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Cover Design by Rebecca Dietrich/The Rocket




December 2, 2016


SGA discusses survey results SGA revealed the results of their 2016 student life survey, and also helped to fund a new van for athletic teams. See

Visiting professor discusses Stoicism A professor from City College of New York gave a keynote speech on the history and modern usage of Stoicism. See



Catch something exciting happening on campus? Want your Insta-photos to be featured in The Rocket? Just follow @SRURocket on Instagram and use #   in the caption for your chance to be featured here!


International students discuss the holidays and traditions they celebrate from around the world By Dan DiFabio and Logan Campbell News Editor and Assist. News Editor

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International students at SRU shared some of the activities and traditions they do on their respective holidays in their home countries. Dong Nguyen, finance and information systems major, is from Vietnam. He said that the holiday he celebrates there with his family is the Chinese New Year. Nguyen said he’s excited for the holiday because he’ll get to hang out with family and have a nice meal. Most of all, he is excited for “lucky money”, which is given to him from family members. Shaheer Jilanee, computer science major, is from Bangladesh and celebrates Eid al-Fitr. This holiday starts with the family going to a local mosque, where they say a special prayer. After the service the family goes home and eats food. One notable tradition is where the family shows respect to their elders. “There’s a way we respect our elders where we kind of go down and touch their feet,” Nguyen said. “It’s symbolic for respect.” Nguyen said the elder then usually gives the person showing respect a gift. Gifts don’t have to be physical though, as one can donate to charity or help feed the poor during the holiday as well. Nguyen said he is most looking forward to visiting with friends and family. “I have a huge extended family,” Nguyen said. “Once we all get together it’s a huge party that’s always fun.” Yannick Santoyo is a management major from Germany, where he celebrates Saint Nicholas day on Dec. 6. This consists of putting a boot out overnight for Saint Nicholas, who fills the boot with candy and chocolate. Santoyo said that he, unfortunately, won’t be able to go home. “I wish I could go home,” Santoyo said. “I’m just excited to get candy like chocolates and all the Christmas stuff.” Lilla Pallas, a sports management major from Hungary, also celebrates with

Saint Nicholas Day and said the holiday is mainly for children, who receive things like tangerines and peanuts in their boots. Bad kids don’t get sweets however, and are instead punished. Pallas said that Saint Nicholas’ friends, known as Krampus come around dressed in black, but are mostly there to be funny. Kevin Xu, an accounting major from China, said that he celebrates Spring Festival in January and February, where older family members give out money. Xu said he is excited to get to go home and receive money. Lena Kohnen, a public relations major from Belgium, said that on Christmas Eve she celebrates with her family by dipping food like mushrooms into melted cheese, and also visiting family and receiving presents. Parto Bhrn, a chemistry major from Iran, says her family uses the holiday seasons to travel and spend time together. Bhrn jokingly said her favorite part about being home is being able to travel and just relax. Deliana Martinez, a resort recreation and hospitality management major from the Dominican Republic, said some of her holidays are similar to one's celebrated in the U.S. On Christmas Eve, a huge dinner is prepared and everyone dresses up for the occasion, Martinez said. Pretty much every holiday that is celebrated in the U.S. is also celebrated in the Dominican Republic, with the exception of Thanksgiving, Martinez said. Christmas Eve is filled with dancing and food, but the dinner doesn't begin until 7 or 8 p.m. and will go until 4 or 5 a.m., Martinez said. Koki Kawaguchi, an athletic training major from Japan, said that New Year's in the U.S. is celebrated similarly in Japan. The New Year's celebration lasts from Jan. 1-3, and involves everyone going into a temple and making a wish for something good to come in the new year, Kawaguchi said. In the morning osechi is prepared, which is just a New Year's dish made up of several different foods, Kawaguchi said. Dawa Rawat, a sophomore

information systems major from India, said the major celebration they do is Diwali, a festival of lights. Every house decorates with lights to cover every section, similar to what the U.S. does for Christmas, Rawat said. This holiday signifies the victory of light over darkness, and is something special to see, Rawat said. The lights normally seen on houses in the US are smaller than what is used to decorate these houses, Rawat said. Rangoli, which is an art decoration created in the living rooms or courtyards of some homes, is a big part of the Diwali festival celebration, Rawat said. Decorative diyas are also used, and these are just small clay decorative lamps made for the festival, Rawat said. Bengisu Cura, an education major from Turkey, said Ramadan as well as the Greater Eid (Eid al-adha) are the most important holidays celebrated in Turkey. Ramadan is a 30-day fast, in which people of Turkey don't eat between certain hours, Cura said. Greater Eid is great because all of the meat that isn't consumed is given to help out the poor so they can eat as well, Cura said. The food is split into thirds, with a third going to the families, a third to the relatives and a third to the poor, Cura said. Isuri Rajapaksa, an integrated marketing communication major from Sri Lanka said that she celebrates the Buddhist New Year on April 14. She and her family wear colors based on astrological star signs. She also prepares food with her family and takes plates to friends and family to share. At the end of the day, the family gathers and counts how much money they made. Although Rajapaksa can’t return home, saying that the ticket would be around $2000, she said she would be excited to see her family during the holiday. “We get enough of being around them at times because of how annoying they get, but on that day it’s like everybody gets together so it’s filled with joy,” Rajapaksa said.

December 2, 2016




November 21- Police responded to a medical and police searched the room and no weapon was situation in Building E, and the person refused help found. November 18- Police responded to an earlier upon arrival. The mother was called and the person incident for a roommate conflict, and the person was picked up. did not want any more police action. The case was November 29- Police were called for an unknown reported and the person was advised to at least contact person(s) who put items in their car in the Union Residence Life. November 28- Police conducted a traffic stop along Commuter Lot. The caller was advised and a report Kiester Road for a person driving without their will be taken. headlights on. The person was advised to turn them November 19- Police received a call from a CA in on and no citation was issued. Watson Hall for an alcohol violation, and the case was November 29- Person reported witnessing a hit referred to student conduct. and run along Campus Drive, the case is under November 29- Police received a call for a possible investigation. fight at Boozel Dining Hall. Police spoke to all those November 19- A person provided police a false involved and it was found to be verbal only. The name and I.D and was told not to enter the Student incident was sent to student conduct for review. November 29- A CA from Building B called about Center. The person attempted again and charges were a suspected bag of marijuana found; police collected filed for criminal trespass and carrying a false I.D. the evidence upon arrival. November 29- Police were called to a disturbance at a student conduct hearing in the Student Center; an November 20- Police were called to North Hall for officer remained present until the meeting was over. November 30- Police received a fire alarm activation a person passed out; the person was walked to the from Boozel Dining Hall. Workers set off the alarm Health Center by police to be checked out. and the fire suppression system went off, so safety was November 29- Police were called about a possible notified for cleanup and to reset the alarm. weapon in a room in Building D. Residence Life staff

Office for Inclusive Excellence looks to expand on Multicultural Development By Logan Campbell Assistant News Editor

