Volume 81, Issue 5

Page 1



FEATURES “The small steps are what make dreams possible.” PAGE 4.



“...our apathy is the consequence of having no real power.” PAGE 5.

“(The team) is in the proces of defining themselves.” PAGE 8.

“Educate a girl,

you change the world.”

Lily Womble, student ambassador for Half the Sky, works with local girls to educate girls on the power they carry as women. | Photos contributed.



he journey began in 2009 when Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn published their best-selling book “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide.” The book presents actual stories of women all over the world who struggle — from Africa to Asia to the United States — with oppression that has become a part of the global culture. An ancient Chinese proverb says women hold up half the sky. Kristof and WuDunn want to show the world that this is true. Having previously taken trips across the world, they were struck by the “gross unjustices that plagued the status of women,” says junior Lily Womble of the initial undertaking of what has now become a global movement. Womble, a student ambassador for the Half the Sky Movement translates her passion for women’s rights into the Jackson community by addressing the main issues on which Half the

Sky focuses. These six main issues are: • gender-based violence • maternal mortality • education • economic empowerment • forced prostitution • sex trafficking. “(This movement) is so unique,” says Womble. “Because it tells the story of these women but it is based in fact and academic. The victims (women) are perceived as discounted humans.” Womble who initially became passionate about the issue of sex trafficking when she was in high school, brings the movement to Millsaps Oct. 1 with the global premier of the Half the Sky documentary. “(The movement) presents the issues in a really great way,” says Womble. “It presents innovative solutions.” The film also features celebrities including but not limited to Meg Ryan, America Ferrera, Olivia Wilde and John Wood. “It’s really powerful to see someone you love on screen reacting to what they see in these very real situations,” Womble says. With the inclusion of well-known ce-

lebrities, “Half the Sky” connects easily and for some, may make focusing on such an estranged topic more inviting. For Womble and the other 300 campus ambassadors across the country, however, the documentary is just the beginning. These activists are aiming to raise awareness, and then give students a place to get involved if they desire. Womble’s ultimate goal in bringing the movement south is to raise enough money to send 10 girls who live in the developing world to school. However, along the way, she hopes to immerse others in the reality of a situation that is infrequently discussed. “I want this film to shock people,” she says. “Because we need to wake up to what is going on with women and gender in this world and in our own community. There’s a reason the teen pregnancy rate is so high in Mississippi.” After research and involvement in the cause, Womble has been startled by statistics such as in the U.S., a woman is abused every 15 seconds and one is raped every 90 seconds. But, she has also been overcome with hope, knowing that a child born to a literate woman is 50 percent

more likely to survive past the age of five. Womble is confident that “education is the best preventative medicine” and that that education can start anywhere. Womble reaches out to the Jackson community by working in local classrooms to educate young girls on the power they carry as women. She helps transform their personal ideas of female value and importance by teaching them about women across the world. The movement at Millsaps is brought to campus by a group of people who want to get engage and inform a larger population. “It all boils down to what women deserve,” Womble states with determination. “This is why I am passionate about this, locally and globally. Just educate a girl, you change the world.” Join Womble for the global premier of the PBS documentary “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide” at 7:45 p.m. Monday in AC 215.



| September 27, 2012

C OMMUNITY A letter from the Editor

To the Millsaps Community, I am writing as your colleague, peer, student, friend and primarily, as the editor-in-chief of the Purple & White. Over the past few weeks the Millsaps community has expressed tremendous support about both the new design and the majority of the content in the paper. When people have had a concern they have come directly to me with constructive criticism, and I appreciate this more than I can say. Seeing that the Purple & White is a student publication this type of feedback is crucial to its continued success. Although there was a major, yet not unusual, lack of support in contributions, I was happy to see almost every copy of two of our issues be picked up from the student center the day it was distributed. It was promis-

ing, in some way or another, to see that people wanted to read the paper. However, I digress. I write to you primarily to inform you that I will be resigning from my position as editor-in-chief of the Purple & White. This sudden decision may come as a shock. To clarify, the reasons I am leaving have nothing to do with the article published in the Sept. 13 issue, or any of the resulting conversations (or lack there of). In fact, my reasons have nothing to do with any of the struggles that the Purple & White has been facing. They are personal reasons, and if it were my choice, and not that of my health, I would choose to stay with the Purple & White as long as I could. I came into this job enthusiastic about making change. I wanted (and still do) so badly to see the Purple & White transform into a publication that was respected by every person not only on campus, but also in the greater Jackson community. I do think we made progress. Honestly, I sometimes feel my goals were rather lofty for the situation we are in as a student-run newspaper. Because of my —and other staff members’ — multiple commitments across campus, the lack of contributions we received and challenges with staff commitment, it felt sometimes that we could not give the P&W what it truly deserves. These challenges, however, do not

change the fact that working for the P&W instilled in me both a new passion for publications, and for running a small business. My initial desire for change has not decreased in any way. I leave my position saddened that I cannot stay and continue to help propel the P&W into a new place in the Millsaps community, but I am also grateful for the opportunity I have had to work with such a wonderful staff and bring the Purple & White to where it is today. While firm in my decision to resign, I am willing to contribute to the growth of the P&W in any way I can. I will always carry a certain pride and confidence in the Millsaps College student newspaper, knowing its potential from behind the scenes. Recently, I have had numerous people compliment the paper, and this proves to me that it is moving in the right direction. The following is a formal statement from Kendall Gregory and Dr. Curtis Coats, Publication Board Co-chairs. Although some of the information is repeated, I run it to thank the Publications Board, and those members of the community previously aware of my resignation, for their relentless support.

tion comes out of a personal need and is in no way related to the Sept. 13 edition of the Purple and White. While the Purple and White will face a temporary halt of production, the Publication Board is committed to finding a suitable replacement editor-in-chief in as timely a manner as is possible. We thank Kenya for her many months of successful publication of the paper, and we wish Kenya only the best in her future endeavors.

