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The Times-Delphic Wednesday, May. 1, 2019

Volume 138, No. 25

www.timesdelphic.com

THIRTY-SEVEN PAIRS OF JEANS in 14 different locations were hung up on campus to bring awareness to the instances of sexual assault that occur hourly. PHOTO COURTESY OF RHA

VIP educates with International Denim Day Rachel Wente Staff Writer rachel.wente@drake.edu

In 1992, the Italian Supreme Court overturned a sexual assault conviction because they believed the survivor’s jeans were too tight for her attacker to have taken off without her help and thus her consent. In the days after the verdict was announced, people across the world wore denim in support of the survivor. Later, on April 24, 1999, the first annual International Denim Day was held in Los Angeles, California. This past Wednesday, Drake University held its second International Denim Day event,

though what happened on campus was a bit different than internationally.

Having that education and knowledge, even if that doesn’t happen to you, and being able to help your friends is something really important. Drake’s Violence Intervention Partners invited organizations and

departments at Drake to collect jeans for display around campus. Once the displays were taken down Wednesday night, they were donated to the Beacon Boutique, a consignment shop for a women’s shelter in Des Moines, Iowa. Last year, the idea for Drake’s International Denim Day came from now alumna McKenna Carrigan, who had seen the event held by her high school. Being in VIP, she approached her organization to help start and manage the event. Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Prevention Lynne Cornelius is the staff advisor for VIP, and her role with Denim Day is to provide assistance to the student leaders. This year Rachel Klusmeyer and Maddie Shipley organized the

event. “They were able to organize really well and hold together 14 separate organizations or departments on campus who committed to donating jeans,” Cornelius said. “So, in 14 different locations all across campus there will be a display of jeans with a sign with who sponsored the location and a tip on how to support survivors.” Klusmeyer sees the event as a way to educate those who may not know as much about sexual assault. “Having that education and knowledge, even if that doesn’t happen to you, and being able to help your friends is something really important,” Klusmeyer said. “It’s a friendly way to start that conversation, too. You’re looking

at something, you’re having a conversation about it, and it’s organic.” Last year’s event had six spots on campus with jeans, this year saw an increase. Shipley said she views Denim Day as a way for campus to show support to those affected by sexual assault. “It’s a really powerful symbol of standing in solidarity with students,” Shipley said. “It is really powerful that there’s so many people on this campus that want to make this statement and are really behind it as well.” VIP’s goal for the future? Twenty-four different locations on campus with 37 pairs of jeans each to represent the 37 instances of sexual assault that happen every hour of the day.

Relays grants high schoolers opportunities Katie Simpson Contributing Writer katie.simpson@drake.edu

Every year, Drake Relays brings elite, international athletes to Drake University. From the first year of this one-of-a-kind event, Iowa high school students have also had the opportunity to race alongside their track and field idols. For many, this is the biggest meet in which they will ever compete. Generations of athletes cite the Relays as a highlight of their high school careers and strive each year to qualify to run at the famous “Blue Oval.” Spencer High School, found in the heart of Northwest Iowa, has a deep history with the Drake Relays. Two current Spencer High School track coaches, Kurt Bauermeister and Randy Barrick, competed in the 4x800 meter relay in 1980 and set a record that stood for 30 years. Bauermeister recalls that there were not many events geared toward high school students when he ran. The competition was focused primarily on collegiate athletes. “I remember at that time it was still on the old track,” Bauermeister said. “We saw [track star] Steve Scott, and I think [former NFL player] Herschel Walker was running the 100-meter dash at the time, so there were a lot of great athletes. It was a huge, huge race. A lot of excitement.” Barrick was a sophomore when he competed, but as a freshman, he attended the Relays to support a teammate who had qualified. At the time, Barrick said they were too young to appreciate or understand the magnitude of what was happening. “The following year, we were fortunate enough to have our 4x800 team, that was kind of highly ranked in the state, put it together,