The newly-branded Office for Inclusive Excellence is an expansion of the Office for Multicultural Development, and will aim to create worthwhile opportunities for all students to promote positive social change on campus and in life. The Office for Inclusive Excellence specifically focuses on mentoring and coaching designed to offer academic and social support, build individual capacity and self-efficacy,and connect students to the surrounding university community. The office will create opportunities for all students to live and enjoy different cultures in a safe and supportive environment. Finally, it will provide a voice for the students while teaching them to be advocates for change in a positive way. The Office for Inclusive Excellence has four primary concentrations on which they look to help students excel at SRU and beyond graduation. The concentrations of the office include transition, mentoring, inclusion and advocacy. The overall goal of the office is to welcome students of all abilities, ages, ethnicities, genders, nationalities, races, religions, spiritual traditions, socioeconomic classes and

sexual orientations. The common misconception is that this office is only an outside entity, but instead it is creating the excellence for inclusion, Corinne Gibson, director of the Office for Inclusive Excellence, said. "We have really tried to expand upon the work we were already doing by including various other underrepresented students and groups on campus with the OIE," Gibson said. "That will include veterans, various inner-faith councils, the Pride Center and The Women's Center. The Women's Center and Pride Center were already here, but they will now be included in inclusive excellence." Gibson discussed how this effort to form inclusive excellence was a combination of several people to make this transition possible. "The combination of myself, Provost Way and associate provost Wilmes made this happen so smoothly," Gibson said. The idea to form the inclusive excellence idea has been in the works for some time now, Gibson said. It began at the beginning of the fall semester, and worked towards creating this extended mission and setting out the goals that hoped to be accomplished, Gibson said. Gibson mentioned how the hope is to have a bigger launch, with people from across

campus come and learn about the mission and vision for inclusive excellence. Collaborations will be accepted and are encouraged with the OIE, Gibson said. "Say someone from career services comes over to see what OIE is all about, and once they've read our mission and know what we're all about we can then collaborate on that piece," Gibson said. Being that it is the Office for Inclusive Excellence, the main part is diversity awareness but also the transition programs, Gibson said. The office can expand on the transition piece and ensure student success here at SRU, Gibson said. Within the transition program is the Jumpstart program and sophomore initiatives which have been a focal point for the office, Gibson said. "The whole transition idea is to ensure that every student is successful throughout their first year all the way through graduation here at SRU," Gibson said. "The Jumpstart program works primarily for first year students, to help these students transition to college life here at SRU." Gibson spoke highly of associate provost Wilmes and his easiness and willingness to new ideas for the office. for full story, see

NEWS Panel discusses the different issues, perspectives about the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando A-4

December 2, 2016


SRU philosophy professor Andrew Winters discusses the effects of the Pulse nightclub shooting Wednesday night in Vincent Science Center.

By Daniel DiFabio News Editor

A panel of professors and a student held a discussion Wednesday night on the after-effects of the shooting at Orlando's Pulse nightclub in June, where 49 people were killed and 53 were wounded. The panel, called "The Pulse Nightclub Mass Shooting: Unpacking the Intersecting Issues", was held in Vincent Science Center and started at 7:30 p.m. The event was originally scheduled for Oct. 19, but due to the faculty strike, it was moved. The panel was organized by Emily Keener, psychology professor, and Cindy LaCom, gender studies professor. It was co-sponsored by various organizations, including the psychology department, gender studies (advocacy), the President's Commission on Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation (GISO), Department of Housing and Residence Life, the philosophy department, the Center for Public Humanities, RockOUT and the Pride Center. The featured panelists were LaCom, psychology professor Jennifer McGraw, psychology professor Catherine Massey, RockOut President and SRU student Morgan Scott and philosophy professor Andrew Winter. The panelists discussed the multiple perspectives on the events, such as how different communities experienced it, as well as perspectives on why events like the Pulse shooting happen. The panel started with a video from Democracy Now! to remind those in attendance of the event and the feelings that were felt at the time. LaCom spoke about the shooting from a perspective on masculinity, and began by giving statistics on mass shootings, saying they are a United States phenomenon. LaCom gave a statistic from the F.B.I which stated that 98 percent of mass shooters are male and of the 98 percent, 90 percent were white. "When people like Trump are

talking about how we have to keep Muslims about, what you need to know is that most mass shootings are perpetuated by white men who are U.S citizens in this country," LaCom said. LaCom said her point was that mass shootings are gendered. "Mass shootings are gendered, both in terms of victims but also in terms, clearly, of perpetrators," LaCom said. LaCom said that the U.S needs to look at reliable data about who commits mass shootings, which points to the mass shooter being a male. LaCom used the term hegemonic masculinity, which describes how males are trained to be dominant in society, to describe the perpetrators in mass shooters. "Men are trained by a myriad of cultural factors to try to always be that hegemonic man, that means a lot of boys and men are constantly trying to assert their dominance over other boys or men," LaCom said. "In other words, boys and men are rewarded for acts of aggression and violence. In this model of masculinity, boys and men can see others as the enemy." LaCom said this cycle affects women and boys and men, with boys and men having higher rates of suicide and drug and alcohol abuse, which are signs of self-harm. LaCom also discussed aggrieved entitlement, which states that men need to avenge any humiliation they feel. LaCom used these terms to describe possibly some of the Pulse shooter Omar Marteen's thoughts and his reasons for the shooting. LaCom encouraged those in attendance to think about how Marteen could have seen the same-sex nature of the nightclub as "not manly", therefore wanting to take action against it. Massey spoke from the LGBT perspective of the shootings, giving a brief history of the violence against the LGBT community throughout the U.S. "In my view, the LGBT community

has been violated over centuries and put to death for being gay," Massey said. "In 73 countries, LGBT people can still be put to death for being gay, so there's a lot of work to do." Massey also said that when Mateen went into the nightclub and started shooting he pledged allegiance to ISIS, which Massey said executes anyone who they think might be gay. Massey said that although it's unknown if he chose the nightclub for the reason that it featured an LGBT community, the statistics of bars could make a correlation. "Considering there are over 1900 bars in Orlando and only 11 gay bars, I find it very interesting he would choose this one gay bar," Massey said. Massey said that there is evidence for Mateen being both against and for homosexuality, but that because of the choice of nightclub it seemed that he was against the gay community. Massey also compared the advances Obama made with supporting the gay community with that of President-elect Donald Trump, who is appointing a cabinet largely against gay rights. "This is a concern for the LGBT community because you've always been up against violence," Massey said. "When you talk about LGBT violence in this country it's a big issue. There are people everyday who are victimized because they are LGBT." Massey said that she went to Orlando for her undergraduate degree and that it was a safe city, commending the local government there for how quick they set up vigils for the victims. "We really have to be activists to stop anything like this from happening ever again," Massey said. McGraw spoke about the shooting from a mental health perspective and where it played into the shooting. McGraw said in this case there wasn't a history of mental illness, other than a history of violence, which McGraw said did not equate to mental illness, with mental illness

requiring patterns. "Being violent in and of itself is not one," McGraw said. McGraw also discussed how some citizens suggest restricting rights on those with mental illnesses, specifically when it comes to acquiring guns. "Regardless of where you fall on the issue of gun rights it's about rights and the question of what rights are you willing to restrict for people if they meet the criteria for mental illness," McGraw said. McGraw said that if gun rights were restricted for those with mental illness, it could eventually include other rights as well. "We need to be very careful in the association of mental illness and violence," McGraw said. "It is a very complicated and complex and nuanced conversation and it's not a straightforward one. I always want you to go home when people talk about restricting rights and remember that it's a very slippery slope. Once we start taking away people's rights in one area we would be very quick to take away their rights in other areas and that society would be very different from the one we live in now." Scott described the day of the shooting when Scott was going to a pride event in Pittsburgh. "The first thing I thought was it's another day in America," Scott said. Scott said how the main performer of RockOut's drag show was in Orlando at the time, but was safe. Scott described how at the parade 49 seconds of silence were given to those killed in Orlando. Scott said that it's normalized in society to be aggressive towards certain groups of people. Scott said he still sees some of this on violence but encouraged those in attendance to stop this normalization. "I ask that you step in anytime you see some form of hate against them," Scott said. Winters spoke on the shooting from a cosmopolitism perspective, which holds the belief that the cosmos includes all of humanity and the citizens of the world. Winters said the shooting allowed for a reflection of the issues. "Think of our world, our cosmos as being humanity and that in being a citizen of the cosmos that we're all particpants in some general project, and this project should be one to foster a greater sense of community for just being a human being in general," Winter said. "Reflect and think about the potential threats to this community and the goals of this community that we're all striving to attribute to and to consider how some of these threats contribute to fear in our global communities." Winters also encouraged students to use compassion, not xenophobia, and help those who are struggling by becoming their assistants and giving them a place to belong. After the panel, a question and answer session was held for any questions audience members still had.

