RING BY SPRING
A false clich é or harmful reality?
HARDSHIP AND HOPE
Understanding racial progress on campus
THE THE PULSE MAGAZINE FEBRUARY 2022 IDENTIFYING AS LGBTQ+ AT MESSIAH 7
THE RETURN OF CHAPEL 22 GOING BACK IN TIME 18 THE THE PULSE MAGAZINE FEBRUARY 2023 FITTING IN AS A TRANSFER STUDENT IN YELLOW: THEIR LAST BOW MATT MCDONALD: PLAYER OF THE YEAR 16 18 8
CONTENTS VOLUME 103 / EDITION 4 / FEBRUARY 2023 "Selflessness servant
is good for anyone" are able to give oththey serve each other Last year, the baseRJ Mellor, Lacrosse Player and current Junior
T“I got a phone call from one of the coaches and my first reaction was just, wow, that’s awesome,” McDonald said. “But very soon after I
- RJ Mellor
WRITTEN BY PJ RIDDELL DESIGNED BY AMBER SWAISGOOD
hroughout the 2022 men’s soccer season, you likely heard Matt McDonald’s name booming from the loudspeakers MATT MCDONALD DIII 2022 NATIONAL PLAYER OF 6 22 20 16 18
AWARD WINNING STUDENT RUN MAGAZINE
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF / ETHAN DYRLI
DESIGN MANAGER / ALLYSON LYNDAKER
AUDIO & VISUAL MANAGER / TYLER CARUSO
DIRECTOR / EMILIE RUSH
ASSISTANT DIRECTOR / DANIKA JOHNSON
SPORTS & HEALTH EDITOR / PJ RIDDELL
CULTURE & ARTS EDITOR / MACKENZIE CHRISTIE
STUDENT LIFE EDITOR / AJ JEROME
THE SWINGING BRIDGE THE PULSE STAFF
DESIGN ASSISTANT / KATE TRIMBLE
DESIGN ASSISTANT / AMBER SWAISGOOD
YEARBOOK MANAGER / LILIANA MORA
AUDIO & VISUAL ASSISTANT / ZACH HINDS
DIGITAL & RADIO
RADIO MANAGER / DANIEL LESLIE
MUSIC DIRECTOR / SABRINA STANDFORD
WEB MANAGER / ADI MANSOUR
SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER / PAM REINOSO
BUSINESS MANAGER / DOM LUCYSHYN
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
ETHAN DYRLI EDITOR - IN - CHIEF
In my last letter, I described the “Messiah Bubble” and its effects on the perspective of the average Messiah student. In this issue, we again pop this bubble, illustrating how the Messiah experience that one student knows may be wildly different from that of another student. This issue’s cover story, “Hardship and Hope: Understanding Racial Progress On Campus,” is one such illustration. Though Messiah may be comfortable and welcoming to white students, Messiah often falls short when it comes to serving students of color.
As a predominantly white institution, some of these pitfalls are on an individual level, while others come from the university. This piece aims to dissect where Messiah has grown and where it needs to improve according to students of color, past and present.
Stories like this hold Messiah accountable, but they also highlight the exceptionalism of our student body. While not perfect, Messiah is where it is now because of the work of leaders, students of color who moved their reality that much closer to their ideal.
Whether it be those students creating spaces for students of color in MCC, upperclassmen becoming mentors to underclassmen, or the kindness of strangers, I’ve often seen the greatest changes enacted by individuals. While their actions are personal, they grow into interconnected groups brimming with actionable plans for change.
That theme of exceptionalism does not just apply to our cover story, but to our whole issue. This February issue heralds the diverse giftings of each student here at Messiah.
We walk among talented musicians, powerful athletes, devoted volunteers, confident leaders and committed professionals, all exceeding the bar in their given field.
You may look at these individuals and be overwhelmed by the way in which they gracefully step beyond what is asked of them. Perhaps you say, “Well that’s them, I’m me, there is no way I could be seen on such a level.”
To that, I would again ask you to think about the way in which the Messiah community has been shaped by individuals. Their personal, intimate actions eventually grew into relationships and organizations that made for tangible change. Institutions like Messiah are not perfect, but we should not wait for them to be. Instead of looking up at those institutions and waiting for change, we should be looking around at our peers and realizing where change comes from.
Institutions do not have the power to change on their own. Without support from their people, they get stuck in a cyclical act of trying to fix their own problems. Instead, for change to come in a culture, we must look at ways in which exceptional individuals shape culture despite working with systems that do not have the ability to change on their own.
As always, I hope this issue inspires you to look up once you’re done with it. Look around and spot those brilliant individuals around you and realize the potential they have to shape your community right now.
Rom-Com Soundrack Selections
WRITTEN BY SABRINA STANDFORD DESIGNED BY ISABELLA KERN
I don’t know about you, but rom-coms are my favorite type of movies. It is a classic genre with iconic movies such as “While You Sleeping,” “How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days,” and “Sleepless In Seattle.” Even more modern rom coms like “Crazy Rich Asians” or “Set It Up” have quickly turned into fan-favorites. So for this month,
I’ve created a little game where you guess which movie each song comes from!
