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the rocket

Friday February 5, 2021 • Volume 104, Issue Number 6 • An Independent, Student-Run Newspaper

www.theonlinerocket.com

University furthers mitigation efforts           !  By Nina Cipriani News Editor

SRU will be implementing new COVID-19 testing protocols in the next few weeks as residents begin to move back to campus for the semester. Testing was available at the Student Health Center and local testing facilities last semester upon request. But for the spring 2021 semester, SRU President William Behre believes students must be tested to prevent spread on campus, so the university decided to implement biweekly COVID-19 testing for on-campus residents and student-athletes.

"Please don't behave as though we are in the clear because we remain far from it." – William Behre, SRU president

Testing for the entire student population will be implemented in the weeks following, Behre said in an email to the campus community. “The [COVID-19] test does not cure COVID,� Behre said in an interview via Zoom. “The test does not stop you from getting COVID. The test lets us know if you have it, and if we know quickly enough, you’re less likely to spread it to other people, and we can contain any kind of outbreak that much more effectively.� The testing materials are projected to be available by mid-February. Behre said SRU is currently waiting for the supplier’s lab to be ready in order to send the equipment. SRU will send completed tests to the lab at Shippensburg University, a sister university they partnered with for this new regime. Slippery Rock went with a different supplier for spring athletes so they can be tested before they begin to practice. COVID-19 tests should be available to athletes within the next few days, according to Behre. Athletes will be tested weekly in order to comply with NCAA guidelines. SRU decided to implement the saliva-based polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test because “people don’t like to stick the thing up their nose,� Behre said.

HANNAH SLOPE / THE ROCKET

Slippery Rock University prepares its new COVID-19 testing site in preparation for supplies set to come by mid-February. The university hired Jennifer Stoepfel, a nurse practitioner, as its testing coordinator.

For the rest of the student population, those who are asymptomatic and are not athletes will receive a notice when testing becomes available on campus. Behre said there will either be assigned time slots for testing or students will be able to request a time to get tested. SRU will be setting up a testing center at the Student Union. They hired Jennifer Stoepfel, a nurse practitioner, as its testing coordinator.

Students will check-in at the testing center and receive their test tube. They will scan the test tube with an app on their phone and spit into the tube. Students should seal it and drop it off at the next station before leaving the testing center. SRU based their protocols on what other schools have done so far, but especially the University of Illinois. Behre said that the university will learn about the population

as the semester continues and possibly alter their approach as they go. “There may be groups within our population that we may test more often [than biweekly],� Behre said. “[You’re] gonna see us refining this over the course of the semester. What we are announcing now is our starting point, and I bet you our ending point is gonna be different.� The Allegheny Health Network (AHN) remains

a s S RU ’s o u t l e t f o r medical advice. They are regularly in contact with their infectious disease professionals. Behre projects that the on-campus population will increase by the fall 2021 semester, so he believes it is important to be able to slow the spread to prevent sending students home. “Please don’t behave as though we are in the clear because we remain far from it,� Behre said in an email.

Breakless in Slippery Rock

" #$%&' ! (      (!   

)*  By Joe Wells Assistant News Editor

St u d e n t s r e t u r n i n g to their respective Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) universities will do so without spring break or time off. Eight universities including SRU have not announced spring break or wellness days, or scheduled time off for students and faculty to catch their breath. SRU President William Behre said the schedule for the semester was already set when they worked to find days off. Setting aside a full day off proved to be “too disruptive,� according to Behre. “We did seriously try to make it work,� Behre said. “We actually went through multiple discussions of multiple permutations to try and make it work.� By adding a day off, Behre said the semester would shrink and the university would miss the required number of classes it needs to hold. Six other PASSHE universities did find the time for either a full week off or multiple days off throughout the semester. East Stroudsburg and West Chester Universities have kept their scheduled spring break in March fully intact.

News

Millersville University also kept its spring break but split the week up across three months. Students will have a day off in February and March before a spring recess from March 31 to April 5. Three other PASSHE universities announced scheduled days off before the start of the semester. Indiana University of Pennsylvania had the most announced days off out of the three schools. The university announced seven non-class days over the course of 3 months. Two of those days in March are on a Saturday and Sunday. Kutztown University students will have four days scheduled off throughout the semester, with one of those days being a Saturday. Students at Shippensburg University are only given two “Raider Rest Days.� As for SRU students, SRU will host Kickback Week from Mar. 7-13 with events to help them relax and focus on courses instead of other obligations. Events will include a mix of virtual and in-person events. Lauren Moran, director of student engagement and leadership, said with not having time off this semester it is important to do something for students. “We know that spring break is a time where students truly need a A-5

SRU receives federal funds

break,� Moran said. “That’s why it exists in academics. We a re e n c o u r a g i n g student organizations and departments to not do any meetings that week, to give students a break from the normal day-to-day schedule.� Students will still be required to attend scheduled classes and complete assigned coursework unless their professor determines otherwise. SRU campus operations will continue unaltered during this week as well. With events like a Pittsburgh Penguins watch party and online gaming event, along with less organization meetings, Moran said students either looking for something to do or just chill at home will be able to do just that. “Realistically, this is the time of the semester where students tend to get tired, more anxious,� Moran said. “So, if we didn’t plan something, I think students would actually [feel] the opposite and it would actually be worse in terms of mental health.� During the fall 2020 semester, 4,670 students, a little more than half of the student population, were involved with at least one student organization. Still, some students at SRU are not happy about having to plow through the semester with no rest.

Opinion

Our take on no breaks

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GRAPHIC BY: HANNAH SLOPE

“It’s hard not having a break in the semester,� j u n i o r Ky l e i g h L a s k y said. For Lasky, a biology pre-med major, while she enjoys being able to hang out with friends during the time off, it is about relaxing, not the “crazy� antics college students tend to get into at popular destinations. Lexy Snell agrees. The junior public health prePA major said she likes

not having to worry about school for a week. While Snell also likes to take the time to visit family in Florida, something she cannot do this year due to the pandemic, she still would have liked a few days off, even if they were not consecutive. Lasky said it did not feel great knowing that schools like IUP are giving their students time off but understands the administration at SRU is trying to work with the

Sports

Athletics near return

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situation at hand. Still, better communication regarding spring break instead of talk “through the grapevine� would have been appreciated, she said. “We all recognize that spring break is important to the mental health of students,� Moran said. “I think that, despite our circumstances right now, with COVID, the university is committed to helping students to take that break.�

Campus Life

Making Melrose debuts

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VIDEO: WSRUTV "On The Rocks"

NEWS

New semester, new protocols

                     By Nina Cipriani News Editor

With the pandemic continuing into the spring 2021 semester, on-campus living protocols remain the same with a few additions, like new COVID-19 testing protocols. SRU President William B e h re n o t i f i e d S RU stakeholders via email on Dec. 18 that move-in dates for on-campus residents would be delayed. Students received a refund of 13% for housing and dining charges because of the two-week delay in moving back to campus. The Office of Housing and Residence Life notified students to sign up for a move-in time on Jan. 13 via email. Residents are set to move in on the weekend of Jan. 29. The office also advised in an email Thursday to follow the United States Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine’s directive. These guidelines say students that are traveling into the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania must be tested 72 hours prior to entering or quarantine for 10 days after arrival. SRU will implement free saliva-based PCR COVID-19 testing by the mid-February. The university will be setting up a testing center at the

Student Union. They hired Jennifer Stoepfel, a nurse practitioner, as its testing coordinator. Testing was available at the Student Health Center and local testing facilities during the fall 2020 semester, but this semester will provide free COVID-19 testing for the campus community. K r i s t i n a B e n k e s e r, director of student health services, said Slippery Rock par tnered with Shippensburg University to use their lab facilities. Their lab is expected to get test results back within 24 to 36 hours. “Until we can get a large number of students vaccinated, the next best thing is trying to prevent big outbreaks and rapid spread,� Benkeser said. SRU implemented a new residential guest policy for the semester. Residents can have one on-campus residential guest at a time during the visitation hours of 7:45 p.m. to 11:15 p.m. The desk staff will confirm that the visitor is an oncampus resident. On-campus residential visitors will be required to leave their student ID card at the front desk. They will denote which room the visitor will be in. Visitors must follow all guest policies and procedures. Residential hall staff will ensure that all visitors have left the buildings by 11:15

HANNAH SLOPE / THE ROCKET

Students move back to campus during the weekend of Jan. 29 after a two-week delay. SRU President William Behre said he hopes that the on-campus experience will be much more face-to-face by the fall 2021 semester.

p.m. each night and that they have been given back their student ID. As for next semester, Director of Residence Life Patrick Beswick projects there to be more on-campus residents in the fall 2021 semester. He said there are currently about 700 students living on campus. “We should have a greater enrollment in the halls by the time the vaccine

should be out,� Beswick said. “[The vaccine] should be more widely available, and encouraging a return to normalcy because of that vaccine would be the goal.� Beswick said North and Rhoads Halls will be open as well, but at limited capacity. Behre hopes to have “m o r e face-to-face experiences� next semester. He said using plexiglass barriers between science lab

stations is just one example of mitigation efforts that will allow more people to be in one space. “We are ordering air ionizers that can be put in spaces and purify the air,� Behre said. “So we are doing everything we can to be much more face-to-face [in the fall].� On-campus activities during the spring 2021 semester are permitted in both virtual and in-person formats,

and additional information can be found on CORE. Fa c e masks and facial coverings are still required on campus at all times unless a student is “working alone� or eating or drinking. Students can find more information about oncampus living during the COVID-19 pandemic on the COVID-19 page of the SRU website.

Four charged with felony theft             !   ! 

