See you next year, SRU! BRANDON PIERCE / THE ROCKET
Friday December 3, 2021 • Volume 105, Issue Number 5 • An Independent, Student-Run Newspaper
Campus dining faces setbacks By Joe Wells News Editor
When students returned to campus this past August, the dining halls may have looked the same but the vendor supplying and cooking the food had changed. While the changes were made to help keep costs down at Slippery Rock University and other Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) universities, many students returning found the options to be lacking and the quality not how they remembered. Back in July of 2020, PASSHE put out a notice for bids for the dining services of four of its universities in the western part of the state. Along with Slippery Rock, Clairon, Edinboro and Indiana universities would negotiate services to cut operating and meal plan costs. The process brought in over 30 bids, including SRU’s current provider AVI Foodsystems, Inc. In the end, the system selected Aramark Educational Services. When Aramark took over on June 1, 2021, they worked to pass state health inspections and hire employees to fill the gaps left by workers not returning. When operations began in August this year, more than a third of their employees had not returned due to finding other work or retiring. At the start of the semester Aramark had 27 full-time employee openings and 74 student worker jobs to fill. The lack of employees forced Aramark to not open all facilities at the beginning of the year according to Christopher Cole, SRU’s director of auxiliary operations and student services. Back in September, Cole said the university was working with Aramark to ensure high traffic areas remained open for when students need them and that quality didn’t suffer due to the staffing shortage. At the same time, Aramark raised its student worker wages to $9 then $9.50 an hour to hopefully encourage students to apply, according to Lisa
Rodgers, general manager for Aramark operations at SRU. The company also offered a $200 referral bonus, a $100 sign-on bonus for student workers and $50 flex bonus, according to emails obtained by The Rocket. While the wage increases and incentives did attract some new hires, just as many left for personal reasons, Rodgers said. All the while, students began complaining to the Slippery Rock Student Government Association and university officials such as Cole. In September, Jerome Drew, a freshman computer science major, spoke at the SRSGA meeting about what he saw as food safety issues after observing fruit flies in the donut case in Boozel Dining Hall. Vice President of Student and Academic Affairs Grant Warmbein sent Cole an email during that meeting. On Oct. 18 Warmbein created an ad-hoc committee to look at food quality issues and work with university and Aramark officials to ensure students were receiving quality dining options. Warmbein appointed Sen. Gabe Stiles to head the committee. At this same time, The Rocket filed a Right-to-Know request with the university for complaints directed to Cole and others at the university about the dining situation. In an email dated Aug. 30, one parent wrote that their son had been complaining to them about a lack of food and open hours. The parent said that after working all day, the student’s only option was Boozel Express where he got a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, a cookie and milk for dinner. Along with shorter hours and fewer options open, emails show Aramark had to move to disposable dishware due to a lack of dishwashers. Even alumni were writing in at the end of August to complain about broken drink machines and a lack of cleanliness throughout the facilities. Other students wrote to express their confusion with the new meal swipe system. With
RAYNI SHIRING / THE ROCKET
Since taking over dining operations in June, Aramark has faced many setbacks due to staffing shortages and supply chain issues. With minor improvements throughout the semester, meal swipe usage has increased 8% since September 2021.
the new meal plan, students can use their meal swipes at places like Rocky’s with one meal swipe could purchase a meal valued at $6. According to Rodgers, the employee shortage and supply chain issues were the root causes of a lot of the initial issues. This coupled with the “learning curve” of the new meal plan system caused some setbacks but, a lot of those issues have been minimized. Stiles said working with Aramark to iron out these issues has been great since the ad-hoc committee has formed compared to previous interactions with AVI staff.
“Aramark’s definitely taken our opinions and put it into action, which I really appreciate,” Stiles said. One of those recommendations was to increase student wages to $11 an hour. The sign on bonuses previously offered are still in effect as well. While the committee and Aramark continue to work on solving the issues the company still faces, many students still are not happy. Paige Mitsko, a sophomore psychology major, said she doesn’t see many great vegetarian options offered so typically she will go to Rocky’s or cook for herself. Jennifer Braughler, senior
marketing manager for Aramark operations at SRU, said they are working to better identify vegetarian options for those seeking them, including new labels for grab-and-go items that let the person know if it’s vegetarian or vegan. Rodgers added that they are listening to student feedback on what meals are offered so students are not eating the same thing regularly “I’ve talked with vegetarians … just to say what can we do better?” Rodgers said. As part of the Student Life Survey released this past Monday, Warmbein noted that about 40% of students are still dissatisfied with Aramark even
after all the improvements. He believes that has to do with consistency, where some days things are great and other days not so much. Stiles said that nights like taco night have become a big hit among students which he believes has resulted in an 8% increase in meal swipe usage since September. Still, only 60% of meal swipes are being used by students. Rodgers said they are constantly looking at things to make improvements and hopes to see more staff in the spring. “I will say our workers that we do have are awesome,” Rodgers said. GRAPHIC BY: JOE WELLS
A step above the minimum
To the staff we love the most
The Rock concludes season
Home for the holidays
VIDEO: Student opinions on campus food
Somebody's watching me
By Joe Wells News Editor
Last year, Slippery Rock University purchased two automatic license plate readers for their patrol cars in to help with illegal parking on campus but how the data would be collected and stored was not known to the public. I n S e p t e m b e r, T h e Rocket filed a Right-toKnow request seeking documents related to the ALPR technology used by the university police department. The two units, which were purchased in June 2019 cost the university a little more than $80,000 paid for by the educational and general fund. The automatic license plate reader system was purchased from Passport Labs, Inc. based in Detroit, Michigan. The system works by taking two photos of every license plate the system recognizes. These photos include a close-up of the license plate and another of the vehicle and the surrounding area to provide context. Along with two photos, the system also records GPS data, the date and the time the photos were taken. The system also converts the license plate number from the image into text through an algorithm, according to information provided by Slippery Rock
University Police Chief Kevin Sharkey. The data from the system then checks itself not only against the university’s parking system to see if a vehicle is parked in the right spot but other systems that track stolen vehicles, suspect vehicles and even AMBER alerts. According to Sharkey, the whole process from scan to notification happens in a matter of seconds. Organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) have called for legislation in the past to curb the use and uphold strict privacy principles of automatic license plate readers to prevent mass surveillance. In the information provided to The Rocket, the university said it averages more than 5,100 license plate scans a month. That information is stored for up to 120 days by the university police unless it is needed for an investigation or law action such as a ticket. According to documents, those scans that are not associated with an open investigation or citation are deleted automatically once reaching the time limit. As of Oct. 19, the system held 17,069 individual license plate scans. In the response from the university, the number of total license plate scans on any given day
RAYNI SHIRING / THE ROCKET
Slippery Rock University purchased two automatic license plate readers to be used on their patrol vehicles. The system records around 5,100 license plates a month and has netted the university tens of thousands of dollars from traffic citations.
can change as new ones are added and older ones are deleted by the system. Access to the system is strictly regulated by Sharkey and the builtin controls of the system which require a login. That system is also monitored to see who accesses the system. The data stored in the system is also not shared or sold to any third parties. Data can be shared with other law enforcement and may be subject to a subpoena, according to the university.
B a c k i n No v e m b e r 2020, automatic license plate reader technology was used by police in Cranberry Township to identify four individuals suspected of stealing catalytic converters throughout Butler and Beaver Counties, including thefts on campus and in the borough. No data from the university’s system was used but video sur veillance was provided to investigators and used in Slippery Rock University Police’s own probable cause affidavit.
The university said last year that it would like to use the technology not just for enforcement but to create a system that lets students, faculty and staff know which lots have spaces available. So far, that system has not been implemented. As for citations, from August 2019 to September 1, 2021, records show Slippery Rock University Police have issued more than 5,300 parking citations costing drivers more than $23,000 dollars.
– View the documents from the request
SRSGA breaks down tuition increase
By Emma Velesig Assistant News Editor
The Slippery Rock Student Government Association (SRSGA) announced a breakdown of the 2% tuition increase a s we l l a s c u t s b e i n g made in the upcoming semesters after a meeting with the university's Chief Financial Officer, Carrie Birkbichler. During committee reports, Sydney Rezzetano, vice president of finance, presented the financial report that tuition itself will be raised $154, with an academic enhancement fee of $15 as well as a student activity fee of $8, bringing it to a total raise of $177 per s e m e s t e r. Pr e s i d e n t William Behre will be presenting this proposal to the Board of Governors in Harrisburg a s e a r l y a s Fe b r u a r y 2022. Re zzetano added that “the university will be r e b a l a n c i n g” w h e n i t comes to cuts. This means that some departments have excess funds while others have less, and the university will be working on redistributing funding between the affected departments. Liberal Arts Senator Amanda Brock gave a speech during the open forum regarding her thoughts on the current Rock Life Program being phased out of the
offered programs on campus. “I went to our president with 1,500 students behind me,” Brock said, “and he said that it was simply not enough. I’ve now come with 15,000 other students, and he still saying that it’s not enough. So, my question stands, what will be enough? What do Slippery Rock University students have to do to get him to realize that his actions have meaning and consequences?” An announcement of a pay increase to $11 per hour for Aramark employees, effective immediately, was made by Education Senator Gabriel Stiles, chair of the ad hoc food service committee. Stiles said the committee was still working on making Aramark more sustainable with less Styrofoam usage, but due to a nationwide shortage of non-Styrofoam products, it is a goal that is still being worked towards. The resolution to amend the SRSGA bylaw article VII was presented at the last formal meeting and was passed unanimously. The amendment was presented by the Rules and Policies Committee, and it dealt with dismissals, impeachment, and vacancies within the senate and made the bylaws clearer for all that the rules apply to. The SRSGA will be holding its formal meeting next Monday, Nov. 29. More information can be found on their CORE page.