University begins interviews for associate director of campus recreation By Rebecca Koch Rocket Contributor

SRU started its series of interviews for the associate director of campus recreation position this week, with the current associate director moving to fill a higher position. Greg Sferra, the current director of campus recreation, said that he is retiring this month after working at the university since 1997. Sferra said some of the primary responsibilities of the position include overseeing professional and student staff, fiscal management, facility management

of the ARC, managing the McFarland Recreational Sports Complex, Ski Lodge, campground and the respective facilities' marketing. Karen Perry, who is currently the associate director of campus recreation, will be moving up to fill Sferra's role after he goes into retirement. "Karen Perry is going to become our next director and I am extremely confident in her ability to lead campus recreation, in the future," Sferra said. "Karen has been a great asset to campus reaction and The Rock as our associate director." Sferra started conducting interviews

this week to fill the associate director position. "I always wanted the opportunity to give back to my alma mater in a professional capacity," Sferra said. "Upon being named the director of campus recreation you could not chisel the smile off my face. My dream job had come to fruition and I had great expectations and excitement for the contribution that the construction of the ARC, creation of the office of campus recreation and formation of the campus recreation team would add to The Rock to benefit our students." Sferra said he still plans on being

involved with the university even has he prepares to retire. "It is time to turn the page and begin the retirement chapter of my life," Sferra said. "Again, I will be forever grateful for this opportunity, the many experiences and the people who have become a part of my life." Sferra said that, above all, campus recreation is all about people, and he hopes that the people aspect of the profession, including developing and cultivating relationships with students and ARC members, continues to be top priority.


December 2, 2016


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Our View SRU should celebrate its international students’ cultures

OPINION Volume 100, Number 5

220 Eisenberg Classroom Building Slippery Rock University Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania 16057 Phone: Fax: E-mail:

(724) 738-4438 (724) 738-4896



Daniel DiFabio Megan Bush

News Editor Campus Life Editor

Cody Nespor

Sports Editor

Rebecca Dietrich Victoria Davis

Copy/ Web Editor

Logan Campbell Nina Bracci

Assistant News Editor Assist. Campus Life Editor

Jordyn Bennett Kendall Scott

Assistant Sports Editor Assistant Photo Editor

Amanda Salvia Eric Davies

Assist. Copy/Web Editor Multimedia Reporter

Mark Zeltner

Faculty Adviser



Photo Editor

Advertising Manager

ABOUT US The Rocket is published by the students of Slippery Rock University every Friday during the academic semester with the exception of holidays, exam periods and vacations. Total weekly circulation is 3,000. No material appearing in The Rocket may be reprinted without the written consent of the Editor-in-Chief. The Rocket receives approximately 5 percent of its 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

Slipper y Rock University is home to numerous international students who live on campus, all coming from a number of different countries across the globe. In the United States, we’ve become accustomed to our own holiday traditions. In most American households, you’ll see a Christmas tree, Christmas lights, nativity sets and other Christmas related items. On occasion, one will come across a Jewish family who is celebrating Hanukkah, and instead of finding a Christmas tree you’ll find a menorah featuring eight candles that are lit to celebrate the different days of the eightday holiday. The fact is, there is an entire world full of people from different places who live in different cultures, and each of them may celebrate the holiday season very similarly or differently. It is important to recognize these differences while understanding and celebrating them. SRU has just over 120 international students on its campus, with 60 of those international students

involved with the Internations C l u b. T h e Int e r n at i o n s Club focuses on sharing the cultures of its international students in a wide variety of ways such as events, booths during common hour and its popular International Dinner, which takes place annually in the fall semester during SRU Internations Week. SRU’s international students come from a wide variety of different countries including India, Germany and China. SRU should partner with its Internations Club to create an event or a series of events where each international student on campus has the opportunity to share their variation of the holiday with other students on campus. The easiest time to do so would be during Tuesday and Thursday common hours when the quad and Smith Student Center are full of people, and the international students who are partaking in the event are able to pull in passing students and teach them about their cultures. With SRU being a state university, it’s connected to the Pennsylvania State System of

Higher Education (PASSHE). PASSHE universities thrive on their pull for international students and put a lot of effort in recruiting international students from a wide variety of countries. Since PASSHE schools such as SRU rely on attracting prosp e c t ive inter nat ional students, it should be a priority for Slippery Rock Univeristy to make these students feel like they’re at home while attending and visiting the campus. These state universities put so much time in the recruitment, they should feel obligated to put just as much time in making international students feel comfortable while they’re here, especially during the holiday season when homesickness could be kicking in. As students, we should take advantage of the opportunity of being able to interact with different students from cultures around the world. It’s important to recognize the differences in cultures, but after recognizing these differences, we can focus on our similarities.

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.


In the Quad

This week’s question: What is your favorite holiday tradition?

In the Quad is a segment in which random students, faculty and staff are asked for their opinions on a specific topic.

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. “Our View” is the opinion of the Editorial Board and is written by Rocket editorial board members. It reflects the majority opinion of The Rocket Editorial Board. “Our View” does not necessarily reflect the views of Slippery Rock University, its employees or its student body. Columns and cartoons are drafted by various individuals and only reflect the opinions of the columnists.

LETTERS POLICY The Rocket welcomes letters to the editor and guest columns, but does not guarantee their publication. The Rocket retains the right to edit or reject any material submitted. Submitted material becomes the property of The Rocket and cannot be returned. Anonymous submissions will not be published. Those who submit letters must identify themselves by name, year in school, major and/or group affiliation, if any. Please limit letters to a maximum of 400 words. Submit all material by noon Wednesday to: The Rocket, 220 ECB, Slippery Rock University, Slippery Rock, Pa. 16057. Or send it via e-mail to:

Bailey Smith Sophomore Undeclared Major Wexford, Pennsylvania

Luke Wenger Sophomore Physics Major Fayetteville, Pennsylvania

Liz Rohm Senior Dance and Public Health Major Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania “My favorite tradition is when

“My favorite tradition is making “My favorite tradition is both sides of my family come gingerbread houses at home.” gathering the family around over to my house for Christmas to open Christmas presents.” and spend the whole day there.”



December 2, 2016



The damage of war on the Christmas season

Hopi Myers-Arrigoni Commentary Hopi Myers-Arrigoni is a graduate student from Grove City, Pennsylvania and is pursuing a masters degree in English.