and we ended up going down to the Drake Relays,” Barrick said. He remembered that going into the competition, they knew they would be running against talented athletes but did not let it get in their heads. “One of the things I’ve thought over the years that probably helped us more than anything was that we were all kind of naïve to the whole experience,” Barrick explained. “We were just really running in Northwest Iowa for a couple of years, and we knew we had some good athletes and good teams, but when you go down there and can compete at that level, it was just very special.” Throughout his career, Bauermeister has coached athletes who followed in his footsteps and successfully qualified for Drake Relays, including his son and two daughters, among many others. He mentioned that competing at the Relays impacted his future as a teacher and coach. “It’s hard to explain to the kids how much excitement is down there and what an honor it is to make it,” Bauermeister said. “You know if you can make it down there, the atmosphere is great, the competition is great, and I think everybody in Iowa who is a track fan appreciates what goes on.” According to Bauermeister, every athlete or relay must meet a “cut off” set by Relays officials near the beginning of the season. Then, depending on each event, a certain number of entries is accepted based on qualifying performances. One event that made the cut this year was Spencer High School’s 4x100 meter relay. After years of hard work, goal setting and countless hours of practice, the team comprised of seniors Kailee Hopkins, Ashlyn Nissen, Katelyn Nissen and Nadine Johnson qualified for the 110th Drake Relays. Hopkins shared her thoughts on reaching this milestone.

“I feel this gives us an opportunity to prove to others how hard we are working,” Hopkins said. “I think it gives our relay a lot of confidence to be able to say we qualified for the Drake Relays, and it gives us the motivation to get the best times possible.” In 2017, Hopkins, Ashlyn Nissen and Katelyn Nissen also qualified in the 4x100 meter relay. They did not take that experience for granted and used the lessons they learned to drive their training so they could qualify again. The athletes said that they were excited to return to the Relays and perform with two years of growth under their belt. “Coming from a small town, I never would’ve thought it was possible to run in one of the most important track meets,” Ashlyn Nissen said. “Running at the Drake Relays was a huge learning experience. [I loved] seeing the other amazing competitors, dreaming one day, I can be just as successful. Drake has made me realize that it takes hard work to qualify, yet, it is one of the most rewarding meets I could have been a part of.” Katelyn Nissen shared similar feelings to those of her teammates. “Being a senior and being able to participate in the Drake Relays is very rewarding to me individually and athletically,” she said. “It is a privilege to be able to run at Spencer High School where girls’ track is very successful. With the support of our track coaches, we get to experience memories that we will have forever.” Nissen went on to say that the program is built around ensuring that every girl is successful but also has fun. “I never thought that my track career could bring me to the events [that] I’ve been to, the people that I have met and the joy it brings,” Katelyn Nissen said. Nadine Johnson is the only member of the team who will be

running at Drake Relays for the first time this year. “The thing that I am most excited about is being a part of the team and the environment,” Johnson said. “I am excited to experience it for my first time and experience it with my other teammates that I have been running with for six years now.” Throughout his tenure at Spencer High School, head girls’ track coach Al Pierce has seen tremendous success with his athletes. In his experience, Pierce feels that Drake Relays is one of the most important weeks for high school track and field and uses it as a chance to motivate his team to perform their best. “Having your athletes line up on the same track as some of the greatest athletes in the nation and world is pretty cool,” Pierce said. He added that once a student gets a taste of the Relays, they fight that much harder for the chance to return and improve on their past performances. “It’s an award to the athletes for all of their hard work, talent and dedication to the sport of track,” Pierce explained. “Running against talent, like what qualifies for

Drake, motivates kids to train hard and make commitments few other athletes have to do.” Barrick urges for hard work and a high level of commitment to their sport. No matter the year, race, event or result, one thing remains the same for every veteran of the Relays: the tradition of excellence. “Don’t be satisfied with just making it,” Barrick said. “Go down there and compete. Go for your best times and get out and run with the leaders. Get up towards the front. Really enjoy the experience, and make sure you take advantage of it. You go one year, but who knows when you will get back again. Go down there and race your best and compete at the highest level.” Hopkins and the rest of her teammates are taking the advice in stride. Since their first appearance, they have been hungry to get back to Drake for another chance to prove that they belong with the best high school athletes in Iowa. “Our relay of seniors is excited to make our last mark at the Drake Relays,” Hopkins said. “We are really looking forward to seeing what we can do.” The team ranked 27 out of 90+ teams.

SPENCER HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS competed in the 4x100 meter relay at the 2019 Drake Relays (from left to right) Kailee Hopkins, Nadine Johnson, Katelyn Nissen and Ashlyn Nissen. PHOTO COURTESY OF KATIE SIMPSON


02 | Features

May 1, 2019

Features

Beautiful bulldogs took the stage Phong Ly Features Editor phong.ly@drake.edu @originalphong