GRAPHIC BY: RAYNI SHIRING
December 3, 2021
SRSGA holds final meeting By Joe Wells News Editor
The Slippery Rock Student Government Association (SRSGA) wrapped up business for the semester at its final formal meeting with a presentation of the results from the student life survey. Vice President of Student and Academic Affairs Grant Warmbein, along with Senator Caleb Covey, presented their findings to the Senate. This year’s survey focused on seven areas ranging from diversity and inclusion to food service and insecurity. The SRSGA received 901 responses this year, the second-highest since the survey began. While the survey was mostly split evenly among the undergraduate and graduate
"I think everybody was calm, cool and confident. That was really nice to see considering we didn't have a lot of interaction with students last year." – Mia Graziani, SRSGA President on wrapping up the first semester back in person
students, a significantly higher portion of the results came from those who identify as white and female. Warmbein said he would like to rectify this issue in the data for the next year. Diving into the data, Warmbein said most white men who responded said the university makes them “feel welcomed and supported,” whereas non-white men disagreed with that statement. “So, moving forward we are going to work with the social justice committee like we have [in the past],” Covey said with regard to what was found in the data. Warmbein and Covey also covered mental health and how students felt about the food quality. Many respondents said they were either satisfied or very satisfied with the counseling services offered on campus. Just this year, the university hired a counselor of color to help diversify its staff. However, a lot of students responded that they were not aware of all the services offered but Warmbein has a solution in the works. “So, increasing the counseling center’s social media presence is going to be very important,” Warmbein said. Warmbein added that he plans on having a speaker during student safety week to talk about student mental health and he noted that all senators must take Kognito training that focuses on mental health. As for the food service on campus, many said they were dissatisfied with Aramark’s offerings. Juniors were the most upset, with nearly 48% of them either dissatisfied or very dissatisfied. Seniors had the second-highest level of dissatisfaction followed by freshmen, graduate students and sophomores. Warmbein said as he went through the open responses the most common response was “food sucks.” He attributed that to Aramark not offering quality options on a consistent basis. He added that the SRSGA created an ad-hoc committee on Oct. 18 to work with the university and Aramark to address student issues and
GRAPHIC BY: JOE WELLS
SOURCE: SRSGA STUDENT LIFE SURVEY 2021
ensure everything is being done to provide a better experience. One of the changes to come out of that committee, headed by Senator Gabe Stiles was the increase of student worker wages to $11 an hour. Stiles and Warbein both said they hope the increase in wages will attract more workers so the dining options and hours can expand. This semester, Aramark started operations with roughly one-third of employees not returning either due to finding other work or retirement. The Senate approved two funding initiatives for women’s lacrosse and men’s rugby. The body unanimously approved $5,010 for the lacrosse team’s transportation and game fees. The rugby team received $2,286 for transportation reimbursement to post-season matchups. Vice President of Finance Sydney Rezzetano explained the team had transported themselves in six of their own vehicles. They were reimbursed at a rate of 30 cents per mile for the 635-mile trip.
The Senate approved five more student organizations before the end of the semester. Coaching Club, an organization to help students from any major that wants to become an athletic coach in the future, received unanimous approval. Psi Chi, an organization to promote learning within SRU’s psychology department, sought approval to be recognized but was not seeking any funding from the SRSGA. They were approved with Vice President of Campus Outreach Aiden Donnelly abstaining. Sales Club was approved by the Senate. The organization, which is being started by SRSGA President Mia Graziani, looks to help students who want to go into selling, with their skills. The Chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management plans to help those going into the career field with opportunities to expand their knowledge of the issues and trends within the human resource area. The group, which plans to host speakers from
local professional chapter, was unanimously approved. The Student National Association of Teachers of Singing was unanimously approved. The organization aims to provide students with teaching and learning experiences no matter what their major may be. Both Alexis Gish, vice president of diversity and inclusion, and Claudia Allen were each awarded a $500 SRSGA Scholarship. The two were the highest scoring out of four applicants. Rezzetano said the names were kept off the scholarship list and awardees were selected without their identity being known. Both Gish and Senator Amanda Brock abstained from the vote. Parliamentarian Nicholas Condon was selected to chair the election commission for the upcoming Senate and executive officer races. Condon will be joined by Donnelly, who will co-chair the committee. Condon encouraged those currently serving who will not be seeking reelection in the spring to join the committee.
SRSGA advisor Lauren Moran not only encouraged those who can to join the committee but asked students to seek any position they believe they are qualified for. “You should run for [any position], doesn’t matter who else is running,” Moran said. “We want to see a contested election. “Your student body should have options.” At the end of the meeting, Graziani said she has been more than happy with how the first semester back in person has gone. “I think everybody was calm, cool and confident,” Graziani said. “That was really nice to see considering we didn’t have a lot of interaction with students last year.” The SRSGA will have an informal meeting Monday, Dec. 6 at 5 p.m. in the Smith Student Center Ballroom. The body will also meet on Jan. 16 for their spring retreat. There are no meetings schedule yet for the spring semester.
A step up from the minimum
By Emma Velesig Assistant News Editor
A wage increase for specific jobs on campus has started conversations about the necessity for an increase for all student workers. The Slippery Rock Student Government Association (SRSGA) announced at their previous formal meeting that the campus food provider, Aramark, has raised their starting wages to $11 an hour, which is a competitive rate compared to what is being offered by big corporations such as Walmart and Target located in Butler. Other positions on campus, such as Pride Guides and certain student jobs in admissions, have followed suit with a raise to a minimum of $10 an hour. “The truth of the matter is, we have more student jobs than students are willing to take right now,” SRU President William Behre said at the SRSGA formal meeting on Nov. 1 about the topic of possible cuts to students in the work-study program as part of the campus-wide budget balancing. Gabriel Stiles, college of education senator and chair of the ad-hoc food service committee, said during a meeting with Aramark executives expressed they were experiencing the same issue with their staffing in the dining halls. “Throughout the discussion, Aramark
traced all their problems back to worker shortages, all without a plan to solve this,” Stiles said. Aramark at first raised their wage to $9.50 an h o u r, p e r St i l e s a n d
“Graduate students at Slippery Rock University make an income of $7.62 (an hour) for 17.5 hours a week. Perks are not the same as wages… saving is not the same as making." – Sen. Lakin Draksler on the call to increase student wages across campus
JOE WELLS / THE ROCKET
Needing employees, business such as Aramark have begun offering $11 per hour along with sign-on bonuses and flex dollars. Slippery Rock Student Government Association Senators like Lakin Draksler want to see students offered more than minimum wage for jobs offered on campus.
SRSGA Vice President of Academic Affairs Grant Warmbein’s suggestion that be the new minimum. After the formation of the ad-hoc food service committee, Stiles stated that they created a thorough list of the necessary changes that needed to be made, one being a rise in wages to $12 an hour. “During our first committee meeting, Aramark executives
admitted raising the wage to $9.50 an hour ‘did bring in some new people’ but ‘not as much as we were hoping,’” Stiles said. “Throughout the meeting, our committee used that momentum and discussed how while $9.50 is an improvement it still does not compare to jobs offcampus paying an average of $12/hour. Lakin Draksler, secondyear graduate student and
graduate senator, made a speech at a previous formal meeting during the open forum about the necessity for an increase for graduate assistants, as well. “The standard pay is typically $7.25 (an hour), the (Pennsylvania) minimum wage,” Draksler said. “But select offices are now paying up to $10.50 (an hour) for undergraduate student employees.
"This is an amazing movement, and I fully suppor t this fight to continue to raise student wages… we ask only m ov i n g f o r w a rd t h a t we can also be actively included in it.” Some graduate assistants can receive various benefits with their positions, including professional d e ve l o p m e n t f u n d i n g , housing for graduate assistants in residence halls, as well as a tuition waver, but this does not happen across the board for all graduate assistants. Draksler continued saying although these benefits are greatly appreciated, the funds that they receive can’t be used for monthly expenses, such as rent, utilities, and groceries. “Graduate students at Slippery Rock University make an income of $7.62 (an hour) for 17.5 hours a week,” Draksler said. “Perks are not the same as wages… saving is not the same as making,” Draksler said. SRSGA President Mia Graziani explained how the university is currently working on a “tiered system” for student workers’ pay. The administration will be looking into the duties and responsibilities of each position on campus to determine which tier of pay they would fall u n d e r. Gr a z i a n i s a i d it was still an ongoing process, but she looks for ward to continuing this conversation next semester.
December 3, 2021 November 20 – Police responded to a fire alarm at Building F that was set off by burnt popcorn. The alarm system was reset. November 20 – Officers issued citations to three individuals for alcohol violations inside Building F. Jonathan Sape, 19, Ashley Vail, 19, and Jeweliana Whipkey, 19, were charged with underage possession of alcohol. November 21 – University Police were dispatched by county 911 to assist with a person passed out in a car near the South Rock Apartments. Slippery Rock Borough Police took over the investigation. November 22 – Police responded to a smoke detector activation at Building F. The alarm was set off by an air freshener and was reset. November 22 – A person involved in a nonreportable accident at the Central Loop last week stopped by the police station to get the other party’s information. Police are working to get the information to the requester. November 23 – Police responded to a smoke detector activation from Building E. The cause was candle smoke and the system was reset.
November 14 – Jonathan Stout, 19, was charged with a DUI after being stopped on Central Loop. Titus Goldson, 19, and Alec Penak, 19, were in the vehicle with Stout and were also charged with possession of alcohol by a minor. November 15 – Police received a fire alarm activation from Building F. The cause was a burnt grilled cheese sandwich and the system was reset. November 15 – Police received a fire alarm activation from Building E. Safety responded and found the cause to be fragrance of some sort and the system was reset. November 15 – Police received a call for a suitcase that had been left behind in the lobby area of Building F. The security video was reviewed and the owner was identified, which they stated there was just clothing in the suitcase. November 15 – Police were dispatched for an individual refusing to leave Building E after getting into an argument with another person. The person was identified and left upon the officers’ arrival. The case is under investigation. November 15 – A CA from Building E called 911 stating an individual was passed out in their bathroom. An ambulance was dispatched and the person was transported to the Grove City Medical Center. November 16 – Police responded to a fire alarm activation from Building F. The cause was burnt food and the system was reset.
November 16 – Police responded to a fire alarm activation from ROCK Apartment #5. The cause was burnt steak and the system was reset.
November 23 – Police responded to a medical emergency in the Vincent Science Building. Emergency services were dispatched and the individual in need was taken to the hospital.
November 16 – Police received a call that an individual passed out but was now conscious in the Smith Student Center (SSC) commuter parking lot. The officer on the scene transported the person to the Student Health Center.
November 24 – Police responded to a smoke detector activation from Building D. The cause was burnt food and the system was reset.
November 17 – Police responded to a fire alarm activation from Building D. Safety responded and reported it to be a bad smoke detector base and the company was contacted.
November 26 – University police were called to assist Slippery Rock Borough Police with a possible domestic dispute on Kelly Boulevard. When officers arrived, they found it was only a verbal argument. One party left the residence and no further action was taken by SRUPD.
November 17 – An individual came to the police station to file a fraud report for an unknown person that they contacted through Snapchat. The individual was referred to the FBI to file the report.
November 28 – Police were called to assist staff from the SRU Equestrian Center with a pony that became loose on Kiester Road. The pony was caught and was taken back to the equestrian center.
