Students need communication, B1
Counseling Center helps students C1
Preview: The Golden Globes, D1
SU athletes back in action, E1
The Slate @ShipUSlate
Reporting truth. Serving our community.
Volume 64 No. 13
Tuesday, February 23, 2021
University ups testing availability for students Noel Miller News Editor
Photo Courtesy of Megan Silverstrim/Shippensburg University
Black History Month is celebrated all across the Shippensburg University campus through virtual and in-person events. Students, faculty and staff come together to celebrate, learn from and listen to each other.
SU celebrates Black History Month Noel Miller News Editor
Despite the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, Black History Month celebrations across the Shippensburg University campus have come together and made opportunities for growth, learning and unity more accessible than ever. Black History Month has become a coalition this year, according to Diane Jefferson, the director of the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs (MSA). “We’ve come together, it’s all in one place, finally, so folks can see the different programs that are going on,” she said. A variety of initiatives and events led
Chase Slenker, a sophomore and current class of 2023 senator, is running for the position of vice president of finance.
by students, faculty and campus organizations are taking place at SU during Black History Month. Black History Month celebrations including student discussions, celebrations of Black music and art, and month-long programming and resources are listed on the Shippensburg University website. Stephanie Jirard, SU’s chief equity, inclusion and compliance officer, said the online Zoom environment made the events more accessible than previous year’s celebrations. Normally a person might be able to make one or two events but are pulled in different directions on campus with classes and meetings, Jirard said. With online platforms and the addition of some shorter events,
Skylar Walder, a firstyear student is running for the position of vice president of external affairs.
Asst. News Editor
As the in-person portion of the spring semester comes into full swing, Student Government Association (SGA) Executive Leadership Committee (ELC) elections are underway. The ELC election began Feb. 18, with the campaigning period running between Feb. 19 and March 1. Six students are running this year, Riley Brown, Chase Slenker, Skylar Walder, Christopher Higgins, Imani Cameron and Jordan Newsome-Little. According to the Student Government Association rules and regulations, each candidate had to write a personal biography and statement of purpose to be considered for the ballot. Despite the continued COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic regulations and diminished student activity on campus, student government candidates are persistent in serving the Shippensburg University student body. The candidates hope to bring unity and understanding in these unpredictable times. In a “One Campus One Family” campaign introduction vid-
See “R3,” A2
there has been a much larger turnout and increased participation, according to Jirard. One of these is the faculty-led initiative, “Let Every Department Shine,” which was held on Thursdays and Fridays for 30 minutes each week. Members of different departments met to discuss notable and historic Black individuals in their disciplines. While limited to certain days and times because of faculty schedules, the virtual accessibility of the initiative allowed for more participation from faculty and students.
Christopher Higgins, a sophomore, is running for the position of vice president of student groups.
Noel Miller/The Slate
See “DIVERSITY” A2
Riley Brown, a sophomore and current vice president of student groups is vying for the position of student government president.
Spring brings SGA elections Siobhan Sungenis
It has been almost one year since the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic sent students around the nation home. Shippensburg University is welcoming back students to campus thanks to continued protocols and new weekly testing. While the Etter Health Center has had symptomatic and asymptomatic COVID-19 testing available, the Rapid Raider Result weekly testing, or R3 Testing, is now being used for the campus community. The R3 test will collect a 2 ml saliva sample from students and send it to a lab to be analyzed. The new testing protocol is required
for students living on campus and any students who wish to engage in specific extracurricular activities on campus according to the Raider Respect webpage. The R3 test has a 99.9% specificity rate, an 85% sensitivity rate and results take between three to eight hours after arriving at the lab, the Raider Respect website said. To participate in R3 testing students can schedule their saliva test online at shippensburgportal.pointnclick.com or use the QR code on their website the Raider Respect website said. On the day of an R3 test there are several rules students will need to follow.
eo, officer candidates said. We look forward to meeting with you, listening to you, and hearing your story, as we look forward to the future of our home.” Brown, Slenker, Walder and Higgins are all running under this campaign. Campaigning will be completely online during the spring semester. Candidates are encouraged to use social media and other online platforms to aid them in their campaign. The five positions available in this election are: president, vice president of internal affairs, vice president of external affairs, vice president of finance, and vice president of student groups. Write-in candidates are accepted during the voting process. SGA officials encourage students to vote in the elections and share their voices to build a better campus. Candidate speeches are Feb. 25 at 5 p.m. on Zoom. SGA officials will communicate what Zoom link to use closer to the event date. During this time, viewers can pose questions for the candidates. Voting week starts on March 1 at 8 a.m., and will continue until March 4 at 4 p.m. The online elections system is used to cast ballots.
Students wait in line for a COVID-19 test during the first day of the R3 testing program.
Jordan Newsome-Little, a junior and current RHA senator, is vying for the position of student government president.
Imani Cameron, a junior and current non-traditional student senator, is running for the position of vice president of internal affairs.
Important election dates and information - Candidate speeches Feb. 25 at 5 p.m. on Zoom - Voting starts March 1 at 8 a.m. and ends March 4 at 4 p.m.
- Students can check their Ship emails to find out where they can vote online
A2 From “DIVERSITY,” A1
Officials will continue the initiative for Women’s History Month, Hispanic Heritage Month and Pride Month, Jirard said. Students have also stepped up to the new challenges presented this year, working with campus organizations and student organizations. The “Black History Take Five” campaign, which started and runs through Friday, allows students to enter a five-minute video answering the question, “What does Black History Month mean to you?” The African American Organization, the A.C.T. committee and MSA are running the campaign. Jefferson encouraged the entire student body to participate. Winners can receive $100 for first place, $75 for sec-
ond place and $50 for third place, and the winner will be announced at the Black Tribute Experience Sunday, Jefferson said. Jirard said an important aspect of Black History Month at SU is that it goes beyond one month and has a deeper impact than just what is accomplished during it. “What I hope the larger campus community finally realizes in this time of racial reckoning in the country, is that Black history is American history and American history is Black history. It’s not something we do for a month and forget,” Jirard said. All across America people are having sustained conversations, Jirard said. Locally the SU campus is making breakthroughs in understanding race and moving society forward. Jefferson agreed and added that
February 23, 2021
whether people want to or not, they will have to embrace Black history. Not learning to embrace Black history while still in college is cheating yourself out of a valuable opportunity, according to Jefferson. She said to be the best you can be, you need to learn about the history of other people. The bubble of college allows students to engage with and understand others. Black History Month at Shippensburg University is one of those safe spaces for students to learn before they graduate, Jefferson said. Black History Month events are still happening this week and a list of the events, their scheduled times and locations can be found ship.edu/about/diversity/celebrate-diversity/.
From “R3,” A1
Students cannot drink, eat, chew gum, smoke, vape or brush their teeth one hour before their test, the Raider Respect website said. Students should show up to the Ceddia Union Building’s Airport Lounge at the scheduled time for their test and answer a few questions. An anonymous personalized vial will be given to students to collect their saliva sample which they will then return to an R3 staff member before exiting the lounge. According to the Raider Respect website, students will wait a maximum of 24 hours
to get their results through the point and click portal or email. For students to access most extracurricular activities they will need a passport which will be accessible on the point and click portal after they have gotten their test results back. Shippensburg University set up the R3 testing program “in commitment to providing more options to students and campus experience,” said Kim Garris, the vice president of External Relations and Communications. The testing is also operated and organized in partnership with ShieldT3, according to Garris.
A look at the two candidates for SGA President
Jordan Newsome-Little “Who Am I? I am Jordan Newsome- Little. I am a student who understands the struggles that students endure and advocacy that students need. I am currently the RHA Senator and Co-Chair of the Academic Affairs committee. I’ve decided to run for president of the Student Government Association because Shippensburg University needs healing, transparency and accountability. I would like Shippensburg to set sail for a little something new; making plans and establishing a more inclusive university. Our university should be one where everyone has a seat at the table! I plan to always gather opinions before making any decisions that would potentially affect the student body. You matter; your opinion matters. I ask that you choose someone who wants to be your spokesperson who cares about what you want Shippensburg to be! Let’s heal the disconnect that we’ve endured. It’s time that we set sail with plans of action that will actually change our university! If you have more questions about my candidacy or future plans please feel free to reach out via email at email@example.com or Instagram @j.ord.ann.”