College Community, It is with deep regrets that the College Publication Board has accepted Kenya Strong Johnston’s resignation as editor-in-chief of the Purple and White, effective immediately. It is important we note that Kenya’s resigna-

-Kenya Strong Johnston

Again, thank you, Millsaps, for the opportunity to serve as your editor-in-chief for the past nine months. It has truly been an honor, and I will miss my position. Even though there will be a temporary halt in production of the paper, I do trust that the Purple & White will move in a positive direction. In regards to this issue, if anyone has a response to any published piece, please log on to the Purple & White blog. The Gender & Sexuality series will be published in full and any other comments will be welcomed. The blog address: purpleandwhite12.wordpress. com

September 27-October 3, 2012 Thursday Academics: 6:15-7:15 “Archeology in the Public Sector” Sullivan Harrell 221 Student Life: 11:00-2:00 p.m. 4:00-8:00 p.m. Yearbook Portrait Day Leggett Center Lobby

Friday Sports: 6:00 p.m. Volleyball @ Berry Arts & Life: 12:30 p.m. Friday Forum feat. Historian Randall Norris AC 215

Saturday Sports: 12:30 p.m. Football @ Centre 5:00 p.m. Volleyball @ Ogelthorpe 5:00 p.m. Women’s Soccer @ Hendrix

Sunday Sports: Women’s Golf @ Rome, GA Berry College Women’s Chik-fil-A Classic

Mon. Sports: 3:30 p.m. Men’s Soccer @ MC Student Life: 7:45 p.m. Half the Sky Premier AC 215

7:00 p.m. Men’s Soccer @ Hendrix

4:30 p.m. Jewish Cultural Organization, Sukkot in the Bowl

10:40 a.m. Cross Country @ Memphis, Rhodes Invitational

5:00 p.m. Robinson Applications due to Tanya Newkirk



Student Life: 4:00 p.m. Women’s Soccer @ MC

Arts & Life: 7:30 p.m. Guest Artist Recital, Dr. Kristin Elgersma AC Recital Hall


| September 27, 2012

How the Greeks dominate


Editor’s note: This piece is part of the Gender & Sexuality at Millsaps series. Any responses may be posted on the blog at purpleandwhite12.wordpress.com. This longform narrative is focused on the in-depth, personal stories of two Millsaps students to highlight their experience with gender and sexuality on campus. Sorority girls trample towards a beer pong table trophying bottles of fluorescent neon liquid. Black lights illuminate the girls’ stark white T-shirts. Blaring music pulsates the fraternity party room; it catalyzes into a whirlwind of dancing. Girls stagger and sway around him, yet his mind drifts to a different scenario. It is almost the end of his freshman year at Millsaps, and his brothers still do not know. While enthralled in daydreams, Andy blankly watches the partiers slosh beer and neon liquid. Suddenly, his fraternity brother accosts him with a back slap. “Go get her,” he encourages. Andy winces and wonders, but what if it’s not a girl that I want? Like anyone else, Andy sought camaraderie upon his arrival at Millsaps College, and that’s one of the reasons he decided to join his fraternity. Andy amicably explained the diverse natures of his closer friends in his fraternity. “I joined because we’re just a weird, eclectic group of people that just happen to fit; that just happened to conjoin. We’re all different in lots of ways, but we all share a love for having fun,” he says. ( … ) Though Andy hadn’t been completely open about his sexual preferences his freshman year, as the eve of his sophomore year dawned, he had no problem speaking freely. “I just decided to not hide it anymore,” Andy says calmly. He celebrates his sexuality and openly admits, “I would kill to have a nice gay scene at Millsaps; not to go like (have sex with) people, but to either date someone, or to just … have gay friends. I don’t have any gay friends.” ( … ) Andy found genuine relationships

within his fraternity. Andy described his relationship with one of his closest fraternity brothers, Ben. “Ben and (his girlfriend) Natalie are like literally my family. After I came out, he kept hanging out with me more and more, and that made me feel so good… that like people didn’t (care) that I’m gay.” Andy tilted his head back and fanned his eyes to keep the tears from coming, “Dude, now I’m going to start crying,” he said. Andy enjoyed his fraternity, “I’m like a tiny twig, you know, but they love me. They think I’m really cool, and they want to hang out with me,” he says. Andy was searching for companionship that allowed him to share the intimate details of his life. These are details he feels he may never be able to share with his biological family. Even though Andy describes his parents as politically liberal, “when it comes to religious things … being gay is definitely number one on the no, no list. ( … ) However, Andy’s perception of the Millsaps Greek system as a whole is not composed entirely of “flowers and daisies.” “Let me just say that if there was no Greek life at Millsaps, then Millsaps would be so much better … hands down.” A n d y spoke matter-of-factly of ending a system that includes his f r a t e r n i t y. “First, p e o p l e would not have to conform to ideologies and molds that they don’t want to be part of. And second, the people that Millsaps recruits are most of the time in the upper brackets of affluence,” he says. “They come here and expect the complete college experience: joining a super ‘fratty’ fraternity or ‘sratty’ sorority, having their school work be easy, playing a sport, and getting drunk all the time. And, at Millsaps it’s not that … so by recruiting the people who fit into the preppy Greek life mold, we don’t have the diversity that attracts cool people to come to Millsaps. “Sometimes I feel like I don’t have anyone like that at Millsaps. I mean, even though I have amazing friends, I feel like sometimes they’re not there in the way I need them to be. They can’t be invested in me 100 percent, because I’m not more than a friend to them.” Though Andy is appreciative of how he has benefitted from being in his fraternity, his proposal to eliminate the Greek system not only comes from concern that Millsaps is not staying true to its Liberal Arts roots, but also because the Greek system is not entirely supportive of sexuality preferences other than heterosexuality. ( … ) “Generally, fraternities here look for guys who are really manly, really popu-

