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Holiday Full of A celebrations Capella! on campus Features 6 A&E 8


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December 12, 2013

Vol. 135, No. 12

Since 1884

Sodexo cuts employee benefits

Casey DeLima/Chips

Working behind the counter. Student worker Jocelyn Petersen (‘14) and manager Denise Creek wait to serve customers at Marty’s Cyber Cafe.

Julia Joseph

Staff writer

To comply with the Affordable Care Act, Sodexo is changing how they count part-time versus full-time staff. This has an effect on nine Dining Services employees at Luther, whose

benefits will be cut starting Jan. 1. “There have never been benefits for part-time staff,” Executive Director of Dining Services Wayne Tudor said. “Sodexo looked at hours worked from Oct. 2012 to Oct. 2013. A fulltime employee has to work at least 30 hours a week; anything less is considered part time.”

The Affordable Care Act was signed into U.S law three years ago by President Obama to help with health care. Sodexo could face severe financial penalties if they do not comply with the regulations of the act. “Human Resources came in September to notify us about the upcoming changes,” Dining

Services employee Michelle Davis said. “They did not explain exactly what was going to happen and who it would affect until we received a letter in the mail in November.” Sodexo continued on page 4

Olin floods during Former president Torgerson Thanksgiving break receives sabbatical salary Britta Thompson

Staff writer

A sprinkler problem caused flooding damage in several rooms in Olin over Thanksgiving break. At around 2 p.m. on Nov. 29, Assistant Professor of Mathematics Mike Johnson visited Olin to get something from his office. He discovered that the fire alarm was going off, according to Steve Arneson (‘75) of Facilities Services. Johnson promptly called Security. They saw that water had run

down the stairs and into the Olin lobby. Further investigation by Facilities Services revealed that a malfunctioning sprinkler head in Olin 340, one of the offices, was flooding the inside of the building. “The office was locked, dark, no one was around,” Arneson said. “There was no fire, there was no anything, but for some reason, [the sprinkler head] popped off. To this day, we don’t know why. The water was running for about an hour Flooding continued on page 4

Laura Hayes

to a year’s salary for the

decision was made in the

Following his retirement last year, the Luther College Board of Regents granted former Luther College President Richard Torgerson an amount of money equal

year. Torgerson was the president of the college for fourteen years and in 2009, the Chronicle for Higher Education reported that Torgerson’s base pay was $225,125. Although this

year, faculty members were not informed until the fall. “Faculty have been told that the Board of Regents, who are the fiduciary agents

Staff writer current 2013-2014 school spring of the previous school

Professor candidate for Ellen DeGeneres show Marin Nycklemoe &

Casey DeLima

Britta Thompson/Chips

Clean-up in Room 340. Facilities works to repair and clean up a water-damaged office in Olin that flooded over break.

Torgerson’s salary continued on page 4

Staff writer News editor

Luther College may get five minutes of fame because of the incredible story of a black Labrador named Jake. Professor of Communications studies Kim Powell is also the head of the Northeast Iowa Humane Society chapter and has sent in the story of Jake to the Ellen DeGeneres Show.

“Jake was tied up on a short leash for all of his life,” Powell said. “He rubbed most of the skin on his face off out of sheer boredom. It destroyed his nasal cavities and most of his face.” Jake’s owner abandoned him in the country to fend for himself, leaving him injured and alone. Picked up sometime later, Jake was brought to Powell’s attention. She connected him with a foster home. Soon, Jake had reconstructive surgery for his face and his Humane society continued on page 4




December 12, 2013

Dismissal policies updated Sam Molzahn

Bjorn Myhre/Chips

Staff Writer

The faculty Academic Planning Committee voted on Tuesday, Dec. 3 to change policies and procedures regarding several academic issues. “[The Academic Planning Committee] has oversight of admissions, advising, academic progress, curriculum and issues of teaching and learning,” Associate Professor of Religion and Chair of the Academic Planning Committee Sean Burke said. “This came out of the work of our admissions, advising and academic progress subcommittee.” The first change is in regards to the policy on students withdrawing from all of their courses. “Withdraw passing/withdraw failing would be applied to a student who withdrew from all of their classes after the eighth week of the semester, beyond the normal withdraw period,” Associate Professor of Religion Robert Shedinger said regarding the new policy. “If they were deemed to be passing they were given a WP, withdraw passing. If they were deemed to be failing they were giving a WF, withdraw failing. That’s what would turn up on the transcript but would not be calculated into the GPA.” According to Registrar Doug Koschmeder, the changes made to course withdrawal policy are intended to provide consistency. “It now brings consistency between dropping one course versus dropping all courses,” Koschmeder said. “There’s no ‘if I drop all my courses it’s this procedure, if I drop one of my courses it’s this procedure.’ It’s now

matching, which is a good thing for students.” Approved withdrawals after the eighth week of the semester were another part of this decision. An approved withdrawal would come from such issues as medical issues or family emergencies, according to Burke. If a withdrawal after the first eight weeks of a semester is not approved a student will now receive an “F” rather than a “WF” grade. The second change is that if a student’s overall grade point average drops below 1.0, he or she is automatically dismissed from Luther rather than being placed on academic probation. In 2012-13, 12 students had a GPA of less than 1.0, and 11 of them left. “The intent of dismissing students after one semester with less than a D average is actually to the students’ benefit,” Koschmeder said. “They can stop, take care of their problems and then re-enroll so that life is better, rather than going deeper and deeper and deeper and having more severe academic or financial problems.” The final change is in regards to the grade point average requirement for transfer students. “Because students transfer from all different kinds of schools, we wanted to make it clear that the GPA would be based on the kinds of courses that would be accepted for credit at Luther,” Burke said. These changes came from a need to review and clarify the policies and procedures. “Some of this is about just clarifying how different parts of the college relate to each other,” Burke said. “It had been awhile since we had reviewed a lot of these policies. It was a good time to go back and look at them again.”

Model U.N. delegates win awards Laura Hayes

assigned to each committee and work to

Staff Writer create and pass resolutions that address their

The Luther College Model United Nations organization traveled to Chicago to participate in the American Model United Nations Conference on Nov. 23-26. According to the conference’s website, over 1,500 participants gathered “to run a simulation of the United Nations” and represent countries. Luther’s team represented Ecuador. Jordy Barry (‘15) and Lydon Smit (‘15) won the award for Outstanding Delegation with the Third Committee. The Luther Model U.N. team as a whole won the award for Overall Outstanding Delegation. “I think that a group like Model U.N. brings understanding that world issues exist and need to be tackled,” librarian and faculty adviser Germano Streese said. “It exposes to students that change can happen, but that it can be a long process.” The teams are divided into separate committees to focus on various issues that range from international security to humanitarian issues to decolonization. Two members are

committee’s issues. The Third Committee, with delegates Barry and Smit, focused on social, humanitarian and cultural issues. This committee specifically addressed issues of torture and cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment and punishment, as well as the rights of children. Each committee passes around five to six resolutions that are brought before the General Assembly. Barry and Smit worked on a resolution along with other delegates from Latin American countries. “This year Ecuador and Bolivia co-authored a resolution,” Smit said. “You have to find 40 signatures, and that is the most difficult part because you have to go and basically sell your resolution to other countries.” “[Model U.N.] has opened my eyes to a wide variety of perspectives and taught me about tolerance for other religions and cultures that may be different from mine,” Barry said. “It’s taught me where they’re coming from, so that I can make informed decisions for myself.” The group will represent New Zealand at the convention next year.

Courtesy of Jordy Barry

Representing Ecuador. Jordy Barry (‘15) presents at the Model U.N. convention.


