Page 1

THE MAGAZINE OF THE PENDULUM VOL. 6 | EDITION 6 OCTOBER 2015 ELON, N.C.

HANNA SIVERLING ELON’S RESIDENT VOGUE MODEL

PG.18

SMOKE SHOW:

FALL’S NEWEST BEAUTY TREND PG.10

INSIDE

LGBTQIA CULTURE AT ELON PG.32


Letter from the Editor

2 | LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

W

elcome back Edge readers. Our staff has been working tirelessly to create our October issue since getting back to school in August, and I’m proud to say I think this is our best issue yet. From our feature on the fabulous Hanna Siverling to our Health & Wellness spread full of fall-inspired recipes (check page 15 to find a drink that will actually warm you up), we’ve packed these 36 pages with dynamic photography and content that will keep your fall stylish and budget-friendly. It makes me proud to see how far this magazine has come since last January, and I’m excited to see this staff continue to grow and give you the content you want and need.

P.S.- Make sure to check out the fall break road trip destinations on pages 6 and 7. Nashville, my hometown, is a pretty rad place. I totally recommend.

Lindsey Lanquist, Editor-in-Chief


CONTENTS Fall break Top Travel Spots Style pg. 6

Smoke show: Fall’s Beauty Trend Beauty pg. 10

Fall’s Must-Have Recipes Health & Wellness pg. 14

Hanna Siverling: Elon’s Resident Vogue Model Cover story pg. 18

Coven Looks Fashion pg. 26

More on that Caitlyn Jenner Halloween Costume Entertainment Pg. 30

LGBTQIA Culture at Elon Features Pg. 32


Editor-in-Chief of The Pendulum Michael Bodley

THE EDGE Editor-in-Chief of The Edge Lindsey Lanquist Design Chief Ingrid Frahm Creative Directors Ingrid Frahm Brooke Lowrey Fashion Editor Brooke Lowrey Digital Editor Katy Bellotte Assistant Editor Kristina Lee Assistant Editor Hannah McCarthy Features Editor Lauryl Fischer Assistant Editor Alyssa Potter Entertainment Editor Amanda Garrity Digital Editor Kate Nichols Assistant Editor Tatum Pederson Health & Wellness Editors Xernay Aniwar Assistant Editor Courtney Campbell Style Editor J.C. Craig Assistant Editor Sarah Baum Business Manager Xernay Aniwar Copy Chief Lauren Phillips Photo Editor Virginia Kluiters Social Media Editor Maggie Griswold Videographer Bekah Richin Designers Katy Bellotte Mackenzie Clarken Kristina Lee Haley Longbottom Elizabeth Sheer

Photographers Maggie Carter Ingrid Frahm Maggie Griswold Haley Longbottom Ben Stringfellow

Contributors Kim Duong (styling) Kayla Hoey (set assistance) Jess Holly (makeup) Jordan Hsu (set assistance)

4 | MASTHEAD


Follow us Instagram//Twitter//Facebook

@theedgemag // @elonEdge // The Edge Magazine

Want some actual news? Check out the pendulum. elonpendulum.com


fall break road trip destinations

DC

AUSTIN

Price: $$$ Travel Time: Roughly a five hour drive from Elon Attractions: Being our nation’s capital, the attraction to this city is fairly obvious. It’s likely that you know a fellow Elon student that lives nearby, so you may be able to save on a hotel. Depending on your plans, though, museum admission may add to your costs. With the 2016 election quickly approaching, the city will likely be buzzing with excitement.

Price: $$$$ Travel Time: Driving would take almost a full day (18 hr 45 mins) — a flight is the better option Attractions: Though it may be a hike, Elon’s fall break falls on the same weekend as the Austin City Limits music festival. This year’s lineup includes Drake, The Weeknd, Foo Fighters, Florence and the Machine and Walk the Moon. Passes are almost sold out, so plan fast!

