The Student Newspaper of Washington & Jefferson College
Red & Black W a s h i n g to n , P e n n a .
ESTABLISHED 1909 VOL. CIV ... NO. VI
T h u r s d a y , O c to b e r 1 1 , 2 0 1 2
INSIDE THIS ISSUE:
Page 2 Words of Solace,
Comfort from the President Page 9 Tim, Inspiration to Many “Speeding”
Page 11 a poem by
Page 19 “We Weren’t
Going to Lose”
INDEX: Campus-News ..... 1-5 Life ......................... 6-9 Arts .................... 10-13 Op-Ed ............... 14-17 Sports ................ 18-20 PLEASE RECYCLE THIS PAPER
2 CAMPUS NEWS
Red & Black
11 O ctober 2012
Words of Comfort and Solace From the President Dr. Tori Haring-Smith W&J College President
I have spent my life on college campuses. First, as the daughter of a professor, then, as a student and graduate student. Finally, as a faculty member, dean and now as a President. I have never been so impressed by a group of students as I have been by all of you these past few days. I have watched you come together to support each other, and know that we are truly a strong family. I am proud to see athletes wearing Tim’s number on their wristbands and taking a moment of silence before games. I am proud that the Diversity Programming Board has launched a bracelet campaign to memorialize Tim and that other students are producing t-shirts. Every time I walk by the memorial in the entry to the Commons, someone is writing in the book for Tim’s family. You have taken to heart the words Keith’s uncle spoke at the memorial service: “Love one another. Love one another. It’s so simple.” As we move through the next weeks, we will all grieve and heal in different ways and at different times. Be patient with one another. Sometimes we will feel outrage, sometimes fear and sometimes simple grief. I urge everyone to take advantage of the excellent counseling services that we have available. We will all need guidance as we walk this tortuous path. With
the full support of the College and the local community, the police continue to work around the clock to find the cowards who did this. The investigatory unit has a high solve rate, and they feel passionately about finding and capturing those who committed this horrific crime. In the last 72 hours, both the College and the City have beefed up security. City police have increased their presence on campus. Patrols have been doubled. In addition, the town is working to install security cameras in their downtown area and we have ordered additional security lighting that will be focused not only on campus but also away from it. We continue to monitor our campus security cameras 24/7. As you know, we held and will continue to hold open meetings to answer questions and address concerns from the entire campus. It is important to remember safety precautions. I hope we are all recommitting to being vigilant, to keeping the dormitory doors locked, to reporting any suspicious activity, to walking in groups and/or using the Protection Services escort service. We must not be fearful, but rather be smart and strong and united. We have seen a strong show of support from the local community. You should know that they care a great deal about you. Local businesses and individuals are joining together to raise money if a reward is needed for information leading to the capture of the criminals.
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The W&J community gathered for a candlelight vigil on the night of Oct 4 to remember the loss of Tim McNerney. Earlier that same morning, McNerney was tragically murdered only a few blocks from campus. (Above) W&J College President, Dr. Tori Haring-Smith, addressed grieving students, staff and friends and family of Tim during the vigil. She, among others who shared personal stories of Tim, tried to make sense of the tragic loss of a fellow President and how to put an end to this senseless violence.
We have seen many community members, including the Mayor of the City of Washington, at the memorial services and prayer meetings. This weekend, at a local high school sporting event, community members raised funds for Tim’s family. Other members of the community are contributing to the scholarship fund that the family established in Tim’s memory. The community is eager to work with the College to make sure that nothing like this ever happens again. We look forward to moving ahead together. This is a time when I am exceptionally thankful for being
part of the W&J family. Our own families are far from us, but we have one another to turn to when we’re hurting, when we need a good laugh and as we begin to heal. We are all in mourning. But we press on, working to keep up the activity that is typical of the campus – classes are held, athletics events are attended, clubs meet. I heard you cheering with me at the field hockey and soccer games, I hear you talking about papers and exams over lunch in The Commons, I hear you laughing as you walk across campus. We are moving, albeit with heavy hearts as we remember, memorialize and honor Tim. Together we will heal and we
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will make something positive come from this terrible event. We will love each other more fiercely. We will take care of each other more assiduously. We will work to end violence on the streets of this city and of all cities. Juncta Juvant. Together we thrive. At the memorial service, one speaker said, “Tim is not dead. He is in my heart and in your heart.” Tim touched all our lives, including mine. He shaped our lives in positive and loving ways. Let us commit to honor his memory by living the kind of life that reflects his positive influence, because then he will truly live on forever.
The Red & Black is the official, registered, student-produced newspaper of Washington & Jefferson College in Washington, Penna. It is published Thursdays with the exception of exams and break periods. Production run is 1250 copies, both on and off campus. Published by the Observer Publishing Company.
11 O ctober 2012
Red & Black
3 CAMPUS NEWS
Remembering and Mourning the Loss of One of Our Own Carley Adams Red&Black Staff
On Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012, Washington & Jefferson students, community members, faculty and family gathered together on the Burnett lawn to revere a tragic loss. Early that morning marked the untimely and unforeseeable passing of one of our own: W&J senior Tim McNerney. At 6:50 PM, just ten minutes before the vigil began, the W&J campus was a moving yet soundless sea of people. Students poured out of dorms and houses from Beau Street and Chestnut Street, moving reverently to join the silent procession of Tim’s family, friends, teammates and teachers filtering out of the parking lots, the Ski Lodge and the Commons. All assembled in front of Burnett, some holding hands, some linking arms, others folding their hands in prayer, but all tightlyknit in a congregation so vast that there were only enough candles for half. At sundown, President Tori Haring-Smith took the podium to address all of those who had come to commemorate Tim and to offer their love and support to his family and friends. Composed, yet visibly altered by grief, our president still managed to articulate the realization that all in attendance had come to: the sheer enormity and diversity of the
group gathered before her was, in many ways, a reflection of just how great of an impact McNerney had on this campus as a student, a team player, a leader and a friend. For those who knew him closely, this was yet another reminder of how genuine and generous of a young man he was. And those who did not know McNerney in his life surely knew him by the end of the night. Every speaker who took the podium – pastors, teammates, relatives, friends – recounted a different memory or story of something that McNerney did or said or accomplished during his lifetime, and each account was just as powerful as the one before it. DeAndre Simmons, ’13, who had stood alongside McNerney since their freshman year of college as a teammate, classmate and best friend, had the opportunity to speak not only about how much Tim’s friendship had meant to him on a personal level, but about how much it had meant to the entire W&J community. Recounting stories about McNerney in the classroom, on the football field and at campus events (most memorably the 2012 fall concert, where his opening performance was arguably more popular among students than the show itself), Simmons consistently emphasized certain core characteristics that defined McNerney, and would forever define
his memory: genuine kindheartedness, an unparalleled sense of humor and, above all, passion and the courage to dream. These traits that McNerney undeniably possessed until his final days appeared again and again, with every speaker who took the stage. Tim’s teammates recalled heartwarming stories of McNerney and his family opening their home to students who otherwise would have had to spend Easter break alone, of McNerney energetically going off on tangents about how amazing it feels to do the things you love to do and about how exciting it is to share your talents and fearlessly pursue your dreams. As the ceremony built to an emotional close, head football coach Michael Sirianni took the opportunity to speak about McNerney as part of the team. Sirianni explained that while coaches should try hard not to have clear favorites, there is an inexplicable connection that exists between a coach and certain players. He and McNerney, he said, shared that connection. Through yelling and arguing, laughing and joking and teasingly insulting each other’s clothing, Coach Sirianni and running back Tim McNerney were more than mentor and mentee. And while Tim used to muse that he was “always in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Coach
On the night of Oct. 4, students gathered to honor the memory of Tim McNerney. W&J held the candlelight vigil to both honor Tim and show solidarity against the senseless violence that took his life.