1. “Can’t Take My Eyes off You” Frankie Valli
2. “Gonna Make You Love Me” Ryan Adams
3. “(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher & Higher” Jackie Wilson
4. “Don’t Worry Baby” The Beach Boys
5. “You’re So Vain” Carly Simon
6. “Breakfast At Tiffany’s” Deep Blue Something
7. “I Say a Little Prayer” Aretha Franklin
8. “Like A Star” Corinne Bailey Rae
9. “Kiss Me” Sixpence None The Richer
10. “Sunday Morning” Maroon 5
11. “Make Someone Happy” Jimmy Durante 12. “Can’t Help Falling In Love” Kina Grannis 13. “Oh, Pretty Woman” Roy Orbison 14. “For Once In My Life” Stevie Wonder 15. “In Your Eyes” Peter Gabriel 16. “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)” Natalie Cole 17. “It’s Easy To Fall In Love” With A Guy Like You 18. “Friday I’m In Love” The Cure 19. “It Had to Be You” Harry Connick, Jr. 20. “You Make My Dreams (Come True)” Daryl Hall & John Oates
LISTEN ON APPLE MUSIC HERE
1. 10 Things I Hate About You 2. Sweet Home Alabama 3. Date Night 4. Never Been Kissed 5. How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days 6. Breakfast At Tiffany’s 7. My Best Friend’s Wedding 8. 27 Dresses 9. She’s All That 10. Love, Actually 11. Sleepless In Seattle 12. Crazy Rich Asians 13. Pretty Woman 14. Valentine’s Day 15. Say Anything 16. While You Were Sleeping 17. Hitch 18. 50 First Dates 19. When Harry Met Sally 20. 500 Days of Summer See Answers here! 5 FOR YOU THE SWINGING BRIDGE
FAREWELL TO ED THE JANITOR
WRITTEN BY ETHAN DYRLI DESIGNED BY AMBER SWAISGOOD AND LILIANA MORA
You may have seen him walking through one of the floor lounges in Jordan Kline. If not there, maybe cheering on the Messiah Falcons from a conference room TV. Passing through the halls, he stops at tables of study-weary students and extends his orange bag full of candy. His name?
“Edward A. Mays the second. But most people know me here as Ed Mays,” Mays said.
Mays worked as a campus events supervisor here for four and a half years, before retiring in mid-January, but his candy bag ensured that he met a lot of people in that timespan. Mays started passing out candy a few years ago when he started to notice students “dragging” after studying in the same room all day.
“I would actually kick students out, cause I would tell them, all that studying, I come in at three and you’re still here at 11, you ain’t got it, you need to leave,” Mays said. “I was giving my workers candy, so I came up with the idea, just pass it around.”
“That’s how I became good friends with students, and then, just to break up the monotony of studying, I would talk to ‘em. Talk to ‘em about my life, I ask about theirs,” Mays said. “I just took interest in the students.”
One of those students is Rachel Notestine, a senior HDFS major who worked for Ed since her freshman year. Through her years of working with Ed, she’s seen how he’s been uplifted her peers.
“He just makes a difference, everytime he comes into a room with candy,” Notestine said.
Mays’ support of “his students” wasn’t held by the walls of Jordan Kline. According to Notestine, he made it a priority to get to all of his worker’s athletic events.
“He’s come to, I think, every single field hockey game I’ve had the past two years,” Notestine said. “It’s pretty awesome to have that support on the sideline.”
Another student, Amber High, a senior social work major who worked for Ed since sophomore year, always felt supported by Ed’s continued commitment to show up.
“He has always supported my basketball career as well, by either surprising me and showing up to a game or watching the livestream and texting me ‘Good game tonight!’ afterwards,” High said.
Mays’ choice to retire was not one that came easy for him. While he loves the time he’s spent at Messiah, his retirement timeline moved up when tragedy struck his family. In October of last year, Mays’ oldest son Eddie passed away.
“It’s taken a big toll on me and my family. So, I have stuff to do for my grandchildren, so I’ve decided to go ahead and retire,” Mays said.
Thus, Mays’ plans for retirement are focused on spending time with his family. Mays, his wife, and his dog are moving to Panama City, Panama later this year. There they plan to rest, spend time together, and travel.
Before he goes, he’s hoping to get out of the conference room and catch a few more of Messiah’s teams up close. If you didn’t see him before his last day, don’t worry, he’ll be back for graduation.
“It’s been fun, it’s been a great blessing for me, I hope I’ve blessed people’s lives, and that’s about it. Tell everyone thank you,” Mays said.
PHOTOS BY TYLER CARUSO
FEBRUARY 2023 6 FOR YOU
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FRESHMEN A GAIN: HOW MESSIAH'S Transfer Students Fit In
WRITTEN BY MOLLY MCKIM DESIGNED BY KATE TRIMBLE
The rate of students transferring to Messiah has steadily increased since 2020, according to Messiah enrollment records. What do our transfer students think about their second attempt at an academic institution?
They Want Me to Go Where Now?
At the beginning of their Messiah experience, transfer students are invited to Welcome Week orientation in August or Winter Orientation at the beginning of January. During fall orientation, transfers learn the same information, experience the same events and face the exact expectations alongside hundreds of first-year students.
For transfers coming to Messiah at the start of a new academic year, they participate in transfer student-specific events, such as a transfer social. They are also placed in an orientation group, sometimes with an orientation leader who was a transfer student.
In January, Winter Orientation is primarily geared towards transfer students because they make up the majority of students entering the university between semesters.
The Beginning Experience
Has orientation done its job of helping transfer students get adjusted to Messiah? For some, the bonding experience between transfer students has created long-lasting friendships. For others, it felt frustrating and isolating due to a lack of events and places to meet new people.
“Finding friends was challenging at first, everyone has their someone or group of people to be with and I wanted to find that for myself,” said Makayla Garrett, a sophomore biochemistry major.