By Joe Wells Assistant News Editor

Four individuals are facing multiple felony theft charges for allegedly traveling through more than three cities in western Pennsylvania, including Slippery Rock, to steal catalytic converters back during November. Slippery Rock University police have charged Kelvin Williams, Demetrius Williams, Jordan Klinefelter and Myracle Hall each with three counts of theft by unlawful taking and three counts of receiving stolen property. In court records, SRUPD alleged the four individuals cut three catalytic converters out of cars parked in the early morning of Nov. 21 at the East Lake Lot. While investigating the thefts on SRU property, officers learned there were more victims in Slippery Rock Borough and that C r a n b e r r y To w n s h i p detectives were investigating similar crimes that occurred in the Walmart parking lot in Cranberry the same day. That investigation discovered that the four individuals rented two vehicles from an Enterprise Rental agency in Michigan around Nov. 19 before driving to Pennsylvania to target vehicles for their catalytic converters. Both Kelvin and Demetrius Williams are from Detroit, Michigan while court records list Roseville, Mich. as home addresses for Hall and Klinefelter. Roseville is approximately 20 miles north of Detroit. The criminal complaint states the four traveled with

an unnamed fifth person, but they claim they were never involved and stayed at a hotel while the crimes took place. Including theft charges, Cranberry Township police have also filed charges related to conspiracy and racketeering of corrupt organizations. Both are felonies. In Cranberry Township, detectives received reports of individuals discovering their catalytic converters were cut sometime during the afternoon of Nov. 21. In the affidavit for probable cause filed by Cranberry Township police, detectives state a witness was parked next to a vehicle in the Wal-Mart parking lot when they heard a grinding noise coming from the car next to them. The individual got out of their car to see what was happening when they observed a pair of legs under the parked vehicle. According to the witness, when the person made eye contact with the witness, they got into a dark SUV and drove off. As detectives continued investigating the thefts in Cranberry Township, they were made aware of a police chase in Conway Borough that ended in a crash and the discovery of many catalytic converters. Over in Conway Borough, police received a call regarding a road rage incident that began in New Sewickley around 2 p.m. In that incident, the caller said they were following two vehicles, including an SUV with a Michigan license plate toward Crows Run Road and PA Route 65. When Conway police attempted to stop the silver

HANNAH SLOPE / THE ROCKET

Four individuals are being charged with multiple felonies after traveling through more than three cities in Pennsylvania to steal catalytic converters in November. Cranberry Township police also filed charges related to conspiracy and racketeering of corrupt organizations.

Chevrolet Equinox, it took off at a high rate of speed while a second vehicle involved with the incident, a dark gray SUV, attempted to cut off the officer’s vehicle. In the affidavit, Conway police officers said they had to take evasive maneuvers to avoid that vehicle before continuing to pursue the Equinox down Route 65 South. The SUV continued fleeing, swerving around traffic at a high rate of speed, where it made a sudden left turn toward 9th Street and almost rolled over before driving through the mulch bed at the Arby’s. As the SUV made its way onto Route 65 North, it jumped the median and continued onto Route 65 South.

As the pursuit reached speeds exceeding 80 miles per hour, officers from Baden Police Department joined the pursuit. The SUV made it a little more than two miles down Route 65 before running a red light at Route 65 and Logan Lane and crashing into the median, disabling the vehicle. Right after the crash police allege both the female driver, later identified as Hall, and male passenger, Klinefelter ran from police. Both were apprehended shortly afterward. Officers found 24 catalytic converters inside. Using the information from the Conway Borough Police, Cranberry Township detectives ran the license plate of the vehicle driven by Hall through software

connected to automatic license plate recognition (ALPR) databases of Butler and surrounding counties. After pulling records of where the silver Equinox had been, police were able to identify the license plate of the dark gray SUV. Ross Township Police located the SUV on Nov. 23, along with Kelvin Williams, Demetrius Williams and Hall. Hall posted bond for the police chase days prior. Police discovered a pink backpack with a DeWalt saw and saw blades inside the vehicle. The four individuals are facing similar theft charges in Grove City, along with charges filed by Cranberry Township and Slippery Rock

University police. Charges for theft in Slippery Rock Borough should be filed by Monday, according to SRPD Chief Terry Fedokovitz. Kelvin Williams and Klinefelter are being held in Butler County jail. Demetrius Williams and Hall have both posted bail. Both of the Williams and Klinefelter are set to appear for a formal arraignment on Feb. 2 regarding the charges filed by Cranberry Township Hall. Kelvin Williams and Klinefelter will appear in Slippery Rock on Feb. 3 for a preliminary hearing regarding the SRU thefts. Court dates have not been decided yet for Demetrius Williams and Hall.


NEWS SRU awarded $7,000 grant

February 5, 2021

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     By Joe Wells Assistant News Editor

Slippery Rock University received more than $7,000 in state grant money for programs to combat sexual assault on campus. The grant, par t of Pennsylvania’s “It’s On Us� program, will build on previous programs established by the university. This year, SRU plans to use the money for research and educational programs focused on building healthy relationships. SRU plans to dive into the data they have from CARE referrals, the student health survey, and Title IX dating violence to get a clearer picture of what students are facing in their personal lives and how the university can help, according to Karla Fonner, the director of student support, who helped write the grant. Fonner said in the past SRU has focused on bringing attention to sexual violence. This year, the goal was to “flip the script� and find ways to promote healthy relationships. “ We b u i l t u p t h e awareness so now the next step is taking it further,� Fonner said. One of the university’s approaches to this is the formation of a book club where students and counselors will meet to discuss healthy relationship strategies. SRU will also spend some of the grant money on more formal training for the counselors on the processes in place on campus for those who report sexual assault and their options for reporting. Fo n n e r a l s o p l a n s to promote Step UP! Bystander training, a program the university has offered students and organizations for over five years. That training is designed to provide students with skills for when they witness unsafe situations. According to Fonner, a lot of the CARE referrals the university receives

come from a concerned friend. During the 2019-20 academic year, the SRU Care Network received 116 reports of sexual assault, dating violence and harassment. Those reports come from students on- and off-campus and incidents may have taken place that academic year or earlier, according to Fonner. Numbers reported by the university under the Clery Act show SRU reported 16 rape offenses, 6 dating violence offenses and 8 stalking offenses from 2017 to 2019. These numbers reported under the Clery Act only include incidents on SRU’s main campus. As students, faculty and staff become better educated about sexual violence and victims understand and trust the systems in place, reporting goes up, but does not necessarily mean there is a rise in overall cases, Fonner said. While the number o f C A R E re p o r t s h a s been about the same this year compared to last, Fonner said she is concerned the pandemic has made students not feel connected with the campus and in turn, not reaching out for help. Going into its fifth year, the “It’s On Us� program has given out nearly $4 million in grants to 70 institutions, according to a press release by Governor Tom Wolf ’s office. SRU has received more than $50,000 during that time. This year, 37 institutions – five of those PASSHE universities, including SRU – received grants that can be used for designated purposes from now until May 2022. Pennsylvania 2-year and 4-year institutions can apply for up to $30,000 in grant money for programs to fight sexual assault on their campuses. Students looking for resources are encouraged to use the Concern C e n t e r, C o u n s e l i n g Center, Student Support, Sexual Misconduct and Title IX Resources and University Police.

GRAPHIC BY: HANNAH SLOPE

SGA senator to lead upcoming election

 ! "  !  By Joe Wells Assistant News Editor

Ba c k f o r t h e i r f i r s t formal meeting of t h e s e m e s t e r Mo n d a y, the Slippery Rock Student Government Association (SGA) got to work preparing for the upcoming election. The Senate body confirmed President Joey Sciuto’s nominee, Senator Madison King, as chair of the election commission. A l l s e n a t o r s vo t e d t o confirm King, with King abstaining from the vote.

"I'd like to thank the Senate for unanimously giving me the opportunity to serve on the elections committee. At this point, we're just starting out." – Madison King, chair of the SGA election commission

King was nominated for the position based on her longtime experience with SGA and political science background, according to Sciuto. Shortly after being confirmed, King released a statement thanking the Senate for its vote of confidence in her. “I’d like to thank the Senate for unanimously giving me the opportunity to serve on the elections committee,� King said. “A t t h i s p o i n t , w e’re just starting out, but I pledge to use this office to improve the elections process, expand the talent recruited to serve students, and further increase the diversity of the talent serving here.� Scuito hopes to announce a timeline for elections at the next formal meeting. None of the current executive board members would say if they would be running again for either re-election. The president position will be open at the end of this semester, as Sciuto will be graduating this May. Along with confirming King, the Senate unanimously approved the minutes from the Nov. 16 meeting. SGA advisor Wendy Leitera announced that the Happy Bus is up and running but service times and routes have changed slightly to accommodate students as best as possible. Happy Bus service will now run Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to

9 p.m. On Fridays, the bus will operate from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Happy Bus services areas throughout campus, including many of the off-campus apartment complexes and local s t o re s s u c h a s Do l l a r General and Giant Eagle. A current copy of the Happy Bus schedule can be found on the SRSGA Twitter account. Students can also track the Happy Bus using the NextBus app. Vice President of Student and Academic Affairs Leif Lindgren also reminded the Senate of the ongoing food drive for Bob’s Cupboard. The food drive runs u n t i l Fe b . 5 . T h o s e wishing to donate can visit donation sites at the Smith Student Center and Macoskey Center. A donation site will open at the Bailey Library as well starting Feb. 1. SGA also announced its ROCK of the Week, Hannah D’Egidio. Alexis Gish, vice president of diversity and inclusion, said D’Egidio’s name kept popping up in executive board meetings and they wanted to recognize her efforts. “She has blown me away with just her commitment to getting the ball rolling this semester,� Gish said. S G A’s n e x t f o r m a l meeting will be on Feb. 8 at 5 p.m. on Zoom. Lindgren plans to hold a presentation during this meeting to discuss the results of the student life survey.

PHOTO COURTESY OF MADISON KING

SGA Sen. Madison King was confirmed Jan. 25 as chair of the elections commission. SRSGA will hold their election later in the semester.


