THE PULSE MAGAZINE
ARE ALL MESSIAH
THE HISTORY OF DANCE AT MESSIAH How dance went from being taboo to having its own department
VOLUME 120 / EDITION 26 / DECEMBER 2021
VILLEGAS IN HOLLYWOOD
ARE ALL MESSIAH STUDENTS CHRISTIAN?
WHAT YOU PAY FOR
THE HISTORY OF DANCE AT MESSIAH
WHERE TO GO & WHAT TO LOOK FOR
HOW KEVIN VILLEGAS WORKED FOR NICOLAS CAGE
EXPERIENCES OF NON-CHRISTIANS IN OUR COMMUNITY
INSIGHT INTO MESSIAH'S TUITION AND FEES
HOW DANCE WENT FROM BEING TABOO TO HAVING ITS OWN DEPARTMENT
A BIRDS EYE VIEW OF THE MESSIAH MASCOT
AWARD WINNING STUDENT RUN MAGAZINE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF JULIA MARY REGISTER
DESIGN MANAGER SHANNON BILLINGTON
AUDIO & VISUAL MANAGER LIAM FITZSIMMONS
STUDENT DIRECTOR EMILIE RUSH
ASST. STUDENT DIRECTOR JOSHUA MCCLEAF
WRITING SPORTS & HEALTH EDITOR / ETHAN DYRLI CULTURE & ARTS EDITOR / GRACE WELLMON STUDENT LIFE EDITOR / KAYLEE GETZ
CREATIVE YEARBOOK MANAGER / ANNA HUGHES DESIGN ASSISTANT / CARTER CIGRANG DESIGN ASSISTANT / AMBER SWAISGOOD COVER PHOTO / LIAM FITZSIMMONS
DIGITAL & RADIO AUDIO & VISUAL ASSISTANT / HUNTER ROHRER SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER / CASSIDY BARLOCK RADIO MANAGER / MARIE MILLER WEBSITE MANAGER / MICHAEL STEFANCHIK MUSIC DIRECTOR / RAVI AHUJA
ADVERTISING BUSINESS MANAGER / KELLIE CHANDLER
JOIN OUR TEAM
S TA F F
THE SWINGING BRIDGE
JULIA MARY REGISTER EDITOR-IN-CHIEF policies limit the honest discussions campus leaders can have with students. As Christians, aren’t we supposed to be open and honest? We are commanded not to lie, but to be truthful with one another. John 8:32 says, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
T H E E D I TO R
I don’t know about you, but Messiah doesn’t always feel like a truthful and free place. We call ourselves a Christian institution, yet honesty is not commonly practiced when it comes to taboo topics. As I’ve worked this year to make The Swinging Bridge a magazine that covers controversial issues, I’ve been faced with the decision many times to either publish something completely honest or safely subdued. I’ve wanted to write what I’ve really felt and have often said, “I can’t say that.” But others have pushed back on that, and said “why not?” And I’ve realized they’re right. Why am I not writing articles that display complete honesty? Why don’t we talk openly and honestly at Messiah? Why are issues glossed over with the idea that if no one faces the problem, it’s not there? When we write articles at The Pulse, we want to write about topics students are concerned about. Sometimes the stories we write cause tension because of their sensitive subjects. We don’t mind asking the tough questions and putting ourselves in awkward situations to get you answers. Good writers do what’s necessary to get the story. But I have found that many people at Messiah won’t be honest and transparent with their thoughts on controversial subjects. Oftentimes, administrators and employees won’t give us straight answers on tough topics. They won’t own up to the faults of Messiah and how certain things need to change. I would like more information on Messiah’s handbook policies, on the experiences of the LGBTQ+ community, on tuition and salaries, on how the school addresses mental health issues and many other topics. I am tired of asking real questions and getting fake answers. It is frustrating when the school’s
You don’t want to read another article that only discusses the positive aspects of Messiah. Students want honest, interesting stories that give them clear answers on issues they are concerned about. The Pulse needs to do better in delivering honesty to you. Messiah University needs to do better in being transparent. And the student body needs to do better in prioritizing openness with others I want to continue answering your questions and discussing hard topics. If you have something you want us to write about, always feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Alright that’s it, Julia Mary Register
TIPS & TRICKS
Unique Christmas Songs ILLUSTRATIONS BY SHANNON BILLINGTON
This month, we have a Christmas playlist for you to enjoy! Take some time to relax, have some hot chocolate and listen to these Christmas songs. For the Scrooges out there, we apologize for all the Christmas LISTEN HERE
spirit. Tune into The Pulse Radio at 90.7 FM for some more great music!
All I Want For Christmas Is You (2005) - My Chemical Romance Christmas Wrapping - The Waitresses A Christmas to Remember - Dolly Parton & Kenny Rogers Thank God It’s Christmas - Queen Snow - Sleeping At Last Angels We Have Heard on High - Relient K Christmas Will Break Your Heart - LCD Soundsystem Winter Things - Ariana Grande Yule Shoot Your Eye Out - Fall Out Boy Funky Funky Christmas - Electric Jungle December (Based on “September”) - Earth, Wind & Fire Say All You Want for Christmas - Nick Jonas & Shania Twain
Blue Christmas - Elvis Presley Mele Kalikimaka - Bing Crosby This Christmas - Donny Hathaway Jingle Bells - Lauren Daigle Christmas Time - The Platters I Saw Three Ships - Pentatonix Christmas C’mon - Lindsey Stirling & Becky G Little Saint Nick - The Beach Boys You and Me and Christmastime - Sheffield Just Like Christmas - Low It’s Christmas - Mandisa Fairytale of New York - The Pogues & Kirsty MacColl Frosty the Snowman - Pentatonix & Alessia Cara
THE SWINGING BRIDGE
TIPS & TRICKS
T h r i f ti n g Tips THRIFTING TIPS IN MECHANICSBURG AND HARRISBURG. WHERE TO GO AND WHAT TO LOOK FOR BY MACKENZIE CHRISTIE
uying from thrift stores has become an increasingly popular method of shopping in recent years because of the affordability, opportunity for creative expression and unpredictability. No matter the reason you are interested in thrifting, there are plenty of simple ways to introduce yourself to the hobby. If you are unsure of where to start, there are countless thrift stores to explore right in our own backyard. Non-profit organizations like Community Aid and Goodwill have multiple locations throughout Harrisburg, Mechanicsburg, Dillsburg, Camp Hill and Hanover.
There are also plenty of smaller, family-run charity stores. Specific shops like Pink Hands of Hope in Hampden Township, The Salvation Army Family Store in Camp Hill and The United Methodist Thrift Shop in Dillsburg are all wonderful options that donate their profits to local churches and charities. For those who do not have a method of leaving campus, some entrepreneurial students have made an effort to bring thrifting directly to students. @717_vintage and @emmaaelizabeths on Instagram provide tons of clothing options right at your fingertips. These students post their thrifted items online, and you can purchase those same clothes directly from their page.