TRENDING TOPICS 8 FEBRUARY 2023
PHOTOS BY ZACHARY HINDS
Lauren Forlow, a sophomore film major, was also feeling a sense of detachment from her peers.
“[After transferring], I didn’t have too many friends, and I was struggling in the Theatre department. I was considering transferring again,” Forlow said.
Others found that their first steps were easygoing and smooth, thanks to the people around them.
Morgan Adams, a junior elementary and special education major, felt that being a member of the basketball team made her transition to Messiah easier.
“I got built-in friends right away, so I was able to spend so much time with them and meet their friends and things like that, meet people in my major, it was so nice having that established group of friends right away so that I had people right from the start,” Adams said.
Forlow found reassurance from her RAs during her first year as a transfer. “We had weekly activities, she talked with me every time I saw her, she met up with everybody individually, and she genuinely loved us. She was one of the reasons why Messiah started to feel like the place I belonged after my first semester.”
Based on enrollment numbers for Fall 2022, transfer students make up 0.03% of our student population, most of whom live in an underclassman residence hall, Bitner. However, not all of them are first-year students. Still, transfer students are highly encouraged to attend all freshmen-oriented events, such as the Wittlinger freshmen chapel series and the first-year games.
Hannah Tiner, a junior psychology major, said that Messiah does welcome transfer students better than some other schools. However, events like first-year games and transfer floors being in first-year dorms make her feel like she’s a freshman.
“I didn’t feel like I was transitioning into my year, but transitioning into the freshman class,” Tiner said. “My primary complaint is that I feel like we’re freshmen. Which is
JP Edmunds is the Assistant Director of Student Engagement and oversees Welcome Week and Orientation. According to Edmunds, Messiah currently does not have a person in charge of transfer services. This unfilled position means that individual offices, like Resident Life or Academics, can decide how they want to handle transfer students.
For example, Resident Life chooses to place transfer students in an underclassman residential hall with freshmen. Whereas in academics, transfer students are not required to take first-year seminars.
Edmunds said he encourages students to reach out to staff closest to them, like your RD or himself.
“There are so many different people here to see you succeed and if something is not working for you, go to someone on your team, tell them that, and see if something can be changed,” Edmunds said. “We care a lot about transfers. We have just as much interest in making sure that transfers suc
"I feel like we're freshmen. Which is annoying because I'm a junior."
- Hannah Tiner
"Everyone has their someone or group of people to be with and I wanted to find that for myself."
TRENDING TOPICS THE SWINGING BRIDGE 9
- Makayla Garrett
UNDERSTANDING RACIAL PROGRESS ON CAMPUS H ardship and Hope
WRITTEN BY MACKENZIE CHRISTIE
DESIGNED BY AMBER SWAISGOOD
Walking through campus, there’s an atmosphere of tranquility and safety. Some call it the “Messiah Bubble,” but others call it life. You venture from class to class, dorm to dining hall in a place where everyone looks just like you. At a first glance, you fit right in…if you’re white.
Messiah University is considered a Predominantly White Institution (PWI), as defined by the Encyclopedia of African American Education, with approximately 80% of its student body being white. Despite the demographic disproportionality, this number is the highest it’s been in the institution’s history.
Despite the progress Messiah has made, similar hardships exist when examining the experiences of today’s students versus their academic predecessors.
Todd Allen, Vice President of Diversity Affairs, recognizes these pitfalls
and mentions that the work of diversity and inclusion is one that is a constant work in progress.
“People are complicated, people are messy, people don’t know how to play nice with one another sometimes: diversity and inclusion will always be an ongoing work,” Allen said.
Drew Hart, ‘04, is a Messiah alumni turned professor. Despite being aware of Messiah’s lack of diversity, his experience was more difficult than he anticipated.
“Though my high school had a lot more diversity than Messiah, I assumed that I’d experience social flourishing at Messiah because most people affirmed a shared Christian faith,” Hart said. “In actuality, Messiah was a much more challenging a space than I’d expected.”
Hart recollects countless instances of discriminatory behaviors towards himself and
other students of color that led him to process his collective Messiah experience as racial abuse.
“The Messiah community was one of the most racist social experiences of my life,” Hart said. “The longer I was on campus, the more I began to recognize the strange body language in response to my presence. I constantly felt like people were looking at me like I was a thug, like I was dangerous or scary.”
“I saw black women have their hair touched like they were animals in the zoo, I saw students mockingly participating in gospel worship during chapel as if it were a joke. There was a lack of understanding of other people’s culture, history, and heritage that made life difficult for students of color.”
Calvin Tucker, ‘09, echoes Hart’s sentiment, expressing that the campus community was not always wholly accepting of diversity amongst students.
TRENDING TOPICS 10 FEBRUARY 2023
“My worst experience dealing with racism was in the Union,” said Tucker. “A student bumped into me by accident and turned around and saw that I was black. He lifted both of his hands in the air and raised his voice, saying, ‘I’m sorry dude, I’m so sorry,’ so I said ‘It’s okay, you’re fine.’”
“He continued by saying ‘Calm down man, I didn’t mean it, I’m sorry.’ I wondered why this young man who I’ve never met before would react to me like this, even after I had a smile on my face when I told him that it was okay.”
Camryn Wimberly, ‘22, expresses that her experience at Messiah was similarly jaded by instances of racism and discrimination.
“I’d dealt with microaggressions growing up, but I was unprepared for the blatant racism and discrimination I encountered at Messiah,” Wimberly said. “In my first semester, I had a professor make discriminatory remarks about my ability to succeed in a course based on my race.”