Credit: ExploreAsheville.com

6 | STYLE

GOING PLACES


ASHEVILLE Price: $$ Travel Time: Roughly a 3 hour drive from Elon Attractions: Asheville is not only a beautiful city tucked into the mountains less than 200 miles away, but it is also home of the grandiose Vanderbilt property, the Biltmore Estate. The home is open for tours and exploration, and it makes an amazing afternoon trip! Asheville is known for its music scene, so be sure to check out the local bars and venues. There are many opportunities for hiking and spending time in nature, which is a great break from the hectic Elon life. Be sure to check out some of the dozens of breweries … they produce some of the best local beer in the state.

nashville Price: $$$ Travel Time: About a 7-8 hour drive from Elon Attractions: Not too far of a drive, Nashville is perfect for a long-weekend destination. You can head downtown, where honky-tonks are packed every night of the week, or take a 30-minute drive out to Franklin, TN (the quaint little farm town frequented by musicians to film music videos). Be sure to try the barbecue – it recently replaced Memphis as the #1 city for barbecue in America. Notable spots to hit include: Pinewood Social (a restaurant/bar but it’s also a bowling ally), Centennial Park (home of the only fullscale Parthenon replica in the world. Complete with 42-foot golden statue of Athena, of course) and The Pharmacy Burger & Beer Garden.

STYLE | 7


Halloween at Elon is a great time, but it can be tough on the wallet. If you plan to dress up every night of the weekend, consider these DIY costumes before you go out and buy something you’ll never wear again.

<<< WHEN LIFE GIVES you lemons WHAT YOUâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;LL NEED: A white shirt, a permanent marker, lemons.

8 | STYLE


<<<

identity thief

WHAT YOU’LL NEED: Plain tee, nametags, a marker

>>> RISKY BIZ

WHAT YOU’LL NEED: Boxers, a white button-down shirt, sunglasses, high socks.

<<< THING^2

WHAT YOU’LL NEED: Red shirts, name tags or homemade signs

>>> where’s waldo?

WHAT YOU’LL NEED: A red and white striped shirt, glasses

Credit:

STYLE | 9


Smoke Show T

his month, our eyes were glued to the smattering of smoky makeup that made its way down the catwalk and graced the faces of models and socialites alike (can you say Kendall and Kylie?). The ultra-popular smoky eye has been blended one too many eyelids â&#x20AC;&#x201C; weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re over it, and you should be too. We took to the studio with an arsenal of products in hand to shoot our favorite looks. From glistening gold pigments to London fog shadows, we accented different features to create looks that flatter every face. Let the smoke show begin.

Magnificent Metals Foil Finish Eye Shadow stilacosmetics.com

10 | BEAUTY

Maleficent Lip Liner maccosmetics.com


Flawless Face Brush flawlessfacebeauty.com

BEAUTY | 11


narscosmetics.com


Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder bobbibrowncosmetics.com

BEAUTY | 13


Pumpkin Bran muffins 1 1⁄2 cup wheat bran cereal 2 ⁄3 cup Greek yogurt 1 ⁄3 cup milk (or soy/almond milk) 1 ⁄3 cup molasses 1 egg 1 ⁄2 tsp salt

⁄3 cup of pumpkin pie filling (Libby’s) 1 banana, mashed 1 ⁄3 cup brown sugar 1 ⁄2 tsp vanilla 1 1⁄4 cup flour 1 tsp baking soda 1 tsp baking powder 1

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 2. In a small bowl, mix together the bran cereal, yogurt and milk and let it sit for at least 10 minutes, until soft. 3. In a second bowl, add molasses, egg, pumpkin, banana, brown sugar and vanilla. Whisk to combine.

Fall Fiber

4. In a third bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. 5. Add milk and cereal bowl to pumpkin bowl, combine. Slowly add in dry ingredients and stir well. 6. Lightly grease the muffin tin or add cupcake liners, if preferred. Spoon in batter. 7. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Cool and enjoy!

These are a perfect grab and go snack. Plus, they’re packed with protein and fiber to help jump-start your day, so don’t feel bad about a second or third one

14 | HEALTH & WELLNESS


Shots Fired

D

are to make up a batch of Fire Cider to keep the cold and flu at bay this fall. Old-School New England-ers have been taking shots of apple cider vinegar as part of their morning routine for generations to keep up their immune systems through the harsh winters. We went ahead and added a couple extra ingredients to make this Fire Cider, well, extra spicy.

