THE PULSE MAGAZINE
LEAVING THE FAITH Why College Students are Abandoning the Church
VOLUME 122 / EDITION 28 / MARCH 2022
LEAVING THE FAITH
MESSIAH'S WORKER SHORTAGE
ACTING THE PART
5 FUN PLACES TO VISIT IN THE CITY
SAFE OR SCAM?
WHY COLLEGE STUDENTS ARE ABANDONING THE CHURCH
WHAT'S THE CAUSE AND HOW DO WE FIX IT?
SPORTS AT A PREDOMINANTLY WHITE UNIVERSITY
CHRISTIAN ACTORS ON THE SECULAR THEATRE WORLD
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 DESIGN / SHANNON BILLINGTON
DIGITAL & RADIO AUDIO & VISUAL ASSISTANT / HUNTER ROHRER RADIO MANAGER / MARIE MILLER WEBSITE MANAGER / MICHAEL STEFANCHIK MUSIC DIRECTOR / RAVI AHUJA
ADVERTISING BUSINESS MANAGER / KELLIE CHANDLER SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER / ISABELLA KERN
JOIN OUR TEAM
S TA F F
THE SWINGING BRIDGE
JULIA MARY REGISTER EDITOR-IN-CHIEF I have never been so wet in my life. Our umbrellas and raincoats were utterly useless. We tried to get as close as safely possible to get shots of the flooding while not being washed all the way to the Susquehanna. Once we made it back to The Pulse office, I wore an old t-shirt as a skirt because my pants were soaked and we worked on publishing the online article. We didn’t have a web manager then so I was pulling double duty trying to figure out WordPress.
T H E E D I TO R
That day was cold, it was windy, but it was fun. Probably the most fun I’ve had working at The Pulse. Memories like these are the ones I will hold onto after graduation. It’s been fun being editor-in-chief and getting to have new adventures. If you’re a senior, I encourage you to reflect on the memories you’ve made the past four years. Sure, there’s been challenges along the way, but there’s also been a lot of good.
Let me tell you about my favorite memory from working at The Pulse. It’s from when we covered Hurricane Ida in September, which was the one time I felt like a real journalist covering a live event. I was tasked with writing an online article covering how the hurricane will affect campus closure. Really, there wasn’t anything exciting to cover besides what was sent out in the mass email so I wasn’t sure what to write – look outside the window, there’s water, more water than you could ever want. Be smart and stay inside. I was begrudgingly trying to throw something together when we had the idea to go get photos down by the Yellow Breeches. We had seen the Tea Time posts requesting them – you asked, we answered. Liam (the A/V manager), Marie (the radio manager) and I drove down to the Breeches through a couple inches of water. Honestly, I didn’t think we were going to make it driving Liam’s tiny Prius. When we got there, Safety stopped us and asked what we were doing. All we had to say was “We’re the media” and they went “Okay, cool.” It’s questionable whether or not that was a safe decision but we’re all still alive to tell the story.
Alright that’s it, Julia Mary Register
TIPS & TRICKS
SP SPRI RIN G NG C L E A N CL I N G E A NING PLAYLIST PLAYLIST By: Mackenzie Christie
It’s time to crack open the windows, let in some fresh air, and start working through that pile of laundry you’ve been shoving into the corner for weeks (just me?). Go ahead and toss on our Spring Cleaning Playlist to declutter with some upbeat jams, and don’t forget to sing along with us on Pulse Radio at 90.7 FM! Pulse Radio is revamping their sound and we want to hear from you! Scan the QR code to take a quick survey about Pulse Radio. Make sure you tune into 90.7 Pulse Radio to hear your top picks! Take this survey! 1. WHY CAN’T WE BE FRIENDS? - WAR
11. THE KISS OF VENUS - DOMINIC FIKE & PAUL MCCARTNEY
2. GOOD KISSER - LAKE STREET DIVE 12. YELLOW SUBMARINE - THE BEATLES 3. ASC. SCORPIO - ORACLE SISTERS 13. CAMPUS - VAMPIRE WEEKEND 4. WAY IT GOES - HIPPOCAMPUS 14. CAUGHT IN THE MIDDLE - PARAMORE 5. GET DOWN - STILL WOOZY 15. LOSING YOU - BOY PABLO 6. HONKY CAT - ELTON JOHN 16. BEAUTALITY - LOUIE SHORT 7. WHATEVER GETS U THRU THE NIGHT - JOHN LENNON
17. SILK CHIFFON - MUNA, PHOEBE BRIDGERS
8. KIDS - THE FRIGHTS
18. MIDSUMMER SUN - FELIVAND
9. YOU KNOW IT - COLONY HOUSE
19. BACK TO LIFE - CHIIILD FT. SHUNGUDZO
10. SINS OF MY YOUTH - NEON TREES
20. A LONG DECEMBER - GIRLHOUSE
THE SWINGING BRIDGE
TIPS & TRICKS
MOTIVATED HOW COLLEGE STUDENTS CAN AVOID BURNOUT
BY CAMRYN WIMBERLY
ith the spring semester halfway over, many students may be feeling drained and stressed. These overwhelming feelings can manifest in ways that are harmful to your health and well-being, eventually leading to burnout. Davin Rowe, a counselor at the Engle Center, has experience working with overwhelmed college students and has provided tips for avoiding burnout. How do you define “burnout”? The term “burnout” is a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. It is characterized by three dimensions: feelings of extreme exhaustion; increased mental distance from one's job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one's job, or task at hand such as a college student, and other major commitments.