The 40th Beautiful Bulldog Contest, which took place in the Knapp Center last Monday, kicked off Relays week crowning the new Drake Relays mascot: Beau. He was crowned in front of 3,000 spectators. It was up to the judges to decide how each Bulldog best represents these nine awards and both the judging time and the pageant is what they use to judge these categories. This is a show that most Drake students are excited for. First Year Sarah Hutchison is a selfproclaimed “dog fan” was excited seeing that many dogs on campus. “It was an hour to go watch dogs so I was all for it 100 percent,” Hutchison said. Hutchison was glad that Beau won, but her personal favorite was another contestant named Wringley from Nevada, Iowa. “I have a friend named Beau and everyone in my friend group was so excited when Beau won but I kinna wanted Wrigley to win,” Hutchison said. “Beau is still adorable though.” This year’s annual Beautiful Bulldog Contest reached out to Student Activities Board (SAB) to help promote the event. Sloan Nickel, one of the Relays CoChairs, said SAB provided volunteers and also helped spark student interest in the event.

“It was SAB’s first time with the direct hand in the event,” Nickel said. “I think in the past we just shared the Facebook event for them but this time we actually provided students to help out at the event and handed out t-shirts.” Like many other students, Nickel had a personal favorite, and it was Honeybelle June Brown, who belongs to her best friend. “We all got t-shirts with her face on them,” Nickel said. “We were all really excited, but sadly she didn’t win anything.” Nickel said Honeybelle’s family might be looking into reentering the competition the following year. Despite her favorite contestant not winning, Nickel still enjoyed herself. “I loved it and it was so fun,” Nickel said. “I liked that they put the students on the floor so they got to like be down there with the dogs and community members as well.” Beau became the official Drake Relays mascot on that day, and for a week was busy touring around campus in his royal crown and cape. “I got to see him all over campus this last week,” Nickel said. “I saw him when I helped setting up for the relays concert. His owners were really nice and it’s cool that they are [Drake] alumni.” His owners, TJ and Angela McKenzie, are alumni as well as both sets of their parents. The McKenzie family took the stage when Beau took the crown. The runner-ups this year were Watson, who attracted attention

GIGI AND HER OWNER hit the stage with a Woofgang “Pup” chef hat and chef outfit that matched her owner’s Wolfgang Puck outfit. She won the Family Theme Award. PHOTO BY HANNAH COHEN | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

with his red remote-controlled convertible. Watson also won the

Facebook’s Choice Award. Second runner-up was Stella Rose, who

also took home the Drake Spirit Award.

Drake Democrats host CNN town hall watch party Cameron Bolton Staff Writer cameron.bolton@drake.edu

On Monday, April 22, Drake Democrats and Drake Political Activist Community (DPAC) held a watch party for the CNN back-toback town halls with Democratic presidential candidates. The candidates featured were Amy Klobuchar, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris and Pete Buttigieg. Vice president of Drake Democrats, Jackie Sayers, thought the watch party was the opportunity for them to encourage more attendance.

“It’s kind of hard to since there are so many democratic candidates we can’t really have one for every single candidate that has a town hall. But we, we hosted a town hall watch party for Trump state of the Union and we just decided to do this one because there were five candidates, so we thought that it would be a good opportunity to get a lot of students out and watch the different candidates,” Sayers said. However, there were few nonDrake Democrat members at the event. Something that Sayers said could have been due to the Beautiful Bulldog contest that occured at the same time. According to Sayers, previous events hosted by the Drake Democrats included about 30 to 50

students. “I came out here because I wanted to meet some of the people more involved in the Drake Democrats club and I wanted to see what other people thought of some of these candidates and see if I could get myself more involved with the campus organization,” Michael Pulson, a sophomore politics major who was in attendance at the event, said. Pulson, who was only able to attend to witness the last three candidates due to prior commitments, said that Buttigieg stood out to him above the crowd. “He seems to have the most clear philosophical view of the direction he wants to take the country,” Pulson said. “I think his

message speaks to a lot of people beyond the liberal bubble that a lot of other Democratic candidates have begun to focus on.” Non-students in attendance included people from almost every democratic campaign. There was an organizing director for Kamala Harris’ campaign, the director for Klobuchar’s campaign, the outreach coordinator for Buttigieg’s campaign and in attendence was also the regional director for the Des Moines area for Elizabeth Warren’s campaign. “I basically looked them up online and e-mailed them and said ‘we want to let you know we’re having a town hall if you want to come meet Drake students who are interested in maybe working on a

campaign or are interested in your candidate, that would be great. You can come watch with us, we’ll have pizza and look forward to meeting you,” Sayers said. According to Sayers, upcoming events for the Drake Democrats are a little up in the air, since they don’t always know about the schedule for events with the candidates when they come to Iowa until a few weeks in advance. Sayers shared that Drake Democrats will sometimes only be told if the candidate is coming a week in advance. While there might be more events with candidates coming up at the end of the semester, their last meeting for the year will be on May 1 at 8 p.m., so they won’t be able to plan another event after that.