Sirianni begged to differ. He agrees that on the morning of Oct. 4, 2012, McNerney was somewhere at the wrong time. But, as a team member, as a friend and as a man “[Tim] was in the right place.” He was always in the right place. In closing, Tim’s uncle spoke a few words that resonated heavily in the already emotionally weary crowd. “Speak out against violence,” he said. He reiterated, again and again, how unnecessary and horrible violence is, and how as a result of one violent act, a life can change or even end in the blink of an eye. “Call your families, and tell them you love them,” he said, because in an instant, everything can change. As the W&J community slowly
moves forward from this tragedy, we carry several things with us. We carry the memory of Tim, we carry love and support for each other and his family in his death and we also carry a valuable lesson about what kind of people we should strive to be from this day forward. We must lead by example, and take an adamant stand against violence. We must be bold in the face of adversity. And above all, we must honor McNerney by showing the same courage, persistence and passion as we pursue our goals and dreams that he displayed time and time again while pursuing his. Rest in peace, Tim McNerney, Class of 2013. You are loved, and you are missed.
Student Leader Defines “What Being A President Means” Chelsea Cummings Red&Black Staff
This is a difficult, heart-breaking time in Washington & Jefferson College’s history. But as a small school, the people of W&J are able to come together and unite. I was able to speak to Damian Bosiacki ’13 about the student community of W&J. As the current Student Government Association President, he represents the students of the
school. “Being a President encompasses a lot of different qualities and characteristics” Bosiacki stated. The students of W&J come for all different types of backgrounds. Bosiacki went on to explain, “Washington & Jefferson is so small, so small that we get to see how different we are from each other every single day”. But despite these differences we also have a great deal in common. “The fact that there are so many talented and uncommon
people at our school, that is what we have in common. I feel like that is what separates us from so many other schools, but we cannot let these differences keep us apart because we are also responsible for each other.” W&J allows us to take advantage of all of the opportunities available to young students. This school gives us the chance to succeed in whatever we do. The students, staff and faculty support each other. “For one, I think most of us left [high] school
feeling like we were going to be leaders in this world.” Bosiacki continued, “Whether it is in Neuroscience, Accounting, a student club or a sport, we were going to put ourselves in the best possible situation so that we could succeed and make a difference in something”. W&J allows us to be a leader and achieve what we set out to do. In addition to academic success, W&J allows us to go beyond the typical academic setting. Bosiacki explained, “Being a President
gives us the opportunity to take on more responsibility than we have ever taken on in our lives”. Bosiacki finished with this statement, and I believe we need to hold this close. “If we continue to appreciate and learn from our fellow Presidents’ differences, then we will be that much stronger as individuals.” “We just need to remember love, support and fight for one another because we need each other, every single day”.
CAMPUS NEWS 4
Red & Black
11 O ctober 2012
Campus Safety: What Can Be Done? Brittany Lander Red&Black Staff
“What does being a President mean to you?”
Chelsea Cummings/ Red&Black
“‘Being a President means having genuine concern for the well-being of other students” — Spencer Varadi ‘13
Chelsea Cummings/ Red&Black
“It is a strong love for W&J and a strong sense of community.” — Brianna Medeiros ‘16
Chelsea Cummings/ Red&Black
Chelsea Cummings/ Red&Black
“It means having a strong and united student community who supports each other.”
“‘It means exhibiting uncommon integrity by standing together, united.” — Dylan Frendt ‘14 Dylan is a former student who returned to W&J for Tim’s Memorial Campus Question, compiled by Chelsea Cummings/Red&Black
Is this campus safe? There have always been concerns of a lack of safety on campus. After this recent event, however, students as well as parents are really starting to ask questions. While security has now been out in full force, it still leaves many wondering if this could have been prevented. It is common knowledge that every Wednesday night, many students who are of age travel to local bars, such as the Brewhouse and VIP, without any second thoughts in regards to safety. But, they are required to walk to and from to avoid drunk driving. Until this event, security was not permitted to provide escorts back and forth from the bars. Now, this seems as important as ever. Both establishments are not far from campus, and it seems like it should be a safe walk home. However, as we know, this is just not true. Security should provide escorts to any students who do not feel comfortable walking to and from the bars. Although an event of this magnitude has never occurred on or off campus to a student, obviously, never walk alone, anywhere. If traveling in groups, make them large groups. Protection services sent out an email providing students with helpful tips about how to stay safe on campus, as well as insuring them that an escort will now be provided from the downtown area. Sophomore, Justin Brier, does feel safe on campus, but is a little weary about off campus safety. See Campus Safety, Page 5
11 O ctober 2012
Red & Black
CAMPUS NEWS 5
all photos, Jacqueline Radin/Red&Black
From Campus Safety, Page 4
He said, “I feel very comfortable walking around our campus knowing that it is a safe environment with good protection services and a student and faculty population that is looking out for one another. However, I always make sure to exercise caution when traveling off campus by going with a group of friends, not alone.” Protection services also held open forums for students to voice their concerns about safety on campus. While campus was very solemn this weekend, many students noticed an increase in security presence on campus. Washington and state police presence was also on campus, patrolling Chestnut Street and driving through parking lots on campus. One student also stated that they saw an undercover police car drive through their parking lot behind the Greek houses twice on Friday. Students hope that an increased security force will continue to make campus somewhere where they are comfortable to call home.
Moving Forward With the President’s Support Bailey Mudrick Red&Black Staff
Oct. 4 will forever be in the hearts and minds of the Washington community, maybe even more so for our President Dr. Tori Haring– Smith. When you are the president of a college, you feel responsible for lives and safety of the students on campus. When asked in a recent interview about her memory of Tim McNerney she responded with, “I am an avid football fan, and, as anyone can tell you who spends time with me, for years, whenever Tim was given the ball (and that was lots of times), I would yell, ‘Run, Tim, run.’ And, of course, he would run. And he would score. But when he was tackled, I would cringe and say, ‘Don’t hurt him.’ If I could have protected him on Wednesday night, you can be sure I would have.
He was an exceptional athlete, scholar and friend to his teammates and classmates. He taught us all what dedication to others meant and what it meant to love life and to embrace possibility.” The President was in Chicago on college business when she received the horrific news. The only emotion that came to mind was shock, which was a mutual feeling on campus that day. She flew back immediately to campus to be here to support the McNerney family and the rest of the W&J family. The President is trying to reassure the students. “Nothing like this has ever happened at the College, it is one of the safest campuses in the country.” Currently, W&J College has one of the most complete security systems on campus. The College’s foot patrols and car patrols cover the entire campus, as do the security cameras that are monitored 24/7.
Every year, the college has added lights to the campus and also has blue light emergency phones throughout campus. Students can simply tap the phone and it simply calls security without the student having to place a call. In addition, the security force provides escorts for any student either on campus or off campus whenever they request it. Often, security escorts students who arrive late at night after their work off campus. Students can take advantage of this service by using one of the emergency phones to contact Protection Services directly or by using a personal cell phone. The campus officers work very closely with the city police as well. After this tragic incident, the main concern now is to improve student’s habits about leaving campus. Some of these improvements would include traveling with a group and being aware of their surroundings. The president
and security are in the midst of planning additional safely education for the students on campus. They will also continue to advise and lead the students going forward. There will also be a meeting with the city and college police forces with the students to answer questions about what happened that horrible night. Dr. Tori Haring-Smith was only honest in her interview. She knows what happened could never be erased or forgotten. Now, she only hopes to improve the environment on campus and to make sure the students feel safer after what has happened to McNerney. The president ended with hoping that if the students were to learn anything from this life experience it is that, “ I hope that it has made us all aware, as Tim’s uncle said, that things can change so fast, that we all need to love and support one another, and that we must, we must, we must end this violence.”