Breakfast all day! M t W th F s Su

“Nothing fancy, just good food” 817 Mechanic St. Decorah 52101


CHIPS brightening your day since 1884


December 12, 2013

Seven-day Forecast















Music building atrium honors Reiso

3 News from the rest of the world

Life Outside Luther Compiled by: Brita Moore News Editor

Congress renews undetectable gun ban for decade Narrowly beating a midnight deadline, Congress voted Monday to renew an expiring ban on plastic firearms that can evade airport detection machines, but Republicans blocked an effort to toughen the restrictions. By voice vote, the Senate gave congressional approval to a 10-year extension of the prohibition against guns that can slip past metal detectors and X-ray machines. The House voted last week for an identical decade-long renewal of the ban. The measure now goes to President Barack Obama for his signature.

*** 18 L.A. Sheriff’s deputies face federal charges Federal officials say 18 current and former Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies saw themselves as being “above the law,” engaging in corruption and civil rights abuses that included beating inmates and visitors, falsifying reports and trying to block an FBI probe of the nation’s largest jail system. The charges were announced at a news conference Monday after 16 of the 18 defendants were arrested earlier in the day. At least two are no longer working for the department and some of those charged were scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court on Monday.

*** Rising riches: One in five in U.S. reaches affluence 20 percent of U.S. adults become rich for parts of their lives, wielding extensive influence over America’s economy and politics, according to new survey data. These “new rich,” made up largely of older professionals, working married couples and more educated singles, are becoming politically influential. Economists say their capacity to spend is key to the U.S. economic recovery, but their rise is also a sign of the nation’s continuing economic polarization.

*** Hanna Jensen/Photo Bureau

A happy homecoming. Curtis Reiso (‘54), left, receives congratulations at the reception on Dec. 7.

Dylan Hinton

aquatics center. His funding to support upcoming

Staff Writer international music tours as well as developments

Students, faculty and alums gathered for a reception in the Jenson-Noble Hall of Music on Saturday, Dec. 7 to honor Luther College alum Curtis Reiso (‘54) and to dedicate the building’s atrium in his honor. Reiso worked for Luther College from 1954 to 1994 in the development office and as the music tour coordinator. “When I explain to alums who I am I just say I’m the new Curt Reiso,” Music Tour Manager Eric Ellingsen (‘99) said. “And then they instantly know exactly what I do.” In his time at Luther, Reiso participated in choir and served as choir president and tour manager his senior year. Reiso’s classmates -Curt and friends attended the dedication of the atrium to show their respect and acknowledge the work he has done for the college. “I met Curt my first year at Luther,” Lowell Gangstad (‘57) said. “We were in choir together, and he was the tour manager. I’ve had a long relationship with him since then and I’m so proud of him, and I must say he is a true Luther supporter.” In addition to supporting Luther and the music programs, Reiso has been donating to various programs to improve the college for many years, including a recent donation to fund the new

to Jenson-Noble were all factors in the decision to dedicate the atrium in his honor.

“There is a group in the fundraising department

that identifies and works with generous donors

to establish donor intent,” Music Department Head Gregory Peterson (‘83) said. “The college

engages with the donor in a dialogue about what

“The 86 tours I was a part of are definitely the highlights of my time at Luther.” Reiso (‘54)

aspects of Luther they wish to

see improved and what areas are in need.”

Reiso still lives in Decorah





himself with Luther College as much as possible, both through

financial donations and through continued support of Luther’s athletics and music.

“The 86 tours I was a part of are definitely the

highlights of my time at Luther,” Reiso said. “I have also loved seeing all of the new buildings over the years. It’s been fantastic to get to know the school like I did.”

The newly dedicated atrium is adorned by a

plaque bearing Reiso’s name in the entrance of Jenson-Noble.

“I’m glad to be honored,” Reiso said. “But I’m

a little embarrassed. It seems like a bit much.”

Girlfriend wants charges dropped against Zimmerman George Zimmerman asked a judge on Monday to change the terms of his bond so he can have contact with the girlfriend he’s accused of assaulting. Zimmerman filed an affidavit from his girlfriend that says she doesn’t want him charged with aggravated assault, battery and criminal mischief.

*** Invasive cockroach found in NYC can take the cold The High Line, a park that turned a dilapidated stretch of elevated railway on Manhattan’s West Side into one of New York’s newest tourist attractions, may have brought a different kind of visitor: a cockroach that can withstand harsh winter cold and never seen before in the U.S. Rutgers University insect biologists Jessica Ware and Dominic Evangelista said the species Periplaneta japonica is well documented in Asia but was never confirmed in the United States until now. The scientists, whose findings were published in the Journal of Economic Entomology, say it is too soon to predict the impact but that there is probably little cause for concern.

*** Officials seek sanctuary for Iowa alligator Animal control officials in Waterloo are seeking a new home for a baby alligator named Chompey. A resident of the city bought the alligator after spotting an online advertisement, but he later learned state law does not allow people to keep alligators or other exotic animals, the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reported Monday. The resident turned the gator in to animal control officials, who kept the creature in an aquarium while figuring out what to do with it. “He was really kind of cute, but he was also kind of naughty,” Waterloo’s code enforcement forewoman Maria Tiller said.

News Compiled from:




December 12, 2013

Powell recognized for work with NE Iowa Humane Society Humane Society continued from page 4

feet, because his claws had grown into his feet. “We submitted Jake’s story to the Ellen DeGeneres Show for a contest,” Powell said. “Petco and Ellen DeGeneres are running this competition where rescue groups around the country are invited to submit the stories of animals that they rescued. The prizes range from $100,000 to $5,000.” The monetary incentive is appealing to Powell not for any personal benefit, but

because she plans to use the funds to help abused animals. “One of the producers called us and informed us that Jake’s story was especially moving and was one of the top choices,” Powell said. “We won’t find out for a while if Jake places at all, but the $100,000 will help with the construction of the Humane Society Center we’re starting in the spring.” The Humane Society is planning on breaking ground and building a shelter for Northeast Iowa in the spring. Information on the outcome of the contest won’t be available for a few more weeks.

Photo courtesy of Kim Powell

Man’s best friend. Jake the dog was rescued from abusive owners by the Humane Society and his story could be featured on the Ellen DeGeneres show.

Office damaged in Olin Torgerson receives bonus after retirement and to mitigate the damage.” White said that for the time being, she before we got some of our staff in there with must also share an office with Professor Amy extractors and Wet-Vacs.” Wrightsman, as the damage to her office Arneson said that about 85 percent of the requires that it be completely restored. third-floor offices Alex Kalal (‘14) is one in the north wing of many students who had were affected by the their classes canceled that flooding and that the day due to the ongoing water also leaked damage investigation and down into second remediation. floor classrooms “A little bit [of the and bathrooms. This flooding] happened in made removal of the my classroom on second computers from some floor, and my class on of the classrooms Monday, Dec. 2 was necessary. cancelled,” Kalal said. The office in “It’s lucky that Mike which the flooding Johnson was there. If he started belongs to -Alexandra White hadn’t been there, who Assistant Professor knows how bad it could of Management have gotten.” Alexandra White. It is unknown at this time whether any of the “All of my books and documents were computers in the second floor were damaged, destroyed, along with some personal items,” but according to Arneson, LIS picked them White said. “I was very fortunate that I had up shortly after the incident. Arneson also taken a few key textbooks and my laptop said that he hoped that the repairs would be home with me over Thanksgiving break done by the end of J-term. and that I had entered grades for my recent “I’m extremely happy with my crew,” exams. Both Luther Facilities and LIS did a Arneson said. “Everybody I called came to great job responding quickly to the situation help, even though it was a holiday weekend.” Flooding

continued from page 1

“Both Luther Facilities and LIS did a great job responding quickly to the situation and to mitigate the damage.”

