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Special Reports: Comparing Title IX and the courts Page 7

Opinion: Given today's climate, election reform is necessary Page 8

Sports: Wake Forest football beats Life: POV: you just posted on r/ Florida State niceguys Page 10 Page 15

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T H U R S DAY, S E P T E M B E R 2 3 , 2 0 21 “Cover s the campus like the magnolias”

Class of 2020 returns for commencement Graduates enjoyed a weekend of traditional festivities 16 months after their official graduation BY AINE PIERRE News Editor On Saturday, the Class of 2020 returned to campus to celebrate their graduation from Wake Forest, 16 months after the original comencement ceremony was meant to take place. It had been 488 days since the Class of 2020 attended a virtual graduation ceremony and 556 days since then-Wake Forest President Nathan Hatch announced the suspension of in-person classes for the spring 2020 semester. This weekend, the outdoor ceremony allowed for limited mask-wearing, but with the sweltering September heat, one could have been fooled into thinking it was May 2020 all over again. The ceremony began at 9 a.m. Saturday. Many students stayed up all night — as is Wake Forest tradition — after a full day of preemptive celebrating Friday, which included the customary tour of Wait Chapel’s bell tower and the tunnels underneath the university. Katie Fox/ Old Gold & Black

Best College rankings by US News & World Reports were released this past week, and once again Wake Forest remains in the top-30 for the 26th straight year.

U.S. News ranks Wake Forest 28th once again Wake Forest shares the 28th spot with New York University, UNC Chapel Hill, Tufts and others BY ALEXANDRA KARLINCHAK Editor-in-Chief These days, the phrase “admissions is a numbers game” can be interpreted in more than one way. On Sept. 13, U.S. News & World Report released its list of 2022 U.S. News Best National Universities. This year, 1,466 bachelor’s degree-granting schools and national universities were evaluated, and only 392 made the list. Wake Forest University was one of them, sitting at No. 28. Wake Forest has been in the top-30 of the U.S. Best National Universities report for

the past 26 years. But, in a less-than-typical outcome Wake Forest shares that No. 28 slot with five other universities: New York University, Tufts University, University of California Santa Barbara, University of Florida and University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. According to the U.S. News website, a reporting and research team uses 17 unique measures of “academic quality” to assess and rank four-year institutions. These assessment tools are as follows: Alumni giving rate average, class size, average faculty salaries, percentage of full-time professors or faculty members with a doctoral degree, financial aid resources available, expert opinions — as measured via peer assessments completed by a university’s faculty members — first-year student retention rate, alumni indebtedness, graduation rate, average students’ high school rankings, Pell Grant graduation rates, performance of Pell Grant recipients, student-to-

faculty ratio, standardized test scores and the number of full-time faculty members. Each of these factors is weighted differently. For example, according to the U.S. News and World Report website, the typical six-year graduation rate is weighted at 17.6% while the Pell Grant graduation rate is weighted at 2.5%. This difference in weight is meant to level the playing field between schools. Even still, not all students see this as an effective way to ensure equity among institutions. What do these rankings mean for admissions and current students? Are the slots on the ranking list arbitrary numbers, or do prospective students care about rankings? So, perhaps more importantly: Will the upcoming Wake Forest admissions cycle be impacted by the school’s place in the national rankings?

See 28, Page 4

See Commencement, Page 5

Mental health resources updated Mental health services on campus are working to address heightened volumes of anxiety BY BEN CONROY Print Managing Editor University mental health outlets are updating their strategies to better assist the Wake

Forest community. Services such as the CARE Team — an outlet through which Wake Forest students, faculty and staff can make anonymous referrals if they feel someone they know might be experiencing mental health issues — and the Office of Wellbeing have witnessed negative mental impacts brought on by traumatic events in the past month, such as a large student protest and controversy involving sexual assault followed quickly by the fatal shooting of a student at nearby Mount Tabor High School. As a result, these offices are making significant adjustments to meet student needs.

See Update, Page 6

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“ patience and purpose Move with This column represents the views of the Old Gold & Black Editorial Board.

You can see it as you walk through the quad: droopy eyelids and everwidening yawns; massive coffees and bottomless energy drinks; overflowing backpacks and too-full notebooks. You don’t need to expressly look for burnout to sense it everywhere. Now, almost a third of the way through the fall semester, tests and papers are piling up. Not only that, but Wake Forest is now operating at a pre-COVID level — socially, that is. Now, students are juggling going out three nights a week, searching for jobs, tackling 12+ credits, exercising, eating well, seeing friends, talking with family and participating in 30+ extracurricular activities.

Showing compassion to yourself — taking the time to unwind when things start to feel overwhelming — goes a long way." Oh, and sleeping. Whatever that means. Perhaps most distressing: the schedule doesn’t appear to get any lighter next week. Or the week after that. Or — you guessed it — the week after that. Take comfort in knowing this, though. You are painfully not alone. If you aren’t a little anxious all the time, are you even a Wake Forest student? Joking! Kind of.Truthfully, upperclassmen have

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some advantage here — they knew what was coming. For freshmen, though, these upcoming weeks can be especially trying. As all can attest to, the experience of being a first-year student comes with no shortage of challenges. For this year’s freshmen class, there’s another layer, too, as all sorts of struggles were further exacerbated by the pandemic. Prior to this semester, a sizable number of students on our Wake Forest campus hadn’t stepped foot in a classroom for the better part of the past 24 months. Transitioning back to in-person learning after spending so much time working in a remote capacity is an adjustment, and one that takes

time. We could all benefit from being more patient with ourselves. Strive for excellence, but don’t let that pursuit consume your being. Showing compassion to yourself — taking the time to unwind when things start to feel overwhelming — goes a long way. If you’re constantly running at 1,000 miles per hour, you’re going to miss those moments that make the Wake Forest experience such a special one. When you need to, ask a friend for help or let your professor know what’s got you troubled; make the time to call the parent or friend from home you keep saying you’ll contact but never seem to get around to; keep things in perspective. Together, let's continue on.

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The Old Gold & Black is published Thursdays during the school year, except during examinations, summer and holiday periods, by Triangle Printing of Durham. © 2014 WFU Media Board. All rights reserved. The views expressed in all editorials and advertisements contained within this publication do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the OGB. As part of our commitment to reporting news fairly and accurately, we will not remove any previously published content. If an error in either our online or print content is brought to our attention, we will revise the originally published article with an appended correction. In order to facilitate thoughtful and appropriate debate, profane, vulgar, or inflammatory comments on our website are not allowed and will be deleted. For more information on our commenting policy, please see our website. We reserve the right to reject advertisements deemed inappropriate. Our full policy, and how to advertise with the OGB, can be found on our website.


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News | Old Gold & Black

Thursday, September 23, 2021 | Page 3

Deacon Profile: Cat Mizzi

ist, ally and intersectional feminist. I have already begun to think critically about my work with the Office of Sustainability. I am dedicated to furthering conversations on campus about ecofeminism and the important intersections between the sustainability movement and other systemic societal issues. My background in costuming and directing, combined with my theatre minor, have also provided me with a creative framework to capture audiences' attention and bring causes — like environmentalism — to the stage. I hope to tap into my theatre roots and foster the connection between the arts and sustainability on our campus in the years to come.


A Class of 2020 graduate who majored in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies (WGSS) and minored in health & human services and theatre, Cat Mizzi is returning to Wake Forest to work as the new communications and events specialist for the Office of Sustainability. Her work will involve spearheading communications and marketing, planning events and supporting student leaders in their sustainability endeavors. What made you decide to return to work at Wake Forest? In a lot of ways, I felt my time at Wake Forest didn't come to an end. Graduating in 2020 meant that my senior year never came to its 'traditional' end. And as such, I felt like my story at Wake Forest didn't either. When the opportunity to return presented itself, I saw it as a way to begin a new chapter. As a student, I dedicated much of my time to working toward improving the university for all its students, and I saw this opportunity as a chance to continue and expand on my work, but in a new setting and alongside new people.

Your vantage point has allowed you to see Wake Forest evolve over the course of many years. What have you seen, in terms of sustainability, on campus since you were a freshman? My mind instantly went to Plant Forward and sustainable dining efforts across campus. Seeing that growth upon coming back to campus was awesome. How will you use your position to continue increasing awareness about environmental issues and promoting more sustainable behavior in the Wake Forest community?

Why are you passionate about assisting the Office of Sustainability's initiatives on campus? I am passionate about being able to advocate for the importance of sustainability on our campus and in our community and as a whole. I think that sometimes there's an intimidating barrier that people perceive when they are just entering into conversations about how to live sustainably or what sustainability looks like, and that barrier is one I hope to break through via our events, volunteer opportunities and educational collaborations. Also, I think the main source of my passion to help support the Office of Sustainability's initiatives and impact on campus comes from my own personal passion for ecofeminism.

I plan to host intentional conversations and promote learning through thoughtful events and communication. Wake Forest is a unique community, and from my experience, fostering genuine conversation and interest in self-growth and learning leads to unfading community change. By working to weave sustainability into the everyday in the Forest, it becomes an inseparable part of how our community operates.

How does your work in the Office of Sustainability build on and relate to your undergraduate majors and minors?

I'm excited about each event I'll be able to organize and plan, but I do think that Earth Month 2022 is what I'm most looking forward to. I absolutely love collaborating with campus and community partners, and Earth Month provides me with plenty of opportunity to think creatively about event planning and partnerships.

Majoring in WGSS fostered a deep understanding of societal issues such as systemic racism, economic inequality and interpersonal and identity-based violence — and the intersections between these disciplines. My studies and my professors both helped to hone my voice as an activ-

What sustainability event are you most excited about working on this year as the communications and event specialist?

From the Old Gold & Black Photo Archives

Editor's Note: This interview was edited for clarity and AP Style.

POLICE BEAT Underage Consumption/Alcohol/Drug Incidents • An underage student was reported to be semiconscious in front of Bostwick after having consumed alcohol. The student refused medical transport to the hospital and was escorted to their dorm. The report was filed at 1:18 a.m. on Sept. 18. • After consuming six shots of vodka, an underage student fell asleep in her bed. The student refused medical treatment. The report was filed at 2:28 a.m. on Sept. 18. • An underage student consumed alcohol at an Alpha Kappa Psi event. A medical call was reported for an unconscious student. The student was later transported to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center for treatment. The report was filed at 1:20 a.m. on Sept. 19.

Miscellaneous • A Crime Stoppers report filed by the Winston-Salem Police Department advised that there are still parties being held at the DKE House. The report was filed at 2:10 p.m. on Sept. 13. • An unknown subject attempted to cut a cable lock and take a bike from Deacon Place. The report was filed at 1:51 p.m. on Sept. 14. •An unknown subject removed a secured bike from the bike racks in Deacon Place. The report was filed at 10:40 p.m. on Sept. 15. • A community member on Aspen Way reported a potential hazing event at a student's apartment. The report was fild at 7:29 a.m. on Sept. 19.

Page 4 | Thursday, September 23, 2021

Old Gold & Black| News

28: U.S. News releases 2022 rankings Continued from Page 1 Unfortunately, Vice President of Enrollment Eric Maguire does not have the magic answers to these questions. Nor do President and Vice President of Ambassadors in Admissions Jessie Birnbaum and Emma Galante. But, there is one point that Birnbaum and Galante can agree on — specific number rankings do not matter just so long as the school is near the top. “It matters more the range of where we are,” Galante said. “We are top-30, not No. 28 in my eyes. I don’t think 27 versus 28 versus 29 matters at all. On my tours, I mention that we are a top-30 school and move on.”

Birnbaum does not even mention Wake Forest’s ranking on her tours. “I personally don’t talk about the rankings because I think, if you’re touring Wake Forest, you already know what they are,” she said. “Typically, people who are looking at Wake Forest are looking at top schools.” Birnbaum then compared her own college search to the application journey for prospective students today. “I would love to say that I didn’t care about rankings when I was looking for colleges,” Birnbaum said, laughing. “I didn’t care about the exact ranking — if it was top30 or a little below — but I wanted to go to a school where I knew

there would be good academics and I would be surrounded by students who also cared about that.” Freshman Riley Shanaghan recalls not individually caring about the Wake Forest’s national ranking. For her, it was more important to go to a school that offered her a competitive scholarship than it was to go to an elite school. “It all came down to money in the end,” Shanaghan said. “I feel like Wake Forest is ranked pretty high but not high enough for people to consider it an ‘elite school’. Not a lot of people from the other side of the country really know about Wake Forest.” Time has impacted the ways both undergraduate universities and individual, prospective students

view the admissions process. According to the Wake Forest Fact Book, approximately 9,869 students applied to Wake Forest in 2011, 3,933 were admitted and 1,237 enrolled. Then, nine years later, nearly 12,000 prospective students applied and only 3,825 students were admitted. For context, Wake Forest ranked 25th nation-wide in 2011 In 2020, Wake Forest dropped and hovered around 30th. Yet, the school’s acceptance rate fell from 39.8% to 31%. So, perhaps national ranking lists do not have the power that high school counselors think they do. Or, as Galante phrased it, “perhaps a number truly is only a number.”