For many individuals, the appeal of thrifting is its uniqueness and variability. Shopping at a commercial store like Target does not allow for the same individualism as shopping at a second-hand store does.
THRIFT STORES CAN HOLD CLOTHING
ITEMS FROM ANY
Derek Heisey, owner of @717_vintage, says that the best part about thrifting is the unpredictability. “It’s always exciting to find something unique and learn the history behind the brand or what year it was made,” Heisey said. Unlike department stores, where all of the clothing is recently produced, thrift stores can hold clothing items from any era imaginable. Heisey’s favorite thrift store is the Goodwill Bins on Hartzdale Drive in Camp Hill. Since this store rotates the bins every single day, the inventory is always up to date. They also
sell by the pound, making it one of the most cost-effective options in the area. Emma Johnsen, who runs the thrifting page @emmaaelizabeths, says that the Salvation Army Thrift store is her go-to location. She wants people who are getting into thrift shopping to know that there are some helpful tips to make the search for clothes easier. “Always look out for deals that thrift stores are having,” Johnson said. “Salvation Army has colors of the day where a specific tag is discounted.” Most thrift stores offer daily deals, so always check their website for unique offers. For example, Community Aid features an Education Appreciation Day; every Thursday students, teachers and educational staff get 50% off all purchases when they show a valid school ID. Whether you want to revamp your wardrobe with unique items, save some extra money, or donate to a worthwhile charity, thrift shopping has something for everyone. With tons of locations in the Central Pennsylvania region as well as some second-hand Instragram shops from our very own students, there are plenty of ways to dive into the hobby and contribute to your community in the process.
TIPS & TRICKS
THE MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS
Exploring the Deficiency of Mental Health Resources on Campus WRITTEN BY KAYLEE GETZ ILLUSTRATION BY SHANNON BILLINGTON Within the past two decades, the demand for mental health services has been greater than the resources available to treat mental health issues. This difference in supply and demand of mental health resources is known as the Mental Health Crisis. The snowballing Mental Health Crisis has had an effect on Messiah University. There are constantly more students in need of mental health services and counseling, and sometimes it’s hard for schools to keep up. Aubrey Kleinfeld, Director of Counseling Services at Messiah University, describes some of the reasons that she believes this crisis exists. “There is reduced stigma around mental health issues,” Kleinfeld said. “More students are coming to campus with complex mental health diagnoses and have expected counseling to become part of their self care. Other students who have not had access to mental health resources before now have access and recognize their value. Finally, the transition to college results in many new aspects of life to navigate.” Especially in the past two years, the demand for mental health services has dramatically increased. Messiah students are well aware of the effects that events like the pandemic have on their mental health. This has contributed to the snowballing Mental Health Crisis. “I think students have been through so much in the past two years,” Kleinfeld said, “spe-
cifically with the pandemic’s effect on the world’s health and security, racially traumatic experiences publicized widely and retraumatizing our BIPOC students, and gross polarity in politics and opinion.” Messiah provides in-person counseling services to all interested students. In 2017, a new full-time counselor was hired as a result of the length of the waiting list for counseling services. Currently, Messiah has five full-time counselors, two part-time counselors and two counseling interns. Last year, Messiah also contracted with TimelyCare so that students can receive telehealth services both on and off campus. As a part of the Student Service fee, students receive 12 free telehealth counseling sessions with a licensed provider as well as access to crisis counseling which is available without scheduling an appointment. Messiah tries to offer a holistic approach to counseling services which means they provide help beyond the mental health portion of counseling.
Through the office of Student Success and Engagement, the Engle Center partners with Residence Life and Housing, Multicultural Student Programs, International Programs, Campus Ministries, the Fitness Center, Minds Matter and the Office of Academic Accessibility. This partnership allows for the holistic approach to Messiah’s counseling services. Kleinfeld believes this holistic approach is very important for both students and for the counseling center. “If we are going to care for students well to address this crisis,” Kleinfeld said, “the research says the burden cannot fall on the counseling center alone.” Students in need of mental health services can be put on the waitlist for in-person counseling or can schedule a virtual appointment through TimelyCare. Kleinfeld is in communication almost daily with the directors at TimelyCare to ensure that students receive a quality experience.
If students have questions or concerns about “I think the approach that Messiah Univerthe mental health resources offered at Messity is taking through the desiah, they can visit the Engle partment of Student SucCenter or email them at encess and Engagement is email@example.com. "The snowballing collaborative, holistic and helpful,” KleinMental Health Crisis feld said, “and I am deeply grateful has had an effect on for my colleagues Messiah University... and who care with compassion.”
sometimes it’s hard for schools to keep up"
THE SWINGING BRIDGE
VILLEGAS IN HOW KEVIN VILLEGAS WORKED FOR NICOLAS CAGE BY GRACE WELLMON
ong before his role as Dean of Students & Christian Spiritual Formation at Messiah University, Kevin Villegas had a special job in Hollywood working as a personal assistant to Nicolas Cage and his family.
Cage’s oldest son, Weston, was a rising sophomore on the team at the time. The family made a deal with Villegas that he would coach the wrestling team as well as work for the family in the off-season.
Before making the big move to California, Villegas worked at Messiah University as the Resident Director of the Miller Residence Hall, as well as the assistant wrestling coach alongside Coach Bryan Brunk. Villegas eventually left both of his positions to go to Fuller Theological Seminary School in Pasadena, California.
After his second year of coaching the Beverly Hills wrestling team, Cage asked Villegas to help manage his son’s music career and his band, Eyes of Noctum. As a result, Villegas stepped away from coaching and began working full-time as a personal assistant.
Right before moving to California along with his family, Brunk gave him advice that would lead him to get the job of a lifetime. “[Coach Brunk] said, ‘Hey I think you would make a great high school wrestling coach, you should look for some opportunities while you’re out there,’ ” Villegas said. Villegas took the advice seriously and started searching for high school wrestling coach positions. At first, the opportunities were not being presented and he decided to give up the search. A few months later, Villegas went on Craigslist on a whim to look for the opportunities again. The search results showed only one job opportunity, but Villegas still decided to apply for the position regardless of the lack of options. “I received a callback and long story short, it was the Nicolas Cage family that partnered with Beverly Hills High School to find someone to coach the team,” Villegas said.
During his five years of working for the family, Villegas grew to care deeply for the family through the responsibilities that he was given. “Whatever was needed and they felt comfortable asking me, I would do it,” Villegas said. “My primary responsibility was helping Weston navigate his music career and manage his affairs.” While Villegas was busy working as a fulltime personal assistant, Villegas had to also tend to his family and academic needs. At times, Villegas’ job called him in to travel abroad and go on tour, which meant that he had to withdraw from some classes. “I did this all while I was a full-time seminary student in a two-year program at Fuller, and it took me six years to finish the program,” Villegas said. Villegas' experiences of working for the Cage family, coaching a high school wrestling team, as well as living in Hollywood, have all prepared him for his current role as the Messiah's Dean of Students.