With the holidays just around the corner, there comes a certain level of giddiness and joy. It could be a break from school, the chance to see family and friends and/or the chance to celebrate a unique holiday for your religion. However, sometimes the holidays bring about an annual argument known as the War on Christmas. I loosely define this movement as certain Christians believing that the non-Christians of America are trying to somehow discriminate against

their religion. Let me preface this article with the notion that I am a Christian, and that I deeply love what I believe in. The “War on Christmas” is embarrassing. I recognize and enjoy that we live in such a diverse country and while Christmas is my favorite holiday, it is not the only religious holiday there is to celebrate in December. There are holidays for Islam, Buddhism, Roman Catholicism, Protestant Christianity, Judaism, Zoroastrian, Wicca and Paganism, Orthodox Christianity and Kwanzaa belonging to those of African descent. This country is not just a Christian country; within our own constitution is the right to freely practice your religion. Thus, being sensitive to diversity of faith is not a bad thing. It is a law to allow all to practice freely and to say that this month is only for Christians is to say that those other religions and faiths do not matter, and that is discriminatory. Christians are taught to live our lives by what the Bible says, as well as how Jesus lived his life. Never once did I read that Jesus complained that people were not making everything about him and that he was discriminated against. I believe that getting angry and getting in peoples’

faces about being told ‘happy holidays’ is such a selfish action and one that overshadows the opportunity to show Christ’s love. Saying ‘happy holidays’ is inclusive to all of those who practice differently and is already starting off a small interaction with one of respect and true well-wishes of joy this coming season. There are so many deep and complex issues our country is facing right now that deserve passion and attention; the issue of saying ‘merry Christmas’ or ‘happy holidays’ is such a trivial and selfish one. You can definitely say either (as per your constitutional right), but do not get angry if something different is said to you. Christianity is a huge religion in this country and we have a lot of privilege; showing love and starting relationships with people looks like respecting them, respecting their faith and worrying about other people rather than defending a holiday that has become so consumer-focused and commercialized as a day to spend a ton of money. There needs to be a separation of an American Christmas and a Christian Christmas. The Christian Christmas upholds the celebration of the birth of Jesus and the impact it held on humanity

biblically. The American Christmas holds a ‘shop till you drop’ mentality, kicking it all off with Black Friday, where people overwhelm stores in a mad dash for the ‘best’ deal for the ‘best’ stuff. So if there is something to be angry at, it is the notion that a sacred religious holiday is being used for material wealth gain which is idolatrous and against what Christians have learned. My point to bringing up this issue is that there are so many reasons to celebrate family, love and kinship this season. There are opportunities to make someone smile and give back. Please do not focus your energy on getting mad at someone because they did not know your religion so they were being inclusive and just wishing you well. There is so much more constructive conversation that can happen over talking about a miniscule phrase about a faith that simply does not receive discrimination within American borders. So next time you someone says ‘happy holidays’ or ‘merry Christmas’ to you, just smile and respond kindly. To all friends and family of diverse religions or lack thereof: happy holidays. I hope you all enjoy the break.

Our culture is breeding useless revolutionaries

this after the passing of Castro. He was of a tougher ilk; regardless of how one felt about him and what he had accomplished, he recognized that sometimes, that in order to create change, there needs to be an unsettling impetus, and sometimes, that’s a revolution. Now, I’m not advocating violent means in order to solve problems. Because what some people consider a problem, others might not. Granted, there are some issues which are universally good or bad (like the “death” of the Great Barrier Reef), but issues remain largely subjective. And we don’t want people to commit violence Joseph Szalinski in the name of goals/ideals that may be illCommentary conceived or not thoroughly assessed/examined. Joseph Szalinski is a senior creative But that isn’t to say people should remain apathetic concerning the goings-on of life. If writing and professional writing anything, the primary tool for initiating change major. and spreading information has actually hindered It goes without saying that 2016 has been one it the most: computers/the Internet. of the craziest years anyone has ever seen. It has Instead of instilling change or compelling defied expectation in every way possible! people to take action, we participate in biased Not only has it been absolutely unorthodox, but voyeurism, getting raw and uncensored incredibly unfortunate as well. Celebrity deaths, perspectives riddled with ignorance and ecological destruction, social/racial tensions and cognitive dissonance. We accept that truth will unprofessionalism in politics have made this be adulterated either way, and instead of trying year disheartening beyond comprehension. to find the unspoiled truth, we settle for whatever Times like these typically breed revolutionaries; disillusioned reality is the most appealing. stoke some sort of fervor that makes the PO’d Liking and sharing posts and tweets raises actually do something. I started thinking about awareness, but it doesn’t solve anything! It’s like

advertising a product without even having a product to sell. Like overhyping something that doesn’t exist. We think we are what we entertain. Because we harbor slight interest in weighty topics and subjects, we should be considered lofty and important ourselves. But where’s the action, the application of stances and beliefs? That’s what really counts, what makes us who we are. Provides legitimacy to causes we attach ourselves. Otherwise we just seem discontented and whiny. Why should we be awarded any credence? We are woefully undeserving. What’s going on with the pipeline on the Native American reservation in North Dakota would normally inspire much more unrest than it has, as would the water crisis in Flint, Mich. We think just because there is all sorts of unfiltered information that we have unregulated access to, and because we’re somehow “woke,” that we can get away with remaining relatively complacent. Having knowledge of an injustice and still choosing to do nothing is not a solution. If anything, it’s the opposite. We’ve all presumably been subjected to antibullying classes in elementary and middle school. And what did we learn in there? By doing nothing, by being bystanders, we only perpetuate the problem.


December 2, 2016


INSIDE SPORTS Receiver switches to Basketball for Winter

Women's Indoor Track

Football wide receiver Cornelius Raye joins the Rock basketball team for the winter sports season.

Women's indoor track & field starts this weekend at Youngstown State and Edinboro University.

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International basketball athletes stay at school during holiday season you get so used to grinding things out and building your future. But it’s hard because I still miss my family.” The 6’8” junior forward from the Netherlands is preparing to celebrate his third Christmas away from home since his college career started at Marshalltown Community College in Iowa. Malalu, now a member of Rock Basketball, is still trying to find his role in his new program, averaging 5.9 points and 4.1 rebounds in his first seven games. Though he misses his family, both close and extended, he said that he makes the best of his time away and his family supports him. “You get used to it when you have something in your mind and they are proud of you doing it,” Malalu said. “It motivates you to go harder and sacrifice those things.” Malalu has extended family who lives in Pennsylvania, so if he wanted to, he could get some sort of holiday experience with relatives. But if he was not able to travel to York to spend time with his family, he has developed a relationship with his teammate Guilherme Verardo that he said is just as good. Verardo faces the same issues as Malalu. Verardo was born in Brazil. He began his college career at Marshalltown the same year that Malalu did. The two have developed a close relationship ever since. Verardo said it is extremely hard for him and his family since he is an only child, but his friendship with Malalu has made it easier. Over the years the two have spent Christmas together and he plans to do the same this year. “I normally spend time with Christal,” Verardo said. “He’s my best friend here and my teammate, so I’ll spend most of the time with him.” These types of experiences are what head coach Kevin Reynolds is used to, since he KENDALL SCOTT/THE ROCKET brings in so many overseas players. Junior forward Christal Malalu dunks during a team practice. Malalu and teammate Guilherme Verardo are international student-athletes and will be unable to travel home for the holiday season. “We’ve had a lot of international guys come through our program,” Reynolds said. “They By Jordyn Bennett During the holiday season, the NCAA either stay at school or go to a teammate's Assistant Sports Editor requires that all Division II programs have house. Anyone being away from family during The holiday season is traditionally a time a seven-day dead period from Dec. 20-26 to the holiday is going to have a tough time, but for people to spend time with their families allow student-athletes to have time to spend they know people prior to and make it work.” and celebrate their loved ones. For the average with their families and enjoy the holiday. For For Malalu and Verardo Christmas may collegiate athlete, the opportunity that most Slippery Rock international student-athlete look the same, but it isn’t the same when they college students have to take a break and enjoy Christal Malalu , that week off is not enough aren’t spending it with their families in their their families is significantly shortened due to time for him to travel to his home country and home countries. But the friendship that they athletic obligations. Winter sports, including be with his loved ones. He haven’t gotten that have built over the years have made it a little men’s basketball, may be affected the most by opportunity in almost three years. bit easier for the two to make it feel more like this. “At first it was hard,” Malalu said. “But, now home.