WFU theatre returns to the main stage All-female production of “Men On Boats” premieres in Scales Fine Arts Center BY COOPER SULLIVAN Asst. News Editor

For 18 long months, the Tedford Stage had been empty, not properly utilized and patiently awaiting a live theatrical performance. On the night of Sept. 17, that cold streak was finally broken with the premiere of Jaclyn Backhaus’s “Men On Boats” performed by the Wake Forest Theatre Department. Based on the true story of John Wesley Powell and the first government-sanctioned exploration of the Green and Colorado Rivers in 1869, “Men On Boats” follows a group of 10 explorers on their trip west through rushing and almost-fatal rapids. However, despite the name of the play and the characters in it, the audience sees no men on boats during the production. “Manifest Destiny and its racist, imperialist push to own and conquer is all tied up with hyper masculinity and white supremacy,” Director Dr. Cindy Gendrich said. “So Backhaus’s call for the cast to be a diverse group of female-identifying, trans and/or non-binary people was crucial. And to give people who never would have gotten a chance to do this in real life the chance to be the adventurers seemed right to me.” For Gendrich, it was a no-brainer to have this story be the first play following such a long hiatus. “We have an amazing group of young female-identifying actors in the department right now who had not gotten to do very much on stage during their time here,” she said. “I wanted to give them something that felt powerful and fun. Cis men tend

to get nearly all the adventurer roles in theatre, and this was a play that let us change that dynamic.” One of the main themes of the show is female empowerment and shedding light on the ignored voices of the late 19th century. Backhaus makes this apparent with the use of the gender-reversed roles. “I found it easiest to compare Dunn [Powell’s most adversarial partner] to people in TV and movies in order to get an idea of how his character would behave,” sophomore Mary Grace Gower said. “Cindy gave us this suggestion, and I do love channeling my inner Flynn Ryder or Indiana Jones. In terms of gender bending, I watched my guy friends a lot to see how they sit, talk and act, so now I could bring some of that into my character.” Senior Adarian Sneed’s role necessitated she be very careful about how she embodied her characters so as not to perpetuate certain stereotypes. “While the play is about men from 1869, I am a woman from 2021,” she said. “It was important for me, when approaching my characters Seneca Howell and the Bishop, to make sure I didn’t lose myself trying to fit into whatever box society has constructed for what it means to be a man. This can take shape in so many different ways, and I wanted to make sure that it was clear in the way I moved and existed within the space.” Gower also spoke to the production’s focus on maintaining that balance. “As a cast, we talked a lot about finding the line between playing to the hilarity of toxic masculinity while still showing the complexity and emotions that these characters truly have,” Gower added. The crew had about a week less of rehearsal time compared to past pro-

ductions and said that it was difficult to stay focused during the long rehearsal sessions at the beginning of the semester Gendrich said. Nonetheless, Gendrich and the actors were very relieved to be back performing for others. “‘Men on Boats’” is also a wonderfully athletic and theatrical play — something that begged to be in person where the virtuosity of the physical work really gets to shine,” Gendrich said. “And it’s so funny in certain parts. I love laughing with other people in the theatre. There’s nothing like sharing that kind of energy with a roomful of people, and we have been denied that all throughout COVID-19.” Sneed expressed similar sentiments.

“Being back onstage after such a long time was such a wonderful experience for me,” she said. “I felt like, during the lockdown, I had a lot of time to think about why I love theater and why I love what I do. The pandemic really made me contemplate my long-term involvement in theater.” “And not having been on stage in such a long time, I felt kind of nervous coming back into rehearsals and auditions,” Sneed continued. “But I’m so glad that I jumped back in and picked up where I left off, because it reminded me that I love what I do and really enjoy it.” “Men On Boats” will continue to run this weekend, Sept. 23-25 at 7:30 p.m., and will have its final show on Sunday, Sept. 26 at 2 p.m.

Photo courtesy of @wakethearts on Instagram

Elena Marsh, Eliza Drake and Mary Grace Gower (from left to right) pose for a promotional photo for “Men On Boats”.

News | Old Gold & Black

Thursday, September 23, 2021 | Page 5

Commencement: Class of 2020 returns Continued from Page 1

“It was great to come back and see everybody and remember the relationships that were built,” graduate Elwyn Murray said. “I got to grow and form here, and it was awesome to have everybody back together.” Former President Hatch was back, too, and he addressed the graduates, advocating for the community to maintain hope in these trying times. The president emeritus argued that, even despite a deadly disease, partisan infighting, foreign policy blunders and the corrosion of trust in our “core institutions” hope can lead the way. “So often in history, the dawn follows the darkest part of the night,” Hatch said. “Time and time again — even in the worst of circumstances — actions inspired by courage and hope led to dramatic changes for the better.” Hatch praised Class of 2020 graduate Isabella Ryan’s efforts to pass a bill banning juvenile solitary confinement in Tennessee as a prime example of such action. “Every member of the Class of 2020 has enormous power and creativity to do good,” Hatch said. 2019-2020 Student Body President Mellie Mesfin reframed the event — not as just a delayed commencement, but as something else altogether, something special. “Now, as we don our regalia, it is not just the final adventure of a whirlwind senior year,” Mesfin said. “It is an intentional commemoration of the time we’ve spent here and the people we’ve become.” Afterward, Mesfin reiterated that she wanted to highlight what made the event special. “I wanted my speech to be distinct to the fact that it may be a year and a half

after we graduated, but it’s still a really special time for us,” Mesfin told the Old Gold & Black. “And it’s utterly unique.” Saturday’s commencement ceremony had special significance for graduate Andre Smith, a first-generation college student who is currently applying to medical school. “It meant a lot, considering all the things that I’ve been through in the past year, to have a ceremony where I could walk across the stage and celebrate with my family,” Smith said.

Provost Rogan Kersh reminded the Class of 2020 that they always have a home at Wake Forest, but he also recognized that their journey out of the university’s gates was bumpier than most. “Today, gathered here again, we are a Wake Forest family,” Kersh said. “We will see how you will leave this home again and chase after your adventures.” He continued: “After these five years of preparation, of toil, of trial and victory, you’re ready for what’s to come. You’re ready to step into this moment with cour-

age and resilience — and yes, it must be said — with the spirit of Pro Humanitate.” A similar spirit of new beginnings and hope was not lost on graduate Guanqi Zeng. “It felt like a new start for me, to formally graduate from undergrad,” Zeng said. “It was big for me and my future.” Overall, the graduates were grateful that the university did not forget about them. “They stuck with it to actually make it happen,” Murray said. “That meant a lot to a lot of people.”

Katie Fox/ Old Gold & Black

Former Student Body President Mellie Mesfin (‘20) addresses the Class of 2020. Mesfin told the Old Gold & Black she wanted her speech to capture the uniqueness and value of the occasion.

Panel discusses housing discrimination

The seminar touched on issues of racial discrimination in housing prevalent in Forsyth County BY CHASE BAGNALL-KOGER Contributing Writer

A virtual panel on Sept. 16 hosted by Wake Forest’s Race, Inequality and Policy Initiative brought together professors from Wake Forest and other universities to call attention to the impact of evictions on communities of color, especially within Winston-Salem. The 90-minute session was moderated by Wake Forest Anthropology Professor Dr. Sherri Lawson-Clark. The event also featured Wake Forest Sociology Professor Dr. Brittany Battle, Winston-Salem State University Sociology Professor Dr. Dan Rose and University of Massachusetts Amherst African American Studies Professor Dr. Toussaint Losier. According to the panelists, despite Winston-Salem’s blossoming downtown renovations and reputation as a beautiful area to live in, decades of economic inequity have contributed to a pervasive issue regarding affordable housing in Forsyth county. In fact, studies have shown that

the county has one of the highest rates of concentrated poverty — and one of the lowest rates of economic mobility — for low-income residents in the U..S. “The high housing loss rates align with areas historically associated with segregation and redlining (an infamous technique used to exclude Black people from certain neighborhoods) as well as high concentrations of poverty,” Lawson-Clark said. Battle began her presentation with an overview of the housing situation in Forsyth County prior to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. She demonstrated how even before COVID’s effect on employment emerged, many renters were struggling to afford their rent. Nearly three-quarters of residents were directing more than 50% of their income toward housing costs compared to the “rule of thumb” standard of 30%. Battle also said Winston-Salem had the 16th highest eviction rate in the nation. Battle’s presentation went on to show how the pandemic exacerbated these longstanding issues. In spring 2020, rental assistance and shelter record requests increased by 75%, with more than 31,000 people requesting those supports. “Forsyth County is notorious for doing a really terrible job at providing affordable housing for our community,” Battle said.

Notably, the effects of housing loss were not equally distributed — rather, they were disproportionately tied to race. One study presented by Lawson-Clark showed that the relationship between race and housing loss was stronger in Forsyth County than in any other county included in the study. “If we’re talking about evictions, we are talking about a racial injustice,” Rose said. “Housing justice, we like to say, is a racial justice issue.” Along with his work studying housing loss from an academic perspective, Rose works with Wake Forest’s pro bono law clinic, the Legal Aid Society of North Carolina and Housing Justice Now — a grassroots organization in Forsyth County — to help connect vulnerable tenants with legal resources which can aid them in avoiding eviction. Through his work, Rose connected with Shanty Lancaster, a local resident of Winston-Salem who attended the seminar and shared with the audience her experience of facing eviction after becoming underemployed. The process was stressful, the working mother of three explained, and the conditions in the apartment where they resided were poor to begin with — mold and plumbing issues went consistently unaddressed by landlords.

“They do more fixing on the outside instead of fixing on the inside,” Lancaster said. “It’s not a healthy situation for my children, either.” According to the presenters, steps toward creating more equitable housing policies include holding politicians — both local and national — accountable for the effects of their policies on low-income and marginalized communities. At a county level, Rose mentioned Gloria Whisenhunt, the Republican county commissioner for District B, and former Clerk of Courts Juanita Tompkins, as perpetrators of dozens of evictions. However, as the national moratorium on evictions has been ineffective in slowing eviction rates over the past 18 months, Rose suggests that politicians may not be equipped to fully deal with this issue. Both he and Losier — who reported on the historical success of resident activism in beating back eviction efforts by downtown corporations and city officials in Chicago — suggested that social change must also be an integral part of proposed solutions to housing inequity. “It is through mass movement that we have seen the most protection during this [eviction] moratorium,” Rose said. “And it will need to continue, especially now that the moratorium is over.”

Old Gold & Black | News

Page 6 | Thursday, September 23, 2021

Update: Increase in anxiety sparks changes Continued from Page 1 Office of Wellbeing program manager Ashley Hawkins Parham said that though her department focuses more on resilience and wellbeing coaching programming rather than direct trauma response, it has experienced a significant uptick in students coming in to express anxiety-related concerns. “We have noticed more people than previous years coming by just to say, ‘I feel overwhelmed. What should I do? Where can I go?’” Parham said. “In the beginning of the semester, we have seen a lot more students than we are used to having.” Changes in the works from the Office of Wellbeing include increased bystander intervention training requirements for student organizations as well as enhanced assistance for individuals who have played an activist role on campus and may be struggling mentally as a result, according to Parham. These initiatives advance the office’s objective to help prevent traumatic events from occurring in the future, she added. “At a higher level, the folks in our office are playing a role in trying to have widespread campus responses to this incident and reinstate the prevention work we already offer,” Parham said. “Our building on that is literally a catalyst of this event — how do we

get that stronger? How do we get out there and help keep these things from happening in the first place?” Several stressors, including concerns related to the pandemic, racial and sexual violence on campus; the Mount Tabor shooting, Hurricane Ida and general school-related anxiety are attacking the Wake Forest community from all sides, said Candace Epps Jackson, assistant dean of students and CARE case manager. “I think anytime you’re dealing with so many layered, complex or emotionally-taxing issues, it impacts your capacity just to be able to do everyday life,” Jackson said. “I think that’s true for everyone.” While student challenges with mental health are increasingly common, faculty and staff were also hit hard by the events of the past few weeks, especially the Mount Tabor shooting, according to CARE case manager Mary Katherine Newsome. “Mount Tabor is the school district for many of our faculty and staff ’s children,” she said. “I would say this is the most faculty and staff referrals we’ve seen.” The CARE Team has created an outreach plan that involves partnerships with the University Counseling Center, the Intercultural Center, the SAFE Office, the Women’s Center, the LGBTQ+ Center and the Office of Family Engagement, among oth-

ers, to bolster outreach efforts toward the Wake Forest community, Jackson said. “We have really been intentional with developing this outreach plan, “ Jackson added, “really trying to maximize on the relationships that each of us have with different people in these spaces — reaching out to say ‘this is how we believe we can support you as you work to support students and how we can support students directly.” Newsome believes that in a time where the community’s mental health is in such a delicate state, the wellbeing of Wake Forest students must be considered and prioritized. “In any situation where students are saying that they don’t feel safe or they’re feeling unheard, to me, step

one is always to listen,” she said. “Obviously, in the immediacy of a crisis you need to be Johnny-on-the-spot with responses and things like that. But, barring those immediate moments, I think it’s important to listen, be thoughtful, take that feedback that you’re receiving and take steps to make changes if needed.” Student Body President Ally Swartzberg believes that striving for a culture of unity and collaboration is the best way for Wake Forest to move forward. “How you move forward as a community, I think, is to really harness this collective action that we’re seeing and take it upon ourselves — as a student population — to acknowledge our differences and to value them,” Swartzberg said.