Through working in Hollywood, Villegas made lots of other connections with coworkers and their mutuals. Outside of working for the Cage family, Villegas got to experience a lot of the culture in Hollywood and became friends with other celebrities. “I was fortunate enough to become friends for a time with Shaun White, the Olympic gold medalist snowboarder,” Villegas said. “We shared a mutual friend and together spent time hanging out at his house in Hollywood, around other parts of L.A., and in Las Vegas and New York. Through that relationship I came to be around people like Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan and Avril Lavigne, all the while learning a great deal about celebrity culture through the lens of my Christian faith.” illegas noted how several of his seminary classes on cultural anthropology really helped him to make meaning of his experiences in Hollywood. He says his family, church and seminary kept him grounded as he navigated this foreign culture. He also noted that he has more patience for people and a greater understanding on the power of culture to shape ways of being. "No doubt I will continue to draw on my time in Hollywood to help me in my work here. While it was a strange time of my life, I remain grateful for the entire experience,” Villegas said. "The lessons I learned through observing people and having interesting experiences have equipped me to be a better educator [at Messiah].”
PRESIDENT By Student Body President, Matt Jenkins
PHOTO BY LIAM FITZSIMMONS
Q: Should I run for Student Body President? A:
I encourage any student with a passion for bringing tangible change to campus to run for Student Body President. Having the opportunity to regularly meet with our administrators like Dr. Villegas and Dr. Hansen-Keiffer, not to mention President Phipps, is undoubtedly the most effective manner to promote institutional change on campus. Additionally, the ability to provide input on our student governance directly shapes the student experience by offering direction for student clubs and organizations. The ability to influence both the policy both at the university and student level renders the position indispensable. I will admit that the task is not easy, and that certainly not everyone will be satisfied by what you decide. There are numerous committees that the Student Body President must attend each month. Additionally, there are an extensive number of emails and correspondence that are necessary for the President to keep on top of or else it will pile up quickly. But the primary responsibility of the President comes through in giving leadership to the President’s Executive Cabinet. The necessary marks of any effective Student Body President then demand that they
are not only passionate about their agenda, but also strong communicators and leaders. Anyone who wants to serve as Student Body President should consider how they could contribute to the professional elements of their peers, as well as their action steps towards making Messiah University a better place.
Generally, the first Wednesday of March is the Town Hall Debate, where candidates debate one another on stage. Following the debate, elections are open for 48 hours. The results are verified, the candidate pairs are notified of the results Friday evening, and the campus is informed of the results the following Monday.
Q: What’s the process for becoming Stu- Q: How can I get ready for February? dent Body President?
An unbiased election committee is formed comprising representatives both in and outside SGA. The election committee sends a mass email in February with a petition for applicants of each candidate pair to gather 200 signatures from students. They don’t have to be 200 unique signatures each, but they do have to tally to 200 in total for each person. After submitting the signatures to the election committee, the committee will confirm their eligibility per SGA’s Governance Manual. Once approved, applicants should get their pictures taken and begin to develop their campaign posters. Candidates have the week prior to the Town Hall Debate in the Larsen Student Union to campaign around campus.
First and foremost, find someone else who has similar passions to address issues on campus. Prior to campaigning two years ago, America and I had never met before. But the current president Tetsuo introduced us, and we found a common interest in aiding to make SGA more transparent and improving mental health resources on campus. Second, I would welcome anyone considering running to reach out to me and I would be more than happy to reach out with advice. Even though last year was an uncontested election, I still have the experience of a contested election from when America and I campaigned together. I think some of the best ideas we had came from conversations on the campaign trail. I hope we have a contested election this year so that we can have more fruitful, thought-provoking conversation that ultimately benefits all of campus. THE SWINGING BRIDGE
CHRISTIAN? EXPERIENCES OF NON-CHRISTIANS IN OUR COMMUNITY
PHOTO BY LUKASZ RAWA
BY KAYLEE GETZ
essiah University may be a Christian university, but that does not correlate to an all-Christian student population. There are many non-Christian students currently attending Messiah for a variety of different reasons. Although some non-Christian students do not like to share their beliefs publicly, many do like to discuss them with others. Noah Swartwout, a junior sports management major, considers himself to be agnostic. He grew up as a Christian, but has since changed his beliefs. “I want to believe that life has meaning, but I can’t fully convince myself of that with all the chaos in this world,” Swartwout said. “I lean more toward agnosticism because I want to
believe that we aren’t alone, but I can’t emotionally accept that there is a god who loves each and every one of us when there is so much madness in the world.” Mackenzie Christie, a sophomore English major, is one of the few Messiah students who identifies as a Buddhist. She describes her beliefs as syncretism, the combining of different religions, although most of her personal beliefs are from Buddhism. “I’ve been practicing Buddhism since freshman year of high school,” Christie said, “but it’s more like syncretism since I pick and pull from different religions to suit my personal beliefs.” Ramon Perez, a sophomore psychology major, identifies as an atheist.
“I am not convinced that there is a god,” Perez said, “and that’s the conclusion that I came to after exploring both sides for a while.” Marie Gurtner, a first-year music education major, considers herself to be agnostic. She grew up going to church but wants to further solidify her own personal beliefs. “I’m kind of at a point where I think there is some sort of higher power, but I haven’t quite figured out for myself what that is,” Gurtner said. “I don’t really label myself since I’m between religions.” Every non-Christian student has a reason for choosing to attend a Christian school like Messiah, but there are still many struggles present for each of them.
TRENDING TOPICS Judgement from others seems to be a prominent part of some students’ journey at Messiah.
Christie has found ways to thrive in her own faith as a result of Messiah’s integration of Chrisitanity.
“I definitely feel looked down upon by some people, but I just don’t associate with them because they need to grow up and look past people’s beliefs,” Perez said. “It’s difficult to be treated like an idiot or a child simply because I don’t believe in a god. I have also been told multiple times that I’m going to hell. It is crazy that people think I deserve eternal and unimaginable punishment just for not believing in something.”
“It’s made me want to learn about and deepen my own religion more,” Christie said. “I like that faith is such a big part of the community and that there’s such a stable support system from everyone.”
Christie does not often share her religious beliefs with others because of the people who do not understand her or cannot relate to her. “I’ve had a couple instances where people make comments not realizing that I’m not a Christian, and it just makes things awkward and tense,” Christie said. “I had a professor who was talking about a study where about 60% of people who claimed that they were affirmed believers also believed that Buddah or Muhammad are viable paths to salvation. And then he described how concerning that should be to us as Christians. That’s why I don’t openly talk about Buddhism with people.”