Riley Brown “Our Campus-One Family! Some view the student experience as lacking here at Shippensburg University, but I am running to help unite our campus as Raiders and improve the Ship experience. My name is Riley Brown and I currently serve as the Student Government Vice President of Student Groups, and I am running to be your next Student Government president. The student experience is at a pivotal moment. People feel the overbearing surveillance when they are off campus. People are frustrated with the lack of mental health resources. People are frustrated because we don’t have an identity that makes our campus inclusive. Throughout this year, I had the opportunity to work with our fantastic student clubs and organizations, who provide a home for many students. In doing so, I met wonderful people who help tell the story of who we are as a community, something that I think will help us find our much needed identity. The time for results is now and the time for talk is over. We need to put students and their concerns front and center. This campaign and this election begins a new day for our campus. I appreciate your support and let’s do this Shippensburg — next year will be #awesome!!”
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February 23, 2021
Your World Today
Commentary: The beginning of the end—but when is the end?
Noel Miller/The Slate
University officials responded to the campus community’s calls for action.
University officials further respond to campus community’s calls for action Hannah Pollock Editor-in-Chief
Shippensburg University responded further Feb. 1 to calls to punish a student who posted a photo of herself on Instagram posing next to a sign that says “Black lives do not matter.” A change.org petition calls for the SU administration to “take serious action against the student.” About 10,000 people signed the petition as of Monday afternoon. Chief Diversity Officer Stephanie Jirard responded to the calls for action in an email sent to campus community members Jan. 29. “There is no legal basis for a public university to punish members of our community for their opinions: It is illegal,” Jirard said in the email. “But there is a social justice imperative that calls us together to solve our community problems.” Posters on social media continued over the weekend to advocate for more of a response from the university. Jirard spoke to student media about the ongoing controversy Feb. 1. “I cannot confirm nor deny whether any racist incidents are related to the criminal justice department,” Jirard said when asked about rumors surrounding the student’s major. “I can tell you that as a member of the criminal justice department, as a longtime member of the criminal justice field, we are not immune to the influences of society — be them good or bad. Generally, criminal justice has been a beacon of hope for so many. Given the current focus on current events, we indeed can do better in the intersection of race and justice. That is a fact.”
Jirard noted there have been calls for university officials to take action against the student through SU’s Student Code of Conduct. According to Jirard, the code of conduct is not applicable in situations where people make generalized statements that are hurtful and harmful to racial minorities. “When there are global statements that people make, it’s not a threat or harassment because it's not directed at a specific person,” Jirard said. “So our student code of conduct, if you look... it talks about discrimination, harassment and a threat. It is all meant to address specific actions to specific people.” Jirard responded to calls for expulsion or banishment by explaining that as a public university funded with tax dollars, SU legally does not have the same actions available to it as a private institution. “A private institution is a corporation, much like Twitter,” Jirard said, noting the recent banning of former President Donald Trump from the platform for violating its user standards. “Private corporations can control whatever speech they want, they’re not the government.” Jirard said calls for the university to make the student publicly apologize or take diversity classes also are not options for the situation. She said it would seem “punitive” to direct such a course of conduct for a “global statement.” She noted previous racial incidents involving SU students that were deemed “actionable” were directed at a specific person. “According to the allegations of what this particular sign said, it's global and it’s general, so the
law does not allow us to do more,” Jirard said. “People are allowed and encouraged to express a variety of ideas and opinions and beliefs,” Jirard said. “When those opinions, ideas and beliefs are racially harmful, they still are opinions and beliefs that we as an education institution should address, in an educational way.” Jirard hopes the university community can move forward by turning words of support into action. “Let Ship be that hub for you, the student that wants to translate words into action… to make Ship a better place,” Jirard said. She added that university officials want to hear from students on how they want to help move forward. Jirard said she wants to create a mechanism in the Office of Equity, Inclusion and Compliance where students can direct their energies, through student-led activism, to move beyond platitudes to take on the systems in society that are a direct threat to Black lives. “We should be educating people. When you come to Ship, you are not the same person when you leave,” Jirard said. “You have different experiences, you’ve had to meet people from different slices of life that you’ve never seen and you’ve grown in awareness in a way that is mostly beneficial.” Jirard noted the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on in-person events like rallies and marches. “Until we can come together, Zooms and town halls are all that we can do. Until the students come back to campus, this is the limit of our communication and activism,” she said.
Hannah Pollock Editor-in-Chief
Endings are weird. They can be happy, sad, go as planned or be completely unexpected. As a senior with months remaining in my undergraduate years, I enter into a period of “last times,” before reaching my “end.” I have already had my last class in Rowland Hall — or anywhere on campus. I spend my final academic hours as a Raider sitting on my couch on a Zoom call pleading with my cat to leave me alone until my class is over. While my senior year was anything but ordinary, I can reflect on the times spent covering stories on campus before the pandemic. I love going out to campus events and meetings and telling the stories of our community. Two of my favorite events to cover are the convocation and graduation ceremonies. These events represent the beginning and end of a student’s time at Shippensburg University. Each year’s convocation ceremony is similar to the one that preceded it. High-ranking university officials welcome stu-
dents, giving encouraging and inspirational speeches. During my own convocation and all those I have attended since as a reporter, the same story is consistently told. During the ceremony, the provost stands up, welcomes the new “shipmates,” gives his or her own rendition of a motivational speech and then starts talking about graduation. At this point, the provost holds up a calendar, planner or an image of a calendar projects onto the wall behind them. “Students, mark [insert a seemingly random Saturday in May four-ish years from now] on your calendar,” the provost says. “Everything you do here at Shippensburg is working toward that moment. Circle that day.” The provost then explains that this act is used as a form of goal setting and motivation. When we set ourselves these goals, it helps us keep motivated. We can look forward to better times or finally achieving something we have worked at. I set my eyes and marked my calendar for May 15 — the original graduation date for the class of 2021. But like many other aspects of our senior year, it is gone. Right now, seniors do not have a date to work toward. Officials pushed back the semester, altering the academic schedule and our graduation day. A message on ship.edu/ graduation reads: “Dear eligible graduate,
Congratulations on coming to the final chapter of this part of your educational journey. We are eager to celebrate your accomplishment. A decision related to a commencement ceremony for academic year 2020-2021 graduates will be made later this spring. Best of luck as you finish your coursework and requirements. We look forward to celebrating with you. Thank you for your understanding.” I understand the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, state and institutional guidelines complicate the planning of large events. But I also understand what it is like for a family to make sacrifices, to work extra hours at a grocery store after a day of classes, to study for tests and to spend thousands of dollars for a degree. I knew my four years at SU could be difficult at times. But knowing I was working toward a (hopefully) sunny, Saturday afternoon at Seth Grove Stadium where my family would hear my name called out as I walked across the stage in a blue cap and gown served as motivation. I urge university officials to consider what not having a graduation date does to this senior class and to communicate potential commencement celebration plans as soon as possible. If not for the seniors themselves, but for all of those who helped us get here.
Weather Forecast Tuesday
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Emergency officials respond to reports of gas leak at CUB Officials OK’d the building for use after evacuating students, staff and food workers
Hannah Pollock/The Slate
Various local fire departments, Shippensburg University Police members and UGI Utilities officials surrounded the Ceddia Union Building (CUB) Monday afternoon just after 1:45 to investigate reports of an alleged gas leak. Some of those who exited the building reported officials asking them if they smelled gas. On-campus residents shared on social media that there was a “rotten egg smell.” Building occupants remained outside for about 15 minutes before officials gave the “all-clear.” According to Kim Garris, SU vice president of external relations and communications, there was a report to the gas company of a gas leak on campus. She said the fire department is automatically called in these events. The gas company investigated and determined there was no leak. Garris also said officials responded to a previous report of a gas smell in a residence hall, which was investigated and determined that there was no gas present.
