harsh winters of Nebraska, one would usually go and buy the necessary winter accessories like scarves, hats and sweaters. But if you’re like sophomore religious education major Nathan Mena, you would make your own winter accessories, more specifically through crocheting.

Crocheting is the art of making different garments such as scarves or sweaters by looping together yarn with a hooked needle. Crochet differs from knitting in that it uses only one hooked needle instead of two straight needles. The texture and look created varies, too. “My interest started back in high school when a teacher of mine introduced our class to crocheting and knitting,” he explains. “She would teach us how to knit or crochet while teaching class, and soon everyone caught on and it became an everyday thing.”

Despite three years of crocheting for fun in his spare time, it wasn’t until last winter when Mena thought to sell his handmade creations. “I had a large bag filled with all the things I had made back at home and my mom took it to our church, sold it all and sent me the money. After talking to local craft stores I became inspired to open my Etsy store,” states Mena. Mena’s online Etsy store is called "Hooked Adornments." An Etsy store is a peer-to-peer online store focusing on vintage or handmade goods and supplies. Selling online may look initially appealing, but a lot of preparation and hard work comes with opening one's own shop. After making the items, pictures are taken. The actual store has a process for setup, including creating listings of each item that contains the dimensions, materials used and proper instructions of how to take care of the items. Once posted online, figuring out how to ship to the customer is next. Then the seller is responsible for all [ continued on page 3 ]

[ W H AT ' S I N S I DE] THE FINAL WORD | page 02 |





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n Monday, Jan. 30, a scandal which began with a highly controversial article ended quietly in an Ortner Center conference room. Racism is a polarizing topic, and many on and off campus took sides after Jonathan Deemer posted an article discussing it in issue 6, volume 91 of The Clocktower. In response, professor of psychology, Trudy Holmes-Caines wrote a letter to the editor which was published in issue 9, volume 91 of The Clocktower. An online argument, via the shared articles and Facebook, raged all the while. The differing opinions of these writers clashed, as students came forward with their own interpretations of life on campus and how it relates to race. If you’re interested in a full summary of the discussion, view the online version of this article at Union isn’t isolated in facing these kinds of issues. Across the world, universities are on the front lines in a war against racism. Ideas like institutional racism can grow out of seemingly nowhere, and can put those who don’t see the world the same way on edge. It can be easy to feel attacked if you don’t have the same perspective as those who are blaming you for some problem. When attacked, it’s easy to lash out against anything the opposition says, even if they have a good point. The greatest pushback against politically correct politics is found in the republican party. Social media wars, shouting matches and censorship of dissenters can follow when the right wing feels attacked. Social justice isn’t innocent in this either. In fact, it can be even more guilty of being inconsiderate.

While hard conservatives are often the most overt in their intolerance of those who disagree with them, pushing back against social policing can make anyone a target of social justice warriors. By so vigorously fighting oppression and pursuing equality, one can end up devaluing any other opinions, becoming the thing they hate—oppressive bigots. If there was one theme common throughout the discussion was the need for openness to change.

When attacked, it's easy to lash out, even if there's a good point.


Professor Holmes-Caines presented how Jonathan’s article could have easily been offensive to someone who felt as if their whole life they had been fighting a faceless machine built to oppress them. At the same time, Jonathan expressed how wildly labeling things as racist is a dangerous route to tread, both belittling the word and alienating the people who most need to discuss why their actions are offensive. While neither ultimately changed what they believed, I’m confident that it was an eye-opening experience for everyone who came. Perhaps if enough people follow their example and try to step across the aisle with an open mind, society can avoid getting so caught up on the semantics of what the problem is, and instead focus on finding a compromising solution to the egregious racial disparity which can permeate many areas of daily life. Statistics can be tossed around, but most agree there is a correlation between


race, poverty and success in life, if not a causal relationship. Shouldn’t we then, as Christians or otherwise, be working towards the common goal of equal acceptance?

Shouldn't we be working towards the common goal of equal acceptance?