The secret behind photographing a blackhole Julie LaFranzo Staff Writer julie.lafranzo@drake.edu

How do you take a picture of a Blackhole? “Well you certainly can’t use a camera,” Herbert Schwartz, an Astronomical Observatory Lecturer at the Drake Municipal Observatory, said. The blackhole that was imaged was at the center of galaxy M87, which is approximately 55 million light years from Earth. Blackholes are at the center of all galaxies (that we know of) and scientists believe that they are the size of a star with the mass of millions or billions of stars, for example M87’s blackhole is about 6.5 billion suns. The definition of a blackhole is that it sucks in everything that gets into a certain distance from it, that distance is known as the Event Horizon. The “image” of the blackhole that was released is actually an “image” of the event horizon around the blackhole. “Image” is in quotes as it is not a visual image, as Schwartz put it. “It is a radio picture, not an optical picture,” Schwartz said . “As people we only deal with a tiny piece of the electromagnetic

spectrum. The idea is that if we can get information from other areas, we can ‘see’ an awful lot more. Radio telescopes work in the radio band and the neat thing about that is that the wavelengths are a bit bigger and so they are easier to work with.” As Schwartz said, our eyes don’t see the entire spectrum of what there is to see and so using other wavelengths, like radio waves, we can “image” things that we wouldn’t have been able to see before, like a blackhole. “Based on the placement [of the radio waves] they were able to construct an image. That is the image that everyone sees and they say ‘oh there’s the picture, isn’t that a lovely picture.’ No, it is not a picture. It is basically a plot of the energy that we are getting out of a tiny little area. It is a scan of the energy in that area,” Schwartz said. Calling it the first image is not wrong but it would be more correct to call it a radio image as it is not made from visual wavelengths, it’s made from radio wavelengths. Ken Young, former astronomer who worked on projects like imaging a blackhole, gives insight on how to image a black hole from Earth. “As the Earth rotates that

projected distance and the orientation changes slowly as the Earth rotates and so as the Earth rotates you collect information about different spatial frequencies so at any instance you are measuring the amplitude and phase for one spatial frequency and if you had an infinity number of antennas spread over the Earth and completely sampled all the spatial frequencies, it would be a trivial thing to make an image out of that because all you would have to do is add up all the sine waves on the sky with the correct amplitudes and the correct phase offsets that shifts them around and that would give you your image. The trick is that we don’t have telescopes all over the planet, we have very few telescopes on the planet and so you tremendously under sample the spatial frequencies that you would ideally like to have,” Young said. Young’s explanation and more is how to image something like a blackhole. The Earth is moving and using that to your advantage to get the image that you want. If the Earth had a lot of telescope all over, then we could get images very easily, unfortunately that is not the case. Instead, they are instead using the Earth’s movement to get the image. “The tricky thing is that if you

THE FIRST BLACKHOLE IMAGED is at the center of galaxy M87, which is approximately 55 million light years from Earth. Blackholes are usually found at the center of all galaxies. PHOTO COURTESY OF JET PROPULSION LABORATORY

just take direct image from the spatial frequencies that you have taken, it looks terrible because there is all sorts of information that you haven’t gathered,” Young said. “As the Earth rotates, you’re slowly filling in that dish that you want to have filled.” That’s how you get the image

that you want. All of the telescopes that you do have are filling in the space that you would have with more telescopes as the Earth is moving. This is using the Earth’s rotation to our advantage to find new things to see things that we could have never found before.


May 1, 2019

03 | Sports

Sports Men’s tennis wins Summit League Tournament Advance to NCAA Tournament with the win over University of Denver

DRAKE’S MEN’S TENNIS holding some first place hardware. They won the Summit League Tournament and now advance to the NCAA tournament. PHOTO COURTESY OF DRAKE ATHLETICS Erin O’Boyle Staff Writer erin.oboyle@drake.edu @erin_oboyle1

As the rest of campus was celebrating the Drake Relay’s last week, Drake men’s tennis was traveling to Tulsa, Oklahoma for the Summit League Championship. The Bulldogs entered the tournament with a target on their backs as last year’s Summit League champions. This year the Bulldogs entered the tournament ranked at No. 2 in Summit League standings. On Friday, April 26 the Drake men’s tennis team began tournament play against Valparaiso. Earlier this month, the Bulldogs faced Valpo in Indiana and left with a staggering 6-1 match score. With Valparaiso ranked at No. 3 in the Summit League rankings, the Bulldogs had the upper hand, but refused to underestimate their opponent. Beginning with the doubles competition, the Bulldogs fell to