Torgerson’s salary continued from page 1

for the institution, decided to award Torgerson a bonus for his many years of employment,” Professor of English Lise Kildegaard said. “While I do not know [the Board of Regent’s] reasoning, I have been told that it is a common gesture in similar situations.” Paul Torgerson, the Chairperson of the Board of Regents, and Richard Torgerson could not be reached for comment.. This amount of money has been referred to as a “sabbatical.” According to the 2013-2014 Faculty Handbook, “a faculty member becomes eligible to apply for such a leave [sabbatical] when (1) he or she has tenure; (2) he or she has completed six academic years at Luther since hired or has completed five academic years since previous sabbatical; and (3) he or she will be able to teach at least two years following return from leave.” The handbook does not have a policy on

the basis of retirement. When asked about of the source of the money, Kildegaard said, “We have a certain amount [of the budget] that comes from endowments and annual gifts, but by-and-large our budget comes from net tuition.” The net tuition is the amount of tuition charged minus the amount of money given out in scholarships. Diane Tacke, the Vice President of Finance and Administration, declined an interview. “The Board [of Regents] thought that this was worthy,” Professor of Political Science John Moeller said. There continues to be mixed feelings among faculty on this issue. “Rick Torgerson had several years of extraordinary service at Luther College,” Kildegaard said. “I myself do not feel that he was undercompensated. But many of our Regents are successful business people. I imagine that our salaries at the college look quite modest to them.”

Sodexo employees face loss of benefits Sodexo continued from page 1

These changes are taking place now because they will go into effect in the new year. The main problem the affected employees at Luther have with this situation is how quickly it is happening. “Most of us had no idea of the issue until HR came, and even after that we thought if we already had insurance we would be fine,” Davis said. “There was still confusion after receiving our letters in November, but we soon came to understand that we could either pay for the insurance ourselves, or go without.” There were not as many Luther employees affected because many of them have the opportunity to work throughout the summer. Until recently, employees were not aware that by taking time off, they could jeopardize their health benefits. “They always encouraged us to take some time off in the summer and use our vacation time,” Davis said. “I wasn’t aware that I would be penalized in the

future.” There are available hours and employees will have continued opportunities to pick up more hours in the future, unlike some of the other places being affected. Many Dining Services employees depend on the benefits package that Sodexo provides for full time staff. “They will no longer have the benefits package which includes sick pay, vacation time and disability along with other things,” Tudor said. “But they will still have the 401(k) and will be getting a raise of their hourly rate to make up for what they would have gotten.” According to the letter sent out by the Sodexo Benefits Center, eligibility requirements will be reviewed annually to see if the employee’s eligibility changes for 2015 or future years. “This has not been a pleasant experience for any of us,” Tudor said. “We were told three days before the letters got sent out to the nine Luther employees. We were hoping to know as soon as possible so we

Casey DeLima/Chips

Learning from the best. Student workers such as Tanner Viedenkamp (‘17) will not be affected by the benefit cuts, but their bosses will be. could help them, but I didn’t even get a chance to notify all of them before they received their letters.” Davis agreed that the change would be

difficult. “Most of my paycheck goes to insurance for my family of four,” Davis said. “To no longer have that is devastating.”


Arts & Entertainment

December 12, 2013

Toby Ziemer/Photo Bureau

And the Word became flesh. Christmas at Luther 2013 featured six choirs, the Symphony Orchestra, Luther Ringers and guest student and faculty musicians.

Songs of the season “Full of Grace and Truth” features new director, traditions and music.

Anna Jeide

Staff Writer

The conclusion of Christmas at Luther 2013: “Full of Grace and Truth” marked the successful completion of the annual music production. Audiences may have noticed a new face at the podium this year as Luther’s newest choir director Assistant Professor of Music Jennaya Robison (‘96) conducted Aurora and Cathedral Choir. “Even before I got the job I was thinking of pieces I could do at Christmas at Luther,” Robison said. “I keep a mental list of pieces I would like to do for Christmas.” Dr. Robison’s choirs featured a variety of songs, ranging from gospel to traditional Spanish. “The pieces she’s chosen for Cathedral Choir are great because they contrast one another,” Cathedral Choir President Fred Scaife (‘16) said. “Dr. Robison is a fantastic director.” According to Robison, conducting Christmas at Luther brought back many memories of her time as a student. “It’s been really exciting, especially having Dr. Last as a colleague because he and I were in Christmas at Luther together … The candlelight song, ‘Climb to the Top,’ was a piece I sang in Christmas at Luther. I can still picture it in my head.” In addition to a new director, new decorations covered the stage. An extravagant backdrop displayed a Bible verse relating to the year’s theme, “Full of Grace and Truth.” The banner of text was a first for the Christmas at Luther setup. “There’s a company in New Jersey called Rosebrand and they specialize in stage supplies, like things you

would see at the Grammys or the Oscars,” Coordinator for still retained many of its traditional components, including Music Organizations and Marketing a featured piece from the Luther Eric Ellingsen (‘99) said. “The text Ringers. is from the opening piece ‘And the “We are blessed with so many Word Became Flesh.’ Dr. Hightower choirs at Luther … and presence had the original idea and then Luther of the Luther Ringers adds a bit College Graphic Designer Michael of sound that’s different from the Bartels put it on paper, and we sent it chorus,” Associate Professor of to this company in New Jersey.” Music and Luther Ringers conductor The banner weighs about ninety Gregory Peterson (‘83) said. “The pounds and is tied down with cinder brass bells are shiny and fun to blocks. watch, so it becomes a highlight for “It’s like a big film screen,” people.” Ellingsen said. “We’re hoping that Ellingsen reflected on his favorite -Eric Ellingsen (‘99) part of Christmas at Luther. if we continue to use this company we’ll order new ones every year and “Having a successful first then we’ll reuse them two or three performance every year and seeing times.” the happiness in the eyes of the students is really fulfilling,” Though some details have changed, the performance Ellingsen said.

“Having a successful first performance every year and seeing the happiness in the eyes of the students is really fulfilling.”

Maria da Silva/Photo Bureau

First Christmas on the podium. This is Jennaya Robison’s (‘96) first year conducting Aurora and Cathedral Choir.

* CHIPS * Read it, partner. Since 1861




December 12, 2013

‘Tis the celebrate all holidays Luther students celebrate Hanukkah and Kwanzaa on campus. Matt Helm

Staff Writer

A chill fills the air and festive lights cover campus— ‘tis the holiday season here at Luther! And not just Christmas, holidays like Hanukkah and Kwanzaa as well! Chips decided to take a look at the diversity that comes with celebrating holidays other than Christmas amongst Luther students. Hanukkah The Jewish holiday of Hanukkah is the cultural celebration of the Maccabean revolt, a revolt that granted ancient Hebrews political and religious autonomy. “There was enough oil to light the candles for one day in the great temple, but the candles ended up staying lit for eight days,” Jewish student Samuel Weinberg (‘15) said. “That is where the eight days of Hanukkah come from and why we light the eight candles.” While at Luther, Weinberg has found that he can bond with his friends by sharing a part of his religion. “My friends seem to think it’s a really fun holiday,” Weinberg said. “Hanukkah brings people together. It