Maddie Sayre/ Old Gold & Black

The CARE Office and the Office of Wellbeing are investigating ways they can retool to better serve the needs of Wake Forest students.

COVID-19 policies vary across universities Southeastern schools have taken drastically different approaches to handling the spread of COVID-19 BY CATE PITTERLE Staff Writer Five weeks into the school year, Wake Forest students are yet again masking up in classrooms and buildings. But to most students, the year is otherwise normal. Social distancing, gathering size limits and outdoor mask mandates have all come to an end. COVID-19 cases continue to be relatively low, according to Wake Forest’s dashboard. As of Sept. 21, active cases sit at 15. This is not the case everywhere. In fact, COVID-19 cases nationwide are still surging. At the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, despite a reported 92% vaccination rate among students, there have been a recorded 629 COVID-19 cases since August 2021. Duke reported 168 positives this week from 24,070 tests. No public college or university in North Carolina has required COVID-19 vaccination, and masking policies continue to vary from school to school. However, North Carolina’s colleges are generally stricter than most in South Carolina and Florida, two other Southeastern states.

In Florida, many private schools require masking for their students. The University of Florida also requires indoor masking. At other public colleges and universities, however, the story is much different. According to the president of Florida State University, Richard McCullough, public colleges’ hands are tied. “One of the things that I think is a misunderstanding by the community is, they believe I have the authority to mandate masks and vaccinations, and I don’t,” McCullough said at a meeting of the university’s trustees on Aug. 27. “I don’t have that authority.” The only Florida college currently requiring COVID-19 vaccination is the University of Miami, and the requirement only applies to employees. Florida’s governor, Ron DeSantis, has been embroiled in COVID-19 controversies for months. Recently, education has come to the forefront as students aged K-12 and in college headed back into classrooms. DeSantis originally instituted a policy that would ban school districts from requiring masks for students. He has cited parental choice as the reasoning behind that decision, arguing that schools should not have the power to overrule individual choice. Leon County Judge John Cooper ruled on Sept. 8 that the state does not have the power to ban school districts from imposing mask mandates,

but that ruling was overturned days later. This is not the first time DeSantis has raised eyebrows on state COVID-19 policy. In the early months of 2021, he chose to allocate the first doses of the vaccine to nursing homes. This policy clashed with other states, which widely chose to allocate first doses to first responders and healthcare workers. Alex Sink, Florida’s former chief financial officer who ran for governor against Rick Scott in 2010, argued that the governor’s moves have been politically motivated. In an interview, she discussed her belief that Florida’s COVID-19 policy has been based around DeSantis’s political ambitions. The decision to allocate the vaccine to nursing homes was “somewhat political because seniors are a big voting block in Florida,” Sink said. “The trend here is our governor is a Donald Trump type of politician. Everything here gets politicized.” As COVID-19 cases remain high in Florida and across the country, Sink blamed state policies for persisting vaccine hesitancy. “My sense is there’s not a lot of money being spent doing public service ads. Influencers are not out there with the media or going into communities,” Sink said. “We’re not like Ohio, where the governor did a lottery. Other states are really mak-

ing a huge effort. There’s nothing in Florida.” Florida’s statewide policies contrast North Carolina’s, where vaccines have been highly incentivized by lotteries and cash rewards. In South Carolina, the story is more similar to that of Florida rather than its northern counterpart. Furman University and Wofford College are the only two institutions in the state requiring vaccinations. Compare that to North Carolina’s 17 institutions, which does not include the University of North Carolina system, whose schools are requiring masking. At the College of Charleston, the vaccination rate hovers around 74%. According to a message shared by President Andrew Hsu on Sept. 9, hitting the 70% vaccination mark meant reopening the library and other indoor facilities at 50% capacity, opening residence hall lounges and kitchens and the return of puppy therapy. “Remember, if we reach 80% of students vaccinated, I will host a pizza party in Rivers Green, and if we hit 90 percent, I will climb into a dunk tank on George Street,” Hsu added. “Who doesn’t want to see that?” Across the country, COVID-19 cases are still at the highest levels seen since January. As of Sept. 21, the 7-day average of new cases is over 130,000, according to the CDC.


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O n l i n e a t : w w w. w f u o g b . c o m O l d G o l d & B l a c k i n v e s t i g at i v e t e a m : A l e x a n d r a K a r l i n c h a k , W i l l Z i m m e r m a n , C oo p e r S u l l i va n , S e l i n n a T r a n , C o n n o r M c N e e ly a n d A i n e P i e r r e

Comparing Title IX and the courts The processes of adjudicating sexual assault vary depending on where one seeks justice BY AINE PIERRE & CONNOR MCNEELY News Editor & Opinion Editor & According to the 2019 Association of American Universities Campus Climate Survey, only 15% of survivors report their sexual assault experiences to campus or government authorities. For those who decide to report sexual assault, the multiple avenues of adjudication may seem daunting and inaccessible. With this in mind, and to make information about reporting more accessible to Wake Forest students, the Old Gold & Black has compiled information on what is similar, what is different and what to watch out for when reporting to two drastically different institutions — Wake Forest’s Title IX Office and Winston-Salem or University Police. Bear in mind that, should one so choose to do so, reports can be submitted to both offices. Unless otherwise indicated, all information regarding Title IX was provided to the Old Gold & Black by Title IX Director Aishah Casseus. Process and Procedure Title IX investigations — after a recent revision to university policy — can only be opened when the victim files a formal complaint. After that, those named as advisers — anyone the parties have asked to assist them in the Title IX adjudication process — are either chosen by that party or appointed by the university. The Title IX coordinator may also appoint one or more investigators to the case, and all information the investigator uncovers must be made available to the advisors. Survivors in Title IX cases are protected from retaliation by the university or any other entity, according to the Wake Forest Title IX policy document. The university is also precluded from punishing survivors in Title IX cases for drug, alcohol and any other related offenses. In the court system, a district attorney’s office is not required to adhere to your wishes to prosecute or not prosecute a case, according to the N.C. court’s website. However, the Crime Victim Rights Act in North Carolina requires the prosecutor’s offices to provide updates on the proceedings as they are requested. Throughout the process the courts and DA’s office are also responsible for providing a safe space for the survivor away from the accused and others close to them. This does not apply if a victim chooses to testify in court, as the Supreme Court has ruled that the Sixth Amendment ensures the right of a defendant to confront the witnesses against them (in a court setting). In accordance with the ruling in Brady v. Maryland, the prosecution must also disclose all its evidence to the defense. The actual process of hearings is similar between Title IX and criminal procedures.

Advisers in Title IX cases and attorneys in court both have the right to cross-examine the other party’s witnesses. One main difference is that Title IX cases are decided by a single arbiter appointed by the office, whereas most criminal cases are decided by a 12-member jury selected by the parties. Another main difference between the courts and the Title IX office involves criminal culpability. Because the Title IX office does not decide the guilt or innocence in state or federal crimes, the standard of evidence in these cases is much lower. Additionally, actions that violate Title IX policy may not be crimes per se. “[Criminal investigations] require proof ‘beyond a reasonable doubt,” Casseus told the Old Gold & Black. “A lesser standard of evidence, ‘preponderance of the evidence’ — more likely than not — is applied in the Title IX hearings.” There are also significant differences in the two processes regarding the time it takes to complete adjudication. Casseus said that Wake Forest typically tries to resolve Title IX cases within 120 days after receiving a complaint, though according to the policy document, a criminal investigation may delay the Title IX process. According to the Carolina Public Press, the average sexual assault case takes about two and a half years to reach an outcome, though some stretch over four years — longer than the

anticipated tenure of a Wake Forest student. Definitions and Evidentiary Standards Different definitions of sexual assault are used at Wake Forest’s Title IX Office and the Forsyth County courts. The courts follow the definition of rape laid out in the North Carolina General Statutes, which requires the act to be “by force and against the will” of the victim. Depending on the type of force, penalties and charges may be steeper. The North Carolina legislature recently amended the bill to include revoked consent in the definition of “against the will.” By contrast, the Title IX office uses the following definition of consent: “Consent means permission for something to happen or agreement to do something. For example, a person consents to sexual activity if/when they give permission for the activity to occur or agree to engage in the activity.” Also according to the Title IX office, “Consent is unambiguous, informed, active (not passive), voluntary (freely given), mutually understandable words and/or actions that indicate a willingness to participate in the sexual activity. Whether someone has given consent is based on the totality of the circumstances and is

determined by reference to a reasonable person in the same or similar circumstances.” The Title IX Office’s definition also states that consent can be revoked at any time and that consent is “automatically revoked” if someone falls asleep or is rendered unconscious. The North Carolina statutes also dictate that consent is revoked upon unconsciousness, but it does not specify that sexual intercourse with someone asleep is non-consensual. In terms of incapacitation and its relationship to consent, both the North Carolina Legislature and the Title IX Office use similar definitions that preclude those who cannot understand the acts in which they are participating — for any reason — from those who are unable to resist. The Title IX Office also specifies that those who are unaware that they have the right to refuse or revoke consent, or those who are unaware that the act is happening, also cannot give consent. Privacy Under the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), a student’s educational record, including Title IX referrals, must be kept confidential. In the courts, unless a judge seals records of the proceedings, criminal records are public.

Aine Pierre/ Old Gold & Black

According to a survey from the Association of American Universities, only 15% of survivors report their experience with sexual violence that happens in college to campus or local authorities. Where one reports can have significant impact on the nature of the process.


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at : w w w. w f u o g b. co m

Co n n o r M c N e e l y, m c n e c b 1 9 @ w f u. e d u


“ Given today’s climate, election reform is necessary The views expressed in all opinion columns represent those of the article’s author, not the opinions of the Old Gold & Black Editorial Board

American Politics

More parties should be created to represent people across the broadening political spectrum Essex Thayer

Sports Editor

If the past five years have taught the American people anything, it is that politics and elections are messy. They are divisive, frustrating, and often don’t elicit results the public finds satisfying. For that reason, drastic reform needs to be taken to restore the public’s trust and belief in the election process — voting procedures and the two-party system must be addressed to improve the elections. Now more than ever, in a divided political climate, the two-party system does not represent the public’s vast spectrum of political opinions. Since the 2016 election (and likely before then, too) the political spectrum has broadened. People at either end of the spectrum have become more politically active and, as a result, have affected their respective parties’ agendas. This broadening political activity from far-right and far-left organizations necessitates the creation of additional parties because

... With increasing numbers of people seeing themselves as moderates, there should be a four-party system.”

the consensus over one unified candidate per party has become incredibly murky. Take, for example, the 2016 election. With only two parties, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton became the nominees for their respective parties. Yet, both primaries were heavily contested, and a decent percentage of the party would most likely have rather seen another candidate representing their party in the general election. Donald Trump won the Republican primary with 44.9 % of the vote. For the Democrats, Clinton won with 55.2%. Neither number is very convincing. In 2019, Gallup Polls found that 37% of Americans identify as conservatives, 24% as liberals and 35% as moderates. With that in mind, how are the moderates expected to vote, especially when considering that candidates on either side often don’t represent their inclinations? To ensure that the election process reflects the will of the people, more parties should be enacted to represent where people stand on the political spectrum. Now more than ever, with increasing amounts of people identifying as moderates, there should be a four-party system. This could consist of the traditional Republicans and

Democrats, along with a center-left and centerright party. In the 2016 election, this would have seen President Trump, Clinton, Bernie Sanders and possibly Jeb Bush or John Kasich as presidential nominees. Those candidates, all contending in a general election, would have far better reflected the changing tides of American politics and the growing spectrum of public opinion. To give each candidate and party a more fair chance of winning the election, voting itself must also change. The state of Maine utilizes a ranked-choice voting system in its elections, and the United States should use this as well. Especially if the two-party system were to remain in place, a ranked-choice system would allow voters to vote for another candidate as their second choice, such as an Independent or more moderate candidate. This would give voters the opportunity to vote for a third-party candidate without the fear that their vote would be insignificant — they would be able to rank other candidates, as well. A common qualm with the current general election system is that, often, the winner does not even secure over 50% of the popular vote. In 2016, neither Trump nor Clinton hit that number. In battleground states, this is evident as well. Take Wisconsin, for example, a state Trump won despite securing only 47% of the vote.