1 part honey + 2 parts vinegar + however much garlic and ginger you can handle HEALTH & WELLNESS | 15


Suggested veggies Ingredients: Sweet Potatoes Beets Carrots Potatoes 1. Preheat oven to 420 degrees 2. Cut into spears and toss in oil 3. Spread on cookie tray 4. Cook for 20-40 minutes 5. Sprinkle with salt and serve

Make a quick aioli using Greek yogurt and olive oil!

uprooted 16 | HEALTH & WELLNESS


“How’ve you bean?” Serving size: 7 cups 5-6 servings

BLENDED BEAN SOUP

T

his autumn soup is full of nutrient-rich veggies and warm, comforting spices. Make a batch to serve for an easy dinner once the temperature starts to drop. You can choose to leave your soup as-is for a heartier texture, or blend it up. We blended ours (after we waited for it to cool) and put it into ice cube trays to freeze!

Ingredients: 2 Tbsp olive oil 1 ⁄2 a medium onion, diced 1 ⁄2 cup diced carrot 1 ⁄2 cup diced celery 3 garlic cloves 1 small jalapeño pepper (the seeds are the spice, so beware how many you leave in) 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes, undrained 2 (15.5 oz) cans beans, partially drained 5 cups water 1 bullion cube (veggie or chicken flavored) 1 Tbsp cumin 2 tsp tea of paprika (optional) 1 tsp cinnamon (optional)

1. Add olive oil to large stockpot, turn stove to medium high. 2. Add onion, carrot, celery, garlic and jalapeño to oil and season with salt and pepper. 3. Once vegetables start to turn translucent, add tomatoes, beans and water. 4. Cover and bring to a boil. 5. Simmer for about 40 minutes.

DRESS IT UP • Cilantro, plain Greek yogurt and lime juice • Crushed tortilla chips, feta cheese and avocado slices • Goat cheese, chopped raisins, and definitely a shake of cinnamon (give it a little Moroccan kick)

HEALTH & WELLNESS | 17


HANNA SIVERLING TAKES ON THE BURLINGTON RUNWAY AFTER YEARS IN NYC.

Lauryl Fischer FEATURES EDITOR

18 | COVER STORY


COVER STORY | 19


20 | COVER STORY


T

he shoes had an 8-inch heel. Hanna Siverling towered in them as she stood in Central Park, a massive afro fit snug around her ears to mask her long, blonde locks. The photographer looked up at the willowy Hanna, balanced precariously on a heel as sharp and small as the head of a needle, and asked her if she wouldn’t mind climbing a tree. She was 16. This same shoot would be picked up for an Italian Vogue spread. Hanna, now a sophomore at Elon University, cites this as one of her craziest experiences from her high school modeling career, something that feels “like another reality” now that she’s secure in the Elon Bubble. But for most of her high school years, the world of high fashion was a world she shared with her Baltimore roots. When she first started around 14, signing with Cima Management, she did local shows around her hometown. But that quickly changed.

FROM NEW YORK TO ELON: With her tall, waifish frame, Hanna does look like she belongs on a runway. But she’s much softer than her looks, with a warm personality that includes a generous amount of humility. She acknowledges her experience with toughness and fondness, always quick to recount the positives and negatives of the fashion world, as well as marvel at its strangeness, even a year away from it. Like most models, too, she began young, grabbed by a representative at a mall kiosk at 14. At the time she describes herself as a


22 | COVER STORY


full-fledged tomboy, happier on the back of a horse than she was in a crowd of people. Modeling wasn’t something she could take seriously. “At first I was very reluctant,” Hanna said. “I was a baby. Both my parents said it was up to me, and I could try it and see what comes of it.” With some encouragement from her family members, including her fashion-passionate grandmother, she signed with her first agency. One of her earlier shows took place in Baltimore, with Baltimore-native-turned-Project-Runway-Winner Christian Siriano. Shows had a special draw for Hanna, too, and in her words, were an “adrenaline-pumping whirlwind.” “[Shows] are absolutely crazy ... you’re walking for like a minute or 45 seconds, elevated, with blinding lights flashing in front of you,” Hanna described. Experiences like these shows drew her in early. As she got more involved, her management pushed her to New York. “I was half a twiglet and crazy, crazy tall,” Hanna said, holding up a pinky finger to symbolize her skinny frame. “They told me, you should be in New York. You should be doing high fashion.” In August and September of her senior year of high school, Hanna got a chance to try on the industry properly during New York Fashion Week. Though she’d flown back and forth between New York and Baltimore over the years, Fashion Week put her in the city for an extended period of time. She lived and worked like a full-time model. “I loved it,” Hanna said. “Something switched on in me.” During the week, she ran back and forth between castings, stood