NEWS

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February 5, 2021

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9 No security deposits! 9 4 different locations - South Rock Apts. on Keister Road or South Rock Drive, Stone Crest Apts., & Main Street Apts. 9 2, 3 or 4 bedroom floor-plans 9 Over 180 apartments to choose from 9 Cable, internet, water, & trash included 9 Stove, microwave, dishwasher, disposal, fridge, washer & dyer included at South Rock & Stone Crest locations 9 NEW! On-site laundry facilities at Main St. location â&#x20AC;&#x201C; NO COINS NEEDED! 9 Sofa, love seat, coffee & end tables, TV stand, twin or full size beds, dresser, desk, & night stand included 9 NEW! Bedroom furniture at South Rock! 9 24-hour emergency maintenance 9 Professional on-site management 9 Close proximity to SRU campus 9 Direct-wired smoke detectors 9 Fire extinguishers in each unit 9 Access to Clubhouse 9 Handicap apartments available 9 On-site parking 9 Close to SGA bus stop


NEWS

February 5, 2021

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SRU receives CARES Act funding                    By Nina Cipriani News Editor

Students who met the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and Expected Family Contribution (EFC) requirements were eligible to receive a $700 emergency grant. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) provided SRU with funds to students with a grant to cover certain expenses, like any outstanding bills for food, housing, course materials, technology needs, healthcare or child care.  Students received an email from the SRU Financial Aid Office on Jan. 25 making them aware that they are eligible for the emergency funding. Eligible students should have received this money through direct deposit or live check to their permanent home address.  About 3,600 students were issued the $700 payment based on their financial need. Over $2.5 million in funds were provided to the student body as direct payments.  The university has over $1 million remaining for students to apply as of Thursday. Over 1,150 students have received checks from this application process so far, according to

GRAPHIC BY: HANNAH SLOPE

Amanda Yale, the SRU chief enrollment management officer. Students must be enrolled in the Spring 2021 semester to receive the funds. SRU will collect and review applications until there are no additional funds remaining. Yale encourages students to apply through the online application.  "Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an easy application [process], itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not very difficult," Yale said. "Students really just need to say how this experience has

created challenges for them. So, the kinds of things we hear from students [are], 'My mom or dad lost their job or theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re cutting hours, and Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not able to get a job.'" Yale explained that there are many reasons why the university cannot give students money, though. These include wanting to build their savings account and wanting to save up to pay back loans when they graduate. "We canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t do it for that," Yale said. "But we do go back

[to those applicants] and connect with the students to say, 'Can you connect this more to COVID so we can actually administer the monies.'" Students also received a similar grant in May 2020 for $500. These funds were distributed to eligible students because of the break in instruction they experienced and shift to online learning, according to an email to those students. Students that were only enrolled in online courses

prior to the pandemic did not receive this grant during the first distribution. The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund II (HEERF II) is authorized by the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA) and was signed into law by President Donald Trump in December 2020. The CRRSAA authorized over $81 billion in support of education in addition to the $30 billion former Secretary DeVos provided last spring

through the CARES Act, according to the U.S. Department of Education website. Passed by President Donald Trump in March 2020, the CARES Act economic stimulus bill distributed $2.2 trillion to provide relief to those negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. With questions or concerns, students can contact the Office of Financial Aid at financial. aid@sru.edu.

Employee injures coworker in fight

25 face masks stolen from campus to sell online

       

      

By Joe Wells

By Joe Wells

Assistant News Editor

Assistant News Editor

                   

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OPINION

Our View

A semester without a spring break                 

OPINION

Volume 104, Issue Number 6

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: therocketnewspapersru@gmail.com therocketnewspapersru@gmail.com

EDITORIAL BOARD Hannah Shumsky

Editor-in-Chief

Nina Cipriani

News Editor

Brendan Howe

Sports Editor

Sarah Anderson

Campus Life Editor

Lesa Bressanelli

Copy/Web Editor GRAPHIC BY: HANNAH SLOPE

Hannah Slope

Photo Editor

Aaron Marrie

Multimedia Editor

Joe Wells

Assistant News Editor

Tyler Howe

Assistant Sports Editor

Morgan Miller

Assistant Campus Life Editor

Ryanne Dougherty Rayni Shiring

Assistant Copy/Web Editor Assistant Photo Editor

Dr. Brittany Fleming

Faculty Adviser

ADVERTISING STAFF Elisabeth Hale

Advertising Manager

Brooke Miller

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 2020 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 rocket.ads@sru.edu.

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.

Our View is a staff editorial produced collaboratively by The Rocket staff. Any views expressed in the editorial are the opinions of the entire staff. This spring semester, the university will continue to offer 80% of its courses online, with the remaining classes being offered as hybrid class settings. Like last semester, the university calendar has been revised to remove extended breaks, including spring break. As a mitigation measure, university administration eliminated fall break this past semester to avoid students traveling during an extended period. This essentially gave students only one mandated day off of classes: Labor Day. Students completed the semester before Thanksgiving, which normally provides a much-needed break to students before finals week. For this semester, the Office of Student Engagement and Leadership will oversee Kickback Week and ask organizations on campus to limit meetings while providing activities for students to blow off some steam. While classes will still be held, faculty have been encouraged to lighten their course load the week of March 7. Unfortunately, we will endure another semester

without a mandated break in the university calendar. However, if we want a change for the fall semester, we must be vocal about our concerns now. The longer the pandemic goes on, the more fatigue will grow in all aspects of our lives as students. The potential for campus-wide burnout is high, even with the positive outlook of a semester that will end in late April. If we have a third semester with a lack of multiple days off, we will run into the same issue of creating a semester symbolic of an academic and mental marathon. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s time to pay more attention to the mental health and wellness of students who are simply trying their best, and we believe the lack of a break, or even multiple days off spread throughout the semester, is a missed opportunity to do so. We want to commend and thank student resources on campus, especially the counseling center and student support, for their efforts in serving students, and encourage students to use these resources as these offices are crucial in supporting students and combatting the national mental health crisis among our age group. We also need to ensure that faculty receive some sort of break for all of their efforts for

who also experience fatigue and burnout, especially while transferring classes to online platforms. The ultimate quality of education can become run down when our educators arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t given time to breathe and catch up, similar to students. We absolutely understand the university's reasoning for eliminating breaks and limiting travel as much as possible. However, the university should look at how other universities have handled spring breaks to see if different types of breaks benefit student and faculty mental health and morale while protecting them from the virus. With Indiana Univerisity of Pennsylvania (IUP) and Lock Haven University being two universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education scheduling non-class days throughout the semester, we hope that SRU watches the effectiveness of these models closely in determining the schedule for next semester. While we may not be able to change how our semester calendar looks like this semester, our concerns now will help the university administration determine what the upcoming fall semester will look like, especially as the university prepares for a more oncampus presence.

"The longer the pandemic goes on, the more fatigue will grow in aspects of our lives as students. The potential for campus-wide burnout is high, even with the positive outlook of a semester that ends in late April." students and the community, especially since last March. These breaks are also beneficial to faculty members

In the Quarantine By: Aaron Marrie

Question: What is your goal as a leader of your organization this semester?

SUBSCRIPTIONS Subscriptions to The Rocket are available. Subscriptions are $20 per academic semester and $35 for the full academic year. Inquiries should be directed to the Editor-in-Chief at the address listed here.

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. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our Viewâ&#x20AC;? 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. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our Viewâ&#x20AC;? 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: rocket.letters@sru.edu.

Joey Sciuto President Student Government Association

Ashley Flaherty President University Program Board

Brady Lovett President Rock PRSSA

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Through building relationships, I hope to invigorate the senate to seek involvement opportunities and focus on what we can accomplish this semester. It's time to get creative and find ways to be productive and enjoy our virtual time together."

â&#x20AC;&#x153;My goal for UPB this semester is to get students on and offcampus involved in events and activities. Our main goal is to provide a social outlet for our students during this distant learning semester."

â&#x20AC;&#x153;My biggest goal for Rock PRSSA this spring is to make our meetings more fun and engaging for our members. We also aim to give each member a chance to work with a client, build their portfolio, and hear from guest speakers in order to make the most out of another remote semester!"


OPINION

February 5, 2021

Hello, February: Let's try this again

Kali Davies-Anderson Kali is a junior public health pre-PT major. She is a non-traditional student and a mom of five children between nine months and nine years old. She has previously worked with New Castle News. February. February 2020 marked the last month of the year with any sense of normalcy. I recall receiving emails in early February from my International Health professor about a novel virus spreading through China. By the end of February the United States was beginning to tally coronavirus case counts. And we all know how March went. If you would have sat me down in February of 2020 and told me that in a mere matter of weeks businesses would shut down, schools would shut down, groceries and toiletries would be difficult to find, masks would be mandated, flights canceled and countless jobs lost, I truly do not think I would have believed you.

I have 5 young children and at the time of the lockdown last Spring, my husband and I went into survival mode. He began working from home, I woke up early to do schoolwork and stayed up late. I knew if they were cooped up in the house all day, we might not make it to 2021, so I took them on daily (freezing) walks and bike rides. We ate lunch in the yard, played tag in the yard, my husband took them to random parking lots with Wendy’s and watched movies in our minivan, and I think we got Dairy Queen every afternoon for weeks. We were in an unprecedented situation and had to get creative.

"If 2020 taught me anything, it is that we are an adaptive species. When faced with adversity we have the ability to overcome it, and we have." When I scroll through memories now on my social media pages I feel my life is divided into two parts:

before COVID and after COVID. Yet, here we are a year later, and somehow we have all made it. Life is not back to normal, by any means, most of our classes as SRU students are still online, I still can’t go to a musical theater production or an outdoor concert, and I am still facing a sea of only eyeballs when I go to the grocery store. But, there is hope. If 2020 taught me anything, it is that we are an adaptive species. When faced with adversity we have the ability to overcome it, and we have. I am sure if someone had told many of you, as students, that your college experience (at least several semesters of it) would be online, that you may not be able to live on campus, that the events and activities that you had so been looking forward to would be all but a pipe dream, you probably would have thought that you simply couldn’t do it. But, you would have been wrong. You are doing it, I am doing it. We all are doing it. The next 11 months will (hopefully) lead us to a sense of normalcy, but we will forever be changed by these events. Today I am proud of my family, I am proud of my community and I am proud of my fellow students that have made their way through the trenches and have hopefully come out of this as better, wiser and more confident members of our society. Here’s to a successful Spring semester, and the hope that soon we will all be together again very soon. You got this.