Abby Carpenter/Chips

Hannukah is the festival of lights. Seth Vander Horst (‘15) has celebrated Hanukkah with Sam Weinberg (‘15) since their freshman year at Luther. “It is a fun time to come together as family,” Vander Horst said. is something quick and easy I could share with my friends who really weren’t ever exposed to it.” On the last few days of Hanukkah, Weinberg invited friends to help him light the candles. “I have been celebrating Hanukkah with Sam [Weinberg] since freshman year,” Seth Vander Horst (‘15) said. “It is a fun time to come together as family, experience a faith different from my own and, best of all, hear Sam recite prayers in Hebrew.” No worries: the candles were not left burning due to Residence Hall safety codes.

the Kwanzaa candles are being lit,” Howard said. “We are going to go one-by-one, breaking down each of the principals. We are going to be doing an MC, hiphop, spoken word kind of thing, not traditional preaching.” Howard and Jessen use hip-hop lyrics to talk about their faith. “It’s about Kwanzaa and it’s also about Christ,” Jessen said. “I would encourage anyone to go and check us out. A lot of time hip-hop lyrics are portraying an image that’s fast-living or living young, but that’s totally not what hip-hop has to be about.” On Saturday, Dec. 14 the -Samuel Weinberg (‘15) Diversity Center will be hosting Kwanzaa Kwanzaa is a week-long nona Kwanzaa festival meal in Peace religious holiday that lasts Dec. 26 Dining from 4-6 p.m. The meal through Jan. 1, although Luther observes it earlier. It will include candle lighting, a sharing of talents and a was founded in 1966 by activist and author Maulana traditional libation. Karenga as a celebration of African heritage and “The festival in Peace is quite the event,” event culture. Kwanzaa involves the celebration of seven coordinator Lilliana Petsch-Horvath (‘14) said. “It’s principles—unity, self-determination, responsibility, really a time where we have a community celebrating cooperation, purpose, creativity and faith—which are community. Kwanzaa is a non-religious holiday represented by the ceremonial lighting of the seven that focuses on African culture as well as Africancandles on the kinara. American culture. It really embraces the idea of Anthony Howard (‘15) and Cole Jessen (‘14), community.” acting as emcee Tony Pacah and emcee MLJ, will be Newcomers are welcome to all of the campus performing an interpretation of the seven principles Kwanzaa celebrations. of Kwanza at a special Kwanzaa-themed chapel on “This is going to be my first Kwanzaa celebration,” Friday, Dec. 13. Howard said. “I’m looking forward to it, to experience “We are going to be doing our performance while something new.”

“Hanukkah brings people together. It is something quick and easy I could share with my friends who weren’t ever exposed to it.”

Matt Helm/Chips

The Kwanzaa kinara. The kinara is a candle holder used in Kwanzaa celebrations. Each of the candles represents one of the seven principles of Kwanzaa.



December 12, 2013


7 spread Christmas Cheer SAC Christmas Cheer helps out families in need for the Holidays Abby Carpenter

Staff Writer

This Christmas, 54 families will be able to open gifts that they otherwise would not have been able to afford thanks to Luther’s Christmas Cheer program. Christmas Cheer is a SAC organization that has been a part of Luther College since 1992. The program works with Northeast Iowa Community Action Corporation (NEICAC) and various Luther College organizations to collect gifts for underprivileged families in the Decorah area and surrounding community. This year, the NEICAC connected Christmas Cheer co-chairs Christina Scharmer (‘14) and Laura Vestle (‘16) with 54 families in need, keeping names confidential but giving details like gender, age and clothing size to make gift shopping easier. Many families also send along a small Christmas wish list. Wish lists can include items one would expect, like toys and treats for young children, but many also include daily household items. “It’s actually very humbling when you look at their wish list because it’s necessities that they need like clothes, hats, towels and toothpaste,” Vestle said. “Things that [most] take for granted.” Participating campus organizations are given one family to raise money and buy gifts for. All kinds of campus groups are involved: fraternities, sororities, sports teams and different department heads, like religion and math. Tennis team member Jenna Myers (‘16) got her team

Luke Hanson/Photo Bureau

The best way to spread Christmas cheer? Helping out needy families! Christmas elf and Christmas Cheer co-chair Laura Vestle (‘16) carries bags of gifts. involved with Christmas Cheer this year. “I thought it would be a good idea to get the team involved because I think it’s important to help out families in need within the community,” Myers said. “The holidays are probably an extra stressful time for these families as well, especially if they have young kids, so I thought Christmas Cheer would be a good

way for our team to help out and to get some good bonding time in, too.” Myers put in the extra effort to make sure her assigned family would really enjoy their Christmas gifts. “Buying gifts for the family was a lot of fun, but was still a little stressful,” Myers said. “I wanted to make sure we bought most, if not all, of the things the family was in need of and still stay within our budget. Buying gifts for the kids was the best part because I can just imagine how excited they’ll be opening their presents and finding that toy or game that they’ve been hoping to get.” Collection day for the Christmas Cheer gifts was Dec. 10 in Marty’s. The Christmas Cheer committee organized the floor of Marty’s into a giant tic-tac-toe board, with the number of each family in a separate square. Samantha Ea (‘16) is a member of the Christmas Cheer committee who helps out during collection day. “I love collection day. It’s really fun seeing all the different sponsors come with gifts and have the opportunity to support families that might need some gifts this holiday season,” Ea said. After the organizations dropped their gifts off, they were shipped off in vans to be distributed to the families. “It’s unfortunate that the organizations aren’t allowed to meet the families they’re helping in the sense that it would be rewarding, but it’s [important] for privacy reasons,” Vestle said. Despite not being able to interact directly with the people that they’re helping, Vestle still finds Christmas Cheer to be a rewarding experience. “It’s a great organization and it’s very humbling to realize that people have a lot less than you do,” Vestle said. “I think everyone deserves to have a happy Christmas. Christmas is a time when you can give to others, and this is a great organization to be able to do that.” go shopping at the Diversity Center Maggie Steinbewrg

way. The Diversity Center sells

sale, commenting on the great

A purse from India. A mug from Vietnam. An ornament from Sri Lanka. These were just a few of the items sold at the Diversity Center this past weekend during its annual winter sale. From Dec. 5-6, a variety of ornaments and trinkets were sold at a 10% discount. “All proceeds go toward the Ethnic Arts Festival and Fair Trade cooperatives,” Diversity Center Administrative Assistant Jake Dyer said. As the International Admissions staff travels the world to recruit students to come to Luther, they often pick up trinkets along the

they are showcased during the annual sale. Marissa Satern (‘14) has worked in the Diversity Center for four years and loves the unique items the Diversity Center acquires. “It’s not mass produced like so many things [in the United States],” Satern said. “They have a lot of items from around the world that you wouldn’t find anywhere else.” According to Dyer, this year was another successful sale. “Many people came in to buy unique gifts for families and co-workers,” Dyer said. Satern also liked the timing of the

for family members in time for Christmas. For the Diversity Center, the sale is also another way to have different people meet and make connections. “The Diversity Center is about people meeting each other and getting dialogue going,” Satern said. “All people are welcome here . . . being diverse doesn’t mean not being ‘white.’ We’re all part of the diversity.” The gifts are on sale at the Diversity Center year round. “If you spot something in the display cabinet outside our office that catches your fancy, come in and let us know,” Dyer said.

Staff Writer these things all year long, but opportunity it offered to get gifts

Maggie Steinberg/Chips

Bits and bobbles. Ornaments are just a few of the gifts on sale at the Diversity Center, all of which can be purchased year round.


December 12, 2013

Arts & Entertainment

A ca-Christmas


Beautiful Mess, Undeclared and Bromatic present annual concert.