LIFE 11 O ctober 2012
Red & Black
Understanding and Coping With Loss
Spending time with family and friends to talk about your feelings is an essential way to process grief. Taking care of your body through nutrition, exercise and avoiding substance abuse is another way to feel better.
Sarah O’Donnell Red&Black Columnist
This issue of the Red&Black is dedicated to the memory of Tim McNerney
As a college student, it’s easy to feel immortal—after all, for most of us, the thought of death is so far away that it often seems unreal. Though we may hear about elderly individuals passing away from old age or about natural disasters claiming lives far from our homes, the distance spares us from the sobering reality that life can be short and fragile, even for those closest to us. As a result, when someone our age dies we are shocked, especially when this individual is stolen away in the prime of their life. In losing someone we know and love, we are forced to realize the fragility of life. This sobering knowledge invariably interrupts our daily lives. After all, focusing on tests, work or sports can seem so trivial when we see firsthand that life is fleeting and that we must savor every moment we’re alive. With the death of Tim McNerney our community is deep in the process of grieving
and, with so many members of our campus family suffering, it’s important to keep in mind that although the pain is still acute, there are methods for coping. The small, tight knit community we have at Washington & Jefferson College allows us the ability to grieve together, and this is perhaps the easiest and most direct way to address the pain of our loss. Accessing the support system available to us by talking about the death and how it has influenced our lives allows us to confront the situation directly and, in the process, hopefully move onto acceptance more quickly. Spending time with friends and family also reminds us that we are not alone in this time of sorrow. Students who are having a particularly difficult time coping with this tragedy are advised to visit the Student Health and Counseling Center, where professional grief counseling is available. In addition to turning to the community for support, there are a number of constructive steps we may take on our own to aid the recovery process. We must remember how important it is to
stay healthy, both mentally and physically. Spending time outside and in nature can help improve mood. Instead of engaging in substance abuse, try to focus on getting enough rest, exercising and eating nutritious food. Writing a journal or blog may also allow for a more positive expression of emotion. Instead of focusing on what could have been, it’s important to recognize what we do have and how we’re fortunate. After the initial period of grief has passed, it may be easier to move on by trying new hobbies or meeting new people. We can keep the memory of our lost loved ones alive by talking about them and remembering them, but it’s important to always maintain a positive outlook and keep moving forward with our own lives. Coping after such a tragic event is never easy but, eventually, recovery is possible. Our community was and continues to feel deeply shaken by the untimely death of Tim McNerney and, though we will mourn him for a long time to come, with our solidarity we will persevere.
11 October 2012
Red & Black
Grief Counseling and Management on Campus Shari Kaminski Red&Black Staff There is no doubt that we here at Washington & Jefferson have hit some hard times. On Oct. 4th we lost Tim McNerney, one of our own who was loved by everyone who met him. We will need to lean on each other to get through this, but it is important to remember that everyone will grieve differently. Especially if you are not used to being away at college when someone close to you passes away, or you have to go through any other difficult time, it can make learning to cope even more difficult. But no matter what, please remember that you are not alone here. First, do not be afraid to talk to someone about how you are feeling. Keeping everything bottled up inside, pretending to be okay and then wondering how nobody notices that you are definitely not okay is not healthy. Talk to your friends and family. Even though they might not know what to say, they will listen to whatever you need to say.
On campus, there is also the Student Counseling Services Center. They are open Monday through Friday from 9a.m.-5 p.m. and you do not need to make an appointment. All communication with Counseling Services will be kept confidential. The staff at Counseling Services are professionals, and they will do whatever they need to in order to help you. Second, do not turn to alcohol or any other harmful substance to suppress your feelings. The short-term feeling of relief they may bring is not worth any long-term problems they could cause. Remember that sudden waves of sadness while mourning or during difficult times is a normal, healthy part of the grieving process. Also, doing something special in memory of a loss can help provide closure. Do something that person loved, or make something in their memory and leave it in a special place. Third, when it comes to going to class, do what makes you feel comfortable. If you do not want to go to class, do not feel like you have to. E-mail your professors and let them know why you will not be in class.
Personally, when I lost someone very close to me two years ago, I found that going to at least some classes and maintaining something of a normal routine was very helpful. Focusing on class lectures was a good distraction when I knew I did not want to sit in my room and be sad, and leaving to go to class led to eating more full meals and staying healthy. Even if you do go to class, let your professors know you are going through a hard time and, if you need to, do not be afraid to leave class early if you are having trouble. Finally, do not be afraid to go home for a few days. Especially after a tragedy like losing McNerney, which affected all of W&J, going home could be beneficial. If you have friends on campus going through the same thing, let them know they can still contact you. At home, you will be somewhere familiar and comfortable, and you will be able to be by yourself as long as you need to. I know times are difficult now, but eventually, maybe not today or tomorrow, you will be okay again.
The Importance of Love In A Time of Loss
As students of W&J, we must stay strong and encourage one another during this time of great loss. An incredibly close-knit campus is able to mourn and ultimately persevere together.
Allyse Corbin Red&Black Staff
Every day that has gone by since Thursday has seemed endless. Campus has been quiet and on Thursday, was completely silent. We are all in pain. Our giant heart that is Washington & Jefferson College has been broken. We are
all feeling sad, angry and confused. We want answers. We want to be able to turn back time and change what happened. We want to be able to really smile again and, right now, this seems impossible. We don’t know what to do; we don’t know how to react. But you know what? Even though we are all so shocked, emotional and uncertain, I
think we are doing exactly the right thing: showing love. We love each other so much and what our school stands for. It’s easy to see that this is true; we wouldn’t be so heartbroken if it wasn’t. We have lost one of our own. We can’t change that. We can, however, choose how we react to this tragedy and I think that we are
responding to our heartbreak beautifully. We are showing love. We made the decision to mourn together, and to celebrate McNerney. Our love is so unbelievably amazing; I think we are incredibly lucky to be capable of such a unique bond. Life is fragile, but the love we have for each other is not.
Red & Black
11 O ctober 2012
Cognitive Approaches to Optimism and Positivity
Researchers agree that optimism is a cognitive activity, which means that individuals are able to control their own happiness through positive thinking and consuming uplifting media.
