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“Let the chips fall where they may.”


FEBRUARY 16, 2017 

Presidential EO met with opposition BEN SELCKE STAFF WRITER President Donald Trump’s recent executive order banning travel and immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries has sparked a wave of outrage and has called into question the safety of those foreign citizens residing in the United States. Six Luther students are directly affected by the order. Four days after Trump announced it Luther College President Paula Carlson released a statement via email expressing support for those students reiterated that one of Luther’s core values is to be an educational community dedicated to inclusion. In an interview with Chips, Carlson again stated Luther’s dedication to an inclusive and broad education, highlighting the importance of international relations to a well-rounded education. “An inclusive global learning community is essential for [a] Luther education, whether it’s international students coming here to Decorah or domestic U.S. students traveling all around the world,” Carlson said. “The ability to move across borders and be

a community together here in Decorah and places around the world is very important to us.” Carlson’s statement has been criticized by some in the Luther community for lacking a pointed stance. Professor of Religion Guy Nave, Jr. expressed his frustration that Carlson stopped short of outright condemnation of the order. “While ensuring the wellbeing of the six Luther College students directly impacted by this immigration ban is an excellent start, it is not enough to simply care about our six students,” Nave said. “I strongly feel that we as a liberal arts institution and a ‘college of the church’ have to go beyond concern for our students and have to take the risk to speak out on behalf of all humanity.” In response, Carlson emphasized that Luther, as a member of various higher education associations such as the American Council on Education and the National Association of Independent College and Universities, has signed a number of statements petitioning the government to reverse the order. EXECUTIVE ORDER, PAGE 4

Serving the Luther College community since 1884.

VOLUME 139, NO. 12

Andrew Last named new Nordic Choir director

Andrew Last (‘97) conducts during the 2016 Christmas at Luther.

Madie Miller (‘19) / Photo Bureau

Organist Gregory Peterson (‘83) said. “His work with Collegiate [Choir] has gained him a lot of respect.” Peterson explained that the hiring committee posted its search for a new Nordic Choir director nationwide. Comprising the committee were various music faculty alongside President Paula Carlson and Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College Kevin Kraus. The committee selected approximately ten candidates from its nationwide pool and then

reduced that number to three. The three final candidates for the position were required to direct a session with the current members of the Nordic Choir. Kelvin Li (‘17), a member of the choir, was impressed with Last’s conducting skills. “[Last’s conducting] just felt right, it was so great,” Li said. “He directed [the song] ‘O Lord God.’ The moment he started conduction, I started getting very emotional.”

MADELINE AJACK STAFF WRITER A hiring committee has chosen Assistant Professor of Music Andrew Last (‘97) as the new director of Nordic Choir. Last will take leadership of Nordic Choir in fall 2017, following a year of three interim directors sharing duties in the wake of Allen Hightower’s resignation. “[He] clearly gets the tradition of choirs at Luther,” Associate Professor of Music, Music Department Head and College


New compost machine helps advance sustainability goals SAM MITCHELL STAFF WRITER

A cafeteria employee holds compost.

Sam Mitchell (‘18) / Chips

The Center for Sustainable Communities has installed a food and waste pulper in the cafeteria, continuing its efforts to reduce the college’s carbon footprint through work in various sustainability sectors. The pulper helps reduce the amount of waste and compostable products that are otherwise sent to the landfill. According to Assistant Director for the Center for Sustainable Communities Maren Beard (‘08), the machine reduces food and waste into a grainy substance, removing approximately 80 percent of the water mass that would normally be placed into the compost system. This substance breaks

down more quickly than traditional composted substances. In addition to pulping down fruits and vegetables the machine also pulverizes meat and bones. The pulper plays an essential role in the Center for Sustainable Communities’ plan to reduce the college’s carbon emissions by 70 percent by 2020, which is based off of its emissions peak in the 2004 fiscal year. The college seeks to a 100 percent reduction, or carbon neutrality, by 2030. According to Liam Fraser (‘18), who works as a zero-waste educator and oversees the statistics for food waste and compost on campus, the new pulping system cuts down on emissions from the transfer of waste to landfill facilities. PULPER, PAGE 4


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Norovirus circulates campus OLIVIA ENQUIST STAFF WRITER As students return to campus from January Break, multiple people on Luther College’s campus and in the surrounding Decorah area have been experiencing symptoms of norovirus. Norovirus, a highly contagious virus sometimes referred to as a stomach bug or the winter vomiting

Isabel De Ayala (‘19) makes her way to Health Services. De Ayala contracted norovirus. Olivia Enquist / Chips

bug, causes inflammation of the stomach and intestines resulting in symptoms of stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. Dehydration as a result of these symptoms is also common. Nordic Choir, which just finished its Midwest tour on Jan. 31, is believed to be a contributing factor to the spread of the virus on campus due to its extended time traveling together on buses and living together in close quarters. Norovirus is commonly found in closed areas that contain large groups of people since the virus can live on objects for many days. At least three members of Nordic Choir contracted norovirus — all of whom rode on the same bus. Most of the members who experienced symptoms of norovirus did not experience symptoms until the closing days of Nordic Choir’s tour. One possible explanation for their infection is food contamination. Multiple students who were infected with norovirus ate at the same restaurant and later experienced symptoms. Kelvin Li (‘18) was one of these students. “My theory is that one of the workers there probably had the virus but they didn’t have symptoms at the time and that they prepared our food,” Li said. People whose immune systems are weak are more likely to experience the effects of norovirus. “As I was reading up on symptoms, there are a lot of people that actually can have the virus in them but they just don’t show the symptoms,” Li said. “Specifically, I feel like I had previously gotten very sick the week before so I’m guessing my immune system was already compromised.” Isabel De Ayala (‘19), one of the many students on campus who is sick (though not necessarily with norovirus), commented on the effect of sick students returning to campus.

Student Senate releases statement on executive order FRAN STEVENSON FEATURES EDITOR Luther College Student Senate released a statement on President Trump’s executive order limiting immigration in support of Luther students from the seven Muslim majority countries limited by the executive order. Students and staff who are interested are encouraged to endorse the statement at https:// Just action has also created a Facebook group in support of all students, in particular students who may be struggling with the executive order, called “Luther College Just Action.” The statement is as follows: “On January 27, 2017, President Donald Trump signed an executive order that limits the immigration from seven Muslim majority countries and permanently bans refugees from Syria into the United States. While the executive order has been temporarily suspended by federal courts, there continues to be confusion and anxiety around the legal and political implications of the order and the affect it will have on the international community, the country as well as on our student body. But, one thing stands clear, this executive order is in diametric opposition to Luther’s core values.