“Reflecting back as a recent graduate who dedicated time to studying the impact of attending PWIs, I know that those comments were completely unacceptable, and the experience heavily contributed to my discomfort on campus,” Wimberly said.
Aside from the glaring remarks, the mere absence of diversity in campus spaces amplified Wimberly’s sense of discomfort, and she is not alone in this regard. Drew Blanchfield, ‘22, reflects on the hypervisibility that impacted his academic studies.
“Being the only person of color in nearly all of my classes was draining,” Blanchfield said. “My professors seemed to think the current state of the world didn’t matter, and so I struggled to be present and learn.”
As a prior student athlete for Messiah’s men's basketball team, Blanchfield felt significant dismay at the lack of inclusive efforts within athletics as well, despite his efforts to enact change.
“I hosted meetings to speak to coaches and staff about conversations on race in intercollegiate sports. Teams across the nation were having discussions, hosting experts on
race and gender, or even marching in the name of justice. But the team I was on had one zoom meeting where each black player spoke, one white player, and a few words by the coach.”
Over the years, there remains a lack of inclusivity that is ever present on our campus.
Annabelle Dionisio, senior English major and Multicultural Council Chair, remarks that she is often reminded that she is not within the majority in the classroom.
“It’s very common to be the only person of color in a space, but unfortunately that’s par for the course. I often feel like I have to check myself before I say something, or think ‘Am I going to be safe fully being all of who I am here?’”
“For example, I’m Filipino, and oftentimes in class the only mention of the Philippines is in the context of how they’re failing, the poverty, things like that,” Dionisio said.
"There was a lack of understanding of other people's culture, history, and heritage that made life difficult for students of color."
TRENDING TOPICS THE SWINGING BRIDGE 11
Despite the hardships that accompany being a student of color at a PWI, many students and faculty recognize that the presence of diversity – no matter how small – provides space for individuals to meaningfully explore their identities and relationships.
Amy Nicols, director of International Student Programs, believes having a diverse student body is key to fostering intellectual and spiritual growth for students.
“If we don’t have a diverse student body, we are not reflecting the kingdom of God, and we aren’t learning or growing,” Nicols said. “We can learn a lot from one another, but we often don’t learn through similarity, we learn through difference.”
Hart expresses how the presence of varying identities on campus provided him with opportunities to explore his own identity and build stronger relationships with those around him.
“Messiah strangely gave me a deeper space to explore who I was,” Hart said. “I developed a greater sense of what it means to be a Black Christian man in the United States… it gave me an appreciation of white people who were responding in solidarity with black and brown students as brothers and sisters. I was slowly learning that navigating a society steeped in centuries of racism will require sustainable relationships.”
Dionisio feels that her position as the chair of the Multicultural Council allows her not only to foster a greater sense of community for other students, but it gives her a chance to explore her own identity.
“Sometimes my white peers think that the work I do as MCC Chair is an attack on them, rather than a liberatory act for myself,” Dionisio said. “The community MCC creates is something like no other because it prioritizes the safety of our brothers and sisters of color. Messiah emphasizes community, but MCC calls it family.”
Sierra Kinslow, ‘17, is now the current Associate Director of Admissions and Multicultural Recrui\tment. Though Messiah has its highs and lows, she ensures visiting families recognize Messiah is not without its faults.
“I tell visiting families of color that Messiah is not a perfect place, and it is definitely a function of society as a whole,” Kinslow said. “While our mission statement says we are passionate about reconciliation, it’s obviously not the ideal that is lived out by every person on our campus.”
Through the hardship and struggle, many students and faculty of color feel a sense of optimism due to the work that is being done.
Wimberly discusses her gratitude for the programs implemented to acknowledge diversity on campus.
“Fortunately, I was accepted into the R. H. Flowers Scholarship program, which connects first-year students of color with upper-class mentors to provide conversation on race, ethnicity, and culture. Through this program, I felt Messiah did a great job of emphasizing their dedication to inclusivity,” Wimberly said.
“Additionally, I believe that initiatives like the ‘Year of Reconciliation’ and ‘Thriving Together: Congregations for Racial Justice’ are excellent starting points for facilitating change,” Wimberly said.
Kinslow reminisces on her own experiences with the scholarship program, mentioning that it was one of the primary reasons she committed to the university.
TRENDING TOPICS 12 FEBRUARY 2023
“I attended one of the Multicultural Scholarship days, which really sealed the deal for me. Being able to interact with others who were passionate about diversity and growth was so important to me.”
Hart expresses similar sentiments, but emphasizes a need for quicker action on behalf of our students of color.
“I think Messiah as an institution has creeped towards being more intentional, but I also think the change has been too slow, gradual, and moving in small increments,” Hart said.
Ultimately, our faculty and staff are seeking justice for individuals who have experienced harm on campus. Allen hopes that now and in the future, students will be proud of the University they are leaving behind.
“I want students to know that no place is perfect, and we are going to fall short,” Allen said. “Some days we will exceed the mark, but in the bigger picture, we are on a journey. I want students to be proud of the institution they chose to attend, engaged while they’re here, and be honored to call themselves an alumni of Messiah University.”
"While our mission statement says we are passionate about reconciliation, it's obviously not the ideal that is lived out by every person on our campus."
TRENDING TOPICS THE SWINGING BRIDGE 13
H ow diverse did you think Messiah was?