“Little Girl” by Go Fish. “‘Little Girl’ by Go Fish is a classic that Undeclared has done for the past four or five years,” Melby said. Undeclared hopes to become more of a presence on campus in the future. “We want to be more visible on campus and perform at more things like open mic Hannah Garry Staff Writer night,” Melby said. Bromatic has had a much shorter lifespan than Undeclared, having formed In the midst of Christmas at Luther five years ago out of a group of Norsemen madness, Luther’s three a cappella groups, who were interested in singing together. Undeclared, Bromatic and Beautiful “Last year was the first time we lost Mess, held a concert in the CFA for family people because they were seniors, and and friends on Saturday, Dec. 7. we lost half our group,” Brad Beale (‘14) The all-male group Undeclared has been said. singing around Luther since 1998. During its short lifespan, the group has “Ever since then we’ve just been seen many different styles. performing around campus for events, “When it initially started it was just national anthems for football games and a different group of guys,” Beale said. basketball games and stuff like that, and “They did a lot more chamber music.” doing performances around town,” Cole Now Beale thinks that the group Melby (‘15) said. balances performing different music According to Melby, the style of the genres, from mainstream titles to indie group has gone rock, and he says they through changes since also try to always its original formation, include lighthearted, moving away funny songs. from performing “This year we’re traditional a cappelladoing ‘John Williams style songs and doing Is The Man,’” Beale more covers of topsaid. “It’s basically 40 music. just a whole bunch “I think that’s what of John Williams people want to hear music but the words because that’s what’s are changed so that popular on Youtube,” it follows the plot of Melby said. “They -Alison Vuolo (‘15) Star Wars.” want to hear songs At Saturday’s that they know.” performance the At the concert on Saturday, Undeclared group also performed “Pompeii” by performed “Teenage Dream” by Katy Bastille and “The Freshmen” by the Perry, “Wrecking Ball” by Miley Cyrus, Verve, which the first incarnation of the “I Believe I Can Fly” by R. Kelly and group performed five years ago when it

“...the music is important to us, but our primary concern will always be supporting and encouraging each other.”

Hannah Garry/Chips

It’s beginning to sound a lot like Christmas. Beautiful Mess is Luther’s only female a cappella group. Here the group performs “They” by Jem.

Zachary Stottler/Photo Bureau

Sing we now of Christmas. Student a cappella groups Undeclared (above), Beautiful Mess and Bromatic performed in the CFA Atrium on Saturday, Dec. 7. consisted of all first-years. “It was actually also the song that all of the seniors who are in the group now auditioned on so it’s a full-circle kind of thing for us,” Beale said. Beale thinks that the group may begin performing at more off-campus events. Earlier this semester, they performed at the Southeast Minn. a Cappella Festival in Stewartville, Minn. “We never really had done a whole lot of traveling or performing gigs outside of Luther,” Beale said. “It was a really fun experience and something I think Bromatic would like to do going forward.” Beautiful Mess performed “As Long As You Love Me” by Justin Bieber, “Royals” by Lorde, “They” by Jem, “Fix You” by Coldplay and “Roar” by Katy Perry. “I loved performing ‘Roar,’” Alison Vuolo (‘15) said. “It’s so fun and we are all able to feed off Lianna’s [Stewart

(‘17)] energy.” Vuolo, who joined Beautiful Mess as a first year, feels that during her time in Beautiful Mess the group has become more prominent on campus but has remained a tight-knit group of women. “I would love to see us continue to be a people-first group, meaning the music is important to us, but our primary concern will always be supporting and encouraging each other,” Vuolo said. The groups have had this concert in the past traditionally on the same weekend as Christmas at Luther because the groups typically have friends and family in Decorah. “This is always fun,” Beale said. “It’s just nice because there’s a lot of family on campus for Christmas at Luther and we get a pretty good turnout and its just fun to be able to do an a cappella concert with the other groups too.”




Chips is a student publication of Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. The paper is designed, composed, edited and managed entirely by Luther students. It is published weekly during the academic year, excluding the month of January. The opinion section is designed to provide a forum for Chips , its staff members and the Luther community. Opinions expressed in articles, editorials or columns do not necessarily represent the views of the Chips staff. The author is solely responsible for opinions expressed in Chips commentary. Chips will not accept submitted articles or campus announcements. Submissions for letters to the editor should be submitted as a word document to with “Letter to the Editor” as the subject line. Letters to the editor are subject to editing without changing the meaning of the letter. Authors will not be notified of changes prior to publishing. Letters must be signed, 300-400 words and submitted by Sunday at 5 p.m. the week before publication. Publication of all letters is at the discretion of the editor. Contact Chips Phone: 563.387.1044 Fax: 563.387.2072 E-mail: Advertising: website:

Fall 2013 Staff

Editor-in-Chief....................Ingrid Baudler Managing Editor......................................Jayne Cole News Editors........................Casey DeLima Brita Moore Features Editor....................Margaret Yapp A&E Editor......................Walker Nyenhuis Sports Editor..................................Matt Yan Staff Writers.......................Abby Carpenter Hannah Garry Laura Hayes Matt Helm Dylan Hinton Anna Jeide Carrie Juergens Julia Joseph Sam Molzahn Marin Nycklemoe Maggie Steinberg Britta Thompson Head Copy Editor......................Katie Hale Copy Editors............................Nils Johnson Cameron Meyferth Ad Representative..........Lauren Meintsma Ad Accountant.....................Sam Matheson Photography Coordinator..........Casey DeLima Photographer................................Abby Carpenter Web Manager...........................Noah Lange Design Technician..................Bjorn Myhre Web Technician........................Isaac Davis Social Media Director.........Eric Anderson Circulation Manager................Tess Wilson Adviser.....................................David Faldet Associated Collegiate Press National Online Pacemaker Award 2011

Dear Editor, This letter is in response to Hana Bachman’s letter to the editor from last week’s Chips. We would like to comment specifically on her point concerning Eve Ensler’s “The Vagina Monologues.” In her letter, Bachman said about TVM that, “it’s just about women shouting angrily about their vaginas and contains no actual or visible point.” As the co-directors of this year’s TVM production at Luther College, we respectfully disagree. The Vagina Monologues are intended to be “brave, fierce and funny” (Quote taken from the Director’s Notes for TVM). While female sexuality is indeed a serious and sensitive topic, it is crucial to present this topic in a way that is accessible to a wide range of people, and humor is used to achieve this. These monologues are more than just angry rants—they speak to the experiences that real women have encountered and are meant to be inspiring and empowering to all people. To minimize this does a great disservice to the women whose stories inspired the monologues and to women worldwide.


December 12, 2013

Furthermore, in the Director’s Notes, production by other means, such as it is stated that the women who were tabling, selling tickets, advertising or interviewed in the process of creating working tech for the shows themselves. The purpose of the monologues did an all-female cast not see themselves (meaning anyone as victims or pity identifying as a themselves. It’s woman) is not to about sharing their exclude men, but experiences in a rather to break the frank and honest silence surrounding way to highlight the women’s sexuality struggles of women by giving them and to promote an arena to speak equality. frankly of their The most important experiences. This “point” of “The is not meant to Vagina Monologues” tear men down, remains, however, to nor does it aim to raise funds for local elevate one gender organizations that above the other. serve women and It comes down to promote equality. In women sharing the rules for TVM, it stories of women is stated that “10% of and highlighting net proceeds must be donated to the V-Day the oppression that Spotlight Campaign they face. Starting this dialogue is not and the other 90% to harmful. local organizations We invite Hana working to end - Marly Crossland (‘15) Bachman, as violence against and Michael Ehrecke well as the rest women and girls.” (‘15) of the student Therefore, “The body, to attend Vagina Monologues” a performance has a direct and of The Vagina positive impact on Monologues in our community. The second point in Bachman’s letter February 2014 with an open mind and that we would like to address is her to appreciate the experiences of the point that “it gives off the vibe that women in our lives. it’s not okay for men to be a part of the performance or the stories.” While Sincerely, it is true that men cannot be cast as Marley Crossland (‘15) and Michael performers, they are welcome—and Ehrecke (‘15) encouraged—to be involved in the Co-Directors of “The Vagina Monologues”

“‘The Vagina Monologues’ are intended to be ‘brave, fierce and funny.’ While female sexuality is indeed a serious and sensitive topic, it is crucial to present this topic in a way which is accessible to a wide range of people...”