In a ranked-choice voting system, as seen with the system implemented in Maine, over 50% of the vote would be required for a candidate to win the election. In this system, if the leading candidate does not reach 50%, the last-place finisher is removed, and the secondplace votes from that candidate are applied to the other candidates. That process repeats until a candidate eclipses the 50% mark. This system works well because it ensures that, at the end of the day, at least over half of voters cast a ballot for the winning candidate. Establishing ranked-choice voting and more parties would also mean that the Electoral College would need to be removed or adjusted, as a victory in the Electoral College would now be unconvincing. It would also highlight a problem that already exists: candidates must only target a few key states to win the general election. A popular vote could fix this because, instead of just having to win a state, the candidate would be vying for each individual vote, and those votes would all hold equal value. Likely, none of these changes will ever occur, but they could help. It is our American standard that equality should exist for all, so why don’t our elections reflect this sentiment? Adjustments could ensure that equality is more prevalent for the citizens, the candidates and our country — and why shouldn’t we try?

accomplished their intended goal as posited by President Biden — to reduce the organized terrorist operations. Today, the presence of troops in Afghanistan is no longer in our best interest. Trump entered office in 2017. He wanted to leave Afghanistan then, and so does Biden now, four years later. Although the chaos of the withdrawal can be rightfully criticized, Biden followed through in ending our longest war. Regardless of our mistakes in leaving the country — and there were many — they did not inspire, nor cause, the Taliban to seize control. If we had waited another five years, the Taliban would have done the same thing they’re doing now. If we had dumped another $500 million into funding the Afghan army to defend encroachments of the Taliban, it would have made no difference. The U.S. withdrawal was a disorderly display of well-intentioned but poorly executed decisions. We should not have stayed in Afghanistan any longer, nor spent any more time in a conflict that was rapidly draining the U.S. of millions of dollars. Even so, there’s a lot that could and should have been done to mitigate the damage of our withdrawal. We should have ensured the Afghan military was prepared to defend themselves against the inevitable attacks of the Taliban,

as Afghan President Ashraf Ghani promised they would. We should have located and assisted every Afghan citizen that was putting the safety of themselves and their families in jeopardy. We should have constructed a plan to evacuate American citizens before the withdrawal. With the clarity of hindsight, it’s easy to shout down the decisions of others, and it’s easy to bombard political and military leaders with criticism when it seems like they have failed.. But, in each of these scenarios, we have the luxury of knowing what these decision-makers did not. This doesn’t excuse their shortcomings nor alleviate their responsibility, but it demonstrates how the best military minds in the world, coupled with the best national intelligence systems ever created, can still falter. While some members of Congress have gone so far as to say the withdrawal was a betrayal of the service and sacrifice of our armed forces, this is not the case. Rather, the withdrawal shows that the U.S. is no longer willing to allow Americans to pay for a war that went beyond its original purposes. It was a promise to all the mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters and friends and neighbors that they no longer need to fear that someone they love won’t be coming home.

“ Anthony Blinken gives defensive testimony Foreign Affairs

Blinken’s decision to withdraw U.S. forces from Afghanistan draws criticism Robbie Santos

Contributing Columnist

Over the past few months, the eyes of the world have been watching Afghanistan following the United States’ withdrawal of troops out of the country. As has been wellreported, the Taliban quickly organized and took control in the absence of United States forces. The fierce backlash brought on by the exit, directed against the Biden administration, has been equally well-documented. On Sept. 13, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken was the first member of Cabinet to testify before Congress regarding the removal of troops from the country America occupied for two decades. As would be expected of any Secretary of State, Blinken defended the decision to withdraw U.S. forces from Afghanistan. It did not take long for him to come under fire from

Regardless of our mistakes in leaving the country ... they did not inspire, nor cause, the Taliban to seize control.” members of Congress over this chaotic removal and the subsequent power grab by the Taliban. However, Secretary Blinken made charges of his own, arguing that it was not the Biden administration that negotiated with the Taliban and set a deadline for the withdrawal of U.S. troops on the ground. Rather, under the scrutiny of both Republicans and Democrats, Blinken returned a question, pondering whether staying in Afghanistan for another year, or longer, would have led to a different outcome. Blinken continued, asking whether hundreds of billions of dollars in additional aid and resources would have made any difference. He subsequently answered himself, stating that staying in Afghanistan for any amount of time, or dumping any sum of money into the country, would not have solved the issues that have evolved in the absence of the U.S. military. Here, I largely agree with the Secretary of State. The United States had been in Afghanistan for roughly two decades, and in that time, they

Opinion | Old Gold & Black

Thursday, September 23, 2021 | Page 9

“ classes enriches community Shift to in-person Campus Life

The return to in-person campus life yields various academic and social benefits Ansley McNeel

Staff Columnist

After three Zoom semesters, the Wake Forest experience is now almost completely in-person. With this transition, there have been many changes to our social, emotional and academic attitudes. While I am thankful that I no longer have to sit in my room and log onto class online, I would like to give credit where credit is due: my in-person experience has been changed for the better by my semesters online. Socially, I have a newfound excitement to be in class. Our worst day in person is better than our best day online. Even when students feel frustrated with the burdens of academic work, they still find joy within the in-person modality. Surely, face-to-face interactions have a better chance to cheer some-

Students are laughing more easily ... and taking fuller advantage of all the benefits that Wake Forest has to offer."

one up or turn a day around. It is easy to make friends when you sit across from one another instead of in your own rooms. Students are far more engaged before class even begins, and professors seem to feed off our energy. Being able to interact more closely with my professors has been a highlight of the semester thus far. It is easier to connect with them when we are face to face and can casually chat before and after class. Before COVID, I believe that I took these opportunities for granted. When I was less able to interact with my professors in an online environment, I realized how much I had missed out on those small talks that allow for students and professors to understand one another more fully. Outside of the classroom, similar social changes persist. This semester, the sidewalks, quads and dining halls are teeming with life. Students are laughing more easily, feeling less stress and taking full advantage of all the benefits that Wake Forest has to offer. Athletics, for example, is a

game-changer. There is nothing quite like being in a stadium alongside your classmates cheering on your school to victory. Bumping into friends from your freshman hall on the way to class, meeting students who had been in your online classes in person and feeling the small school energy that we all came here for has been restorative. We are finally healing from all of the separative wounds students have suffered in the online semesters. We are finally coming back together as one. The return to in person learning has affected students at Wake Forest academically. I have learned that, when it comes to learning, what you put into the pursuit affects what you get out of it. Now, I’m determined to enrich my own experiences. Participation is far easier when we can look around the room and read body language to perceive when a student might have something interesting to add to a conversation. This is especially true in many of my English classes, given my English major. In these classes, we emphasize the importance of learning from our peers, considering that each person understands a text differently according to their experiences and background.

Yet another academic perk comes with the switch to in-person classes — we no longer have to use our computers in class. Many students like myself have medical conditions which make forced screen time difficult. Classes were astronomically more challenging for me when I had to stare at a screen for hours on end, dependent on that screen to complete classwork and study for exams. There was never a break from the glow of the screen, and it took me much longer to complete assignments because of these issues. Furthermore, focusing became much more difficult when text messages, email alerts and Netflix were all sitting right behind my notes. The return to paper texts, paper tests and paper studies has significantly enriched my own learning process, as it is more conducive to retaining what I am learning and keeping my mind healthy and sharp. With the return to the in-person college experience, I have learned just how much relationships shape my outlook on life. It is far easier to feel connected to Wake Forest and the people here when I can anchor my memories in physical locations and conversations with friends.

frequent gas stations, quality roads and just the right amount of traffic to make you feel not completely stranded should something go wrong. Highway 160 was more like a back alley across the plains. We would drive for miles without seeing a car or gas station, our only company being the wild sunflowers on the side of the road. While the isolation was intimidating and the narrow, bumpy road that shot across the sea of prairie grass beautiful, this was not the part of the drive that will always remain with me. After driving through these conditions for a few hours without seeing a soul, a couple of buildings peeked out over the horizon. There were three of them: two abandoned general stores and one house. The two rundown buildings were typical of the seemingly forgotten landscape, replete with cobwebs and boarded-up windows. The house was not. In the middle of this stunningly barren wasteland was a set of redtrimmed shutters and a white picket fence surrounding a perfectly maintained house. It was so ideally kept that I thought I was seeing things. Naturally, I slowed down to admire the sight. To my surprise, there was a man (who I swear was pushing 90) clad in a cowboy hat, tucked-in button-down and boots, pushing a

lawn-mower over his 10’ by 12’ yard. He moved with the deliberation of a tortoise. I was in complete awe and admiration of this man. He lived in complete isolation, away from any societal impulses that might compel him to mow his lawn — and yet here he was, mowing. At his age and in his location, nobody would care nor notice if he failed to do so. The only reason for mowing his lawn could be his own personal sense of pride and self-worth. It was with that realization I drove on, deep in thought. How much in life do we do only for the sake of others? How much only for ourselves? As college students and members of an organized society, it is nearly impossible to escape the conscious or subconscious wills of others. We all act in our own ways with the understanding that, usually, someone else is watching. There are constant external pressures compelling us to act in one way or another (and I might add that these forces are often quite effective in shaping the way we conduct ourselves). How do we act when nobody is looking or cares what we do? The lone lawn-mower prompts us to consider that question. We must find purpose within ourselves, not only within society.

“ Junior reflects on recent scenic drive Cap's Cabana

The observation of a man living in isolation sparks questions about behavior

I drove on, deep in thought. How much in life do we do only for the sake of others? How much only for ourselves?"

Cap McLiney

Great Sand Dunes National Park with my girlfriend, Josie. Instead of taking our usual route home across the mind-numbing expanse of I-70, I decided to go a different way. My dad recommended that we take highway 50 through Dodge City along a slightly more southern corridor of Kansas. I agreed, and so we headed that way after seeing the National Park (which is absolutely worth your time if you’re ever in the area). After driving for a few hours, I began to get an uneasy feeling that we were going the wrong way. My car’s compass had been pointed south for far too long, and I began to notice more adobe houses than usual. I asked Josie to check my iPhone’s directions, and she found that the app was taking us through Dodge City, but via highway 160, not 50. We were about an hour further south than I anticipated us traveling, and about as close to New Mexico as I ever would like to be. The difference between the two highways was astounding, and the mistake was great. Highway 50, while small, should still be considered a highway. It has

Staff Columnist

Over Labor Day weekend, I drove out to Colorado from Kansas City. On the way there, I took the usual route across the state of Kansas and then headed over to Pikes Peak — I had never been there before and was anxious to see the famous mountain. However, it was neither the drive there nor the site itself that ended up making an impact on me. Rather, it was the drive home from the mountain that I will never forget. I have written in this publication about road trips before. I am not sure what it is about these trips that I enjoy so immensely and remember so vividly, but there is a certain indescribable feeling of being a completely anonymous observer of an unfamiliar place. This is my favorite aspect — it’s as close as I can come to being a fly on the wall. On this particular trip, I was headed back from Pikes Peak and the


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Online at: Twitter: @sports_ogb Editors: Essex Thayer, Christina DeNovio,


Wake Forest takes down FSU 35-14 The Demon Deacons continued their unbeaten streak, giving them a record of 3-0 BY ESSEX THAYER Sports Editor On Saturday, Truist Field was filled to the brim with a boisterous Wake Forest crowd and a Florida State traveling party that took up a third of the stands. In front of that crowd of nearly 30,000 — the largest of the season so far — the Demon Deacons played their best game of their campaign thus far, defeating the Seminoles 35-14. In the week leading up to the game, much was said about Florida State and their competitiveness. Coming off an overtime loss to No. 8 Notre Dame, the Seminoles lost on a game-ending touchdown pass against FCS squad Jacksonville State before traveling to Truist on Saturday. Because of those two vastly different results, the narratives surrounding Florida State were different all across the board. Some expected Wake Forest to blow out the Seminoles, while others saw the matchup as a trap game. All of the experts on College GameDay picked Florida State to win. Throughout the week, Wake Forest Head Coach Dave Clawson remained steadfast in his team’s preparation. Clawson was quick to recognize that Florida State was not as poor of a team as they were made out to be. “It's a matter of time until these guys get it right,” Clawson said. “I know their results right now aren't what they want them to be. But they took a top-10 team to overtime and lost to Jacksonville State on a fluke play. They are two plays away from being 2-0, and probably, nationally ranked. Florida State is Florida State.”