Abrianne Rhoad Red&Black Editor French novelist Marcel Proust once wrote “let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” Employed metaphors aside, Proust’s literal flowery imagery puts human emotion at center stage and highlights one of the most complex of these emotions: happiness. With the recent loss of senior Tim McNerney in mind, the grieving process is still under way and much of the Washington & Jefferson College community can attest to that. In these coming weeks as both peers and colleagues work through the five stages of grief—denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance—it will be useful to observe the writing of both Proust and Dunavold and, most importantly, to take the time to properly attend to one’s emotional health. While studying at California State University (Northridge), Psychologist Patricia A. Dunavold wrote at length on happiness, hope and optimism. “On the surface, happiness, hope and optimism appear to be three different terms for the same concept,” wrote Dunavold. “But further research will show that they are three very different concepts. Although all three are generally thought of as positive, they each have different qualities. They are not interchangeable.” As Dunavold references in her essay, emotion theorist Paul Ekman and others cite happiness as one of the “big six” emotions, excluding contempt; they are surprise, fear, disgust, anger and sadness. “There are two main schools of thought on the definition of emotion,” writes Dunavold. They are hedonism—the psychological theory that organisms are motivated to seek pleasure and avoid pain—or an attempt to maximize “the positive effects of the different sensory systems;” and cognitive emotion, which roots itself in “making reasonable progress towards the realization of a goal.” According to Dunavold’s research, happiness can be linked to three main components, though there are numerous links and sources for happiness. There is a
biological component associated with happiness that rely on concentrations of norepinephrine in the brain which account for feelings of elation and euphoria; a cognitive component (read: how we use coping strategies). And lastly, a learned component (read: whether or not we use certain coping strategies successfully and the techniques we employ in order to boost our daily levels of happiness). “Hope usually involves some uncertainty of an outcome, typically concerns matters of importance, and usually reflects a person’s moral values. Hope is frequently considered a temporary condition that is specific to a given situation and contingent upon one’s skills or abilities.” As with happiness, hope retains three components— biological, cognitive and learning. Cognition only plays an active role in the restoration and maintenance of
“Strategies such as positive self-talk, reading uplifting books, envisioning hopeful images, listening to uplifting music and lightheartedness are used by hopeful persons when suffering some ‘crisis’ or adverse life event.” — Patricia Dunavold hope, she writes, “not in the actual acquisition of hope.” “ Many studies have shown that cognitive strategies such as positive self-talk, reading uplifting books, envisioning hopeful images, listening to uplifting music and lightheartedness (humor and laughter) are used by hopeful persons when suffering some ‘crisis’ or adverse life event,” writes Dunavold. She goes on to mention emotion theorists Michael F. Scheier and Charles S. Carver who define optimism as a generalized expectancy: “good, as opposed to
bad, outcomes will generally occur when confronted with problems across important life domains.” According to her findings Dunavold posits happiness, hope and optimism as three positive conditions that differ in the mechanism in which they are acquired. “Hope and optimism differ in that hope is situation-specific (specific condition) and contingent upon one’s own abilities (internal condition). Optimism is an overall explanatory style (global condition) that positive things will occur independent of one’s ability (external condition).” “In short,” she continues, “happiness is nothing more than a biological state brought about by the release and blocked reabsorption of certain neurotransmitters (primarily norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin) triggered by physical and cognitive activities. Individual differences, primarily acquired through learning, could account for the differences in reported levels of happiness by different individuals after experiencing certain activities” “Hope seems to be a primarily learned condition. It seems that it is usually learned at an early age through the socialization process. It seems to require little cognitive thought and, in fact, actively thinking about the pros and cons of some situations could lead an individual to lose all hope,” writes Dunavold. “Optimism, in comparison, seems to me to be a primarily cognitive activity. It seems that some people do indeed have a tendency to have an optimistic attitude about life and situations in general, but that their optimism, unlike hope, is based on logical, rational facts that are processed cognitively,” she finished. Individually, happiness is subjective; everyone approaches their own definitions and feelings differently and, consequently, associate happiness differently. The same can be said of grief. As our peers, cohorts and colleagues continue with their respective grieving processes take the time to pass on this information or provide the support they need in order to seek out hope, optimism and happiness for themselves.
11 O ctober 2012
Red & Black
Loss: Helping Yourself and Others Should Tim McNerney’s For the Washington & Jefferson College community, the recent loss of Tim McNerney, ’13, is one so profound you would believe its sentiment could be felt across the nation. Or at the very least, acknowledged across the nation. A recent article published by a Kansas State athletic website known as “BringOnTheCats.com,” has addressed this very issue directly. Editor Jon Morse wrote a rather stirring article on the tragedy just one day after its occurrence, stating below the article’s title: “The USC Trojans played the Utah Utes, and that somehow failed to be overshadowed by the tragic murder of star small college running back Tim McNerney.” Morse’s article began by citing the many accomplishments of McNerney as an athlete: the countless rushing yards, touchdowns and various accolades as W&J’s star running back. Further into the article, though, Morse addressed an aspect of the tragedy that is sure to rouse conflicting emotions as the W&J community begins to cope. The aspect of concern, here, regards the lack of national attention this pressing tragedy has yet to attract. As Morse began this segment of the article he expressed the root of his concern, as he stated, “As of last night, there was not a single headline in any major national sports news outlet about this tragedy. Not on ESPN.com, not on CBSSports.com, not on SI.com, not on SportingNews.com.” “I hope you’ll excuse me but I have to rant,” he continued. Morse’s article went on to explain his frustration at both the nation’s and the media’s ignorance. “This should be a story… at least an Courtesy static.guim.co.uk Remember that you never have to grieve alone. Form a support system to get through difficult times.
acknowledged heand concluded. Turn to one,” friends family members – Now What Morse’s article imparts is an aspect of this is the time to lean on the people who care about tragedy that is sure to find common ground among you. Draw loved ones close, rather than avoiding those There willyou no know doubt loses be great aggravation who the purethat’s senselessness Whenaffected. you or someone a loved them,for andthose accept thesee assistance offered. behind this heavy loss, as the pain they so deeply feel must not be for nothing. one its like a piece of your life is missing. You Draw comfort from your faith – If you The lackallofdifferent attentionkinds has further been addressed social networking as many young may seeming experience of emotions. follow across a religious tradition, embrace the comfort people have taken to twitter and Facebook as a means of spreading awareness, since there seem There is no right or wrong way to grieve for the its mourning rituals can provide. to be but few there other are media outlets doing At the same time, theregroup may also be sentiments of loss, healthy ways to so. cope. First Jointhough, a support – Grief can feel very concern among those affected, who may fear the swarm of the media circus and simply wish for here a few myths that many people get wrong lonely, even when you have loved ones around. respect the community during a time of grief. Sharing your sorrow with others who have when it of comes to coping about a loss. Whichever view of the situation one may hold, are certainsimilar featureslosses of this tragedy MYTH: The pain will go away faster if youthere experienced can help. that are undisputable. ignore it. Talk to a therapist or grief counselor – TheFact: W&JTrying community has experienced can too onlymuch wish to forbear, as many to ignore your pain ora loss keepsoit incredibly If your deep grief that feelsitlike call a people as possible to be aware of what an impact it has made. As of now, there certainly appears from surfacing will only make it worse in the mental health professional with experience to in be a noticeable lackhealing of media regarding issue, an absence only acts totherapist intensifycan the long run. For real it isattention necessary to face the grief counseling. Anthat experienced impact of the for the community. your grief andloss actively deal with it. help you work through emotions. NoMYTH: matter one’s view of how interpret therefeelings. remains You a serious need this It’s important to media be “bemay strong” in a tragedy, Face your can try to for suppress story to be told at the national level. A senseless act of violence was committed, something that not the face of loss. your grief, but you can’t avoid it forever. In order only affected the life of one young man, but of an entire community as well. Fact: Feeling sad, frightened or lonely is a to heal, you have to acknowledge the pain. Tim McNerney’s one that mustmean be told, mustafter be sure to do everything in our normal reaction tostory loss. is