in lines with hundreds of girls and got to know New York in a way she hadn’t before. When she’d first started modeling, Hanna was, in her words, a “baby” — a self-identified dork, who didn’t fully understand herself. New York was a foreign land then, too large and unfriendly. But after fashion week, Hanna figured out what made New York tick. “It was a crazy experience … I was flying around the city,” Hanna said. Hanna returned from her New York adventure with her head still in the city. She’d kept up with her work while in the city but found it difficult to let herself fall back into the typical high school experience. She pushed thoughts of college to the backburner, convinced she’d be back in New York by next fall even though she had already decided to apply to Elon at the time. When she got her acceptance letter, she still wasn’t sure if she’d go. Elon was a stark contrast to the world she’d come to know, as small as New York is large, as warm as New York is cold and as slow as New York is fast. Elon represented the college experience, something quintessentially American. But New York, Siverling described, was her place. “I thought, ‘I’m already in the real world, I don’t want to go back to school,’” Hanna said. Yet after considering all her options, she decided to give Elon a semester’s try. “I had a sour attitude coming in, and I was very done,” Hanna said. “Even in the beginning I was dragging my feet. And this was so different from the city.” She planned to leave after fall semester. But before she was halfway

through, she couldn’t imagine being anywhere else. “I didn’t even realize it was happening but suddenly, I realized, it clicked for me here,” Hanna said. “I got very involved. I’m in a million clubs and I’m running around … I found my people.”

LIFE LESSONS AND REALIZATIONS Hanna took on the full Elon experience and overcommitted herself. She joined ETalk during her first semester, was part of the LEAD program, rushed a sorority and became an orientation leader going into her sophomore year. In her words, she became a total “Elon groupie.” But her love for Elon might not have blossomed so readily without her modeling career first. “This experience taught me to be an extroverted-introvert,” Hanna explained. “It pushed me out of my shell a lot, and I learned I love talking to people.” In New York, she got the chance to meet people from all over the world and from all walks of life. She forged friendships with girls from Russia, China — even two twins from Zimbabwe, with whom she had to speak through a translator — all vying for a spot in the business. The conversations she had in New York opened up her world view and challenged her own stereotypes of the industry. “There’s a big misconception that models are stupid … but these girls come over with nothing,” Hanna said. “I knew a mother from Russia, and she was sending money back to her mom and daughter. She was doing this [modeling] to provide, even though there’s no money in it.” COVER STORY | 23


That’s another misconception. The Cara Delevingnes and Karlie Klosses of the industry might make a living off modeling, but most models work for very little, or even for trade. The chance one girl will break through the thousands is one in a million, according to Hanna. Hanna wasn’t interested in modeling for the money, but for the other perks: the people, the exposure to the industry and traveling opportunities. Before she came to Elon, her manager had been working to send her to Paris. One of her good friends is currently in Hong Kong. But these perks come with a heavy amount of baggage. Body dysmorphia is rampant in the industry, which is unforgiving of even slight imperfections and rears its head in insidious ways. “No one’s going to tell you you’re fat,” Hanna said. “It’s more subtle, like someone will say, ‘You could probably lose half an inch around your hips. Your face is a little off. Your chin is weird.’” Comments like these are double-edged — simultaneously forcing Hanna to develop a thick skin and become more comfortable in her body, while challenging, even undermining, her body image. She got used to people seeing her in her underwear. To being poked, prodded, pulled and stared at. She describes herself in some experiences as “a clothes hanger.” But she also found herself comparing herself to girls in line and worrying about her body as she got older. Even though she acknowledged there was nothing she could do to