November 17 – Isaac Miller, 18, was charged with theft and receiving of stolen property after breaking into a car at the Harrisville Building that was reported on Nov. 10. Miller stole a new iPhone charger as well as a mug of quarters from the vehicle, later going to Sheetz to ask for an exchange of cash for the change in the mug.
November 29 – Police are currently investigating a report of an unknown person(s) inside ROCK Apartment #8 while the residents were away.
November 18 – University Police received a call for medical assistance needed at Building A. While police were en route they received an update that they were not needed. November 19 – Police received a call from a parent that was supposed to meet their child but was not responding to phone calls. Officers contacted the student who had overslept.
November 30 – Police responded to a smoke detector activation from Watson Hall. No one was in the room when police arrived and all appeared to be normal. The system was reset December 1 – Police responded to a fire alarm activation from ROCK Apartment #2. Officers reported the cause appeared to be perfume. Safety was notified to check the detector and the system was reset. COMPILED BY EMMA VELESIG
December 3, 2021
Private video Student charged results in charges for sign damage By Joe Wells
By Emma Velesig
Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) have charged a man with unlawfully sharing a video of his ex-girlfriend naked on social media. Police allege Garrin L. Ross, 23, of Youngstown, Ohio took a video of the victim at an unknown time and shared it across his multiple social media pages in the afternoon of Oct. 22. According to an affidavit filed by the PSP, police were called to the victim’s residence at The Heights at Slippery Rock. When they arrived, she told police her friends had informed her that her ex-boyfriend had posted a topless video of her on Instagram and Snapchat without her permission. In the complaint, the victim said she did not know the video existed and never gave Ross permission to film her. The victim also told police she awoke around 6 a.m. that morning to Ross going through her phone and yelling at her. The victim said her door was unlocked but that Ross was never invited in. Police went to speak with Ross at his apartment at The Heights where he confirmed the usernames that had posted the video belonged to him, police said. Ro s s d e n i e d e n t e r i n g the victim’s apar tment that morning and told police that the video of him going through the victim’s phone was from a few weeks back.
Assistant News Editor
JOE WELLS / THE ROCKET
Pennsylvania State Police allege a man entered his ex-girlfriends apartment at The Heights at Slippery Rock on Oct. 22. That afternoon he allegedly posted a topless photo of his ex-girlfriend on social media.
Along with a misdemeanor charge for allegedly posting the video on social media, Ross is charged with harassment and c r i m i n a l t re s p a s s , a l s o misdemeanors. He is also charged with felony burglary for entering the victim’s apartment, going through her phone and yelling at her. The PSP filed the charges against Ross on Nov. 15. So far, no date has been set for a preliminary hearing.
Scan the QR code to view current court documents for this case.
Student charged with lewdness By Joe Wells News Editor
Slippery Rock Un i v e r s i t y Po l i c e h a v e charged a student with open lewdness after he was seen touching himself inside Bailey L i b r a r y o n No v. 9 . At least six witnesses said they observed Luke Duckworth, 22, rubbing his groin in the common area of the library around 4 p.m. The witnesses told officers when they arrived that they felt “u n c o m f o r t a b l e a n d u n s a f e ,” a c c o r d i n g to the criminal complaint. When the officers a p p r o a c h e d Duckworth, they saw him sitting in a chair with a laptop rested on the arm. The officers said he was typing with his right hand and rubbing his groin with his left hand. Duckworth was visibly e re c t u n d e r h i s c l o t h e s , according to police. The police asked Duckworth if he knew w h y t h e y w e re t h e re , t o which he allegedly told police it was because he was stimulating himself. According to the affidavit, Duckworth said he was doing this on and off for over an hour while writing erotica. Duckworth said he never exposed himself and provided police with a statement admitting to the act, that he knew it was wrong and that he “w o u l d d o w h a t ( h e ) can to make things r i g h t .”
HANNAH SHUMSKY / THE ROCKET
When police arrived at Bailey Library on Nov. 9, they talked with at least six witnesses who saw the student touching himself. Police said the man admitting to knowing why the police were there when they approached him in a common area of the library.
Po l i c e h a v e c h a r g e d Duckworth with open lewdness and disorderly conduct, both third degree misdemeanors. Those charges carry the potential of a fine up to $5,000, imprisonment up to 90 days or both for each offense. Duckworth does not have a lawyer listed as representing him, according to court documents. He is scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing Jan. 26, 2022 in Slippery Rock.
Scan the QR code to view current court documents for this case.
A Slippery Rock University student has been charged with theft, receiving of stolen property and criminal mischief after being caught stealing the metal letter “U” from the Smith Student Center (SSC) wall. After patrolling, university police officers noticed letters missing from the SSC wall on the afternoon of O c t . 2 4 . Et h a n Fl a c k , 19, of Chambersburg was seen on security footage walking with two other students around 2 a.m. holding the “U” in his hands and then placing it in his backpack. Flack, along with the two students he was with, then proceeded to walk back to his dorm in Bu i l d i n g B . T h a t s a m e d a y, w h e n officers went to speak with Flack at his dorm, there was no answer and when officers tried to call him, there was still no answer. A few hours later, the officer received a voicemail from Flack stating he had been asleep when the officers were previously there but the “U” was still in his room. He stated he had been hanging on the sign while walking back to his dorm and ended up pulling it off of the wall and wanted to apologize. Three hours after receiving the voicemail,
officers responded to Flack's dorm after a C A re p o r t e d t h e s m e l l of marijuana coming from inside. The officers were able to then retrieve the “U” and brought it back to the university police station for safekeeping. Flack is currently being cited for $173 which is the cost of returning the letter onto the wall of the SSC and will face no further charges.
Scan the QR code to view current court documents for this case.
EMMA VELESIG / THE ROCKET
The Robert M. Smith Student Center sign was damaged after a student was hanging on it. University Police retrieved the "u" from the student's dorm after responding to a call for possible marijuana use.
Rejuvenate and reset
Volume 105, Issue Number 5
220 220Eisenberg EisenbergClassroom ClassroomBuilding Building Slippery SlipperyRock RockUniversity University Slippery SlipperyRock, Rock,Pennsylvania Pennsylvania16057 16057 Phone: Phone: (724) (724)738-4438 738-4438 Fax: Fax: (724) (724)738-4896 738-4896 E-mail: E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
EDITORIAL BOARD Nina Cipriani
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Assistant News Editor
Assistant Sports Editor
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Dr. Brittany Fleming
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Assistant Advertising Manager
ABOUT US The Rocket is published by the students of Slippery Rock University five times per academic semester. Total weekly circulation is 1,000 (for fall 2021 semester only). No material appearing in The Rocket may be reprinted without the written consent of the Editor-in-Chief. The Rocket receives funding from the SGA Student Activity fee paid each semester by students. All other income is provided through the sale of advertising. Advertising inquiries may be made by calling (724) 7382643 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
CORRECTIONS If we make a substantial error, we want to correct it. If you believe an error has been made, call The Rocket newsroom at (724) 738-4438. If a correction is warranted it will be printed in the opinion section.
GRAPHIC BY: RAYNI SHIRING
The finish line is so close, yet so far. To say this semester was a whirlwind a n d we n t by f a s t i s an understatement. Thanksgiving break has just passed, and although it was certainly refreshing to have a few days to spend with family and friends, it didn't feel long enough to compensate for the stress of this semester. But all we have left is finals week, and then we're home free. This semester was much different than anything The Rocket staff has been through before. From having to wear masks and face coverings to in-person classes to having two different breaks in the semester, we can only speak for ourselves as a staff of college students when we say that we've been in survival mode. Du r i n g t h e s p r i n g 2021 s e m e s t e r, students worked through 14 straight weeks of classes w i t h o u t a n y b re a k s . It was an adjustment to have fall break and Thanksgiving break this semester, coming out of two semesters w i t h o u t b re a k s . It ' s especially difficult to come back from Thanksgiving break and get right back into the groove of
classes when last year's semester ended before Thanksgiving. Ye t , s o m e t i m e s , breaks aren't so much of a break as they are just periods of time where students don't have classes. Students still have a sense of responsibility looming over their heads. Classes may not be occurring, but the course work still is. Most students are focused on upcoming deadlines, homework and working their jobs back home to maintain financial stability. Although it's been talked about over a n d ove r a g a i n , i t ' s still important to acknowledge how difficult this semester has been on students, faculty, administrators and staff. It's been hard for everyone to adjust to the "new normal": the phrase that we're all tired of hearing. SRU students are struggling to balance coursework, make friends and attend a plethora of club meetings. While subconsciously thinking about packing to go home for break, students are saying goodbye to those friends they just made. As quickly as it's started and gone, break is an abrupt ending to the hectic
lifestyle we've been maintaining. Through it all, T h e Ro c k e t s t a ff h a s re m a i n e d v i g i l a n t a s w e d i l i g e n t l y re p o r t t h e n e w s o f Sl i p p e r y Rock. But on that same n o t e , we a re s t u de n t s as well. With so much responsibility comes burnout. We 're de di c a t e d a n d passionate about our news coverage and o u r c o u r s e w o rk , b u t i t a d d s u p ov e r t h e c o u rs e o f 1 6 we e k s . Wi t h a l l o f t h i s i n the past, winter break is the glimmer of hope and relaxation that the community is yearning for; the reset we all need before the spring s e me s t e r. We c a n v i e w t h i s fa l l 2 0 2 1 s e me s t e r a s a test run and hope f o r a s m o o t h e r, l e s s s t re s s f u l s e m e s t e r i n t h e s p ri n g . W h i l e t h e spring semester will b ri n g i t s ow n s u c c e s s and struggles, we remain hopeful of w h a t 's t o c o me . For juniors, at least, this will be t h e i r fi rs t fu l l s p ri n g semester physically o n c a mp u s , a s s p ri n g 2020 was interr upted by the "extended spring break." The underclassmen, freshman and s o p h o mo re s h a ve h a d n o e x p e ri e n c e w i t h a spring at SRU, which
In the Quad
l e a ve s t h e s e n i o rs a s the only students who may remember what a spring semester was l i k e a t S RU . Come the spring 2022 s e m e s t e r, everyone will be venturing into uncharted waters with a full spring schedule modified with COVID-19 re g u l a t i o n s . Before the spring semester begins, SRU will have roughly a month to rejuvenate. The holidays will bring the usual festive cheer that offers the opportunity to unwind and reset before the new year rings in. Students will be spending time with family and friends from home, working jobs and taking a break from coursework. Wi t h a l l t h i s b e i n g said, we want to thank our readers for sticking with us throughout the s e m e s t e r, i n c l u d i n g through all of the COVID-19related news. This goes for the entire S RU c o m m u n i t y, a s well as The Rocket staff: With such an e mp h a s i s o n p h y s i c a l health because of the pandemic, use this winter break to check in with yourself me n t a l l y.