Clawson was also quick to mention that in conference, the Seminoles and Wake Forest stood as equals. “This is the first ACC game,” Clawson said. “So no matter what happens, nonconference wise, your goals center around the ACC. We're 0-0 in the conference, and they’re 0-0 in the conference.” On Wake Forest’s first drive, the Seminoles defense came out firing. After one first down off a run from redshirt sophomore running back Christian Beal-Smith, the Demon Deacon offense faltered. On second down, redshirt sophomore quarterback Sam Hartman tried to fit a pass through a tight window to redshirt senior tight end Brandon Chapman. The pass made it through, but bounced off Chapman’s helmet and into the hands of the Seminoles defender Sidney Williams at the 50-yard line. The turnover was the beginning of a slow start for Wake Forest in a game where mistakes needed to be minimized. After the game, Hartman highlighted the importance of playing through mistakes. “We did the job, staying mentally tough and bouncing back,” he said. “That was the whole message this week. Not everything's going to go our way, and [Florida State] is going to make plays. We have to bounce back.” Following the interception, the Seminole offense was led out by quarterback McKenzie Milton, a UCF transfer who was injured two years ago and was told at the time he would never play football again. In the buildup to the game, Wake Forest struggled to prepare for the Florida State offense, as the team regularly played two quarterbacks: Milton and Jordan Travis. “[Milton’s] skill set is his smarts — his anticipation of throws and his ability to read coverages,” Clawson said during the week leading up to the game. “He's a good football player, he's won a lot of

Photo courtesy of Will Zimmerman

Redshirt junior running back Christian Beal-Smith (98 rush yards, one TD) dives into the endzone for Wake Forest's second touchdown of the game.

games. There's nothing you're gonna throw at him that he hasn't seen. [Both quarterbacks are] very talented. The challenge is preparing for both of them.” After the Wake Forest turnover, the defense responded, only giving Milton two snaps on the field. On the second snap of the Seminole’s opening drive, Joshua Corbin, their star running back, rushed through the middle of the defensive line. When he engaged with the front four, the ball popped out, and Demon Deacon freshman cornerback Caelin Carson fell on it. From there, Hartman stepped on the gas. Following two Beal-Smith rushes to start the drive, the quarterback took to the air. On the third play of the drive, redshirt sophomore wide receiver A.T. Perry cut to the inside of his defender and flew down the right sideline. Hartman’s pass caught Perry right in stride, leading him into the end zone for the first score of the game. Perry led the team in receiving, catching seven passes for 155 yards and the touchdown. After the game, he expressed that preparation was the difference in his separation from defenders throughout the game. “Watching film on [the Seminoles defense], I really felt confident in the plays that were being called,” he said. “I prepare myself by watching as much [game film] as possible and taking care of my body as well. I come ready to play.” Following a Florida State three-andout, Wake Forest once again marched down the field. In between runs by freshman running back Justice Ellison, Hartman once again found Perry for 15 yards to get into Seminole territory. On third-and-eight, Hartman completed a pass to redshirt junior receiver Jaquarii Roberson at the 18-yard line. After the catch, Roberson fought for extra yards, but in doing so, allowed for a convoy of Florida State defenders to surround the receiver and rip the ball free. The play saved the Seminoles from another dangerous-looking Wake Forest drive. Once again, after a turnover from the offense, the Demon Deacon defense stood tall, forcing the Florida State offense off the field in a three-and-out. In the game, the Seminoles converted on only one of six on third-downs. Redshirt defensive lineman Miles Fox knew this was the game to step up. “[Stopping Florida State on third downs] was our mentality,” Fox said. “We had to play better. Everyone stepped up to the plate today and played their butts off.” Following the third-down stop, the Wake Forest offense took to the ground. On the nine-play touchdown drive that ensued, eight of the plays were runs, including a 24-yard scamper by Hartman that brought the Demon Deacons to the doorstep of the Seminole red zone. Following a rush to the goal line from redshirt sophomore back Christian Turner, Beal-Smith cashed in to give Wake Forest a 14-point lead. With their second quarterback Jordan Travis under center, the Florida State of-

fense finally began to click. After a 10yard pass to move the Seminoles into Wake Forest territory, running back Treshaun Ward darted through the Demon Deacon front seven for a gain of 22 yards. On the next play, Travis found Ward in the flat. From there, the back made a cut to the inside and scampered from eight yards out into the end zone, cutting the deficit to seven. On Wake Forest’s next drive, Hartman utilized the Deacons’ depth at wide receiver, completing passes to four different receivers. During the offense’s 75-yard march, he found redshirt freshman Taylor Morin twice for 13 yards, freshman Ke’Shawn Williams once for 12 yards and Perry once on third down for a 20yard gain. Hartman found the fourth receiver of the drive, redshirt senior Donald Stewart, on an 11-yard touchdown pass. With under six minutes remaining in the first half, on third down, Milton fired to the right side of the field, searching for Corbin in double coverage. Junior cornerback Nasir Greer stepped in front of the pass for the interception. From there, the Wake Forest offense rushed the ball into field goal range and converted, extending their lead to 24-7. That scoreline only lasted for one play. With Travis back under center, receiver Ontaria Wilson capitalized on blown coverage with a 65-yard touchdown reception. With three minutes left, Hartman and the Wake Forest offense orchestrated an effective end-of-the-half drive. After what looked to be a lost series, a 44-yard reception to Perry spurred the Demon Deacons forward, putting them in position for a 22-yard field goal conversion from Nick Sciba. The kick Wake Forest a 27-14 lead at the half. On their first drive of the second half, the Wake Forest offense got right back to business. With the duo of Beal-Smith and Ellison running the ball, the Demon Deacons moved down the field with interspersed passes from Hartman to Morin. On third down at the goal line, Clawson called Ellison’s number. With a big push from the offensive line, the back rumbled into the end zone to extend the Wake Forest lead to three touchdowns. Following the score, the Demon Deacons relied on strong defense — including three forced turnovers — and their run game to bleed out the clock and secure the win. After the game, Clawson emphasized the magnitude of the win. “It’s a good day for Wake Forest University and Wake Forest football,” he said. “I’m just really proud of our players. We knew the level of competition was going to step up. We knew we were going to have to play a four quarter game. It was a really good team effort, a complete effort. We're gonna need more of this as we move forward to a very good Virginia team next week.” On Friday night, Wake Forest will travel to Charlotteville, Va. for their first away game of the season against the University of Virginia.

Sports | Old Gold & Black

Thursday, September 23, 2021 | Page 11

Soccer stages comeback, defeats Pitt After a tough losing streak, the Demon Deacons take down one of their strongest opponents BY CHARLES HORN Staff Writer

As the final whistle blew, the crowd at Spry roared in appreciation, substitutes sprinted across the field and smoke descended on fans gathered on the hill. Wake Forest had just upset No. 5 Pittsburgh, 3-1. Senior Kyle Holcomb, sophomore Garrison Tubbs and sophomore Chase Oliver all scored in a potentially seasonchanging victory over last year’s College Cup participants. The Panthers are coached by Jay Vidovich, a former Wake Forest coach who won the 2007 NCAA championship during his tenure. Despite Pitt’s recent success, Wake Forest has historically dominated the Panthers. They had not lost in five previous matchups, and entered Friday having never conceded a goal to Pitt. Wake last played Pitt in 2017, but hosted the Panthers in a preseason match before last season as well. The two teams entered the match on differing trajectories. Pitt was recovering from two upset losses against West Virginia and Akron which were followed by a dominant 4-0 victory over then No. 4 North Carolina. In opposition, Wake Forest dropped out of the United Soccer Coaches top 25 for the first time since the beginning of Bobby Muuss’s managerial tenure af- ter a 3-0 loss to Louisville, continuing an extremely difficult start to the season for

a young and inexperienced Wake Forest team. On Friday, senior Holland Rula returned to the starting lineup, positioned at left back which allowed Jahlane Forbes to start on the left wing. Prince Amponsah was suspended following his red card against Louisville, so Nico Benalcazar and Tubbs filled in. Redshirt sophomore Cole McNally was scheduled to start, but was a late scratch. The goalkeeper continues to recover from an injury suffered against Cornell. From the outset, the match did lit- tle to resemble a normal Wake Forest game, with Pitt controlling possession. The Deacs sat back, a significantly differ- ent approach than the usual possession dominant style, absorbing Pitt’s pressure and counterattacking. Yet, the Deacs’ strategy paid off early. Stepping forward, junior midfielder Takuma Suzuki forced a turnover and played a pass into the path of Omar Hernandez. Hernandez’s shot was spilled by Pitt’s grad-student goalkeeper Nico Campuzano, with the rebound falling to the feet of Holcomb, who collected himself and powered the ball into the roof of the net to give the Deacs an early lead. Campuzano’s torrid evening continued 10 minutes later. Swallen’s inswinging corner ricocheted in the box, perhaps taking a nick off Tubbs, and sailing through Campuzano’s open arms to double The Deacs’ lead. Wake’s strategy continued to pay off, with Holcomb finding acres of space on the counterattack. Heroic defensive contributions and stellar goalkeeping from sophomore Trace Alphin aided the Deacs’ cause. Pitt’s attacks were continually stifled, and they often resorted to

Photo courtesy of Wake Forest Athletics

Holcomb started off the scoring on Friday with a goal in the 16th minute. Goals by Tubbs and Oliver solidified the win. long range efforts that failed to truly test Alphin. Wake extended their lead in the 69th minute, as sophomore Oliver fired in a shot that took a sizeable deflection off the outstretched leg of a Pitt defender and careened into the roof of the Pitt net. Oliver’s second goal of the season iced the match, cementing a significant result that could mark a turnaround point following two early regular-season losses. Veljko Petkovic pulled a goal back for Pitt, their first ever against Wake Forest,

with a scorching strike from outside the box. After that goal was too little too late, even as Wake went down to 10 men following Leo Guarino’s second yellow card. The win was a vital moment that Muuss and his team hope will spark renewed confidence ahead of a season which will only grow tougher. Wake Forest continues its ACC slate at NC State on Sept. 24, before returning to Spry against nonconference opponent Liberty on Sept. 28.

Will Zalatoris named Rookie of the Year Former Demon Deacon receives major honor despite beginning the season without Tour status BY CHRISTINA DENOVIO Sports Editor

Wake Forest alum Will Zalatoris has been voted PGA Tour Rookie of the Year, making him the first player in two decades to receive the honor without being a full PGA Tour member. The last golfer to win the award as a special temporary member of the tour was Charles Howell III in 2001. The Wake Forest class of 2018 graduate was the heavy favorite for the title. Despite that fact, he began the 2020-21 golf season without PGA Tour status. In a way, Zalatoris has the COVID-19 pandemic to thank for his burst onto the scene. In 2020, he showed his skills at the Korn Ferry Tour, where he tied for sixth place and earned a spot in the U.S. Open at Winged Foot. He also finished tied for eighth place at the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship. Zalatoris was given the opportunity to compete in the U.S. Open because of

a new one-time rule that stated, due to the absence of open qualifying, a certain number of Korn Ferry players would be allowed to participate in the major tournament. Shortly thereafter, Zalatoris became a special, temporary member to the PGA Tour in November. He finished the season with eight top-10s and 14 top-25 finishes in 25 starts. One of his most impressive accomplishments includes earning second place at Augusta National in the Masters won by Hideki Matsuyama. While there weren’t as many candidates for rookie of the year as usual due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Zalatoris still had to beat out a few tough competitors, including the South African Garrick Higgo, who won the Palmetto Championship at Congaree in May. The only other rookie on Tour apart from Zalatoris and Higgo was Rafael Campos. Because he had not begun the season as a full PGA Tour member, Zalatoris was not eligible for the FedEx Cup Playoffs, which were won by an American, Patrick Cantlay. On missing the tournament, Zalatoris told Golf Digest, “I watched Patrick [Cantlay] and Bryson [Dechambeau] duke it out and I watched the last day of East Lake. Obviously, I’d

really felt that, once I got a good recipe with my back to be able to perform, I knew I was playing really nice golf and would’ve loved to been there.” Regardless, this past season has gone quite well for the 25-year-old. When asked how it felt to be a Rookie of the Year winner, the Dallas, Texas native told Golf Digest, “I went to Wake Forest on the Arnold Palmer Scholarship, so winning an award with Mr. Palmer’s name on it is not lost on me. If you’d have told me I’d be PGA Tour rookie of the year for 2021 when, in April 2020 it looked like I was going to have to spend two years on the Korn Ferry Tour, well that’s a pretty cool spot to be in.” Winning the award means Zalatoris joins an impressive group of golfers, including big names such as Jordan Speith (2013 winner), Ricky Fowler (2010 winner) and Tiger Woods (1996 winner). Looking towards the future, Zalatoris said his focus is on “looking at the macro instead of the micro.” He continued: “Instead of trying to make the playoffs, trying to make the Ryder Cup, [I want to] just go out and get better at golf. That’s the only thing I can control.”