WRITTEN BY ETHAN DYRLI
DESIGNED BY AMBER SWAISGOOD
In mid-January, the Swinging Bridge conducted a poll to see how diverse Messiah students expected the undergraduate population to be, and how those expectations were met. Here’s how students answered:
Who responded? (62 total respondents)
Before coming to Messiah, how ethnically and racially diverse did you expect the undergraduate population to be?
How has the diversity of the Messiah student body compared to your expectations?
YEAR: OF ALL RESPONDENTS: OF ALL RESPONDENTS: 28.3% FIRST-YEAR SOPHO- MORE 11.67% JUNIOR 31.67% SENIOR 28.33% RACE/ETHNICITY: OF STUDENTS OF COLOR: OF STUDENTS OF COLOR: MESSIAH'S ACTUAL UNDERGRADUATE DEMOGRAPHICS (2022) OF WHITE STUDENTS: OF WHITE STUDENTS:
6.67% ASIAN 13.33% HISPANIC OR LATINO/A 13.33% BLACK/ AFRICAN AMERICAN 66.67% WHITE 81.5% WHITE BLACK/AFRICAN AMERICAN 3.4% AMERICAN INDIAN/ ALASKA NATIVE .12% ASIAN 3.4% NATIVE HAWAIIAN/ PACIFIC ISLANDER .08% HISPANIC/ LATINO/A 7.8% MULTI-ETHNIC 3.9% 5% 66.67% 28.33% NOT DIVERSE SOMEWHAT DIVERSE VERY DIVERSE 85% NOT DIVERSE 15% SOMEHWAT DIVERSE 92.5% SOMEWHAT DIVERSE 7.5% VERY DIVERSE MUCH LESS THAN EXPECTED LESS THAN EXPECTED MET MY EXPECTATIONS GREATER THAN EXPECTED 30% 30% 25% 15% MUCH LESS THAN EXPECTED LESS THAN EXPECTED MET MY EXPECTATIONS GREATER THAN EXPECTED MUCH GREATER THAN EXPECTED 10% 0% 26.67% 18.33% 45% 7.7% 23.1% 56.4% 12.8% MUCH LESS THAN EXPECTED LESS THAN EXPECTED MET MY EXPECTATIONS GREATER THAN EXPECTED TRENDING TOPICS 14 FEBRUARY 2023
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IN YELLOW: THEIR LAST BOW
WRITTEN BY AJ JEROME DESIGNED BY ISABELLA KERN
When “In Yellow” decided to play at an online Coffeehouse in 2020, they never would have imagined the opportunities they gained through the support of the Messiah University community. The group performed in various events, showcases, and coffeehouses throughout the years, eventually gaining enough of a following to play off-campus several times.
While members of the band have since graduated, there are still three members left on-campus.
Alyssa Pye is a senior graphic design major who sings for “In Yellow” and plays bass. Noah Smith is a senior biochemistry major that plays the guitar and also sings for the band. Jon Sison is a senior engineering major who, according to Smith, “is a god at the keys.”
The band started as a group of friends who loved music and all wanted to play together. Pye and Smith lived in the same dorm
IN YELLOW: THEIR LAST BOW TRENDING TOPICS 16 FEBRUARY 2023 2023
their sophomore year and Smith and Sison had been friends since their freshman year.
“It’s just really like either friends who both knew each other or mutually knew each other,” Smith said. “We just kind of were like, ‘Hey, we all like to play music, let’s do something.’”
According to the band, there is not much meaning behind the name In Yellow. A since-graduated member of the band, Ryan Shillinger, name-generated it to use for the first Coffeehouse performance the band played.
“We almost switched it four times over the summer because it didn’t mean anything, but now it means something,” Smith said. “It’s so special to us and we almost switched it, and we did switch it, and we were like no, no.”
In September of 2020, “In Yellow” participated in an online, filmed Coffeehouse. The group was Pye, Smith, Sison, and Shillinger, together performing “Exile” by Taylor Swift and Bon Iver. “In Yellow” was still not an official band at the time of the Coffeehouse, but afterwards, SAB asked the group to play at Fall Fest.
“That was the first time that we played in front of a crowd. We had to formulate an hour set of music. Still had our masks and everything. We had to take them off to sing and put them back on,” Pye said. “But yeah, that was our first time and that was just a lot of fun trying to formulate that set and everything.”
Noah Smith also reflected on the challenges that COVID-19 restrictions brought upon the band.
“I think it was definitely a big challenge, just because we weren’t really sure how we were allowed to practice, where we were allowed to practice, if we were allowed to sing indoors or anything like that,” Smith said. “It was a super unique challenge, it was really fun.”
While “In Yellow” was never meant to make it past the Messiah Coffeehouse stage, the members soon found themselves playing off-campus at an ampitheater in the Lititz Springs park. Smith and Pye agreed that it was both a stressful and a fun experience filled with tech struggles and supportive fans.
“It was honestly a great time and it was a super huge privilege to do something that wasn’t just pumped up by the fact that there were a bunch of students right there on-campus who’d conveniently show up,” Smith said.
“It was our first solo thing off-campus in Lititz, and it was cool to see people even drive out 2 hours to come see us,” Pye said. “I would say that there was, what, like a hundred people there, even more than a hundred? So that was just really cool, like wow, you guys actually came out to see us, not just on-campus.”
As for after graduation, the future for the members of “In Yellow” is filled with grad school, jobs, and moving. Although the band agrees that if they were ever back for a summer, they would love to have another opportunity to play together, they also know that the future is uncertain.
“In the end I think it’s a pretty romantic end that we spent so much time doing it and then sometimes things have to come to an end,” Smith said.