Question: How did this semester go for you now that we are back in person?
By: Brandon Pierce
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EDITORIAL POLICY The Rocket strives to present a diverse range of opinions that are both fair and accurate in its editorials and columns appearing on the Opinion pages. “Our View” is the opinion of the Editorial Board and is written by Rocket editorial board members. It reflects the majority opinion of The Rocket Editorial Board. “Our View” does not necessarily reflect the views of Slippery Rock University, its employees or its student body. Columns and cartoons are drafted by various individuals and only reflect the opinions of the columnists.
LETTERS POLICY The Rocket welcomes letters to the editor and guest columns, but does not guarantee their publication. The Rocket retains the right to edit or reject any material submitted. Submitted material becomes the property of The Rocket and cannot be returned. Anonymous submissions will not be published. Those who submit letters must identify themselves by name, year in school, major and/or group affiliation, if any. Please limit letters to a maximum of 400 words. Submit all material by noon Wednesday to: The Rocket, 220 ECB, Slippery Rock University, Slippery Rock, Pa. 16057. Or send it via e-mail to: email@example.com.
Sam Mauk Senior Middle Level Science Education Butler, PA
Kyla Bruner Junior Biology: Cytotechnology West Middlesex, PA
Andrew Smith Senior Middle Level Math Education Butler, PA
"It's been interesting. The amount of classes where you can decide to show up to is interesting. Overall, it has been well. I'd much rather be here than online."
"I personally feel like the transition into in-person was difficult at first, but it will be better next semester. Shifting from an online environment makes it difficult because people lost that sense of study. I don't mind it, but I do need to prepare better."
"I've noticed since we came back to campus that people are quieter in class. It used to be more talkative. People became disconnected online. People don't talk unless called upon now."
December 3, 2021
To the staﬀ we love most Morgan Miller Morgan is a senior integrated marketing communication major. She is also the assistant campus life editor for The Rocket. Brooke Miller Brooke is a senior advertising major. She is also the advertising manager for The Rocket. The Rocket Staff, It took exploring with other groups and organizations for us to make it to you, but we could not be more grateful for the time we had with this group. We both had different experiences with The Rocket, but this opportunity allowed us to grow as individuals, students, writers, designers, teammates and friends. After spending two years at SRU as student athletes, we decided to make a lifestyle change and pursue more academic opportunities. After leaving our athletic team, we felt a bit of emptiness when it came to belonging somewhere. Each one of you were able to give us the team and group environment we realized we were missing, and for that, we will always be thankful. As a group, you might not realize how memorable you made our experience at SRU. We re g re t l i t t l e t o nothing about our college experience, but if given the chance to do it over again, we would have joined The Rocket sooner. The Rocket
allowed us to expand our perspectives on a variety of topics, companies, organizations and people in the community. After a whole year, some of you still might not be able to tell us apart, but it's the effort that counts. We have learned things about each other and created genuine relationships that we will cherish for the rest of our lives. We will miss this very accepting, funny, hardworking team of individuals we didn't know we needed. Always remember t h a t y o u a re s m a r t , hardworking and honest writers. Most people do not realize the dedication and talent it takes to do our jobs. Although the staff consists of smaller teams, we always came together as one when it's needed the most. We will cherish all the memories we've had together, including celebrations after a print week and long nights in the office. We know that each of you will continue to do astounding work in the future. Dr. Fleming, thank you for being such a supportive advisor and mentor. You are someone we both strive to be as professionals and adults. We are thankful to have learned from you and worked with you. To all our groovy besties, funny little geniuses, caffeine addicts and Harry Styles lovers, we cannot thank you enough for our two semesters with this incredible staff. With so much love, The Miller Twins To Sarah, My “bestie” girl, my go-to and my editor. We started this journey together, and that might just be the hardest part of this goodbye. You have shown me that a co-worker
can also be a truly great friend. When we first met in January 2021 on Zoom, I would've never thought at that time that it would be the start of an amazing friendship that I will cherish forever. You are a writer, a reporter, a leader and a friend. You are passionate, powerful, loyal and so talented. You are a huge part of why I had such a great experience on this staff. I will miss you with all my heart and soul, and I'll think about you on every single "Bone's Day." I know that according to you I'm not allowed to leave, but I am very excited to see where you take the campus life section and all you do in the future of The Rocket. Your assistant forever, Morgan
"After a whole year, some of you still might not be able to tell us apart, but it's the effort that counts. We have learned things about each other and created genuine relationships that we will cherish for the rest of our lives."
The gift of kindness in times like this
Kali Davies-Anderson Kali is a senior public health major. She is a non-traditional student and plans on applying to grad school when she graduates. She has previously worked with the New Castle News. We h a v e f i n a l l y arrived at the end of the semester. I d o n’t k n o w a b o u t you, but for me, this semester felt like 10 semesters wrapped into one. Surely August was at least three to five years ago, right? I ’m n o t s u re i f i t i s because I am in my senior year or because I was involved in 67 group projects in my classes, but something made these past 14 weeks feel much more... involved than usual.
But none of that matters now. I can see the light at the end of t h e t u n n e l . O n e m o re week and we're all home free. There is something to be said about being a college student during a p a n d e m i c . It w a s n ' t an experience I had anticipated ever having, and one that I really wish I had been given the opportunity to politely opt out of. Yet, here we are. I was a second semester sophomore when the world shut d o w n , a n d n o w, i n a few short months, I will graduate. It h a s n ' t b e e n e a s y, but it has come with a fe w lessons for myself, and for many of us, as we attempt to navigate this world we are living in. Here are some things I have learned along the way: Remote learning requires a lot of selfdiscipline, fortitude and focus. What it does not (conveniently) require...is pants. I'm not good at recognizing people with their masks and have walked right p ast friends of many years without so much as a smile because of it. Pandemics get people talking more about selfcare and mental health. This outcome has been a positive effect of the global crisis. I hope we keep talking long after things return to
RAYNI SHIRING / THE ROCKET
normal, or as normal as possible, anyway. I c a n’t h e a r. . . a t a l l . Never did I realize h ow m u c h l i p re a d i n g I do until sitting in a classroom of masked people with a fan running in the background. It really is all about the little things in life. When everything shut down and life all but stopped, I feel we all discovered what really mattered to us. For some, it was family time, for others, it was alone t i m e . Fo r m e , i t w a s cheese popcorn and a g o o d c r y. I t w a s a g i f t , i n a w a y, t o b e l e f t alone with ourselves, at least to an extent. Some of us didn't really know ourselves all that well. Another positive outcome, I think. And finally: Kindness really is our most valuable asset as human beings. I've seen it on this campus, and in my personal life more often in these past couple of years than ever before. No t e v e r y o n e i s k i n d . Not ever yone seems to deserve kindness, but we all do. And the acts of generosity that I have witnessed throughout this time of c r i s i s h a s re a l l y, t r u l y been beautiful. Ha ve a g re a t re s t o f t h e s e m e s t e r, f r i e n d s . See ya next year! (A mom’s version of a Dad joke).
SPRING 2022 PRINT DATES FEBRUARY 11 FEBRUARY 25 MARCH 18 APRIL 8 APRIL 29
VIDEO: Coach Shawn Lutz reflects on season
Life comes at you Quick By Tyler Howe Assistant Sports Editor
The path to where you want to be is a rocky one sometimes. That’s something that Daeja Quick can tell you. If you look at her now, she seems to have everything she wants. She’s back out on the court playing the style of basketball she’s wanted to her entire career, and early in the SRU women's basketball season that’s already led to five wins. To put that into perspective, the team had just eight wins two years ago. Coach Robert McGraw is a big reason for her return. McGraw stated in the preview article that she stuck with him, and now he’s going to stick with her. That loyalty is the reason Quick came back. “I have loyalty to Coach McGraw, in all four years I’ve been here he’s taken care me on and off the court and I didn’t want to just leave him high and dry,” Quick
said. “Plus, I wanted another year to prove to myself that I can play better than in previous seasons.” Her playing journey didn’t begin here at Slippery Rock, however. She started playing the game at a young age. Her dad pushed her more and more each year to be better, and without that she might not have ever gotten to where she is now. “I started playing basketball in fifth grade, and my dad was really hard on me, but he just wanted to see me succeed,” Quick said. “He saw the raw talent, and he wanted to push me past my potential.” In high school, Quick showed that potential on the court. She led Cornell High School to a 1A championship game and the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) playoffs. That wasn’t enough for her, though.
SEE HER PAGE C-3 KEEGAN BEARD / THE ROCKET
Abdalah takes on the sunny skies
PHOTO COURTESY OF SLIPPERY ROCK UNIVERSITY
By Madison Williams University’s Abbey Course, Sports Editor
Marianne Abdalah packed a suitcase with her Slippery Rock Cross Country uniform and running shoes to travel to Florida and compete in the 2021 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II National Championship. For the first time since 2012, a Slippery Rock female XC athlete qualified for this meet, with Stephanie Case being the most recent and Jennifer Harpp earning the All-America award in 2015. Head coach John Papa accompanied her to Saint Leo
in what was his last time coaching a cross country run, specifically nationals. He has known Abdalah since she was 11 years old and, now, he was able to watch her journey continue in her collegiate career. Finishing her first season with The Rock, Abdalah performed strong enough to earn one of the two individual spots into the Atlantic Regional races. To qualify, runners must place within the top three for team runs or the top two individual runners, which is extremely hard according to Abdalah. Within the Atlantic Region, Abdalah and West
Chester’s Sarah Supplee earned the two individual spots. Papa prepared her well to make it this far with his encouragement and coaching over the years of knowing her. “Being able to give him one last national meet after knowing him so long was very special to me,” said Abdalah. Going into the meet Abdalah had hoped to place in a top 40 overall finish position that would award her All-American accolades and make her coaches and team proud. Concluding the day, she finished 83rd out of 260, just shy of the top runner’s placement. “If given another chance I would love to compete there
again and try to place higher but placing top in my region is something to be happy about too,” Abdalah added. Regardless, she said that getting to see people she knew from running and reconnectiong with former teammates. “It was hard being on my own and not having the team there but was extremely validating personally after coming off a bad season at West Virginia University (WVU).” With three semesters left to race, each competition is equally as important. Abdalah plans to begin her journey in a physician assistant program in June which will make the
athletic and academic balance more of a challenge. With all of that on her mind, she says the upcoming indoor season this winter she will work toward another national meet before her workload increases. Following the indoor season, the transition to outdoor track and field c o m e s d i re c t l y a f t e r. Because of this there has been no break at all and the running hasn’t stopped, Abdalah from maintaining her physique. “Track is much harder and puts runners at higher risk for injury which is why I’ll compete in some races so that I don’t get hurt,” said Abdalah.