Tuesday, February 23, 2021
The Slate Speaks Campus deserves clear, consistent communication The Shippensburg University community continues to adapt its academic plans and social traditions almost a year into the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Students had a form of an in-person campus experience in the fall and hoped for an expanded experience in the spring. But over winter break and into the online portion of the spring semester, students felt disconnected and found themselves left in the dark until the last possible moment on key information related to the spring semester student experience. The fall semester was not entirely what students had hoped. While the university held more in-person activities than other schools in the state system, it did not meet advertised expectations. This semester, a lot of our classes are online and asynchronous. Due to this, some were unable to personally justify spending $3,000+ to sit in a residence hall and log on to 100% online classes. After a fall semester with some in-person programming, we had the hope that there could be more in the spring, or at least a timeline and explanation of why not. Student organizations are trying to maintain their piece of the “Ship experience” by
continuing programming, but it is increasingly difficult to plan when guiding health and program regulations are not available. Some groups, like Greek Life chapters who have national parent organizations that oversee activities faced questioning and reprimands for not scheduling plans. But how can students make plans and schedule events when rules are to be determined? It can be difficult to recruit and maintain membership of student-run campus organizations in a non-pandemic year. After all, the student-leaders are balancing academics, extracurriculars and part-time jobs. The changing regulations and lack of communication make it even more difficult for students to plan. Understandably, the university had to wait on some details due to coronavirus case spikes and new guidance from state and health officials. Officials take their jobs seriously and want to provide the best experiences for students. However, officials could have communicated more about the process with campus community members. Students received little communication over winter break about details for the spring semester. University officials said they were
still in the process of finalizing plans but the communication students received felt unclear. Planning for the spring semester felt like an afterthought — as if the university put all of its metaphorical eggs into the basket that was the fall 2020 semester. Seniors especially find the lack of university official communication casting a dark cloud over their final semester. Transfer students who joined the campus community after attending community college to save money lost a lot of the campus experience. This invaluable student experience is what sets Shippensburg apart from other schools. Our lost experiences are arguably a contributing factor to retention numbers, as our inboxes fill with emails from advisers and student retention representatives urging underclassmen to hold on and reach out for help Student organization leaders finally received information via Student Government Association (SGA) Vice President of Student Groups Riley Brown on Feb. 15. Information was originally scheduled to be released on Feb. 2. He cited the administration asking to hold the information until “a few last-minute things are finalized.” Brown, a student leader, demonstrated
clear communication. He began contacting students about updates Jan. 26 and sent a follow-up email when the timeline changed. While Brown could not offer specific information, he reassured students that we were not forgotten. We ask that officials let us know that our problems and requests are not forgotten — that our voices are heard. Please include us in the planning process by offering opportunities for student feedback to all members of the student body — not just those who joined committees. Officials could hold public town halls or conversations with campus community members to showcase the university’s options. Officials can communicate with campus media to help messages reach all campus community members. Even if it is an answer we may not like, it would be better than waiting for something that may never come. The excuse of “this is new to us” can only be used so many times. As we mark one year since the beginning of the pandemic, there needs to be a recommitment to clear and consistent communication with students.
Commentary: Cruz, deaths, power outages spark concerns over Texas’ electrical privatization
Adam Friscia Staff Columnist
They say everything is bigger in Texas. When it comes to political scandals, this may be true. And if the events of last week are any indication, it surely is true. Controversy ensued Feb. 15 when heavy snow and freezing temperatures stymied the state’s private power grid leaving millions of Texans in peril. Without electricity, residents faced the threat of hypothermia and officials attributed multiple deaths to the extreme cold. Those concerns were amplified in
hospitals throughout the state where critical care services are provided. New York Times journalists David Montgomery and Simon Romero reported, “at one hospital, the pipes burst, sending water spraying through the emergency room.” Power outages were especially troubling for patients on dialysis as electricity is required to render treatment. As the situation worsened, President Joe Biden authorized the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to issue emergency federal assistance to the state. But as generators and other supplies arrived in Texas, a notable exit occurred. Footage surfaced of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz boarding a flight with his family headed to Cancun, Mexico, Feb. 17. Public outrage was swift as the optics of Cruz abandoning his constituents in favor of a luxury resort was appalling. The next morning, Cruz announced that he would immediately return to the Lone Star State and assist with recovery efforts. As Cruz walked through a Cancun airport, he explained his actions to an NBC reporter.
“We had no heat and no power, and yesterday my daughters asked if they could take a trip with some friends, and Heidi and I agreed. So, I flew down with them last night and dropped them off here and now I’m headed back to Texas and back continuing to work to get the power back on.” Upon returning to Texas, Cruz revealed that he initially planned to stay in Cancun through the weekend and admitted his trip to Mexico was “obviously a mistake.” Regardless of Cruz’s poor judgment, attention must shift toward the state’s infrastructure. For decades, Texas has stubbornly maintained its electrical independence. Of the 48 continental states, 47 are connected to power grids regulated by the federal government. Texas is the sole holdout as it has fully embraced privatization. Moving forward, Texas officials should consider energy policies that include the use of federal power grids. Despite the state’s historical preference, their quest for autonomy cannot supersede public safety.
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February 23, 2021
Give it a thought: SU needs to improve transparency to students
Chase Slenker Staff Columnist
Shippensburg University made many personnel and organizational changes in the past year with minimal communication to students. As an institution of higher education, the university has a responsibility to serve and engage students, and the university does that through its faculty and, more frequently, through its student affairs staff. Last fall, the university majorly overhauled its organizational structure. After Peter Gitau, vice president for enrollment, student affairs and student success, “departed the university,” officials moved student affairs under “administration and finance.” Faculty members received an email Sept. 16 detailing the organizational restructure and Gitau’s departure. That was it. There was no communication to students, no Ship Now post, etc., about the restructure or position changes.
When Donta Truss departed the same position in spring 2020, his departure was extremely well publicized, including an email to students and faculty April 24 and an announcement to the public. There has been a very noticeable change in the language, openness and level of communication over the past year that has been noted by faculty, staff and students alike. One faculty member even described it as the “mysterious vanishing of Dr. Gitau.” In the September email, officials said, “as such we have made the decision to realign our divisions so that our progress in enrollment and recruitment is not interrupted by a search process.” According to Kim Garris, vice president of external affairs, that process will only occur if it is appropriate to return to that former structure. The lack of communication from the university on Gitau’s departure and the organizational restructure showed a lack of transparency and accountability. Despite the average student perhaps not being concerned about the matter, it is still the university’s responsibility and due diligence to communicate large changes in personnel and student affairs structure. Garris, upon request for comment, said, “Students are here to learn, grow and experience, and employees are here to serve our students.” Although this is true, our stu-
File photo /The Slate
Shippensburg University officials must prioritize transparency when communicating changes that impact the campus community, especially those that impact students who pay to be here. dent experience is predicated on a well-organized, student-oriented student affairs team. Over break, there have been many student affairs changes, including the removal of the assistant director of housing operations, the creation of the director of business development and partnerships position and other student affairs staff transferring to other departments. These frequent changes occurred with little disclosure, even to facul-
ty and staff who serve students. According to Garris, the realignment of staff and organizational structure will likely continue in line with the Planning and Budget Council and Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) redesign. Although interim roles and staff realignment may be necessary to meet the needs of the university through the pandemic — redesign and beyond — it is necessary for these changes to be communicated
Letter to the Editor:
Shippensburg University has a duty to demonstrate that Black Lives Matter
to the entire campus community. It has become too frequent that large changes are not communicated, and we are left merely to speculate intentions and reasonings, if those changes are even discovered. This sets a dangerous precedent. In an age with constant change, an uncertain future and the PASSHE redesign, it is imperative that decisions and information are transparent to the populace the university serves.