Instead of throwing insults across imaginary walls along party lines, finding common ground can lead to compromise and attaining a better society. Quite often neither side is 100% correct, so by considering the issue from a variety of points of view we can increase our odds of finding a good solution. Racism has always been about perspective, specifically a lack of it. When people think their view is the only one that matters, inhuman acts become a lot easier. There will never be a final word on the issue of racism, nor will there ever be a perfect resolution to the problem of humans disliking other humans (at least on this earth). Nonetheless, through respectful discussion, peaceful resolutions can be found which satisfy everybody’s needs, sans the name calling.

ETSY STORE [ continued from page 1 ]

communications, transactions shipment of sold goods.


Mena shares, “I didn’t realize how much work it takes to set up everything, but once it was running it was totally worth it.” While the number of men knitting or crocheting is still less than females, the number is slowly rising. On campus alone some passionate crafters include James Clague and Gabriel Flechas (who also conveniently work for The Clocktower). “For me, crocheting combines stress relief and being able to pass the time without wasting it,” says Mena. “I have personally never experienced any negative comments about it, but it [the stigma] is still out there.” Mena recommends having a positive mindset when going into any kind of crafting, regardless of stigma. He concludes, “At first I was a little worried, but people have been supportive of me. If you’re able to make something and you’re having fun while doing it, you shouldn’t worry about what anyone says.” To see some of Mena’s crocheted creations or contact him about a personal project you have in mind, check out his Etsy store at: www.etsy. com/shop/HookedAdornments

While America may not have always been great, it certainly had high points for all races, and continues to present opportunities in abundance. Still, it has never been easy. Whether fording. rivers or changing systems which have been status quo for years, togetherness and national unity has always been key to productively utilizing democracy.

HOUC is compiled by Autumn Mott.


uring my junior year at Portland Adventist Academy, I had the opportunity to preach for the first time. I went up there and I preached my little heart out. I just remember getting off the stage and being like, “If I do anything with my life, this is what I need to be doing.” I knew ministry was more than just preaching from the pulpit, and the people-aspect of it was what I was leaning more towards. There are girls [majoring] in religion, but I am the only one in theology. I really want a picture of all [the boys], with me in the middle just smiling. I love the guys in the theology department; they tease me and mess around, but at the end of the day, they are just the best. I wouldn’t change a thing; I love it! Elizabeth “Lizzy” McDonald is a junior studying theology

I would call this campus, and the nation, to hold to this high standard of putting aside differences to enact great change. James Clague is a sophomore studying computer science.


Humans of Union College

Caroline Guchu is a sophomore studying communication.





n Feb. 11, The Mighty Magic Pants released their new album “My Mom is Batman.” The Mighty Magic Pants is a children’s band currently composed of Union’s previous professor of English and now adjunct Mike Mennard, senior music major Charmaine Ang and ‘16 graduate Ben VandeVere. The Mighty Magic Pants formed in 2012 around Mennard, an awardwinning musician and poet, and their first album “Gotta Be the Pants” won a Parent-Choice Award in 2014. The group toured and produced two more albums over the next four years.

Ang wasn’t sure of exactly what Mennard’s invite entailed at first. “He had said ‘help me out’, so I thought he just wanted me to play or sing something.” “That’s what I meant,” Mennard laughed, “help me out by being in the band!” “I was planning on talking to Ben, too,” continued Mennard. “I was actually trying to work up the courage!” He ended up asking VandeVere shortly afterward.

VandeVere. “We’re not a kid’s group, we’re a family’s group because there’s something for all ages.” Mennard agrees. “College students are often our best audience, because they love having fun and they don’t mind being silly. They’re past that ‘I’m too cool for this’ stage.” If you’re interested in listening to “My Mom is Batman,” the album can be purchased on iTunes, or via a Bandcamp subscription. If you head over to their Facebook page, you can find song previews and other exclusive content. Also visit their website, www., for tour dates. If you can make it to a concert the Mighty Magic Pants will be “super, super, super excited” to see you. Yes, the pun was intended.

However, in 2015 “Pirate Jake” Wright, one of the original members, passed away. The band dissolved soon after.