Students also benefit from civil discussions with their peers and professors about their beliefs.
not convinced that there is a
“For the most part, I still love the community,” Gurtner said. “Even most professors understand that we’re all people and can learn from each other.” There are a variety of reasons that these non-Christian students chose to attend Messiah. Aspects of Messiah like the community, the academic focus, the religious focus and even just the attraction to certain departments or programs drive these students to come here.
Swartwout says that he has not faced much judgement from his peers, but that the constant presence of Christianity at Messiah affects him. “The most difficult part of attending a Christian school is that no matter where I go, I always have to think back to my old Christian beliefs and how I couldn’t get through my own struggles,” Swartwout said. “Christianity always taught me that there’s hope in the struggle, yet the struggling just doesn’t stop. So my difficulties here are not really due to the college being a problem but to some internal factors.” There are a few benefits to attending Messiah that these students described as well.
THE SWINGING BRIDGE PHOTO BY ALICIA QUAN
“Even though I don’t identify as a Christian, religion is still a big part of my life,” Gurtner said. “I wanted a campus that emphasized and integrated faith. Also, I’m not a big partier, and I like that Messiah’s tight-knit, community-based and down-to-earth.” Other students choose Messiah because of their departments or athletic teams. “I had other colleges that I could have attended,” Perez said, “But Messiah University had the best wrestling team at the cheapest price.”
Although Messiah identifies as a Christian university, non-Christian students are willingly accepted. Dana Britton, the Director of Undergraduate Admissions, oversees admissions counselors and staff that work directly with prospective students. “Students are not turned away if they are not Christians,” Britton said. “Our goal is to have prospective students understand who we are as a Christian university.” Messiah does not make admissions decisions based on religion. Admissions counselors just
want to make sure Messiah is a good fit for each prospective student. “Our goal isn’t just to bring students here for the numbers,” Britton said. “We really just want to be welcoming to students of all religions.”
"We really just want to be welcoming to
students of all religions."
PHOTO BY JOHN TOWNER
Gurtner appreciates that Messiah is religious even though she is not Christian. Religion is an important part of her life, and she wants to see that reflected in her immediate community.
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THE SWINGING BRIDGE
WHAT YOU PAY FOR INSIGHT INTO MESSIAH'S TUITION AND FEES BY JULIA MARY REGISTER
essiah students pay thousands of dollars each year in tuition and fees, but few students understand where their money goes. What exactly does tuition pay for?
These areas cover the library, museum and galleries, educational technology, offices like the writing center and curriculum development.
David Walker, Vice President for Finance and Planning, gave a simple way to break down what student tuition and fees cover.
The final part of the tuition and fees dollar is public service. $0.02 of each dollar goes towards community outreach efforts Messiah offers. Events where Messiah hosts the community for the Special Olympics or excursions at the Oakes Museum fall under this category.
According to Walker, the easiest way to explain what students’ tuition pays for is by splitting each dollar into six parts. The breakdown below is a combination of tuition and fees, minus financial aid, plus room and board. The largest chunk of tuition and fees goes to fund instructional costs. $0.36 of each dollar is allotted to this area. Instructional costs cover faculty salaries, space for academic classrooms and all other activities related to instruction. The second largest portion of each dollar is auxiliary enterprises at $0.19. Auxiliary enterprises covers food and housing expenses for students, faculty and employees, as well as intercollegiate athletics. $0.18 of each tuition and fees dollar goes to student services. This is exactly as it sounds. Student services cover areas like academic support offices, admissions, the Engle Center and counseling services, financial aid, disability services, residential life and the Career and Professional Development Center. In addition to student services, there are support services and academic support. $0.15 of each dollar goes to support services and $0.10 goes to academic support.
The numbers above can be made into percentages to calculate how much you pay for each section. $0.36 of each dollar in instructional fees equals 36% of your tuition and fees. For example, consider the numbers Messiah has as the average total expense on their website.
On Messiah’s website, they combine tuition with room and board, basic fees, and then subtract the average financial aid package for 2020-2021. The total of these expenses is $21,976 for the academic year. 36% for instructional fees of $21,976 is $7,911.36. So, an average Messiah student would pay close to $8 thousand dollars a year to help fund instructional costs such as faculty salaries and academic classrooms. While the price to attend Messiah appears high at first, given that tuition is now over $37,000 a year, it is rare for students to have to pay the full amount. “We probably have very few students, if any, that pay the full sticker price because of scholarships and aid,” Walker said. “100%
ENDOWMENT INCOME: 7% INTEREST & TRUST INCOME: 1%
AUXILIARY ENTERPRISES: 25%
OTHER REVENUE: 5%
GOV'T APPROPRIATIONS: 1%
NET TUITION & FEES: 59%
ALL ORIGINAL GRAPHICS SUPPLIED BY DAVID WALKER
TRENDING TOPICS EXPENSE DISTRIBUTION
DEBT SERVICE: 5% CAPITAL: 5%
fying the university's revenue sources and raising more funds to support the budget. When looking at Messiah’s expense distribution for their $95 million budget, 62% goes towards salary and benefits. Messiah’s biggest expense each year is providing salaries and benefits to its faculty and employees. This is made possible by the large revenue they make from student tuition.
SUPPLIES & SERVICES: 18%
SALARY & BENEFITS: 62%
Student tuition and fees pay for faculty and employee salaries. It pays for academic technology and it pays for the Career and dining services. College is a costly investment and it is important to know where your money is going.
of our first year students start here with some form of institutional aid.” Messiah University has a budget of $95 million. 84% of their budget comes from net tuition and fees (tuition and fees minus financial aid) plus auxiliary enterprises (room and board). That means around $79,800,000 comes from student payments. Walker expanded on where the other 16% of Messiah’s revenue comes from. Extra revenue is received from:
auxiliary enterprises, they are largely financially dependent on student payments. Compare 84% from tuition and fees with only 16% from other revenue sources. “The revenue dependency on tuition and room and board is higher than what I’d like it to be,” Walker said. “It’s comparable to schools like us, but it’s not where I would like to be for the institution.” Walker would like for the 16% of other revenue to increase to at least 20% by diversi-
“Pursuing a university degree is a huge investment of time and money and I hope people view the value they receive along the way as worth it,” Walker said. “We don’t want to create financial hardships, and I hope students know that if they are struggling financially, they have advocates here.” If you need assistance with your personal financial situation, visit the Financial Aid Office in the Admissions Center or email FINAID@MESSIAH.EDU.