Crying doesn’t youand weLook your physical health. Thepower mind so that it is. are weak. You don’t need to “protect” your family and body are connected. When you feel good or friends by putting on a brave front. Showing physically, you’ll also feel better emotionally. your true feelings can help them and you. Avoid stress and fatigue by getting enough sleep, MYTH: If you don’t cry, it means you aren’t eating right, and exercising. On the other hand, sorry about the loss. if you know if someone is grieving it is often Fact: Crying is a normal response to sadness, difficult to know how to help. You may be afraid but it’s not the only one. Those who don’t cry of saying the wrong thing, or making the person may feel the pain just as deeply as others. They feel even worse. Or maybe you feel there’s little may simply have other ways of showing it. you can do to make things better. While you can’t MYTH: Grief should last about a year. take away the pain of the loss, you can provide Fact: There is no right or wrong time frame comfort and support. for grieving. How long it takes can differ from You may not know what to say to someone person to person. who has lost a loved one, but listening is the most The single most important factor in healing important thing. While you should never try to from loss is surrounding yourself with support force someone to open up, it’s important to let from other people who care about you. your friend know they have permission to talk Even if you aren’t comfortable with talking about the loss. Talk openly about the person who about your feelings, it’s important to express passed away. This allows someone to accept and them when you’re grieving. acknowledge all feelings. Let the grieving person Sharing your loss makes the burden of grief know that it’s okay to cry in front of you, to get easier to carry. angry or to break down, but do not force them to Where ever the support comes from, accept open up. It is ok to sit in silence and be there for it and do not grieve alone. Connecting to others them. It takes time for people to open up you just will help you heal. have to be a good friend and be patient. Bailey Mudrick Red&Black Staff
Death Have Gotten National Coverage? Abbey Bashor Red&Black Staff
For the Washington & Jefferson College community, the recent loss of Tim McNerney, ’13, is one so profound you would believe its sentiment could be felt across the nation. Or at the very least, acknowledged across the nation. A recent article published by a Kansas State athletic website known as “BringOnTheCats.com,” has addressed this very issue directly. Editor Jon Morse wrote a rather stirring article on the tragedy just one day after its occurrence, stating below the article’s title: “The USC Trojans played the Utah Utes, and that somehow failed to be overshadowed by the tragic murder of star small college running back Tim McNerney.” Morse’s article began by citing the many accomplishments of McNerney as an athlete: the countless rushing yards, touchdowns and various accolades as W&J’s star running back. Further into the article, though, Morse addressed an aspect of the tragedy that is sure to rouse conflicting emotions as the W&J community begins to cope. The aspect of concern, here, regards the lack of national attention this pressing tragedy has yet to attract. As Morse began this segment of the article he expressed the root of his concern, as he stated, “As of last night, there was not a single headline in any major national sports news outlet about this tragedy. Not on ESPN.com, not on CBSSports.com, not on SI.com, not on SportingNews.com.” “I hope you’ll excuse me but I have to rant,” he continued. Morse’s article went on to explain his frustration at both the nation’s and the media’s ignorance. “This should be a story… at least an acknowledged one,” he concluded. What Morse’s article imparts is an aspect of this tragedy that is sure to find common ground among those affected. There will no doubt be great aggravation for those who see the pure senselessness behind this heavy loss, as the pain they so deeply feel must not be for nothing. The seeming lack of attention has further been addressed across social networking as many young people have taken to twitter and Facebook as a means of spreading awareness, since there seem to be few other media outlets doing so. At the same time, though, there may also be sentiments of concern among those affected, who may fear the swarm of the media circus and simply wish for respect of the community during a time of grief. Whichever view of the situation one may hold, there are certain features of this tragedy that are undisputable. The W&J community has experienced a loss so incredibly deep that it can only wish for as many people as possible to be aware of what an impact it has made. As of now, there certainly appears to be a noticeable lack of media attention regarding the issue, an absence that only acts to intensify the impact of the loss for the community. No matter one’s view of how media may interpret a tragedy, there remains a serious need for this story to be told at the national level. A senseless act of violence was committed, something that not only affected the life of one young man, but of an entire community as well. McNerney’s story is one that must be told, and we must be sure to do everything in our power so that it is.
ARTS 11 O ctober 2012
Red & Black
A Poem For Students: Untitled Byron McCrae Dean of Student Life Hand is 5. 5 is Tim. Hand is Tim. Hand to God. Tim to God.
Moving. Deeply moving. Student commitment to Tim McNerney, friend and classmate, and teammate and brother for many. Your commitment and support of your friends, classmates, teammates, and brothers and sisters who knew and loved Tim. Student commitment. Deeply moving commitment. Tears. No taste... there is no appetite. Prayers. Candlelight. Spirit ascending? Inspirational. Students' strength. Students' courage in the face of grief. Students' words. Atwood tells us, "A word after a word after a word is power." Your words heal us. Your power heals us. Students inspire and heal. 5 is hand. Tim is 5. Tim is hand. Hand to God. Tim to God.
Moving. Your memories of Tim, so graciously and generously shared. #RIP5. Bracelets. T-shirts. Bus ride. Truck-stop lattes. Inspirational. Your call to action: Your challenge that we let friends and classmates know how much love we have for them. And to do this every day. Hand is 5. 5 is Tim. Hand is Tim. Hand to God. Tim to God.
Jacqueline Radin/ Red&Black
Hope. Student commitment, a deep and moving commitment. Student power to inspire and heal. Loving community.
11 O ctober 2012
Red & Black
Speeding By Tim McNerney Man where did all the time go? Feels like yesterday I was only 8 yrs. Old. Kind of miss those days when I was just a little kid. When everything was brand new, And I couldn’t wait to get out of bed. Running around the yard, Hanging on monkey bars, Looking up at the stars, The whole world was ours. Now it’s all about the money All about the sex All about the work All about what’s next Sometimes I really want to slow it down and just kick it. Take it easy on the drinking instead of chugging just sip it. Just skip it if it’s not what’s best for me. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in life there’s not guarantee. All you can do is stay true to who’s me We’re all just speeding down this one way track on the life grand prix.
Red & Black
11 O ctober 2012
“#RIP5” has been throughout twitter after the tragedy of Tim’s death. Above is a picture of students putting a “high five” in the air to the football team as they left Sat. morning for the game.
11 O ctober 2012
Red & Black
A Vigil With A Message Jordan Ehring Red&Black Staff
We felt his life breeze by, But we couldn’t gather why. We gazed into the sky, And we saw his spirit fly Over us—watching, Wishing us to love each other, As a brother does a brother. Now we light this somber night To remember we have life To live—to give—to love. Carley Adams/Red&Black
11 O ctober 2012
Red & Black
Being a President Means More
Red & Black
Brittany Lander Red&Black Staff
Not many can call themselves a President; for the almost 1,500 students that attend Washington & Jefferson, they are proud to say they are one. With the recent on campus tragedy, W&J showed how much of a family we really are. We rallied together to support one another and also support Tim’s family. The newsfeed on Facebook blew up with the entire college community sending prayers and support to the football team, his friends and family. Even those who did not personally know him knew how important it was to support their fellow classmates who were struggling to deal with this heartbreaking news. Adam Kmett, ’15, posted: “At this moment I’ve come to realize more so than ever that W&J is more than a just a school where you get an education. It is home, it is a community of people.” “It is a group of individuals who bond together even in our saddest times and can rise together to face the greatest challenges. I’m proud to be a President. Though our paths never crossed my heart goes out to Tim and his family. RIP.” This mentality was shared by the rest of the college community as well. Being a president is more than walking to class and getting a diploma. It is about always being there for anyone who needs help, ready to lend a hand, loving one another and pushing through tough times.Before they left for their game, the football team was greeted by students as they waved them goodbye and wished them good luck. A bus of supporters also traveled to Kentucky to watch the game. The cheerleaders wore the number five painted on their faces to let the players know they were supporting them too. Cheerleader Lauren Fisher, ’14, said: “the cheerleaders wanted to support the football team as we all grieved the loss of our star running back, and good friend.” Even for those who didn’t attend the game, love and support was sent to Kentucky via Facebook and Twitter. All W&J sports teams playing that day donned the number five in honor on Tim. Multiple organizations on campus have already begun fundraisers with intentions to dedicate the money to the McNerney family. A Facebook group was also created entitled “RIP #5.” Being a president means being a friend to anyone and everyone who needs one and creating a bond that is unbroken, even in the worst of tragedies.