“I think that if we ever got a chance to play again, if we ever had a summer or just a time where we were all together, all of us would jump on it.”
“We just kind of were like, 'Hey, we all like to play music, lets do something,”
TRENDING TOPICS THE SWINGING BRIDGE 17
MATT MCDONALD DIII 2022 NATIONAL PLAYER OF THE YEAR
WRITTEN BY PJ RIDDELL
DESIGNED BY AMBER SWAISGOOD
Throughout the 2022 men’s soccer season, you likely heard Matt McDonald’s name booming from the loudspeakers at Shoemaker Field time and time again, as he led the team with 23 goals. His efforts on the field earned him the honor of being the men’s soccer 2022 National Player of the Year - the highest individual honor in Division III soccer.
Despite the prestige one might be tempted to revel in, McDonald’s focus immediately shifted to his team upon learning of his achievement.
“I got a phone call from one of the coaches and my first reaction was just, wow, that’s awesome,” McDonald said. “But very soon after I was just like, how lucky am I to be around 27 guys who are just as deserving of that as me. The honor is a whole team thing, it’s not just one person.”
McDonald was surrounded by success in 2022, including teammates Jake Lent-Koop and Luke Groothoff joining him as First Team All-Americans. On the sidelines, he had the support of the Messiah men’s soccer coaching staff, named as the Regional Staff of the Year this season. He credits his team and coaches for much of his development in 2022.
While on the team’s spring break trip to Colombia in March of 2022, head coach Brad McCarty recalls a conversation with McDonald that they both believe played a role in McDonald’s success.
“[McDonald] was playing some games, and was shooting the ball all over the place,” McCarty said. “I’m like, you play basketball, so when you go for a layup, is it power or finesse? [McDonald’s] like ‘finesse,’ and I’m like no, it’s both. Power, you’ve got to drive to the lane, but at the last minute, you need some finesse.”
For McDonald, an avid basketball fan, the analogy clicked.
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“That was a great conversation, I still think about it a lot,” McDonald said. “He had the confidence in me that I can be a good player, there were just a few aspects I needed to tweak. He held me accountable, giving me the confidence that I can be what he sees in me.”
During the season, McDonald finished each goal with a finger-roll celebration, inspired by the conversation.
McDonald credited training with teammates as another factor in his breakout campaign, particularly training with Falcons’ veteran goalkeeper.
“I had the blessing to live with Jared Pavlovich and his family,” McDonald said. “With him being a goalie and me being a forward, [there were] a lot of workouts with shooting, and emphasis that it doesn’t have to be a hard shot every time, you just need to place it.”
Through offseason work, motivated by McCarty’s coaching and teammates, McDonald started the 2022 season on a torrid pace, scoring eight goals in the first six games - already matching his season total from 2021 by mid-September.
As a senior, McDonald has opted to use his year of extra eligibility due to COVID-19 to return and play for Messiah in 2023 for a fifth year. In following up a season like he had in 2022, McDonald doesn’t want the accolades to curb his drive to improve.
“National Player of the Year is a pretty high honor, but I can’t just be complacent in that,” McDonald said. “Something I’m looking forward to next year is just seeing what ways I can grow as a player and person, and how I can instill the core values of our team into our younger guys to see them flourish in the program and be as thankful to be in it as I am.”
Being a part of the men’s soccer program and its core values, McDonald says has changed his life on and off the field.
“Every year I’ve gotten something out of seeing how soccer can be so much more than a game,” McDonald said. “One of the most important things is keeping the focus on how it’s not about me, it’s about the team. It’s about our growth outside of soccer. That’s something that made this year’s team so special, soccer was just a small component of what we were doing.”
The faith and personal growth aspects of being at Messiah have been life changing for McDonald, more so than anything achieved on the scoreboard or in the trophy case. McDonald credits assistant coach Aaron Faro as his biggest life and faith mentor.
“He’s had a tremendous impact on my life, from Bible studies to constantly motivating me and holding me accountable,” McDonald said. “He’s pushed me in so many ways, I’m forever thankful for that and my life is forever changed because of him and his work in my life.”
The ability to grow in, and proudly display his faith while playing the sport he loves, is an opportunity not lost on McDonald as he looks forward to his encore season, awards and statistics aside.
“Something that is so amazing about Messiah, is that we get to wear ‘Messiah’ across our chest,” McDonald said. “No other school, no other team, can say they get to wear their Savior’s name across their chest while they’re playing a sport.”
TRENDING TOPICS THE SWINGING BRIDGE 19 THE SWINGING
PHOTOS BY MESSIAH UNIVERSITY ATHLETICS
SPORTS & CAUSE
USING SPORTS AS A PLATFORM FOR CHANGE
WRITTEN BY EMMA DINGUS DESIGNED BY LILIANA MORA
When you first think of athletic teams you may not see all of the service and work that they do to support each other and those in their community. However, that doesn’t mean that their outreach goes without impacting both the players and those they serve.
Aaron Faro is the assistant coach for the men’s soccer team and director of A Revolution of Missional Athletes (AROMA), Messiah’s sports ministry that works on campus and in the community. Faro says that service through the athletic teams on campus is the main component of AROMA.
“The organizations that we work within AROMA are Christ-centered organizations, typically using sports as a way to build relationships with people, to come alongside people to provide everything from most basic needs, to just fun through sport,” Faro said.