We categorically condemn the ethos of the executive order and would like to reaffirm our commitment to all students at Luther College. As a community we embrace our fellow students that call these seven areas home and welcome refugees with open arms. If you, friends, or family members are affected, please know that we, as individuals and as an institution, are here to stand up and support you. We firmly believe that this executive order is fundamentally in conflict with the mission statement of Luther College. Luther’s mission statement is clear, “as people of all backgrounds, we embrace diversity and challenge one another to learn in community, to discern our callings, and to serve with distinction for the common good.” Our students, domestic and abroad, are who make Luther’s community so welcoming, intentional, and empathetic. Student Senate is currently exploring ways to procedurally and institutionally support our international students during this time. We are actively working with the administration, faculty, and staff to make sure that proper support from the college is being offered. We call on our fellow students to embrace a life consistent with Luther’s culture and mission of acceptance and love. We, as a college of the church, take our mandate to love our neighbors seriously and ask students to stand up to support our classmates.”

The norovirus under microscope. Photo courtesy of The Center for Disease Control and Prevention “Since everybody has gotten back to campus, people are really sick,” De Ayala said. “Probably due to touching doorknobs and giving their ID cards to people for meal swipes, just daily things.” Overall it seems that the spread of norovirus could have been worse, especially within Nordic Choir where students hold hands while performing their pieces. “I was surprised,” Li said. “Especially with the contact we all had, not a lot of people got it.”

Upcoming Events

Thursday, February 16 Anthropology Lab Open House 8:30 am • Koren Building, Room 319 Anderson Prairie Open Discussion/Panel for Luther College Students

6:00 pm • Valders Hall of Science, Room 206

Black History Month Lecture

7:00 pm • Center for Faith and Life, Main Hall

Trivia Night

Friday, February 17 8:00 pm • Marty's

Saturday, February 18 Strengths-Based Education 1:00 pm • Olin 113 (Assessment); Assessment and Workshop Olin 107 (Workshop) Center Stage Series: Sō Percussion 7:30 pm • Center for Faith and Life, Main Hall Sunday, February 19 Faculty Artist Series: Miko 4:00 pm • Jenson-Noble Hall of Kominami, Piano Music, Noble Recital Hall Norse Awards 7:00 pm • Regents Center Tuesday, February 21 Phi Beta Kappa Lecture: Patricia 5:30 pm • Valders Hall of Science, Wright Room 206

Paideia Owl Hunt

Wednesday, February 22 All day




Seven-Day Forecast






H H B H N H R 43/30




Counseling Services to open community table




Life Outside Luther Flynn resigns as National Security Adviser Michael Flynn resigned from his position as National Security Advisor on Monday night. Flynn’s resignation comes after it was discovered he misled White House officials about conversations he had with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. In his resignation letter, Flynn said he had given the administration incomplete information about his involvement with Moscow during President Trump’s transition. Flynn served as National Security Advisor for less than a month.

Counseling Services hopes the Community Table will promote new friendships. ANA LÓPEZ STAFF WRITER Counseling Services is planning to open a Community Table in the cafeteria. The purpose of the table, which Counseling Services hopes to launch in early March, is to increase connectedness in the Luther community through conversation with new people. According to Counselor BobbiJo Molokken, the goal of the table is to increase social connectedness on campus. The table will operate similarly to the Spanish Table, as it will be located in the cafeteria during meal times and students are invited to attend at any time. The table will have a sign labeling it as the Community Table, making it is easy to find. “[The table] is meant for anyone who wants to connect with new people and enjoy conversation,” Molokken said. “We are currently working on the poster that will be set on the table and it will be done in the next week.” According to Molokken, the table will be a technology-free zone to encourage conversation. It will be located between the dish return area and dessert area in the cafeteria. Initially, the table will be open two days a week: Mondays and Wednesdays from 11:30 a.m. through 1:00 p.m. In addition to the table inside the cafeteria, Luther Counseling Services student workers have been tabling outside of the

cafeteria, fielding questions about the services they provide. Michelle Finger (‘19), a student worker for Counseling Services, shared why she thinks the community table will be beneficial for Luther students. “Luther is a great place with everyone willing to meet new p e o p l e ,” F i n g e r s a i d . “ T h e r e are times w h e n p e o p l e eat lunch a l o n e and this

Photo courtesy

diverse. “We are hoping to get volunteers from professors, other staff members, and students as well as people from Campus Ministries,” Finger said. Molokken explained that having volunteers run the table will ensure that there is always someone present, making it possible for anyone who wants to come to have someone to converse with. Student Mutsa Makufa (‘19) says she looks forward to the new table. “I feel that that it would add a positive dimension to my college experience,” Makufa said. “The Community Table would be a good way to meet new people and create more connections across campus.”

“There are times when people eat lunch alone and this community table will be a great opportunity to get to know more people.” -Michelle Finger (‘19)

community table will be a great opportunity to get to know more people.” Finger also added that the volunteers at the table will be

Mexican immigrant protected under Obama arrested Daniel Ramirez Medina, a Mexican immigrant living in Seattle, was arrested on Feb. 14. Ramirez had previously been given a work permit under the Obama administration after being brought into the country illegally as a child. While Ramirez was originally protected under the program Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), President Trump has promised to tighten laws surrounding immigration. Many see this first move against DACA as a step toward fulfilling that promise. Russia violates arms treaty Citing unidentified officials, The New York Times reported on Feb. 14 that Russia has violated an arms control treaty after deploying a new cruise missile. U.S. officials claim that the ground-launched SSC-8 cruise missile violates sections of the 1987 Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. The Russian Defense Ministry did not respond to requests from the New York Times to comment. Nordstrom drops Ivanka Trump brand Nordstrom announced this week that it will drop Ivanka Trump’s line of clothing and shoes. Nordstrom says this decision comes after sales of Ivanka Trump apparel dropped by almost 1/3 over the past fiscal year. This decision comes as other major U.S. retailers such as Sears and Kmart removed many items from the Trump line of in-home products from their online stores. Senior White House advisor Kellyanne Conway received criticism for violating ethics rules after appearing on television urging people to purchase Ivanka Trump’s products. Democrats fail to pressure Trump to release returns Congressional Democrats failed on Tuesday to pressure President Trump to release his tax returns. Democrats cited the Michael Flynn scandal as the new reason to investigate the president’s business ties with Russia. Democrats did this through a proposed amendment which would demand the House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee to have the Treasury Department release copies of Trump’s returns by March 1. The motion was rejected in a 23 to 15 vote. Compiled from:



FEBRUARY 16, 2017 


Luther community Last set to lead objects to travel ban Nordic Choir EXECUTIVE ORDER, PAGE 1 “There are thousands of colleges and universities in the United States,” Carlson said. “Individually we have one voice among very many, but working through these organizations we have a much greater impact.” Assistant Professor of Political Science Pedro dos Santos refrained from full condonement or condemnation of Carlson’s response to the order, but emphasized the impact on students. “The fear and uncertainty that international students feel, even with the support that we are giving them — there is no talking and learning that is going to undo that,” dos Santos said. The seven countries targeted in Trump’s executive order are

Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. Ashalul Aden (‘20), whose parents emigrated to the United States from Somalia, related her parents’ experience to the experiences of refugees today. “That’s the hardest thing for me — just knowing what they went through,” Aden said. “Whenever I watch the news and hear about the Syrian refugees and what they have gone through, it is heartbreaking to me. It is a hard reality for people to understand if they haven’t experienced it themselves.” dos Santos further denounced the executive order. “Nothing good can come out of this order,” dos Santos said. “Maybe a conversation can start but there are better ways of starting a conversation than banning [people from] seven

countries from coming to the United States.” Some organizations on campus have openly condemned the executive order. Student Senate released a statement on Luther’s website, saying, “We categorically condemn the ethos of the executive order and would like to reaffirm our commitment to all students at Luther College.” Trump’s executive order has been met with opposition from a Seattle trial judge and has been temporarily lifted. On Thursday, Feb. 9, the federal appeals court refused to reinstate it, according to The New York Times. The Justice Department continues to defend the order, and the case could go all the way to the Supreme Court. To read Student Senate’s statement in its entirety, see page two of this issue of Chips.

Food pulper aligns with college’s sustainability goals

Andrew Last (‘97) directs Collegiate Choir during Christmas at Luther in 2015. Aaron Lurth (‘08) / Photo Bureau NORDIC CHOIR, PAGE 1

Students and faculty sort compost.

Photo courtesy of Center for Sustainable Communities’ web page

PULPER, PAGE 1 “By implementing the pulper, we are now able to continue decreasing the food waste on campus,” Fraser said. “And we’re able to reduce our carbon emissions. Even if we reduce our footprint by a few ticks every year, it improves what we are working toward.” Beard said that last year, Luther accumulated approximately 418 tons of solid waste that was subsequently sent to the landfill, an improvement from the 631 tons accumulated in 2003. She noted in the Center for Sustainable Communities’ news forum that the college hopes to be composting 90 percent of its food waste by May 2018, a major improvement from the 50 percent capture volume prior to the pulper. Beard credited student awareness of which items to recycle and which to dispose of in the trash as a catalyst for the college’s landfill waste reduction. Despite the benefits of the pulper, Beard fears the effects of students being disconnected from firsthand interaction with food waste sorting, since the machine has effectively eliminated the

compost and solid waste bins that previously bordered the dish drop area. “We really hesitated to move the bins out from the [cafeteria],” Beard said. “Students engaging with the waste and sorting out their food is good for thinking about what they are doing with their food waste and what is on their plate.” However, improved composting and waste management overrode the Center for Sustainable Communities’ concerns about student engagement. “It allows us to compost more and more efficiently,” Energy and Waste Fellow Arianna Cocallas said. Beard further noted in the Center for Sustainable Communities’ news forum that funds for the new pulper were provided by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, who granted Luther a $20,000 forgivable loan through its Solid Waste Alternative Program. The college reached a 50 percent reduction in carbon emissions in May 2016, as reported by Chips in November 2016. Luther achieved this through major investments in renewable energy sources, such as the college’s wind turbine.

Among the hiring committee’s criteria were qualities such as leadership, charisma, musicality, and experience, according to Peterson. “I knew he was right for the job because he is a huge ambassador with the college,” Peterson said. “He [promotes] resonance with the mission statement here.” Moving forward, Last will implement his three-year plan for Nordic Choir, which was an application requirement for the three candidates. However, Peterson said that Last is not bound to the plan and may deviate from it. Last has charge of the choir’s musical choices and sound, but it will remain between 72 and 76 members. “People can expect Nordic Choir to be very impressive and also very competitive to get into,” Peterson said. “Last holds only

the highest standards.” Several current members of Nordic Choir expressed welcoming words for Last in this new position. “I’m excited for Dr. Last to be the new director,” Forrest Winstead (‘17) said. “Part of the Nordic Choir tradition has always been about lineage. Having a Luther and Nordic Choir [alum] is a great return to form for the college as a whole.” As a friend to the late Weston Noble, Last will look to continue the choral tradition set by Noble. “It’s like passing the torch from Weston Noble to Dr. Last,” Li said. Last sang in the Nordic Choir during his time at Luther before continuing on to get his master’s and doctorate degrees. He has directed the Norsemen and Collegiate Choirs since returning to Luther. Last refrained from comment in this article.

Student arrested for alcohol violation DANNY MAY NEWS EDITOR & JACOB WAREHIME NEWS EDITOR Decorah police arrested and jailed Andrew Avram (‘18) on Feb. 4 on charges of interferences with official acts, public intoxication, and

possession of an alcoholic beverage by persons under the legal age. According to the police report, Avram attempted to flee from officers after being found in violation of an open container policy outside of The Corner Bar in Decorah. Avram declined to comment at time of production.