24 | FASHION

change her appearance, now that Hanna is away from the industry, she realizes she was more affected than she thought. She’s in a healthier place in this respect now. It’s one of the reasons she does not miss the industry and has found a home in Elon, where these concerns are far from her mind. Elon has given her new perspective on modeling, just as modeling has informed her experience at Elon. “I don’t regret it,” Hanna said. “I don’t know if I’ll go back to it, but I’m glad I did it. If I could go back, I’d tell myself just to be comfortable in the way you are in that moment.” Hanna is still signed to a boutique agency in New York and right now plans to finish college before she considers getting back into the industry. Even if she decides to drop modeling altogether, she knows she wants to return to the city. Modeling has also revealed a love for fashion she might not have discovered without her exposure to the world. She has a soft spot for Chanel and Fennel. She’s a Rag and Bone fan, describing herself still as a tomboy at heart. Hanna has aspirations to write for a fashion magazine if she doesn’t model. For now, she’s looking to her next great adventure: France in Winter Term. Right before coming to Elon, Hanna could have had the chance to romp through Paris if she’d chosen to continue modeling. Now, with Elon’s help, she’s come full circle. “I’m looking at the bigger picture now,” Hanna said. “Elon’s what’s best for me in the long term.”


FASHION | 25


Coven CHANNEL YOUR INNER DARK SIDE. JOIN THE COVEN.

26 | FASHION


FASHION | 27


S

tevie Nicks, American Horror Story, Yves Saint Laurent. Dark sorceresses are having a major fashion moment, and we're not talking about garb for ghouls. Fall has officially arrived and we’re ready to replace our white wardrobes with autumnal attire. Ditch the looks that scream Halloween and turn your heads to glam getups. Who says embracing fall calls for orange everything and the all too popular sweater-jeans-riding boots combo? This season, think widebrimmed hats, diaphanous frocks, point boots and all black everything on replay. Add a killer attitude, and we may just have our next supreme. If you’re not ready to do away with color completely, opt for a nail polish that pops. Not only is cherry red a classic, it’ll be just as hot as the rest of your look.

28 | FASHION


FASHION | 29


STRONGLY CAUTIONED

PG-13

KEEPING IT PG THIS HALLOWEEN: CELEBRITY EDITION

AMANDA GARRITY ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR

T

he days of Wilma and Fred Flintstone costumes are long-gone. Well, they received an upgrade. Each year, people go crazy for the latest celebrity Halloween costumes. We’ve all seen the couple that shows up dressed as Kim and Kanye or the party girl in a latex leotard like Miley Cyrus. But celebrity costumes are not all fun and games. They get complicated, especially when political correctness in thrown into the mix. Caitlyn Jenner has been at the center of a media frenzy following her interview with Diane Sawyer. A popular Halloween costume store jumped on this and created the “Call me Caitlyn” costume inspired by her Vanity Fair cover, complete with a wig and satin corset. People were enraged and demanded an end to the production of this costume — understandably so. The transgender community is still extremely misunderstood, and a costume exploiting one person in this community will create more false stereotypes. Thousands of costumed Caitlyn Jenners roaming the streets on Halloween is likely to create a divide between this

tight-knit community and the rest of society. Caitlyn Jenner is making a name for herself in this community, but she is simply one story of a transgender person — that shouldn’t be ignored this Halloween. Julianne Hough found herself in a Blackface scandal that made everyone shudder with disgust. We can all agree that “Orange is the New Black” is one of the most popular shows on television. That said, who doesn’t have the desire to dress up in a comfy orange jumpsuit channeling their inner “Crazy Eyes” this Halloween? Well, take a tip that Julianne learned the hard way: Your original skin color is your best friend on this costumed holiday. Halloween is the perfect time to unleash your inner pop star or TV villain, if you will. But it is not (we repeat, not) the time to consider testing your limits. It might be the perfect opportunity to rebel against your parents, peers and even society, but try to keep within the lines. This holiday is scary enough. Let’s try to make it scary in a good way.

“Halloween is not the time to consider testing your limits.”

Want to dress as your favorite celeb? Here’s how to do it right: . Consider who’s hot right now. The celebrity should be hot enough to make a statement but not

too hot to start a fire. If you’re unsure, ask a friend. . Kick it old school. Dressing as Lucille Ball, Audrey Hepburn or James Dean is just as cool as dress-

ing as a current star. Take a step into the past and go old-school Hollywood glam. . Be a hipster this Halloween. Go against the norm and pick your favorite actor from that indie film you can’t stop raving about. If anything, your costume will serve as a great conversation starter.

30 | ENTERTAINMENT


Next Stop:

Greensboro The who’s-who on Taylor Swift’s concert guest list

Country Roots When you think of North Carolina, you think of dirt roads, cook outs and country music. It’s possible that the Carolina air will bring Taylor back to her country roots. Although her Opry days are over, it doesn’t mean that she isn’t still loved in the country music community.