Valpo at No. 2 and No. 3 doubles, and the No. 1 doubles team consisting of Vinny Gillespie and Barnaby Thorold left their match unfinished, which they were ahead in a 5-4 set score. With the doubles point lost, the Bulldogs marched into the singles competition with a renewed sense of urgency. At No. 1 singles, Gillespie had an impressive sweep with 6-4, 6-3 set scores that got the Bulldogs back on track. Bayo Philips, at No. 3 singles, played just as impressively with set scores of 6-2,6-4. No. 5 singles Ben Clark was also victorious with a first set score of 6-4, and a second set score of 6-3. Finley Hall at No. 6 singles rounded up the Bulldogs’ impressive singles competition record with set scores of 6-1, 6-3. No. 2 singles Tom Hands and No. 4 singles Calum MacGeoch both battled long and hard against their Valparaiso opponents, but their matches were left unfinished. Despite the three unfinished matches, the Bulldogs’ four clear cut wins in the singles competition

were all it took to advance the Bulldogs to the next round of the tournament with a final score of 4-1 against Valparaiso. Riding a high after Friday’s win, the Bulldogs entered the title match on Saturday to face No. 1 ranked Denver. A win against Denver would not only grant the Bulldogs the Summit League Championship title for a second year in a row, but it would also guarantee them a spot in the NCAA tournament. A lot was riding on this match and unlike against Valparaiso, the Drake men’s tennis team was coming in as the underdog after losing to Denver last month 3-4. The doubles competition began the much-anticipated match with wins at No. 1 and No. 2 doubles from Denver. At No. 3 doubles, MacGeoch and Clark were able to pull out the win with a 7-5 set score. However, with a majority of the wins in the doubles competition, Denver was awarded the doubles point so Drake needed to win the majority of the singles matches if they wanted to secure title for a

second year in-a-row. Gillespie at No. 1 singles was victorious with set scores of 6-2, 6-2. No. 4 singles MacGeoch also won in back to back sets with both set scores of 6-4. Clark at No. 6 continued the Bulldog wins with a 7-6, 6-4 win. Despite these impressive wins, Denver was holding their own with wins at No. 3 and No. 5 singles. In the heart clenching match that would decide the champions of the Summit League, Tom Hands faced Denver’s Mattia Ros in a match of impeccable tennis. Hands clinched the first set in a 7-6 win, fell in the second set 3-6, and the third deciding set went to tiebreaker when Hands and Ros were tied at 6-6 in the third set. As everyone held their breaths, Hands and Ros battled to the finish in a tiebreaker round where Hands came out victorious 7-5, thus securing the Bulldog’s second Summit League Championship. Afterwards Hands commented on his match. “My match was crazy long

two hours 40 minutes, and with the scoreboard next to me it was hard not to see that it was coming down to my court,” Hands said. “I was 1-5 down in the deciding tiebreaker and managed to win 6 straight points to get the win, that was special and I was so relieved when I won that final point!” The Bulldogs advance to the NCAA tournament on May 3. They will face the University of California in Champaign, Illinois at 1 p.m. The trip to Champaign marks the eighth time the Bulldogs have competed in the NCAA Tournament at the University of Illinois. Drake and California have never met just once before with the Bears earning a 5-1 win in 1990. “NCAAs is a huge opportunity, to play a really high quality team and then show people how good this team is,” Hands said. “I feel like we haven’t reached our potential this season so will be nice to have that opportunity.”

Drake Men’s basketball adds two transfers Drake Lohse Staff Writer drake.lohse@drake.edu

If there’s any phase of the offseason that excites Drake Bulldog die-hards, it’s recruiting. Just saying the word is enough to conjure up memories of a year ago, when brand-new coach Darian DeVries assembled one of the most daunting recruiting classes in a short amount of time. Late last week, Coach DeVries and the Bulldogs officially welcomed two new recruits to their already potent 2019 recruiting class. Guard Jonah Jackson, a transfer from John A. Logan College, officially signed on as a Bulldog April 17. Jackson is a Merrillville, Indiana native, where he played alongside current Drake guard D.J. Wilkins. Jackson also played against guard Roman Penn and the Murphy Twins during his high school career. “Drake felt like home,” Jackson said. “[The Murphys, Wilkins and Penn] are guys I looked up to and it’s an honor to play with them.” At 6’3”, Jackson is an ablebodied guard with a consistent stroke from the perimeter. At John A. Logan, he averaged 12.4 points-per-game last season, and hit 46 percent from beyond the arch. Jackson transfers to Drake as a junior, and is expected to fill the three-point void sharpshooting