PAGE 5 FEBRUARY 16, 2017

Second annual SPIN 1,440 Minute Musical successful LILY KIME STAFF WRITER With only 1,440 minutes (24 hours) to prepare, SPIN Theatre presented “Legally Blonde” in Storre Theatre on Feb. 11. After auditioning and receiving their roles, the cast only has 24 hours before the performance to memorize their lines, lyrics, and choreography. The proceeds went towards the Robert J. Larson Endowment, which provides funds for bringing guest artists to Luther. The total amount raised was $910. According to co-assistant director Melissa Kirby (‘19), some roles were more difficult to cast than others. “There are some people that when they walk in and sing you know exactly what role they should be in,” Kirby said. “For others, we know we want them there, but we aren’t initially sure where we want them.” Even further work was required because of the 1,440 minute time contrain. Dance directors Danica Kafton (‘18) and Carolyn Pint (‘20) were in charge of creating full choreography. The cast had to make sure they were always acting their part, even when all eyes were not on them. With so much for the cast to prepare and learn in 1440 minutes, it is not a surprise that song lyrics were momentarily forgotten, dance steps were mixed up, and improvisation was sometimes required to cover up gaps in the dialogue. Co-director Mitch Gage (‘19) felt that last year’s and this year’s performances were completed with limited mistakes. “Last year, I initially thought it was supposed to be a funny thing where people were almost supposed to mess up,” Gage said. “It turned out to be fantastic and good production, which is why I think it is so cool that you can take a whole process and shove it into 24 hours.” The production crew faced a few obstacles in the course of organizing this musical. After the SPIN board approved “Legally Blonde” as the musical, they sought the rights to be able to legally perform it. They changed plans after completing the first round of auditions without having received confirmation from Musical Theatre International. Instead of a familiar musical, they decided that they would do skits similar to those featured in Saturday Night Live with popular music. The lyrics would be changed to help them resonate with Luther’s campus. The same day the plans changed, the SPIN board was granted the rights to perform “Legally Blonde.” The production crew also had to keep which musical was secret until the 1,440 minutes began. “I have been choreographing for so long and musicals are catchy, so the songs get stuck in my head,” Kafton said. “I have to refrain from singing it all the time. And we work in studios all of the time, so we have to play it pretty quietly just in case anyone is out there and hears it.” After 1,440 minutes of rehearsal, Storre Theatre was filled with about 150

Katie Stuelke (‘19) belts out to a song as Elle Woods. Luther students, parents, and community members to see what the cast and crew had put together. After the show, audience member Anika Nelson (‘19) was ecstatic about the success of the show. “Everybody had their lines together so well and they did just amazing,” Nelson said. “Get here as early as possible for next year’s performance. You will not regret it.” At the conclusion of the performance, co-director Madeline Geier (‘17) expressed appreciation for everyone that took part in the event. “I am feeling incredibly grateful for our amazing production team,” Geier said. “I am so grateful for the amazing turn out we had for people coming to support Luther College and the Robert Larson Endowment. The show would not be possible without the cast’s enthusiasm, focus, commitment, and overall love for what they’re doing. SPIN is so happy that we have them.” With the second-annual 1,440 minute musical being such a success, many may anticipate the third installment. The cast and crew, however, are most looking forward to catching up on sleep.

Lily Kime (‘19) / Chips

Sam Haefner (‘18) plays a UCLA frat boy in the 1,440-minute musical on Feb. 11. Lily Kime (‘19) / Chips


PAGE 6  FEBRUARY 16, 2017 


Luther celebrates Black History Month

Jennaya Robison (‘96) conducts Cathedral Choir at Gospel Sunday Worship Service. SHASA SARTIN STAFF WRITER Luther College is celebrating Black History Month this Febuary with a multitude of events. The monthlong program is co-sponsored by the Africana Studies Department, the Diversity Council, the Center for Ethics and Public Engagement, the Paideia Endowment, Student Activities Counsil (SAC) Cinema, and the Center for Sustainable Communities. The program features multiple film screenings, a lecture, a special Gospel Sunday Service, and a panel discussion on the intersections of race, gender, and sexuality. Additionally, there will be an onstage discussion between Charles Burnett, one of the showcased film makers, and Professor of Africana Studies and English Novian Whitsitt. This year, Black History Month has a thematic component that focuses on Nat Turner, spurred by the release of the historical

Dr.Alisha L. Jones preaches at Gospel Sunday. Photo courtesy of Photo Bureau

figure Nate Parker’s 2016 film “Birth of a Nation.” “This is a very difficult conversation to have across races,” Professor of History and Africana studies Lauren Anderson said. “It’s a very difficult conversation to have in a place like Luther [College] that has historically prized peaceful resistance. It’s a really challenging topic and I think precisely because of that we want to have really open dialogue and just embrace the complexity instead of running away from it.” Parker’s film was a wonderful opportunity to open up this conversation on campus, according to Whitsitt. “Parker wanted [his film] to be a part of conversations regarding race currently,” Whitsitt said. “We thought we would use that film and develop a series of events.” During his time onstage with filmmaker Burnett, Whitsitt will inquire about the place Nat Turner has in that conversation. “I hope to broach the subject of what Nat Turner and his legacy mean to contemporary American society. Given the racial tensions that are particularly ripened right now,” Whitsitt said. “How does Turner relate to that conversation?” Other events included Gospel Sunday which took place on Feb. 12. The service was conducted to emulate a service at a Gospel church, honoring the Black Christian experience. The service included music from Cathedral Choir. College Ministries invited Indiana University professor of ethnomusicology, Alisha L. Jones as a guest preacher for the event. Jones talked about many issues surrounding race and biases in her sermon. “How do I carry those same biases as a black woman?” Jones said in her sermon. She continued to engage in provoking questions about what it means to be black in America. Cathedral choir member Janet Irankunda (‘19) had numerous solos throughout the service. She enjoyed being a part of the event. “I absolutely loved Gospel Sunday,” Irankunda said. “I think that it’s so great that in a place that is predominantly from a more conservative — and for

Photo courtesy of Photo Bureau

lack of a better word, white — way of worshipping, that we can explore a different path of worship that has deep roots in history and is so freeing.” Her solos incorporated call and response between herself and the audience. This is an aspect of the service that was especially memorable for her. “As a Black History Month event, I think it does a good job of teaching students about that rich history,” Irankunda said. “That includes things like learning songs by rote [repetition based memorization].” Educating the greater Luther community is a major objective of Black History Month. However, it does not end when February does. The Africana studies department offers a multitude of courses that address historical and contemporary issues faced by black America. Whitsitt would like for students to engage with that curricula. “If it were up to us [the Africana Studies Department] we would ensure that all students had to take at least one Africana studies course to graduate,” Whitsitt said. “We continue to find ways to create interest among the student body, that’s our primary goal.”