Never stop learning course. Getting into LCSO was a major kick in the pants, as well as an honor. I didn’t blend my sound in with the cello section, and the other members of the section were frustrated with me. No fun at all. But something clicked within me that year: no matter how talented I am (or am not), I don’t know everything. There is more to be learned, - Brita always. So, I turned my ears towards my section and the rest of the orchestra, striving to make my voice one with its own. That is how we grow - we learn from others and come together with them, knowing we are all equal. My experience with Chips has been similar, actually. I began as a staff writer sophomore year, believing again that I knew everything because I’d written for my high school paper and knew AP style. Becoming a section editor seemed like a shoo-in once I got some writing experience under my belt. However, the ways I would neglect my writing efforts took away that chance. I

would wait until the last minute to write them, because I figured, “Hey, I have enough quotes, the story will basically write itself from those.” Now I wish I’d put in the time to make those stories pop. Every week when I edit the news section, I hope for stories like that, but I feel like a hypocrite because it’s not like my work was Moore (‘14) that amazing. Just as I hope people in orchestra will blend together, I hope writers will put in the effort to pull together the best angle for their stories. Even though I did gain the section editor position I wanted, I still don’t know everything about journalism. So I’ll keep searching for the best angles myself. I guess that’s the best way I can describe Luther: it makes you realize how much about the world there is to learn. We may be stuck in a bubble, but that bubble has transparent walls. And there are some pretty interesting people already inside. Never stop learning from them.

“We may be stuck in a bubble, but the bubble has transparent walls.”

Brita Moore

News Editor

I wish I could fully describe my Luther experience in 300-500 words, but it doesn’t take a genius to know that’s not adequate. However, I have devoted a great deal of my time to two groups on campus: Luther College Symphony Orchestra and Chips. If I can say just a little about these organizations, I can show you a glimpse of who I’ve become. When I started out as a first-year, my ego was through the roof. I’d already spent a lot of time on campus and thought I knew everything about both Luther and music. I was wrong, of



December 12, 2013 Editorial


Time to grow up, guys

Matt Yan

Sports Editor

It seems that every time the staff at Chips covers a story where students are arrested for breaking the law, someone tells us that we are ruining someone’s life by naming them in the newspaper. I have some news for you, folks; you are going to be held accountable for your actions. College is not a place where you are exempt from all laws. Every student at Luther over the age of 18 is an adult under the law. Everyone here is subject to the same laws as other adults in the state of Iowa. When you break the law, you will get ticketed and/or arrested. When you get arrested, your name goes in

the newspaper. I know that if I start smoking a blunt in broad daylight, I will get arrested, I will go to jail and my name will go in the police blotter. I don’t really get the criticisms levied against us for printing the names of lawbreakers. Are we really ruining your life by printing the facts? I think you did that yourself when you broke the law. You might say to me that the law is unjust. Yes, the laws against smoking marijuana may be unjust. However, that doesn’t mean you can just go around breaking the laws you find to be unjust. You are not the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. You are not fighting some great oppression. The laws against possessing and using illegal drugs do not prevent you from living a full and satisfying life, and if they do, then you might want to check your priorities. If you make the conscious decision to smoke marijuana or other illegal drugs, you are taking the risk that you will get caught and prosecuted for your actions. There are a few ways you can react to this: 1) You can choose to obey the laws. 2) You can break the law and try not to get caught. 3) You can break the law and try to fight it in court. If you choose the latter two options and get caught, you should know

that your actions will most likely be recorded in the newspaper. It is the duty of the Chips staff to record what happens on Luther’s campus, and since the most recent offense occurred on Luther property, we have no option but to record the events that transpired. I don’t relish covering these stories. In fact, I get no enjoyment out of it. However, I don’t feel bad for anyone who breaks the law in the middle of the day where law enforcement can easily find them. Take that statement however you will. Let me ask, why is it our fault that you’re embarrassed for your actions? Why is anyone angry at the newspaper for reporting the facts, which is our job? You shouldn’t have broken the law in the first place. What would you tell your hypothetical children in this situation? Would you tell them that it’s okay to break some laws when you feel like it? Part of the consequences of being charged with a crime is dealing with the aftermath. College is not a place for you to do whatever you want and get away with it. Sure, you can do whatever you want, but you can also get arrested and thrown in jail. It’s your choice. If you commit a crime and get caught, own up to it. Don’t blame the staff at Chips for your actions and the consequences.

Column: Eve was framed

A look at mental illness

Melinda McMahon


Close your eyes for a moment and imagine: your whole body aches with a tiredness you shouldn’t have because you slept for fifteen hours and a weakness you know you’ve caused because you haven’t eaten nearly enough lately, your heart is pounding so loud it’s the only thing you can hear as you wade slowly through a crowd of students to a class you

know you won’t participate in, not because you don’t know the material but because you can’t find the energy to, all of this compounded by a ceaseless fog covering your mind, blocking out every bit of laughter, happiness or hope that you’ve ever felt and somehow it seems like you’ve always felt this way. This is the mindset of someone with clinical depression. The symptoms vary from person to person, some people can’t sleep at all, others eat upwards of twice what they should, some just get angry. But what it all comes down to is that the brain works differently than a supposedly normal person, but this is only normal some have ever known. Most know it isn’t healthy, but in its own way it is safe—you know what to expect, you know who you are. According to the Stanford School of


Women have a right to be angry

over on a Web page and have an emotional reaction, they’re being called out for being “overthe-top,” “crazy” or “psycho.” It’s tiring and frustrating that someone’s human emotions are belittled or turned into a joke. No matter a person’s identity, their emotions do not make them “crazy.” Emotions are natural and normal, and so is the desire Casey DeLima News Editor to not be insulted and picked on by the same incredibly unfunny “What’s with that crazy and disgustingly unoriginal b*tch?” “I don’t know, maybe jokes. It’s very strange to me that it’s she’s on her period.” These perfectly normal and accepted are sentiments I hear all too that men can be angry about often. People referring to their girlfriends as psychos, people things such as sports, an unfair shaking their head in annoyance professor or long lines in the at an angry female … you see it cafeteria (all perfectly reasonable all the time. As an angry female things to be frustrated or upset myself, I can’t help but feel with), but females are ridiculed or dismissed as hormonal if they offended by such occurrences. We all have emotions, and have an angry reaction to being therefore all get angry—it hurt or insulted. If more people remembered doesn’t matter what your gender that women are human beings identity is. So, what then, is so with human emotions, we wrong with females being angry, wouldn’t keep expressing the too? When females on this same frustrations that apparently campus get angry about being annoy others so much. insulted and ridiculed over and

Medicine website, “major depression is caused by imbalance of certain neurotransmitters in the brain, such as serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine.” While clinical depression causes an emotional reaction, it is a physical disease just like leukemia or asthma. According to the Mayo Clinic website, “Clinical depression causes noticeable disruptions in daily life, such as work, school or social activities. It can affect people of any age or sex, including children. It isn’t the same as depression caused by a loss (such as the death of a loved one), substance abuse or a medical condition such as a thyroid disorder.” Clinical depression isn’t a disease you can just get over because it’s a biological disease; emotional depression has a cure, you can overcome it, you can survive it, but those with clinical depression will have it

all their lives. It’s simply a part of who they are. Clinical depression is a disease that manifests emotionally but is a disease nonetheless (and if you take the time to talk to someone with clinical depression, you might find they’re not as crazy as you might think), and for those who have it, depression is a daily battle. I can tell you clinical depression is a disease for as long as I want but in a way it doesn’t really matter because if you’ve never had it, you’ll never understand it. So maybe the best analogy I can leave you with is this: if you’ve never had cancer, count yourself lucky and know you can’t understand it; if you’ve never had clinical depression, count yourself lucky and know you can’t understand it. Remember that, before you judge those who do understand it. Cheers to 2013. See you next year, Luther.