Photo courtesy of Kevin C. Fox/Getty Images

The 2020-21 season has catapulted Will Zalatoris’ career.

Page 12| Thursday, September 23, 2021

Old Gold & Black | Sports

Recapping a second thrilling NFL Week Top teams this season are beginning to emerge, but upsets are shaking up the field BY NICO PANOS Contributing Writer New York Giants 29, Washington Football Team 30 In an intense Thursday night matchup between NFC East division rivals, the Washington Football Team, led by new starting quarterback Taylor Heinicke, picked up a home win against the NY Giants. The 43-yard game-winning field goal came off the foot of Washington kicker Dustin Hopkins. Giants quarterback Daniel Jones, not normally recognized for his running ability, finished with 95 rushing yards on nine carries and a touchdown. The Giants had multiple opportunities to win the game, including one on a dropped pass by wide receiver Darius Slayton, which would have been a touchdown. A controversial offsides call on a field goal miss also would have given the Giants the victory. New England Patriots 25, New York Jets 6 In a battle between two first-round rookie quarterbacks, Alabama product Mac Jones came away with the win for New England. Jets QB Zach Wilson had trouble dealing with the defensive might of the Patriots, coughing up four interceptions for a passer rating of 37.0. Patriots cornerback J.C. Jackson snagged two interceptions, contributing to the squad’s dominant defensive performance. Denver Broncos 23, Jacksonville Jaguars 13 Broncos quarterback Teddy Bridgewater continued to cement his status as an NFL-caliber starter with his stat line saturday: 328 passing yards, two touchdowns, and a passer rating of 125.6 and a win over the Jaguars. Former Clemson All-American QB Trevor Lawrence

Photo courtesy of Rob Carr/Getty Images

Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson leaps to find a receiver for a pass.

struggled in his second start for the Jaguars, passing for 118 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. Broncos wide receiver Courtland Sutton had a stand out performance with nine catches for 159 yards. In a lone moment of excellence for Jacksonville, kick returner Jamal Agnew took a kickoff to the house, covering 102 yards on the play. Buffalo Bills 35, Miami Dolphins 0 With starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa knocked out of the game early in the first quarter, the Miami Dolphins had no answers against a hungry Bills defense. Coming off of a disappointing loss at home against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Buffalo silenced the doubters in their rout of the well-respected Dolphins. Bills running back Devin Singletary ran for 82 yards on 13 carries, including a 46-yard touchdown run that opened the scoring. Bills QB Josh Allen added two passing TDs and one rushing score to solidify the result. The Dolphins offense — led most of the game by backup QB Jacoby Brissett — lacked any killer instinct; they failed to score in their three red zone opportunities. San Francisco 49ers 17, Philadelphia Eagles 11 In a defensive showcase, the 49ers made the most of their scoring opportunities, winning in a low-scoring affair. 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa totaled two sacks along with two QB hits and limited Philadelphia QB Jalen Hurts’ scrambling ability all game long. Special teams also played a factor sunday - the 49ers blocked a Jake Elliot 47-yard field goal attempt near the beginning of the second quarter. The Eagles did have one big highlight moment with a 91-yard pass from Hurts to wide receiver Quez Watkins. Watkins was tackled a few yards shy of the goal line. Los Angeles Rams 27, Indianapolis Colts 24 The Los Angeles Rams, following a dominant primetime win over the Chicago Bears, went the distance with the Indianapolis Colts and came away with a win on the road. Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp had a highlight performance with 163 receiving yards, nine receptions and two touchdowns. With Colts QB Carson Wentz out injured, the decisive moment in the game came when backup Jacob Eason threw a killer interception to Rams CB Jalen Ramsey, setting up a game-winning field goal for Rams kicker Matt Gay. Las Vegas Raiders 26, Pittsburgh Steelers 17 After an impressive win over the Buffalo Bills, the Pittsburgh Steelers struggled offensively against the Las Vegas Raiders in a disappointing home loss. Raiders quarterback Derek Carr continued to disprove his critics with a performance consisting of 382 passing yards, two touchdowns and passer rating of 126.2. Carr’s best throw came on a fantastic 61-yard ball to the speedy wide receiver Henry Ruggs that went for a touchdown. Las Vegas kicker Daniel Carlson added four field goals, ensuring the victory for the Raiders. Pittsburgh’s wide receiver Dionte Johnson collected 105 receiving yards on nine catches before leaving the game with an injury.

Cincinnati Bengals 17, Chicago Bears 20 In a similar style to the 49ers-Eagles game, the Bengals and Bears spent most of the contest in a defensive stalemate. Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow had a disappointing game, at least for his personal standards. Burrow threw three interceptions on three consecutive drives in the fourth quarter. One of these interceptions, caught by Bears linebacker Roquan Smith, was returned for a 53-yard touchdown. The Bengals fought back late in the fourth quarter, making it a threepoint game with 3:43 left, but the Bears were able to run out the clock and walk away with a home victory. Bears rookie quarterback Justin Fields took over after starter Andy Dalton got injured and was able to seal the victory. Houston Texas 21, Cleveland Browns 31 One week after a disappointing loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, the Cleveland Browns rode their running back tandem to victory — halfbacks Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt totaled 146 yards on 24 carries. In a recurring theme of the week, Texans starter Tyrod Taylor went down with an injury, allowing Stanford product Davis Mills to gain some valuable experience in a tough situation. Mills finished with 102 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield proved to be very efficient in his work, completing 19 out of his 21 passing attempts. Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski improves to 6-0 in games following a loss. New Orleans Saints 7, Carolina Panthers 26 Christian McCaffrey and the Carolina Panthers dominated the New Orleans Saints in all facets of the game in their latest home performance. Panthers QB Sam Darnold continued to excite fans, posting a passer rating of 99.1 in the victory. Following a fantastic performance against the Packers, Saints QB Jameis Winston showed his ugly side, passing for only 111 yards and throwing two interceptions. He finished with a passer rating of 26.9. McCaffrey totaled 137 all-purpose yards and a touchdown, while his Saints counterpart, Alvin Kamara, only earned 30 all-purpose yards, including a measly 5 rushing yards on 8 carries. The Panthers are now 2-0 to begin a season for the first time since their last playoff appearance, which came in 2017. Minnesota Vikings 33, Arizona Cardinals 34 In a game which felt like it was being played between a pair of Big 12 schools, the Cardinals eventually prevailed at home over the Vikings after Minnesota kicker Greg Joseph missed a potential game-winning 37-yard field goal as time expired. Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray racked up 400 passing yards, 31 yards rushing, four total touchdowns and two interceptions. Vikings QB Kirk Cousins had a solid performance himself, with 244 passing yards and three touchdowns, including a 64-yard-deep pass to receiver K.J. Osborn. Atlanta Falcons 25, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 48 The Buccaneers offense dominated the Falcons defense in this game. The age-de-

fying quarterback, Tom Brady, threw for five passing touchdowns, including two to receiver Mike Evans, and another pair to his tight end, Rob Gronkowski. At the start of the fourth quarter, the Falcons cut the deficit to three, but three fourth quarter touchdowns (including two separate pick-sixes by Buccaneers safety Mike Edwards) completely iced the game for Tampa Bay. Falcons receiver and rusher Cordarrelle Patterson netted two total touchdowns and totaled 58 receiving yards on five catches. Tennessee Titans 33, Seattle Seahawks 30 In a game where the home team was up 24-9 at halftime, the visiting Tennessee Titans looked like they were going to collect a second straight loss. However, the Titans offense ignited just in the nick of time, with running back Derrick Henry collecting a total of 182 rushing yards and three touchdowns, including a 60yard touchdown run. The Titans eventually won the game off of a Randy Bullock 36-yard field goal in overtime. Seahawks QB Russell Wilson had 343 passing yards and two touchdowns. One of his top targets, Tyler Lockett, collected 178 receiving yards on eight catches, including a 63-yard touchdown grab. The Titans big offseason addition, wide receiver Julio Jones, finally got cooking, gaining 128 yards on six catches. Dallas Cowboys 20, Los Angeles Chargers 17 Dallas Cowboys kicker Greg Zuerlein was able to shrug off his missed kicks from the previous week’s game and hit a tough 56-yard game winning field goal to seal the Cowboys first victory. Quarterback play was a general mixed bag. Cowboys QB Dak Prescott and Chargers QB Justin Herbert combined for three interceptions. Cowboys RB Tony Pollard challenged starting running back Ezekiel Elliot in production with a solid 109 rushing yards on 13 attempts, 31 receiving yards on three catches and a rushing touchdown. Chargers receivers Mike Williams and Keenan Allen combined for 11 catches and 199 yards, but all that was still not enough for the Chargers offense to score consistently. Kansas City Chiefs 35, Baltimore Ravens 36 The agreed-upon game of the week by most NFL experts lived up to its hype, and Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson finally got his highlight victory over the Chiefs. Jackson, though he threw two interceptions, was fantastic in the run game, racking up 107 yards and two touchdowns on the ground - including the eventual game-winning goal line touchdown with 3:18 left in the game. Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes had another great performance with 343 passing yards and three touchdowns, good for a fantastic passer rating of 131.5. The costly moment for the Chiefs came on a fumble by running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire, which sealed the Ravens victory. Chiefs safety Tyran Mathieu continues to be a daunting presence for opposing quarterbacks, adding two interceptions to his collection, including a 34-yard pick-six.

Sports | Old Gold & Black

Thursday, September 23, 2021 | Page 13

Wake Forest field hockey totals 4-3 record After losing their first two games, the Demon Deacons bounced back with an ACC win BY JAKE STUART Assistant Sports Editor Coming off a shortened 2020-2021 season that left much to be desired, the Wake Forest field hockey team headed into the fall season on a mission. The Lady Deacon squad finished with a losing record just once since 2012. Their competition, though, is no cake walk. The ACC consistently boasts the highest ranked conference for field hockey — with the reigning national champion, North Carolina Tar Heels, leading the pack. However, with double-digit wins and a winning record in nine of the last 11 sevens, Wake Forest should not be taken lightly. They were given a No.11 ranking by NCAA RPI and have since opened the season with mixed results. No. 3 Iowa 5, No. 11 Wake Forest 3 Wake Forest opened the season in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge against one of the premier opponents in the country. Game one positioned the Demon Deacons against No. 3 Iowa, and they lived up to their ranking early on. The Hawkeyes scored three first-period goals before the Demon Deacons marched back. Freshman Brooke McCusker, awarded “Most Promising” player in the Field Hockey British Columbia High School Academy in 2019, found the net in the second frame on a penalty corner. Iowa added to their lead in the fourth, but

Wake Forest junior All-American Meike Lanckohr, a native of the Netherlands, recorded back-to-back goals in a span of just two minutes. Elisha Evans assisted on all three Demon Deacon goals, giving her a career-high. The Hawkeyes ended the Wake Forest rally with a goal with three minutes left on the clock. No. 2 Michigan 2, No. 11 Wake Forest 0 The Demon Deacons fought a defensive battle and nearly upset the second best team in the country, allowing the Wolverines just four shots on goal. It was the lowest shot total allowed by Wake Forest since the 2020 ACC Championships in the first week of November. “I am incredibly proud of the squad, said Wake Forest head coach Jennifer Averill. “Despite the loss, there were many victories in today’s team performance.” No. 11 Wake Forest 5, Appalachian State 1 Wake Forest earned its first win of the season against Applachian State in its home opener in an all-around dominant performance. Sophomore forward Hannah Maxwell scored a career-high three goals, while the defense allowed just three shots on target all game. Evans and senior Abby Carpenter added goals in the third and fourth periods to put the game away for good. The Demon Deacons had 23 shots in the game, 16 of which were on target. Ohio State 2, No.14 Wake Forest 1 Despite outshooting the Buckeyes 218, the Demon Deacons could not hold on to an early lead. Lanckohr gave Wake

Forest the lead in the first period off a penalty corner before Ohio State scored a pair of goals in the second and third periods. Evans picked up an assist, her teamleading fourth of the season. Maxwell was credited with her first of the season. No. 14 Wake Forest 6, No. 24 James Madison 2 In the highest scoring Wake Forest affair since Nov. 1, 2020, against Boston College, six different Wake Forest players scored. Five players — freshman Ashley Arnold, senior Olivia Corthals, junior Maggie Dickman, junior Nat Friedman and freshman Ashley Hart — notched their first goals of the season. Evans scored her second goal of the season in the first period on a penalty corner — the Demon Deacons have scored nine goals on penalty corners this season. Wake Forest outshot James Madison — who scored once in the second period and once in the fourth period — 19 to 7.

scored a trio of goals — one in each period — before UMass got on the board. Lanckohr scored her sixth goal of the season, and third in the last two games, on a short corner. Evans followed it up with her third goal of the season, and Arnold scored her second goal of the year on a penalty shot. Sophomore Grace Delmotte picked up her fifth assist on the season and Glaister matched her season-high with four saves. Looking Ahead: Wake Forest has outshot their opponents 103-38 over the last five games and carries momentum into a series of ACC matchups. The Demon Deacons take on the Cavaliers of Virginia on Sept. 24 before heading on the road for three matchups — against Louisville, Miami and Syracuse — to begin October. Wake Forest will then head home to take on division-rival North Carolina.