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THE ROCKET

February 5, 2021

AD DESIGN: RAYNI SHIRING


S

Pass-catchers to return At theonlinerocket.com

SPORTS

Rock athletic trainers aid in return to play     

        

By Tyler Howe Assistant Sports Editor

It has been nearly a full calendar year since any Slippery Rock University student-athlete has been able to step on the field or court and play in meaningful competition. But, with the announcement made this past week that student-athletes will be tested weekly, SRU and the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) are now on track to return to competition this spring. But things would not be at this point yet, without the work that has been put in by the schoolâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s athletic training staff, who have quite literally changed their job descriptions in the past 11 months. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve never dealt with a global pandemic and as athletic trainers, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re pretty good with orthopedic study and general medicine,â&#x20AC;? said Stacy Arend, an athletic trainer at the Rock. â&#x20AC;&#x153;But, nothing prepared us for a pandemic, especially a new disease, so this has been a complete new experience for all of us.â&#x20AC;? Arend is one of six full-time athletic trainers at Slippery Rock and has now been at the university for seven-and-a-half years. She has been working as an athletic trainer for close to two decades, and, from stops at Mercer University, the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, and now, here at Slippery Rock, Arend has almost seen it all. Since last March, however, she and the rest of the athletic trainers have had their jobs turned upside down. And theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve rolled with it. Finally, theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re on the verge of helping student-athletes return to competitive play for the first time since last March. According to Arend, the athletic trainers have followed

guidelines that have been set by the NCAA as they usually would. In a normal year, those guidelines would go over how to deal with concussions and other injuries, but for COVID-19, these guidelines are just as crucial to keeping everyone safe. Part of those guidelines have categorized sports into low, intermediate, or high risk for spreading the virus, and they tell how often they have to test each sport. â&#x20AC;&#x153;What weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re doing at Slippery Rock is doing actually more than what the NCAA is requiring us and, as long as you meet the NCAA standards, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re allowed to test more,â&#x20AC;? Arend said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re testing everyone at least once a week with a PCR test, and PCR is the gold standard, so once you get that result you go with it.â&#x20AC;? Among the sports that would be considered high risk are basketball and football, while soccer would be considered intermediate. Sports that are high risk will be receiving PCR COVID-19 tests three times a week. To ensure that everyone will be safe, each sport will be administered a PCR test 72 hours before a game to make sure results are back in time. Along with testing, there are other protocols such as screening each day, wearing a mask at all times, and making sure to social distance when possible. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I feel pretty good about the spring,â&#x20AC;? Arend said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve now started our second week of testing, and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s going well. This is a buy-in for everyone because everyone is getting tested, from coaches to athletic trainers, and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s really important for everyone to follow the protocols.â&#x20AC;? Obviously, testing doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t rule out contracting COVID-19 at

all. The question isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t if, but when, there is a positive test. Then what happens? The athletic trainers are working closely with the Student Health Center and, in the case of a positive test, that athlete will be notified immediately and have to go into isolation and contact the Student Health Center. A list of close contacts will then be made and given to the health center. Those contacts will be notified and also go into isolation. When the athletes are released from isolation, they do a follow-up physical with the team physician, who checks the heart and lungs. There is then a five-day progression that the student-athlete has to do, with requirements of meeting certain goals each day to get back to competition. Arend succinctly summed up the biggest motivation for following protocol. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think everyone remembers what it was like last March, and we donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to go through that again,â&#x20AC;? she said. Slippery Rockâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s athletic directors have had to adjust how they do their jobs and, as more information comes, they continue to adjust to make sure that sports can run smoothly. When treating athletes, the trainers are taking every precaution in making sure that COVID-19 isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t spread. They wear multiple face covers and gloves and sanitize as soon as they are done treating an athlete. Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve also needed to change where they do their jobs. There used to be an athletic training room in Morrow Field house that was dedicated to multiple different sports, but in order to limit interactions between teams, theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve converted different rooms to accommodate athletic training. When all said and done, Slippery Rock will have administered around 600 tests per

PHOTO COURTESY OF STACY AREND

A COVID-19 testing site is set up in the Old Student Union for student testing. An area is set up separately in the spot that used to by Rocky's specifically for athletics.

week. Every school in the PSAC will be testing athletes, as well. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If we didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have testing, I think people would be nervous to have other teams coming to their campus because of the risk of outbreak and, now you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have to worry about athletes going to different campuses spreading COVID-19,â&#x20AC;? Dr. Martin Donahue, another athletic trainer at SRU, said. Slippery Rock athletic teams will be traveling again. With testing, the chance of transmission will be far less likely. The athletic trainers who will be conducting all of the

tests will finally get to see all their yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s work pay off. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We had our first softball practice the other day and it was just nice to actually see practice,â&#x20AC;? Donahue said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I get to do more of what I usually do with treatments. I did treatments in the fall, but it wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t the same knowing that there werenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t games coming up. But, to have people preparing for practices and games coming up, it just feels more normal.â&#x20AC;? Sports slated to start again this spring include all normal spring sports, such as softball, baseball, and track and field. These teams were the first to be affected a year ago and now, almost a year

after the announcement that sports would be canceled, they will finally return. That is due to the work that Arend, Donahue, Scott Morrison, Jackie Crytzer, Jael Funte, Molly Parsons, Maria Taylor, and many others have done in these past 11 months. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re one step closer to normal, and I think we all had a rough fall because we all lost our identities, because we didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have any of that team bonding or competitiveness,â&#x20AC;? Arend said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re almost there and once we start playing the games is when we can all have that sigh of relief. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll know that what weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re doing is working.â&#x20AC;?

SRU athletics begin COVID-19 testing             By Brendan Howe Sports Editor

For the first time since the pandemic halted competitive activity last March, there is a signal of a return to routine. This week, the Slippery Rock University athletic department started administering COVID-19 tests to student-athletes and team personnel. All student-athletes and program staff will be tested weekly. To remain in uniform, players will need to test negative each week during the semester. If positive results are to occur, contacts will be traced and those exposed will be required to isolate, per CDC standards. A half-dozen spring sports are primed to play entire campaigns, most of them beginning in March. The clang of metal bats will ring through baseball and softball diamonds. Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lacrosse will return to the turf and the tennis team will again be swinging its rackets. The menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s and womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s track teams will throw on their green and white pinnies and partake in events. The schedules, however, will be subject to alterations related not only to the virus, but also weather. In addition, both menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s and womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s cross-country

crews will travel to Lock Haven and pace themselves in the Pennsylvania State A t h l e t i c C o n f e re n c e Championships on March 20. While the long-distance runners will be the only fall sport to contend in the spring months, the rest of the fall and winter squads will be able to restart practices, with the possibility of partaking in scrimmages with outside competition later in the upcoming months. To ensure accurate and timely testing, the department is working with an off-site lab that collects samples and returns test results on a rotating basis, Leight said. The process will normally take 48-72 hours. Meanwhile, Leight said, department staff such as athletic trainers and coaches oversee testing and administrative tasks such as record-keeping. While Leight recognizes student-athletes' love for competition, she makes it known that their wellbeing comes first and foremost. "The interruption in athletics over the past year has been incredibly challenging for them," Leight said. "We take their health very seriously [...] They have been patient and demonstrated dedication and resilience."

GRAPHIC BY: HANNAH SLOPE


SPORTS

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February 5, 2021

Rock football alum honored for courage              

By Brendan Howe Sports Editor

â&#x20AC;&#x153;I can tell you what I remember,â&#x20AC;? the voice says over speaker phone. â&#x20AC;&#x153;A lot of that day, I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t remember.â&#x20AC;? Ironically, in the courageous act for which many now recognize him, former Slippery Rock wideout Jaimire Dutrieuille calls to mind only an instinctive lunge. It was a seasonably warm and sunny day, he recalls. Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d punched out from work shortly before stopping at a friendâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s on his way home. There, Dutrieuille sat on the porch, his back turned to the street behind him. He talked to the friend and asked the friendâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s nine-year-old niece, Merajzha, how school was going. From accounts described to him, Jaimire says that a car rolled past the home, then made a U-turn back toward it. The assailants hopped out of the car and began running down a hill, gunsdrawn. â&#x20AC;&#x153;My boy, I guess, he sees what was going on [â&#x20AC;Ś] and he says something to me, but, I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know if I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t hear him or if I wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t paying attention, so I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t really react,â&#x20AC;? Dutrieuille says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I was probably confused because I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know what he was talking about.â&#x20AC;? Rightfully so, Dutrieuille says, the friend fled into his home, his infant son in his arms.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;When he runs in the house, they start shooting at the porch,â&#x20AC;? Dutrieuille says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;When I hear the shots go off [â&#x20AC;Ś] I probably couldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve jumped over his bannister and ran down the street and [been] perfectly fine.â&#x20AC;? Instead, he grabbed the young girl in front of him and shielded her. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want nothing to happen to her,â&#x20AC;? he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I have little sisters and I have a mom. If my mom or little sisters [were] in that situation, I would want somebody to do the same for them [â&#x20AC;Ś] It was a little girl. She doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t deserve to be in that situation.â&#x20AC;? Jaimire was struck by three bullets, one of which hit his head. Sent into shock, he sidestepped the immediate anguish of being shot. He came to in a hospital bed at UPMC Presbyterian. One of the shots shattered his elbow. Another punctured his butt, grazing his Sciatic nerve and injuring his hips to the extent where heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d have to re-learn how to walk. â&#x20AC;&#x153;To be doing something your whole life and then to wake up and not be able to do it,â&#x20AC;? Dutrieuille says, â&#x20AC;&#x153;it was weird.â&#x20AC;? Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d pushed through the pain of a sprained foot before, but heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d never dealt with something like this.

SEE JAIMIRE PAGE C-4 ALEX MOWREY/THE ROCKET

Williams slides toward Olympic dreams   !  "    #" $   !%%  doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t lead to â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll do whatever I can By Madison Williams Olympics Williams competing, he to keep progressing in the Senior Rocket Contributor

Slippery Rock alumnus and former studentathlete Hunter Williams has set a goal to compete in the 2026 Olympics. Since his time running track at the Rock from 2011 to 2015, heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s stayed in shape while working a full-time job and finding passion for sliding and track. The endurance level for sliding is competitive and requires athleticism and a background in sports. Sliding and Skeleton go hand-inhand. Skeleton consists of a single person sliding down a slippery track, while riders lay face-down toward the front of the sled. Having a background in track gave Williams the edge he needed to take on such a tasking sport. During the pandemic, Williams has been able to work virtually in the oil and gas industry. At SRU, he studied Geographic Information Systems, but still wants to keep athletics relevant in his life. Although his schedule is hectic, he makes time for both his job and training. On top of the stress that comes with that, his training is self-funded. In 2017, Williams realized he wanted more, and set the bar high for himself. A former teammate of Williamsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; suggested looking into competing with the Olympic team. Come the next year, Williams began his journey in sliding with the new team. Team USA is a dream for some, but Williams made it a reality. After doing some research, they found out they could compete in a combine. The trial is a chance to pass a fitness test in order to prove worthy of a spot. After passing, slide school and push camp were Williamsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; future. If training for the

says he is still glad to be around all of the amazing athletes he trains beside. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I have work to do, thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s for sure,â&#x20AC;? Williams said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;But the 2026 Olympics are my goal. Every day will be a challenge leading up to that point.â&#x20AC;? A day in the life comes with a sense of normalcy for Williams. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I wake up at 6:30 and have my morning coffee every day before heading to the track at 8:00 a.m.,â&#x20AC;? Williams said.