Dreamboyz

OK, we’ll admit it. We’re head over heels for the guys in Taylor’s life. Calvin Harris and Scott Eastwood are two hotties that have recently been linked to Taylor. Leave it to the queen of pop to score dates with the hottest men in Hollywood. Well, one of them doesn’t really count.

Supermodel Squad

Taylor Swift’s girl squad is all the rage these days and we’re #jealous. For those of you who don’t know, her squad was created following the release of the “Bad Blood” music video. From Selena Gomez to Jessica Alba, the talent these girls bring to the entertainment world could fill up an entire football stadium — and that’s exactly what they’re doing. Cluster beautiful and talented women on one stage and you have a picture- perfect dance party.

Blondes Know Best

Taylor is all about girl-power. She has a knack for finding other talented ladies and sharing her spotlight with them. Taylor has had a fair share of acting herself. Do you recall her infamous teddy bear scene in “Valentine’s Day?” While Taylor may not get the starring role on the big screen, she could take a few tips from her fellow blonde buddies Britt and Jennifer.

Photo Credit: GabboT, https://www.flickr.com/photos/tonyshek/17683738744

ENTERTAINMENT | 31


Friendly, or far from it? Alyssa Potter FEATURES WRITER

Elon Ranked 15th Friendliest LGBTQIA Campus in nation Elon University was recently named one of the Top 25 LGBTQIAfriendly schools by Campus Pride, one of the nation’s largest educational organizations for LGBTQIA college students and campus groups, in its 7th annual Campus Pride Index, released in August. The rating recognizes the immense strides Elon is making toward campus inclusivity for all, including students who identify on the LGBTQIA spectrum. But what do students and faculty think about Elon’s progress?

32 | FEATURES


A

ll the changes are institutional changes, but campus climate is most important to us,” said Becca Nipper, student assistant at Elon University’s Gender and LGBTQIA Center (GLC). Campus Pride ranked Elon as the 15th friendliest LGBTQIA campus in the nation, citing its training programs and support services, including the new Gender and LGBTQIA Center in the Moseley Center and a Presidential LGBTQIA Task Force and Implementation Team, as reasons. These are important steps in an evolving conversation surrounding current LGBTQIA life — where

it is and where it’s going.

Change from within: the LGBTQIA Center’s efforts “We have a new mentor program where faculty and staff serve as mentors for people transitioning into college,” said Matthew Antonio Bosch, director of the GLC. This mentor program serves as one of many projects the center is currently developing. With them, the center seeks to begin the fall semester of this year prepared to live up to its collegiate ranking of top 15. “Right now, we’re getting ready for the semester, reaching out to volunteers, planning events and hiring new people,” Matthew Antonio said. The highlight of the center’s planned events for this semester is the upcoming Alamance and Greensboro pride parades. Greensboro’s took place Sept. 19, but Alamance’s is scheduled for Oct. 10. Fall may be pumpkin and sweater season, but it is also pride season. As the leaves change to hues of oranges and reds, those inspired to support and incite pride will don rainbow hues. “It’s surprising how willing everyone is,”

Matthew Antonio said. “This is a community effort because people are prepared to listen to students and students are speaking up, students also have amazing things.” In moving forward from the upstanding ranking, the GLC is beginning efforts to maintain the positivity it received. “The rank is created by asking schools for their main policies and practices for optimal comfort for students,” Matthew Antonio said. “We work with outside organizations. We go to Greek life and work with the tough questions, like what happens if you have someone in your fraternity or sorority who comes out, and we do the same with sports.” To support the policies and practices that earned Elon its title, the GLC is now calling on students. “Every year, 1/4 of the school is new. Returning students are socially norming aspects of campus culture, we call on them,” Matthew Antonio said. “We have great programs and spaces, but we want to make everything that kind of space, where you don’t need to be in the Gay and Lesbian Center to talk about those types of things,” Becca said.