December 12, 2013

Fifth-years get second chance Luke Manderfeld

Volunteer Writer

Some athletes in college have time constraints to do what they want in their respective sport and improve their performance. The four years that they get seem to fly by and can leave something to be desired. That’s why when an opportunity arises for a fifth season to compete, many wouldn’t hesitate to take that chance. “I decided to come back for a fifth year because I really enjoyed being part of the team and wanted the experience to last as long as possible,” cross country runner Evan Neubauer (‘14) said. “College goes by quickly, and I wanted to take full advantage of my last opportunity to compete at the collegiate level.” Neubauer lost his season in 2012, after he was diagnosed with mononucleosis after three races. He had participated in less than one-third of his meets, which helped make him eligible for a fifth season. The reason that the NCAA lets athletes come back for a fifth season is mostly based upon whether or not the athlete lost a season due to an injury or illness. The catch is that the athlete has to be a full-time student or finishing a major requirement in order for them to compete. This rule only applies for Division III; Division I and II have different rules for a fifth year. Cross country runner Alex Rigdon (‘14) lost his season after he slipped and sprained his ankle on a rainy day at practice in Twin Springs. It was only his sophomore season, and he was itching to come back and race. An alum told his team about how he had lost a season but returned for a fifth year to win All-American honors and finish sixth in the nation. “After that, I realized that I had one more great season left in me along with four other fifth-year seniors,” Rigdon said. Getting a fifth year changed the way that he thought about the sport, and he used the time to mentor younger athletes and help carry on traditions. “I feel like I know all the ins and outs of how things work now,” Rigdon said. “ As my time is coming to an end at Luther, I take pride in seeing first-years become part of the team and the veterans stepping up and keeping with tradition.” The fifth year turned out to be a success for some of these athletes returning. Nellie Nelson (‘14) is currently in her fifth season with the Luther women’s basketball team and is among the team leaders in points, rebounds and steals. Soccer midfielder Alan Bedell (‘14) and football defensive lineman Trent Flegel (‘14) have contributed to their teams as well. The fifth year was not just for athletic purposes; it also provided some athletes with sentimental value that they will carry with them throughout life. “I wanted to share a journey with some amazing teammates

Photos courtesy of Alex Rigdon (left) and Luther College Courtesy of

Matt Yan

Photo courtesy of Evan Neubauer

Throwback to the good old days. Evan Neubauer (‘14) (right) runs for Decorah High School as a junior. and coaches,” Neubauer said. “I felt so lucky to be a part of the Luther team for one more season, and this season created additional memories that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.”

freestyle relay with a time of 1 minute,

Swanson (‘17) took 10th in the 1650

new school records and B-Cut qualifying marks for the NCAA Championships. Connolly finished second in her 200-yard individual medley event, completing the race in 2 minutes, 12.67 seconds. She also took second in the 100 breaststroke in 1 minute, 5.50 seconds, which was an individual B-Cut qualifying time. Anderson finished third with a time of 24.68 seconds in the 50 freestyle sprint. Scharmer took fifth in a senior-laden 100 butterfly with a final time of 58.28 seconds. Jackie Hughes (‘17) took fourth with a strong showing in the 400 individual medley, finishing in 4 minutes, 39.92 seconds. She also showed her endurance capability in a seventh-place finish in the 1650 yard freestyle. Hughes finished in 18 minutes, 10.96 seconds in that long-distance race. Zoe Johnson (‘16) took 14th in the 3-meter diving competition with a score of 340.70 and 12th in the 1-meter dive with a 330.30. On the men’s side, Gunnar

Roy Barnett (‘15) was 13th with a time of 19 minutes, 22.65 seconds. Luther finished 10th in the men’s 200 freestyle relay. The combined effort of Jason Orvis (‘16), Ryley Kramka (‘15), Andrew Reitz (‘17) and Justin Yuan (‘17) finished in 1 minute, 31.31 seconds. The foursome of Orvis, Yuan, Kramka and Jon Hagen (‘14) followed up the freestyle race with a 10th-place finish in the 200 medley relay in 1 minute, 41.74 seconds. 20 different relay teams participated in that race. Both teams compete next in a dual meet against Loras College in Dubuque on Jan. 4.

Sports Editor 39.15 seconds. Both relay times were freestyle in 17 minutes, 55.32 seconds.

The women’s swimming and diving team finished fifth out of 10 teams and the men finished fifth out of six at the Rochester Invitational on Sunday, Dec. 8. The two-day event was a test of will for the Luther teams as they faced a mix of Division II and III teams. Two-time NCAA All-American Clare Slagel (‘16) spearheaded the Norse effort with a first-place finish in every individual final she competed in, including the 500-yard freestyle, 200 backstroke and 100 backstroke. Slagel finished the 500 freestyle final in 5 minutes, 3.69 seconds. She broke the school record in the 200 backstroke preliminary race with a time of 1 minute, 58.61 seconds. Slagel also helped Luther to a secondplace finish in the 400-yard medley relay. Erin Connolly (‘14), Lexi Scharmer (‘16) and Emily Anderson (‘17) made up the rest of the medley team, which finished in 3 minutes, 15.29 seconds. Slagel’s 55.12-second 100 backstroke split was a new school record. Slagel, Connolly, Anderson and Katie Blocker (‘14) took seventh as a team in the 200-yard

Reflecting on my Chips experience

Alex Rigdon learns how to smile. Alex Rigdon (‘14) as a high school sophomore (left) and a college senior.

Swim and dive fifth at Rochester Matt Yan


Sports Editor

The end is here. As I finish up my final semester of working at Chips (and shed a few tears while doing so), I’m starting to realize how lucky I am to have this job. In the spring of my sophomore year, I was listlessly going through the motions of going to class, doing homework and taking naps. My life, to put it bluntly, was utterly aimless. I was having the ubiquitous mid-college crisis. Luckily for me, one of my classmates suggested that I apply to be a writer for Chips. I wasn’t sure about it. After all, who was I to be a writer for the newspaper? I was just some schmuck with no newspaper writing experience. I took a chance and applied for the position. To make a long story short, I got the job as staff writer in the fall and became sports editor in the spring. It’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Writing for Chips has introduced me to so many wonderful people I would otherwise never have met. I’ve also had the honor of covering some of the finest athletes that Division III has to offer. For those of you who don’t know, many of your classmates are elite athletes as well as students. I’ve covered great players like basketball IIAC MVP Tyler Wedemeier (‘13), wrestling AllAmerican Evan Obert (‘15), softball All-American Becca Girvan (‘14), two-time swimming AllAmerican Clare Slagel (‘16) and four-time cross country and track All-American Tricia Serres (‘16). These athletes have done some incredible feats at Luther, breaking records and setting higher standards for their teammates. Luther also boasts national qualifying teams in women’s softball, men and women’s cross country and men’s soccer. There are too many incredible athletes to count at Luther, including those involved in club sports like ultimate frisbee and rugby. I’ve found that it’s not just great statistics but also the personal stories that really matter in sports. The numbers don’t matter unless there’s a face to go along with them. Stories about struggle, sacrifice and determination will always speak to audiences no matter what their background. These traits are universally appreciated. It’s bittersweet leaving my post at Chips, but it’s time for someone else to take my place and continue the great tradition of this student newspaper. Whoever it is, I hope they find as much love in their work as I have.