A few months later, Mennard was deeply e involved with Union’s re fo rm theatre group, preparing a ed rd ba na production of his musical comedy nd en M we a i ke ring “Captain Scrooge.” In the months of C: M some m i g h t y ma g i c a l p a n t s . | P preparation for the production, he was In 2015 the original group able to closely work with VandeVere and Ang. He recognized the talent they began working on a superhero themed both had, and decided to ask them if album. Now, with the band renewed they would help reform The Mighty with Ang and VandeVere, Mennard brought the project back to life. Magic Pants. “He talked with her [Ang] first,” stated VandeVere, pretending to be offended. “What was funny about this, was she came to me [and told me] and I was freaking out, ‘cause I’ve followed The Mighty Magic Pants for a while.”

Although the primary audience for The Mighty Magic Pants is children, it’s a band that can be enjoyed by all ages. “There are references you wouldn’t get if you were [a child],” explained

Autumn Mott is a sophomore studying communication.




n Jan. 25, 2017 The Washington Post published an interview with ex-North Korean diplomat Thae Yong-ho, whose words may point to a possible end for North Korea as we know it. In the interview Thae said, “I’ve known there was no future for North Korea for a long time.” Thae was a deputy diplomat and is the highest ranking official to have defected from North Korea to this day. The South Korean government hinted that his escape was part of a string of elite defections from the North. From a historical standpoint it begs the question, how did North Korea end up in such a sticky situation? According to, after WWII Japan was forced to leave the Korean province. With their newfound freedom and differing ideologies , Korea fell into the Korean Cold War in 1950. A communist regime in the North was supported by the Russians and eventually the Chinese while a group in the South received support from America, thereby segregating the two halves. For the most part much hasn’t changed. While South Korea continues to advance in prosperity, the majority of the population in North Korea remains impoverished. In his interview, Thae mentioned the reason why the people in North Korea haven’t overthrown the government in outraged rebellion. Simply, they don’t know better. They don’t know what life looks like outside North Korea. Internet is banned, radio and television only broadcast propaganda and the newspapers are filled with feats of the country’s great leaders.

However, this has been happening for nearly 70 years and people are waking up. In the heart of North Korea exists a black market where one can illegally purchase western and South Korean movies, music, dramas etc. Admittedly, not all Western films are accurate in their portrayal of our culture but they do instill questions into the viewer who has never experienced another culture before. Elite officials are also becoming aware of the perilous path of nuclear development their leader is following and, as Thae indicated, are “Very fanatical because it pushes North Korea into a corner of self-destruction,” which is why many have already defected. History and international relations professor Christopher Banks surmised, “All the North Korean people need now is a way out. Since the government is so tight, the slightest warp in it will cause everything to collapse.” Alumnus ('16) Stella Park added, “As a South Korean, I don’t mind North Koreans coming to South Korea seeking help because even though we might be under different governments, that doesn’t mean we’re not family. However, it’s hard to know what’s truly going on with North Korea since information is limited.” Still, in the event the North Korean government does fall, it wouldn’t signify an end to oppression. In an analysis by The Asia-Pacific Journal, it was found that despite the South Korean government’s attempt to acclimatize escapees into daily life in South Korea, many refugees still experience hardship. In 2003, unemployment rate amongst North Korean immigrants was 41.1 percent. When North Korean immigrant kids were asked why they didn’t like South Korean schools they responded they

Pictured: Thae Yong-ho reacting at a conference. | PC:

got teased for being shorter and smaller than South Koreans counterparts, for their northern accent, not keeping with the fads and for being unsophisticated. To say the North Korean people face a grim future would be an understatement, but that’s no reason to lose hope. Banks revealed a scenario put in place by the Obama administration in which American business would be allowed in North Korea. This would cause economic globalization, maintaining of government elite for the time being, and creation of a middle class. It would allow for socioeconomic development and, eventually, democracy. However, this is speculation. North Korea may not allow American businesses. Or, the American government may no longer be interested in furthering North Korean peace relations. Only time will tell.