Take five minutes: Division under the guise of unity
Editor’s note: The Slate received this letter Jan. 30 from the Young Democratic Socialists at Shippensburg University. The group submitted the letter following an incident involving a student posing next to a sign that says “Black lives do not matter.” The Slate initially published the letter online on Feb. 1. For more information about the university’s response, see “SU further responds to campus community’s calls for action” on A3. Dr. Laurie Carter Shippensburg University President Dr. Stephanie Jirard Chief Diversity Officer Mr. Barry McClanahan Associate Vice President, Student Affairs
Maria Maresca Staff Columnist
Dear Dr. Carter, Dr Jirard, and Mr. McClanahan, In recent memory, there have been a number of incidents intended to threaten and belittle the lives of Black individuals in our community as well as on a national scale. An incident with the purpose of degrading any individual because of their race, no matter how big or small, is an act of violence and should be handled as such. Rural communities like Shippensburg often hold a reputation for having backward and offensive values. But that’s not what we stand for. And it’s not what Shippensburg stands for. We would like to see this stereotype challenged by the administration, staff and faculty of Shippensburg University. Right now that’s not happening. The Democratic Socialists at Shippensburg University are committed to creating a safe and inclusive space for the student body and this includes holding our peers to a certain standard of accountability. We are committed to supporting and protecting the lives of our diverse and marginalized peers — not out of some sanctimonious grandstanding — but because we believe that their lives truly matter. This is not up for debate. This is not a difference of opinion. As a socialist organization, we are keenly aware of the importance of free speech and opinion, but we also recognize that when said opinions challenge and undermine the value of a life, lines in the sand have to be made. Learning from one's mistakes includes accepting consequences and making amends. There can be no unity without accountability. We hope that the university's administration shares these values and that steps will be taken to hold accountable those who pose a threat to marginalized members of our community and ensure incidents like these don’t happen in the first place. As our community grows and diversifies, Shippensburg University has a duty to demonstrate that Black Lives Matter at Shippensburg University. Respectfully, Young Democratic Socialists at Shippensburg University
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President Joe Biden has shelled out executive orders like candy and so far, has installed over two-and-ahalf times more than former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton combined. And yet, the new administration has touted unity, healing and the fragility of democracy. Checks and balances have clearly been miscounted, the bicameral legislature has been grotesquely overridden and Biden is clearly no moderate. Unity has been irrevocably altered to mean one thought, one mindset and one narrative where all unfavored opinions are shunned and those who speak against the institutions are silenced with the iron fist of censorship. Not only does this set an inescapable precedent, but it will allow for future, “unfavorable” types of speech to be disregarded and set a standard that will only be applied to a select few. Trumpism is seen as a disease that Washington wants to rid itself of and Biden’s administration is seen as the “panacea.” This is in hopes of manufacturing a utopia where opposing viewpoints are not only discouraged but are punished with impeachment and ostracization, which sounds a lot like George Orwell’s “1984.” Martin Bormann, a head Nazi Party official, was prescient when he said, “Every educated person is a future enemy.”
The Nazis’ end goal was to create a society where all Germans supported the Nazi regime and the dissemination of propaganda, censorship, control of newspapers and communication. Flash forward to 2021 and big tech platforms such as Facebook and Twitter have the upper hand and are actively shutting down conservative voices, even the former president. But do we still look to Germans today and cast blame on each of them for the atrocities committed during the Holocaust? Or do we view them as not being at fault for the transgressions of their ancestors? American citizens in this day and age are not responsible for past sins committed through slavery but are responsible for remembering our history and learning from past wrongdoings. Wiping out traces of history that we do not agree with is no way to accomplish this. Our founders wanted us as a people to be able to criticize the government and allow for all viewpoints to be promulgated — regardless of political ideology. This is why we separated from the grip of Great Britain in the first place. A false sense of security is formed when people are told to think the same and the consequences should not be overlooked, which has led us down the path of a culture shock that this country has never seen. The government was designed to be a necessary evil, not the vehicle through which all is relied upon. We have come to abhor our country that was established on the concepts of life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness and unalienable rights that are God, not government given. This is the unity that we should strive for instead of victimizing our own citizens those that dare to speak against the leftist narrative.
Tuesday, February 23, 2021
SU Counseling Center and psychology department seek to help students’ mental health this spring Chaela Williams
Asst. Ship Life Editor
Photo by Chaela Williams/The Slate
The SU Counseling Center and psych department plans to help students in need.
For the past year, the COVID-19 coronavirus has presented new challenges to students all over the country. Shippensburg University’s Counseling Center and psychology professors are trying to help students cope with mental health conditions and vulnerability induced by the pandemic. National surveys have suggested the pandemic has heightened students’ uncertainty about their college education and post-college careers. Christopher Carlton, Counseling Center director, has been battling the mental health issues on campus by working with other departments and organizations to raise awareness on the benefits of getting counseling. “We have been communicating with professors as well in terms of how they can be [the] most helpful to students who might be struggling,” Carlton said. One of the professors Carlton has been collaborating with is SU psychology professor Amber Norwood. Nor-
wood, who has a background in working with people with serious mental illness (SMI), created Zoom events like “Coping With COVID-19” to give students the platform to speak on their feelings and how they are dealing with this difficult period. Norwood and her students for her abnormal psychology course conducted a depression study survey during the fall semester to find out how many SU students identify with having any depressive symptoms. “We have about 140 participants,” Norwood said. “It is not enough to draw conclusions, but we are seeing at this point a higher than normal percentage of students who are scoring in the at risk [area].” According to a report from Chegg.org, four mental health advocacy and suicide prevention organizations found that 58% of college students surveyed said they were “moderately,” “very” or “extremely” worried for their mental health. With the high demands of counseling and with limited counselors, the Counseling Center is trying to keep itself
afloat dealing with as many students as it can. “There [will] always be a limitation because we have limited resources. [But] this time last year, we were about four weeks behind in terms of [scheduling] new appointments. Now it could be about three days for a student to be able to make appointments,” Carlton said. To accommodate social distancing regulations, the counseling center used video chat services GoToMeeting and Zoom to talk to patients. Even with the big adjustment of moving online, counselors were connecting better with students than they did with face-to-face sessions. “There are a lot of students during their sessions in their rooms and they will show us stuff, you know in their rooms and that helps us better understand their whole personality and who they are,” Carlton said. For this spring semester, the Counseling Center and the psychology department are planning to offer more services to students remotely to fit with the university’s COVID-19 coronavirus regulations.
#GirlBoss: SU Women find success with personal businesses Chaela Williams
Asst. Ship Life Editor
Juggling academics and being a CEO of a small business would be too much to handle for many students, but Shippensburg University alumna Leah Mottershead and senior Cassy Cohen manage to defeat the odds as they work on getting their degrees while owning a company. Mottershead owns two companies, Grad Caps by Le and Unleashed LLC. She started Grad Caps by Le in high school as a hobby, doing about seven caps for friends at the time. She continued to decorate and design graduation caps free of charge until her sophomore year at SU when a friend offered to pay $50 for her work. News spread about Mottershead’s handmade graduation caps and students quickly direct messaged (DM’ed) her for her rates. “Somebody else saw the grad cap I did and he was like ‘I need you to make me one’ since his previous cap did not look great. So I charged $30 and I redid his cap,” Mottershead said. “So then I just started doing it every semes-
ter and that’s kind of how it took off.” Motterhead went from doing two caps a semester to 27, making a profit of $50 per cap. The majority of the earnings goes toward buying craft supplies in bulk at Michaels. When she is was not making 40 orders of graduation caps, Mottershead focused on her studies and extracurriculars. Mottershead graduated last December with a degree in human resources management and was the president of Multicultural Student Affairs (MSA) and was a member of the Latino Culture Club. On top of that, she studied to be a certified lash technician in order to start her second company, Unleashed LLC. “I always wanted to do lashes, I started [to] get into lashes about two and a half years ago,” Mottershead said. “I have had over a hundred clients in the past year.” Mottershead finds the majority of her lash clients based in her hometown of Abington, Pennsylvania. At Shippensburg, Mottershead works out of her student apartment.