lar with the girls, dress well, have a conservative mentality, like to drink a lot and have fun. I mean, I think my fraternity looks for guys with the same basic standards, but in a more adjusted way towards people who have personality. We look for guys who have an innate understanding of brotherhood.” Despite his qualms about the Greek system, Andy explains, “I do it for the people. Next year I want to be the recruitment chair.” Andy also desires to recruit people who do not fit the “preppy Greek life mold” to attend Millsaps. “I want to bring more people to Millsaps like me. That’s why I’m going to be a student ambassador next year,” he says. “I’m gay, an atheist, and I’m co-chair of the Campus Ministry Team. If you want to be a part of other Millsaps organizations, then that kind of stuff doesn’t matter. They can be really diverse; we have all these different people with different positions, clubs, and ideas, but when it comes to Greek life, it’s very segregated and very stereotyped. Greek life is different because it’s dichotomized and expects people to fit into stereotypical gender molds.” ( … ) “I remember getting here as a freshman and getting pounded with, ‘Greek life here is so different!! Are you rushing!?’ That is seriously THE talk when you get to Millsaps.” Mollie came to Millsaps as a wide-eyed, bubbly freshman ready and determined to form quality relationships. However, Mollie wasn’t so sure that those relationships should be formed through a sorority. “I was really, really opposed to joining a sorority before I got to Millsaps. I started to hate sororities during my senior year of high school whenever my friends started talking about rushing, worrying about their Facebook pictures, worrying about their image and what sororities were going to think about them. I just became really prejudiced against any girl who was in a sorority or who was interested in a sorority,” she says. Mollie’s initial prejudice didn’t stop her curiosity. The weekend after classes started, Mollie decided to attend the parties on Fraternity Row. She couldn’t help but to wonder that joining a sorority would be the only way she could make genuine friends. She remembers asking a fraternity friend, “Girls who aren’t in sororities, can they hang out at fraternity houses? Anthony, if I don’t join a sorority, am I not going to have any friends? Am I not going to have anything to do on the weekends? And, of course, Anthony hesitantly replied, ‘You don’t really have to be if you’re like friends with the guys, you know, you’ll get invited to stuff.

But, a lot of girls are in sororities here.’ “That really didn’t make me feel better about not joining one. If anything it told me, yeah, people who aren’t in sororities come here, but they’re in with the guys who are in fraternities,” she says. “So, it became pretty clear to me that the Millsaps social scene was dominated by Greeks.” She was consistently reassured that the Greek life at Millsaps is different than at state schools. So, on the last day to sign up for recruitment, she decided to give Greek life an honest chance. Mollie endured the hectic recruitment week, and pledged the sorority she wanted to extend her a bid. Mollie’s resistance to joining a sorority stemmed partly from feeling that she didn’t fit into the mold of “a typical sorority girl.” “I was just the little hippie freshman in the sorority, but they liked that. They liked that they had somebody that was mixing it up,” she says. “I got really close to a lot of those girls, even girls who thought completely differently from me. I was surprised, but the people just changed my mind.” ( … ) But before the end of the fall semester of her sophomore year, Mollie began to realize that she wasn’t happy anymore being in her sorority. After several meetings with the sorority’s leaders about the issues she had, Mollie finally decided to drop out early that next spring. ( … ) “These groups are really old, and you have to look into what they were founded on. We’re finding that it’s sexuality preferences and genders that are being marginalized within the Greek system. And, that is the very essence of sororities and fraternities; they’re based on gender stereotypes and gender roles.” ( … ) “It’s still just not all the way un-taboo to be a lesbian in a sorority.” Mollie was strictly heterosexual while she was a member of her sorority, but long after she dropped, she experimented with girls, as well. However, Mollie quickly discovered that the people on campus perceived experimenting with the same sex as too much of a spectacle. She explains, “I don’t think that there’s a big group on this campus that thinks homosexuality is morally wrong, but it’s just that it’s so different. There’s no hooking up with a girl just to experience that, and there’s no telling people about it without it being a big deal. And that’s not fair because guys and girls hook up all the time, and it’s not a big deal.” Similarly to Andy, Mollie believes that Millsaps could better complete its “Liberal Arts mission” of attracting diverse students who don’t fit into a “Greek life mold.” She suggests that Millsaps could re-create the feeling of camaraderie in a different structure of social groups that are less alienating. “I think if they were based on more specific, tangible interests, groups could be more productive for the college,” she says. “Large groups based on specific interests would leave less holes for people not to fit in somewhere.”