No. 15 Wake Forest 3, No. 17 Duke 1 For the second time in as many games, the Demon Deacons raced out to an early 2-0 lead. Lanckohr found the back of the net for the Deacons both times before the Blue Devils responded at the beginning of the second period. McCusker answered late in the same frame with her second goal to eliminate any momentum left for Duke. Sophomore Tori Glaister made three saves in the win, a season high. No. 15 Wake Forest 3, No. 21 University of Massachusetts 2 The third-straight win for Wake Forest came in nail-biting fashion against another ranked opponent. Wake Forest

Courtesy of Wake Forest Athletics

Field hockey had a perfect weekend, finishing with a 3-2 win over UMass.

Week 3 of college football sets slower pace Top teams such as Alabama, Penn State and Ohio State avoid upsets BY DYLAN TYNES Staff Writer After a chaotic first two weeks of the college football season, Week 3 was relatively quiet. No teams in the Top 10 lost, and only one Power 5 Conference team lost to an FCS opponent (Arizona to Northern Arizona), but that’s certainly not to say that it wasn’t an eventful Saturday. Three matchups between ranked teams headlined the day, and there were plenty of great games with impactful results throughout the rest of the NCAA. Perhaps the day’s most exciting game featured No. 1 Alabama making the trip to The Swamp to play No. 11 Florida. The Crimson Tide continued their dominant play from their first two games early, jumping out to a 21-3 lead, but gradually let Florida back into the game. The Gators made it a one-score game in the fourth quarter, but failed on a two point conversion that would have tied the game with 3:09 to play. The final score: 31-29. Alabama surrendered 258 yards on the ground to the Florida rushing attack, looking like a potentially

beatable team for perhaps the first time all year. No. 22 Auburn traveled to No. 10 Penn State for their annual whiteout game, during which the whole stadium wears white — creating one of college football’s most electric atmospheres. That atmosphere worked to Penn State’s advantage on Saturday, as they rode a strong performance by quarterback Sean Clifford (28/32 passing, 280 yards, 2 touchdowns), and defensive stops on two Auburn drives in the last three minutes of the game to secure a 28-20 win. Auburn got a great game out of star running back Tank Bigsby, but still weren’t able to generate enough big plays in the passing game to keep up with the Nittany Lions. Saturday’s third ranked matchup saw No. 19 Arizona State playing at No. 23 BYU. BYU emerged victorious, but it’s probably more apt to say that Arizona State lost than to say the Cougars won. ASU turned the ball over four times and had 16 penalties for 121 total yards; BYU took advantage of those miscues just enough to come out with a 27-17 victory. The Cougars, though, threw two interceptions of their own and were outgained 426 yards to 361. Outside of this week’s big ticket matchups, No. 4 Oregon, No. 5 Iowa, No. 7 Texas A&M, No. 14 Iowa State, No. 17 Ole Miss, No. 20 Arkansas and No. 25

Michigan all took care of non-conference opponents in extremely convincing fashion. Texas A&M’s win was a nice bounce back from their struggles against Colorado. Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corrall continued to excel, this time with a seven touchdown performance. Several other elite teams were able to come out of non-conference games with a win, but not quite as convincingly. No. 9 Ohio State defeated Tulsa 41-20 behind a dominant performance by running back Treveyon Henderson (277 rushing yards, three touchdowns). Still, they took much longer to put their opponent away than they would have liked, holding only a seven-point lead early in the fourth quarter. No. 3 Oklahoma also struggled to pull away from Nebraska, but got an excellent game from their defense — they held Nebraska to 95 yards rushing and had 10 tackles for loss, five sacks, and a gravitydefying, highlight-reel interception by defensive back D.J. Graham. A few top squads also opened up conference play, to varying results. No. 2 Georgia kicked off this portion of their schedule with a 40-13 rout of South Carolina, while No. 6 Clemson continued to struggle on offense against Georgia Tech. The Tigers were able to ride their dominant defense to a 14-6 win, but their of-

fensive ineptitude leaves them looking vulnerable as they chase a seventh consecutive ACC title. No. 21 UNC also kicked off conference play against Virginia, exploding in the second half on their way to a 59-39 win. Despite this relative stability from the top teams, Saturday wasn’t without its upsets. No. 13 UCLA lost to Fresno State on a touchdown pass from Jake Haener (the nation’s new leader in passing yards) to Jalen Cropper with 14 seconds remaining. No. 24 Miami lost 38-17 to an ascending Michigan State team, surrendering 189 rushing yards and a touchdown to former Wake Forest running back Kenneth Walker. No. 15 Virginia Tech wasn’t able to escape Morgantown, W. Va., with a win. WVU held on to a big 24-7 halftime lead en route to their 27-21 victory. Other noteworthy results included No. 8 Cincinnati using a big second half momentum shift to defeat Indiana 3824. The game was the big first road test for a talented Cincinnati squad and a disappointment for an Indiana team that started the season with high expectations but now sits at 1-2. Additionally, USC was able to come back from an early 14-0 deficit to defeat Washington State 45-14 in their first game after firing former head coach Clay Helton.


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Advice | Transitioning to Autumn

Autumn encapsulates the emotions of life

A time of sweaters and celebrations, autumn also represents reflection BY SELINNA TRAN Life Editor

As I slipped on my jacket to prepare for the slight dip in temperature, I realized that the dawn of autumn was upon us. Along with it will come the nuanced feelings of warmth and comfort — both symbols that I associate with the changing season. The leaves wither away, and as I tune into the natural world around me, I feel the recherche feeling of introspection that comes and goes. A feeling that often signifies a period of growth. That’s what autumn is, right? As the leaves curl into themselves, preparing to be reborn in the coming seasons and the days grow shorter, the world takes a breath, a minute to simply rest. It is a time to reflect on the preceding months and retreat into the comforting cocoon

of winter. A time to slow down and unwind. This is the time to ponder all the ubiquitous yet sibylline wonders and questions of life and love. We think about the beauty of the world around us and try to truly understand the fragility of our daily occurrences. How far have we come? How far will we go? As all of the beautiful impulses of nature shift and change to signal the feelings of autumn, we are asked to step outside of our own moral discernment, to also be reborn in the winter season. The person I am now is not the same one who reminisced about summer and prepared for the arrival of autumn the year prior. College, as many people have told us, is the time to discover ourselves and to shape our identities. But have we ever slowed down from the slew of classes, social engagements, assignments and other innocuous things that fill up our mind to take the time to figure out just who we are? Autumn is the quintessential time to dig into these philosophi-

cal questions about life and identity. A time to rewind and absorb the lessons that nature provides us. A class I am currently taking examines the works of British Romantic Poets (the likes of William Blake and William Wordsworth), and there are many lessons that can be taken from these grizzled poets of the past. What has resonated with me the most are the works of Wordsworth — a poet who became more and more didactic as he aged. Specifically, his reflections on nature feel especially pertinent to the lives of college students. Wordsworth's moral dilemma involves his ability to see the beauty of the natural world around him, to appreciate the essence of nature. Because of this, he often had a melancholic and somber mindset, for he also recognized where humanity had failed in its ability to be like nature. If we are to take the lessons that the natural world provides us, we will be able to achieve the same peace and serenity that is afforded in nature.

As students, we are constantly dragged in a million different directions, and the world never seems to slow down. As a result, we often miss the lessons around us and fail to recognize the beauty of the world in which we exist. One of Wordsworth's most notable works is his poem, "Lines Written in Early Spring"; the second stanza is as follows: "To her fair works did Nature link The human soul that through me ran; And much it grieved my heart to think What man has made of man." What has man made of man? We are all consumed with the thoughts of mankind and the pursuit of some sort of end-all-be-all goal of happiness that we lose some of the very meaning of life — to love and to experience. As campus shifts into Autumn and the weather gets colder, consider the lessons of Wordsworth and slow down to appreciate the beauty of life, and nature. Allow yourself to experience the beatific and serene natural world around you.

Reflections | Literature

The world of literature holds an undying beauty In a world filled with technology, the importance of books is indispensable BY ADAM COIL Staff Writer

If your childhood in any way resembled mine, you probably spent countless nights in your room reading your favorite book series far past your bedtime, repeatedly saying “one more chapter” to yourself as your eyelids grew heavier by the minute. I remember fondly the first time I cracked open a "Percy Jackson" book my sister handed down to me — which became an obsession that captivated me throughout elementary school — and I remember the hollow feeling that engulfed me when I finished the last chapter of “The Hunger Games”. Even if you were not a pre-teen novel aficionado like me, you likely have a warm, vivid memory of a cherished book tucked away deep in your memory bank. What about that time you cried while reading Shel Silverstein’s “The Giving Tree”, or all of the laughs you shared with Greg and Rowley through “Diary of A Wimpy Kid”? The right book is unparalleled in its ability to connect with some of the most fundamental aspects of our being. When you find a book that truly resonates with you, you embark on an od-

yssey that is inherently transformative and revelatory. Spending time with a novel and giving it permission to pervade your life is a gratifying experience because you find yourself in a somewhat proprietary position as you make those words real. For most, there was a time in life when reading was the main source of entertainment when friends were not around and there was no work to be done. After all, watching the people on CNN and Fox News tells us that America was still in a recession was not that exciting. But then, things changed. Maybe you got that iPod Touch for Christmas, your older brother convinced your parents to buy an Xbox 360, or your family finally invested in a new TV — one on which Disney Channel and Cartoon Network could air uninterrupted by the weight of adult life. Whatever the case may be, you were no longer immersing yourself in the fantastic worlds you imagined in your mind, but instead, found yourself in other people’s dreams via the screen in your hands or on the wall. It has likely been about a decade or so since you closed your last "Harry Potter" book, but good stories transcend paper and ink. While the physical novel is in steady decline across all demographics in every part of the country, people are still reading. E-readers, audiobooks, short stories, weekly newsletters and pedestrian reading such as

skimming emails or texting are not going anywhere any time soon. We have the ability to read, we just do not seem compelled to sit down and make an event of it anymore. Perhaps you took a few too many English classes that put you to sleep, or maybe you believe you simply do not have the time to read. Whatever the case may be, more and more people are under the false impression they cannot or should not read. The truth is, reading can be fun, and you do not have to devote your entire self to a book to get through it. Spending a little bit of time with a book every day, especially before bed, is a great way to get back into the habit of reading. The pastime is all about finding out what kind of writing appeals to you, and an easy way to get a better sense of your style is to read a lot of short stories. The short story is the quintessential form of modern literature — it is brief, captivating and packs a punch. Some of my favorite short stories that made me fall back in love with reading are “A Good Man is Hard to Find”, “Harrison Bergeron”, “Eveline”, “The Wind-up Bird and Tuesday’s Women” and “A Perfect Day for Bananafish”. I recommend buying a collection of short stories from various authors and researching those whose short stories stand out to you. You do not have to effortlessly leaf your way through classics to be a reader, you just have to find out what kind of

reading you enjoy and give yourself the opportunity to digest it. Retraining your brain to enjoy reading can be a frustrating process, but the sense of fulfillment and growth you feel after completing that one book that seemed so daunting 400 pages ago is one unique to literature. Film, television and other artistic pursuits are in no way inferior to the novel, but when was the last time that you felt your heartbeat quicken as you raced from page to page to discover the fate of those characters who became an irrevocable part of your world in a matter of days?

Photo courtesy of SelinnaTran

Despite the emergence of online literature, bookstores remain steadfast.