As the assistant men’s soccer coach, Faro has led the team on numerous missions trips in the past decade to Zambia, Columbia, and Rio de Janeiro. They have also been present in our local community by volunteering at an organization called “Tops,” a soccer club for youth and young adults with disabilities.
Whether they’re serving those out of the country or those in their community, the Falcons have felt the effect of serving. “One of the most obvious ways that you see growth and impact is just by putting students in situations that are different than what they’re used to,” Faro said.
MESSIAH ATHLETICS DEPARTMENT
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Josh Nielsen, Baseball player and current junior
Messiah’s field hockey team partners with Daybreak church to serve in their program “7th Inning Stretch,” which serves families that have children with special needs. As a team, they host “Friday Fun Nights” once a month where children are paired with players and coaches to do activities together.
“As a team I think it can be so much stronger than just maybe one person going out and serving because we’re such a big number of people. It just creates such a dramatic effect when all of us show up to serve,” said Catie Brubaker, a senior on Messiah’s field hockey team.
The lacrosse team is involved with a Harrisburg-based organization called “Brethren Housing,” which aims to help families that are experiencing homelessness to find stable housing, counseling, and support. The team helps those in the program move to church-funded housing or to more permanent housing.
RJ Mellor, a junior on the lacrosse team, shared how having the chance to serve has affected him and his teammates.
“It sets anything about me aside and lets me do whatever I can to help someone else,” Mellor said. “I think that selflessness and a servant mindset is good for anyone, and the more opportunities we get to do here, the better it is for my teammates and myself. It lets us think about other people and the bigger picture.”
The importance of servanthood is something Dan Carson, the men’s lacrosse coach, has instilled into his team.
“I think that with any team, the closer that group is, the more that they care about each other, the more experiences they’ve had as a team, and the better that they’re going to be,” Carson said.
The support that teams are able to give others stems from how they serve each other within their own team. Last year, the baseball and men’s lacrosse team came together to support Kenny Runkel, a former baseball player, as his father was beginning his battle with cancer.
Josh “Marv” Nielsen is a junior broadcast and journalism major on the baseball team. Nielsen shared that as a team, their purpose is bigger than playing baseball, it is first foremost to support one another.
“Being selfless can be tough sometimes, but it is definitely helping us all grow and be better people,” Nielsen said.
The need for selflessly serving each other is a core value of the baseball team that has been instituted by their head coach, Phillip Shallenberger. Shallenberger hopes that his players experience a change on and off the field.
“We hope that by the time they leave here in their four years, they have a family that they love and care about and people they’re going to stay connected with forever. But also an ability to learn what it looks like to love and care for people that are different from you,” Shallenberger said.
"Selflessness and a servant mindset is good for anyone"
RJ Mellor, Lacrosse Player and current Junior
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- RJ Mellor
The Ski Siblings The Ski Siblings
WRITTEN BY PJ RIDDELL DESIGNED BY ISABELLA KERN
The term “sibling rivalry” probably doesn’t bring to mind images of racing down icy slopes. But for siblings Caleb and Faith Richert, competitive slalom skiing has been a central part of their lives at home that they brought with them to Messiah.
“We’ve been competitive all our life,” Caleb Richert said. “I’ve always had some plan to compete in college.”
While not as widely-known as the main NCAA-regulated sports on campus, competitive skiing, as with many other sports, has different levels of competition. Teams and individuals at the collegiate level compete throughout the season in at least two regular season races to qualify for regional competitions. The regional competitions then decide who moves on to compete at the national level - often held at former winter Olympics locations, such as Lake Placid, New York in 2022.
However, competing collegiately wouldn’t be as easy as simply joining the Messiah ski team for Caleb Richert, a senior Environmental Science major. He would have to blaze that trail himself initially, as there was no official club team on campus when he first arrived.
“When I got to Messiah, I wanted to start [skiing] up as a formal club sport,” Caleb Richert said.
As many things were, Caleb’s first season skiing collegiately was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But the delay allowed for his sister Faith, a sophomore Education major, to join him as they pushed for a ski club, and prepared for their first competitive season at Messiah in the early months of 2022.
Despite the efforts of Caleb and his sister Faith, the club hasn’t been officially recognized as a club sport due to the lack of an advisor. However, Caleb and Faith still plan to continue meeting and competing at Ski Roundtop, and the invitation remains open to any student at Messiah.
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“We could pay our own way, make our own path,” Caleb Richert said. “But we’d love to have a more formal recognition.”
For the Richert siblings, only being a team of two makes competitive matters a bit more complicated. Since the minimum size of a team in USCSA competition is four members, Caleb and Faith had to earn their own ways into nationals as individuals in 2022.
They succeeded, both qualifying for nationals in their very first collegiate season. Faith placed first in both of her competitions during regionals, convincingly securing her trip to the national stage.
“Just by getting [to nationals] as individuals, that’s really huge for us,” Faith Richert said. “It was great just being there, with everyone being on teams, but we made it as individuals.
But for Caleb, even just competing in regionals was a bit more of a challenge, and a testament to his resilience in the face of injuries.
“I had an ACL tear, a tibial spinal avulsion fracture, and a back surgery, all in high school,” Caleb Richert said. “Then last year…I get spun around…and break my collarbone. Later that season I tried skiing again and ended up dislocating my kneecap.”
While his main priority following his injuries was regaining physical health to ski, he found optimism in using the time to assess his faith.
“I was taking physical therapy seriously to get back into the sport, but there are times I felt like I needed…to be able to step back and put sports back in the right perspective,” Caleb Richert said. “If God makes a way, He will.”