| September 27, 2012

Student seeks money in online market place SALVO BLAIR SECTION EDITOR

Senior economics and business student Malte Shick, stands over 6 feet, 6 inches and he has an abrasion over his right eye. He touches the bluish region by his eye and says, “I know it looks like I got in a fight, but I tripped playing tennis, I swear.” Shick is a proficient tennis player with many titles, and holds a job with Millsaps as a tennis racquet restringer in his off time. Shick, a native of Hamburg, Germany, immigrated to Mississippi to attend Millsaps his freshman year. A slight German accent remains in his voice, which strengthens his English and conveys a sense of hardworking German determinism. Shick remembers, “I was watching ‘The Social Network’ about Mark Zuckerburg when I realized business is what I wanted to pursue at Millsaps.” Shick views his business education as a means by which he can be independent and become responsible for reaching dreams on his own. Shick spent the past summer in Germany preparing to start his own business. After two months of establishing a financial plan and talking with distributors, Shick agreed to cofound the company “uTection” with his German friend and entrepreneur, Felix Zywietz. uTection is an internet based retailer that sells smart phone cases that Shick and Zywietz independently designed. Their most popular product is a leather iPhone case that has slits for credit cards and cash, and is closed using a magnetic clasp. They also sell a multitude of other models of smart phone cases and have not

limited their inventory to just the iPhone. uTection currently sells its’ product via Amazon and Ebay, but Zywietz and Shick want to expand by creating their own webshop—www.uTection.com. Zywietz and Shick will maintain their Ebay and Amazon pages, but they wish to di-

ter the iPhone accessory market? Two reasons come to Shick, “First, more people are buying iPhones every day,” he says, “Second, each generation gets more complex and more expensive--so there is a need to protect your smart phone.” Shick’s determinate, businesslike persona is convincing. It is foreseeable that this quality will allow him to efficiently convince others that his ventures are profitable. The largest hurdle that Zywietz and Shick have crossed for their startup was lining up suppliers. Shick explains, “All the suppliers for iPhone cases are Chinese.” A culture clash is evident when Shick starts talking about his Chinese supplier. Shick describes Chinese entreprenuers as being too polite and soft-spoken. It is clear how this could become a problem for Shick, who is | Photo contributed rect most of their traffic through their used to dealing with Ameriindependently run site (which will open cans and Germans who say exactly what soon) so as to avoid having to pay a sti- they want and aren’t afraid to step on pend to Ebay and Amazon on their sales. toes to make their point. Besides a pretty Shick is confident for the future strong language barrier and customary of his small start-up. He says, “It is differences, Shick and Zywietz’s busiabout creating something new, then ness with Chinese suppliers has gone acconvincing people they want it.” cording to plan. Since the release of the Apple released the iPhone 5 last week, iPhone 5, the duo has already sold more and in turn Shick’s cases for the new model than 300 cases, which retail from $17have been selling like hot cakes. He notes, 22.00, but 5-7 percent of those proceeds “It is all about supply and demand.” are paid back to Amazon and Ebay. Is it perfectly reasonable that a Also, Shick expresses some aggravayoung entrepreneur should en- tion that major Chinese holidays coin-

cided with the release of the iPhone 5, which lead Shick to run out of stock. Shick has to work on many improvements with his company, such as purchasing expensive inventory software. This software is mandatory for a company like Shick’s since it is an international company, and his physical stock is halfway across the globe. Shick believes his company will be able to purchase the needed software to expand as long as sales continue climbing. Success for Shick comes from his strict observance that “We live in a consumption driven society, and things like the Internet increase demand.” As Shick discusses expansion of his company, he clarifies, “You know man, I don’t want to be selling iPhone cases the rest of my life.” Shick clearly has high ambitions, and he sees his first entreprunerial step with uTection as a stepping stone. Zywietz and Shick’s plan is to use this business to generate the capital needed to move on to bigger project. The aim of their bigger project is uncertain, but with their business, spirit is stern and steadfast. A smile spreads across Shick’s face as he says, “What I really want to do is start a fried chicken restaurant chain in Germany.” He smiles for a moment without laughing, then quickly returns to his serious German expression. “All we have in Germany is KFC and its gross and greasy. My restaurant will serve healthier more consolidated meals and I will name it Gabe’s.” The idea may seem kind of funny, but the unwavering expression on Shicks face states, “I will make it happen.” Shick may have grandiose plans, but he realizes that small steps are what makes dreams possible.

Leadership comes from young runners in 2012 season CAROLINE BRANDON SECTION EDITOR

While it is still early in the season, cross country Head Coach Andy Till is excited for what the rest of the cross-country season will bring. He is confident the team will have solid performance this fall. “This crew is all running really well right now,” he says. Till has seen the team grow in practice and at the two meets they have run in this season. He says he has seen solid leadership develop from several runners this season, particularly on the men’s side. “Travis Hebeler is a natural leader. He can say things in a manner that can be tough and straight and always taken well. I’ve never seen anything like it. It is providing a really nice balance to Ben Parva on the leadership side of it,” remarks Till. Till notices the influence sophomores Hebeler and Parva have had on the freshmen already. “The freshmen have been great. They have really bought into the program and made us stronger. Honestly, they have gone beyond my expectations at our meets,” says Till, “It is partly due to the

| Photo contributed

leadership, Ben is doing great with them and Travis is really turning out to be a leader. I feel like our men are really starting to take ownership of our program.” Till says this year has been his favorite of the Millsaps cross country and track programs. “Honestly, the favorite part is happening right now. I have juniors that have been with me all the way through. They’ve taken that role of leadership and made it their program. They’ve learned to trust and communicate. I too have had to adapt. It has been a process. It is not as easy as one might think,” says Till. Till has also seen great running

this season from the women’s team. Till states, “Haley Brown, Sarah Sacks and Melinda Solomon are all right together. Any given day they are right in front of each other. They each have an all-conference chance. They all had a great track season, great summer mileage and have a really good opportunity in front of them.” The men’s and women’s team are at two different spots right now. “The men’s team is a wolf pack,” says Till. “I believe our women right now are in the process of defining themselves, like the men’s team has already accomplished this season.” Till is confident the rest of the confer-

ence recognizes that Millsaps has the capability to make a statement this season. “The past two meets have given us great momentum. Our runners can see that the schools in our conference are just right in front of us. We are no longer the young team struggling for an identity. They can all see, hey we can do this. We can compete at the conference champ and be right in the middle of things,” says Till, “Rhodes men averaged 28 minutes, 22 seconds in the 8K at the Vanderbilt meet and we averaged 28:37 at the Azalea Classic in Mobile.” Till exudes pride in his team, especially when he considers the meets they have participated in this season. “I have seen them handle issues amongst themselves and within the group. My training style is to coach and train ‘em, unleash them and get out of the way. I’m finally able to get out of the way. That’s what makes me really proud. I can take them to the meets and let them go,” reflects Till. The Millsaps cross-country team travels Sept. 29 to Rhodes College for its next meet.