Government appropriations, which is state and federal money Messiah receives Other revenue from camps and conferences Gifts from donors
WHERE OUR MONEY GOES:
AUXILIARY ENTERPRISES $0.19
PUBLIC SUPPORT SERVICE SERVICES $0.02 $0.15
Endowment income, which is money they can spend out of their $140 million endowment Interest and trust income, which is money Messiah earns from investing cash over the course of every year. Messiah is very dependent on students paying for tuition and fees and room and board. Since Messiah’s biggest source of income comes from students paying net tuition and
STUDENT SERVICES $0.18
ACADEMIC SUPPORT $0.10
THE SWINGING BRIDGE
OF ?BOARD TRUSTEES ? WHO ARE THE
BY ETHAN DYRLI
essiah’s board of trustees, while a largely important part of Messiah’s leadership, remains generally unknown by the average student. Many students are unaware or impartial as to who the board of trustees are and what they do. Some students, such as first-year social work major, Anna Bolembach, do not have much of an opinion at all. “I don’t know if I have an opinion because I don’t know anything about them,” Bolembach said. “I guess if anything I wish there was more information and we could be more in touch with them especially if they have a position with power, I think it’d be good to communicate with the students more.” Caitlin Ross, a sophomore electrical engineering major, has some idea of the board’s responsibilities as a result of the policies implemented at Messiah.
“I think they’re the ones that make the executive decisions and preside over all the big rules and changes,” Ross said. “Truthfully, I don’t know a lot of the big decisions, but I’m guessing that the rules that Messiah holds are because of the decisions that the board makes.” Other students, like sophomore history major, Rachel Doughtery, have a better grasp on the board’s role.
“As far as I’m aware, they donate a lot of money and make a lot of important decisions to help people go here and to keep things running smoothly,” Doughtery said.
Instead, the university president, who is chosen by the board, and her team are left with the responsibility of being “front and center for the University.”
Doughtery wishes students knew more about the board of trustees and what they do. “I think if students knew better of what they did and the money they are donating, then I think they would be more appreciative,” Doughtery said.
Choosing the president of the university is the chief responsibility of the board of trustees, who leave the “day-to-day” operations of the university to the president and their team. The board of trustees’ role would be to hold the president accountable, with the president answering to the board.
Messiah University’s board of trustees is made up of 28 volunteer members from various walks of life.
However, Sider made it clear that this relationship was more of a partnership than a hierarchical dynamic.
According to Craig Sider, the group is made up of individuals who are committed to Messiah’s mission, are followers of Christ and are willing to contribute their “time, talent and treasure” to the University and its goals.
“It’s really a working relationship and our responsibility is to ensure that we have the right person leading,” Sider said.
Sider, the current chair of the board of trustees, acknowledges that most students do not know much about who the board is and what they do. According to him, it is typical for the average college student to not know much about their board. “Most students really don’t know about the board of trustees, and that’s because the Board of trustees aren’t front and center for the university,” Sider said.
While the nominating of the university president is their primary responsibility, the board of trustees do much more than that in a typical year. According to Sider, the board is also responsible for the overall governance of Messiah, looking at the larger “issues facing the university, and the financial and fiduciary strength of the University.”
" overall governance
The board is also responsible for the
Over the years, the way the board has interacted with the student body has changed. Where there was once little to no chance for students to meet with the board, there are now breakfasts with the board, hosted by the Student Government Association.
Jenkins also meets personally with the board, providing input on discussions when he feels they may be missing student perspectives. Jenkins feels that even as the Student Body President, he is included by the board and its members.
These breakfasts, according to Matt Jenkins, Messiah’s Student Body President, are a chance for the board to hear what goes on on campus.
Eunice Steinbrecher has served on the board for 35 years, including 10 years as the board chair. She emphasized how the board is chosen with great care, with each member being sought out based on what the university needs.
SGA hosts the board once a semester, allowing the board to ask students about life on campus and find out what issues are most important to students. Those students also have a chance to advocate for a specific cause directly to the board. “During this breakfast there is an opportunity for advocacy, it could be SGA, or it could be myself and other students from a specific interest on campus,” Jenkins said.
“We strategically choose who comes on our board based on what expertise we feel is needed,” Steinbrecher said. This means that the board purposely gathers a diverse group by gender, culture and expertise. For example, if the board feels that they are lacking in a financial perspective, they will seek out a new board member with financial experience.
Over her time as a board member, Steinbrecher has seen first hand how the student body views the board of trustees. “They don’t understand why these people come on campus, walk around, maybe not even interact with them and then have the audacity to set up policies that maybe the campus does not understand and doesn’t know why we would take that privilege,” Steinbrecher said. As for people who are wary of the board of trustees, Sider made it that the board is for the students. “When I sit with the trustees,” Sider said,”they’re passionate about the mission of Messiah and they’re passionate about students.”
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RIDE ALONG WITH THE
OF SAFETY BY MARIE MILLER Messiah University’s Department of Safety is the on-campus security for students and staff. Students typically know them as “P-Safety,” but that name is highly discouraged. “The nickname “P-Safety” can be construed as being disrespectful, minimizing the professionalism of the department,” Bryce Wickard, Director of Safety, said. They ask to be referred to as “Safety” or “Department of Safety.” Plenty of students have gripes with Safety over parking tickets and other policies that are in place. It is commonly assumed that students can park anywhere on the weekends. This is false; students with permits can park in the following lots:
“Faculty members and those touring the Oakes Museum utilize this lot, and historically students who parked there over the weekends did not move their vehicles by 6 a.m. on Monday,” Wickard said. “This has caused disruption as faculty cannot find a space to park when they arrive to work.” Students should also be aware of various dusktil-dawn policies, found on page 62 of the student handbook. The following locations are off limits during the hours of midnight and dawn: Pit parking lots Fields over the covered bridge (Starry) The back 40 and fitness trail Parked cars
Old Main and Climenhaga lots (lot ZZ) Grantham Cemetery The rear of Frey Hall and Murray Library and Boyer Hall (lot XX) The Sollenberger Sports Center lot and along the railroad tracks (lot TT) Cars parked in those lots must be moved back to their respective lots no later than 6 a.m. on Monday morning. Wickard notes that the Oakes Museum parking lot is an example of why cars need to be parked in their assigned lots.
Safety was a hot topic for Messiah Teatime back in September. Gripes about tickets being given, ticket appeals being denied and the general discourse between students and Safety had submissions written frequently. One student claimed that their ticket appeal was denied with “some pretty rude language.” Bryce Wickard shared that Safety accepts constructive criticism but asserts that expectations need to be followed to keep the campus safe and to avoid any potential chaos.
TRENDING TOPICS “Our first response is empathy. A number of our officers are college/university graduates, some from Messiah,” Wickard said. “We understand that being in college is stressful—even overwhelming at times. Getting a parking ticket or being confronted about a policy violation is upsetting and can add to the already precarious nature of the secondary education experience. We care about that and we don’t want to put additional burden upon students.”
just drive around and ticket cars. They secure buildings, set and remove mouse traps, respond to medical calls and have even removed a groundhog from the greenhouse near the railroad tracks.