Defense falters in four th quar ter as Rock loses out-of-conference game to Malone By Oscar Matous Rocket Contributor

The Slipper y Rock University women’s basketball team took on Malone University this past Wednesday in a non-conference matchup. The Rock, leading at halftime 37-32, ultimately fell to the Pioneers with a narrow final score of 71-69. Rock head coach Bobby McGraw said that he blames his team’s defense for the loss on Wednesday. “We gave up 23 points in the fourth quarter,” McGraw said. “We were able to guard them for the first three quarters, but unfortunately, this is a four-quarter game, and we did not guard in the final 10 minutes.” Offensively, Slippery Rock was led by junior transfer C.C. Dixon. Dixon, in her first season with The Rock since transferring from California (Pa.), recorded 14 points, six of which were

from the field, two turnovers and one assist. Sophomore Morgan Henderson scored eight points and also recorded three turnovers and an assist. Senior Lexi Carpenter recorded 12 points—going two for seven from the field (.286)—seven assists, and five turnovers, much to the disappointment of Coach McGraw. “I tell Lexi all the time that every time she performs at a level at which I believe is low for her, we lose,” McGraw said. Senior Cassidy Wright and juniors Sierra Fordham and Krista Pietropola proved to be productive off the bench for The Rock, combining for 19 points, three assists and four steals. Freshman Brooke Hinderliter tallied seven points, two turnovers and a block. Coach McGraw said that Hinderliter, who has 60 points in her freshman season so far, is where SEE FRESHMAN, PAGE C-2

PSAC-West Top Freshman Scorers 1. Michaela Barnes 10.0 ppg -Edinboro 2. Brooke Hinderliter 8.6 ppg -Slippery Rock 3. LeeAnn Gibson 7.1 ppg -Slippery Rock 4. Maura D'Anna 6.0 ppg -Indiana (Pa.) 5. Marissa Siebka 4.8 ppg -Gannon



December 2, 2016

Men's Basketball 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

Indiana (Pa.) Pitt-Johnstown Seton Hill Mercyhurst Gannon Slippery Rock

7-0 (2-0) 5-2 (1-1) 4-2 (1-1) 3-2 (1-1) 2-2 (1-1) 3-4 (0-2)

Edinboro Clarion California (Pa.)

2-3 (0-2) 2-4 (0-2) 2-5 (0-2)


Junior receiver Cornelius Raye finished the football season with 54 receptions for 679 and six touchdowns and will play as a guard on The Rock basketball team.

vs Sat. Dec. 3, Marrow Field House, 3:00 p.m.

Rock football's Raye crosses over from gridiron to hardwood By Jordyn Bennett Assistant Sports Editor

vs Sun. Dec. 4, Marrow Field House, 3:00 p.m.

Women's Basketball 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

California (Pa.) Mercyhurst Edinboro Seton Hill Indiana (PA) Pitt-Johnstown Clarion Slippery Rock Gannon

7-0 (2-0) 5-1 (2-0) 4-2 (2-0) 4-2 (2-0) 3-2 (2-0) 4-1 (1-1) 3-4 (1-1) 3-4 (1-1) 1-6 (1-1)

Upcoming Games vs Sat. Dec. 3, Marrow Field House, 1:00 p.m.

vs Sun. Dec. 4, Marrow Field House, 1:00 p.m.

Standings as of Thurs. Dec. 1 at 12:23 p.m.

It is not unheard of for Slipper y Rock University football players to venture out to other sports and become dual-sport athletes. Wide receiver Marcus Carter and Will Graham joined the track team after their final seasons of eligibility, and were joined by senior receiver Leroy McClain before his last season as a member of Rock football. Rock basketball head coach Kevin Reynolds has also had his share of football players join his program. Former Rock wide receiver Jaimire Dutrieuille and redshir t f reshman defensive end Rahdezz Henderson played for Reynolds during the 20152016 season. In the 2016-2017 season, Reynolds hopes to have found a new gem in Rock football’s redshirt junior wide receiver Cornelius “Milly” Raye. “He came up to me and asked for a tryout,” Reynolds said. “When you’re an athlete on another team, you have to ask their coach if it’s ok, so I went and asked Shawn [Lutz] if we can give him a look. We

brought him one day and he had a great attitude, played hard and earned a spot on the team that day.” Reynolds said that Raye brought his attitude from the football field to the court and got along well immediately with his new teammates. He said that he thinks Raye is a potential captain next year and has a winning mentality. Raye is one of the most wellknown names on The Rock football team. He has led Rock football in receptions the past two seasons and has ranked amongst the top in receiving touchdowns and yards. With one season left to play, he already has one of the most prolific careers in Rock football. He is ranked seventh in catches per game, eighth in touchdown catches, and 11th in career receiving yards, Despite all of those accolades, Raye could not stay away from basketball. “I wanted to focus on football and I did,” Raye said. “But at the same time in the back of my head and in my heart I’ve always loved basketball. I only got two years left, so I might as well go out with a bang and play both sports.”

Raye is just determined to be as great as a basketball player as he is football, but his route will not be as easy. At only 5’9” and joining after the season started, Raye said he sits at the bottom of the lineup. However, Raye does not fear the competition. “I’m not afraid to be the underdog,” Raye said. “I’m going to put in the necessary work needed to compete.” Raye said when he gets his chance he is going to do what he has to do. He is supporting his teammates and really getting to know everyone, but he expects to be on the court by the end of the season. “I want to be on court playing,” Raye said. “Minutes aren’t a factor because minutes are up to me. All he has to do is give me a shot to get on the court and it’s up to me how much playing time I get after that.” With Rock basketball only playing seven games out of their 28 game season so far, Raye has a significant amount of time to find his way on the court and attempt to make his mark in another Rock athletics program.

Freshman guard impressing head coach in first collegiate season Continued from Page C1

he wants her to be at this point. He said that she is a Division I caliber player who has had a strong start to her offensive career. “Brooke has made some freshmen mistakes defensively, which is typical for a freshman, it is what I expect,” McGraw said. “These types of mistakes are not expected from a junior or senior. She is a freshman. You expect her to make some mistakes.” Going forth, the Green and White start a three-game home-stand beginning this Saturday, Dec. 3 against the West Chester University Golden Rams. Coach McGraw said

that his team needs to guard for the full 40 minutes if they expect to win these upcoming games. He said that his team cannot expect to guard for only 30 minutes and expect to win. “West Chester is a team that will come in and beat us by 20 if we take half a quarter off, let alone a full quarter,” McGraw said. “They will be looking for revenge from last year when we beat them on their home court. We will not win another game the rest of the season if we do not play better defense.” Slippery Rock will look to move their overall record back to .500 and 2-1 in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) against West Chester on Saturday. Tipoff is set for 1 p.m.

December 2, 2016



Returning athletes to headline PSAC title defense season for women's indoor track By Jeffrey Cupp Rocket Contributor

After winning the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Championship last year for the second time in three years, the Slippery Rock women’s indoor track and field team aims to defend their title and prepare themselves for the next outdoor track and field season. Under the leadership of head coach John Papa, who has been with the team for 31 years, they look to continue their success as one of the top teams in the PSAC, although it won’t be easy without a number of stars like Paige Kassab and Ashley West who graduated last year. Papa says he is “very confident that we will be in the top three this season, with the potential to win.” Papa says he will look to those returning such as senior Sabrina Anderson, who was an All-American and Conference champion last year. He will also look to senior hurdler Kennedy Evans, who recorded a personal best time of 8.85 seconds in the 60-meter hurdles to place first at the Al Hall Freedom Games last season. Also contributing will be Junior middle distance runner Melissa Rains, who recorded personal bests in the mile, 800-meter and the 3,000-meter and placed first in the 800-meter race at the Edinboro Invitational, to lead the team last season. They will also need help from new freshmen like Butler High School star Emily Horstman and transfer students like senior hurdler Jenna Bracken and sophomore distance runner Courtney Group. Other returning student-athletes include junior Aerial Dukes, who helped SRU to finish second in the 4x400 relay at the PSAC Championships; junior Anna Frengel, who recorded five top-10 finishes last year; junior Caitlyn Janeda, who helped SRU place second in the Distance Medley Relay at the PSAC Championships; junior Maria Darling, who placed fifth in the pole vault at the PSAC Championships and senior Kelci Yale who recorded personal bests in the shot put and the weight throw last season. Heading into their first meet this weekend,


Senior thrower Kelci Yale competes in the weight throw event at the Indoor PSAC Championships last season. Yale is a part of strong group of returning athletes looking to defend the team's PSAC title from 2015-16.