| September 27, 2012

Mundane Millsaps can’t interest all This week as I read Genny Santos’ article I was actually entertained. I did not get offended as I read, what I perceived as her criticizing the student body as a whole, with her creative reference to a story of a past Millsaps student. Her lack of tact did not offend me when she pointed out that many students rely on their parents, but she worked hard and has student loans. I actually thought she made good points, until I read the very end of her article. I was surprised. Surprised that she missed a huge part of what makes us marketable after we leave Millsaps. We are some of the busiest, best multi-tasking people I know. I am sorry that I personally have physical therapy three times a week, study hall and lacrosse meetings. I am also writing a strategic marketing plan, working on a regression analy-

sis, and a return-on-equity analysis. Maybe what she failed to realize is that The Purple & White cares more about the mundane routines of the “Millsaps Bubble,” and the rest of us are busy with what the real obstacles Millsaps College is testing us with. I am friends with many of the Kappa Alphas on campus, and I heard many of the remarks they had in regards to Sara Sacks’ article. I asked if they were going to do anything about it because there were many problems with her article, besides the point that she spelled Natty wrong. Many responded with the fact that she did not know them. She had never hung out with them, and if she wants to write such allegations, let her. Personally, the maturity I saw through the gentlemen of Kappa Alpha — and I can only assume Lambda Chi — re-

“...the Purple


Every week I grab The Purple & White, throw it in my bag and hustle to class, barely even breaking stride. When I make it to the Caf ’, I pull out my copy of The Purple & White and try and unwind from that day. As a double major in business administration and economics, I also have to fit in reading the Wall Street Journal before my other classes, because God knows one of my professors will put us on the spot about a recent article pertaining to class.

& White cares more about the mundane routines of the “Millsaps Bubble,” and the rest of us are busy with what the real obstacles Millsaps College is testing us with.”

minded me why this place is amazing. We do not stoop to the level of nosey article writers trying to get a reaction from us. So, I am sorry that you are unhappy with our lack of responses to the newspaper, but we do not give into the pettiness of it all. If that is what you want maybe you are better fitted for a state school. I cannot wait to see my peers enter the real world after Millsaps and outshine those from every other institution. I do not fear for the world as our generation takes over. I cannot wait to see what the leaders of this campus do after their years here. I am more worried about the Wall Street Journal’s pieces on worldly affairs than I am about some girl calling my fellow students homophobes. As for Saps events, get over it. If people are not coming to the events, then maybe go to one of our talented marketing professors and ask them how to better understand your consumer market. The consumer cannot be blamed for their lack of interest. PLEASE SEE AN EDITORIAL RESPONSE ON PAGE 8 TO WALKER’S PIECE.

Why we don’t care


Last week, Genny Santos accused the student body of being apathetic. I think we would all agree with her. She cites the furor caused by Sara Sacks’s article and the conspicuous lack of newspaper responses to it. Now, I would argue that it isn’t just apathy that accounts for the lack of responses. There is also a fear of being criticized for our opinions (by a fraternity, faculty member, the



Editor-in-Chief | Kenya Strong-Johnston Managing Editor | Lana Price Visuals Manager | Sonum Sanjanwala Business Manager | Juan D. Fernandez Photo Manager | Genny Santos

administration or just other students) and an inability to express ourselves in lengths longer than 140 characters. But, I generally agree with her. The student body is apathetic. But, what is rarely mentioned is that we have reasons for being so. It is our lack of influence that causes our apathy. What do I mean by lack of influence? I mean that the average Millsaps student doesn’t have any say over what happens on campus. What about the SBA? Don’t they have power to represent the interests of students? Last year, when I was an editor for the P&W, I wrote an article about the new policy requiring student groups to pay a fee in order to use rooms on our own campus. I discovered this situation because the SBA passed a resolution calling for the administration to rescind the policy. That was the best SBA could do, and today student groups still must pay in order to use rooms on campus. Did the SBA have the power

Section Editors

Caroline Brandon Salvo Blair Genny Santos Layout Editors Maryam Qureshi Allie D’Andrea

Staff Advisor | Woody Woodrick E-mail corrections to Editor-in-Chief Kenya Strong-Johnston, stronkk@millsaps.edu. Advertising rates available upon request. E-mail Juan Fernandez at fernajd@millsaps.edu.

to help the students in that situation? Cases like that give me the suspicion that the administration has the SBA on a leash. To be clear, I’m not criticizing the members of the SBA, nor am I criticizing the administration. Heck, it might be a good thing that college students aren’t given any real power here. Should 18to 22-year-olds really be given power over the hundreds of thousands of dollars of student fees assigned to the SBA? I am merely pointing out that our apathy is the consequence of having no real power. No matter how much we may want change, the student body is unable to get better Caf ’ food or to add even one more black American teacher to Millsaps’s faculty, which would double the current count — most Millsaps faculty of color are from overseas. Maybe we are apathetic because we have realized that the SBA can do only what the administration lets it do. Maybe we are apathetic because when we try to influence the process (as in