Life | Old Gold & Black

Thursday, September 23, 2021 | Page 15

Satire |r/niceguys

POV: You just posted on r/niceguys From the perspective of a selfproclaimed nice guy, take a glimpse into the life BY ISABELLA MASON Staff Writer It’s hard to keep getting back up after you get knocked down. I try very hard to be a good person, especially with females. I do all the right things and reap no rewards. At some point, it makes you feel disheartened. The other night, I was at a bar. I was by myself and noticed a female on the other side of the bar, so I bought her a drink. When I went up to her, she didn’t thank me for the drink, which was offensive, but I brushed it off. We talked for a little bit, and I was so polite. I didn’t even think she was that attractive, but I complimented her anyway. I tried my best to keep it casual because that’s what females seem to want these days. They never want anything real and they don’t want to settle down. At the end of the night, I offered to take her home, but she refused. I wasn’t even hit-

ting on her, I was just being a nice guy, but even make the slightest effort to go for guys no — to her, that was ‘creepy.’ Whatever. like me? I’m actually a good guy. I volunteer, I doThere’s just something wrong with this nate to charity and I don’t post on Reddit world, particularly with the females in this about how much I hate females. But females world. I know I sound pompous, but I also don’t go for good guys these days — they know for a fact that I’m not the problem. Females are so dramatic and emotional, but just like the jerks who treat them terribly. My Tinder bio reads, “Good guy looking I would deal with that any day. If I had a for something real. 5’4” if that matters.” I girl, I would treat her right. I’d pay for every don’t have any pictures of me holding fish date, buy her flowers — I would even serin my profile because females say they don’t enade her. And what would I get in return? Probably nothing. Call me jaded or bitter, like that — I just have some great selfies. Even with all of this, do you know how but I’m just becoming hopeless. Is there hope for a guy like me? A kind, hard it is to find matches? warm, compassionate and attractive guy Females just have it easier. If you’re a woman on dating apps, you’ve got it so easy. like me, who just wants the best for females? Probably not. You can spend your days swiping left on all us ugly chumps and only swiping right on the buff guys who will treat you like crap. Then you wonder why you end up crying when they leave you. It’s because you’re choosing the wrong guy. I just think there should be some sort of way to level the playing field. Take the dating app Bumble, for example — on that app, females have to message first. Well, Photo courtesy of Jerry Messing when I match with a female, she never mesThe nice guy just wants to know why sages me and our match expires. How am I he can’t get any respectful females. supposed to find love when females won’t

Food |Milk

An overdue letter dedicated to milk Everyone should learn to show milk the admiration and love that it deserves BY ALYSSA SOLTREN Staff Writer One mystery that I have yet to work out is the strange conflict that exists on opinions of milk. This is a substance responsible for sustaining much of sentient life, creating the most delectable foods like pancakes, ice cream and cheese and serving as the perfect companion to virtually every kind of cookie. Unless you have an allergy to dairy (in which case, I must pity you) or are vegan, I don’t see why you can’t simply enjoy a glass of milk on its own at any time of day. Before you snap, allow me to make my case. Just before I sat down to write this, a suitemate of mine asked if someone would accompany

her to the P.O.D. market. I joined her, and as we walked there, she told me all about her affinity for milk. I learned that she, too, understood the gratifying effect that a glass of milk brought, and it helped her through many stressful school days. We arrived at the store, where she found and paid for two bottles of 1% milk. She had doubts that it would taste as good as her usual selection of 2% milk, but when she tried it back at our suite, she was pleasantly surprised. So, it was a good day, for her and for milk. As someone who usually drinks two cups of milk a day and considers herself relatively stable, I would highly recommend that people give milk (or a similar alternative) a chance just to see how life-changing it could be for them. Still not convinced? Perhaps it’s time for some straight facts. Milk is a major source of calcium, you know, that special little mineral that helps your body fortify your bones and teeth and allows your nervous system to relay signals to, from and within your brain. It also contains

Photo courtesy of NIAID

Milk has been a controversial topic for centuries, dividing friendships and families because of the polarizing nature of the beverage.

significant amounts of protein and potassium. Some dairy products even provide vitamin D, which regulates the calcium that you just drank or ate. This supplement provided by milk should be really helpful for all of you who are corralled indoors and thus deprived of sunlight thanks to a certain virus. That’s not even all of the nutrients that can be found in dairy, but I think you understand by now that milk could seriously help you out. Three cups’ worth a day, to be specific. The USDA didn’t unearth and approve all of this information just for you to turn up your nose at a beverage filled with limitless nutrition. Let’s talk about the different kinds of milk. Personally, I prefer 2% for its flavor and reduced level of saturated fat. Skim milk is technically even healthier, but it lacks that sweet and satisfying taste. Whole milk tastes great, but it tends to spoil faster. Regardless of my preference, what really matters is what you’re looking for in a cup of milk. Heck, you can even enjoy it as a chocolate, strawberry or whatever sweet-flavored beverage if it makes you happy! No judgment here. It can work wonders as an addition to other drinks, too, like hot cocoa or coffee, (or coquito, for whoever is old enough and feeling festive). There are numerous ways to appreciate what milk can do for your food and refreshments. And sometimes, you can just be content, “like my suitemate and I am,” to drink it in its basic form. To quote a certain Vine, “He needs some milk!” Take those words of wisdom. If you’re able to, get yourself a glass full of it. Use it in your cooking or baking or beverage-preparing. Be thankful each day that our world has been blessed with such a magnificent drink.



1. “Late nights in Benson" By Cooper Sullivan Week 5 of school, ugh More stress, less sleep, same sh- bleep I have no old golds 2. “My favorite OGB exec” By Selinna Tran The coolest grandpa Hates fun, no heart, man of tin Oh, Will Zimmerman 3. “Refridgerator” By Evan Daane Refrigerator My cold souls in the crisper Refrigerator 4. “School, not cool” By Katie Fox School is very hard I often want to drop out Please give me a break 5. “The Old Gold &...” By Aine Pierre Did you miss us? You haven't seen the half We're Old Gold & Back 6. "My offering of a haiku" By Essex Thayer The pit is crowded Speaker kid is playing beats Don't eat the chicken 7. "Rick and Morty" By Ben Conroy Rick and Morty, Rick and Morty, Rick and Morty Rick and Morty, Rick 8. "H8r" By Alexandra Karlinchak My staffers are nuts Please save me from this prison This is a nightmare 9. "Incessant Exec" By Will Zimmerman Alexandra hush I can't think. I can't read. Help! You make my brain mush 10. "Kickback" Another one by Cooper... 123 Main Street House full of party rockers LMFAO

Page 16 | Thursday, September 23, 2021

Old Gold & Black | Life

Concert Review | Phoebe Bridgers

Concert prompts introspective thinking How a simple performance highlighted the true power great music holds BY ALEXANDRA KARLINCHAK Editor in Chief karlae18 Tuesday was the start of fall. It was also rainy and my ex-boyfriend’s birthday. What better way to celebrate all of the different emotions the day induced than by attending a Phoebe Bridgers concert? I would like to make it clear that Phoebe Bridgers is one of my favorite musical artists to ever grace the face of the planet. She has a clear, light and captivating voice that narrates the beautiful lyrics that she writes with ease. I also want to make clear that, six minutes into writing, this is going to be less of a concert review than it is a commentary on how your favorite artist can define major moments in your life. Now, let’s get into it.

Tuesday night was the first time I ever saw Bridgers in concert, though I am no stranger to her work. I remember when her first album, “Stranger in the Alps”, came out in 2017. I was a junior in high school and listened to her minimalistic songs like “Chelsea”, “Georgia”, “Funeral” and “Scott Street” on repeat until the sound of an acoustic guitar made me ill. Though I longed to, I never had the chance to see Bridgers back then. Her sophomore album, “Punisher” came out on June 17, 2020. I remember the date better than some of my friends’ birthdays because waiting for this album was one of the only tangible things that got me through quarantine. Scoring an 8.7 on Pitchfork, the album’s songs are candid, raw and powerful. And the crowd at Bridgers’ show on Tuesday night suggests that I am not the only one who thinks so. But this article is not an album review, an event story or a musical manifesto — it’s a reflection on the powerful role that music plays in our lives. As I stood in the pit at Raleigh’s Red Hat Amphitheater, craning my neck for a better

view, I had an epiphany about the role music plays in my life. I realized that the power music holds comes from something deeper than the artist delivering the lyrics. Yes, that sounds pretentious and I already hate myself for saying it, but it’s true. I say that because I prepped this idea in my head that I would bawl when Bridgers took the stage. After all, she has been my favorite artist for nearly half a decade. But, when I laid eyes on her, nothing. Yes, I was incredibly excited. Yes, I was physically incapable of wiping a smile off my face — but there were no tears. No “a-ha” moment occurred in which my soul opened and I began sobbing because I finally felt fulfilled. I was perplexed. Wasn’t this performance supposed to be the most formative moment of my concert-going experiences thus far? Why was I not feeling the urge to scream, to cry? I was … happy. Content, even. If you are a fan of Bridgers, you can understand why this is not exactly normal. Before going to the concert, I even made a joke about pre-gaming for the concert by “microdosing

depression” (AKA not taking my Zoloft). But, here I was, standing in the rain, listening to Bridgers sing softly about atheism, failed relationships and mental illness. And I was happy. Then, the real epiphany came: artists are simply a vessel for their music. It is the lyrics and feelings and memories they elicit that give songs and artists their importance. As I enjoyed the rest of Bridgers’ set, screaming along and dancing when appropriate, I allowed myself to slip into a nostalgic mindset. When she played “Funeral”, I viewed myself as a high school senior, blasting the song in my little Ford Fusion and crying along about problems I no longer remember. When she sang “Moon Song”, I watched myself sitting on the floor of my bedroom, grateful for a relationship I am no longer in. When mapped out on a timeline, my life naturally has a soundtrack to match it. Tuesday night was a formative night, just not in the way I expected it. Rather than walking away after a cathartic cry, I walked away feeling more full and appreciative of how far I have come with music narrating my way.


This week features Olivia Wang, a sophomore back on campus after a year-long hiatus due to COVID-19 complications. She is intending on majoring in communications and minoring in journalism and economics. She enjoys the easygoing beauty of campus and finds pleasure in little things like Pit biscuits. Here is life through Olivia’s lens.

From Olivia...

Photos courtesy of Olivia Wang

Oops! A glob of oatmeal on the Old Gold & Black. Oops! Another stain from a spinach wrap lands on my keyboard. This is what often happens during my breakfast and lunch when I flip through a copy of the Old Gold & Black’s latest edition or browse the New York Times. Already, I feel very grateful for the vicissitudes and challenges that my journalism class has brought to me, though we are barely finished with the first four weeks of school. The charm of the class has finally burst into bloom and I am no longer the crying girl I was after my first class on FDOC. Yes, FDOC, which I was told would be casual and a lot of fun. As the class progressed, I totally freaked out and struggled with the looming threat of a quiz because I am Chinese, a foreigner in America. Even though I feel quite comfortable covering the news in China, I appear like a fool when discussing American news, especially the socalled “detailed” pieces. “How problematic is voter fraud in US elections? Apple recently said it would implement a policy to help law enforcement officials do what? Why are governors in Florida and Texas trying to ban mask mandates in cities and schools?” These may be questions that you can easily blurt out the answers to, but oftentimes, I know nothing and have to leave them blank. The only subject I am well versed in is the circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 surge in America. Still, my knowledge of those big, well-known “world news” pieces seem to be irrelevant at times.

I never felt so humble as in that moment when students around me kept handing in their thickly dotted papers in either black or blue ink without hesitation. Even though I was quite interested in journalism, I was definitely on the brink of dropping the class. Hopefully I don’t. I was trembling after class and confided in professor Catanoso that I was lacking in my awareness of American news. My worries concerning subsequent classes and the emotional vulnerability that I felt throughout the 75-minute class poured out in a single moment. I collapsed. However, it was our conversation at the bench in front of Tribble Hall that showed me the power of this class, and gradually opened me up from a state of austerity. The bright side of being different became clear. As soon as I stepped out of my comfort zone and started interviewing different people from different organizations on campus, unexpected harvests came along. Not only did students, professors and staff members willingly accept my interviews, they also embraced my special identity, which further catalyzed my curiosity. “So this is your first time on campus? Did you sleep in the morning and wake up at night for online classes? How’s COVID-19 like now in China? Have you tried any Chinese food in Winston-Salem?” The vibrancy and warmth from this class, and the entire Wake Forest community, infiltrate me bit by bit — from each morning’s “how are you?”, to the shake-and-shake of salad in the greenbox, to me turning around

and randomly picking an eager interviewee at Wait Chapel. The warm feeling that accompanies doing something that I am proud of comes back to me, though, in this new environment, I still struggle with feelings of mediocrity — like I need to start from scratch. I do not think I’ll ever forget what Professor Catanoso told me after the first class: “You are the person who gets the chance to stand in the middle (between two countries) and seek for the truth (of news). Be patient, take your time and don’t be discouraged.” Such tranquility and kindness are what I enjoy seeing in any professor that I come across while meandering along the Quad. Sitting on my chair in my dorm and jotting down these words, I feel like a crumpledup math worksheet that is suddenly being snatched up. My heart still twitches whenever I think of Professor Catanoso’s words, and the tears keep gushing from my eyes. It’s all about the power of words and their ability to touch feelings down deep, especially for me, living in a foreign country. It’s about feeling relieved after embracing life and finally gaining the ability to walk with confidence. It’s also about my original intention to study abroad and my reasons for brushing off the past to forge ahead. “We are minorities, but we are minorities who, like magicians, often cast special effects. Whenever everything becomes difficult again, you’ll know deep down that you’ll be fine.” This is what I tell myself as I stride through the salubrious air of Wake Forest.

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