Other students’ complaints are the opposite, claiming that students should park in their assigned lots, follow the rules, and let it go.
After this, Nacarrato took me through the process of giving a ticket. Once the Safety officer pushes submit, there is no going back on it. The student must appeal the ticket online.
During the ride-along, Nacarrato shared that the Department of Safety does more than
To see the ride along and get more information about the Department of Safety, checkout Messiah University’s Yellow Breeches TV or scan the QR code to be taken directly to the segment.
PHOTO BY JOSH MCCLEAF OF JOHN NACARRATO
Safety Officer, John Nacarrato, shared some of his thoughts with me on my ride-along with the Department of Safety over homecoming weekend.
During the ride-along, Nacarrato was called to a medical site where he helped fill out paperwork, while another Safety officer helped the student EMS responders aid the victim.
“OUR FIRST RESPONSE IS
EMPATHY... WE DON’T WANT TO PUT ADDITIONAL BURDEN UPON STUDENTS.” - Bryce Wickard
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SUPPORT ANIMALS THE BENEFITS OF ON-CAMPUS PETS WRITTEN BY ETHAN DYRLI ILLUSTRATION BY AMBER SWAISGOOD
or students struggling with different mental stressors and disorders, one method for coping is having an emotional support animal live with them on campus.
In accordance with the Fair Housing Act, the university must allow reasonable accommodations for students who would benefit from a therapeutic animal that would provide companionship. One such student is Emily Szmurlo, a sophomore music education major who lives with her cat, Montana. Montana, formerly a surrendered animal, was brought to campus by Szmurlo in order to help her deal with her generalized anxiety disorder. Szmurlo feels that having a pet with her on campus helps her feel better when she is dealing with anxiety.
“If you have a pet at home and you’re doing tough, it’s very helpful to pet your dog or your cat,” Szmurlo said. Szmurlo grew up struggling with anxiety, but she also grew up with a cat at home. Having pets helped her cope with the anxiety she faced. When she left for college, she left home without an animal, deciding not to bring a pet to campus. However, after struggling with anxiety and panic attacks during her first year, and after consulting her medical professional, Szmurlo decided to get an emotional support animal. According to Szmurlo, having an emotional support animal provides a comforting presence during a time of struggle. “It’s the same effect if you’re having a tough time and you have a friend there to comfort you,” Szmurlo said.
When deciding to bring Montana on campus, Szmurlo was worried about what her friends and neighbors would think about her getting an emotional support animal. “I was a little worried that bringing one, people would be like ‘Oh, is that really necessary, do you really need one?’, or that kind of judgement, but everyone thinks it’s pretty cool,” Szmurlo said. Katelyn Boyce, a junior biology major, also found that getting an emotional support animal to live with her on campus helped with anxiety she was facing. “Coming into my freshman year, I had really bad anxiety that was not really controlled,” Boyce said. For Boyce, having an emotional support animal is about more than having something to
TRENDING TOPICS pet. It’s also about caring for a living being, which Boyce says is a grounding experience. Boyce has a guinea pig named Pierogi. The chores, the feeding, the cleaning, all of them help Boyce deal with any stressors or anxiety she may be dealing with. “It forces you to take a break and it forces you to set better boundaries,” Boyce said. Boyce lives in an apartment with her roommates who also love Pierogi for the comfort she brings. While she is technically an emotional support animal for just Boyce, Pierogi has been a comfort to many of Boyce’s friends. Especially now being in an apartment, Boyce says that people sometimes stop by just to visit Pierogi. “I think everyone pretty much loves her,” Boyce said. Hanna Mensch, a sophomore nursing major, is no stranger to having people stop by to visit her emotional support animal. In fact, she embraces it. Otis, Mensch’s emotional support cat and “study buddy”, attracts people from her floor and the surrounding area that she doesn’t even know. Instead of turning them away, Mensch and Otis welcome visitors. “I definitely have some people on my floor that I don’t even know that come over to see Otis, so I definitely think he helps with anxiety but
he also helps to make friends,” Mensch said. Mensch even created an Instagram page for Otis (@otis_james413), who has somewhat of a fanbase. “I never thought having Otis here would make such an impact in my life and in others but it does! I can’t imagine campus life without him now,” Mensch said. For a student to be allowed to get an emotional support animal, they have to start by contacting disability services to get the necessary documents. After registering their animal on campus, and getting recommendation from a medical professional, students must fill out a series of forms including:
A medical housing form
A liability release form
MONTANA THE CAT
A Residential Animal Agreement
PHOTO BY HUNTER ROHRER
A Roommate Agreement
A Veterinarian Verification form
A disclosure agreement form
For students who may be curious, Szmurlo, Boyce and Mensch all agreed that Messiah was both accommodating and helpful in the emotional support animal process.
PIEROGI THE GUINEA PIG OTIS THE CAT
PHOTO BY HANNAH MENSCH
PHOTO BY HUNTER ROHRER
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The History of
Dance at Messiah H OW DA N C E W E N T F R O M B E I N G TA B O O TO H AV I N G I T S OW N D E PA R T M E N T BY GRACE WELLMON
ance has become a prominent aspect of Messiah’s culture and is enjoyed by many members of the community. Students enjoy dance from a variety of clubs like Acclamation and the Swing Dance Club, Messiah’s professional dance community, GiViM, and the social dances that are organized by the Student Activities Board.
cepted in Christianity. Janae Palmer, one of the first dance majors to graduate from Messiah in 2016, states that some Christians see dance as sexual rather than an art form.
“[Some Christians] associated dance with pagan rituals because they were not edifying God,” Hurley said. “So the association of how [dance] was used by other cultures to them makes it taboo.”
For a long time, however, dance (specifically social dancing) was prohibited at Messiah.
“I think Christianity in general, especially in America, sexualizes bodies,” Palmer said. “Since dance is using your entire body in movement, my opinion is that it makes some Christians uncomfortable.”
While social dancing was prohibited at Messiah, the theater department was still allowed to perform musicals that had dancing in them. Former Dean, Richard Roberson, recalls working as a conductor for the musical West Side Story in 1986.
In the past, students who were caught dancing on campus were fined. The reason why dance was not accepted at Messiah can be linked to why dance is still not majorly ac-
Gregg Hurley, Associate Professor of Dance, states that the association to pagan rituals could also serve as a reason for prohibiting dance in Christianity.