Abrianne Rhoad Mina Ademovic Meghan Watelet Kara Beck Kyle Sossi Deidre Parker Tori Smith Various, tbd Alex Bernardi Jacquelin Radin Antoinette Arabia Morgan Mattingly Ted McClain Dale Lolley
Editor-in-Chief Managing Editor Production Manager Business Manager Campus News Editor Life Editor Arts Opinions Sports Photography Editor Copy Editor Copy Editor Distribution Manager Administrative Adviser
Small Schools Foster Close-Knit Communities, Togetherness Brittany Lander Red&Black Staff At a place like Washington & Jefferson, the small school aspect can sometimes get quite annoying. Everyone knows your business, you see the same people day after day and the small campus can sometimes seem like a prison that you can never escape from. However, in the wake of something tragic, I would never want to be anywhere else. Never before have I seen something quite like the way our student body handled this catastrophe. Not only did the football team rally together, it seemed as though every member of this campus community joined together to mourn Tim’s death while also celebrating his life. Even those who did not personally know him were there to show their support for everyone who did. I am not too sure if something like this would happen at a larger school. Sure, they would be sad, but would it really touch the hearts of each and every person as it did at W&J? At somewhere like Penn State, where around 44,000 students attend, would they come together like we did? Would almost every student
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attend a vigil, sign a remembrance banner and go to the viewing? It is hard to imagine that the answer would be yes. Last year, when I listened to the president, as well as members of the faculty and staff, tell me that W&J was a family, a close knit community where everyone is there for the other, I did not believe it. But after seeing a campus full of people who may have nothing in common, come together and hold the hand of those who were struggling through this tough time, I realized it. We are a family. Anna Schaffner ’15, described it perfectly as she said: “I prefer being at a small school because of the strong sense of community and support. People come together and remember that despite their differences, at the end of the day, we are all the same. We are all presidents.” Large schools are no comparison in this sense. You could walk across campus, for up to fifteen minutes, and not see one single person you know. Whereas at W&J, during the three to five minute walk it takes to get anywhere on campus, chances are there will be someone waving from across the street to say hello. It is so easy to be lost in a crowd and feel no sense of being at home. For students of who attend this college, we do not encounter this problem as most do call W&J home.
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11 O ctober 2012
Red & Black
Candlelight Vigil, Memo-
Being a President, Strength in Unity
ries of Tim Burns Bright
Gretchen Cline Red&Black Staff
Students gathered to honor the memory of Tim McNerney at a candlelight vigil Oct. 14.
Samantha Boggess Red&Black Contributor Thursday Oct. 4 was a day that will never be forgotten at Washington & Jefferson College. Many woke up to the news that there classmate, teammate and friend was murdered the night before. Every student struggling with facing this heartbreaking news and hoping to wake up from the nightmare that faced them, because Tim was out enjoying a typical Wednesday evening in Washington. Like many, Tim went to the bar to enjoy a night out with his friends. Tragically, Tim’s life was taken from him that evening; a senseless act of cruelty by unknown men. Everyone was in shock, disbelief and denial of this tragic occurrence. Campus was quiet. This silence spoke louder than words. As the campus tried to begin the grieving process and tried to grasp what happened, a memorial gathering was planned. The whole student population, teachers and coaches attended a candle light vigil Thursday night in Burnett lawn, heavy hearted and fighting back tears. The school ran out of candles because of the outpouring crowd which attended to support their friends. An hour long emotional vigil took place, with Tim’s family sitting in the front, accompanied by several students behind them weeping and seeking comfort from each other. President Tori Haring-Smith, the chaplain from the hospital, DeAndre Simmons, Reverend Vandekappelle, Coach Siranni, Tim’s cousin and Tim’s uncle all shared heartfelt words. Many speeches were how to comfort each other, memories of Tim and honoring the life he lived. As his cousin stated, Tim lived young, wild and free. The words I felt that stayed in everyone’s mind were the words of Tim’s uncle, “Stop the violence. Be aware of your surroundings.” Each student then began to tweet: #stop the violence, #rip5. The vigil was a wonderful dedication to Tim. The continuous support of each member of the Washington & Jefferson College community showed how close and tight knit the College actually is. Alumni reached out with support, friends giving each other a shoulder to cry on and a campus binding together as one big family. Thousands of candles lighting up Burnett lawn, thousands of people gathered and teammates and friends signing Tim’s dedication book, all came together and united as one in memory of Tim McNerney; all hoping for the same thing, that justice is served for Tim. Rest in peace Tim. Your spirit will always live with us.
Juncta Juvant. Strength in Unity. For many of us, Thursday was the first time we realized the true meaning of the words on our school’s crest. Often times, Washington & Jefferson can just feel like a school we attend for four years to gain an education. We forget that we are a community in the day to day shuffles that make up our lives here on campus. The focus gets placed on our personal daily schedules, and we rarely stop to think about the hundreds of other people on this campus that help to create our experiences. On Thursday, we all received a wake-up call in the form of the terrible tragedy that took Tim McNerney’s life far too early. Rather than write about the sorrow and grief we are all experiencing from losing Tim, I’d like to focus on the strength and compassion for one another that has been shown through the mourning. As our school’s crest says, there is strength in unity, and we as a W&J community have discovered or, rather, re-discovered what it means to feel strong when we unite as one. The ability to rely on each other in times of trouble and sadness is something we are no longer taking for granted. We have found our strength in each other, in the hearts of our friends, and in the hands of our peers. If asked a week ago what being a W&J President meant to me, I would have discussed the academic, athletic and social excellence this college strives to achieve. Now in the wake of losing a valued member of our community, a teammate, brother, friend and peer, the response to that first question is a little bit different. Being a Washington & Jefferson President is not just about the individual accomplishments we make as students. Taking on the role and title of a W&J President means to take on a sense of responsibility we have to ourselves and to those around us. We have demonstrated as a school that we stick up for those that are weak, and care for those that are strong. We protect the truth and the good in people, while abandoning violence and hate. As Presidents, peers, colleagues, friends and family, we work together to create a safe, healthy, productive and loving environment. A week ago, I did not realize that W&J Presidents encompassed all of these characteristics and qualities. At the candlelight vigil on Thursday night, and in the days following Tim’s death, I have come to appreciate everything it means to be a President. The strength and love that has been shown is unlike anything I could have ever imagined, and I know I am not alone in saying that I am bursting with pride to call this school my home. Alone we are weak, but together we are strong, and through the help of our fellow Presidents, we will emerge from this tragedy a stronger and more unified campus.
Red & Black
11 O ctober 2012
A Student Who Inspired McNerney Remembered Morgan Mattingly Red&Black Editor
The loss of Tim McNerney has hit the Washington & Jefferson campus hard. Those who knew McNerney have the bond of shared memories of how inspirational he was in his life, and now the whole campus is learning how inspirational he was through his death. It is terrible that such a tragedy had to strike for many to know that McNerney was a President who wielded such influence in the lives of those who knew him. One student who wished to share his story of Tim’s influence on his life is Curtis Hughes, ’15. He transferred to W&J, in large part, because of McNerney. “I knew him because our high schools were side by side. I saw him play a couple of games and one of my coaches was his teacher and talked about him.”Hughes went on to explain that, though the two didn’t really know each other—just heard of each other—McNerney told him to check out W&J, and that he believes it was a great choice. To Hughes, “[Tim] was a poster child for a kid coming from a small town, to be athletic and do well. He was able to come to a great school and get a great education.” From his coach and talking with McNerney briefly, Hughes “knew the type of person he was—a great kid, had passion and was kind.” Thus, when he did come to W&J, Hughes wasn’t afraid to go up to him his first time at camp. From there, the two became brothers through the game. “Even in that short amount of time--it doesn’t matter how long it is—you get a good aspect of who they are and their attitude toward life and the game.” Tim believed that if you put your heart and soul into it, you would be successful. Hughes stated, “He was a playmaker; he wanted to help his team and would do whatever it takes.” But Tim applied that rule to his life in general too, as many of us saw during his performance at the fall concert. When both McNerney and Hughes were out due to injuries, they talked about football: “He was determined to win the PAC (Presidents Athletic Conference). That is the goal walking onto campus.” Now without Tim, among the football team “we all have the same mindset. We will do anything to win this for Tim, in memory of him.” Tim’s death has brought the team closer in a sense: “we’re not afraid to tell teammates ‘I love you man.’ We can talk to the team about it and we’ve become a lot more aware. We want to do things as a team. That’s your family. Losing a brother makes you aware of the greatness of having a team so close.” This is the second teammate Hughes has lost, and it never gets easier. He and the rest of the team are making sure that Tim is not forgotten. “We have armbands with #5 that we all wear. We write RIP 5 on spikes or wherever we can to make sure we know that he [Tim] is with us. Every time we break we say high five rather than Presidents’ Pride.” Tim’s death has brought everyone at W&J closer, reaching out for companionship just like the football team. In his tragic death, he has taught the campus lessons about the value of the life around them. Hughes summed it up by saying that now, “you can’t take life for granted. Tell people you care about the most that you love them. You can’t put it off for tomorrow.” McNerney inspired many throughout his life, including Hughes, but in his death he has inspired our campus to come together and value today.