What are the dangers of burnout, especially as a college student? “If we have a college student that perhaps may not be self-aware of their respective health and well-being, burnout can manifest in specific symptoms, including decreased motivation that leads to a drop in academic performance. They may also lose interest in social activities, neglect friendships, and face physical symptoms such as increased anxiety and depression. Also, one should be mindful of becoming disinterested in school or courses as a result of burnout.” How commonly do you see burnout in students or young adults? Has this changed because of the pandemic? “Burnout is a very real condition that affects anybody, especially college students. In 2018, roughly 85 percent of college students reported feeling overwhelmed, while 50 percent said they experienced stress that
negatively impacted their academic performance. The pandemic over the past two years adds another wrinkle into the equation as students were never reacclimated back into brick-and-mortar learning. Many freshmen, sophomores and juniors were completely virtual in high school, and now struggle to segue back into in-person learning. The pandemic added an entirely new level of stress and has only exacerbated
In 2018, roughly 85% of college students reported feeling overwhelmed... anxiety and depression in college students, which are both big contributors to burnout.”
TIPS & TRICKS
Focus on time management
Having the ability to say “no”
Making sleep and exercise a priority
Set reasonable goals
What resources would you recommend for someone who is burnt out? “There are many resources to help aid students who may be experiencing burnout. Students react to burnout differently. Some struggle with imposter syndrome and consider dropping out of school. Others push themselves harder to succeed, at the cost of their mental health. Whether it’s the college campus counseling services, academic learning centers, ministry services, peers, family members, significant others, sports, or campus activities, there are many options that may help you cope with the intensive environment of higher learning.” Do you have any tips or tricks to prevent burnout? Burnout can feel like an overwhelming problem without an easy solution, but making a few small changes can have a big impact. 1. Focusing on time management: Setting a schedule and planning out your
"There are many resources to help aid students who may be experiencing burnout..."
time will help you from procrastinating, which will significantly reduce the amount of stress you experience. By working on time management, you’ll make sure you have enough time set aside for yourself, instead of getting overwhelmed as the work piles up.. 2. Having the ability to say “no” and practicing boundaries on tasks/assignments: Setting firm boundaries is a great way to prevent burnout. While movie night with friends sounds like a great idea at the moment, if you know you’re already feeling overloaded with assignments and tasks, it’s a good idea to learn ways of saying “no” to put yourself first. Though it might not be the easiest thing to do, you’ll be grateful in the long run when you don’t have to worry about rushing to get things done. 3. Making sleep and exercise a priority: This seems like an obvious one, but when you’re feeling burnt out, it’s common to forget about the more practical parts of staying healthy. Getting at least 8 to 9 hours of sleep
a night and taking the time to get in a quick workout can do wonders for your mental health. 4. Set reasonable goals: Having goals is always helpful, especially because reaching them can be a great source of motivation. Setting some small and realistic goals is just as important as setting bigger ones that you’ll reach later on. Reaching these goals will give you a sense of achievement and can help you stay focused on your future without getting discouraged. 5. Practice self-care: Make time to do something fun! Spend some time taking care of yourself, whether that means spending a night in with your favorite snacks and a good book, or going out with some friends to try out a new restaurant. Give yourself the space to enjoy life and take breaks!
THE SWINGING BRIDGE
TIPS & TRICKS
HARRISBURG ACTIVITIES 5 FUN PLACES TO VISIT IN THE CITY BY KAYLEE GETZ
Are you bored on the weekend and need new places to hangout with friends? If so, we’ve compiled five interesting places to visit or eat at this spring. Try out one of the locations our staff recommends below!
Susquehanna Art Museum
PHOTOS FROM VISIT HERSHEY & HARRISBURG
Whether you are involved in the Department of Art and Design or just interested in learning more about art and culture, this museum is for you. The Susquehanna Art Museum features both local and international artists in their variety of exhibits. They are open Wednesday-Sunday and admission cost is $5 for students. Visit their website to see upcoming programs and online content.
TIPS & TRICKS
Good Brothas Book Cafe Visit Good Brothas Book Care, a twoin-one bookstore and coffee shop that is the first Black owned cafe to open in Harrisburg. “Come join us for great coffee, books, and vibes'' states Good Brothas. If you’re interested in some new books, good coffee or a new studying atmosphere, check out their website or stop by from 7 am to 4 pm Monday through Friday, or 8 am to 4 pm on Saturday and Sunday.
Burger Yum Looking for a new restaurant to try? Check out Burger Yum located in Downtown Harrisburg. They serve burgers, chicken sandwiches, hot dogs, fries, ice cream and drinks. If you’re craving a good burger, stop by Burger Yum Monday through Saturday from 11 am to 9 pm.
Midtown Cinema If you’re a movie fanatic, check out the Midtown Cinema. They have movies showing every Wednesday-Sunday and tickets are $10-$12. Make sure you have your ID and proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test before going. Check out their website for showtimes, film reviews and podcasts.
City Island City Island has something for everyone. Watch a baseball game, play a round in the beautifully landscaped mini golf course, or buy food and ice cream available everyday. City Island is a great place to take a walk, get some aesthetic Instagram pictures or just hang out with friends.
PHOTOS FROM VISIT HERSHEY & HARRISBURG
PHOTOS FROM VISIT HERSHEY & HARRISBURG
THE SWINGING BRIDGE
SAFE OR SCAM?
BY GRACE WELLMON
ver the years, multi-level marketing (MLM) has become the new, unconventional way of earning, and sometimes losing, money. The prime target audience for MLM tends to sway towards college students and stay-at-home moms. At a front face value, it seems like the perfect occupation for these demographics: flexible hours, the ability to work from home, networking opportunities and the possibility of making a large income. But is this all good to be true? Can people succeed in making a living through multi-level marketing?
There are many ways that people define MLM. Some would describe MLM as network marketing, while other people would call it the more controversial term, pyramid schemes.
Michael Zigarelli, professor of leadership and strategy, explains the definition of MLM through a short narrative.
“Multi-level marketing is usually a form of direct sales,” Zigarelli said. “Participants make money when they sell the company’s products, as well as when those whom they recruit sell the products. The more people they recruit to sell, the more they stand to earn as a percentage of their sales. At some point, their network of recruits could become so large that they no longer have to sell at all.”