She added that making every race worthwhile is her mindset going into each season and specifically each meet. “I like outdoor cross country more than track since each course has different routes rather than the typical indoor track that is always the same.” Since her transfer from WVU, Abdalah has led The Rock in every race in each competition. The journey continues this Friday at Youngstown State University to kick off the first winter meet and will pace herself to lead The Rock on another winning season.
December 3, 2021
The curtains close for SRU football
RAYNI SHIRING / THE ROCKET
By Tyler Howe Assistant Sports Editor
It’s been a long time since The Rock football team had their season come to a close before the end of November. For the past two seasons, The Rock had two runs, with the second one leading them all the way to the national semifinal against Minnesota State University in 2019. This year didn’t feature a Cinderella story though, and just like that the 2021 season has come to a close. The season felt like it ran for a long time. Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) football finally returned, and with it came a lot of expectations for The Rock. Coming off of the 2019 season, The Rock expected a national title. With many key pieces returning, the goal was to finish the job that started in 2018, when they played Notre Dame College in the quarterfinals for the regional title. That didn’t happen though. They did see Notre Dame for a third straight season, and it was once again to determine who would play another week and who would be going home. The clash ended with a 33-25 loss, and The Rock seniors saw their hopes and dreams dashed. The Rock opened up with a performance at Wayne State University much different than what they had done in 2019. This time they had to make a defensive stand to beat a team that was thirsty to avenge their loss from two years ago. “The first game, we could have easily lost to Wayne State, and we found a way to win,” Coach Shawn Lutz said. The Warriors battled but in the end The Rock was too
much for them. After that game, there were still a lot of questions surrounding the team. Andrew Koester was at quarterback, and just a few years ago he was the starting quarterback. When he went down early in 2018, Roland Rivers III stepped in and never looked back. Now, Koester was trying to prove himself. The Rock returned home for the first time since the semifinal loss the next week to the tune of over 8,000 people in the stadium. East Stroudsburg University came to town, and again it was a defensive battle. The Rock won the game 22-7, but that’s something they aren’t used to. Games in 2019 weren’t even close and players like Cinque Sweeting and Garrett de Bien didn’t even see the field after halftime. This year looked as if it was going to be much different and not in a good way. The Rock hosted Lock Haven University the following week and put up the points they’re used to and came out with a 57-7 victory. The defense was backed by their veteran presence but the shutout eluded them for the second game in a row. It wasn’t until the game against Seton Hill University that The Rock seemed to finally wake up. Over the next three games, they put up 165 points. The highlight came against Clarion University of Pennsylvania. A 75-0 win, and the defense finally got their shutout. In those games, Koester had 14 touchdown passes. The turning point in The Rock’s season came on homecoming, when Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) came to town. It was the put up or shut up moment for Slippery Rock.
In the cold and rainy weather, The Crimson Hawks walked in and dominated The Rock. With the 48-21 win for IUP, they had a clear shot to the PSAC title game, but how The Rock responds to a big game like that is what makes or breaks the team. “The pivotal time against IUP for homecoming, we were undefeated, and we didn’t play well,” Lutz said. “But what I’m really proud of, is when you lose a game like that to your rivals, it could’ve went the other way, and we didn’t.” IUP came to Slippery Rock and won the battle, but The Rock won the war. Over the next two weeks, Slippery Rock made two trips to Erie to play Mercyhurst University and Gannon University. IUP played California University of Pennsylvania (Cal-U) and Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. The Rock came home with two wins and the Crimson Hawks found themselves reeling after back-to-back losses. “[The loss to IUP] was hard, I’m not used to losing, but it may have been something we needed because we’ve been spoiled with success,” Lutz said. “It was a getting back to work mentality, and the margin of error, we couldn’t have it because we had to basically run the table if we wanted to achieve our goals and get back to the national playoff, and we didn’t make it easy, but we found a way.” That way was very difficult. The Rock struggled against Mercyhurst in yet another rainy game, and on the final drive they decided to make a quarterback change. Noah Grover entered the game and led The Rock down the field for a game-winning field goal. The next week he
introduced himself formally to the PSAC, and to Gannon in particular. Eight was the magic number for Grover. That’s the number of touchdown passes he threw against the Golden Knights to break the school record for most in a game and it also set up a winner take all matchup at home against Cal-U. Grover started only four games, but they were all do or die for The Rock and he came through. “Those were big games he had to play, because we couldn’t lose a game and they were like playoff games,” Lutz said. “He’s an intelligent man and to get a whole spring under his belt, as well as the development of Bradyen Long, is going to be imperative, because you’re only going to get as far as your quarterback can take you.” Behind Grover, The Rock beat No. 3 Cal-U at home to secure their third straight PSAC title game berth. In his first two games starting, Grover threw for 12 touchdown passes. His introduction was like no other. “That was senior day and to be able to say your last game at Mihalik-Thompson stadium was winning the west against a good team like Cal-U, it just puts everything into perspective that it was worth for all those guys to come and have that great memory.” It was players like Henry Litwin who set the tone for the team this season though. Litwin, Sweeting and Jermaine Wynn Jr. all returned to The Rock and formed a trio of receivers. This was the last ride, and Litwin refused to miss it. He came back after the COVID-19 layoff and then
played the entirety of the 2021 season with a broken collarbone. “For a guy to battle through what he did, and not miss a beat and have the season he did is just unreal,” Lutz said. “But if you look at the word we use in this program, relentless, someone who loves the game and will do anything for his team, he’s a guy who is team first and individual accolades second, and it puts the boot print on what we’re trying establish in this program.” Litwin was one of many key pieces who went down. In the final three games, five to six starters went down. Cal-U saw three ACL injuries occur, and the next week in the PSAC title game The Rock came in and had the next man up mentality. In that game, Wynn Jr. went down early on, ending his SRU football career. The Rock played catch up almost the entire game against the Golden Bears, who now are playing for the regional title. The Rock lost the game 38-32, and after taking the title on their turf in 2019, Kutztown University got their payback. Despite injuries piling up, there was a still a job to do. The Rock made the trip to Ohio to face off with Notre Dame College once more, and to end the trilogy the Falcons put away The Rock. Sweeting went out with a bang. When the second half of the game arrived, he was the only one of the trio still on the field. In the game he had a receiving touchdown and a kick return touchdown. Now that the season has come to an end, The Rock seniors still go down as one of the most decorated classes of all-time. They won three PSAC west titles,
one outright PSAC title and made three trips to the national playoffs. They also leave some big shoes to fill. “The underclassmen have to be the guys now, they have to be that Cinque Sweeting or Jermaine Wynn Jr., and now you can’t be a role player, you have to be the guy,” Lutz said. “They’ve got to step up now immediately and be that leader.” Along with those guys stepping up, The Rock has a lot of recruiting ahead. Lutz and other coaches will be out looking at high schools for players that they think are going to make an impact. But they’ll also be looking at the transfer portal to fill some gaps with a veteran presence. “We’ve got to have the depth on our team, and we’ve got some good young guys and we’re going to also look at the transfer portal, and hopefully get a guy here or there,” Lutz said. The season ended well before The Rock is used to, and that doesn’t sit well with them. Injuries and the COVID-19 layoff could have been used as excuses, but the expectation for Lutz is that his team will find a way to win. The road to next season starts now, and they don’t want to settle for anything less than a national title. “The staff has got to work relentlessly, and we need to find the guys that our going to buy into our culture and have that relentless approach every day,” Lutz said. “A lot of work [will be done], but I promise you we’ll be back and we’re not going to be satisfied until we achieve that goal of competing for a national championship."
Ringing in a new season of sports
By Madison Williams Sports Editor
As the first semester of fall sports have resumed and concluded within the blink of an eye, the return of winter and spring semester sports is upon us. Men and women’s basketball have already begun regulation gameplay as well as indoor track and field. This Friday, the indoor winter season begins for men and women’s track and field at the Youngstown State University Invite. It is a nonstop season for cross country and track and field, who play in both fall and spring meets. While those sports are in action, the spring sports teams are busy preparing for their upcoming schedules too. Baseball, softball, tennis, outdoor track and field and lacrosse will again be able to enjoy a normal season of doing what they love. Coming off a heartbreaking season, The Rock baseball team is hungry for another crack at the playoffs. Just shy of qualifying for a final seed into the playoff bracket, the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC)
PHOTO COURTESY OF SLIPPERY ROCK UNIVERSITY
Jon Kozarian jumps mid-air to turn a double play against Gannon University to escape the inning. Kozarian will return for his last year at second base in hopes of a berth into the playoffs one last time.
commission ripped away their chance. Due to COVID-19 cases on opposing teams and unprecedented weather conditions, the baseball games were constantly being rescheduled. While that is out of the team’s control, it forced games to be held up until the last day of regular
season play. A thunderstorm rolled in on the last day before seeding, resulting in a long rain-delay that forced umpires to ultimately call the game for another day. Clarion University of Pennsylvania and Slippery Rock never resumed, so without hosting the home game and with no exceptions made by the commissioner,
that was the end of the 2021 season. The team was devastated that the opportunity to continue their season was ripped away without the chance to finish playing for it. Slippery Rock had previously defeated Clarion, who was already ruled out of playoffs. Head coach Bill Messer has
made cuts in the offseason and prepped projected starters for a comeback year eager to clinch a spot in playoffs. Rock softball struggled immensely last spring, and since then has grinded in the weight room and on the field to come out better this year. Finishing the season with only two wins, the squad
is determined to play at a higher capacity in 2022. With a new undergraduate class of players, the team has a lot of new talent on deck to edge the competition. Lois Page and The Rock tennis team will return for another crack at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Regional Championships. Page and Adriana Gonzalez Sanchez have already appeared in national ranking, released by the ITA. While the team is confined to a small group, they are mighty good at competing. As for the lacrosse team, Interim Head Coach Taryn Burkholder has stepped up from her position as assistant coach and will look to bring a new regimen to this team. With practice and lift are underway, the first game of the season is closer than it appears. Women’s lacrosse will host Shepherd University Feb. 25, 2022, at 4 p.m. Spring sports are almost here, but for now we have plenty of student athletes to root for during break as they compete in their winter seasons.