“If it were up to [the Africana Studies Department we would ensure that all students had to take at least one Africana studies course to graduate”   - Novian Whitsitt

Black History Month Events • Muha Bazila, “A reflection on Art, Representation, and Black Militancy”, Wednesday February 15, 2017, 7 pm. Olin 102. • A conversation with Charles Burnett. Thursday, February 16, 2017, 7-9 pm. CFL Main Hall. • Women and Gender Studies panel “Competing Passions: Intersections of Race, Gender, and Sexuality,” Tuesday February 28, 2017, 5-6 pm. Olin 102




FEBRUARY 16, 2017

Center for Ethics and Public Engagement moves Office to Olin

Victoria Christman and Krista Holland pose in the new Center for Ethics and Public Engagement office. KRISTEN WUERL STAFF WRITER In an effort to be handicap accessible the Center for Ethics and Public Engagement (CEPE) moved from its previous location in Campus House to Olin 214. The CEPE emphasizes interdisciplinary inquiry focuses on public engagement, and considers what it means to be an active citizen, according to the Luther. edu. “The mission of the CEPE is to help Luther students connect their learning in this rich liberal arts environment with

Center for Ethics and Public Engagement Mission Statement: The Center seeks to equip our students to develop whole, reflective lives by: • Providing and encourging opportunities for sustained conversation about public policy matters. • Emphasizing the relation between the liberal arts and active citizenship. • Affirming and advocating the ongoing quest for truth. • Promoting learning through active engagement, reflection, and vocational discrenment

lives of purpose and engaged citizenship,” Director of the CEPE and Associate Professor of History Victoria Christman said. “Through the programming that we do, we hope to raise questions and provide venues in which the entire Luther community can engage in probing dialogue on the most important issues of our day.” The CEPE was previously located on the second floor of Campus House. However, that space was not handicap accessible. The CEPE moved to Olin 214 and hosted an open house in the new space on Feb. 7. The eventual plan for the center is to move to the renovated Main building according to Christman. In addition to the location change, the CEPE also underwent a name change. The organization was previously known as the Center for Ethics and Public Life. “A couple of years ago, a committee was put together to assess the work of the Center for Ethics,” Christman said. “That committee produced a revisioning document which set out some dreams and ideas for the future of the Center [CEPE]. The name change was part of that process and was suggested because the committee felt as though it reflected the mission of the Center more than its former name.” For the 2017-2018 school year, the CEPE’s programming theme is “Difficult Conversations,” with this spring semester’s series entitled “Tough Talk, Calm Voices.” Featured programs and discussions this spring will include talks on immigration, the European refugee crisis, and issues surrounding Islam in the U.S. To commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, the CEPE and head of the Reformation Commemoration Planning Committee and Associate Professor of History Robert Christman

will bring exhibits, speakers, and music performances to Luther, in addition to hosting a conference and symposium. The CEPE will also begin a series of book groups and discussion circles this semester, some of which are led by current students including Sam Scheidt (‘17) and Scott Kleeman (‘18). “[The CEPE] is an opportunity to open a space for academic discussion on lots of different topics and issues,” Scheidt said. “The center [CEPE] does a good job of trying to further that conversation for those who might be interested [in those topics] or for those who want to go beyond what they’re learning in their classes.” One focus of Scheidt and Kleeman’s discussion group will be the topic of religion and how it relates to questions society asks today. “Through this direct engagement of the subject, we can hopefully enlighten ourselves to learn more about all the perspectives and arguments on the table,” Kleeman said. “It’s a very complicated subject and [we don’t want] to alienate each other.” Throughout the semester Scheidt and Kleeman will select of books to discuss within their group. Scheidt’s first pick is C.S. Lewis’ “The Abolition of Man,” and discussions will occur every other Thursday at 8:00 p.m. To participate in a book group or discussion circle, visit the CEPE’s website or sign up in Olin 214. The CEPE will provide the semester’s books for free to anyone participating in book groups. Funding for these and other programs is made possible by an endowment. The Center’s next program, Immigration and Unaccompanied Minors, will be on Wednesday, April 5 at 7:30 p.m. in Olin 102.

Kristen Wuerl (‘17) / Chips

Pictured: Bookmark from Center for Ethics and Public Engagement.


PAGE 8  FEBRUARY 16, 2017 


“The Vagina Monologues” performers challenge discomfort, empower women EMMA BUSCH STAFF WRITER An all-female cast performed the “The Vagina Monologues” in the Center for Faith and Life Recital Hall on Feb. 10 and 11. The proceeds from the three performances were donated to Decorah’s Domestic Abuse and Sexual Resource Center at Helping Services for Youth & Families as well as the V-Day Spotlight Campaign to highlight and assist in ending violence against women in the workplace. “The Vagina Monologues,” written by activist and playwright Eve Ensler in the 1990s, has been performed annually by Luther students for over a decade. Each monologue is performed by a different cast member and based on interviews Ensler conducted with women. The production covers a wide range of topics including sexuality, rape, and abuse. According to this year’s director Sam Tollefson (‘18), the show is a way to reach a broader audience and raise awareness about issues women face. Participants performed the monologues to an audience of about 100.

“It’s good to get awareness,” Tollefson said. “It’s great to have other people involved when we’re promoting the show just so we can get everyone to know. There are plenty of people that look at the signs and cringe when they see the word vagina. It’s important that all sorts of people come to see the show because it’s really for everyone.” Assistant director Kelly Dawson (‘17) also believes the show’s longlasting impact has come from its cast of women and ability to challenge the discomfort many may feel, as she once did, in regards to vaginas. “I think it’s gone on for so long because it’s a bunch of powerful women talking about vaginas,” Dawson said. “To be completely honest, there was one point in time before I was involved in it where that kind of freaked me out. But after watching it for two years now, I understand why it’s important and why so many people love it.” Audience members came to the show with varying degrees of knowledge regarding “The Vagina Monologues.” Emma Deihl (‘18) saw the show for the first time. “I was in it my first year and I wasn’t

Cast members dance to “Break the Chain” as the encore. Emma Busch (‘20) / Chips able to see it last year, so this is my first time seeing it,” Deihl said. “I thought it was really fun and empowering.” Teryn Stiefel (‘18) also saw the show for the first time. “I loved it,” Stiefel said. “This was my first time seeing it. I think it really breaks the stigma of talking about vaginas.” This year’s production of the show felt particularly important to Dawson in regards to the nation’s current political climate. “With our political climate right

now, when we’re not necessarily getting the things we need and the Republican party isn’t necessarily saying that they’re going to be covering costs for things that women should have, like birth control,” Dawson said. “It isn’t optional for some people. It’s something that our government should be able to give us. I think those kind of things, and also support as women, are things that we’re not getting. [“The Vagina Monologues”] is really empowering and it’s how we’re supposed to view all women, not just some.”