Papa says there are a lot of question marks with the new faces on the team, saying it will be “wide open for everybody.” With losing many significant performers from last year, Papa hopes that this weekend’s meet will bring some hope to replacing those seniors, but he also believes that it is still too

early to tell. Papa, with the help of his coaching staff of Bill Jordan, Megan Shadek and Nathan Shadek, hopes to start the season off strong with the Youngstown Icebreaker followed by the Mike Kowal Multi Day in Edinboro this weekend.

Men's indoor track to kick off season in a dual meet weekend By Stephen Cukovich Rocket Contributor


Junior James Chandler competes at last year's Indoor PSAC Championships. Chandler was part of the 4x400 relay team that won first place in 3:17.83.

The Rock's indoor men's track team will start their season this weekend as they travel to Youngstown, Ohio for the YSU Icebreaker on Friday and to Edinboro, Pa. for the Mike Kowal Multi on Saturday and Sunday. Head coach John Papa will enter his 30th season as the head coach of the Green and White's crosscountry and track programs. Papa says that the team will turn to a few new faces to represent The Rock this season. "John Marenkovic (freshman) has had a lot of success as a distance runner in high school," Papa said. "Success in high school doesn't necessarily mean success in college, but he had a great crosscountry season and if he continues to progress, he can help us in the long run." Freshman Ian Nieves was a high school state champion in hurdles at Milton High School. Papa says he will have to adjust to the threeinch higher hurdles in college compared to high school hurdles. "It is a little bit of a different race in college," Papa said. "But if he adapts quickly, then he will be very successful right off the bat." The Green and White will have a lot of the same faces returning this year, such as junior sprinter James Chandler and sophomore sprinter Collin Darby, who are both allconference athletes last season.

Senior sprinter and conference champion Adam Leeper will be returning, along with junior distance runner Jeremy Parsons, who has had a lot of success in past years. "We have a whole bunch of guys that did a lot for us last year who will be returning," Papa said. The Rock finished second in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) last year. The Green and White, however, will look to compete better with Shippensburg who gave Slippery Rock trouble last season. "Shippensburg has been a team that has beaten us down lately," Papa said. "Our intention this year is to give them a much better meet than last year." Papa says that Shippensburg had a lot more depth last year than The Rock, but this year Papa feels that the team's depth has grown. The little things is also something Papa is constantly stressing to his players. "We need to identify the little things," Papa said. "Sometimes the little things are easy not to do because at the time they don't seem significant, but if you do the little things over time then they become very significant." After this weekend the men's indoor track team will be put on hold for winter break, but will resume Friday, Jan. 20th at the Youngstown State University Invitational in Youngstown, Ohio.



December 2, 2016

Parsons places 68th at nationals, wraps up productive cross-country season By Justin Kraus Rocket Contributor

At the Division II National CrossCountry Championships held in Saint Leo, Fl., Slippery Rock junior Jeremy Parsons ran through the intense heat to pass over 100 other runners en route to a 68th-place finish with a time of 31:48.9 to wrap up the season for the men. There were a total of 242 runners and 32 different teams at the event. That race wrapped up another impressive year for Parsons, who was The Rock's top runner in every race that he ran for the second consecutive year. Parsons dominated the early part of the season, winning the first two races he competed in by 37 seconds at the Doug Watts distance gala, and by 29 seconds at the Lock Haven Invitational. Parsons then claimed his second all-conference distinction with a ninth-place finish at the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) in October. Parsons finished the regular season at home with a seventh-place finish in 33:08, qualifying for nationals and making the All-Region team for the second year in a row. "It was a positive note," head coach John Papa said on Parsons' season finale. "A lot of people dropped out of the race because of the heat, and the pace in the beginning was crazy fast so a lot of guys got caught up in it. Different

runners react differently to the situation. He went out fast and was still way in the back, but he kept his cool, stayed tough and focused and he finished good. I was really proud of his effort." One of Slippery Rock's main challenges this season was to handle a roster turnover of having five of the top seven runners being freshman in their first semester of collegiate competition. "It was tough. It's a tough sport for a freshman. The 18 and 19-yearolds have to compete with the 22 and 23-year-old guys who have been running for a while," Papa said on his group of freshmen. The freshmen runners had exemplar y performances throughout the year, leading Slippery Rock to three top-five finishes out of their first four meets, including second overall at the Doug Watts Distance Gala, and third place at home at the Mack Cooper Invitational. The Green and White still performed well against stiff competition once the postseason started, claiming eighth place at the PSAC championships and 13th at the regional championships. "Those guys definitely had a great learning experience," commented Papa. "Sometimes you think you're training and running as hard as you can, but then you see what everyone else is doing and you think 'I have to run more, better, faster and more often. It was a great learning

experience for a lot of our guys." The brightest star out of the quintet of freshmen was Hubbard, Ohio native John Marenkovic. Marenkovic's year sounds more impressive due to the fact that he never ran cross country in high school, only lettering in track twice and hockey once. His top performance of the year was at the DII/DIII Invitational held at Kutztown University. Marenkovic placed 23rd out of 127 runners in only his secondever collegiate race, leading The Rock to a 10th-place finish in the rare absence of team leader Jeremy Parsons. "His first year showed a lot," Papa said. "Like a lot of freshmen, he got tired near the end of the year. John had his best races in the middle of the year, he started getting tired near the end. Next year he won't have that same issue, he is going to have his best races in October and November. I think he is an allconference and all-region caliber runner." Freshman Jared Nelson also had a productive year for the Green and White, being the third leg on the team. While Nelson finished at different places for The Rock throughout the year, he fully realized his potential during the PSAC Championships, where he was Slippery Rock's third-place finisher with a time of 27:48, out of a total of 134 runners. Papa gave his thoughts on Nelson's

future at The Rock, "Jared Nelson showed some flashes of brilliance, he's a strong kid. When he gets more miles and more experience, he is going to be a force to be reckoned with." Other top freshmen performers included Keegan Beard and Daniel Janyska, who worked their way into the top-100 during the PSAC Championships, rounding out The Rock's top five by the end of the year. Juniors Jeff Henderson and Evan Zombek and senior Stephen Shepherd provided leadership from the sidelines as they struggled with injuries throughout the season. Slippery Rock's cross country season ended with Parsons' finish at the national championships. Most of the runners now transition to indoor track and field, which starts on Dec. 2 with the Youngstown State University Icebreaker. Papa said how this season both helps the team prepare for track and for cross-country next season, "since we have a lot of our guys back, we will see a lot of those same guys in track that we raced against. So a lot of our guys are going to be looking at the competition as somebody that they have to beat and compete with to run some great races. When this summer rolls around, they know what they have to train for for next fall. We are going to look to improve significantly."



INSIDE CAMPUS LIFE SRU Will Celebrate International Holidays Organizations will participate in Holidays Around the World and present food, games and facts from diďŹ&#x20AC;erent cultures during the holiday season.

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New Film Brings Fans Back to Harry Potter Universe 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them' welcomes fans of the popular English fantasy series back to J.K. Rowling's Wizarding World.

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Charles Dickens' 'A Christmas Carol' takes the stage

REBECCA DIETRICH/THE ROCKET Senior dance major Darrin Mosley acts as Ebenezer Scrooge's late best friend Jacob Marley in SRU Theatre Department's production of 'A Christmas Carol,' adapted for the stage and directed by Dr. David Skeele. This is the second time the theatre department has staged 'A Christmas Carol.'