“I see [my clients] every two to three weeks. They never skip a beat and there are some people that just want lashes done for a party or a [special] occasion,” Mottershead said. Cohen found her passion for photography in high school but only got her first camera when she was a freshman at SU. Since then, Cohen’s photography company Cassandra Jade Photography has taken off. “I have taken a couple [photos] of people’s birthdays and Kappa Beta Gamma’s graduation photoshoot,” Cohen said. “Now I work with a company, it’s called Dreamer’s Hollow and [they] hired me as their photographer.” Cohen is majoring in psychology with a criminal justice minor. Originally, she wanted to be a behavioral scientist but decided to change her career path to professional photography. According to The Wall Street Journal, Americans are starting new businesses at the fastest rate in more than a decade, taking advantage of the quarantine. During the COVID-19
Photo courtesy of Gemstone Hippie Co./Cassy Cohen
Recently, Cohen started to sell her crystal jewelry at Shear Perfection Salon and Spa in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Cohen is try to set up a website to sell her items. coronavirus quarantine, Cohen created her second business Gemstone Hippie Co. A homemade crystal jewelry company inspired from Cohen’s interest in the healing properties in crystals. “So honestly it just started as a hobby. I wanted some cool crystal necklaces over quarantine. So I was like, all right, I am going to make them for myself,” Cohen said. “Then I went to work every day and I would always wear my crystal [necklaces] and my coworkers said, ‘those are cool, can I have one?’ I was
like, yeah and I started to make [more] and then all of a sudden I had orders.” The crystal necklaces include rose quartz, carnelian and jade. The necklaces cost $10 and can be customized by the customer’s crystal of choice. Cohen officially launched Gemstone Hippie Co.’s website: www.gemstonehippico. com during the winter break. Before then, she had taken product orders via Instagram direct message (DM). “I have shipped a few thousand [items] to people across
[the nation],” Cohen said. Cohen has halted some production of Gemstone Hippie Co. in order to maintain her grades. But she will soon be able to refocus on selling and packing more items. Even with the pressures of academia and financial issues due to the pandemic, Mottershead and Cohen continue to push forward with their businesses, establishing a strong work ethic and determination.
Recipe of the Week: Queso Chicken Tacos Ingredients: -Boneless skinless chicken breasts -Taco seasoning -Chicken broth -Can of Rotel (or substitute salsa) -Jar of queso -Taco shells or quesadillas -Your favorite taco toppings Recipe and photo by Morgan Barr/The Slate
INSTRUCTIONS 1. Spray slow cooker (crock pot) with cooking spray. 2. Layer chicken in crock pot and sprinkle with taco seasoning. 3. In a bowl, combine chicken broth and Rotel (or salsa) mix well and pour over the chicken. 4. Cook on high for 4-6 hours. 5. When ready, drain excess liquid and shred chicken. 6. Spoon queso onto chicken and spread evenly. Cook on low for 20 minutes. 7. Serve in a taco shell or quesadilla with your favorite taco toppings!
Tuesday, February 23, 2021
Photo Courtesy of Facebook @GoldenGlobes
The 78th annual Golden Globes premiere live on NBC Sun. Feb. 28 at 8 p.m.
Preview: The 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards Adam Beam Staff Writer
Hollywood took a harder hit than most other industries during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. The global pandemic shut down productions and movie theaters around the world. Every major studio had to push back a number of tent-pole films well into 2021. It appears that for the time being while movie theaters attempt to adapt to new coronavirus guidelines, the only place that films could find a home was on streaming services, where viewers can find a majority of this year’s nominees for the 78th Annual Golden Globes. Netflix broke the record for any company, receiving an unprecedented 42 nominations across the film and television categories this year. The only streaming service to come anywhere close to Netflix is Amazon Prime. In the film categories — both drama and comedy — the leading nominees include “Nomadland,” “Mank,” “Trial of the Chicago 7,” “Promising Young Woman,” “One Night in Miami,” “Borat Subsequent Movie Film,” “Hamilton” and “The Prom.” Each film has nominations in multiple categories including best picture. In terms of the actors and actresses in these films the front runners include the late Chadwick Boseman in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” and Frances McDormand in “Nomadland” for best leading actor/actress. Other heavy hitters include Carey Mulligan in “Promising Young Woman,” Amanda Seyfried in the film “Mank” and Andy Samberg starring in “Palm Springs.” This year’s awards were also a massive milestone for the directing category. Three female directors were nominated, a first in the same year, Regina King’s directorial debut “One Night in Miami,” Emerald Fennell for “Promising Young Woman” and the first ever Asian American female director Chloe Zhao for “Nomadland.”
The Golden Globes are also a time to celebrate the best that television has to offer, and many would argue these categories get the most competitive. The leading contenders include “Ozark,” “The Crown,” “The Mandalorian,” “Schitt’s Creek,” “The Flight Attendant” and “Ratched.” There’s also limited series such as “The Undoing,” “Your Honor” and “The Queen’s Gambit.” Every year, with every round of nominations comes a handful of controversial surprises and snubs. Some of the biggest snubs from this year include Spike Lee’s Vietnam drama, “Da 5 Bloods,” also starring the late Boseman, Meryl Streep in “The Prom,” no nominations for “Bridgerton,” Jonathan Majors and Jurnee Smollett in “Lovecraft Country” and no nominations for “I May Destroy You” just to name a few. The biggest shocks came with surprise nominations for critically panned films like Sia’s “Music” and series like “Emily in Paris.” Many were shocked to see “Hamilton” be nominated as many felt that being a recording of a live show made it ineligible. Arguably the most controversial nominee from this year was James Corden for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy for his less than well-regarded role in “The Prom.” The performance was labeled by countless critics and audience members as “gay-face” and incredibly insulting for LGBTQ+ viewers. This year’s award ceremony will naturally fall in line with several other award shows from this past year, a bicoastal simulcast from multiple locations across the country. The ceremony will be hosted by “Saturday Night Live” alumnae Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, which will mark their fifth year of hosting duties. The 2020 Golden Globes were met with many mixed reactions due to host Rick Gervais and several controversial jokes made throughout the night. The Golden Globes air Sunday, Feb. 28, at 8 p.m. on NBC.
Review: ‘Scott Pilgrim vs the World: The Game’ gives gamers nostalgia Austin Trevino Staff Writer
Beginning as a graphic novel in the early 2000s, “Scott Pilgrim vs the World” gained a vast following, eventually leading to the 2010 movie of the same name, and with it a game. The Scott Pilgrim game lived in infamy for a while due to its removal from all digital platforms in 2014, rendering it impossible to play if you did not already have it downloaded. This was the case until this year when Ubisoft brought the game back with all the downloadable content, including a physical copy that is soon to be released. Play as the titular, Scott Pilgrim and his friends, as you fight through the seven Evil Exes of Scott’s love interest and playable character, Ramona Flowers. The game itself is a co-op 2D style, Beat ‘em up game similar to the old Ninja Turtle or Double Dragon games. Unlike a lot of Beat ‘em up games, this game requires you to grind levels to make your character more powerful. This is by far the game’s worst feature as it often requires levels to be replayed two to three times before you’re tough enough to challenge the next one. When each level takes upward of 20 minutes to beat, it takes a toll on your entertainment value. The grind is mitigated if you are able to play with a group of friends. While the game is playable with up to four players, finding friends for couch co-op can be challenging in this environment. Additionally, while the game supports online co-op, it is not always the most reliable as I found myself having connectivity issues in the middle of levels. The co-op I managed to play was enjoyable and enhanced the game overall, leaving my friends enjoying every level with me. Speaking of levels, the game only consists
of seven. While the number seems small, each level is jam-packed with enemies, secrets and callbacks to the games that inspired the series overall. The pixel art of the game is reminiscent of the Super Nintendo era, while cutscenes seem to be mostly quick Flash animations. However, these animations seem to be the only bits of story in the game, other than the multiple text endings. Because the game expects you to have already seen the movie, it might alienate those who are not familiar with the story of “Scott Pilgrim.” A Chiptoon soundtrack by the band Anamanaguchivv gives a modern twist on classic game music, and left each new track being a welcoming surprise. Finally, for a game that was originally released in 2010, it holds up surprisingly well with its charming art and an excellent soundtrack. However, there are times when it can be a slog, and other times when the music starts to lose its charm when you hear it repeatedly while replaying levels. This is a game for the fans and is best played with good friends. “Scott Pilgrim vs the World: The Game Complete edition,” is available on all major consoles and PC.