Sean Hendrix is a senior studying biomedical science.




he new year is filled with resolutions, new classes, and a new season of ABC’s “The Bachelor!” This year we’re graced with Nick Viall, a seasoned contestant on the franchise who’s hoping to find lasting love with his turn in the driver’s seat. ABC isn’t the only place you can find eligible bachelors … We have our own hot comods with hot co-bods ready to sweep a special someone right off their feet (or be swept up themselves #feminism)! Here are the top three bachelors of Union College, as deemed by polling in the Union Market:

Max Bromme is a freshman business administration and international relations student from Florida. “Live life to the MAX” [emphasis added] is his favorite catchphrase, which is both cheesy and inspirational. He loves skiing, something he doesn’t get to do too often being a Floridian for the last decade. “I’d like to travel to Switzerland to see the Alps,” he added. When asked about his favorite place in the world, he answered short and sweet: wherever his family is. He was coy when it came to his best and worst qualities. Classic Max Bromme, so modest and secretive! Maybe those are his best and worst qualities … ? He also said he loves when a girl is fun and focused on the right priorities. A dream date with Max might include watching The Office, his favorite TV show, or a sweet serenade on the piano. Max has taken piano lessons for years and playing is one of his favorite hobbies. Look out females! His little ditties on the ivories will make you swoon.

Armando Jimenez, our next bachelor, is also a freshman from Florida. Studying business and sports management, Armando enjoys watching The Walking Dead or Friends in his spare time. His favorite line is by the lovable but ever-dweeby Ross Geller: “WE WERE ON A BREAK!” When asked about his role model in life, Armando got serious about his mom. “I love her to death. She’s been my rock since day one,” he said. “She raised my brother and I as a single mother and loved us unconditionally. I hope to love my kids as much as she loved me!” To further add to his hunky status, he gushed about his joy working with kids. “I worked at camp this past summer and just love spending time with them!” he shared. “Oh, and I like basketball or whatever.” He described his biggest fault to be his tendency to goof off, but when asked about his best quality, he laughed. “At the end of the day, I’m goofy! You can’t hate goofy!”

Mikaal Ellis, a sophomore biomedical pre-med student, is our final bachelor. His studies keep him extremely busy but he’s never too busy to hang out with friends. When asked about his favorite TV show, Mikaal answered, “Grey’s Anatomy.” If he chose biomed as his major, perhaps he’s hoping his real life will imitate his favorite characters (McDreamy or McSteamy?). This bachelor shares the same secret talent as our first: he can play piano like a dream. Is a dreamy bachelor duet in Union’s future? When getting introspective, Mikaal said the most attractive quality in a girl is a spirit of independence, someone who can do her own thing and not be clingy. “My biggest fault is joking around during serious situations,” he responded. “My best quality is that I can make friends easily.” P.S. Thanks Zach Morrison for the photos.

Katie Morrison is a senior studying business administration.




istening for God’s voice can be hard, and separating His voice from our own emotions can be even harder.

We ask ourselves, is that anxious feeling a warning from God or are we simply nervous? Is that relief God’s assurance or have we simply given into temptation? When asked if he thought our emotions can get in the way of listening for God’s voice, Nicholas Hutchings, a freshman international rescue and relief major, answers, “Yes, I really do. That was something I thought about before I considered a career.” He wants to do what God wanted him to do and not just what he liked. To learn God’s will for our lives and hear His voice, we must face the difficult task of separating His will from our emotions. To accomplish this, a few steps can be taken to better decipher our emotions from God’s voice.

The first step we can take is to learn to recognize God’s voice. We’re often told we must listen for His voice in our lives, but are seldom told how to recognize it. God speaks to each person in different ways. For some, it’s a soft voice or an inner peace. For others, God speaks through the voice of others or the Bible. Despite the numerous ways He communicates though, we need to become familiar with His character so that we can recognize Him. Spending time in prayer and in His Word helps us to better understand God’s character and recognize when He speaks to us. Another step we can take is to not base our decisions solely on feelings. Just as we are flawed human beings, our emotions are also flawed and able to deceive. The people we interact with, food we eat and amount of sleep we get all play a role in how we react in life. The major