December 3, 2021
CONTINUED FROM PAGE C-1
She received interest from multiple schools, but the University of the District of Columbia (UDC) was her best offer. Unfortunately, she found she didn’t have the playing best experience there. For some, that experience would break them down a little, but for Quick, it was a challenge. “My freshman year in UDC my coach would tell me you’re a good offensive player, but you don’t bring any defense to the table,” Quick said. “That stuck with me a lot.” Quick took that quote from her coach and ran with it. It stayed in her mind every time she picked up the ball afterwards. Now she had something to prove, and that suited her. Flash to the 2021 season. Quick was able to come through on the challenge she set for herself. She e a r n e d Pe n n s y l v a n i a State Athletic Conference (PSAC) west defensive athlete of the week honors. What that coach said stuck in her mind, but the feeling of proving to herself that she can play well on both ends is something that words c a n’t re a l l y d e s c r i b e . Quick is humble about it though. “It was a learning experience, like I said, I’ve improved since freshman year and now I am who I am,” Quick said. At UDC, she was named East Coast Conference Rookie of the year. When h e r
KEEGAN BEARD / THE ROCKET
Her team, her way freshman year concluded, she knew that wasn’t the place for her though. Right around that time, McGraw made it clear he was interested in her. “ H o n e s t l y, C o a c h McGraw was the first coach to ever be interested in me. I verballyy committed to him, then something finically happened, but we stayed in good contact, and he came to all my Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) games even if they were in Kentucky,” Quick said. “He wanted me, and it was out of our control what happened freshman year, but I reached back out to see if he was still interested.” It didn’t take long for her to
officially get on board. She made her impact for The Rock i m m e d i a t e l y, but it wasn’t t h r o u g h scoring like she was used to. Quick is
a fitting last name for Daeja, because not only is she fast, but she’s also quick to recognize who has the best chance to score on any given possession. Her ability to pass the ball made her a true point guard. I n 2018, she
led T h e Rock in assists and it’s something that means a lot to her. While Quick wanted to be more involved in scoring, she wanted to do what was best for the team overall. “[It made me put in] work at all hours of the day, you can’t just be a practice player and expect to be good,” Quick said. “I just
learned to be patient and keep working.” That patience was key because the next season was much of the same for her. The team returned B r o o k e H i n d e r l i t e r, who in the end fell just short of The Rock’s allt i m e s c o r i n g r e c o rd . Hinderliter aand Quick remain friends still. Quick did all she s could to help her get the t record, dow she knew but deep down she wanted a chance to show what she sh could do. “ We h a d C i a r a Patterson and an Brooke Hinderliter Hinderlit on the team, in high school schoo and my freshman freshm year of college colle I was the biggest asset offensively, offen but I c a m e h e re and there was already alre talent here,” here Quick said. said “It was my job to facilitate fac the ball bal to them so we could h a ve v points on the board, but I waited my turn and I ’m a pretty big asset offensively.” of Quick had aalways been able to score efficiently, but after two years of dishing the bal ball out rather than taking it, she added to her skills. After only her she sits two years here, at 21st in the SRU assist g category. The goal is to be number one. “Personally, “Personally I’d love two-g to be a two-guard, but ever yone recr recruited me as a point gu guard, so I tha pass first had to be that point guard, aand I don’t mind that,” Quick Q said. “I just want to win, if t help us you’re going to win then I’m giving the ball to you.” Winning in her first
two years has come at premium. With The Rock, Quick has won just 20 games out of 56. But now with the keys to the offense, Quick feels that she once again has a challenge. “I do feel like I have something to prove offensively, because I wasn’t able to play the way I wanted to when Brooke and Ciara were here and I played my part for the team,” Quick said. “I sacrificed my wants and my needs for the team, but now this is my team and Coach McGraw has given me a lot of leeway and it’s working so far.” The decision to come back was an easy one for Quick, and that’s mostly because of Coach McGraw being there to help guide her. “We had a conversation, and he didn’t come on the phone and tell me I needed to play, he asked if I was ready to graduate and go into adult life or if there was a chance I’d like to come back and play with him,” Quick said. “I shut down all those other options and told him the only option was to come back and play for you.” Now she’s back with that chip on shoulder, which has led to good things already. Quick has been proving exactly what she’s about as a player. This time she’s a leader. “ We encourage e ve r yo n e i n p r a c t i c e , that if you want to see the floor you have to go hard,” Quick said. “If you already think you’re going hard, then you need to go ten times harder.” It’s a message the whole team has responded too. Two years ago, the team had a veteran core. This season the team has a new roster. Just like most teams, they have two classes of new players on the team. The games against Ohio State University and Kent State
"It was a learning experience, like I said, I've improved since freshman year and now I am who I am." – Daeja Quick, SRU women's basketball player University just showed Daeja how good this team can be. Through six games this season, The Rock has already shown that they can compete, and they already have their first conference win of the season. In 2019, it took the team five tries to do that. The entire team sticks behind McGraw’s goal, and they believe they can accomplish it, but no one more than Quick. It’s another challenge, and Quick loves a good challenge. “I want to look back and say we were PSAC champions, we went to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) tournament, and we just had a great s e a s o n ,” Q u i c k s a i d . “I want to have those pictures and memories of us celebrating, and I feel like we’re on the road to do that.”
Injuries plague Rock football
By Madison Williams Sports Editor
Looking back on the 2021 fall football season, many players envisioned playing their last game healthy and in hopes of a championship victory. Unfortunately, injury plagued The Rock football team, leaving eight starters out, most of which were veterans to the team. Rock Athletics announced that star receiver Henry Litwin played his final season enduring a broken collar bone injury, yet still he led in every receiving category at The Rock. Litwin still managed to receive nominations for the William V. Campbell trophy as well as being the only receiver in the country to be a finalist for the 2021 Harlon Hill trophy. Jermaine Wynn Jr., better known as the emotional leader, was unable to finish the season with his team on the field and was forced to watch his final game from the sidelines with a serious knee injury that is still undisclosed. After getting his foot stuck in the wet turf at Kutztown University, Wynn was carted off the field and did not return. Wynn concluded his college career ranked third in yardage (2,858) and second in touchdown catches (32) after beginning his career at Alderson Broaddus University. Garrett DeBein, starting defensive end, had his best statistical season cut short and was unable to aid in the playoffs. Safety Dalton Holt, senior football captain and starter, sat alongside his team due to a severe injury as well which ended his career early. Jeff Marx, an PHOTO COURTESY OF MIKE SCHNELLE
All-Region defensive tackle for The Rock was among the list of players out on injury reserve. The ongoing list of injured players involved running back Evyn Holtz, cornerback Savion Harris and linebacker Peyton Remish, who all typically would be the first on field picks. Injury is unavoidable under certain conditions, but The Rock became plagued with unfortunate losses to the roster. However, the next man up mentality is something coach Shawn Lutz and his team live by. The fall season still produced a 9-3 overall record and berth into the playoffs. Giving other guys an opportunity to step up and take on new roles will better prepare them for next season when a large chunk of starters graduate. The final game at Notre Dame College ended in a nail biting 33-25 loss to finalize the battle between the pair that has consecutively played three years in a row. Going forward, capitalizing on preparation of the next man up will keep the team alive in injury prone slumps. Nonetheless, this class goes down in the school records as one of the most prominent winning teams to ever play for Slippery Rock. Lutz’s coaching record moves to a .774-win percentage overall and .750 percentage this season. 2021 served as the 12th consecutive winning season under the helm of Rock football. Not a single player on the field gave up until the final whistle, a class act that got the team this far into the post-season. For now, the lights are off at the Mihalik-Thompson Stadium, but the weight room is full of ambitious returners who are hungry for revenge.
By Madison Williams
Five Slippery Rock student athletes were named to the CoSIDA Academic AllAmerican list this fall. In order to qualify Sports Editor you must be at least a sophomore, hold a minimum grade point average of 3.30 or higher and be athletically inclined. The teams are selected by position, which makes the likeliness for making a team much harder. On Dec. 17, 2021, the final team will be announced for each fall sport. For Litwin, this is his fourth time being named to the All-Academic list. Due to an extra year of elegibility,he made up for freshman year when players aren't eligible for nominations. Each team is nominated and voted for by the sports information directors in each district. All of the players nominated for All-Academic accolades are in the running for All-American title.
December 3, 2021
Cinque Sweeting Hometown: Miami, FL Sport: Football GPA: 3.52 Major: Undergraduate degree in sport management, working toward another degree in business administration Position: Wide Reciever
PHOTOS COURTESY OF SLIPPERY ROCK UNIVERSITY
Kate Lachendro Hometown: State College, PA Sport: Volleyball GPA: 4.0 Major: Secondary Education Position: Libero
Tim Vernick Hometown: Butler, PA Sport: Football GPA: 4.0 Major: Undergraduate degree in computer science and cybersecurity, Masters of Business Administration Position: Linebacker
Hometown: Linesville, PA Sport: Football GPA: 4.0
Hometown: Canton, OH Sport: Football GPA: 4.0
Major: Undergraduate degree in safety management, Masters of Business Administration Position: Wide Reciever
Major:Undergraduate degree in safety management, Masters of Business Administration Position: Offensive Lineman
VIDEO: Ivory Dunlap returns to SRU
Going home for the holidays By Sarah Anderson Campus Life Editor
The semester is coming to a close and the holidays are just around the corner. Students are facing excitement to be done, stress with the end quickly approaching and overall mixed feelings about another semester ending. Fa l l 2 0 2 1 w a s t h e first semester mostly in-person in nearly two years. Although most people are glad to be back, there are many stressors that come with this new environment. Ken Messina, clinical director in the Student Counseling Center (SCC) and associate professor, talks about what the SCC has n o t i c e d s t u d e n t s a re experiencing. “I think what we’re seeing the most is the typical, just amplified,” Me s s i n a s a i d . “ O u r students are struggling with anxiety and depression, but the other piece that we’re finding is students are struggling with feelings of loneliness and not feeling connected to other students, and not knowing how to go about finding friends or finding that group of friends on campus.”
GRAPHIC BY: HANNAH SLOPE
Messina mentioned that students feeling disconnected is a recent problem that has to do with the COVID-19 pandemic and being isolated. Students have not had a chance to make new social connections and have been missing a crucial piece for their social development. “We’re seeing students haven’t had to be around groups of people and haven’t had to interact
with ne w people for almost two years now,” Messina said. “Suddenly we’re t h row i n g t h e m back into a college setting, and they’re not feeling as prepared or confident to be there.” Not only is there a stress of readjusting to college life, but there is an increase in stressors regarding seasonal colds and COVID-19 safety for many people across campus.