"I'll do whatever I can to keep progressing in the sport." â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Hunter Williams, SRU alum He added that most people, himself included, get there early to warm up and mentally prepare for the day. During a single day, Williams does two to three training runs. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Here in Lake Placid, New York, the track is nearly a mile long and has 19 timed curves for skeleton, and 20 for bobsled,â&#x20AC;? he said. After each run, players and coaches talk about what can be improved upon, and the next run implications are made. Around 9:00 a.m sliding begins and three runs follow. By 11:00 a.m., itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s time for treatment and returning home. After that, heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll eat lunch, crunch numbers, and analyze data again.

sport,â&#x20AC;? Williams said. His work ethic speaks for itself. In order to qualify, heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d need to place high enough in upcoming races. The World Cup race allows for the highest amount of points, while the Intermediate cup has the second most, and Development tier, consisting of the North American tier, yields the least amount of points. These points add up, out of a total 8 races, and whoever has the most is more likely to be offered a chance to play in the Olympic games. His college experiences and winnings helped him to prepare for this point in his career. To this day, he holds Slippery Rockâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s record for the indoor 400m. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hard to pick just one favorite memory,â&#x20AC;? Williams said. He added that the team was well-rounded, and not just one person stood out. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Senior year, I won the 200-meter dash, and I knew my potential,â&#x20AC;? Williams said. They were all breaking records in college, so being a standout athlete was difficult. â&#x20AC;&#x153;In this sport, it comes down to 0.001 of a second,â&#x20AC;? Williams said. That 0.001 of a second could be the difference between chalking up a â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Wâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; or â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Lâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; in the column of races. To be on a good team that is consistently winning, it is no surprise that junior year the conference title was theirs to win, and they did exactly that. The future is bright and, between his college career and post-college career, Williams has put together a decorated career. The Rock is proud to have alumni like Hunter Williams, who is making a name for himself in the real world.

ALEX MOWREY / THE ROCKET

Williams competes in a track event in his time at SRU. He still holds the school's indoor 400m record.


SPORTS

February 5, 2021

C-3

Men's club ice hockey suspended for hazing               By Brendan Howe Sports Editor

Joe Wells Assistant News Editor

In early January, Slippery Rock Universityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s club ice hockey hazing case was resolved with a determination of a fouryear suspension that will end in November 2024. Through a group investigation, it was found in the universityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Hazing Institutional Report that the team was responsible for hazing connected to an annual â&#x20AC;&#x153;Rookie Dayâ&#x20AC;? event. According to the report, the event involved â&#x20AC;&#x153;excessive alcohol consumption, underage alcohol consumption, furnishing alcohol to minors, the provision of exotic dancers to target new members with exotic dancer activities, and the requirement of new members to participate in challenges including physical challenges such as a scavenger hunt and foot races.â&#x20AC;? In her tenth year at SRU, Leigh Ann Gilmore acts as the director of the Office of Student Conduct. She collects alleged hazing referrals, assigns investigators, and reviews cases before offering a consequence based on what sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s seen. â&#x20AC;&#x153;What Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d like for folks to understand is that this process has been going on for months and months and months,â&#x20AC;? Gilmore said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This was not a snap decision [â&#x20AC;Ś] and for good reason. We give students due process and we give student organizations due process.â&#x20AC;?

In cases such as that of the menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ice hockey program, students and organizations can reject sanctions and receive a hearing. In some instances, the student or organization gets less of a consequence than originally offered, but Gilmore explained that, because of new information, evidence, and witnesses, hearings could also lead to a harsher decision. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s so much more comprehensive [and] itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s quite possible that an organization or a student might get a greater consequence,â&#x20AC;? she said. Through the hearing procedure, witnesses can be called and questioned, and any information on behalf of the organization is permitted to be provided. â&#x20AC;&#x153;A typical hearing for a case [such as the menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ice hockey team] could be five to ten hours long,â&#x20AC;? Gilmore said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is not something that is taken lightly or is a quick decision by any stretch of the imagination.â&#x20AC;? Once at hearing, the ruling is outside of Gilmoreâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s judgement. Evidence-based, the determination is made by a three-person board, trained and separate from any of the parties involved. If the panel concludes the student or organization is in violation, it is provided with a potential sanction range and, Gilmore said, the four-year suspension was actually one less than a typical hazing penalty. Brian Crow, a Slippery Rock professor, has spent two decades researching

hazing in the world of athletics. He joined SRUâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s anti-hazing prevention task force in 2017. While the task force does not have any enforcement or investigation powers, it works to look at what areas of campus life could be susceptible to hazing and finding ways to mitigate it. With both hazing and bullying having become spotlighted over the past decade, there are similarities, yet their purpose is quite different, Crow said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;In bullying, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re trying to exclude people,â&#x20AC;? Crow said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;And in hazing we are trying to make people prove that theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re worthy of being part of our [â&#x20AC;Ś] group.â&#x20AC;? What makes something hazing can differ from state to state, depending on the wording in their statutes. In the U.S., 44 states have hazing statutes on the books, including Pennsylvania. Of those states, only 10 make hazing a felony offense. In 2018, Pennsylvania made hazing a felony when it leads to serious injury or death. The Piazza Anti-Hazing Law was created after the death of Penn State student Tim Piazza in 2017. Piazza died Feb. 4, 2017 after sustaining injuries from multiple falls during a night of heavy alcohol consumption as part of a Beta Theta Pi fraternity hazing ritual. Along with making certain hazing charges felonies, the law requires universities in Pennsylvania to provide a report of all

hazing allegations and investigations for the past five years.

"This was not a snap decision [...] for good reason." â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Leigh Ann Gilmore, director of Office of Student Conduct SRUâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hazing report shows the university received 14 complaints of hazing from 2016 to 2021, including the allegations made against the menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s club ice hockey program. Of those 14 reports, four have resulted in a suspension of the organization and one has been put on probation. According to Crow, one way to recognize hazing is to look at the context and whether a person would do something if it wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t required by the group. Whether a person consents to the act does not matter, Crow said. From the data he has seen, Crow said most consent because they want to belong to the group. A 2008 study found that 55% of students involved with athletics or student organizations experienced hazing.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Most of the victims of hazing will say â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Well, I did it on my own, nobody forced me,â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;? Crow said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The insidious part is that these people are supposed to be your friends for life but theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re the ones [putting you in] dangerous and harmful activities you wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t do otherwise.â&#x20AC;? Gilmore understands the frustration coming from those invested in the team. Still, she stands by the hearingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s outcome. â&#x20AC;&#x153;What I can respond to that is, this was an extremely thorough process,â&#x20AC;? Gilmore said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I know that theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re upset about it [â&#x20AC;Ś] and I know that it doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t make anyone feel better to say itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s less than [previous] organizations got. Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s challenging is that [unlike the hearing board], the people who are commenting on this case do not have all of the evidence and facts.â&#x20AC;? Gilmore revealed that, in the beginning, there were allegations of nonconsensual contact that were seen, based on investigation, to have no sustaining evidence. Through the same investigation, Gilmore says, a number of other details came to light that were not in the referral. Gilmore thinks that, looking at stricter sanctions, the school is trying to root out an entire culture. Hazing, she said, is normalized to the extent that a lot of people defend the right to do so. â&#x20AC;&#x153; Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not easy,â&#x20AC;? Gilmore said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;So, a lot

of people criticize that, when you suspend an organization, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re killing that organization. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s really important to re-establish that organization without hazing as part of its culture.â&#x20AC;? As part of hazing sanctions at SRU, people who were members before cannot help re-establish the group. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s unfortunate, Gilmore said, because so many of those involved with the program, such as alumni and parents, brought the enthusiasm that made the team what it was. She let it be known that the situation wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t blackand-white and that she sees the positives that the menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hockey team brought to the community, also acknowledging how much time and money was put into building the program. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If they can carry through [with] that passion, [â&#x20AC;Ś] I think that it absolutely could be re-established, because thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a lot interest in that sport,â&#x20AC;? Gilmore said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s heartbreaking, really. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sad on my end [â&#x20AC;Ś] The [ruling] doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t mean they didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t offer positive things.â&#x20AC;? She hopes that the program is eventually able to recognize, with perspective, that the ruling wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t personal. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They are not going to feel good about this any time soon,â&#x20AC;? Gilmore said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m hoping that, with some time, when they look back, and hopefully with some life experience in the future, that they will understand why this was taken so seriously.â&#x20AC;?

Appreciating the smaller things            

By Tyler Howe Assistant Sports Editor

On March 2, 2020, the Slippery Rock menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s basketball team walked into Johnstown to play in the PSAC Tournament and, just like everyone else, was unaware that the simple things that everyone had taken for granted would be taken away less than two weeks later. Now, almost a year after Th e Rock dropped t h a t g a m e t o Pi t t Johnstown, players and coaches alike are adjusting to a winter without any basketball and a second semester of online classes. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a unique situation, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just unfortunate for those that are seniors in high school and college alike. We were fortunate enough that it didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t affect our playing season and the people that it affected more on our team was the underclassmen because they didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get to do those spring workouts,â&#x20AC;? head coach Ian Grady said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s nothing you can do about it, but your heart goes out to the young people affected by this.â&#x20AC;? This year, however, the Rock has only one senior, which is extremely rare for any team and in comparison, last year the

team had four seniors. That senior is Eric Taylor, who would have been in his second season at the Rock. Before coming to SRU, Taylor played at the Community College of Beaver County where the team went 46-8 in his two years spent there.