decisions we make should be made with our beliefs and not fickle feelings. A third step we can take is to examine our desires. We all want things in life, both good and bad; however, when it comes to these desires and God’s will, we need to approach them with caution. It’s easy to see “signs” we want to see, and ignore signs we don’t want. We can want something so bad we’ll take any sign to more forward, whether it be from God or the devil. It’s important to take time when it comes to our desires to check that our heart isn't drowning out God’s voice. Freshman chemistry education major Leslie Lopez, shared some ways she separates God’s voice from emotions. “Many times we tend to think our emotions are the Holy Spirit…. Sometimes it’s just us confusing ourselves by our own emotions.” Leslie says the two big parts that should be focused on are prayer and Scripture. She gives Jeremiah 17:9 as an example. “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” One last piece of advice to those making decisions: Leslie advises others to ask themselves after deciding, “How does that decision affect your prayer and devotional life? Does this decision bring you closer to God or not?” If we end up feeling guilty over a decision chances are we have given into our own desires rather than following God’s will.

Praying with a friend and talking through decisions can add clarity.| PC: Sharon Curran

Amanda McCarter is a sophomore studying biomedical science.




ditor's note: Usually international volunteers submit articles of a story or describe their experience. Austin decided to answer some questions! We hope you enjoy this look into missionary life. Be on the lookout for the rest of the year for ways to uplift our fellow students in their service. If interested in applying to be an international volunteer, stop by the Campus Ministries office ASAP.


Why did you decide to be a student missionary?

My relationship with Jesus was stagnant, and I wanted to put myself into a situation where I would need and want to trust in solely Jesus. I thought being a missionary would be easy. Now I know I was completely wrong. This is the hardest thing I've done. I also absolutely adore kids; most have no care in the world, they just want to enjoy themselves. The last reason was I really wanted to learn Spanish. Putting myself into a Spanish-speaking country where few speak English has forced me to try (tratar in español) to learn the language, which is exactly what I needed. It's been a rough journey but I'll continue to improve!


Can you describe an inspiring experience of your work during your time so far?

An inspiring experience has been finally feeling like a part of the family I'm living with. I live with nine kids in a big house along with Raquel and Isidro, the married couple who are their caretakers, but everyone calls them

Making new friends is a given when signing up to be an international volunteer. | PC: Austin Burke

Mama and Papa. The first week or two I felt really disconnected. One morning one of my kids asked me to be apart of worship. I didn't understand anything Isidro said, but that's okay because I was finally included! I started making food for dinner and helping with homework. Every day Casa Banks feels more like home.


What do you enjoy most of the country you're in so far?

Every week day I work in the kitchen at the school and we make snacks for the kids to buy during recess, which includes making juice that they can buy. We take the fruit, cut it up perfectly, put it in the blender, strain it, water it down and put sugar in it. Muy rico (so yummy). I also enjoy the people. Most of these people live in small concrete houses with gates, bars on the windows, and locks. Sometimes they have electricity and sometimes they don't. These hondureños don't have as many places to go or as many things to do but they don't complain. They find fun things to do. We play soccer a lot, and the

kids really get into it. It's so true that having lots of stuff doesn't mean you're happy. Lots of people here don't have much compared to people in the U.S. but they’re more happy with what they have. I'm blessed.


Any advice you have for students considering becoming a student missionary for a year?

You can do this. I think anyone can do what I'm doing right now, but it's not gonna be easy and it won't be fun at times. One of the best parts of this experience is looking back at where I was when I first arrived. Be ready to leave a lot behind. Being a missionary is sorta like what Jesus did during his ministry. He didn't have much, went out and loved people. Don't think you'll be comfortable. It's going to be uncomfortable. Uncomfortability grows character and tests your endurance so be thankful for it when you do experience it!

Austin Burke is an international volunteer in Honduras.





would say my biggest political crusade is to erode the ‘us vs. them’ mentality.