Sure enough, Caleb’s faith and patience paid off as he found a way to compete in regionals.
“I had to get special permission to compete at regionals, because you have to compete in at least two races during the regular season to compete,” Caleb Richert said. “I only competed in one race that season.”
Caleb made the most of the chance he’d been given, finding a way to sneak into nationals by placing sixth and eighth at regionals.
“I just barely got in, and it was awesome,” Caleb Richert said. “It really felt like a miracle to be honest, I was so happy, so thankful just praising God.”
Despite punching their tickets to the national stage through individual competition, Faith and Caleb have made certain not to forget their team focus, and what they represent at each competition.
“It was really great just representing Messiah in general,” Faith Richert said. “Kids would show up being like ‘Messiah? We’ve never heard of that, who even are you?’ so it was really cool going to a national event, having so many different people there… no one really knew who we were, so we were able to make a name for ourselves.”
The Richert siblings have their sights set on competing once again in 2023, with the hopes of arriving on the national stage once again in Mammoth, California in early March.
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NEVER GOING UNDER , CIRCA WAVES
WRITTEN BY MATT SIMMONS
Circa Waves just released their fifth studio album entitled "Never Going Under". The entire project was created during the pandemic, so there’s a deep sense of vulnerability from beginning to end. Being 11 tracks in length, each song is packed full of emotion. Kieran Shuddall, the lead singer, takes the perspective of his son and the uncertainty facing him in the future.
The use of the electric guitar paired with the heaviness of the drums emphasizes this feeling of anxiety felt by Shuddall. The top tracks from this project are "Never Going Under" and “Hold On.” These songs are uplifting and encourage the listener to make the best of their situation. Overall, this album has great depth. It is worth a listen, even if you are not a fan
SOS , SZA
WRITTEN BY CIERA
Five years ago, SZA redefined R&B with her eclectic influences which "SOS" takes even further. Along with grunge, pop-punk, and acoustic, it explores rumbling, dirty bass, soulful, classic ballads, chipmunk soul, and more. This collage could easily feel unfocused, but under SZA’s command, it feels organic. "SOS" delves into relatable subjects— from issues with partners to struggles with self-esteem.
SZA succeeded in creating an introspective album without being ostentatious. "SOS" highlights the limitlessness of Black art and the interconnectedness of rock, folk, soul, and rap. It acknowledges the closeness of disparate sounds as well as attempts to domesticate emotionally distant men. Her vulnerability carries us through each track as we listen to the conversation she is having with herself in the aftermath of failed romance. Modern love is messy, and SZA explores all areas of the industry to portray it.
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LATE DEVELOPERS , BELLE AND SEBASTIAN
WRITTEN BY SABRINA STANFORD
"Late Developers" is the eleventh studio album by the Scottish band Belle and Sebastian. The group has been around since the late 1990s and still incorporates that iconic “sepia-toned folk-rock” sound into their music today, as well as the new modern indie-pop sound. “I Don’t Know What You See In Me” and “Give A Little Time” are prime examples of their new pop sound, while “Juliet Naked” is similar to their earlier sound.
This particular record was a surprise to fans, as it was announced less than a week before its release on January 13. However, both "Late Developers" and their previous 2022 record, "A Bit of Previous", have been in the making for a while, with this album initially written during the COVID-19 lockdown of 2020. Even though this album has more of a pop feel that is different to what old fans might be used to, it is still a fun listen with plenty of catchy and danceable songs that will hopefully capture a new audience.
PERMANENT DAMAGE , JOESEF
WRITTEN BY ETHAN DYRLI
Scottish singer Joesef’s debut album "Permanent Damage", paints Joesef following the ending of a relationship. Joesef’s voice is airy and sweet, drifting over bare, sometimes pop-y, neo-soul compositions. Where some of the tracks would otherwise be too stripped down to prove of substance, Joesef’s lofty vocals and cunning songwriting elevate this record to what is an optimistic look for neo-soul in 2023. "Permanent Damage" is thus rendered a companion to the recently single. Filled with sorrow, anger, regret, and eventually acceptance, Joesef is able to capture the toxicity and complex feelings that fill the headspace post-breakup. Even danceable tracks like “Didn’t Know How To Love You” are filled with pithy reflections on love lost. This record doesn’t reinvent the wheel, and some tracks drag. However it does what it sets out to do, and does it with grace.
TURN THE CAR AROUND , GAZ COOMBES
WRITTEN BY EMMA DINGUS
Gaz Coombes is at his best on his third album "Turn The Car Around" the final album of his trilogy of solo EPs. Coombes is best known as being the former frontman and lead guitar for the alternative band “Supergrass”, but Coombes talent is on full display in his solo proj ects. "Turn The Car Around" features strong vocals, dazzling guitar moments, and plenty of songs to add to your playlist. While the album has a bit of a lackluster start with “Overnight Train”, the album quickly picks up after and does not disappoint. Some songs that stand out to me are “Feel Loop (Lizard Drea)” and “Long Live The Strange” for their blazing electric guitar moments and infectious melodies. I would recommend this album to anyone who is a fan of groups such as the
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ARTS & ENTERTAINFEBRUARY 2023 26
Junior Courtney Valeria wants administration to know that she is fed up with the unavoidable distractions present on campus.
“Each time I meet with my friends for Bible study, I have to watch Jeremy aggressively fork a Union hotdog into his mouth,” said Valeria. “I’m sitting there across from him trying to read the Book of Judges, and he’s over there putting way too much ‘dog in his mouth for one bite, it’s just getting to be too much for me to handle.”
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