"Your heart goes out to the young people affected by this." â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Ian Grady, SRU hoops head coach â&#x20AC;&#x153;We donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t measure the value to the team by minutes played in games, Eric has been a huge contributor, and no one is outworking him, when heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s given his opportunities, he makes the most of them,â&#x20AC;? Grady said. Taylor is majoring in petroleum and natural gas engineering and because of that, when this season was

over, he would have still had another year of school left. But, with the NCAA granting all athletes an extra year of eligibility, Taylor will be able to play next year should games proceed. â&#x20AC;&#x153;At first I was pretty upset when the season was canceled, but I realized Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll be able to come back next year and play since the NCAA granted the extra year of eligibility,â&#x20AC;? Taylor said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Things have actually kind of worked out perfectly, because this was going to be my last year on the court, but I still had another year of school left.â&#x20AC;? It was announced back in October that studentathletes would be given an extra year of eligibility, even if they were able to play this year. As things start to get back on track with collegiate sports, this extra eligibility will give students the opportunity to play out their final year and also give underclassmen a year back that may have been taken away from them. â&#x20AC;&#x153;[Recruiting] is basically like everything else, like classes have went online so has recruiting,â&#x20AC;? Coach Grady said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s online now and the schools that are playing itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hard to get into, so itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been an adjustment but itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just basically how everything else has gone.â&#x20AC;?

KEEGAN BEARD / THE ROCKET

Since-graduated All-American forward Micah Till leaps to shoot the basketball against Pitt-Johnstown. The Rock was eliminated from the conference tournament by UPJ early last March.

There are six freshmen on the team this season, two of them being redshirts. Th e team also picked up a transfer, Earl Baker, who spent his first two years at Eastern

Wyoming College. Baker started 21 games over that time and appeared in 56. Coach Grady has tried to make sure that his team has stayed in shape during this time, but, due to NCAA

KEEGAN BEARD / THE ROCKET

Head coach Ian Grady calls to his offense in a home game against Clarion last February. The Rock toppled the Golden Eagles, 71-64.

guidelines, team workouts are not permitted. And on top of that, there are four players who are from outside the United States. Due to COVID-19, restrictions are in place nearly everywhere, but they differ from place to place and that makes it even tougher. For some players, gyms and facilities are closed so they cannot practice or workout anywhere but home. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The safety of our student athletes is the number one priority at every level, we want the guys to be safe and healthy, but we donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t worry about what we canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t control, and we try to make the best of a bad situation,â&#x20AC;? Grady said. This semester is going to be much like the last, and students will barely be able to get on campus for workouts, but as testing and other protocols ramp up, the team is hopeful to be back to some sense of normalcy, sooner rather than later. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an old saying where you play every game like itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s your last and I think [COVID-19] and what itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s done has really put that into perspective and when we do get back to normal everyone is going to appreciate what we have a little bit more,â&#x20AC;? Grady said.


SPORTS

C-4

February 5, 2021

Dutrieuille receives award CONTINUED FROM C-2

Slippery Rock, Dutrieuille says, was the only program to give him a worthwhile shot to play at the college level. Lock Haven also expressed interest, but the Bald Eagles were in the midst of a DIv. II-record 52game losing streak. “There was no way I was going to Lock Haven,” Dutrieuille says. “So, I took my visit up to Slippery Rock. And when I took my visit up to Slippery Rock, I didn’t know nothing about Slippery Rock. I didn’t even know Slippery Rock was a school and, mind you, I live in Pittsburgh.” He and his mom made the drive from North Braddock, getting lost in the process. Almost immediately, he felt a connection with the team and its players. SRU it was. A two-time All-PSAC West selection, Dutrieuille played in 47 games at Slippery Rock, starting 30 of them. He completed his career at the Rock ranked fifth in receiving yards (2,177), and third in both receptions (172) and receiving scores (20). In c l u d i n g former teammates, he had someone to keep him company every day of the month-plus that he was bedridden in the hospital, distracting him from the environment he was in. “Outside of my mom and my dad, I had somebody on my team or a family friend come visit me,” Dutrieuille says. “And it wasn’t just come and say ‘hi,’ people were spending hours upon hours with me. Just getting that love and people checking on me, sending me text messages, [and] giving me calls […] I didn’t really have time to actually process what I’d went through.” While family and friends passed through, conversations with an SRU head coaching icon stood out most. Jaimire, who completed his classes in 2015, had been unable to lock down an internship. George

Mihalik, who on the Rock’s sideline won 197 contests and claimed eight division titles, wanted to help. “When I was in the hospital—of course, [Coach Mihalik] came to visit me a couple of times—he made me make a promise to him,” Dutrieuille says. Mihalik, once a professor in the department that concentrated on Dutrieuille’s major, knew that his former player needed only four more credits for his degree. Jaimire vowed to him that he would finish his schooling when healed, and he to his wideout that he would make the process of re-admitting easier. This winter, Mihalik dialed Dutrieuille to follow up, asking if he was ready to return to school. Along with some of Jaimire’s old professors, he encouraged Dutrieuille to open the books again, even convincing some people he knew to gift scholarship money so that the receiver wouldn’t have to pay out of his pocket to finish. “It was a team effort for everybody to get me back into school,” Dutrieuille says. “With things like that, how could I not love Slippery Rock forever?” Merajzha, still experiencing trauma from the incident, preferred not to see the man who saved her life in such a condition. “She didn’t want to come to the hospital and see me like that, because I had tubes and stuff all on me and wasn’t walking,” Dutrieuille says. “You know, I wasn’t looking the same. I lost a lot of weight. Her mom would show her pictures of me and she just couldn’t fathom the fact of seeing me like that.” A week or two after Jaimire could go home, they finally reunited. “The smile she gave me, the hug she gave me, it was just amazing,” Dutrieuille says. Also sometime after Dutrieuille’s discharge from the hospital, another familiar name called with something in mind.

Jon Holtz, SRU’s director of athletic communication, was nominating Jaimire for the NCAA Award of Valor. “In my head, I was like, ‘What’s the chance of them really recognizing me?’” Dutrieuille says. “I never in a million years thought it was going to happen.” He was excited, but wasn’t yet acquainted with the honor. He looked into the history of the award, which is only presented when deemed worthy. “The requirements basically say that, when faced with a situation involving danger and extenuating circumstances, a person goes above and beyond to […] protect others from any kind of harm,” Holtz says. “That certainly fit his description.” The nomination was submitted to the NCAA over the summer and, during the fall, Holtz was told that Dutrieuille was going to receive the honor. “Never in a million years did I think I would be on a stage that big from that incident,” Dutrieuille says. “Of course, I [saw] myself [in that way] sports-wise, if I made it that far. But, from this incident, I never thought [any of the attention] was going to come out of it. I just thought, you know, I did what I did.” Even with the spotlight, the gunmen were never so much as identified, let alone apprehended. Th is comes as no big surprise to Jaimire. At first, he dealt with anxiety, aware that his aggressor was still out there. He could walk by the person on the street on the South Side, he says, and would never know. “Living where I live at, when stuff like that happens, most times, most people don’t get caught, anyway,” Dutrieuille says, irritated. His relationship with the friend wouldn’t be the same as before. The two, Dutrieuille says, didn’t speak much after the shooting.

ALEX MOWREY / THE ROCKET

Dutrieuille reels in a kickoff in a game in 2015. He finished his career in green and white as with 1,144 kick return yards, good enough for fifth-most in SRU history.

“It’s not like I dislike him or don’t still have love for him or anything,” he says. “It’s just, I can’t put myself in that situation again […] Some of the people I grew up with, maybe I shouldn’t always be hanging with.” Jaimire has his sights set on starting a non-profit to steer the youth in his area onto better paths. Before COVID, he’d mentored

children up to three times a week through Team Braddock, an organization that lets kids stay active through athletics. “Being from the area and [having done] the things the kids [do], it’s my due diligence to get out there and try to make a change,” Dutrieuille says. One of the bullets hit Jaimire in his optic nerve,

and the lack of peripheral vision in his right eye hampers him most. He can still put up shots on a basketball hoop and he can still reel in a football. Albeit, he admits, not at the level he once could. “I’m going to take that for the good in the situation,” Dutrieuille says. “I saved somebody’s life, so not too many people get to say that.”


C

VIDEO: (Mine)crafting Slippery Rock

CAMPUS LIFE

Students return for hybrid semester          

By Sarah Anderson Campus Life Editor

Slippery Rock Un i ve r s i t y started officially welcoming students back on campus the weekend of Jan. 29. While many students are residing at home or in offcampus apartments, there are approximately 700 students living on campus. The spring semester is presenting some changes for students on campus. The biggest change is a new guest policy that has been put in place. On-campus residents are able to visit one another's dorms from 7:45 p.m. to 11:15 p.m. Although many students welcome the change, many are also frustrated that there is not more time to visit their friends for a variety of different activities. Sophia Bottone, a second-semester freshman at SRU, voiced one of her biggest struggles this semester. "My biggest complaint is that Boozel is now only open until 7 or 8 p.m. and it's hard to coordinate eating with your friends," Bottone said. "It's tough luck if you want to eat with your

friends because so many of our classes run late." Sophomore Jill Patterson believes the university is doing its best given the circumstances. "I am enjoying having my own space, but it is depressing to look outside and see the campus so empty," Patterson said. "I do have to say, they are doing their best and taking all the necessary precautions." Dorm arrangements had to be adjusted to align with COVID-19 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines. Those who are residing in suites are still able to live with their original suite mates. Other oncampus residents are in dorms of their own. North and Rhoads Halls are not currently in use. On-campus freshman are facing some struggles transitioning to college. There is an expectation to make friends but with no in-person classes and so few people on campus, that is proving to be a hurdle difficult to get over. Freshman resident Alexa Juska touches on her struggle with this.

"It sucks there aren't as many people,"Â Juska said. "It's hard to meet people. But I am looking forward to expanding my friendships whenever campus is more open." St u d e n t s a t h o m e and on campus are both experiencing the str uggles of making Zoom friendships. The impacts of this minimal interaction are being felt by all students. Bottone elaborated on another downside to being on-campus in these times. Being at home presents environmental challenges for students when it comes to learning, and this had a big impact on Battone choosing to reside on campus. Being on campus, in her experience, has helped create a studious environment and study habits that she wouldn't have had at home. "I feel like I'm wasting money to make good habits," Battone said. There are pros and cons to residing on campus and many students share similar opinions. There is hope to a more active campus in the fall, with more students and less restrictions.

HANNAH SLOPE / THE ROCKET

Students move back to campus two weeks into the semester following the quarantine period. The university made changes to their protocols for the semester, altering things like the vistor policy.