MLM companies sell a variety of different products, services, and memberships. Ashley Slavik, sophomore finance major, works for Mary Kay, a company that manufactures and sells skin care and cosmetic products. Mary Kay has been around for almost sixty years and has become the sixth-largest network marketing company in the world. Slavik’s journey with Mary Kay began in February 2020 after winning a free facial for her bridal party. The director ended up talking to Slavik about the possibility of working for Mary Kay. “[The director] asked what would stop me by being a consultant, and I told her these types of companies never worked out for me,” Slavik said. “She ended up convincing me to sign up and a lot of people were interested in being my customers.”
Although she was hesitant at first, Slavik is glad that she is a consultant with Mary Kay. “They care about me and my success,” Slavik said. “My experience has been amazing because of the wonderful and supportive environment they have created.”
TRENDING TOPICS Companies like Mary Kay do not only exist for the purpose of making a profit, they also have a social purpose to build a community with their consultants and customers. “Mary Kay was founded by a devout Christian woman specifically to help other women shatter the glass ceiling instantly and pursue their God-given potential,” Zigarelli said. “The company’s mission, which is focused on the employee rather than on the product or customer, has long been to give their team members ‘unlimited opportunity.’ ” Some of the benefits that Slavik enjoys are the 50 percent product discount on retail prices and the lack of pressure to meet pressing deadlines or complete strenuous tasks. “The only thing if you want to keep being a consultant, you have to order products once a year,” Slavik said. “To maintain a 50 percent off discount, you need to make the $225 wholesale within a three month period. If you want to ‘move up,’ you build a team, which requires having at least two active consultants.” While there are many legitimate MLM companies, people should make sure the companies that they want to work for are not pyramid schemes. “MLM can even morph into what are called ‘pyramid schemes,’ where you pay a big up-front cost for the alleged promise of great riches later, usually based on your recruiting others into the scheme rather than selling some product,” Zigarelli said. “And of course, those profits seldom materialize and your bank account takes a hit.” People who work for pyramid schemes find that no matter how hard they work, they are not able to sell enough inventory or recruit enough people to help make a profit. In the end, these people end up quitting
their job, losing their money or losing everything that they invested.
A famous example of a pyramid scheme is Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing (FHTM), a company that recruited people to sell products made by Dish Network, cellphone providers, Frontpoint Home Security, and health and beauty products. However, salespeople earned more money from recruiting than they did from selling. Roughly 100,000 Americans were affected, who paid between $100 and $300 in annual fees, as well as some who paid additional money for sales commissions and recruiting bonuses. For those who want to participate in MLM, make sure to do your homework by researching the company and talking to those who have or are currently working in the business.
“For the right, persuasive person with the right company, this can be quite lucrative,” Zigarelli said. “If either of those ingredients is missing, though, it’s probably better to seek a more traditional job and salary structure. But if you think it might be a good fit, just be sure to partner with an established company whose products you respect.” Warning signs of pyramid schemes -
1. Promoters make extravagant
promises about your potential earnings that are too good to be true.
Your income is based on the number of people you recruit and how much many they make to join the company, rather than sales of products to consumers.
Promoters use high-pressure and emotional sales tactics, which may discourage you from thoroughly researching the company.
THE SWINGING BRIDGE
T H A I E F H T G LE AV IN WHY COLLEGE STUDENTS ARE ABANDONING THE CHURCH
WRITTEN BY ETHAN DYRLI ILLUSTRATION BY AMBER SWAISGOOD
he religious landscape in America, and at Messiah, is changing. As a Christian educational institution, the demographic of faith-claiming students Messiah reached 30 years ago has dramatically lowered. A recent survey from Gallup, a global analytics and advice firm, found that the number of Americans who associate with a church is at an all time low. In 2020, 47% of all U.S. adults belonged to a church, synagogue or mosque. As well, only 60% of U.S. adults are religiously affiliated compared to 73% of U.S. adults in 1998-2000. The effects of these trends can be seen on college campuses as well. Col-
lege students are leaving the church at staggering rates. A 2019 survey from Lifeways research, a company focused on church leadership and ministry, found that two-thirds of American young adults who attended a Protestant church regularly for at least a year as a teenager stopped going between the ages of 18-22. A similar survey in 2018 from Barna, a research company focused on the intersection of faith and culture, found that 64% of Americans ages 18-29 who were involved in church as a teen have withdrawn from church involvement. These trends aren’t surprising to Dr. Brian Smith, chair of the department of Biblical,
Religious and Philosophical studies at Messiah University. Smith has seen these trends of disillusionment with organized religion and “religiosity” grow over the years. “People used to say that they were ‘spiritual but not religious,’ so they claimed a kind of spiritual life but not the trappings of religiosity,” Smith said. According to Lifeways, there are five main reasons students drop out of church attendance: 38% of students have left church because of coming to college; 32% leave because “church members seemed judgemental or hypocritical”; 29% left because they didn’t feel connected to the other members of their church; 25% disagreed with the church on political or social issues; and 24% said that work stopped them from attending.
"64% of Americans aged 18-29 who were involved in church as a teen have withdrawn from church involvement" 12
TRENDING TOPICS Smith has commonly seen students critique perceived hypocrisy in the church, especially in how they treat others. “A lot of it has to do with a certain hypocrisy between what is preached on Sunday and how the church behaves throughout the whole week,” Smith said. Mina Choi, a student ministries pastor at Messiah, sees two main reasons why young people feel like church is no longer the place for them. First, Choi thinks that churches struggle to connect with younger people. “I think churches are really challenged by finding new narratives that really connect with this age group,” Choi said. On the other hand, Choi sees young people’s questions about difficult issues being dodged by the church. “I think for a long time churches have avoided answering some difficult questions and I think a lot of young people have felt really abandoned,” Choi said. Dr. George Pickens, professor of Theology and Mission at Messiah, has seen the way the changing religious demographics in America is shaping his experience in the classroom. Pickens believes Messiah needs to respond
by approaching their education in a way that does not assume who sits in their classroom. “We can’t assume a level of biblical or Christian literacy when we go into our theology or Bible classes, so we have to adjust the language we use,” Pickens said. In order to better approach the changing classroom setting here at Messiah, Pickens suggests a few things for educators and students to consider. First, increase your understanding of interfaith relationships and how the particularities of Christianity factor into other religions. Second, don’t assume your students are Christians, as that is increasingly not the case. Third, explain Christian jargon and don’t assume Biblical literacy.