Billboard Top 10 1. Drivers License - Olivia Rodrigo
6. 34 +35 - Ariana Grande
2. Up - Cardi B
7. Go Crazy - Chris Brown & Young Thug
3. Blinding Lights - The Weeknd
8. Levitating - Dua Lipa feat. DaBaby
4. Save Your Tears - The Weeknd
9. Positions - Ariana Grande
5. Mood - 24KGoldn feat. iann dior
10. What You Know Bout Love - Pop Smoke
The Music Corner What has A&E Editor Ryan been listening to this past week?
Artists Young the Giant
1. Apartment 2. Coming Back Around feat. Cody Fry
3. Feel feat. Lianne La Havas
Jacob Collier Count Basie and His Orchestra
4. Magic 5. Tiki Hut Strut 6. Wander Anymore/ Dunes
Cory Wong Cody Fry
Artists and Musicians: How has COVID-19 impacted you? Photo courtesy of Ubisoft
The intial release date was in 2010 for Xbox and Playstation systems. The revamped game is compatiable for current gaming systems.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to be featured in the Arts and Entertainment section!
Tuesday, February 23, 2021
Sports A season like no other Wrestling, E3
Nixon shares experience of coaching in NFL during pandemic
Photo submitted by Jeff Nixon
Nixon recently wrapped up his 2020 season as the running backs coach of the Carolina Panthers. Prior to Carolina, Nixon’s coaching career has included stints with the Philadelphia Eagles, Miami Dolphins and San Francisco 49ers.
Christian Eby Sports Editor
Jeff Nixon’s 24-year coaching career includes stops with multiple NFL franchises including the Philadelphia Eagles, Miami Dolphins and San Francisco 49ers. But not a single previous season measures up to what he experienced this year as the running backs coach of the Carolina Panthers. “If I had one word to describe it [this season],” Nixon said, “the word I would say would be crazy.” Nixon, a former running backs coach at Shippensburg University from 1999-2002 — most known for his recruitment of SU Athletics Hall of Famer and NFL great fullback John Kuhn — recently completed his first season with the Panthers under head coach Matt Rhule. The Panthers ended their 2020 season with a 5-11 record and used this year to find their identity — building a foundation for how they want to play football for years to come. However, attempting that during a season in the middle of a worldwide pandemic, comes with its concerns and challenges. Everything from training camp, to practices and meetings, to life off the field, changed for Nixon. Nixon said his typical day at the office started at 6-6:30 a.m. As soon as personnel entered the Panthers’ facility, masks were on and officials administered a COVID-19 coronavirus nasal swab test. From there, masks had to be worn throughout the entire day whether that be in meetings, on the
practice field or in the locker room. Additionally, Nixon said social distancing was in effect, except for when it was not possible. Everyone had to do their part. It was a team effort. “It was a full-time commitment by everybody in the organization,” Nixon said. “Whether you had been the media, a player or a coach, we all understood the responsibility we had to keep one another safe.” And kept each other safe they did. The NFL experienced some mild outbreaks throughout the course of the season, some games were pushed back, but in the long run, no game was canceled. Teams completed a full 17-week regular season. Nixon credits some of the league’s success to the use of virtual meetings. Hesaid the Panthers relied heavily on Zoom, Cisco Webex and Microsoft Teams for team and position player meetings. It was another way to practice social distancing. Nixon said it was difficult to get used to at first, but over time, it became the new normal. “I think the biggest adjustment all coaches had to make, and the NFL as a whole, was the transition to coaching online,” he said. “If we did have any type of player meeting or team meeting in person, that’s when we had to make sure we were at least 6 feet apart.” Another area where things took a complete “360,” was life off the gridiron. Sacrifices had to be made. As an NFL player or coach, being off the football field can serve as an escape. A time to get out of the spotlight. Many use their free time to go out on the town, visit family and friends
or take a vacation. But in the uncertain times of a pandemic, a lot of that did not happen. It was stripped away — another sacrifice to make. No one wanted to be the cause of a team outbreak. Nixon said over the past few months he did not see relatives outside of his immediate family. He did not eat out much, and if he did, takeout was normally the go-to. Holidays were also affected, as the suggestion to personnel was to not travel or hold celebrations. “Pretty much my everyday routine football wise was to go to the facility, do my work there, whether that be meetings or practices, and then I’d come straight home,” Nixon said. “We couldn’t go out into big crowds or sit down at a restaurant for a dinner or anything like that. So, that was a big sacrifice.” It was the same situation when the Panthers hit the road. Nixon said once the plane touched down and they arrived at their hotel, everyone had to stay-in for the night. There was no experiencing the night life or a new city like years past. “When we were at the hotels, you couldn’t work out in the gym,” he said. “It was only you’re either up in your room, at the team meetings, or sitting down for the team meals. That was it, until it was time to get on the bus for the game.” From Nixon’s perspective, in lieu of all the protocols, the most rewarding part of this season was to see the resiliency and determination the players showcased. Without a true offseason this year, there was a league-wide concern for players’ health and readiness for the season. Nixon said from the beginning of training camp, his athletes impressed him. “The guys pretty much showed up to training camp and were in shape and ready to go, both mentally and physically,” Nixon said. “That was the main concern. Were the guys going to be able to come in and perform at a high level without any OTA’s (organized team activities) or mini-camps? And they were. And they proved that to all of us.” In the end, Nixon said he has many takeaways from this season and learned many lessons along the way that he will hold onto for years down the road. While this season challenged him mentally at times and tested him repeatedly, it is an experience he will never forget. And when asked if he would repeat the whole process if he had to, the answer was simple: Yes. “It was shocking that we were able to get through this whole season without any sort of long delay or having to miss or forfeit any games,” Nixon said. “I think the NFL did an excellent job of putting together a great plan to make sure all 32 organizations were safe and that we could go out and perform on a daily basis and hold games every Sunday.” “Everything we had to go through this season almost became a way of life,” he added. “I think if we had to go through it all again, it would be a smoother transition because everybody would sort of know what to expect. So, without a doubt, it was definitely worth it in so many ways and with our team coming together as a family, I think we’d all be ready to do it again.”
Softball looking to make the leap
Photo courtesy of Bill Smith/SU Sports Info.
Shippensburg’s softball team comes together around home plate to celebrate junior Courtney Coy’s home run in a game last season. Coy batted .396 in 2020. Isaiah Snead
Asst. Sports Editor
The quest for a Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) championship begins this weekend for Shippensburg’s softball team with a doubleheader at Seton Hill University. The Raiders look to follow up on a strong but short 2020 season in which they went 10-4 all while never playing a game at home. SU led through their dynamic offense that
batted .351 as a team and led the league in doubles, triples and runs scored at the time of season’s end. Of course with COVID-19 coronavirus concerns, the 2021 season will look a lot different from years past. The PSAC is changing from a three-division format to a two-division format, with Shippensburg staying in the Eastern division along with East Stroudsburg, Kutztown, Millersville, Shepherd, West Chester, Blooms-
burg, Lock Haven and Mansfield universities. SU’s schedule will consist of eight weekend home and home series where one school will host a doubleheader on Friday with the other school hosting it on Saturday. The 32 games will span from March 5 through May 1. The 2021 Raiders softball roster will consist of 16 returning players and nine true freshmen. Head coach Alison Van Scyoc will return for her fifth year as head coach, having led Ship to 86 wins during her tenure.
Van Scyoc and her offense have garnered respect around the league, Shippensburg was voted No. 4 in the PSAC Eastern Division Preseason Coaches ‘ Poll released on Feb. 12. SU looks to get to the top of the Eastern Division but will have to get past West Chester, which has won a share of the PSAC East championship each of the past six seasons. Shippensburg’s home opener will be March 5 taking on Bloomsburg.
February 23, 2021
Hope and Renz reunite in Fargo
Photo courtesy of Bill Smith/SU Sports Info.
Hope finished his SU career with a 3.67 ERA, 166 strikeouts and 13 saves. His best season came in year two.