Contributors Madelyn Walker Andrew Marion Joel Maybry Allie Jordan Kristen Lucas

The Purple & White is published weekly. This publication may not be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission of the Editor-in-Chief.

the case of the QEP), we receive a notecard in our mailbox notifying us that the cheapest proposal was accepted and watered down to merely making the freshmen fill out a survey related to health education in Foundations. And by the way, apathy about voting is for the same reason. For instance, if you vote Democratic here in November, you will have wasted your vote. This state votes Republican, and all our electoral votes will go to Romney no matter the number of Democratic votes. The same goes for voting Republican in California — it’s a waste of a vote. So what is the solution to the apathy? I don’t know. But, I do know that I would like to read more people disagreeing with each other through the Opinions section of this paper. So go ahead, write in response to this; it’s not that much longer than a tweet.

Disclaimer: Views expressed in visual and written content printed in the Purple & White do not necessarily reflect those of the editors, Publications Board, Millsaps College, The United Methodist Church or the student body. Complaints should be addressed to the Millsaps College Publications Board. Contact Kendall Gregory or Dr. Pat Taylor. Letters to the Editor Submit letters to the editor to the Purple and White at Box 150708 or e-mail Kenya StrongJohnston, at stronkk@millsaps.edu. Letters should be turned in before 12 p.m. on Sunday prior to the Thursday publication. Anonymous letters will not be published.


| September 27, 2012

Lambda Chi Alpha:

A reponse to “A limit to brotherly love”


Andrew Marion, president of Lambda Chi Alpha, writes on behalf of his fraternity in response to “A limit to brotherly love” that ran in the Sept. 13 issue of the P&W.

A recent story in the Purple & White suggested that our fraternity, Lambda Chi Alpha, has issues with homophobia. The story also suggested that the leadership of the fraternity does not hold our members to the high standards that we teach. Allegations of homophobia are ironic given that Lambda Chi Alpha has often through the years been stereotyped and denigrated as the “gay house.” The misconception that a majority of the members of our fraternity are gay has arisen precisely because we have stood out among campus organizations as tolerant and accepting, and have repeatedly emphasized that we select our members based on their character, regardless of sexual orientation. While the surprising picture of Lambda Chi as homophobic was created by generalizing from a few inappropriate comments that both the leadership and the membership of the fraternity ourselves reprimanded, our goal here is not to go through every detail of what we consider to be an unfair story. Instead, we will publicly and clearly state who we are, what we stand for and what we believe. Our members are united through the core values and ideals for which our fra-

ternity stands. The fraternity education system in Lambda Chi Alpha is based on acceptance and that begins with our Associate Member program. It is a system that promotes inclusion and acceptance. Our education system is built around our seven core values — loyalty, duty, respect, service and stewardship, honor, integrity and personal courage. Our guiding motto, on which we base interactions between brothers, is, “Every Man a Man.” This means that we evaluate men based on their character, their commitment to the core values and nothing else. That is what we look for in recruiting new members. Our members are people you see every day on campus. We are leaders on this campus, and we are very proud of our involvement. We have Student Board Association senators, more Foundations leaders than any other fraternity, and more active and alumni Safe Space allies (for the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgendered and Queer/Questioning community) than any other fraternity at Millsaps. However, it is not enough to just list values and say that we promote acceptance. We do not want to be vague. So, let us be explicit here.

A member’s sexuality does not affect their membership in Lambda Chi whatsoever. We encourage all of our members to express themselves honestly and openly. We do not inhibit our members’ personal growth and reflection. We encourage this growth. If a member is gay, then we support him in any way that he asks. If a brother says something offensive or hurtful to our gay members, we reprimand him just as we would for any other offensive and hurtful comments. Though admittedly not perfect, this kind of concern for our brothers is central to who we are as a fraternity. We support our brothers in all matters that pertain to them. Lastly, I want to make it clear that our brothers are proud of who we are. That means not only that we are proud of what we already accomplish, but we are also proud to be the kind of fraternity that works to improve ourselves and grow in the values we cherish. You will see our brothers continuing to grow and excel in everything we do, and we will continue to strive to be an example that others can follow. This is who we are.


| September 27, 2012

One (nearly) deadly word


Editor’s note: This piece is part of the Gender & Sexuality at Millsaps series. Any responses may be posted on the blog at purpleandwhite12.wordpress.com This piece is an extended look into the life of one Millsaps student. Names have been changed. The information was gathered over several months of extended, personal interviews.


he word would brand him flawed, a disappointment to his family, to God and to himself. The word would raise a wall between him and his father and stir his mother’s weeping. The word took root in his skull and laced every thought with its echo. He would have rather died than to say the word out loud. Estrangement unfolded from each of its three letters: G-A-Y. Eliot was born and raised in a conservative Christian suburban home in the heart of the Bible Belt. In his mid-teens, he began to sense that something about him was off. His girl-crushes from elementary school faded and no new ones were emerging. When he started to feel the old familiar “new crush” feeling and realized another boy was the cause, he quickly buried it away. He had been told, time and time again, that boys like girls — only girls. His senior year came, and he had still never confronted that feeling. But he felt it again. This time, his crush sort of showed mutual interest, sort of. Eliot and Eric had been in clubs and advanced placement classes together all through high school. It started as a simple friendship .Eric was a year younger. As they began to spend time together, the two developed an emotional bond. They became confidantes. Sometimes they’d talk about the unspoken feeling but always in terms of making it go away. Eric was involved with the youth group at a local Southern Baptist church. Being gay was the last thing he could ever admit to himself or to his peers. At first, Eliot went along with it. He didn’t want to be gay either. That would be wrong. They agreed. Everyone thinks it is wrong. They agreed. But, it wasn’t that easy. A voice in Eliot’s head was getting louder. He and Eric grew apart, which Eliot describes as a result of Eric’s denial. Meanwhile, Eliot pulling all nighters to maintain a spotless GPA and dreaming of faroff Ivy League wonderlands where he would be just the right flavor of normal.