Rising local band receives national award for original composition SHANNON BAKER STAFF WRITER A band comprised of four Luther students, fruitmouse, recently won the national award for “Original Music Composition” from the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF). The KCACTF is a national theater program that involves more than 600 academic institutions nationwide. The KCACTF also recognize awards for individual or group excellence in directing, playwriting, and acting. The band received the national award based on their original composition Visual and Performing Arts production of “Twelfth Night” this past October. The group began with Dante De Grazia (‘18) on piano, vocals, guitar, and trumpet and Inga Aleckson (‘18) on vocals. Soon the evolving group added Skye Newcom (‘17) to guitar, vocals, and piano. His first contribution to the band was his Twelfth Night role as Feste. “Skye coming in really got us excited and motivated in an artistic way,” Aleckson said.

“We knew that something really cool was coming together.” Last fall, the trio began rehearsing regularly with Emma Withers (‘18), who added vocals, ukelele, and percussion. Although each of the members have their individual instruments, fruitmouse claims the effort from “Twelfth Night” onward has been fluid and collaborative. “Our roles in the group have been to just be musicians,” Newcom said. “And that’s all. No more, no less.” When fruitmouse learned they were nominated for the “Original Music Composition Award” they were shocked, and even more so when they received the reard. “We poured our heart and soul into [the production] and then forgot that there were any awards to be given,” De Grazia said. “It was a very pleasant surprise.” Since the production of “Twelfth Night,” fruitmouse has continued to grow as a band by creating a distinctive sound and personality apart from the play, while still retaining their original theatrical roots. The group will continue to wear

colorful clothes, keep their self-proclaimed zany humor, and engage the audience dramatically in during performances. “I like there to be something that feels bigger than humanity,” Newcom said. “Our sound is bluesy folk pop with a rockin’ jazzy soul.” The group is currently working on a new album highlighting much of the music they performed in “Twelfth Night.” According to De Grazia, they want to maintain their bold, dramatic, and goofy approach to music. “No shame,” De Grazia said. “[The audience] can expect everyone to go all out. [We] are willing to act and sing [our] hearts out without being timid at all.” In an effort to publicize their band, fruitmouse will be opening for the Oneota Film Festival on March 9 in the upstairs area of T-Bocks Sports Bar and Grill. They also plan on performing more gigs in the next couple of months. They hope to have a potential appearance at Java John’s in the near future. “We’re going to continue writing music,” Aleckson said. “It’s really been a blossoming

Inga Aleckson (‘18), Dante De Grazia (‘18), Skye Newcom (‘17), and Emma Withers (‘18) pose for a fruitmouse photo shoot. Photo courtesy of fruitmouse of friendship.” Though they are a new band, fruitmouse feels strong and is excited for their future. Regardless of where their success takes them, fruitmouse plans on maintaining the bond they’ve formed thus far.

They attribute this bond as a young band and friendship ties to the creative process they have shared. “We’ve all become really close,” Withers said. “Lasting [friendships], for sure. Music has that power.”


PAGE 10  FEBRUARY 16, 2017 


Black History Month: Strategic Marginalization in Disguise

MAKEDA BARKLEY MANAGING EDITOR Every year, February marks the month during which we recognize African-American authors, scientists, activists, artists, and other public figures. We go to lectures, concerts, and celebrations of black culture and societal contribution. However, we fail to recognize that our entire country was built by the ancestors of black Americans and their unpaid, forced labor. Our national economy and infrastructure emerged from the

unpaid labor of slaves and much of our country continues to function on the oppression of black Americans from which we white Americans benefit. Who are we to enforce white history as AMERICAN history? So many of our national achievements and even a huge portion of our national identity relies on the legacy of black Americans, and yet we give them one month during which we “celebrate” their legacy and expect to be patted on the back for our generosity. No, we as Americans regardless of race should have an extreme opposition to the idea of black history month and not because of who it celebrates but how it celebrates them. Not only do we only give them a single month during which to recognize their enormous contributions to our country, but we also chose the shortest month of the year. Rather than celebrating and talking about black history for just 28 days, why don’t we increase the coverage of black American history in our school curricula? How about

The Norse Poll

“I find it really frustrating because I don’t get cell service in Decorah since AT&T took down their tower and I ended up getting locked out of my email for two days.” -Sarah Bauer (‘18)

ending police violence against unarmed black men? Why not celebrate and empower black Americans every day of the year? Maybe we could try to take off our white privilege blinders and act with compassion and vulnerability? Black History Month is a scapegoat to avoid giving credit where credit is due. It is a proudly proclaimed and successful move to relegate black Americans’ importance to a short four weeks. Every year, as we continue to perpetuate this “pat on the back” for white Americans, we simultaneously continue the strategically smother a large and important percentage of our population and then congratulate ourselves for “empowering” them. As a white American, I too am implicated in this marginalization masquerading as a check mark on the progressive agenda. I don’t have the answer to this problem, nor do I claim to fully understand the complexities and culturally entrenched prejudices that continue to permeate our country

(and the world). I do, however, have a suggestion for white Americans moving forward: how about we get off our selfrighteous liberal horse with our “Black History Month” and celebrate black Americans every day. Better yet, let’s get up and take action. Change our school curricula, re-draw the school district lines to even the racial divide in schools, spend money on the schools that lack funding, educate ourselves, cultivate compassion, and get up and do something. Perhaps I am naive, maybe just severely cynical. However, I truly believe that there is something wrong with setting aside one month for the designated recognition of such an important part of our society, while white Americans get the other eleven months to do with what they please. Things won’t get better for marginalized members of our society if we continue to ignore things as obviously problematic as Black History Month and other cleverly disguised oppressive devices.

What are your thoughts on the new 2-Step Verification process?