“[Tim] was a poster child for a kid coming from a small town...” — Curtis Hughes ‘15
Abbey Bashor Red&Black Staff For the Washington & Jefferson College community, the recent loss of Tim McNerney, ’13, is one so profound you would believe its sentiment could be felt across the nation. Or at the very least, acknowledged across the nation. A recent article published by a Kansas State athletic website known as “BringOnTheCats.com,” has addressed this very issue directly. Editor Jon Morse wrote a rather stirring article on the tragedy just one day after its occurrence, stating below the article’s title: “The USC Trojans played the Utah Utes, and that somehow failed to be overshadowed by the tragic murder of star small college running back Tim McNerney.” Morse’s article began by citing the many accomplishments of McNerney as an athlete: the countless rushing yards, touchdowns and various accolades as W&J’s star running back. Further into the article, though, Morse addressed an aspect of the tragedy that is sure to rouse conflicting emotions as the W&J community begins to cope. The aspect of concern, here, regards the lack of national attention this pressing tragedy has yet to attract. As Morse began this segment of the article he expressed the root of his concern, as he stated, “As of last night, there was not a single headline in any major national sports news outlet about this tragedy. Not on ESPN.com, not on CBSSports.com, not on SI.com, not on SportingNews.com.” “I hope you’ll excuse me but I have to rant,” he continued. Morse’s article went on to explain his frustration at both the nation’s and the media’s ignorance. “This should be a story… at least an acknowledged one,” he concluded. What Morse’s article imparts is an aspect of this tragedy that is sure to find common ground among those affected. There will no doubt be great aggravation for those who see the pure senselessness behind this heavy loss, as the pain they so deeply feel must not be for nothing. The seeming lack of attention has further been addressed across social networking as many young people have taken to twitter and Facebook as a means of spreading awareness, since there seem to be few other media outlets doing so. At the same time, though, there may also be sentiments of concern among those affected, who may fear the swarm of the media circus and simply wish for respect of the community during a time of grief. Whichever view of the situation one may hold, there are certain features of this tragedy that are undisputable. The W&J community has experienced a loss so incredibly deep that it can only wish for as many people as possible to be aware of what an impact it has made. As of now, there certainly appears to be a noticeable lack of media attention regarding the issue, an absence that only acts to intensify the impact of the loss for the community. No matter one’s view of how media may interpret a tragedy, there remains a serious need for this story to be told at the national level. A senseless act of violence was committed, something that not only affected the life of one young man, but of an entire community as well. Tim McNerney’s story is one that must be told, and we must be sure to do everything in our power so that it is.
11 O ctober 2012
Red & Black
Why I Remain Proud Stay Alert! Campus Safety Tips to be a President Follow these simple tips to stay safe on campus:
Adam Kmett Red&Black Staff The candlelight vigil held last Thursday to honor Tim McNerney was unforgettable. Standing together in solidarity, the somber Washington & Jefferson community grieved the loss of one of its own. A President had fallen down. Be it academic or athletic, groups of students came out to publicly show their support in a tragic time. We huddled together as tears were shed and memories recalled. It was a moment of reflection. As the grieving continues, that sense of reflection echoes louder. In this time of recovery, I felt it was important to explain just how special W&J is from a student’s perspective and answer what being a part of the W&J community means to me. So, what defines W&J? If I was wearing my Student Ambassador cap I might define W&J by its outstanding pre-professional program preparation, the Magellan Project and small class sizes. Ask me on the weekend, and I’d mention milkshakes and pizza rolls from Monticello Caffé. I could remark that we are one of the fittest colleges in the nation, or that we have proven our strong critical thinking capabilities. We are a politically diverse student body. There are nearly 100 campus clubs, representing an eclectic set of interests and personalities. But the truth is, while all these characteristics of W&J are amazing, and they have a large part in defining this school, recent events following Tim McNerney remind me of something greater. At this moment I believe we all have come to realize more so than ever that W&J is more than a just a school where you get an education. It is home; it is a community of people. When one of us was tragically taken, we supported one another because we care. W&J is like our metaphorical friend. Most of the time you get along well, occasionally you get upset with them, but you always love that friend. That love comes from caring. And we care about W&J because, quite frankly, we are a very involved student body. We invest an extraordinary amount of time and effort into W&J. Whether it is through sports, clubs or activities—a tremendous number of students have something at W&J they are involved in. When I converse with friends from my high school we like to talk about our new schools. Typically they will say “I love it here.” While that’s great, I usually ask a follow up question, which is curiously more challenging to answer. I ask “Do you love [insert college/university name here]?” They stumble around answering the question. The truth is, they love the experience of the school, but do not love the school itself. Why is that even important? Well, at W&J it’s different. Here, we know the President, are well-acquainted with our professors and have a support system which actively takes a role in supporting us as students. Washington & Jefferson, much like a close friend, has a face and a robust personality. As students, we have a personal relationship with the college. In sum, W&J is a group of individuals who bond together even in our saddest times and can rise together to face the greatest challenges. Statistics and stories do a great deal in defining W&J, but so does our college’s unmistakable personality. W&J is my friend. I’m proud to be a President. And though our paths never crossed my heart goes out to Tim and his family. RIP, fellow President.
1) Walk in groups after dark. You never know who can be walking around on campus. 2) Don’t prop open doors or leave ground floor windows open and unattended. 3) Call Protection Services for a ride if you need to get across campus after dark. 4) If you see someone or something suspicious, alert Protection Services immediately. 5) Be aware of your surroundings no matter where you are. 6) Even though we are on a college campus, we are in the real world not a bubble. 7) Put this number for Protection Services in your cell phone NOW: 724 - 223 - 6032 8) Subscribe to the Emergency Text Services by going on washjeff.edu
We Are Connected Chelsea Cummings Red&Black Staff Although most of the students at Washington & Jefferson College are not related by blood, we are connected in such a unique way that we are family. It is always a struggle to overcome the loss of a family member or a friend. It’s even more difficult when the person you lost was not only a friend but also part of the family. We can get past our hardest times in life when we have support from our family and friends. The students at W&J are connected through a special bond. We may not be related, but we are a family and that was shown on Thursday. The support and love we have for one another was evident on Thursday when the vigil was held in Tim’s memory. Hundreds of students, staff and faculty gathered outside Burnett to remember McNerney. W&J is a small community in the town of Washington, and this was evident when people who knew McNerney and those who had not, came out to honor Tim’s memory. It was incredible to see the students come together last Thursday to honor a fellow student. I have not personally seen anything like that before. There were so many emotions felt there – anger, remorse and sadness were just a few. Being there you felt the pain everyone was experiencing. This tragedy was heartbreaking to every member of the W&J community, but it will make us a stronger, more united school. Wesley Corbin-Pein, ’16, said: “I just think they talk a lot about everyone being heartbroken; if it is true that all of our hearts are broken then it should be reassembled into one strong heart that beats strong for W&J.” At a time like this, the students of W&J are a community and this community should come together and comfort one another. We need to be there for each other. We need to support one another. We need to look out for one another. We are a small college and we are all connected somehow. The students came together and united as a strong force last Thursday and we need to continue this love and support for one another every day.