When his father moved out, he took care of his sick mother. He did all the grocery shopping and the bill paying and drove his little sister to school. He joined the student government and took countless practice tests for the SAT. Perfectionism was a way to compensate for not feeling acceptable, but his dishonesty with himself swelled to a boiling point. He had to come clean or burst. “When I realized that I was really gay, that I was hard-wired this way and there is no getting out of it, I had to come to terms with myself. I had to kill all the ways I’d tried to cover myself up. The spotless reputation, the perfect transcript — none of that was me. So I had to hit rock bottom before I could get anywhere else,” Eliot says. It was one in the morning and Eliot still hadn’t finished his homework when he realized that he had to go grocery shopping. He looked at his to-do lists and panicked. He’d forgotten what it was like to not feel like he was drowning in responsibilities. When he turned the family car out of the driveway, something came over him. “I don’t even know what happened, honestly. I didn’t really think about it. My street curves right past a big tree and I didn’t turn the wheel. I just let the car go for it. I guess I didn’t want to do any of it any more. You know how they say your life flashes before your eyes right before you die? Well, I really think that happened to me. I was about to crash and I knew I was going to commit suicide, and all of these thoughts flooded my head. I wasn’t seeing what was going on in front of me, just all these lights and visions of my family. And then the car stopped. I had missed the tree by inches,” he recalls. Eliot drove straight home, and his panic attack scared his father into moving back in with the family. His parents knew that he’d been stressed, and they credited the panic attack to that. They didn’t ask for specifics, and Eliot couldn’t bear to tell him that his sexuality was the biggest stressor. A few weeks later he broke down. He wasn’t trying to “come out of the closet,” he was just reaching for some support. “I don’t think we ever actually used the word ‘gay’. I was just so shaken and overwhelmed, and I couldn’t do it anymore. I just cried in front of my parents and scrambled for words. They knew what I meant to say,” he says. Their responses did more to intensify his inner chaos than they did to ease it. His father’s stoic disapproval and his mother’s frantic wailing flooded the house. He was left to marinate in the tension. His mother was vehement in her conviction that Eliot could “beat this” and sent him to any preacher or therapist who could help him do so. He knew he couldn’t change the fact that he was gay, but he entertained her efforts—until a priest tried to convince him that he needed an exorcism. That was when his mother gave up. The last explosion hit on a Sunday afternoon. Eliot uncharacteristically had bought a pack of cigarettes; but he didn’t have anything to prove anymore.

Seconds after he lit one on the back porch, his mother stormed out of the kitchen screaming, “Well aren’t you going to be the biggest fag queen at Ole Miss!” His dad followed close behind, raging and furious. Eliot ran through the door and upstairs to the bathroom. He opened the medicine cabinet and

found his mother’s painkillers. He began taking one by one at first, but eventually began swallowing them by the handful until the bottle was empty. He waited in his bedroom a while and then wandered to the stairs, meeting his father halfway down. “Your mother needs her painkillers and we can’t find them. Did you take them?” says Eliot’s dad. Eliot fell to the floor.


is next memory is waking up in a hospital bed with his parents standing nearby. It was explained to him that the protocol in Mississippi for suicide patients is in-patient rehabilitation in the psychiatric ward. He was 18 and would have to check himself in. “That the first sort of acceptance I felt from my parents. They knew I would be there for at least a few days and that I couldn’t have my cell phone. They’d packed a bag for me and on top of everything was a dozen rolls of quarters for the pay phone,” Eliot recalls. After three days he returned home; his parents didn’t bother him about being gay any more, but it wasn’t an open topic of discussion either. They saw him off to Ole Miss, where Eliot finally got to be honest with himself and those around

him about his sexual orientation. But, after a rough and heart-break ridden freshman year, he transferred to Millsaps College and moved back in with his family. Eliot says things aren’t too different as they were when he left. “It’s like I’m allowed to be gay in theory, but not in practice,” he explains. “I could never bring a guy home to my parents. If I bring friends home from high school or Millsaps it’s fine, but I can’t just hang out with a guy at the house. “Sometimes if I go to lunch or something with a guy and tell my mom she’ll ask if I’m dating him, but that rarely happens. They don’t like to acknowledge that I’m gay.” Eliot’s parents’ reaction to his coming out is not uncommon. Their devastation exemplifies a large number of parents to lesbian, gay or bi-sexual teens. Parents commonly reject their teen’s sexual orientation and attempt to “fix” it because of their desire to protect their teen from harm. A study surveyed gay males and showed that those who experienced high levels of this type of familial rejection in adolescence were 8.4 times more likely to say they’d attempted suicide and 5.9 times more likely to say they’d suffered depression than their adolescent peers. Eliot has come a far way since his suicide attempt, but his sexuality is still a frequent source of frustration and ambivalence. When he talks about relationships, his voice takes on a tone of punctuated cynicism. “I don’t think I’ll ever get married,” he says. “I mean, I just don’t think it’s the same — I’m not anti-gay marriage or anything, but I just don’t think it’ll ever really be taken seriously.” Eliot describes Millsaps as an accepting environment, but not necessarily one that actively supports minorities. Because he doesn’t want others to define and identify him with his sexual orientation, Eliot is resistant to groups on campus for gay pride and LGBT rights. He would rather be single than be labeled as a crusader for gay rights. The problem, at least in Eliot ‘s eyes, is that those seem to be his only two options.