Christian Eby Sports Editor
After completing his senior season, Shippensburg University pitcher Michael Hope did not know what the future had in store for him. The Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, native compiled noteworthy career numbers in a Raiders uniform. Primarily coming out of the bullpen — while sprinkling in some starts — Hope finished with a career 3.67 ERA, 166 strikeouts and 13 saves. However, the lingering question remained. Would those numbers be enough to take him to the next level? He found himself on the cusp of being a draft selection, but his name was never called. He had to play the waiting game. Eventually, the call came. And fondly enough, it was from someone Hope knew well. “At first, I didn’t hear much at all and was staying in communication with Coach Jones [SU’s baseball coach], basically staying in shape and training,” Hope said. “I finally got a call from Coach Jones and he says Renz is going to call me and tell me I’m going to fly out. And he said, if he asks you to fly out tomorrow, you say yes and do it.” At the back end of Hope’s junior season, Anthony Renz — at the time, one of SU’s assistant coaches — accepted a job in Fargo, North Dakota, to become the hitting coach of the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks of the American Association (AA). With coaching Hope for nearly two years, Renz knew what Hope brought to the table — a slider that had batters buckling their knees and a work ethic unlike any other. Over that quiet period, Hope sent Renz some of his film to look over. Renz shared Hope’s name with Fargo’s player personnel director. Fargo baseball officials liked what they saw. “I’d seen Michael pitch enough, I’d seen the way he worked, and I’d seen how things came together for him on the field,” Renz said. “And that’s really how I kind of evaluated Michael… was I know when he comes out here, he’s going to work hard and he’s going to put the work in.” In fact, per league rules, all AA teams are required to have a certain number of rookies on their roster at the start of the season. Hope fit that bill. “It kind of happened fast,” Renz said. “We needed a guy right away, and I knew Michael could get out there.” After talking with members of Fargo’s front office, Hope was on his way to North Dakota. Welcome to the big dance It was only three weeks after his last collegiate appearance that Hope found himself on the rubber of Fargo’s Newman Outdoor Field, home of the RedHawks. From that point forward, Hope became a staple of the RedHawks bullpen. But for Hope, the transition to professional baseball was
tough. Hope was halfway across the country, away from home and visits with family were minimal. On top of that, he was facing the toughest competition he had ever pitched against. The AA is filled with former major leaguers, former top prospects and young players who are trying to make a splash in the professional baseball world. But that did not faze him. Hope did what he knows best — strike out batters and position his team for wins. In his rookie campaign, Hope finished with an undefeated record, 8-0, while tallying 46 strikeouts over 59.7 innings of work. He also flashed a 3.47 ERA, which bested three of his seasons at SU, minus his 1.30 ERA in his sophomore year. With Hope as a mainstay in the bullpen, Fargo finished its 2019 season in second place in the Northern Division, after falling to the St. Paul Saints in the Northern Division Championship Series (NDCS). After taking a 2-0 series lead, St. Paul stormed back taking three straight, ultimately winning the five-game series, 3-2. Despite a commanding season, Hope’s tenure in Fargo became short-lived. A long “offseason” Despite the bevy of accomplishments his rookie year, Fargo dealt Hope in the 2019-20 offseason to the Sussex County Miners of the Frontier League, another level of independent baseball on the East Coast of the United States. While the trade came as a bit of a shock, it did have its perks. Instead of the 18-hour drive to Fargo, Hope would now only be four hours from home, in Augusta, New Jersey. That meant seeing family and friends more frequently. But it never came to fruition. Before the season even began, the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic raged across the country, halting the entire sports world, forcing some leagues to forego their seasons. Hope and the Frontier League fell into that category. To make up for lost appearances on the mound, Hope took part in recreational baseball with former Raiders teammate Tommy Baggett and other local players in the Williamsport, Pennsylvania, area. It was not the same as pro ball, but during the times of an unrelenting pandemic, it was better than nothing. “You know being out there with Tommy and seeing live batters, I still got that rush of excitement,” Hope said. Whether it’s at the professional level or not, it’s something that I’ll never not love doing.” On the other hand, Renz and the RedHawks did have a season in limited fashion. The AA was condensed to six teams and only 60 games were played, compared to the normal 100. Protocols were also put in place, with personnel being tested
weekly and social distancing practiced. “I think all of us learned a tremendous amount in our 2020 season,” Renz said. “In 10 years, five years, maybe even one, hopefully we’re going to be packing stadiums again. But for all of us, it’ll be a season to look back on and see all the pictures of us with masks on, and we’ll be able share stories of how we were able to play safely and get a full 60-game championship season in.” “The return” and the road ahead For Hope, the 2020-21 offseason proved to be just as eventful as the previous. He is once again heading back to Fargo, via trade, reuniting with Renz and looking to build off his impressive rookie year. Hope said his second go-around in Fargo already feels that much sweeter. Because of losing his 2020 season, he is hungrier than ever to be back on the mound. Additionally, with having previous experience in the AA, he knows what to expect. “I’m beyond excited honestly, and I kind of get chills just thinking about it,” Hope said. “I’m just glad they still have the confidence in me to go out and do it.” In Renz’s eyes, Hope’s return is welcoming. He feels he can play a larger role than that of his first stint, possibly serving as a set-up man or even the team’s closer. “Having that year of experience under his belt, even with losing a year last year, him coming back to a familiar setting should really help,” Renz said. “But we expect Michael to come back and be that guy that we can go to in any spot and
Photo submitted by Anthony Renz
Before serving as the hitting coach of the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks, Renz was an assistant coach for the SU baseball team for two years.
get the job done. He kind of did that in his first year and really proved that he can handle the pressure in any situation.” A growing friendship Aside from baseball, both Hope and Renz are eager for their reunion in Fargo. They both said that their relationship has transitioned from a coach-player setting, from their days at SU, to a friendship off the diamond. “The best way to say it is that the relationship has matured into that friendship type where instead of calling me ‘coach,’ it’s more of calling me ‘Renz’ or ‘Anthony,’” Renz said. “Really the professional life in terms of baseball is way different than that in college. At a professional level, it all mixes and blends together because you’re all together to achieve that one goal.” From Hope’s perspective, Renz is not only a friend but someone he can always look to and ask for help. “I’d say he’s my big brother in a way, mainly because he’s not old enough to be my dad,” Hope said with a laugh. “He’s a good role model, too, because he works hard, he’s been through it, and has done exactly what I’m going through right now. So, I’d really like to follow in his footsteps.” “But we’ve always been close ever since he was at Ship,” Hope added. “But just being in that atmosphere out of college, going into the professional level; to be in that scenario with someone I know, a familiar face with me for the whole ride through… I always had someone I could go to, regardless of
Cross country takes on shortened 2020 season Christian Eby Sports Editor
It may be five months past due but the Shippensburg University men’s and women’s cross-country teams are officially taking the course Feb. 27 to start their 2020 season. Led by 23-year head coach Steve Spence, the Raider cross country squads will be in for a chillier and shorter season than normal. With the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, the cross-country team’s season saw its fall season taken away. On Nov. 18, the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) announced a championship season for both men’s and women’s cross country would be reinstated, meaning at least six institutions opted in for holding a championship season. The Raiders will begin their pandemic-ridden campaign at the Lock Haven Invite. SU then returns to its home course for the Shippensburg Invitational to wrap up a brief regular season on March 6. The PSAC Championships are slated for March 20. The men’s team amassed an exceptional 2019 campaign, listing a first-place finish at the Bloomsburg Invite and a second-place finish on the home course in the Piper Alumni Open (Cross Country Challenge). They also tallied a third-place curtain at the PSAC Championships, accompanied by a seventh place marking at the NCAA Atlantic Regionals. Paving the way for the men’s team is redshirt-junior Nate Kaplon. Kaplon, one of the veterans on a young Raiders’ squad, earned 2018 PSAC Men’s Freshman of the Year honors and is a two-time All-PSAC honoree with being named to the
2018 First Team and the 2019 Second Team. Sophomore Chayce Macknair will be another highlight for the men’s team. Coming off quite the debut season, Macknair notched 2019 All-PSAC First Team honors with an 11th-place finish at the PSAC Championships. Behind him, junior Cade Rush will also slide into the leadership role this season after posting a noteworthy 2018 campaign, earning 2018 All-PSAC Second Team honors. He only competed in one race in the 2019 season. Other tenured notables for SU are juniors Andrew Feldman and Joshua Jackson. From the sophomore class, Drew Dailey will look to build off a solid freshman season with Nathan Harding, Cole Harris and AJ Plowman rounding out that group. The Raiders will also feature six freshmen. The women’s team provided similar performances at the Bloomsburg Invite (fifth place) and the Piper Alumni Open (second place). The PSAC Championships and NCAA Atlantic Regions also resulted in repeated success with an eighth-place tally and a 10th place completion. Ava Franklin will head the senior class with Jenna Robbins opting out this year for other career opportunities. Redshirt-junior Bella Marchini will remain the Raider standout after receiving 2018 All-Atlantic Region First Team honors and a 2018 All-PSAC First Team distinction. She redshirted in 2019. Joining her, sophomore Isabelle Gulgert, a 2019 All-Atlantic Region First Team and 2019 All-PSAC First Team honoree and junior Kyra Gerber, who was recognized with 2019 AllPSAC Second Team honors.