By Megan Bush Campus Life Editor

The cast of 'A Christmas Carol,' which consists of SRU students, faculty members and children from the Slippery Rock community, began dress rehearsals Tuesday, Nov. 29. Professor of theatre and director of the show, Dr. David Skeele said the cast and crew have been working hard through the show process, and that every student, faculty member and child was fun and easy to work with. "The kids are so wide-eyed and enthusiastic about this experience," Skeele said. "It makes this process so much more magical." Skeele said he was excited to do this production again after putting it on the stage two years ago because it gave him a chance to work with a familiar script and set while still being able to have a new experience with new cast members and new directing choices. He was also excited because the theatre department is known for performing edgy and controversial shows, and this production is more of a family-friendly crowd-pleaser. "It's a big change for the seasoned members of the cast, but it's a story everyone loves so dearly, including me," Skeele said. While much of the cast and crew are made up of students studying theatre, Skeele said the other students are very diverse in their interests. There are cast members studying education, dance and psychology. Sophomore theatre and psychology double major Allison Valetta, who plays Fan and the Laundress, said she decided to begin studying theatre along with psychology after her first performance with SRU's theatre department her freshman year. "The theatre department is like a family, and this cast and crew is so talented," Valetta said. "It's a privilege to be working with them." Valetta also said she enjoys working with Skeele as a director because of his supportive nature and

how he is always helping her grow as an actor. Every time she performs, Valetta said she gets better and better, and this production is no different. "It's such a classic tale, and a beautiful production," Valetta said. Junior theatre design and technology major and co-scenic designer Emma Cummings was a large part of the re-design of the original set from the first production, and therefore a large part of the behindthe-scenes for this production. 'A Christmas Carol' was not Cummings' first production, as she also

"I hope the audience is able to reconnect to the reason Christmas is so magical." -Dr. David Skeele Professor of theatre, director of 'A Christmas Carol' worked on 'Dark North' and 'Hungry Jane' last year, a joint production by the theatre department, written by Skeele that traveled to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Ireland. "I was lucky enough that this had already been done, so I didn't have to start from scratch," Cummings said about working on the set for 'A Christmas Carol. "I was given a bunch of smaller pieces to work with to create the set as it is now." Cummings said she felt the cast and crew, although she worked less with the cast and more behind the scenes, were all talented and fun to work with. Portraying Jacob Marley will be senior dance major Darrin Mosley, who performed in 'Brave New

Plays' last semester. Mosley said that he enjoyed the process of this production, and that everything was very fun and open, and that the cast and crew members have been loving and supportive through it all. He also enjoyed the academic diversity in the cast and crew, and that made for a very original and unique production. Mosley mentioned that working with Skeele was also an enjoyable experience because Skeele is open to the actors' interpretations and that, as long as it fits the general vision for the production as a whole, he allows the actors a lot of freedom to create and explore their characters. "It's been really interesting playing Jacob Marley," Mosley said of his role. "He has a very scary message for Scrooge, but there's so much love in it, and I enjoyed getting to explore that." Seasoned actor and senior theatre and dance double major Lawrence Karl will play Scrooge in the production, which, according to Karl, is one of his most challenging roles yet, due to the 50-year age difference between Karl and his character. Karl also said another challenge was getting into the negative mentality of Scrooge, and that it was very difficult to capture. "Playing Scrooge has taught me that you shouldn't fear change, and you shouldn't be stuck in your own mindset all the time," Karl said. Karl, who was also part of the first production of 'A Christmas Carol' that took place two years ago, said he enjoyed performing the show again because it allowed for new experiences to be made. He also liked having the chance to work with children and community members because it's not something everyone gets the chance to do. Skeele said he thinks this show will help the audience get into the spirit that surrounds the holiday season: the spirit of giving and being together with their families. "I hope they're able to reconnect to the reason Christmas is so magical," Skeele said. 'A Christmas Carol' will open Friday, Dec. 2 at 7:30 p.m. in the University Union Multi-Purpose Room.

CAMPUS LIFE ‘Fantastic Beasts’ welcomes Harry Potter fans back into the Wizarding World

December 2, 2016


Cassandra Thompson Cassandra Thompson is a senior anthropology major with a minor in film and media studies and is a regular contributor to The Rocket. PHOTO COURTESY OF TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander and Katherine Waterston as Tina in the film 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.'

If you’re looking for a way back into the Wizarding World (or are venturing there for the first time), ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ is just the way to do it. Although I avidly kept up with the original Harry Potter series in both book and movie format, I did not know really what to expect walking into the theater for this film. With a crew of familiar faces from the Potter family serving as directors, writers and producers, what I did know was that the film was going to be a treat. That being said, this is not a film I expect children to grow up with as they did the 'Potter' series. This will not be a film that I take my niece and nephews to see, nor will I buy them the DVD for their birthdays. It is good that the original Potter-heads have grown up since the original series because what was most surprising about this film was just how dark it got. Anyone who knows about Voldemort knows the kind of twisted sense of power and entitlement he holds. But honestly, the

dark magic we see in this film at the hands of children is even more frightening. Infamous dark wizard Gellert Grindlewald’s motivations and actions make Voldemort seem like a small aftershock that follows a devastating earthquake. Sure, it can make buildings fall, but the foundation has already been devastated by that first hit, and Grindlewald is nothing if not a first, devastating hit to the Wizarding World. Though covered with dark themes throughout, ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ has the wonderful quality of protagonists who have nothing but their innate selflessness to guide them against these forces of evil. If there are ulterior motives behind their actions, they are hidden well enough that it will be a complete shock later on in the series. Newt Scamander, played by English actor Eddie Redmayne, fully embodies the house of Hufflepuff as the awkward but curious learner, bridging the gap for those in power when it comes to humans and creatures. Portrayed by

actress Katherine Waterson, Tina Goldstein’s determination to do right is not wholly overshadowed by her tendency to get herself into trouble – and, as with most films, trouble does ensue. There are darkness and secrets in their past, but it seems more motivating than troubling to our young heroes. The creatures themselves offer not just a great glimpse into the Wizarding World many of us grew up with, but also cheekiness and laughter (I’m looking at you, Niffler) to what would otherwise be a fairly dark film to behold. Of course, thanks to actor Dan Fogler, we have our ever-confused non-magical friend Jacob Kowalski to add not only humor but a sense of assimilation for the audience, who may be learning about the Wizarding World (or at least some of the creatures) for the first time as well. Despite its darkness, I found ‘Fantastic Beasts’ to be a wonderful continuation of the Wizarding World with enough fresh new elements to keep old fans intrigued and bring in new ones as well.

Community service and fundraising event raises money for new community library By Haley Potter Rocket Contributor

REBECCA DIETRICH/THE ROCKET Freshman geology major Emily Guest reads a book at the Read-a-Thon Tuesday in Bailey Library. The Read-a-Thon was a fundraiser and community service event to raise money for a new Slippery Rock Community Library building to be constructed on Main Street.