| September 27, 2012

Millsaps volleyball earns back-to-back honors


The Southern Athletic Association Conference has honored Millsaps volleyball players sophomore Caroline McKey and senior Kasey Laird with the Defensive Player of the Week award. “It’s definitely a big honor,” says Laird, “especially because we haven’t had anyone named player of the week since I’ve been here.” McKey adds, “It’s something I wasn’t expecting this early in the season. I’m proud of myself, but I couldn’t be named that without my team at all.” Head Coach Jamie Fisher is also excited about receiving the award two weeks consecutively. “We’re known as a defensive team. Their hard work and what they do in practice pays off in the game,” remarks Fisher. Both Laird and McKey attribute Fisher for pushing their limits in the game and how they approach the defensive side of the game. “She pushes me in practice because she knows I am capable of helping the team. I can tell she believes in me. We focus a lot on the little things, skill wise, and it helps us know we are capable of the big things,” McKey says. Laird agrees. “She’s improved my mental side of the game as well as my talent. She changed the way I played defense, and it’s

made me 100 times better.” “McKey and Laird are two players who go into practice with mindset how I practice is how I play,” remarks Fisher, “all out, 100 percent effort, relentless until the ball hits the floor. They’re both extremely competitive and hate to lose. The competitive drive they both have is a reason why they are both such good defensive players.” Fisher also says both have been leaders for the team. “Kasey has been a leader since she came to Millsaps. She leads by example through her effort in practice. She is a vocal leader on and off the court, which is part of the reason she is a Captain. Caroline is starting to step into Caroline McKey goes up for a kill. | Photo by Kenya Strong Johnston that role as well, and gives keep working towards our goals, the possi100 percent,” says Fisher. Fisher, Laird and McKey agree bilities are endless,” says Laird, “It shows that this honor is a positive indi- that we have been working on defense a cator for the rest of the season. lot in practice and it is starting to pay off. “I think as long as we keep working as We are definitely not where we need to hard as we have there are many more things be, but it shows that we are improving.” Says McKey: “We need to be a defento come besides this. It shows we are one of the top teams in the conference. If we sive team, and since we’ve both gotten


Editorial Response to “Mundane Millsaps” SALVO BLAIR SECTION EDITOR



Who is your greatest inspiration? Favorite Movie

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Defensive Player of the Week it shows we’re really focused on it. Hopefully it will carry out through the rest of the season, I think it will. We’ll just keep getting better.” “We want to be known as one of the best defensive team in the conference. To start off with two defensive players of the week sets the tone. It gives other girls something to shoot for, and gives Kasey and Caroline a push to keep improving. It’s a good sign for what’s to come,” says Fisher. Laird and McKey also look to their teammates for support and encouragement in practice and during matches. They agree that the senior class has been a source of motivation throughout the season. “My senior class has been motivation for me this season. We’re all working for the same goal since it is our last go around. Raven and Caroline have pushed me the most defensively. The sophomores and juniors have pushed us the last two years, and the freshmen have great energy too,” says Laird. “The senior class is a huge motivator for me, just because they’ve been here so long, especially Raven Scott and Kasey. I know they want to win conference so badly, and I want to win it for them. It’s in our reach this year, and closer in their reach than it has ever been,” says McKey. The Millsaps volleyball team returns to the court Sept. 28 at Berry College.

One day I told my mother I hated her (for whatever reason), and then she told me, “Salvo, don’t you ever speak before you think.” From then on, I carefully meditate on my words before I choose to critique a peer. And, in this concise response, Madelyn Walker, I ask you to ‘read before you write.’ Walker’s fifth paragraph states, “The Purple & White cares more about the mundane routines of the “Millsaps Bubble” and the rest of us are busy with what the real obstacles Millsaps College is testing us with.” Ms. Walker, I have covered many stories since I started writing for the Purple & White. Many of my stories have international agendas full of human consequence. When you determine that the Purple & White cares only of mundane issues, you have just called these things mundane: Dean Wottle ‘the Throttles’ triumph at the horrifying Olympics in Munich where terrorist killed eleven athletes, Laney Lenox’s philanthropic vision of an equal Tibet, Jayson Porter’s conquest to illuminate young minds through philosophical interpretations of children’s books, collection of testimonies recollecting a decade of political violence following 9/11, and a few stories of successful, young Millsaps entrepreneurs such as Malte Schick and Samantha Ledbetter.

I challenge you to maintain that these articles are mundane to these bright students’ faces. You suggest that the Purple & White should be more like the Wallstreet Journal, so, I challenge you to find a certified economist to write a column for us. And, also, I criticize you for nearsightedness in claiming, “(Kappa Alpha and I) do not stoop to the level of nosey article writers trying to get a reaction from us.” Ms. Walker, the job of an investigative journalist is to be a guardian of the truth and sometimes that requires ‘being nosey’ and ‘trying to get a reaction.’ To condemn these values in an investigative journalist is to condemn his/her nature. In the last paragraph of your article, you say, “As for Saps events, get over it. If people are not coming to the events then maybe go to one of our talented marketing professors…” I am not sure where you got the idea that event attendance is our responsibility of the Purple & White. My only responsibility is to cover events that are of interest to me in a clear, truthful and interesting way. In conclusion, I turn your hastily formulated words back onto yourself in hope that next time you realize the consequences of making sweeping generalities that are utterly false—“I do not give in to (your) pettiness at all.” Ms. Walker, next time your choose to write…read first.

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