This means I can’t turn a blind eye to members of my own party who subscribe to such a mentality. Bill Kintner is one such example. Kintner was caught in a cybersex scandal last year, for which he endured no repercussions (other than a fine for using a state computer for such action). He’s made many insensitive and ignorant comments on the legislature floor and to the press. He retweeted a picture mocking women marchers for being too unattractive to be sexually assaulted, an action which ultimately resulted in his resignation.

freaking liberals,” insisting inspiring conservative youth was the only way to move forward. Jeez man, have some humanity, I thought. These are people you’re talking about.

most pointed and, in my opinion, inappropriate personal attack I’ve ever heard by a public official against none other than Senator Bill Kintner, making fun of Kintner’s weight and lambasting his character.

Essentially, the problem with Kintner is that he wasn’t interested in solutions to problems, only conservative solutions to problems. This mentality that so many fall victim to serves as a blinder. Coupled with confirmation bias it can become horribly corrosive to the problemsolving abilities of a legislative body.

Therefore, his biggest flaw wasn’t his uncensored thoughts, but his obvious distaste for those with which he disagreed. Kintner was unable to separate the political belief from the person, and as a Republican, I would rather have 10 open-minded and civil Democrats in public office than one unfeeling and obstinate Republican who is incapable of considering differing solutions.

But, none of these are even the most important reason why Bill Kintner was a detriment to the legislature. Kintner’s downfall was his inability to consider those who had differing beliefs as his equals and to deal with them as such.

Really, parties should only serve as a somewhat arbitrary way of organizing ourselves with likeminded individuals. They shouldn’t, however, serve as armies in which to enlist to fight a war of ideas.

He personified the "us vs. them" mentality. I admired his stated reasons for entering the legislature. I even liked some of his ideas. But it was difficult to focus on his policy goals when his language contained such disdain for his fellow Nebraskan who happened to have a different perspective on the world. It frustrated me when, in the middle of a policy debate on the floor, Kintner would speak up and begin his routine criticism of the liberal ideology and Democrats in general. When I interned at the Capitol Building, it disgusted me to hear him enter our office and rail on “those

My point is that, though his words upset many, still others didn’t care. Basically, like every other politician, some people liked him and some people disliked him.

Only once those like Bill Kintner, and those who purvey his divisive ideology, fade away from the public sphere can we, as Americans, realize the full potential we have when we realize we’re all on the same side. Senator Kitner resigned Jan. 25 | PC:

So, of course, Kintner’s words were offensive, ignorant and unfeeling. But, as demonstrated by Ernie Chambers, words aren’t always as important as some think they are. After all, just last year Chambers compared police to ISIS and suggested he’d shoot a police officer if he had a weapon. Chambers also leveled the

Jonathan Deemer is a sophomore studying biomedical science.




obody I know seemed to like the “Ghostbusters” remake.

Now I can’t say anything about that directly, as I’ve yet to see the film, but I can say that I’m glad they made a gender swapped version of the film. I don’t particularly like remakes, but if you’re going to make one, you should at least change something from the source film. Take “The Magnificent Seven” for instance. The newer film, which came out last semester, is a remake of an older film of the same name which itself is a remake of an even older film called “Seven Samurai.” The original “Seven Samurai” is a fantastic movie, and the remake “The Magnificent Seven” was equally great. The remake was able to maintain its quality through a change in setting. The newest remake was mildly received. It wasn’t bad necessarily, but it wasn’t any good either. The setting was the same, name was the same, story was the same. They only changed two things: The ethnic diversity of the cast and tone.

The “Ghostbusters” remake debuted in July 2016 and received mixed reviews. | PC:

Tone changing is tricky, as fans of the original are liable to feel betrayed from any changes too drastic. Tone is usually changed when adapting a film from something either foreign, or old enough that most people who saw the original are already dead.

advances in special effects. The effects make the drastic and often disgusting mutation from man to fly monster all the more horrific and difficult to endure, which is exactly the point.

Remakes need to either look at things from a new perspective or do I believe a remake needs to make everything objectively better than the substantial change to become its own original. film. The only time this wouldn’t be If the new “Ghostbusters” film is the case is if a technology or cultural different enough through its gendershift occurs, allowing filmmakers swapped characterization that it can to push the original theme of the stand on its own and deliver a quality original film to all new heights in the film experience, then I see no problem remake—as was done with “The Fly.” with it being made. “The Fly” remake is strikingly When I wear my “Ghostbusters” similar to its original, save for the shirt in public, I often get compliments from young girls.