For Choi, the fact that there are people who doubt or leave the faith is part of the “spiritual reality” of our society. However, she wants to encourage students who are having doubts and come alongside them. “It is okay for students to doubt and wrestle in faith, and [Campus Ministries] is committed to praying and walking alongside those students who are asking some difficult questions about faithPick in life,” Choitosaid. PHOTO CAPTION an arrow point in the direction of whichever photo you're captioning.
As these trends of religious affiliation conFeel free change the color desires of the arrow match tinue totochange, Smith thattofuture the spread just make sure it's not too light. students are able to continue to grow while here at Messiah. “My hope is that students continue to learn how to read the Bible well and how to understand God more fully in that process,” Smith said. “That ultimately would lead to lives that are glorifying to God.”
Fourth, encourage students to challenge and grow in their faith. And fifth, model the best of your faith to those around you.
CAPTION If there's more than one photo, split up the caption and use another arrow.
THE SWINGING BRIDGE
WORK E R S H O R TA G E
WHAT'S THE CAUSE AND HOW DO WE FIX IT? BY JOSH NIELSON & ETHAN DYRLI
essiah has been experiencing a shortage in students that are willing to work in Campus Events, Lottie Nelson dining hall, the Union and the Falcon. Belinda Conrad, the student employment coordinator in human resources, thinks that the trends of students not working are indicative of a larger trend in the American job market. “The current number of students engaged in student employment closely mirrors
staff shortages other businesses are facing across the country during this pandemic,” Conrad said. A job report from the U.S. government found that 20 million people quit their jobs in the second half of 2021. This phenomenon has been dubbed “The Great Resignation.”
ever, Kemper says that working at Messiah has more than just monetary value to him. Through working at Messiah, he has a safe environment to find friends while making money to pay off college debt. “I think relationships can be easily made at
Greysen Kemper, a junior music major who works at Lottie, thinks that it would be hard for any university to get college students to work. He recognizes that it’s difficult for college students to fit a job into their busy schedules. “They have added so many incentives for every job already and it still hasn’t helped all that much,” Kemper said. “I think a big part of it comes down to how hard the students are willing to work and how much time they are willing to sacrifice.” Many students might look solely at the numbers of how much they are getting paid when looking for an on-campus job. How-
PHOTOS BY LIAM FITZSIMMONS
work,” Kemper said. “Some of my closest friends have come during shifts at Lottie.” According to Kemper, the nature of a workplace like Lottie fosters a community that connects those that work there. “I think that it is also easy to talk to people at work,” Kemper said. “Even if you are a quiet person, you will be in situations when you are with other people at your station and it requires good teamwork so that you don’t fall behind.” Despite the small staff in dining, Conrad is sure that these shortages have been managed well by the community in order to maintain Messiah’s level of service. “There have been times when low numbers of student employees have resulted in reduced levels of service in Dining and Campus Events,” Conrad said. “However, the Messiah Community has done an excellent job of addressing these challenges so that such disruptions are held to a minimum.” For those students looking for a raise, there is hope and change coming. According to Conrad, student employment has been working with other departments to incentivise on campus jobs. “We have worked with other departments to implement incentives tied to working additional shifts and referring other student em-
ployees,” Conrad said. “The University has recently approved a pay rate for all student employees for the 2022-23 academic year.” Beyond that, Conrad also hopes to return to hosting student employee events aimed at helping students who are working on campus work towards a future career. “We hope to be able to return to hosting a student employee event designed to help student employees translate their on-campus work experience into compelling content for their resumes,” Conrad said.
American workers are seeking jobs that have higher wages. If these trends apply to Messiah’s campus, it is possible that by raising the wages here and investing in programs for their workers, the employment rate will rise as well. Students looking for on campus employment can go to jobs.messiah.edu for more information.
While Kemper admitted it would be tough for the university to compete with off campus jobs, he feels like the ease of working on campus is something to take into consideration. “The great thing about the University is that they are flexible with our schedules and getting to work only requires a short walk,” Kemper said. “You can basically be scheduled at any time that will work for you so it is easy to fit it in your schedule.” These measures taken by Messiah’s student employment office may prove to be a solution to their worker shortage in time. “The Great Resignation,” may not be an entirely accurate name anymore as hires are at an all time high in the U.S - 6.5 million in September.
"The current number of students engaged in student employment
staff shortages other businesses are facing across the country during this pandemic"
THE SWINGING BRIDGE
DOES MESSIAH ACTUALLY
ADDRESSING SUSTAINABILITY ISSUES ON CAMPUS
BY KAYLEE GETZ
Messiah’s Sustainability Office heavily promotes recycling, there are labeled recycling bins in almost every building and mixed recycling dumpsters outside every residence hall. But what happens to the waste that gets tossed into the recycling bins? Does Messiah actually recycle it?
properly recycling, they are contaminating even the items that are recyclable. “If there’s food residue on it, someone has to clean it,” Hoover said, “and no one has the bandwidth to do that–Messiah staff or PennWaste staff. So it’s really the consumer that drives a lot of the practices.”