Brady Ellingson leaves behind. Ellingson’s marksmanship won’t be the only hole Darian DeVries looks to fill. The program also loses MVC Defensive Player of the Year and crowd-favorite Nick McGlynn. At 6’10”, transfer Brady Ernst may just be a suitable candidate. The Clinton native announced his intention to transfer to Drake in early April. Ernst began his career at Iowa State, before complications from a high-school ACL tear sidelined him for the remainder of his first season. After only six games as a Cyclone, Ernst transferred to Indian Hills, before eventually transferring to Florida Gulf Coast University. At Indian Hills, Ernst averaged 9.4 pointsper-contest and 6.5 rebounds. “[Drake’s] a great basketball program that’s going in the right direction and has great people leading it,” Ernst told the Register. “I’m excited to be a part of resurgence of Drake basketball, because the city of Des Moines deserves it.” Aside from transfers, Drake’s coaching staff is also keeping it’s eye on the next generation of Bulldogs. Back in November, Darian DeVries and his staff officially welcomed aboard three freshmen. On his very first signing day, DeVries managed to nab Nate Ferguson, Issa Samake and Joseph Yesufu. Both Ferguson and Yesufu hail

from Illinois. Ferguson is a 6’7” forward, and Yesufu is a six-foot guard. Yesufu averaged 14 points in his senior season at Bolingbrook High School, which has become a division one production factory over the years. Ferguson averaged 15.5 points and six rebounds in his final season at Lemont High School. Issa Samake is perhaps the most exciting prospect in this year’s recruiting class. A local talent, the 6’7” forward led Grand View Christian to a Class 1A championship earlier this year. “We love Issa. He is a terrific young man, who is just scratching the surface of his basketball abilities,” DeVries said. “He is a local guy that our community will enjoy watching grow over the years within our program. Issa is the definition of a ‘flip-up’ guy. As a guard, you can flip the ball up anywhere close to the rim and he will be able to get it and throw it down. He will be able to add much excitement to our offense with his athleticism and help improve our defense as well.” Samake’s “flip-up” abilities are sure to create more exciting reels for the fast-paced Bulldogs. Anthony and Tremell Murphy, D.J. Wilkins and Noah Thomas all return as starters. Transfer Roman Penn, who sat out the entire 20182019 season, is also expected to have a large role in the offense this season. The team also welcomes back Davenport-native Liam

DRAKE MEN’S BASKETBALL’S throwback uniforms from Drake’s 1969 Final Four team that they played in late this season. PHOTO BY DYLAN HEUER | COURTESY OF DRAKE ATHLETICS

Robbins, who saw experimental minutes behind Nick McGlynn last season, and scored 14 points in the

final game against Southern Utah.


04 | Commentary

May 1, 2019

Commentary

A real bloody good time

“Mortal Kombat 11” delivers a brutal fighting experience Carson J.S. Reichardt Online Content Manager carson.reichardt@drake.edu @CarsonJSR1998

The meme mention of “Mortal Kombat” still brings up thoughts of parents banning their children from arcades because the game was too violent for their young eyes. Over the years, the game’s mechanics may have changed, but the dedication to its trademark ultra-violence has remained. And while excessively bloody battles could be a gimmick that would wear out its welcome quickly, “Mortal Kombat 11” has packaged this into a nuanced fighting game with dozens of hours of appeal to casual players, online warriors and professional contenders. Compared to the previous “Mortal Kombat X,” the strategy behind matches has been altered significantly, even though controls are largely the same. Constantly rushing at your opponent and pressuring them with strings of attacks isn’t the best tactic

to succeed thanks to increased defensive options, which provide the character being attacked far more options to either escape or exploit their opponent’s openings. Players are instead encouraged to spend more time carefully judging their spacing against each other, taking advantage of openings when one competitor over-commits to an unsafe attack. As a result, matches are slower than in the previous entry, despite a generally higher movement speed. Krushing Blows are a new mechanic in “11.” They are versions of normal attacks that reward the user with greatly increased damage and combo opportunities (as well as bone-shattering slow-mo animation) if certain requirements are hit, such as landing the move twice in a row. Learning each character’s unique Krushing Blows and how to look out for them, as well as learning how to consistently land your own, is a key to success in each match. Finally, if a match isn’t going well, each character has access to a Fatal Blow when their