“As it has caused my friends great distress, I think it’s a scourge on humanity. Personally, I didn’t face any harsh treatment from this process, but I think it is really annoying. ” -Elizabeth Schumaker (‘18)

“It’s very secure, but I feel that it’s not really necessary. Sometimes your phone can’t connect to the network, so you can’t get the codes and therefore you can’t get into your email if you need to print something.” -Lam Nguyen (‘17)

Google’s 2-Step Verification: process not worth the hassle FRAN STEVENSON FEATURES EDITOR At the beginning of this semester all Luther students were forced to register for a Google 2-step Verification with the idea that this will keep Luther accounts safe. 2-step Verification requires the one logging in to type in a password and then either receive a eight digit code texted to their phone or a

google 2-step Verification application that verifies without a code. The problem with this is that it is a pain in the butt. Myself and 16 other students wasted our time waiting for each person to log in to their Google accounts to do a presentation in one of my classes, waiting for their code or for their application to load while the other 16 of us twiddled our thumbs. What happens if my phone is dead or I left it at home that day? Why should this impact my classwork? What happens if I lose or break my phone during the school year? What if I don’t have a cell phone? 2-step Verification relies on new technology and fairly expensive technology at that. Some people do not have smart phones even though a good majority of people do. So what happens to those students? Can they not get into their accounts? Or is their account just written off and is not as “secure” as all other students and professors?

My question for those implementing these measures is, aren’t there better ways to create more secure accounts? There have definitely been some issues with security in the last year. Myself and other students have received phishing emails claiming to be part of the Luther network. While I did not click on anything in the email it would be easy enough for another student or employee to follow the email links and get their information stolen or a virus on their computer. Because our Google accounts are provided through Luther, it is their responsibility to better secure these accounts but in doing so they might be leaving people behind. One of the best ways to prevent viruses within Google accounts is to educate students and staff about phishing emails. A simple seminar on some of the ways that accounts get hacked could prevent a lot of issues and simplify the lives of a lot of students and staff.



FEBRUARY 16, 2017 


Baseball players mentor local kids NORA FELT STAFF WRITER Luther Men’s Baseball teamed up with Helping Services for Youth and Families at the Regents Center to mentor local youth by teaching wiffle ball and starting a pen pal program on Feb. 11. The baseball team approached Helping Services after learning about their partnership with the Women’s Basketball team. The event emphasized the importance of community, mentorship, sportsmanship, teamwork, and healthy living. Head Baseball Coach Brian Nikkel explained the value of the experience for his players. “I think it’s a good way for our players to give back and to get involved in the community and try to help kids,” Nikkel said. To start the day, the kids drew nametags from a hat. They were paired with a baseball player to conduct “get-to-knowyou” interviews throughout the North Gym. Questions like “What’s your favorite food?” and “What do you like to do for fun?” echoed in the gym. After the interviews, the kids went on tours of the Regents Center with Cody Reimer (‘17) and Teddy Klingsporn (‘17) to familiarize the kids with the facilities and welcome them into the Luther community. Following the tour Klingsporn and Reimer led a discussion on sportsmanship. They urged kids to be good teammates in the classroom and on the field. “We say ‘hi’ in our community,” Klingsporn said. “High fives are always good.” Reimer expressed his excitement for this unique opportunity to be able to interact with the Decorah Community. “I hope these kids learn what it is like to grow up in this community,” Reimer said. “I think it will be fun to get to know some local youth. It’s something I have not been able to do in my past four years.” The players and kids teamed up to play wiffle ball, a game

which many of the kids had never heard of. The players gave basic instructions and ample encouragement. Max Uetz (‘18) gave a talk on a healthy lifestyle during the day. He explained the importance that the whole program has to the team. “I think that it will really help us grow as a team to see the overall impact that we can have on the community,” Uetz said. “The community does so much for us; they buy our gear, they support our team, they come to games. We can see how we can return that positively back to the community.” Nikkel sees this event as a way to continue building a positive team atmosphere and to teach Luther players about how fortunate they are. “I think the realization of how fortunate our kids are and how much it means to someone just to interact with them is

important,” Nikkel said. “We like to challenge our kids all the time, if you see someone on campus say ‘Hey, how’s it going?’ You never know, that person may have been having a bad day. I think the realization of what a small act can do to brighten someone’s day, or week, or life is important.” The baseball players plan to write to the kids as a way to continue the conversations that began on Saturday, to continue to be good role models, and to give back to the Decorah community. They aim to exchange letters with the kids once per week and hope to invite them to attend games in the spring. The baseball team has been practicing hard and has just started doing live pitching. They will travel on March 1 to the US Bank Viking Stadium in Minneapolis, MN to play a double header against Carleton College.

Team cheers on Cody Reimer (‘17) at bat during last year’s season.

Photo Courtesy of

Norse of the Week KATRINA MEYER SPORTS EDITOR Sam Kraft (‘18) was named IIAC Performer of the Week for Jan. 1-8. That week, Kraft helped lead Luther to its first Iowa Conference victory in a competition against Loras on Jan. 7. Kraft had two first-place finishes and a third-place finish. In the 1,000m freestyle, Kraft finished with a time of

Sam Kraft (‘18) Photo Courtesy of

11:20.00, 21 seconds ahead of the next competitor. She also swam the second leg of Luther’s winning 200m freestyle relay, helping her team win with a time of 1:48.71. Kraft finished third in the 100m fly with a time of 1:11.34. What did it mean to you to be named IIAC Performer of the Week? It was an accomplishment knowing that all my hard work paid off. After all my hard work and winning an event that I haven’t won very often, it was nice to see. What are your goals for swimming? This past weekend I broke the record for the mile, so that was really nice. It kind of showed that I was able to make sure that I could achieve my goals. When did you start swimming, and why did you start? I started swimming when I was seven. I didn’t really like the water, so I started doing some swim lessons. Then I started to like the water, so I joined the swim club and have been swimming ever since. Who are some athletes that you look up to? I know a girl who swims at the University of Iowa that I swam with in high school. She has made the Olympic Trials multiple times, and that has been nice. I definitely look up to her. What is your favorite part of competing? My favorite part of competing would

be the competition along with my teammates. I really like cheering on my teammates and having them cheer me on also. Do you have any pre-meet rituals? We do this little “get ‘em cheetah” cheer before races. That is really nice

Sam Kraft (‘18) swims at Loras.

because it gets me pumped up. What has been your favorite memory swimming here at Luther? At our Conference meet, the 800m freestyle relay, when we won that my sophomore year it was really fun. That is my favorite memory.