SPORTS Red & Black
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Courtesy Dion Wiegand ‘14
Honoring Our Fallen Football Star McNerney Alex Bernardi Red&Black Editor
On Saturday Oct. 6 DeAndre Simmons ‘13, Nathan Melhorn ‘13 and Ian Hennessy ‘13 walked together hand in hand onto the field as “fives” were shown in the air all around them. At 1:28pm, Oct. 5th these three captains had to step onto the field for the first time without their: brother, teammate and fellow leader—Tim McNerney. Simmons proudly wore McNerney’s white away jersey as three other #5 jerseys rested peacefully on the sidelines. Earlier Saturday morning a bus full of 52 Washington & Jefferson College students left campus at 6:30a.m. to support their boys in Kentucky on Thomas Moor’s field. Dressed in “#RIP5” gear from head to toe, Tim’s friends and classmates quietly yet proudly made their way to support the President’s football team. As game time grew closer, “#5” banners, signs and pictures began to fill Thomas More’s stadium. During warm-ups the boys held onto one another for both support and guidance. These players were missing not only a running back, but a piece of their hearts. Before starting the game, tears fell from everyone’s tired eyes. This was not just another football game—it was Tim’s game. The Presidents returned the first kick off with only 10 players,
one less than the other team, in remembrance of Tim. Despite the loss, every W&J parent, student, brother and sister kneeled on the worn down grass as they held the hands of the players. The tears and pain were impossible to hold back. Not one single person in that moment in time looked up at the scoreboard. Everyone there knew the boys gave it all they had, and that Tim would have been very proud. The players in jerseys held the hands of their supporters, and friends clenched the back of their grass stained uniforms. Coach Sirianni then began to speak to the weeping crowd. “Don’t you dare say you’re sorry to me. You boys played for Tim and we gave this game all that we had. We know that we are a better team than them, don’t you ever think that you’re not.” As Thomas More fans filtered out of the stadium, the W&J family remained on the field while holding the hands of one another. “Those boys from Thursday morning are the cowards, not us” said Sirianni. We lost a remarkable boy on the tragic morning of Oct. 4th. I say boy because McNerney still had the whole world left in front of him, and no one was ready to let that go. Even though Saturday’s game is over, everyone from that day will remember Tim as the incredible, loving, star football play in which he was. Rest easy Tim, from your friends and family at W&J.
Courtesy Eva Irwin ‘14
Above, the Presidents football team raised their hands in the air with “high fives” in remembrance of their fallen teammate Tim McNerney. Tim’s jersey was placed on a chair at the sidelines for the players to touch before they stepped onto the field. It was an incredibly emotional Saturday for every fan, family member and Presidents football player. Below, W&J students traveled with the team to Kentucky to be at the Sat. game.
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Friends, Fellow Athletes Proudly Represent Tim High Five Salute From Women’s Field Hockey
Courtesy Jessica Skovira ‘15
Harley Straub Red&Black Staff
W&J Women’s Field Hockey team celebrates after a goal. The girls wore #5 wrist bands in remembrance of their fallen football athlete, Tim McNerney.
Women’s Soccer: “We Weren’t Going to Lose No Matter What” Jennifer Marabella Red&Black Staff
The women’s soccer team took the field this Saturday to honor Tim McNerney. They decided as a team that wearing their black uniforms was the best decision considering the recent tragedy. As a team, the girls made red armbands with “McNerney” and “5” on them and made matching hair ribbons. Many of them don’t plan on wearing them just this season, but for the remainder of their careers here at Washington & Jefferson College. A definite will be that those red armbands and ribbons will be at every woman’s soccer game for the rest of this season. Before the game started, they had a moment of silence in remembrance of McNerney. Coach, Pete Curtis,
before the game and at half time emphasized the importance of this game. Not just for conference play and records, but for McNerney and the whole W&J community. They had to win and give everything they had. Our soccer team here has been known to own the PAC, so St. Vincent came out to play on Saturday. They were down 1-0 when Junior Holly Shipley drew a penalty kick for W&J. While Shipley usually takes them for the team, she opted to pass this opportunity onto Ariel Shasko, a good friend of McNerney. Teammate Jessica Skovira said, “We went down a goal early and then our forward, Holly Shipley, drew a penalty kick. Holly let Ariel Shasko take the kick because out of our whole team, Ariel was the closest to Tim. They were good
friends. Ariel scored the PK.” This is a great example of teamwork and sportsman ship, a truly admirable thing to do of Shipley and a great job by Shasko, By halftime the score was 2-1 in St. Vincent’s favor. However, Coach Pete Curtis, again emphasized who they were playing for, Tim. They wouldn’t accept defeat. As Skovira described it, “Coach basically told us we needed to play for a purpose, to play for Tim. That was really all he needed to say. We came out strong and Holly scored 2 goals to put us ahead.” “There was a big difference in our attitudes in the second half of that game,” Skovira continued. “We weren’t going to lose, no matter what team we were playing, we weren’t going to let it happen.” At the end of the game, the President’s came out on top, winning 4-2 for “#5”.
Tim, you may be gone but will never be forgotten. In an interview with juniors Sam Comly and Matt Bliss the two spoke of McNerney fondly. “One word to describe Tim is real. He was a real a person. He was who he was and wasn’t fake,” said Sam Comly ‘14. “Freshman year, I wasn’t really close to him; I thought he was scary.” “Sophomore year, he lived beside my roommate and I and we became real close to him. Sometimes he’d pop in order to procrastinate on homework, other times he’d stop in just to talk. He would tell a person if they were wrong, and wasn’t afraid to do it. He called people out and told them what they were doing wrong. You either loved him or hated him.” Matt Bliss ‘14 said of McNerney, “You could always talk to him and he would listen. No matter if you just met him or had been friends for years, he was always there for you.” “He would come and hang out with us all the time. He was a great BS-er. He was the nicest kid ever. He would always have your back in any situation. No matter what was going on, he had your back. Fearless. Tim was never scared. He wouldn’t change the way he played against any team,” said Bliss. “He played the same against a Division I school as he did a Division III school. He played his heart out every game and left it all on the field,” he added. Comly and Bliss recalled a story about McNerney. “The one game the other team late hit Bliss, and Tim stood up to
two big linemen and gave them a piece of his mind. The guys were big dudes, but he wasn’t scared. He was a simple guy and wasn’t too complex. He worked hard when he had to, in football and school. In between, he wanted to hang out, get the most out of life and have fun,” said Comly. He continued, “I felt a lot of support from the entire school. I couldn’t complain about one thing as to how things were handled.” Another teammate, senior Nathan Melhorn, also recalled memories of McNerney. “He was one of the hardest working players I got to play with. He affected the football player that I am now,” said Comly “The way Tim carried himself on the field. I learned from him to never be afraid to tell someone to step up when they are dragging. He was a totally different guy when he was on the field. He was in to the game, a fierce competitor and everything came out of him,” said Bliss. “He cared about football so much, sometimes even more than school. He cared so much about this season. His top priority was to win PACs.” “Tim had a hurt ankle, but there wasn’t a moment that he thought about not playing. They would have had to carry him off the field before he would quit playing,” said Comly. “We always talked about Spring Break stories. He was a fun kid to be around and there was never a dull moment. Anything he did made me laugh, he was a funny dude. He was all about having fun and playing football.” “He cared about all his friends... he would do anything for them. He cared about them as much as they cared about him.”
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Courtesy washjeff.edu Courtesy washjeff.edu
Always Remembered, Never Forgotten