Cutting weight Wrestling moves toward healthier habits, leaves extreme weight loss behind.

Weekly Standings Wrestling Coe Wartburg Luther Loras Central Dubuque Simpson Buena Vista

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

Overall 3-0 1-0 1-1 1-2 1-2 1-2 1-2 0-2

Recent scores: -Dec. 6 vs. Dubuque W 26-16 -Dec. 5 vs. UW-La Crosse L 15-22

Spencer Hodge

Volunteer Writer

Wrestling is a sport of physical dominance. This physical competition brings a lot of attention to weight advantages; obviously the heavier and larger a person is, the more difficult it is to wrestle him or her to the ground. In the spirit of fairness, the sport of wrestling uses weight classes to eliminate excessive size advantages in matches. These weight pairings can also become stressful and dangerous for wrestlers that must drop considerable amounts of weight for their weigh-in. It’s called “cutting weight” when a competitor in a match must lose body weight in order to qualify for their own weight class. There are 10 weight classes in male collegiate wrestling, including the 125, 133-, 141-, 149-, 157-, 165-, 174-, 184-, 197- and 285-pound classes. Depending on a wrestler’s relative weight advantage in their weight class, they may wish to drop weight in order to become a heavier wrestler of a lower tier instead of a lighter wrestler of a heavier tier. This way, a wrestler can weigh in at 157 pounds prior to competition and rehydrate so that by the time they compete, they can weigh as much as 162 pounds or more. “In preseason we do body fat tests,” wrestler Brent Blaser (‘14) said. “Our body fat is measured, and then we know how much we can safely cut. The rest is a matter of keeping an eye on your weight and maybe exercising a bit more outside of practice to get rid of the extra weight.” Blaser finds cutting weight manageable but says everyone’s experiences with dropping to lower classes can be different and are sometimes tough and costly to their energy on competition day. Luther 157-pounder Jake Fox (‘14) dropped down from his summer weight of 180 pounds, but only because he had a high enough body-fat percentage to do so. These days, Fox says he weighs around 165-166 pounds before -Greg practice on Mondays. “I lose about 3-4 pounds each practice,” Fox said. “I eat three meals each day in the beginning of the week and start to cut back on Thursday and Friday, depending on when the competition is.” Fox sticks to his diet throughout the week. He eats equal portions of each food group and cuts out sweets and sodas, but allows himself to eat more on weekends. He knows not to indulge too much on Sundays since that would mean a tougher weight cut the following week. “I try to keep my workouts consistent throughout the week, but I might go on an extra run on Thursday and Friday night,” Fox said. “I wear a couple of layers of sweats

December 12, 2013

Upcoming schedule: -Dec. 13 vs. Cornell @ Home

Women’s Basketball

Photo courtesy of Pang Ramkumar

The dreaded scale. Wrestlers reduce caloric intake and lose water weight in order to wrestle at a lower weight class. Weight classes range from 125 to 285 pounds. during the run to help drop water weight.” The weekly drop in weight is somewhat of a ritual for Fox and other wrestlers who don’t want to face opponents much stronger than them. “The idea is you become a little bit stronger, and with more advantage,” Director of Wellness Greg Lonning (‘83) said. “As long as you have colleges that monitor everything and are honest and ethical everything will be in place and fine.” Lonning wrestled before coaching a team for fifteen years. He says that a healthy approach to cutting weight comes with practices of safe exercise, nutrition, hydration and slow weight loss. Lonning and other members of the wrestling community understand that health has not always been a priority over attaining the weight advantages of qualifying for a smaller weight class. “[Wrestlers] used to wear plastic suits while they would work out, and they would experience extreme dehydration for one to two hours,” Lonning said. “In a workout, a guy from a smaller weight class could drop about five pounds, and a guy from a bigger weight class could lose up to ten or fifteen.” These specialized weight-loss suits, along with other extreme weight loss practices like excessive laxatives and emetics, meager diet, fluid restrictions and hot rooms are effective in reducing Lonning (‘83) body weight, but cause dehydration and malnourishment. The consequences of losing too much weight too quickly affect many to some degree and even caused the deaths of three college wrestlers within a 33-day span in November and December 1997. Jeff Reese of the University of Michigan, Billy Jack Saylor of Campbell University and Joe LaRosa of UW-La Crosse all passed away after attempting to lose too many pounds in a short period of time. In response, the NCAA placed a prohibition on these tactics of weight loss, limited body fat loss and moved the weighin process to an hour or two before a match’s beginning, encouraging wrestlers to step on

the scale healthy and hydrated for sake of performance. Along with this governmental response to the frightening weight loss dangers, athletic directors, coaches and teams have become advocates for safe wrestling. “These guys would look terrible stepping on the scale back in the day,” Lonning said. “But these days, they look good.” Lonning says these same problems still need to be addressed in other corners of the wrestling world like the Olympics, but with continued ethical efforts in college wrestling programs, he believes student athletes will be safe.

Central Luther Wartburg Dubuque Loras Simpson Buena Vista Coe

IIAC 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0

Overall 7-1 6-1 5-2 4-2 4-3 4-3 5-4 2-4

Recent scores: -Dec. 10 vs. Martin Luther @ 81-63 -Dec. 7 vs. Viterbo W 85-57 Upcoming schedule: -Dec. 13 vs. Northwestern College @ Roseville

Men’s Swim and Dive IIAC 2-0 1-0 0-1 0-2

Loras Luther Coe Simpson

Overall 3-1 1-3 1-4 0-3

Recent scores: -Dec. 7-8 5th at Rochester Invitational -Nov. 23 4th at River City Relays Upcoming schedule: -Jan 4 vs. Loras @ Dubuque

Women’s Swim and Dive IIAC 2-0 1-0 0-1 0-2

Loras Luther Coe Simpson

“These guys would look terrible stepping on the scale back in the day, but these days, they look good.”

Overall 3-1 3-1 2-3 0-3

Recent scores: -Dec. 7-8 5th at Rochester Invitational -Nov. 23 4th at River City Relays Upcoming schedule: -Jan 4 vs. Loras @ Dubuque

Men’s Basketball Dubuque Coe Central Buena Vista Luther Loras Wartburg Simpson

IIAC 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0

Overall 6-0 4-1 5-3 4-3 4-3 3-3 4-4 1-7

Recent scores: -Dec. 10 vs. Martin Luther* -Dec. 7 vs. Viterbo L 68-71 -Nov. 30 vs. Illinois Tech W 79-65 Matt Yan/Chips

Weighing in. Jake Fox (‘14) checks his weight on Tuesday. He was six pounds over the 157-pound class after practice.

Upcoming schedule: -Dec. 20 vs. UW-River Falls @ River Falls *Results not available at production time

December 12 issue  
December 12 issue  

The final issue of the fall semester