Photo courtesy of




FEBRUARY 16, 2017

Luther Swimming & Diving takes on the Liberal Arts Championship

Weekly Standings Men’s Basketball Loras Buena Vista Nebraska Wes. Simpson Dubuque Wartburg Central Coe Luther

IIAC 10-4 10-4 10-5 8-7 7-7 6-8 6-8 5-9 2-12

Recent Scores

Overall 17-6 14-9 16-7 15-9 10-13 14-9 12-11 9-14 4-17

Feb. 8 @ Wartburg College W 69-64 Feb. 11 vs. Loras College L 86-72

Upcoming Schedule Feb. 18 vs. Central College 4:00 PM Feb. 21 IIAC Tournament Quarter Finals

Women’s Basketball Wartburg Luther Loras Buena Vista Coe Nebraska Wes. Simpson Dubuque Central

Mimi Finger (‘19) sees the results after finishing a race. JULIA CURTIS STAFF WRITER The Luther Men’s and Women’s Swim and Dive teams competed at the Liberal Arts Championship (LAC) in Elsah, IL, on Feb. 8-11. In total, the conference held 13 individual events, five relays, and two diving events. Each swimmer could swim up to three individual events and four relays. Luther swimmers competed in the full NCAA lineup, and Luther divers competed their full 11dive list. The Liberal Arts Championship included schools from the upper Midwest, Indiana, and California. The women’s team finished second out of 11 teams due to the efforts of many top finishers. Megan Broadbent (‘18) finished second in both the 1m and 3m dives with scores of 382.85 and 393.05 respectively. The 200m freestyle relay including Sam Kraft (‘18), Alix Sharp (‘20), Jackie Hughes (‘17), and Emily Anderson (‘17) finished third with a time of 1:41.86. Anderson also placed second in the 50m freestyle with a time of 24.77 and placed third in the 100m butterfly with a time of 59.27. Kraft additionally placed second in the 1650m freestyle with a time of 17:37.44, breaking the school record. The men’s team placed fourth out of nine teams. Matt Staver (‘20) placed third in the finals for the 400m Individual Medley with a time of 4:14.56. Staver also finished in second place in the 1650

freestyle with a time of 16:20.54, which is the second fastest time in school history. Reid Snell (‘20) also placed 3rd in the 100m breaststroke with a time of 59.86. This was the first LAC under new Head Swim and Dive Coach Nicole Kaupp. “This is the first time I’ve been to the Liberal Arts Championships, but a conference meet is a staple of any collegiate season,” Kaupp said. “So while it’s a new conference and a new team for me, since this is my first year at Luther, the goal is still the same: to perform at your peak when it matters.” With a new head coach and a new training program, Anderson reflected on the new style leading up to the championships. “[Kaupp] breaks up her practices a lot more so we have a lot more intense morning practices and our lifting has been different,” Anderson said. “We are really prepared to be able to place well.” Before the competition, Anderson also reflected on what the championships meant to her as a senior. “I am ready to see how I swim, but it’s sad,” Anderson said. “I’ve been swimming for so long and this is it. I wouldn’t want my last meet to be with anyone else except the Luther swim team. I don’t think I would be the person I am today without the past alumni and the current team.” Gunnar Swanson (‘17) swam all four years at Luther, and said that one of his

Photo Courtesy of Mimi Finger (‘19) favorite parts of the competition was the camaraderie formed between different teams. “It is always fun to race against the teams we have swam against in the past and see how we compare year to year,” Swanson said. “Additionally, you do end up forming friendly rivalries with members of other teams.” Swanson placed eighth in the 200m butterfly race. These friendships form over time because of the unique nature of swimming competitions, according to Kaupp. “The great thing about swimming, opposed to basketball or some of the team sports where you have to directly compete against those teams to determine your conference championships or conference standings, in swimming we don’t have to,” said Kaupp. “We don’t have to have the year or in-season competition against them because times are what matters, it’s not about wins or losses.” Swanson finds the LAC special because of the opportunity. “If I had to pick a favorite aspect, it would be seeing the faces of the firstyears when they get best times. The look of shock and pure joy is contagious and I can’t help but smile when I see that,” Swanson said. The next event for the teams is the NCAA III National Swimming and Diving Championships on March 15-18.

IIAC 13-1 10-4 8-6 8-6 6-8 6-9 6-9 5-9 2-12

Overall 21-2 14-9 14-9 12-11 11-12 12-11 9-15 9-14 9-14

Recent Scores

Feb. 8 @ Wartburg College L 77-54 Feb. 11 vs. Loras College W 50-47

Upcoming Schedule

Feb. 18 vs. Central College 2:00 PM Feb. 21 IIAC Tournament Quarter Finals

Women’s Swim & Dive Luther Simpson Coe Nebraska Wes. Loras

IIAC 1-0 2-1 2-1 1-1 0-3

Overall 2-4 7-3 3-2 1-2 4-7

Recent Scores

Jan. 28 vs. Coe College NTS Feb. 8-11 Liberal Arts Championships

Upcoming Schedule

Feb. 24-25 NCAA Regional Diving Championships Mar. 15-18 NCAA National Swimming & Diving

Men’s Swim & Dive Nebraska Wes. Luther Coe Loras Simpson

IIAC 2-0 1-0 2-1 1-2 0-3

Overall 3-0 2-4 2-3 4-6 3-6

Recent Scores

Jan. 28 vs. Coe College NTS Feb. 8-11 Liberal Arts Championships

Upcoming Schedule

Feb. 24-25 NCAA Regional Diving Championships Mar. 15-18 NCAA National Swimming & Diving


Wartburg Loras Central Coe Luther Dubuque Simpson Buena Vista Nebraska Wes.

IIAC 8-0 7-1 6-2 5-3 4-4 3-5 2-6 1-7 0-8

Overall 20-0 12-7 10-2 11-8 8-8 7-10 6-9 2-7 1-9

Recent Scores

Feb. 4 Don Parker Invitational NTS Feb. 10 vs. Buena Vista University W 27-16

Upcoming Schedule

Feb. 25 NCAA III Central Regional Mar. 10-11 NCAA III National Championships

CHIPS February 16, 2017  
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