Going home after a semester of being a w a y, i n s o m e c a s e s for the first time in a long time for many, is also weighing students down. Messina mentioned some concerns being strong differing opinions between family members, adjusting to being at home after being independent, disruption in routines and fitting back into family dynamics.
He recommends when students go home for break they should try to keep to their routine as much as possible. This includes maintaining a sleep schedule, eating times and socializing and talking to friends. The SCC offers many different resources to students during the semester. This includes various different support groups and multiple counseling resources.
Support groups offer students support from their peers and a way to realize that others are struggling with similar things and they aren’t alone. Everyone requires different things, whether it be multiple counseling sessions or going to a support group every few weeks. Messina and Catherine Massey, a professor in the psychology department, conducted research last semester with a campus wide survey on student mental health. This sur vey has impacted outreach planning and restructuring some of the SCC’s services. “Anytime we’re doing that research, it’s not just so we can get another publication, but also so it informs us and we were able to take a lot of that data back to administration last year and say this is what’s going on with our students,” Messina said. As the semester comes to a close and students prepare to go home for winter break, it’s important to know the resources available. The SCC website has a list of resources, but Messina’s biggest advice is for students to tr y and maintain routines and connections to their peers.
Awards for local high school students
By Morgan Miller Asst. Campus Life Editor
On Nov. 18 from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., the Martha Gault Art Gallery p re s e n t e d t h e a n n u a l Regional High School Art Exhibition and Awards Reception. The Martha Gault Art Gallery is sponsored by the Art Department, The College of Liberal Arts and by the Student Government Association. The local high schools that participated in the e x h i b i t a n d re c e p t i o n this year included: Butler County Area Vocational Technical School, Franklin Area Junior Senior High School, Grove City Area
High School, Keystone Charter School, Lawrence County Career and Technical Center, Mars Area High School, Mercer Area Senior High School, Neshannock Junior Senior High School, Oil City Senior High School, S e n e c a Va l l e y S e n i o r High School, Slipper y Rock Area High School and West Middlesex Area High School. The awards offered this year included: Best of Show award, four Honorable Mention awards, SRU Art Students’ Choice and SRU Potters Guild Ceramics award. There is also a scholarship opportunity for incoming freshman contingent on 2022 admissions acceptance.
This scholarship usually ranges from $400-$1000 depending on how much money the Art Foundation has brought in. To enter the exhibit and reception, high school students are limited to two submissions of art per student. To be considered for the scholarship, students must submit a total of seven pieces of art. Tr i c i a Bishop, assistant professor in the art department, started the Regional High School Art Exhibition and Awards Reception in 2011. Her main goal of the galler y was to provide high school students with a professional space to present their artwork. RAYNI SHIRING / THE ROCKET The gallery and exhibit provides family and friends a space to celebrate the art from local high school students. A variety of art was presented at this year's exhibit.
RAYNI SHIRING / THE ROCKET The art department provides the local high school students with an event to showcase some of their best work. The artwork was reviewed and judged from members of SRU who decided the award recipients.
“It was an opportunity for high school students to exhibit their work at a professional gallery and get it nicely framed and presented,” Bishop said. “The students will also get experience entering in a juried show.” High school students who enter the event often then become aware of the u n i v e r s i t y. So m e t i m e s students will consider attending and applying to SRU after attending the event. T h e re s a A n t o n e l l i s , professor in the art department and director of the Martha Gault Art Gallery, assisted in the planning of this annual event. “The first thing on my mind is that it inspires
them to think about themselves as being college f re s h m e n ,” A n t o n e l l i s said. “In high schools there may or may not be that kind of leadership or role model so to have any kind of interaction on a college campus, suddenly light bulb start going off in terms of imagining themselves as students in college or university." This year the art department received 292 entries from local high schools. The professors then narrowed the art down to 65 pieces. The Art Society club picks one winner for Best of Show. Each faculty member picks their top ten pieces of art and then the votes will be tallied.
“ It’s re a l l y w o n d e r f u l to see the high school students, their families and their professors have that sense of accomplishment from having your own a r t w o r k o n t h e w a l l s ,” A n t o n e l l i s s a i d . “ I t ’s really hard to describe that. "It’s a wonderful feeling t o s e e yo u r c re a t i o n , right in a galler y and professional gallery space.” Ty p i c a l l y, p a r e n t s , grandparents and professors attend the event, and like to take pictures with the students in front of their artwork. Bi s h o p d e s c r i b e d t h e atmosphere as fun and festive.
December 3, 2021
'The Uncle Devin Show' at SRU
By Morgan Miller Asst. Campus Life Editor
T h e Un c l e De v i n Show by Devin Walker, a.k.a “Uncle Devin”, is an interactive musical experience for children that uses percussion instruments to cultivate their minds. "The Un c l e D e v i n S h o w " provides assemblies, school residencies, music workshops, book readings, percussion playground, private events and radio programming to discuss racism and offensive c o n t e n t i n c h i l d r e n’s music.
"When we are talking about things that are offensive, just be very graceful and look at it as an education." – Devin Walker, host and creator of 'The Uncle Devin Show'
GRAPHIC COURTESY OF DEVIN WALKER
O n No v. 2 0 , 2 0 2 1 , "The Uncle Devin Show" virtually presented “Racism i n C h i l d r e n’s Mu s i c : L i b e r a t i n g Mu s i c f o r the Black Child”. The Mu s i c T h e r a p y C l u b a t S RU , Pe n n s y l v a n i a Collegiate Music Educators Association (PCMEA) and Mu Phi Epsilon Delta Mu C h a p t e r w o rk e d together to put together the event. Cassandra Eisenreich, flute and music e d u c a t i o n p r o f e s s o r, reached out to Walker through her own r e s e a r c h . Wa l k e r h a d
s p o k e a t t h e Pe o p l e of Color Conference in December of 2019. A f t e r h i s p re s e n t a t i o n was posted, he began to receive calls from people all over the world. “In any music teaching position, it is important for our students to get to know the community and the people living in that community in order to be as culturally responsive as possible,” Eisenreich said via email. “Music is everywhere and it is a ver y personal and meaningful experience for ever yone.”
Ei s e n re i c h e x p l a i n e d in her early childhood and elementary music courses that nursery r h y m e s a n d c h i l d r e n’s songs are used often. The students are required to research the songs and often learn “horrifying histor y” of many childhood songs. Emily Eastman, music education student and president of PCMEA assisted in organizing the Uncle Devin Show event. “Learning about the different racial injustice and cultural appropriation that takes place was really
important for us so that we can become better t e a c h e r s ,” E a s t m a n said. Walker explained that this is still a reaching and growing process f o r a l l . A s Wa l k e r i s writing music, he is still learning about terms, issues and solutions for this topic. When Walker hosts his conferences he focuses on three aspects: problem, solution, action. Wa l k e r e m p h a s i z e s the importance not just sharing an issue, but also identifying a solution and proposing action.
The outline of his event at SRU included the history of racist nursery rhymes and cultural imposition in the US and beyond, as well as the role nursery rhymes played in context with slavery and segregation in the US. During the event he also examined the current state of the family music industry and identified current solutions and actions that can be taken to resolve this problem. A fe w musical pieces that have a histor y of racism and offensive content that were discussed during the event were “Eenie, M e e n i e , M i n i e , M o” , “ Ji m m y C r a c k C o r n” , “ Fi v e L i t t l e Mo n k e y s” and more. “ When we are talking about things that are offensive, just be ver y graceful and look at i t a s a n e d u c a t i o n ,” Wa l k e r s a i d . “ I l i k e to try to assume that people don’t know that histor y. I explain it to them first and go from there.” Wa l k e r h a s b e e n nominated for a GRAMMY for Best C h i l d r e n’s A l b u m . Wa l k e r a n d h i s w i f e Lolita Walker were two of the 13 co-founders o f t h e Fa m i l y Mu s i c For ward Collective. Their mission is to support Black artists, children and communities while transforming family music.
Advice I wish I knew about . . . college graduation By Morgan Miller Asst. Campus Life Editor
As December g r a d u a t i o n a p p ro a c h e s and my life as a Slipper y Rock University student comes to an end, I have thought about the past 3.5 years and all that I have accomplished. A flood of mixed emotions has taken over as the days here dwindle down. The constant, longd re a d e d q u e s t i o n s o f, “ What are your plans after college?” and “Do you have a job lined up?” from friends and family
"From the age of five we have spent our lives as students. Now here we are, about 16 years later and the student stage of our lives is ending. " – Morgan Miller, assistant campus life editor for The Rocket
only adds pressure to my future. But the simple answer is, I do not know. I am not ashamed t o s a y I d o n o t k n ow what my future is right n o w. Normalizing that not having a job right after college is okay is important for college graduates to understand. This might n o t b e c o n s i d e re d t h e ideal scenario for some, but for others, it is what we need. I have recently been asking people older than me, “ What did you do right after graduation?” A friend of mine said, “I just tried to exist.” As much as graduating college is exciting, why d o n’t w e t a l k a b o u t the other side? College graduation is sad, scar y, s t re s s f u l a n d a t t i m e s d e p r e s s i n g . I l ov e m y life at SRU. I love my apartment, my routine, my friends, my jobs and my professors. Thinking about leaving something I love so much is sad. I have spent the past 3.5 years working hard as a student. Truthfully, being a student is all I k n o w. B e i n g i n t h e classroom is where I am most comfortable. Fr o m t h e a g e o f f i v e we have spent our lives as students. Now here we are, about 16 years later and the student stage of our lives is ending. One of the biggest takeaways from my college experience is that you cannot plan your future. It does not matter how hard you tr y to plan what is going to happen next or what you want to do post-graduation, life always seems to take a different route. The past few months I have tried to change my mindset from feeling
like I am losing a part of my life, to realizing I am actually gaining a new and exciting one. I have not fully experienced the transition from the student life to the “real world." Currently I feel all the emotions, b u t t h ro u g h p l a n n i n g activities, trips, etc. make me look forward to the future. I have found this is one of the best ways for me to change my perspective. Being in college opens your eyes to living alone, f o rc e s yo u t o c re a t e a routine for yourself and pushes you to grow more as an adult. I am grateful for all the opportunities, experiences and lessons I have learned while being a student at SRU. I am thankful for the people I have met and the professors who have helped me grow as a professional. I know I have spent the last few years working hard to get to this point. I am proud of myself for the tough decisions and battles I have gone through while in college. Ta k i n g time to c e l e b r a t e i s o k a y. Ta k i n g t i m e t o r e l a x i s o k a y. Ta k i n g t i m e t o t r a n s i t i o n i s o k a y. Not having a job directly after college i s o k a y. Eve r yo n e w i l l have their own path. I know I deserve to take time to embrace my path, celebrate my accomplishments and exist as I get used to no longer being a student. Although it is easier said than done, I try to continue to tell myself: ignore the pressure, appreciate yourself, enjoy sitting in the classroom, take pictures with your friends and give yourself some credit for earning a college d e g r e e .