The Student Perspective Institution-wise, things are moving in the right direction. But not all students feel like the student body is on the same page with the administration. “It’s not that Elon is 15th most friendly campus, but that policy-wise they are,” said Monique Swirsky, executive member of Elon’s Spectrum organization. An increase in institutional progress comes with institutional change, but campus culture is created, in large part, by students. FEATURES | 33


“This is top-down change of the administration putting in welcoming and encouraging efforts,” Monique said. “It’s really hard to make change too far down without students.” Sophie Natan, president of Spectrum, said she finds Elon to truly be a friendly campus, a “chill” environment. “A lot of change has happened on the policy side of things,“ Sophie said. “Overall campus climate has improved in the two years I’ve been here, but it’s not where it needs to be.” Monique, too, said she has had an overwhelmingly positive personal experience. “I think Elon is doing a lot of great things,” she said. “It’s a very friendly place for a Southern campus. We’re not in a city in the north where it’s easy, where being diverse is expected.” Monique explained how Elon is trying to get proper measurements and statistics on where the university is with the number of students identifying on the LGBTQIA spectrum, so as to better accommodate them. “There is a lot of improvement from the Elon academic community, but now it’s up to the students,” she said. But no matter the number, no matter the policies put in place, Monique remains firm in her belief that the student body is the next creator of change.

LGBTQIA spectrum are not the only students capable of creating change — the entire student body has that potential. “It starts with education,” Sophie said. “There is a wealth of knowledge on the Internet, and it’s a really great resource to understand how to be a part of this community.” Elon is a liberal arts university, and with that title comes an opportunity for students to receive a liberal arts education and take classes outside of their major. “We have a wide variety of classes that talk about gender and sexuality,” Sophie said. “Take one, take advantage of that opportunity.” Academics-wise, taking classes to broaden one’s understanding is a feasible option. But to improve overall campus morale, there are other, smaller strides to achieve the same goal of inclusivity. “Some of it’s in the language,” Matthew Antonio said. “Even the phrase ‘you guys’ and trying to be gender inclusive, or saying ‘homosexual’ — it’s not OK anymore.” Being conscientious of gender-inclusive language is important to Matthew Antonio and countless other supporters. During introductions, Spectrum executive members introduce themselves with not only their name, but the pronouns they use. Some use she/her, others he/him; others choose not to use gendered pronouns at all. For those involved as identifying or advocates, simple acts toward a greater understanding do not go unnoticed. “Sometimes it’s just as simple as having conversations or putting a rainbow sticker on a backpack,” Matthew Antonio said. “Just checking in, saying ‘I didn’t realize’ or ‘Wait, is that

“We’ve made strides, but we’re always going to have a long way to go.” - Becca Nipper

The Solution “People don’t understand what it means to be an ally anymore,” Sophie said. “Gender is a whole new world we’re diving into, and people need to understand.” Elon’s next steps, Sophie made clear, can be most impactful if they come from students. But she believes those identifying on the 34 | FEATURES


offensive or did I get the term correct?’ — that sort of thing.” Elon’s Spectrum organization had its first meeting Sep. 10. Post-introduction of the executive members, Sophie explained the night’s agenda. But first, a game: when Sophie read a statement, students went to the corner that represented the answer they most closely associated with. The room was crowded, and with muffled laughs, the students shuffled to portray their favorite Elon delicacies, the color that matched how they felt that day and the instrument that best symbolizes their personality. Small talk between students began as Sophie explained that the night’s only other objective was for everyone in the room to find three people they had never met and find something in common with them. Small talk between students got louder. Students started moving, enjoying the free food, forming groups to chat. Sophie announced that the board and card games lying out on the tables were meant to be played, and that those nearby could play if they wanted. Small talk between students, the distinct murmur of human connection, filled the room. The games began, and the groups formed over conversation became inclusive members of an organization that used a Thursday evening to mingle and learn from each other through laughter, food and fun. It’s more than a start. It’s a campus in the middle of something good, moving toward something better. “We’ve made strides, but we’re always going to have a long way to go,” Becca said. Asking the right questions, remaining open and deepening the understanding and support on campus — these are the steps Matthew Antonio, Becca, Monique and Sophie advocate for. A friendly campus, they say, is accurate in its policies and will maintain that title as long as students continue improving campus culture. FEATURES | 35


YOUR GUIDE TO GOING OUT. Elonpendulum.com/section/EdgE

Profile for The Pendulum

THE EDGE October 2015  

Volume 6, Edition 6 of The Edge, The Magazine of The Pendulum

THE EDGE October 2015  

Volume 6, Edition 6 of The Edge, The Magazine of The Pendulum

Profile for pendulum
Advertisement