They seem to look up to the all female cast in the same way young (and current) me looked up to Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd. I know they aren’t talking about the same movie I am, but isn’t the sharing of culture from one generation to the next the entire point?

Ghost removal is tough work, but someone has to do it. | PC:

Kevin Niederman is a junior studying nursing.




ho even cares about soccer?” This question is too often asked by American sports fans.

the world.

Yet, the game dominates all other sports around

So, why don’t we care about it? First, for a long time, we as a country haven’t spent much on our soccer teams. We haven’t watched them nor have we supported them.

Now, in fairness to the men’s team, many countries don’t promote women’s sports. Some don’t allow it altogether. Additionally, girls growing up in the U.S. don’t have the opportunities to play football that boys do, so many take up soccer instead. That isn’t to say the women’s team hasn’t been great; they certainly have. They’ve been dominant, and we as a country should be proud. That being said, our men's team does face a tougher road to greatness.

Second, most of us didn’t grow up playing the game. Our childhoods were mostly filled with football, baseball and basketball.

Our women’s soccer teams have been far more reflective of our athletic dominance as a country. They’ve won three World Cups in seven appearances and four Olympic golds in six appearances. Most impressively though, they’ve been first or second in the FIFA world rankings since the rankings first came out in 2003. The U.S. men’s team is ranked 28th.

Unlike years past, though, we watched. We cared. We prayed for an overtime goal. We felt the defeat. We asked when the next world cup would be. And we anxiously waited to see the soccer portion of the 2016 Olympics. Bad coaching and poor roster decisions kept the team from qualifying. Perhaps our interest level fell for a while, but I’m certain we will watch the 2018 World Cup with great interest. Additionally, in the coming years our soccer teams will get better. Increased viewership for our national team has led to increased viewership for our MLS teams. This has caused their contracts to increase, and obviously has increased the demand for talent.

Finally, our men’s international teams have been terrible. They’ve failed to win (or even medal) at the olympics since 1904, and they’ve failed to advance past the World Cup quarterfinals since 1930 (they’ve only made the quarter-finals once, while they’ve failed to qualify nine times). In stark contrast, the U.S. has been atop the sports world in nearly all other categories for the past century. We dominate the Winter and Summer Olympics. We’ve made basketball and football ours without contest, we’ve dominated baseball and we’ve held our own as a top contender in world hockey.

Germany a thrilling match that ended in a 0-1 loss. This was enough to advance to the round of 16, where the U.S. lost an overtime thriller to Belgium.

Nathaneal Torres, pictured, loves to cheer on his favorite soccer teams. | PC: Jorrdan Bissel

In the coming years, I think they’ll take steps toward realizing said greatness. In the 2014 World Cup, the U.S. found itself in the group of death. Germany (who would go on to win the cup), Portugal (led by perhaps the best player in the world, Cristiano Ronaldo) and Ghana (an underdog who actually managed to draw with Germany). The U.S. defeated Ghana, finished in a 1-1 draw with Portugal and gave

Our soccer teams will also get better because of risk. Parents don’t want their kids playing football due to recent discoveries about brain injuries in football. Many have turned to soccer as a solution. As kids play more soccer, our talent base increases and our future potential dramatically rises. The increased demand and increased talent will create an upward surge for U.S. soccer. Given our country’s history of dominance in sports and our desire to be the best, it won’t be long before we reach the top.

Tyler Dean is a junior studying business administration.




Plant~based Mexican kitchen

701 P St. Suite 102 (Inside Indigo Bridge Books in the Haymarket) Pictures By: Sharon Curran


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The Clocktower, established in 1927 and sponsored by the Associated Student Body of Union College, is published weekly during the fall and spring semesters. The opinions expressed are the opinions of the writers and are not to be construed as the opinion of the editors, Associated Student Body, Union College, or the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

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