SHAO KAHN is one of the antagonists in the story mode of the game. He appears in the past era of the game. PHOTO COURTESY OF AMAZON

health is low; it’s a bloody super move that takes away a significant portion of an enemy’s health when it connects. However, they can only be used once a match, so managing this last-ditch survival tool is important. Finally, it’d be a disservice to a Mortal Kombat game to not discuss the Fatalities, which are some of the most creatively gruesome the series has ever seen. Characters are cut apart, frozen, crushed, shot, exploded…the list goes on and on. They’re absolutely insane to watch, and after a long match, they’re often the perfect note to end on. Despite the large number of mechanics, “Mortal Kombat 11” does a great job introducing them through its extensive tutorial system, which is one of the most extensive offered in a current fighting game. Separated into distinct categories based on skill level, tutorials can help walk new players through basic controls, teach series veterans about changes to frame data, and everything in between. Further, each character has their own short tutorial, highlighting what makes them unique and how they can be used best. The game’s story mode expands on this, as well. While it’s only a few hours long, it puts the player in control of about half the roster at different points, allowing them to get a feel for the unique movesets. In between fights, the story itself is very entertaining, as classic characters like Scorpion and Johnny Cage must team up with versions of themselves from the past to prevent a new villain from restarting time itself. There’s plenty of fun to be had with time travel, and the story embraces that, mixing heartfelt character moments with the urgency of saving all of history. The time travel theme also ties into this entry’s defining mechanic—the ability to customize characters to make unique

SCORPION is the mascot of the games, as one of the original 7 characters of the first Mortal Kombat game. PHOTO COURTESY OF GOOGLE PHOTOS

variations. Players can combine costumes, gear pieces and up to three extra abilities to tailor their favorite character into a matchwinning, Fatality-performing machine. Whether it’s making Scorpion look and play like his past self or turning Jax Briggs into a futuristic cyber-soldier, the possibilities for customization are limitless. However, there’s an elephant in the room to deal with regarding customization, and it’s that unlocking the items used in customization is both expensive and largely random (that said, character abilities are all unlocked from the start). The Towers of Time, which are periodically-generated series of battles designed to unlock gear, are are one of the main ways to unlock things for characters, and they’re extraordinarily difficult. AI fighters have insane health, with random modifiers making it impossible to connect long combos. The rewards are also often lacking for the effort it takes to win even one battle. The Krypt (the game’s store) is meant to be a place to buy rewards

using in-game currency, but the contents of chests are randomized, except for a few insanely expensive exceptions. There’s no way to buy a particular skin. Chests can also be very expensive generally, as well, especially when three separate currencies that are all earned in different ways are used. The game’s developer, Netherrealm Studios, has pledged to make changes to the economy to increase currency gains and tone down the difficulty of the Towers of Times, but these haven’t gone into effect as of this review. Despite this glaring issue, the combat in “Mortal Kombat 11” is the best the series has ever seen and shows why the franchise has lasted as long as it has. However, the fact that the game’s signature feature— making your own customized fighter to take into battle—is locked behind luck and very long grinds makes for a frustrating experience.

Final score: 8/10

Welcoming the new Editor-in-Chief Editor-in-Chief Farewell Hello Times-Delphic readers, I have served as news editor of The Times-Delphic this past year, I have met so many amazing people and grown as a person so much. This paper has been a second home to me. With that, I’m excited and honoured to officially be next years editor-in-chief. Just a little about me, I like the word groovy, love cinnamon and think CSPAN is cool. That being said, I want to speak about my vision going forward with The Times-Delphic. I abide by the belief of human first, journalist second. I am a Bulldog and I will constantly fight for my fellow Bulldogs. Journalism is telling the stories of others and allowing minority groups to be heard. Hate has no home here and let me be clear: under my leadership I will

not allow hate or ignorance to be spoken through the publication. I want to highlight the diverse and nuanced life we live. I want to shed light to those with unique perspectives. Therefore, moving forward it is my utmost priority to tell those important stories and give a platform to the voices that have been silenced for far too long. I want to thank those who have helped me on this journey, including my fellow editors, my editor-in-chief Ivy and our advisor Jill VanWyke, who has helped guide us during tumultuous times. You all have reminded me why we report the news. You have mentored me as well as taught me so much about leadership and pragmatism. When I look back at where I began, I look at the first email I sent out as news editor. I had a