On Tuesday, Nov. 29 from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., an event called Reada-Thon took place in Bailey Library. The Read-a-Thon was a joint community service and fundraising event between Bailey Library and the Slippery Rock Community Library (SRCL). Readers came to the event with a $3 registration fee and donations that they raised before the event. After turning in the money, they went to room 202 in Bailey Library to dive into a good book, and they could stay as long as they wanted. Junior biology major and community service co-chair for the Honors Program, Grascen Shidemantle was in charge of Reada-Thon. She said that students who read would receive community service hours through the Honors Program and the First Year Leader Scholar Program (FLSP) for their participation in the event. "All of the funds raised today will go towards the construction of the new library," Shidemantle said. "SRCL currently has an anonymous donor from the community who has offered to match all funds raised for the construction of the library, so all the money that we raise today will be doubled." Freshman exercise science major and Slippery Rock local Tyler Ben was one of the participants. He said he decided to take on the project of Read-a-Thon because the Slippery Rock community is very close to his heart. "I think it is important that we as students give back to the Slippery Rock community as much as we can," Ben said. "Sometimes I feel a great disconnect between the students and the people who live in Slippery Rock,

and I think that community service and volunteerism is a positive way to bridge that gap." Ben also mentioned that he thinks it is a great program because it is benefitting something other than just Bailey Library. Freshman dance performance and choreography major Ashleigh Schuler was another participant in Read-a-Thon. "I am happy to be participating in this event because it is for a good cause," Schuler said. "Libraries have always been a big part of my life growing up." According to Shidemantle, the new library will be located on Main Street right across from the university. SRCL already offers many valuable services to the Slippery Rock community such as story time twice a week for younger children, along with a book club and a therapy dog program where kids get the chance to read to service dogs in order to boost their self confidence in reading. For these services to continue taking place, the library needs more space, hence the reason for the reconstruction of the library. The library is currently only 283 square feet; with a bigger facility, all of the mentioned programs plus even more programs can be offered for the kids and the community. Junior biology major and vice president of Study Abroad club and Pre-PA club Amber Davidson said she was excited for the event because the kids in the Slippery Rock community need a source to start their reading. "It also brings the university and community together as one," Davidson said. Shidemantle said the Read-aThon raised $1,198.25 for the SRCL, and an anonymous donor will be matching that amount, making the total funds raised $2, 396.50.

CAMPUS LIFE Discussion on controversial symbols helps students learn and understand

December 2, 2016


REBECCA DIETRICH/THE ROCKET Freshman middle-level mathematics education major Brooklyn McCaskill listens to the discussions during the Courageous Conversations event in the Smith Student Center Ballroom Tuesday night at 6 p.m. The event discussed cultural symbols and their effect on the general public, such as the Nike "swoosh," the American flag and the Confederate flag.

By Megan Majercak Rocket Contributor

Tuesday night in the Smith Center Ballroom, students and faculty gathered to take part is a discussion sponsored by the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Leadership Team titled "Courageous Conversations." The talk focused on how symbols have become a language, how these symbols affect our communication and interactions and why symbols are important. "In order to know each other as a community, we need to be courageous and discuss [controversial symbols] at times," SRU President Cheryl Norton said. "We are surrounded by symbols in our culture," committee member Dr. Brett Barnett said. We are exposed to symbols, like the American flag, from an early age and are taught what they mean. These meanings form into connotations, or associations, with the symbol. "Generally, [symbols] are an object representing another to give it an entirely different meaning that is much deeper and more significant," Barnett said. Symbols are a crucial aspect to our language. In 1931, the Stromberg v California case extended the First Amendment to not only protect freedom of speech, but to protect symbolic speech. Symbols show diversity in how everybody views certain symbols differently.

These views bring up ideas and talking about this helps us become more understanding. Students discussed interpretations of the American flag; Americans are taught to be proud of our country and that the flag represents our freedom. However, it can be seen as a negative symbol to Native Americans, as the flag may be a reminder of how their native land was taken from them. “You can’t be false in your opinion,” Barnett said. Everyone’s opinion is valid, and every opinion is valued because without it, we couldn’t have these conversations in the first place, he said. Perspective on topics is what makes our language and symbols interesting. Simple symbols can have such diverse meaning. For example, the Nike swoosh may be a symbol of exercise, motivation and style for some. For others, it may represent the unethical labor laws the company takes part in overseas. “When some people see the Nike symbol they think of exercise,” Barnett said, “and when some people see the Nike symbol they talk about child labor laws.” This emphasizes that there is always more to see than what just your eyes see, and there are multiple sides to every story. One symbol that sparks debates is the Confederate flag. "I feel negatively towards [the Confederate

flag] because it is a bold representation of slavery," Slippery Rock graduate student Ashley Craig said. "The origin of it is extremely negative. People are either uneducated about it because they want to be or they know flatout that this is a symbol that offends a large population." People are just insensitive to how symbols like the Confederate flag can people feel, Slippery Rock student Kierstie Mapes said. "When I see [the Confederate flag] I think of the Civil War and I think its and important topic," Slippery Rock student Jess Lefler said. "Many people do feel as if it's a positive symbol but most of these people won't mention it because they know it offends people," Craig said. "Yes, it's offensive, however, people are going to do what they do anyway, so you can’t let that ruin your shine." The committee emphasized that everyone has different perceptions, but that is not the issue. The issue is if we don’t learn to understand and talk about these differences, it can lead to hatred. We are all from different places, where we learn different things. Education and respect is what makes courageous conversations important rather than hateful. "I just want people to be able to feel comfortable sharing thoughts on controversial topics," committee staff member Corinne Gibson said. Courageous conversations are how we learn,

Groups join together to present Holidays Around the World to students on campus By Nina Bracci Asst. Campus Life Editor

The Office of Multicultural Development (OMD) is teaming up with different organizations across campus to host the annual Holidays Around the World event, Dec. 6 in the Smith Student Center commuter lounge during common hour for food, facts and fun. The graduate assistant of the Office of Multicultural Development in charge of the event, Sammie Walker, said she reached out to groups on campus to see if they would like to participate in the event. She said she asked the members participating to know the holiday they choose very well in order to teach it to others well. Walker said there will be between seven and eight groups presenting holidays. The OMD is hosting Ramadan and Diwali at their tables. “I challenged the groups in general to choose something that they felt worked well with their group or something they wanted to learn

more about,” Walker said. Black Action Society, the Student Organization for Latinos, Hispanics, and Allies (SOL), American SignLanguage Club, Student Union for Multicultural Affairs (SUMA), Sister to Sister, the Study Abroad club and Student Government Association (SGA) are some of the organizations that will be at the event presenting holidays of their choice, Walker said. SGA will be covering the Iranian New Year holiday and Sister to Sister will be displaying what different News Years celebrations there are throughout the world. Walker said that thinking about the idea of different holidays around the world, and not specifically in the United States, was excellent and that people will get to learn about other cultures outside of the U.S. “It doesn’t mean that you have to be in that culture to share it, learn more and to expand our world of view of what people celebrate,” Walker said. Walker said she hopes students can think outside of themselves, outside of the U.S. and to think about what other cultures experience. She said

she wants people to wonder what influences their own holidays. She said she thinks people often forget what Canada and Mexico experience, our neighbors. Most people don’t know many aspects within their cultures and what holidays they are celebrating. “Thinking outside of the box of the US to your neighbors and even further will be excellent for people to think about how they fit into the world as a global citizen, and not just a US citizen,” Walker said. Walker said that there will also be fun activities, such as the American Sign Language club performing Christmas carols in sign language. It is all about expressing the diversity of different holidays that people follow, she said. “I think it opens conversation thinking about the federal holidays we have and how the different cultures of people living in the United States might not follow those as strictly as other holidays,” Walker said. SOL will be presenting three different celebrations that Latinos

celebrate throughout the holiday season and BAS will be hosting Kwanza. Every year there are staple holidays, but they try to mix it up and bring new ones so if people came before, they can see new holidays to learn about, Walker said. Walker said they try to branch out to different, smaller organizations so they can meet, collaborate and bring people together. Walker and Corrine Gibson, the Director of Office of Multicultural Development, worked together to give each group $75 to be able to build a tri-fold, create a theme, to provide games and help students get their food orders through AVI, Walker said. Each table will feature a few holidays and different foods from different cultures, Walker said. There will also be tri-folds with facts and games that surround the culture behind the holiday. “ There’s different games and different ways to interact with the information to learn at a deeper level rather than just reading,” Walker said.


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