According to Brandon Hoover, Messiah’s Director of Sustainability, the labeled recycling bins located in the Falcon and the Union are not recycled. All of the waste from the trash cans and these recycling bins go to the same place: the landfill. “We definitely recycle,” Hoover said, “but there are some complications to it both on campus and globally. If you look at our recycling stream, what you’ll find are a lot of containers with Lottie Nelson Photo by Liam Fitzsimmons food residue on them. When you see that, it’s not actually recyclable at The dumpsters around campus are manthat point.” aged by PennWaste who empty them twice a week. PennWaste becomes responsible for Because some consumers at Messiah are not what happens with the waste after it leaves
Messiah’s premises. “Yes, it is going to a recycling plant,” Hoover said. “Whether it’s getting recycled at that recycling plant has nothing to do with Messiah.” While recycling has been a challenge at Messiah, other aspects of sustainability and waste management efforts, such as composting, have done well. Composting has become a “hallmark” of Messiah’s sustainability efforts. “Annually, we usually compost between 20 and 40 tons of food waste which is about 10 to 20 tons of CO2 emissions that we’re not contributing to the atmosphere,” Hoover said. “Back in 2019, we ranked in the top 20 universities in the country for our composting efforts.” However, both recycling and composting at Messiah have taken a hit recently. Because of a worker shortage in the dining facilities, composting has been limited compared to previous years. “Lottie alone is short 65 workers,” Hoover
Messiah usually composts between 20 and 40 tons of food waste
"Because of a worker shortage in the dining facilities, there is not the option to compost as well as previous years."
Lottie Nelson Photo by Liam Fitzsimmons
said. “We can’t run the dishroom, so the tray accumulator isn’t running and all of the food waste is just going to the trash instead of being composted.” Hoover would love to do away with the disposable products in Lottie, which could only happen with a larger staff. “We definitely need students to work,” Hoover said. “And those students working between $9-$10 an hour will help solve some of the waste problems that we’ve generated as a campus.” Aleesa Wu, Messiah’s student Waste Coordinator for Office of Sustainability, emphasizes that the school’s staff are doing what they can in terms of sustainability efforts. “Although the current circumstances could be improved,” Wu said, “I’m thankful that Messiah recycles through PennWaste and has implemented a compost system.” One way that the Office of Sustainabili-
ty is promoting recycling is by participating in events such as the Campus Waste to Zero Waste. “I hope that the Campus Race to Zero Waste alerts people about the current circumstances of how we as a campus, and individuals, are performing in terms of the environment,” Wu said. “We choose convenience over creating habits that would help reduce our waste. Through intentionality, differences can be made.” If you’re interested in helping improve Messiah’s current waste management situation, here are some ways that Hoover and Wu say students can do their part: Consider applying for a job in Lottie or one of the other dining facilities. If you have a few extra hours a week, you could earn money and contribute to Messiah’s sustainability efforts.
that it is going in the correctly labeled bin. Although the labeled bins in the Falcon and the Union are not currently recycled, there are other recycling bins in the academic buildings, and the PennWaste mixed recycling dumpsters do go to a recycling facility. Compost. The Office of Sustainability provides compost buckets to interested students, and there is a recycling location by the Grantham Community Garden. Reduce your waste usage. If possible, use reusable containers, water bottles and other items that might normally go in the trash. Educate yourself. If you have questions about recycling or composting, do some research, talk to someone in the Office of Sustainability or attend one of the Office of Sustainability’s events on campus.
Practice good recycling habits. Before you recycle something, make sure it is clean and THE SWINGING BRIDGE
PEOPLE OF MESSIAH
BY ETHAN DYRLI Meet Gilbert, the biology department’s two foot long African spurred tortoise. While Gilbert was unfortunately unable to comment on his appearance in this issue, Sarah Crone, the biological sciences lab coordinator, was able to share a little bit about Gilbert and his life on campus. Gilbert is a hefty tortoise, weighing in between 75 and 100 pounds. He has been living on campus for about 14 years, spending his time in the campus greenhouse and vacationing at Dr. Erik Lindquist’s home during the summers. While African spurred tortoises are fairly low maintenance, dedicated work is put into caring for Messiah’s resident tortoise. Gilbert has a steady diet of fresh grasses from the Back 40 during the spring, summer and early fall months. The grasses on campus, according to Crone, are not safe for Gilbert to digest because of the weed control and fertilizers spread on the grass.
In the winter months, Gilbert gets hay and every Friday he gets some calcium, vegetables and fruit as a special treat.
“When training our field biologists, Gilbert introduces a real-world context to the training exercises in labs,” Crone said.
African spurred tortoises are typically very social with their owners, forming relationships with them, and even recognizing them. According to Crone, while Gilbert is curious and friendly, he’s not eager to be handled.
Beyond that, Gilbert is busy making appearances around campus. He’s appeared at Sustain-A-Fest multiple times, attracting curious attendees and giving students the opportunity to learn more about the biology department at Messiah.
However, Gilbert's social capacity is limited, often not getting along with the other animals here. “He and our Red-footed tortoise, Titus, are not best buds,” Crone said. Gilbert does more than just hang out in Messiah’s greenhouse. He is also featured in Messiah’s biology and herpetology classes. For example, he helps out as students learn to use the radio telemetry equipment and the techniques used with the equipment. Crone finds that having animals like Gilbert on campus provide an added dimension to the classroom setting.
To Crone, Gilbert’s value extends beyond his ability to teach students about biology or give them more field experience. Crone also sees Gilbert as a beautiful animal who serves as an example of God’s design within biology. “Gilbert is also a great reminder to everyone of how God’s creations come in all shapes and sizes, sometimes exotic in appearance and other times simple,” Crone said. Whether he’s in his tub in the greenhouse, hanging out in the Back 40, relaxing at Sustain-A-Fest or working with students, Gilbert is an important part of Messiah’s community.
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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
DIVERSIFYING ATHLETICS BY PJ RIDDELL
essiah University’s athletics department, like any other collegiate or professional sports organization, is tasked with promoting and maintaining racial, ethnic and gender diversity within their organization in a constructive manner. How Messiah, a predominantly white institution, handles and promotes diversity is very different from a league such as the NFL, but is no less important. Messiah University’s athletics department, like any other collegiate or professional sports organization, is tasked with promoting and maintaining racial, ethnic and gender diversity within their organization in a constructive manner. How Messiah, a predominantly white institution, handles and promotes diversity is very different from a league such as the NFL, but is no less important.
a certain number of “diverse candidates” when looking to fill a vacancy at various positions, the league’s diversity ratio among coaches and players is still lopsided. Coaches don’t ethnically represent the majority of their athletes. Recently, former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores filed a lawsuit against the NFL and three NFL teams, claiming racism in the league’s hiring practices. The lawsuit highlights that promoting diversity in leadership is challenging but necessary for a league as diverse as the NFL. But even for a predominantly white demographic like Messiah, diversity in leadership remains important. Rico Plummer, Assistant Director of Athletics for Compliance and Internal Operations, and a 2014 Messiah graduate, understands the need for having diverse leaders.