First event in multi-part Wellness Series              By Morgan Miller Asst. Campus Life Editor

On Monday night, the SRU Counseling Center held a virtual wellness event titled "Getting the Most Out of Your Online Semester." This is a first in the Wellness Series Event that was created by Counselor Megg Spierto. This virtual event allowed for students to discuss a few topics to help students during this semester of online learning. This forum also allowed for students to share input, interact and discuss these strategies with peers. This, along with future events, are free to students and held on Zoom. When asked the goal of this event, Dr. John Mathe, counselor at

"Even just taking a moment to refocus. reframe and reenergize, I think is so impactful." â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Earl Coburn, counselor at SRU

GRAPHIC BY: RAYNI SHIRING

Slippery Rock University, said, "When we sat down and talked, from our point of view, we thought what are things that we can do to kind of get ahead of this right away, prepapre and get ready for a semester that may be stressful because things are different." The event was broken up into the three categories: time management, stress management and b u r n o u t p re v e n t i o n .

Spierto decided on these three topics because they were popular topics that resonated from students and staff going into this semester. "We were really hearing from students that this is still going on and it is just something that has been, I think, exhausting for a lot of people, us included," Spierto said. The event focused on strategies, advice and campus resources that

are provided to students at SRU. The counselors shared insight of their best advice for handling this virtual semester. "The first thing that comes to mind for me is the idea of going easy on yourself, giving yourself a lot of grace and time, and not expecting too much of yourself. Something that I tell my students is that it has taken a lot of energy for us to adapt to this new situation and then on top

of that to expect ourselves to really excel in this time. It is okay but putting that much pressure on yourself is not neccesary," Spierto said. The Wellness Series will continue with three more events. The next event will be February 15th, "Boundaries and Managing Relationships." Other events in this series will be "Wellness Serie: Spring Break and Mindfullness Yoga." All

events and information will be listed on CORE. Earl Coburn, another counselor at SRU, spoke of his advice to students this semester. "I think it is so easy to get overwhelmed, it's so easy to, you know, really be stressed out," Coburn said. "But just take a moment to breathe. Even just taking a moment to refocus, reframe and reenergize, I think it is so impactful."


CAMPUS LIFE

D-2

February 5, 2021

Greek Life in a pandemic               

By Brandon Pierce Senior Rocket Contributor

Slippery Rock Un i ve r s i t y ' s Gre e k chapters have been focusing on reworking their typical events and activities to accommodate restrictions put in place by the pandemic. Assistant Director at the Office of Student Engagement Jayne Piskorik oversees all Greek Life at SRU and has been working diligently to restructure activities. Piskorik, along with members of different SRU chapters, have been successful in their attempts to bring normalcy back to Greek Life. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Like any organization, COVID-19 is challenging for both function and growth,â&#x20AC;? Piskorik said regarding the diffi culties fraternities and sororities have faced during the pandemic. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve had to completely rethink everything.â&#x20AC;? Despite the struggles Greek Life has faced, the organization has

"[Zoom] ... allows us to interact and not feel like we are in a class." â&#x20AC;&#x201C; D'Erika Cromartie, Alpha Kappa Alpha president

prevailed and rose to the challenge. Both fraternities and sororities have focused on and drawn inspiration from other SRU organizations on campus and how their online activities have been structured. Transitioning from inperson events to online has been the main struggle for the chapters. When using online tools such as Zoom, it is important to maintain active engagement between both the moderators as well as the participants. This is a message that Alpha Kappa Alpha president Dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Erika Cromartie feels strongly about maintaining. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Active engagement is not what people usually do in Zoom," Cromartie said. "But active engagement allows us to interact and not feel like we are in a class." A benefit that has come from being online is an increased sense of community between the different chapters at SRU. Since there have not been as many social events hosted by the chapters, they have had the ability to connect and support with each other via Zoom. As each chapter prepares for recruitment, they have had the ability to revisit their values and appreciate what it really means to be a part of their specific fraternity or sorority. SRU's Greek Life was founded upon philanthropy and often emphasizes this focus, but especially now. During this time, online philanthropy has become a staple of v i r t u a l Gre e k L i f e . This new philanthropy experience has allowed for chapter members to discover new ways to give back to their community through online donations and participation in different discussions.

The pandemic has also forced the chapters to be innovative when planning events. For example, sorority recruitment has been a huge facet of Greek Life. In previous years, prospective sorority sisters would attend different events and socials hosted by the sororities that they were interested in. Over the course of three days, each prospective sister would narrow down their list of sororities until Bid Day. This year everything had to be modified in order or operate online. Following the same format as previous years, prospective sisters met through Zoom with each sorority for roughly 10 minutes. Over the next two days, each student meets with fewer sororities for a longer amount of time and narrows down their favorite sororities. Even though this was not the desired way to host recruitment, each sorority worked diligently t o p rov i d e t h e b e s t

PHOTO COURTESY OF JAYNE PISKORIK

                Asst. Campus Life Editor

The Aebersold Student Recreation Center (ARC) is hosting group virtual fitness classes live on Instagram every  week  at 5 p.m.  The class options are High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and yoga. The classes are hosted by  SRU  student interns. The ARC decided to start holding sessions in March of 2020.  HIIT classes are held  Monday, Tuesday and  Wednesday  nights, and  a yoga class is held Thursday nights. Although there are a variety of workout types, Assistant Director of

Wellness Ryan Stack spoke on  the  ARC's HIIT class focus. â&#x20AC;&#x153;HIIT classes  have a tendency to  be a little bit more accessible for just about everyone. They are  also adaptable to from the most novice participant to the most advanced participant,â&#x20AC;? Stack said.  The virtual HIIT and yoga classes do not require any equipment  or prior fitness. Intern and instructor Maddy Mercurio  spoke on the importance of exercising. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s always important to exercise, but I think right now with the pandemic, there is a lot of staying  at home and procrastination to not exercise,â&#x20AC;?  Mercurio

PHOTO COURTESY OF JAYNE PISKORIK

Two sisters from Alpha Xi Delta posing at The Point in Pittsburgh, PA.

Jack Kern and Ryan Carr holding SRU branded masks at the "Ask Me" tens the first week of the fall semester.

ARC encourages active lifestyle

By Morgan Miller

experience they could to prospective sisters in an online format. Julie Rismiller, the president of Alpha Sigma Tau, is actively looking to bring everything together for her sorority. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re making the most of a bad situation,â&#x20AC;? Rismiller said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It's not as lively and exciting, but we have been finding fun ways to keep everyone together.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Even though there have been lots of stress generated as a result of the effort put in to making the events happen, there has been lots of success, especially under the current circumstances.â&#x20AC;? Said Jayne Piskorik. The success of online Gre e k L i f e h a s b e e n the direct result of the effort and passion that ever y leader of SRU's sororities and fraternities have brought forth in these troubling times. Through innovation and consistent effort, Greek Life is flourishing and remains a vital part of SRU.

said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;These classes really help people to get motivated to do it and we save the sessions so you can watch them later.â&#x20AC;? The classes held by the ARC's student interns allows for a connection with students and the university. Exercise is a tool for positive thinking  and stress relief.  â&#x20AC;&#x153;When you exercise it gives you that sense of accomplishment like 'I did something good for myself today,'â&#x20AC;? Stack said.   Students can participate in the virtual sessions through the A RC Instagram, @srucampusrec. Updates or changes to the schedule can also be found on CORE, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

GRAPHIC BY:RAYNI SHIRING


February 5, 2021

CAMPUS LIFE

D-3

From Rock to block

             By Brandon Pierce Senior Rocket Contributor

Due to the pandemic and the restrictions placed upon distancing, many students at SRU were unable to see much of their campus this past fall. To remedy this, Adam Schultz, the president of the SRU Esports club, along with some other members of the Esports club, decided to create a way to allow students to not only view the campus, but to explore the area as well. Their solution was simple: recreate Slippery Ro c k Un i ve r s i t y i n Minecraft. Minecraft is a video game about building and exploring a virtual 3D world, which is made entirely out of cubic blocks. For the Esports club to recreate the SRU campus,

"We wanted to bring the campus to the students. Reaching people from the past is an achievement." â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Aaron Schultz, ESports club president

BRANDON PIERCE / THE ROCKET

An overview of the Minecraft version of the Smith Student Center. To find more information and updates about the SRU Minecraft World, you can find the Esports club on Twitter @SlipRockEsports.

thousands of blocks had to be specifically placed. This was no small feat, even with multiple people working on the project. To accurately construct the campus on the popular video game, the Esports club had to plan each block very carefully to make the world appear built to scale. The project started back in October, when planning first took place. According to Schultz, this project was created as a medium to allow students to visit and explore the campus. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We wanted to bring the campus to the students,â&#x20AC;? Schultz said. Many students can feel detached from the campus

due to the pandemic, but the club's creation allows students to regain the involvement to the college and to feel a part of the community once again. Furthermore, the project was created to help students feel closer to campus, even if they live hours away. For many students, visiting campus is difficult due to the distance that campus is from their homes. This creation brings the campus to them and allows them to explore as they please. Additionally, creating a virtual Slippery Rock campus on Minecraft paves the way for a virtual community to blossom and flourish. The possibilities are often endless when it comes to

Minecraft. For example, students could log on to the Minecraft world and meet up with their friends in the virtual quad, or even visit Boozel together. The Esports club is even contemplating the idea of hosting a virtual commencement in Minecraft for those who are graduating or have graduated during the pandemic. Another idea is to host tours around the virtual campus for students. The idea for a college campus Minecraft world stems from other colleges that have undertaken similar projects to bring the campuses online as well. The Slippery Rock Minecraft world is unique in the fact that it has been

WEEKLY STUDENT ORGANIZATION SPOTLIGHT: American Sign Language (ASL) Club

entirely student and alumni created, with attention to detail at every block. The world started gaining popularity as the Esports club posted progress reports online every few days as different structures were completed. From these posts, the club received lots of positive feedback and people volunteering to help create different buildings on the Minecraft world. Recently, the Minecraft world has gained popularity and attention from the community, which was not anticipated by the Esports club. According to Schultz, current students and alumni have praised the club for their creation. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Reaching people from the past is an achievement,â&#x20AC;?

SNA hosts Women & Girls Drive

           By Morgan Miller Asst. Campus Life Editor

         

said Schultz. The Minecraft world also shines a spotlight on the SRU Esports club as well. This project served as an outreach to those interested in Esports, as well as those who are not familiar with it. Outside of Minecraft, the Esports club hosts different video game sessions and even organizes teams to compete with other colleges. What started as a niche project for those interested in video games has grown to appeal to anyone related to Slippery Rock University. Even though the entire campus has not been created yet, Esports members and volunteers plan to further their hard work.