“We had a lot of students come up to us during rehearsal and ask ‘We need to practice these dances outside of rehearsal time, can we do this without being fined?’ ”
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PHOTOS BY LIAM FITZSIMMONS
Roberson said. Through conducting musicals and witnessing the students learning their dances from a choreographer, Roberson realized how important it was for Messiah to have a dance program. “We had all of these students who have never danced before in their lives, especially the men,” Roberson said. The ban on social dancing eventually ended in the early 90s. When Roberson became the new Dean of the School of the Arts, one of his first missions was to create a dance program. Messiah built a dance studio in the basement of the Witmer Residence Hall, which became the first location for dance classes to take place. The few dance classes that were offered in the early 2000s were Quest General Education courses that theater majors could also take. However, because Messiah’s dance program did not fulfill certain requirements (such as the amount and length of studio spaces), they were still not able to have a dance major. Hurley was eventually hired in 2010 as an adjunct dance professor. With Hurley’s and
Roberson’s combined efforts, they helped create what the dance major and minor curriculum would look like. In the Fall 2012 semester, the first five dance majors arrived on campus. While there were some challenges being the pioneers of the dance program, Palmer appreciated the benefits that came along with it. “I felt like I got a lot of individual attention and helpful criticism,” Palmer said. “I improved significantly as a dancer from the constant feedback. It was also really cool being one of the first because we helped establish a lot of groundwork for the dance majors to come.” The dance department has come a long way since the first dance majors came to campus nearly ten years ago. Hurley and Roberson both agree that it is amazing that Messiah has a dance program despite the challenges and changes that it went through. “All the things I have done as the Dean, helping start up the dance program gives me the most satisfaction,” Roberson said. “There were no guarantees when it comes to these kinds of things. Getting enough students in the program and to take classes was very exciting.”
"For a long time, dance was prohibited at Messiah." was able to integrate themselves into the community and reach audience members. Some of these highlights include the annual Blue Christmas performance and the Arts & Humanities Concert. “We learned a lot from participating in the Arts & Humanities Concert each year, they throw a topic at us and we get to decide how we present it,” Hurley said. “Some really interesting dances have evolved out of it.” The art of dance continues to be an integral part of not only the Messiah community but in the context of worship. “The most natural thing for humans to do is move,” Hurley said. “Dancing is the body’s medium, and it reveals the spiritual connection to God.”
Hurley is proud that the dance department THE SWINGING BRIDGE
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
ALBUM REVIEWS: Broken Hearts & Dirty Windows: Songs of John Prine Vol.2 by Various Artists Written by Ned Kuczmynda “I’ll miss you in the morning light / like roses miss the dew” Brandi Carlile sings on “I Remember Everything”, a sweet, mournful song about missing those who pass on. It’s fitting for this collection of musical tributes to John Prine who lost his life last year to COVID-19. There is not much artistic license to be found here, only veneration for Prine’s songs, many of which are veritable folk-country standards (with Valerie June’s wonderfully worn out “Summer’s End” as the exception). The compilation’s one questionable inclusion is Bonnie Raitt’s “Angel from Montgomery”; it isn’t bad, it’s just that the song is more Raitt’s than Prine’s by now anyway. Rating: 7/10
Imagination & the Misfit Kid by Labrinth Written by Ashlyn Miller Imagination & the Misfit Kid can best be described as an inventive, heavily produced experimentation of how different sounds and music can be combined together to challenge the listeners' experience of music. In the 15 song album, you can find a wide array of musical styles covered and even hear multiple styles covered in a single song alone. Ranging from gospel influence to synth-pop, it is the common use of bold, deep, vibrating sounds throughout the songs that brings the album together. If you’re bored of your current cycle of music and want to listen to something that is thick with many layers and has a consistent kick, I’d recommend listening to Imagination & The Misfit Kid. If you like consistency and predictability this album isn't for you. While it's not for everyone, it's wonderfully composed and produced, and for how many complex layers are in each song, Labrinth builds them together to form an exciting listening experience. Rating: 8/10
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Good Morning It’s Now Tomorrow by Matt Maltese Written by Mackenzie Christie If you enjoy pretending you’re the main character in a cliche indie movie, Good Morning It’s Now Tomorrow by Matt Maltese is for you. Maltese states in an interview that he hopes the songs convey a sense of dream-like optimism for the listener. The record features spacey vocals, gentle piano solos, and synthetic layering to create it’s peaceful ambience. Because of the instrumentals, however, the songs begin to blur together at times. This lack of variation fails to demonstrate the vocal range that Maltese has shown in previous releases. Despite it’s slight drawbacks, Good Morning It’s Now Tomorrow is a contagiously relaxing record that is well worth the listen. Rating: 7/10
Homecoming (Live) by Bethel Music Written by Abi Zimmerman Homecoming (Live) from Bethel Music was released on September 24, 2021. Christian Ostrom, the creative director of Bethel Music described the purpose of the team’s 12th album as “the beginning of us going back to ‘the why’ of Bethel Music.” The live recording gives the album the sound of generations of families singing together in Heaven. Some songs are slower in tempo and quiet, while others are energetic with a strong drumline and loud dynamics. This allows for moments of peace, as well as moments of great joy. Lyrically, some of the songs are extremely powerful and poetic, while others are more typical of a worship song. I have this album on repeat and would highly recommend it. Rating: 9/10
Donda by Kanye West Written by Liam Fitzsimmons Donda. Donda. Don— okay you get the point. Kanye’s first project, longer than 25 minutes in five years, is a return to normalcy in a way. Rich with features including Travis Scott, The Weeknd and even the return of The Throne, again we see the mastery put into a Ye album. Standout tracks include “Off The Grid”, “Hurricane'', “Pure Souls” and “Come To Life.” Donda was Kanye West’s mother’s name, who passed in 2007 and was an infamous influence for West’s 2008 album, 808’s & Heartbreak. This is Kanye’s second album since openly becoming a Christian. But Donda is different. If Jesus is King is for the church, Donda is for the streets. Rating: 8/10
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A SUPPOSED GUIDE TO PLAYING GOLF
BY GRACE WELLMON
ave you ever wanted to master the art of golf? Have you ever wanted to impress your friends at your local country club? Whether you are at the driving ranges or playing Wii Sports, the Pulse has got you covered. Golf originated during the 15th century in a distant magical land called Scotland. People back in the day used to hit pebbles into rabbit holes using bent sticks. The increasing popularity in the sport led to the neglect of their military training. King James II became salty that no one wanted to fight in battle anymore, so salty that he even banned golf in 1457 (we can't make this stuff up y'all). Despite the royal ban, the people said "YOLO" and continued to partake in the illegal sport. Thanks to those acts of treason, golf has now become a popular sport and hobby. In 2020, golf saw an increase in popularity, with almost 24.8 million participating in the sport. During that year, golf also saw the biggest percentage of beginner golfers and
youth golfers since 1997, the year that Tiger Woods won his first major championship at the Masters Golf Tournament. How do you play this game? It's simple: Just get the ball in the hole by hitting it with your club. Golf is the only sport in the entire universe that you want to score the least amount of points possible. As long as you get par or lower, you have a better chance of winning the game. Having perfect form is also crucial in the game of golf. The way you stand can mean the difference between getting a hole in one or not. When it is your turn to swing, we recommend players to go into a deep squat and stick their butt out for all to see. This method will ground you more into the Earth and give you more power and momentum. Players will also develop a great butt like Kim Kardashian. Now that you know the rules, let's go over the type of clubs that every player should have with them.