According to Messiah University’s Common Data Set, the institution’s undergraduate enrollment is nearly 79 percent white in the 2021-2022 academic year. Meanwhile, according to the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport, 57.5 percent of NFL players were African-American, while just 4 out of 32 of head coaches were of ethnically-diverse backgrounds in 2020.
As the only athlete of color on the wrestling team at one point, Plummer expresses the importance of having conversations about racial issues. He recalls talking with white athletes about the challenges of racial conversations as an athlete and an administrator.
Despite measures like the Rooney Rule, which mandates that NFL teams interview
“Usually they’re hesitant in talking about [racial topics], especially when
everything that we’ve been through in this country for the past two years has brought to light a lot of different issues,” Plummer said. “How do we do it in a way that's respectful, understanding and shows empathy?” Challenging as they may be, they’re important conversations, especially for athletes from diverse backgrounds. Krystalyn Super, a sophomore sustainability major, values conversations regarding racial issues in America, especially as one of few athletes of color on Messiah’s track and field team. “On the track and field team, there aren’t a whole lot of women of color,” Super said. “It’s not like it’s a bad thing, I have great friends on my team. I know I could talk to my teammates about certain events or what I’m feeling, but I also know, as much as I explain it to them, they won’t understand as much as someone actually going through it.” For Super, her experiences as an athlete of color with predominantly white coaches at Messiah has been positive, even though it lacks the shared experiences. “It would be nice to have more coaches of color, but the most important thing is that coaches are understanding and want to have
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"Athletics in particular is an area that we have to be really conscious of diversity." - Sarah Gustin Hamrock Super competting as a member of the track team Photo by Messiah Sports
those conversations with their whole team, or specific athletes,” Super said. Plummer, along with other coaches and administrators, advocates for educational opportunities for Messiah’s athletics staff in order to better understand their athletes of color. “We try to have somebody come in from the outside to educate our coaches about different situations that may arise, and also just have conversations within our own department,” Plummer said.
being talked about.” Blanchfield’s experience illustrates the importance of having diverse leaders capable of understanding what all of their athletes are experiencing. Plummer says that the ability to engage in understanding conversations is a priority in Messiah’s hiring process for prospective coaches. “We have a diversity statement that people submit as part of the application in correlation with their faith statement,” Plummer said. “What we’re looking for are those who are comfortable having those conversations.”
Like Plummer, Messiah’s athletic director Sarah Gustin-Hamrock doesn't understate diversity’s role in leadership. “Athletics in particular is an area that we have to be really conscious of [diversity],” Gustin-Hamrock said. “If we’re trying to create diversity in our student athletes and student body, we have to be really intentional in how we’re creating diversity with those that lead them.”
However, some believe Messiah has not done enough. Andrew Blanchfield, a senior applied health science major, is the co-founder of Messiah’s Athletes of Color club and former manager for Messiah’s Men’s basketball program. He has found it challenging for athletes of color to convey their experiences to white coaches. “We had difficulty coming across to our coaches and other staff here about experiences that the black players on the team have had, especially during last year’s social and racial reckoning,” Blanchfield said. “There are certain conversations that need to be had within a realm where the coaches and the staff here understand what exactly is
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ACTING THE PART CHRISTIAN ACTORS ON THE SECULAR THEATRE WORLD
BY GRACE WELLMON
n the world of theatre, the performers share a common goal of trying to tell the best story possible. However, sometimes actions like cursing, drinking or acting promiscuous are necessary for the message to be conveyed to the audience. While many actors would not bat an eye at acting out these certain behaviors, Christian actors might be more hesitant to perform these “sinful” actions.
“What we’re trying to teach them, however, is not a set of rules, but rather a faith-based way of making decisions when they arise.”
theatre and dance major, believes that just like the Gospel, the art of acting should be rooted in truth.
No matter the musical or play, whether it be a children’s show like “A Year with Frog and Toad” or a PG-13 musical like “Company,” it is hard to avoid portraying sin in theatre simply because sin exists in the real world.
This brings up the question: how do Christian artists deal with shows that ask them to portray behaviors that may go against their beliefs?
Evan Tinsman, a senior musical theatre major, holds the philosophy that Christian actors are called to portray the humanity of life.
“Acting is all about becoming and displaying a character as truthfully as possible,” Dolence said. “The truth is life is ugly, filled with sin, darkness, and cruelty, and without this darkness, the light of God's love wouldn't be nearly as bright and beautiful. If we just told happy stories all day, we wouldn't be telling stories that are worthwhile. The Bible is full of violence, sex and alcoholism, and we all know it is as the most holy book because of Christ's redemption.”
Within Messiah’s Theatre and Dance Department, professors such as Ed Cohn, are there to help the students learn how to integrate their faith into their craft, regardless of what character they may have to portray. “When a lot of our theater students first arrive, they are seeking to develop a set of rules of what they will and won’t do,” Cohn said.
“Without that [character’s] truth, there wouldn’t be a story to tell at all,” Tinsman said. “Unfortunately, there are some stories that have those dark themes. There are many stories that have cussing or sexual activity involved that is done to carry the story along. But without those parts that help progress the story, it wouldn’t make any sense.” Liberty Dolence, a senior
Although actors are aware that they are not personally taking on or agreeing with their character’s thoughts and actions, they still may be uncomfortable with what they are being asked to portray. “Every actor has different personal boundaries when we take on characters,” Dolence said. “For example, I don't have a problem with most swear words, but I know actors who refuse to say ‘Oh my God.’ ”
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Dolence feels similarly about alcohol on stage. She is not personally convicted, but sees a need to tell others’ stories.