GRAPHIC BY: BROOKE MILLER
December 3, 2021
SRU and St. Jude
By Morgan Miller Asst. Campus Life Editor
St . Ju d e C h i l d r e n’s Research Hospital is known to be the world’s premier pediatric cancer research center. St. Jude is located in Memphis, Te n n . , a n d s t r i v e s t o create cures for children with cancer and other diseases through research and treatment. Slippery Rock University and about 40 other
"We want to be future medical providers and we want to be engaged. I think this is a great way to educate ourselves." – Gia DeCario, president of pre-physician club
universities nationwide participate in supporting St. Jude through collegiate organizations. Several SRU organizations have c o l l a b o r a t e d w i t h St . Jude to raise money and spread awareness of the research hospital. SRU St. Jude Up ‘til 2 is an organization on campus that raises awareness of S t . J u d e C h i l d r e n’s Research Hospital. The organization encourages the SRU student body to raise money and participate in events throughout the year. SRU St. Jude Up ‘til 2 hosted "Tunes for St. Ju d e Je o p a rd y Ni g h t " o n Tu e s d a y, Nov. 1 6 a t 7 p. m . T h i s e ve n t encouraged students to sign up in teams and participate in jeopardy. The jeopardy categories included name that tune, finish the lyric, name that artist, name that genre and random facts. The winning team earned prizes and all teams helped raise money for St. Jude. T h e f i n a l e ve n t f o r the organization will be the St. Jude Up 'til 2: Carnival Night. This event will be held Feb. 11 from 7 p.m. until Feb 12. at 2 a.m. There will be games, food and a celebration for the amount of money raised. There is an entr y fee of $5 for children and $10 for adults in the community.
PHOTO COURTESY OF ST. JUDE UP 'TIL 2 CORE PAGE SRU St. Jude Up 'til 2 hosts many events to bring awareness to the organization and help raise money. Next semester they will be holding their St. Jude Rally where multiple on-campus organizations come togetheer for the biggest event of the year.
SRU St. Jude Up ‘til 2 Executive Director Caitlyn Dugan spoke on how students can participate in the upcoming Carnival Night. “People make fundraising pages through us and they do the fundraising on their own,” Dugan said. “They ask family to donate through then and when they raise $50 or more, then they get a free pass
into our event which includes free food, free games and to just come celebrate with us.” In the past, the organization has raised $ 7 4 , 0 0 0 f o r St . Ju d e leading up to the big event. The Pre-Physician Assistant (Pre-PA) Club also held a bake sale on Tuesday Nov. 16 during C o m m o n H o u r. A l l profits from the bake sale are to be donated to St.
Jude. The organization had a team goal of $500 to raise from the bake sale. The Pre-PA club worked with the MEDLIFE club ( Me d i c i n e , Ed u c a t i o n , and Development for L o w I n c o m e Fa m i l i e s Ev e r y w h e r e ) t o r e a c h their goal. Gia DeCario, president of the Pre-PA club, spoke on the planning behind the bake sale. “I think that the Pre-PA club really fits
hand in hand with this because we’re all about t h e m e d i c a l f i e l d ,” DeCario said. “We want to be future medical providers and we want to be engaged. “I think this is a great way to educate ourselves.” DeCario also said this is a great way to learn about St. Jude and how they can give back to an amazing treatment and research center.
WEEKLY ORGANIZATION SPOTLIGHT SNA
By Morgan Miller Asst. Campus Life Editor
The Student Nonprofit Alliance (SNA) is an organization on campus for students to get involved with service projects and community involvement. This organization allows students to have a greater understanding and appreciation of the nonprofit sector. Treasurer of SNA Kelly Pare spoke on some specifics that the organization participates in. “The organization is a good way to do professional development to help communities that need it and have less resources than we do,” Pare said. “We do a lot of service projects outside of the school as well as within the grounds.” SNA partners with many other SRU clubs depending on the event being held. A
common co-sponsor with SNA is the Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance (FMLA). The two organizations have similar goals and objectives. Pare is a philanthropy and nonprofit management major which is where she found her interest in SNA. SNA faculty advisor Alice Del Vecchio helped get Pare involved in the club and a member of the e-board after having her in class last semester. Upcoming events held by the organization include the “Volunteer Crawl”, “Dress for Success”, “Self-Care Sunday: Ugly Sweater Edition” and “Gifts for Children in Need”. The “Volunteer Crawl” began Friday, Nov. 12 at 5 p.m. Participants spent Friday evening and Saturday attending three different locations to volunteer. The service locations included Glade Run Services in Zelienople, Newhaven Court at Clearview and YWCA of Butler.
“Self-Care Sunday: Ugly Sweater Edition” will be held in the Student Center Ballroom on Tuesday, Nov. 30 from 7:30 p.m. – 9 p.m. This event will offer students a night of free self-care from SNA and many other partnering organizations. There will be a variety of holiday activities and treats as well as an ugly sweater contest. Students can email srustudentnonprofitalliance@ gmail.com or utilize the Contact feature on CORE to contact SNA. Students are also encouraged to follow @srusna on Instagram and Twitter. SRU also has an Institute for Nonprofit Leadership. This institute provides nonprofit professionals and their organizations with community education, professional development opportunities, research and technical assistance support.
GRAPHIC COURTESY OF KELLY PARE
By Morgan Miller Asst. Campus Life Editor
Slippery Rock University’s Rotaract Club provides a space for students to exchange ideas with leaders in the community, develop leadership and professional skills and have fun through community service. The organization consists of 25 students and has hosted several fundraisers and events. T h e Ro t a r a c t C l u b spans across 189 countries with over 1.4 million members. According to the Rotary website, the vision statement states, “Together, we see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change — across the globe, in our communities and in ourselves.” “I enjoy how I was able to move states and still be involved in this
organization,” Victoria Lewis, secretary of Rotaract Club said. In the past, the Rotaract Club held a Veteran’s Day Fundraiser, Taking Strides To w a rd s a He a l t h i e r Heart, a Movie Night and a Coloring Contest. During the "Taking Strides To w a rd s a He a l t h i e r Heart" event, there were 47 participants, 65 donors and $588 was donated. The club also held several events in the past few weeks including a bake sale where the organization made $300 and used that money during the "SRU in Bloom" event. The Rotaract Club also held SRU in Bloom where students made a trip to Walmart to purchase items to create care packages for veterans. Lewis spoke about why she decided to join Rotaract in college.
“I did Interact which is the high school level of Rotary,” Lewis said. “I did that throughout high school and I just loved being able to volunteer with my friends within the community and give back to the community that gave so much to me.” Lewis said that she was now able to find herself in the community after moving to Slippery Rock. She loves giving back to the community and v o l u n t e e r i n g with her friends. To g e t c o n n e c t e d with the Rotaract Club, follow @sru_rotaract on Instagram, @ SruRotaractClub on Facebook or contact with the organization on CORE. Students can also email slipperyrockrotaract@ gmail.com to get involved.
PHOTO COURTESY OF ROTARACT CLUB'S CORE PAGE Rotaract Club holds different fundraisers for students to get involved with commuity service. There are many different opportunities to help the local community.
December 3, 2021
Movie Review: 'Spencer'
By Dereck Majors Review Columnist
Traditions are meant to be broken. When the news broke online last year that Kristen Stewart would be playing Princess Diana, it was met with heavy criticism based solely on her past filmography. Now, with the release of the film, she is a frontrunner for Best Actress Oscar in a highly contested awards season. St e w a r t d o e s t h e unthinkable in “Spencer,” which takes place over three sequential yet dreadful days—Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day—in 1991. Screenwriter Steven Knight describes the film as being a condensed retelling, “like a paparazzi shot,” of Diana’s life that dives deep into the Princess’ psyche. It’s not your traditional biopic, and the film does a fascinating job of depicting Diana in her darkest moments: while her marriage with Charles has grown cold, she still must remain present in front of the cameras that watch her every move. Diana attempts to keep this agony hidden from her two young children and be a positive role model during the holiday season. She battles internally and attempts to reclaim her true self, hence the title of the film being her maiden name. This all comes during a time of tight control by
the Royal Family, who places constraints on her every action that could be caught in the public’s eye. This is where Stewart shines. Her performance is almost a cathartic awakening of an artist who has been hidden behind the thought that her talents are limited solely to being the star of the “Twilight” films. Just like Diana, this is her moment for others to realize her true potential that has been hidden by the public’s perception of her. When it comes time for Stewart to collect her much-deserved Oscar early next year, it will be a huge accomplishment not only for her performance in “Spencer,” but also for her perseverance to break free from her past. Following his look into the tragic life of Jackie Kennedy in 2016’s “Jackie,” director Pablo Larraín continues his explore famous women’s lives and conduct an expose on their thoughts during their most grueling moments. His direction presents such an intimate look into the life of the Diana that we understand every single action she takes and feel every emotion, just as she does. This direction is complimented by the superb cinematography, which makes every shot feel as though it is a classic painting. With the use of so many closeups, cinematographer Claire Mathon emulates
typical stylistic choices that are common in the horror genre. One could almost compare the shots of Diana roaming the halls of Sandringham House to Jack Torrance running through the Overlook Hotel in “The Shining.” It’s an interesting choice that fits perfectly with the story being told. In the background is Jonny Greenwood’s haunting score. A combination of violins, organs and piano that beautifully illustrates every scene in the film. His score plays as though it is a character in the film; always present, lurking in the shadows and waiting to strike. Just like his 2017 score for Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Phantom Thread,” Greenwood’s score is one of the most crucial pieces to the film. All these elements blend so perfectly together that it is hard to find a fault in the film. It’s a touching tribute to the People’s Princess and everything she had to offer to the world. For a subject whose life was cut far too short due to tragedy, “Spencer” offers a tale that gives Diana purpose. No longer is her life controlled by her husband, the Royal Family or the media. Instead, she sits in driver’s seat and begins her new life of freedom, a life where she takes the reign of her narrative for the very first time.