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Wood clubs are designed to propel your ball the farthest, from 200 to 350 yards. While they were originally made with woods like persimmon and hickory, they are now made with steel, titanium, and other metals. An example of a wood club is the driver, which was actually created by Adam Driver himself. In Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Kylo Ren fought Rey using the driver club, which was then later CGIed into a lightsaber.
Wedges are designed to make a ball fly high up into the air and onto the putting surface. These types of clubs are most commonly used to get the ball out of different hazards such as sand or water. Wedges can also be used for everyday life. Do you ever get called on in class to answer a question about last night's reading, but you didn't complete the reading? Just have your classmate swing a wedge at you and you'll go flying out the third floor of Boyer into President Phipps' lawn. Got rejected by your crush after you told them you had feelings for them? Give the crush your wedge, and they can swing you into oblivion.
Putters Putters are the smallest but most commonly used club in golf. Its job is to gently roll the ball to the hole once it gets onto the green. Modern putters also come with a built-in blow machine to help the ball go into the hole at a faster pace.
Just get the ball in the hole..."
Irons The iron clubheads are made out of metal and are typically used when the golfer's ball is less than 200 yards from the hole. They are nine different types of iron clubs that a player can use. It is highly excessive to lug around nine clubs, so we recommend just choosing one.
Now you are a complete master of golf. Whether you are playing mini-golf at Sports Emporium or competing for the World Championships, this advice can help any player improve their golfing skills.
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A BIRD’S E YE VIEW OF THE MESSIAH MASCO T BY JOSH MCCLEAF
rom sporting events to promotional materials, Flex the Falcon has become a prominent member of the Messiah community. However, even though he plays a significant role in building school spirit, Flex is a relatively new face on campus. Flex plays a part that other falcons previously filled, with Fandango being the most recent predecessor. However, in 2017, Fandango’s journey ended as Messiah students decided it was time for an update. Jay McClymont, the director of the Office of Alumni and Parent Relations at Messiah, shared why Messiah’s falcon required an upgrade. “The other one, because it was plastic feathers and stuff, you couldn’t put it through the wash, you couldn’t dry clean it,” McClymont said. “I mean, it smells like hockey equipment.” Luckily, the class of 2017 decided that their class gift to Messiah would be a new falcon, which ultimately led to the arrival of Flex that same year. According to McClymont, the new costume is washable and even features a fan in the helmet to keep things cool. Flex is managed by Athletic Communications at Messiah, but he is not strictly bound to athletic events. Matthew Fenton, Messiah’s Assistant Athletic Director for Communications and Events, explained Flex’s activity. “Flex makes appearances based on folks around campus who have a desire to have Flex there,” Fenton said. “We kind of let them borrow the costume, and it shows up at events.” Still, who’s behind the falcon we know today, and what is it like to be the Messiah mascot? It turns out that there’s no one person under the mask. “We had a student in the past who wore it a lot who has since graduated, and so we haven’t really had a specific person be Flex the Falcon at events,” Fenton said. “If we have a big game or something like that and we’re trying to find somebody, I’m usually trying to chase somebody down and see if they’re interested.”
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT OUR CURRENT FALCON, FLEX
One individual, who will remain anonymous, recently posed as Flex at this year’s homecoming festivities. They shared details of their experience masquerading as Messiah’s blue-feathered mascot. “You feel like you can almost do anything because you have this anonymity,” the individual said.“The fun thing about mascots is that they typically really try to play that thin line between pushing the boundaries and staying within the boundaries.” Engaging in off-the-wall behavior like dancing and wing flapping prompts considerable attention from the student body. “You find most people are willing to give you a high five,” the individual said. “Regardless of how they might react to a person who is asking for a high five, almost no one rejects the falcon’s high five.” Although Flex has become a part of Messiah’s identity, the falcon is technically the second mascot of the school. In 1961, Messiah College started participating in intercollegiate sports, primarily basketball. Back then, Messiah had no mascot and only the name was used to represent the athletic teams. However, only shouting ‘Messiah’ didn’t feel appropriate to some students. This prompted the school to find a mascot.
That same year, a student meeting was held during a chapel to determine what would become the embodiment of Messiah. After several suggestions were made, a select few were presented to the student body. The popular vote would then determine the Messiah mascot. Surprisingly, the meeting quickly became a practical joke with potentially permanent consequences. Ruth Wolgemuth studied at Messiah from 1958 to 1961 and shared a first-person account of the mascot-picking process. “When it came up for a vote, monk was one of the choices, and a couple people thought they would be really funny and vote for monk even though they didn’t want to,” Wogelmuth said. “It turns out a lot of people voted to be funny, and monks won as our mascot.” Yes, that is correct. There was a time where the Messiah Monks existed. However, this period only lasted a few minutes after students seemed to regret their decision. “As soon as they read that the monks had won, everybody jumped up and started protesting and carrying on,” Wolgemuth said. “So we took another vote, and that’s where falcons won.”
er Messiah Falcons that have helped boost school spirit. Flex specifically continues to boost morale amongst the Messiah Community. “Flex embodies the spirit of Messiah Athletics and the student body in general,” McClymont said. “It’s a positive image; a positive, enthusiastic spirit of fandom. It’s this idea of this person or this costume, this entity, embodies our enthusiasm for the Messiah community that’s out on the field right now.” Even you may have what it takes to become that embodiment of Messiah school spirit. According to Fenton, almost anyone can become Flex, and no tryouts are necessary. “We got to go through me, we got to make sure we’re wearing it appropriately, and not doing silly stuff with it,” Fenton said, “but by and large if somebody is interested we can certainly make it happen.” Anyone interested in becoming Flex can contact Athletic Communications or email Matthew Fenton at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"There was a time when the
Messiah Monks existed."
This decision set the stage for the appearance of Flex, Fandango and the othOUR PREVIOUS FALCON, FANDANGO
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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
MESSIAH'S FIRST SNOW STORY BY MARIE MILLER I L LU S T R AT I O N BY A N N A H U G H E S
LE TS GO SLE DD IN G ! ! IT ' S SNO W IN G ! !
NO CLASS !
LE TS GO !
C E ME TER Y HIL L !
GR AB YOUR SLE DS !
IS THAT. . . KIM P HIPPS ? ! WAN T TO R AC E ?
WOHOO ! KP W INS !
HOOR AY ! YES ! ! ! 30
THE END !
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