"Christian actors are
“Other actors might not feel comfortable drinking apple juice that looks like Brandy in a fancy glass,” Dolence said. “Characters that are alcoholics, though struggling with sin, have stories that ought to be told all the same in my opinion.”
the humanity of life"
There are some themes that Dolence does not feel as comfortable portraying onstage. “Regarding sex, I get uncomfortable,” Dolence said. “This is possibly because society has shamed women to hide all sexuality or maybe it is just something I feel awkward doing.” For some audience members, particularly those who are Christian, these “sinful” behaviors can distract them from enjoying the story-telling happening onstage.
called to portray
ciety. In years past, however, the Theatre and Dance Department has gotten backlash from audience members over productions that aired on the controversial side. Cohn, who directed “Pippin” at Messiah years ago, received audience backlash for directing a show that had violence, profanity and suggestive actions.
“The beginning of ‘Pippin’ is a morality play and audiences need to look for the message of the overall journey of the character,” Cohn said. “Sometimes, people get struck by seeing something on stage that they don’t like and it prevents them from engaging with the value of the performance.” At the end of the day, it is ultimately up to the actor of how they want to integrate their faith with theatre. For Tinsman and Dolence, theatre is their way of worshiping God. “We pray before every show here at Messiah, and we sing the first verse of the Doxology as a praise and thank you to God for allowing us to perform a story on stage,” Tinsman said. “Honestly, I think it is one of the best things any Christian theatre establishment can do.”
All of the shows that are performed at Messiah have been chosen by the professors and approved by the Dean of Arts, Culture, and So-
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PHOTO BY HUNTER ROHRER
A NONTRADITIONAL STUDIO ART MAJOR
BY MACKENZIE CHRISTIE he path we think we’re destined for in life can seem deceivingly straightforward; go to college, get a degree and secure that perfect job you’ve always dreamed of. Sounds simple, right? In reality, the journey of self-exploration can be a messy (yet rewarding) process. No one knows this mark of life better than BENJAMIN DOBLER, a 25 year old sophomore studio art major with a graphic design concentration. Benjamin graduated from highschool in 2013, knowing that while he had a natural interest in art, he didn’t have a clear idea on how it would influence his future. After graduating highschool, Benjamin pursued a degree in conservation law enforcement from Unity College in 2014. After a series of personal and professional hardships, however, Benjamin decided to drop out after one year. “I basically cut myself off from the world and stopped doing art completely,” Dobler said. “I turned to drinking, self harm, and pornography addictions. I came back home as a totally different person from when I left.” During this time, Benjamin admits that he felt confused and directionless about the path he seemed to be on, not realizing the ways in which his life was soon to change
“At some point, I went for my second tattoo, and I just became infatuated with the art of tattooing,” Dobler said. “I thought maybe I could start to put my artwork to better use that way.”
Benjamin primarily creates art using systems like Procreate and Sketchbook Pro, where he specializes in digital illustration and photo manipulation.
“We live in such a heavy digital age where After reigniting his artistic pasgraphic design has much more influence, sion through a short-lived apprenso it’s easier to get your art out there ticship at a local tattoo shop, when you have that graphic design and Benjamin decided to media knowledge.” attend a Mothers Day church service as a Benjamin plans to use his gift to his Mom. degree in graphic design to "THE JOURNEY work with kids and teenOF Though he never agers from other counCAN BE A MESSY considered himtries in order to help them YET REWARDING self to be a religious explore their faith through PROCESS " individual before this artistic expression. experience, he believes that the church service changed the course “Immediately, the idea of going to Japan of his life. comes to my mind,” Dobler said. “I’ve always been interested in the culture and “I basically turned my life around,” Dobler art of the country. The big plan there is said. “I got involved with youth leadership to do mission work, using art as a form of and all kinds of positions in the church. unspoken, universal language.” Through the church I also heard about a Bible college in Massachusetts and I Although it can sometimes seem like there’s decided to go.” “no time to have a peaceful moment” as a studio art major, Benjamin’s time studying After years of struggling to find his calling, at Messiah has reshaped the way he views Benjamin completed his asociates degree his craft, and he wants to continue sharing from Northpoint Bible College in 2021. that passion with others. Now, he has made Messiah University his new home. combining his calling towards “Even though it feels like you’re forced faith-based work with his passion for art . to continuously pump out artwork, it’s important to take time outside of class to analyze who you are. What’s your voice, what's your style, and what calls to you. At the end of the day, you have to figure out what really makes you an artist.”
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A SUPPOSED GUIDE TO BASBEALL BY ETHAN DYRLI ILLUSTRATION BY KATE TRIMBLE
aseball is America’s pastime, or at least it was until America wasn’t lame. I wasn’t planning on writing a Sports for Dummies on baseball, but it turns out there’s not that many sports, so I guess I have to.
Baseball can be dated back to a similar game from the 1700s called “rounders,” which is also the name affectionately given to me by my dermatologist. It’s known as America’s pastime, so what is it? We’ve got you covered. Watching a baseball game is like watching a game of chess if chess was played on a field, with real people, and the object of the game was to score points by getting your own players around the field and back to home base. Actually, it’s nothing like chess. Baseball is more like war, except that there’s no oil involved. Really, baseball is like softball, but more of a ripoff of softball with guys.
Major League Baseball was founded in 1903, which is surprisingly the same year that the Orville brothers flew the first aircraft.
Baseball is a game rich with many traditions and rituals. One of those traditions is the opening pitch, often done by notable figures in society. The opening pitch has been thrown by celebrities as big as presidents, and as small as Simone Biles. Another notable part of baseball’s culture is the songs, all of which have a long running history. They include “The Star-Spangled Banner,” “Take Me Out To the Ballgame,” “Sweet Caroline,” Iggy Azela’s “Kream,” and “Mo Bamba.”