Starting Feb. 1 through March 1, The Student Nonprofit Alliance (SNA) will be hosting a Women's and Girls' Drive where they are asking for donations from Slippery Rock students and the community. Stated on CORE, many women are forced to decide whether to buy food for their families or feminine products. The care packages provided by SRU and the community will be given to women and girls, so they do not have to decide. SNA partnered with YWCA (Young Women's Christian Association) in Butler. YWCA used to be fully aligned with Christianity, but has

since opened up their organization to fight social justice no matter someone's religion. YWCA Butler will take the care packages and deliver them to women and girls in need. The care packages will  consist  of the any items donated, along with a small stuffed animal and put into a green drawstring bag that says, â&#x20AC;&#x153;We Believe in YOU!â&#x20AC;? On CORE, students can find wish list links to Target and Amazon. The items  include a range of wellness and feminine products. Barbara Rugh, public relations  and marketing officer for SNA,  spoke on the details of the donations.

PHOTO COURTESY OF CIANNA CAIN

The ASL Club E-Board meets via Zoom to discuss club matters. From left to right: Daniel Brady (Advisor), Cianna Cain (President), Meghan Kiefer (Media Chair), Marina McCutcheon (Secretary), Rebekah Shearer (Vice President), Alyssa Bittner (Treasurer).

By Sarah Anderson Campus Life Editor

Slippery Rock University's ASL Club, created in 2014 or 2015, is still up and running with an active group. The club was created because Slippery Rock University did not offer an American Sign Language class for credit at the time. The club was a solution to teach students on campus the importance of American Sign Language and deaf culture. Although there are no deaf students in the club this semester, they still are continuing teaching

and learning. Cianna Cain, ASL club president, said "It's important to respect deaf people and deaf culture. To do this, we make sure to use resources to teach from deaf creators." Every Tuesday, the club meets at 12:30 p.m. where they teach a brief lesson in ASL, teach and learn about deaf culture, and play games regarding the subject matter. Cain wants people to know that you do not have to have prior experience to join or get involved. She puts emphasis on, "It's all about learning." Learning ASL is all about learning about the culture, the beauty of the

language and being able to express oneself in a different way. They are very active on their Instagram (@aslsru) where they try to post every or every other day. Posts and stories include mini lessons, what to expect and ways for other members to interact. The club's E-Board includes Cain, Vice President Rebekah Shearer, Treasurer Alyssa Bittner, Secretary Marina McCutcheon and Media Chair Meghan Kiefer. For more information about ASL Club, students can check Instagram (@ aslsru), CORE or email Cain directly at cmc1029@ sru.edu.

"It's important to respect deaf people and deaf culture. To do this we make sure we use resources from deaf creators."

â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Cianna Cain, president of ASL club

GRAPHIC BY: RAYNI SHIRING


CAMPUS LIFE

D-4

February 5, 2021

'Tiger': two-part documentary review         

By Dereck Majors Review Columnist

Everyone knows of Tiger Woods. He is not just one of the best golfers of all time, but also one of the most successful athletes in history. Since the age of two, his entire life has revolved around the sport of golf. And while there were a few hiccups along the way, he continues to this day to be the legend and hero many often see him as. HBOâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Tiger attempts to tell this Tiger Woods storyâ&#x20AC;Śjust without Tiger Woodsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; consent and involvement. In fact, we barely hear from Woods throughout the entire two-part documentary besides interviews at various tournaments and old family videos. Instead, we are introduced to exgirlfriends, mistresses, caddies, old family friends who attempt to give their take on nearly every aspect of his life. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s insightful to the outside world of the life of an often-private celebrity, but it feels almost unethical. But this is the key to Tigerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s success. Without having Woods involved, we donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have a first-person perspective of these events. Rather, we are presented with stories from those around him that attempt to fill in the multiple gaps of Woodsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; life story and provide a greater context to who the legend is when heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not on the golf course. Between both episodes, there is one consistent element that is always present: Tigerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s father, Earl. Earl was the first to hand Tiger a club at only two

years old and he watched him compete at nearly every major national tournament of his career before his death in 2006. His words of wisdom, through archival footage and interviews, shows the influence, good and bad, the man had on Tiger. Earl is Tigerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s biggest supporter, and the father-son dynamic this documentary presents establishes an understanding of all Tigerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s actions throughout his life: both on and off the green. There is a clear divide in both episodes: pre and post scandals. The first half deals with Tigerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s upbringing and many of his earliest championships. We basically watch every important moment of his first Masters win in 1997 at 21 years old all the way to Woods being regarded as one of the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s greatest role models. Mixed in are some great edits of various golf moments throughout his early career that really emphasize how monumental Woods has been to the sport. Also in this first episode, we see the way the world perceives Woods. He describes himself early in his career as a â&#x20AC;&#x153;Cablinasian,â&#x20AC;? a mix of his Caucasian, Black, Asian, and Indian on the Oprah Winfrey Show. This is in contrast to the media simply covering him as African American. It presents an interesting angle and parallel of Woods being so much more than he appears to the general public. Everyone knows him for being a superstar athlete, but few know the â&#x20AC;&#x153;real Tiger.â&#x20AC;?

This brutally honest side is exposed in episode two, jumping directly into the many scandals that tarnished Woodsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; image. From his 2009 car crash outside his home, the number of infidelity scandals, and his 2017 arrest, Tiger begins to take the focus away from his athletic career and begins to dive into a personal expose that often feels exploitive without having Woodsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; involvement. Ultimately, this is marketed as a documentary, which should primarily provide facts rather than opinions. Having this one-sided story makes the audience question what is fact and what is fiction. Luckily the story ends on an exuberant note with Woodsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; career spike that led to his 2019 Masters win. It feels almost full circle in the way that the story managed to tell his rise, fall, and rise in its three-hour runtime, hitting on every important milestone along the way. While itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s difficult to make a documentary without the main subject providing their input, Tiger somehow works around this feat. And it provides a more human side to the superstar than he could have provided himself. The impact Woods has had can best be summed up by a quote often referenced throughout the documentary by Earl Woods prior to Tiger winning his first Masters Tournament: â&#x20AC;&#x153;The world will be a better place to live in by virtue of his existence and his presence. This is my treasure. Please accept it and use it wisely.â&#x20AC;?

World premiere of Making Melrose            

By Sarah Anderson Campus Life Editor

Slippery Rock Un i ve r s i t y ' s T h e a t e r Department is jumping into the spring semester with a world premiere musical titled Making Melrose. A new piece by Daniel Lincoln and Omri Schein, as well as directed by new member of the SRU Theater Department, Aaron Galligan-Stierle, it is bound to be a great show. The shows will be streamed Jan. 28, 29 and 30. Once purchased, ticket-holders will receive a link for the show on the date they purchased. The link lasts the whole day, giving v i e we r s a c h a n c e t o

watch the show whenever works best for them. Tickets are $5 for students and $7 for nonSRU students. Aaron Galligan-Stierle is a temporary hire in the theater department with his hands full with directing two shows and teaching in both the previous fall semester and this spring. Theater in a pandemic is a challenge, and is still a leap many have not taken. Stierle did not let this stop him as he took on the duty of directing Making Melrose. The show was commissioned for Slippery Rock University and was made based off of the auditions and cast. Stierle had reached out to the two writers, pitching this project and they all

worked hard, with the cast, to bring this small idea to life. It has exceeded everyone's expectations. The digital process of creating this show presented challenges for everyone. Stierle touched on this by saying, "many of the students had never met each other. I have never set foot on campus, I have been teaching remotely in New York City for the entire year. None of us had met in person. There were lots of technical issues in terms of capturing the project." Despite these challenges, Stierle said it would not have been possible without two important members of the production. He claimed AJ Sannsonetti and Denise Vonada, his "MVPs," were both valuable to the show. Sansonetti, associate

d i r e c t o r o f  Ma k i n g Me l ro s e , o f f e re d u p insightful ideas and helped to keep things flowing by reading parts when needed. Vonada, the stage manager, "always kept balls in the air and was constantly juggling all of the pieces to make sure it all worked and came together." There were four professionals brought onto the project from New York City. Will Schuler, music director; Alan Waters, video editor; and writers Daniel Lincoln and Omri Schein. By having the students work this closely to professionals, they gained new skills and new relationships in the industry. Sterile wants to start building bridges between Slippery Rock

PHOTO COURTESY OF AARON GALLIGAN-STIERLE

Making Melrose is running extend show dates, Feb 4-6. The show was just taking off at the end of its orginal run. prompting an extended run the folowing week.

University and the larger theater industry. Daniel Lincoln, who wrote the music f o r  Ma k i n g Me l ro s e , was impressed with the maturity, preparedness and professionalism of the student cast. He says, "I knew they would rise to the challenge. I felt like I was working with a team of professionals." Om r i S c h e i n , l y rc i s t for the show, took on similar feelings. Not only was it a breeze working with the students, but the collaboration between writers and the director were seamless. Everyone always was on the same page and was able to contribute ideas in an environment that encouraged creativity. Schein added that he was ". . .extremely grateful for this opportunity and to share this with the students and being able to create something new. If it wasn't for this pandemic, we probably wouldn't even be doing this right now." Students of the cast seemed to reflect the same feelings. Alawna Mallory, a sophomore playing the role of Jamie King, had no idea how this experience was going to change her life as an actress. She describes her internal thoughts going, 'this is new and I am very afraid, but I can take it." Ab by Ma l c zo n , a freshman in the theater department playing the role of Cassidy Winters, loved being a part of this show. Malczon described this show as creative, funny, witty and full of love. "It's the story we need right now. I would say it's 90 minutes of comedy and love and all of that good stuff we need now more than ever." Making Melrose has changed the people in

this project's outlook on theater, especially during a pandemic. With many people feeling isolated and overwhelmed with everything in the world right now, this show is a perfect way to find positive feelings in such a hard time. More information about the show is listed on CORE. Be sure to pick up your ticket for the virtual viewing. If there are any more questions regarding Making Melrose, Aaron Galligan-Stierle can be contacted at a.galliganstierle@sru.edu.

"I would say it's 90 minutes of comedy and love and all of that good stuff we need now more than ever."

â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Abby Malczon, SRU freshman playing Cassidy Winters

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