THE TIMES-DELPHIC

The student newspaper for Drake University since 1884 JILL VAN WYKE, Faculty Advisor jill.vanwyke@drake.edu RACHEL JAMES, News Editor rachel.james@drake.edu PHONG LY, Features Editor phong.ly@drake.edu JD PELEGRINO, Sports Editor john.pelegrino@drake.edu LEXI MUELLER, Opinions Editor lexi.mueller@drake.edu JESSICA VINAJA, Copy Editor jessica.vinaja@drake.edu HALLIE O’NEILL, Copy Editor hallie.oneill@drake.edu

IVY BECKENHOLDT, Editor-in-Chief ivy.beckenholdt@drake.edu KIM BATES, Photo Editor kim.bates@drake.edu HEMA RENGASAMY, Digital Editor hemapraba.rengasamy@drake.edu JONDAVID OTTENBACHER, Digital Editor jondavid.ottenbacher@drake.edu HANNAH COHEN, Design Editor hannah.cohen@drake.edu CARSON REICHARDT, Media Manager carson.reichardt@drake.edu KATHRYN GAITO, Business Manager kathryn.gaito@drake.edu

TIM GANT, Advertising Manager timesdelphicads@gmail.com

quote from the Newsroom, “there’s nothing more important in a democracy than a well informed electorate,” I still believe in this quote and the sentiment behind it. Journalists have a responsibility to the truth. The caucus next year will be a great experience for everyone on campus and I’m ready to report on it. I think there is validity in reporting the news with integrity and continuously trying to better yourself as a journalist. My staff and I will work to fairly and accurately report the news. It is time to tell the stories that matter. Feel free to email me with any questions, comments, and/or concerns. -Rachel James 2019-2020 Editor-in-Chief

I came into The Times-Delphic office as a first-year student intimidated by the world around me. I began as a copy editor and was more than happy to listen rather than speak up. However, my time at the newspaper has changed me, and I am forever grateful. I have learned that sometimes being silent is the worse thing one can do. Covering the unfortunate events during this last year has been challenging, but I have seen the power of sharing these stories as well. I wish Drake University was a perfect utopia, but we cannot hide what happened this year. We cannot be complacent, we must pull back the curtain to show the reality that many students face. It has also been an honor to cover the work of amazing students that have worked to make like better at Drake. The

#PaintitBlack movement inspired me. The strength of the Jewish community standing up against anti-semitism has inspired me. The students who organized the suicide prevention walk have inspired me. My hope for this year has been to share the story of Drake, the struggles and the empowering people here. I have had sleepless nights, I’ve made mistakes, but I’m grateful for the opportunity to have learned so much during my time at The Times-Delphic. Furthermore, I would not have been able to share the story of Drake without my fellow editors, the writers, and our advisor Jill VanWyke. I am grateful for all the lessons I’ve learned from all of you. Thank you. -Ivy Beckenholdt Editor-in-Chief

The Times-Delphic is a student newspaper published weekly during the regular academic year and is produced by undergraduate students at Drake University. The opinions of staff editorials reflect the institutional opinion of the newspaper based on current staff opinions and the newspaper’s traditions. These opinions do not necessarily reflect those of individual employees of the paper, Drake University or members of the student body. All other opinions appearing throughout the paper are those of the author or artist named within the column or cartoon. The newsroom and business office of The Times-Delphic are located in Meredith Hall, Room 124. The Times-Delphic is a member of the Associated Collegiate Press. The editor-in-chief sits on the Board of Student Communications.

LETTERS & SUBMISSION POLICY The Times-Delphic strives to represent student views as accurately and honestly as possible. We rely on readers to provide us with criticism, comments and new ideas so that we can continue to serve the interests of the students in the fairest possible way. We encourage interested readers to submit letters to the editor. Letters must include the author’s name and phone number. Unsigned letters will not be published. Deadlines for guest submissions are noon Sunday for the Wednesday edition. The Times-Delphic reserves the right to edit letters and submissions for space and in the interest of taste. Letters and submissions reflect only the opinions of the authors and should be limited to 250 words. Emailed letters can be sent to ivy.beckenholdt@drake.edu.

ADVERTISING POLICY The Times-Delphic’s business office is located at 2507 University Avenue, 124 Meredith Hall, Des Moines, IA 50311. The Times-Delphic is published on Wednesdays during the university’s fall and spring academic terms. The newspaper is distributed for free around the Drake University campus. All advertising information is to be submitted noon Sunday for the Wednesday edition. Advertisements can be designed by The Times-Delphic or submitted via e-mail. We accept cash and check. A 10 percent discount is offered for prepayment on advertisements. The business office can be contacted at 515-271-2148.

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