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The best way to describe a game is by it’s players, so here are a few notable baseball players from throughout history:
Another beloved tradition is the mascot race, with which I take issue. Essentially, these mascots, who are underpaid and overworked, are forced to sprint in the hot sun and race for the amusement of their rich owners and insatiable fans. And for what? Are we no better than the creators of Squid Games? I propose that the mascots unionize, but I digress.
Each baseball is rubbed with a special kind of mud before each game. This mud, called Lena Blackburne Baseball Rubbing Mud, is actually one of the major ingredients in Gwyneth Paltrow’s new line of “Goop” beauty products called “Field of Dreams.” The Louisville Slugger is one of the most popular baseball brands today. This is opposed to the California Slugger, which is a nickname for Chris Brown. Baseball, compared to other sports, is unique in the fact that it’s one of the few sports that you can play while still dressing fashionably. Whether that is a testament to the sport itself is for you to decide, but I have heard that “Golf le Fleur” will be designing the new uniforms for the Dodgers.
Lou Gherig, a player in the 1930s is known as one of the best first baseman in history. He also was a great player. Jackie Robinson was the first player to ever be good at baseball. Babe Ruth is best known for being an influential candy salesman, creating “Baby Ruth” candy bars. Roger Clemens is known best for constantly out-pitching batters who, during his career, were often found to be on steroids. His secret? Steroids. Nolan Ryan is known as a “strikeout champion” for his impressive record. For unrelated reasons, “strikeout champion” was what they called me in highschool. Alex Rodriguez has the nickname “A-Rod,” was on steroids, and dated Jennifer Lopez, so he’s pretty much a chad all around. Ben Affleck isn’t a baseball player, but has also dated Jennifer Lopez and is a fan of baseball. And there you have it, everything one can possibly know about baseball, ever. Consider yourself a professional.
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“Dune” (2021) was easily one of the most talked-about movies of last year, with notable stars such as Zendaya and Timothée Chalamet. This science fiction film adapting the classic novel by Frank Herbert was nominated for nine Oscars, though I personally would only nominate it for three. Dune’s stand-out features are its visual effects, costume design and sound. The biggest issues are the movie’s cinematography and writing, both of which it was nominated for. “Dune” features many extremely wide shots that showcase the vast desert landscapes. While it looks cool, it’s visually distant from the characters takes a toll on the movie. I did not care for a single one of the characters featured for the duration of the movie, something I attribute to a combination of these two categories. There is a second part of the movie in the works and one can only hope that it retroactively makes this one better in the process – a better focus on the characters would be the best direction to go. Rating: 6.5/10
Don't Look Up by
“Don’t Look Up” (2021) tells the story of two astronomers who must warn the world about a comet hurtling towards Earth. The film is a scathing critique of the way in which media messages are spread and the people in charge of those messages. The film shows how easily public perception can shift and how easily “facts” can be framed to better serve a specific agenda. It also serves as a warning against corporate greed. Individually, many of the film’s components are spectacular. Leonardo Dicaprio, for instance, leads the star-studded cast with a stellar, nuanced performance as an introverted professor. Other elements, namely Timothy Chalemet’s character, contrast too harshly with the overall tone of the piece to be enjoyable. All in all, while still a good time, this film received its Best Picture nomination for its willingness to take a meaningful stance on social issues - not for being a truly great movie. Rating: 7/10
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Licorice Pizza by
Paul Thomas Anderson’s newest film feels like a dream that takes you to 1970s SoCal, which is on par for the course for the director. Cooper Hoffman and Alana Haim, both in their first acting roles, star as Gary & Alana, two childish adults trying to find their way around the world. They dip their toes in adulthood while running around selling waterbeds, volunteering in politics and bringing pinball back to Los Angeles. Much unlike his previous films, “Licorice Pizza” offers a gentle view of a location he often uses, the San Fernando Valley. The break from the usual darker tones in Anderson’s films makes for a thrilling experience full of laughter, which is something we all need these days. The cast is filled out with popular names like Bradley Cooper, Sean Penn, Benny Safdie and even Tom Waits. With nominations for Best Original Screenplay, Best Director, and Best Picture, “Licorice Pizza” did not disappoint. Rating: 8/10
The Tragedy of Macbeth by
Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” is a story that has been retold again and again over many years and mediums. It would be easy to assume that Joel Cohen’s “The Tragedy of Macbeth” (2021) is simply another iteration of this classic story, regurgitating the Shakespearean masterpiece to draw a nostalgic crowd. However, this is far from the truth. “The Tragedy of Macbeth” is an inventive reimagining of the classic play, remaining true to its Shakespearean roots while gaining a sleek modern aesthetic. Shot in all black and white on elegantly crafted soundstages, the film creates a visually ambiguous and striking visual motif that perfectly encapsulates the spirit of Macbeth and its stage roots. The actors’ performances are extremely compelling, most notably Denzel Washington as Macbeth who was nominated for Best Actor. His delivery of Shakespearean dialogue is both understandable as well as full of conviction, making a case for one of the strongest leading performances of the year. The combination of all these elements makes for one of the best films of the year for casual moviegoers and die-hard Shakespeare fans alike. Rating: 8.5/10
Summer of Soul by
In a year of exciting music documentaries, the latest from hip-hop’s renaissance man, Questlove, has managed to be singularly enticing. “Summer of Soul” documents the Harlem Cultural Festival, which was a six week concert series in 1969 that the city held in hopes of channeling the citizenry’s collective discontent into something peaceful. The result of their efforts? A show lineup that is absolutely ridiculous by today’s standards. We are treated to electric performances from the likes of Mahalia Jackson, Stevie Wonder, David Ruffin, Sly and the Family Stone. “The Harlem Cultural Festival was a momentous occasion both in the world of music and in the Black Community” and has been rightfully dubbed by many as “Black Woodstock.” It’s unclear if Questlove means to lament the erasure of the festival from our collective memory, to celebrate those six magical weeks, inspire a modern equivalent, or perhaps to present some amalgam of the three. Rating: 8/10 THE SWINGING BRIDGE
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