Junior newcomer Sydney Sirois, who did not compete in 2019, should also provide the Raiders with a boost. The Greene, Maine, native was the top runner for the University of Southern Maine in her two previous collegiate seasons. Jade Fry, Sydney Morgan and Olivia Sommers (redshirt-junior) compile the remainder of the junior class. Amanda LaVana, Mackenzie Kurtz, Phylicia Hockman and Courtney Gomber are the returning sophomores. Five freshmen close out the rest of the roster.
Photo courtesy of Bill Smith/SU Sports Info.
Both the men’s and women’s cross-country teams start their season on Feb. 27 at the Lock Haven Invitational.
February 23, 2021
Pastore representing U.S. in Lethwei Championships
Photo submitted by Brett Pastore
Brett Pastore wrestled for SU for two years before turning his concentration to boxing, where he competed with the SU boxing club. He competed in multiple National Collegiate Boxing Association Championships. wrestler and boxing club standout Brett PaChristian Eby store, his opportunity comes this May at the Sports Editor Lethwei World Championships in Warsaw, Poland, representing the United States. He Not many can say they have the chance to made the announcement official via his Instagram Jan. 28. become a world champion. Pastore, a 2017 SU graduate, began his But for former Shippensburg University
competitive career at a young age, with a focus on wrestling. He said he knew from the beginning that wrestling was something he wanted to pursue through his collegiate tenure. Boxing was not the No. 1 goal. He played UFC video games as a child, dabbled with the sport at a recreational level in high school, but it was never on the forefront of his mind. That quickly changed when he came to SU’s campus. In his freshman year, Pastore practiced with both the wrestling team and boxing club. He joined the Raiders on the mat early in the evening, grabbed a bite to eat, then hightailed it to boxing practice. It was the best of both worlds. But he felt his passion for wrestling slowly begin to diminish, while his devotion to boxing continued to grow. At the start, there was a lot of rust to shake off, but he knew there was room for growth. “It was like I’d go into the wrestling room, and I’d be getting beaten up by everyone. We had a really great team,” Pastore said with a chuckle. “Then I’d go to boxing practice and get beaten up there. Like every day. Getting beaten up here, getting beaten up there. But I don’t know… I just knew I was getting better, and it was something I was going to go far in.” And go far he did. Spanning from his sophomore to senior year, Pastore became a mainstay for SU’s boxing team. He improved to such an elite level, he eventually competed against other collegiate boxers from across the country. Representing SU, Pastore competed at the National Collegiate Boxing Association Championships, notching third place finishes in two consecutive years (2015 and 2016.) In 2017, his senior season, he tallied a second-place finish. “I just developed an obsession of becoming a national champion. I just wanted that title,” Pastore said. “And that’s gradually what led me to leave wrestling. I knew I wasn’t going to be a national champion in wrestling.” “But overall, those were great learning experiences, and it’s what led me to continue to get better and better,” he said. Following graduation, Pastore’s pursuit in becoming a world-renowned boxer progressed. In fact, it expanded. Pastore said in addition to his 46 career boxing matches, he has participated in three
MMA fights and has explored Muay Thai — also known as Thai boxing. Muay Thai is a martial art that takes the form of standup striking and different clinching tenchniques. His diversity in fighting is what guided him to his recent opportunity. Pastore will be one of a few representing the United States in the second-ever Lethwei World Championships. He is in the Class A division. Lethwei is a form of Burmese boxing, originating from Myanmar. It is also considered to be the art of nine limbs, meaning boxers can use almost any part of their body to strike their opponent. “It would be pretty cool to say I’m a world champion of something,” Pastore said. “Since this is such a new sport, the second-ever world championships, it would be really cool to put the U.S. on the map for this new sport.” Pastore said this opportunity came about from exploring the internet. He found the United States’ coach’s contact information, sent him some videos of his fights and shortly thereafter, became the first member of the U.S. team. With the ups, some downs occurred as well. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, a slew of Pastore’s competitions have either been canceled or postponed. Finding gyms and facilities for training has also been a challenge. “We’re just praying that it all pans out,” Pastore said. “In these times, anything can happen. I’ve had only one competition this year, so the best thing to do is keep your head up and hope for the best.” In the end, Pastore said he hopes the Lethwei Championships open the floodgates for more opportunities down the road. Pastore believes the end result will be a contract to become a professional UFC fighter. “My ultimate goal is to be a UFC fighter. And I know one day, I’m going to get that contract,” Pastore said. “Who knows, maybe I’ll be the first ever Lethwei UFC fighter.”
Pandemic takes toll on SU recruiting Christian Eby Sports Editor
The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic continues to make its mark on recruiting at Shippensburg University. With the uncertainties that come with the virus, recruiting coordinators at SU were forced to make changes, adapt to the unusual situation and overcome hurdles they have never faced before. With all levels of the sports world being shut down last March when the pandemic started gaining ground, recruiting was not on the forefront of anyone’s mind. There were still many questions to be answered about the virus itself. Plus, there was no recent film for schools to watch. But once officials gathered more information, sports started coming back into the picture. Recruiting began to re-make its appearance with limitations. The biggest hang-up for recruiting coordinators remains the inability to see athletes in action regularly. “This has not been a normal recruiting process,” SU football recruiting coordinator Anthony Johnson said. Once September rolled around, the NCAA Division II “quiet period” was lifted and normal recruiting calendars returned Sept. 1. This allowed Johnson to revamp his recruiting to some capacity. The live streaming of high school contests – due to limited attendance in order to stem the spread of the coronavirus– also provided another outlet to watch athletes perform in real time. However, it still was not the same. Sports across the board continued to be affected by the seemingly unforgiving virus. Spring sports were hit hardest. And for soon-to-be collegiate athletes, that meant no senior high school season or that last chance to showcase their talent in front of college scouts. Not only was it a change for potential collegiate athletes, but recruiting coordinators like SU baseball’s Sean Williamson, had to adapt to the unforeseen circumstances. “It was a unique situation. The way we had to recruit completely changed,” Williamson said. “Since we couldn’t go see some of these kids in person, we had to rely heavily on video.” And that is exactly what happened. Williamson’s recruiting cycle fell into that NCAA “quiet period,” and the use of video and social media platforms as a way to deliver film to schools and coaches, exploded. “This way of recruiting had been gaining momentum over the years, but this year, everyone really blew the roof off of it per se,” Williamson said. In the uncertain times of a pandemic, there was no better way to do it. Some athletes even created Twitter accounts specifically for recruiting. It was a 2-for-1. Social distancing was practiced, and ath-
Photo courtesy of Bill Smith/SU Sports Info.
The NCAA Division II “quiet period” ended Sept.1, letting SU’s recruiting coordinators return to normal recruiting. letes’ film still received the recognition it deserved. “It’s just way easier to find information on kids now,” Williamson said. “To where a year ago, it was getting toward that direction, and every once in a while, you’d come into a hiccup here and there. But now, the kids understand the importance of video.” Even with the use of video bursting onto the scene, the recruiting process was still missing a key component. It lacked that face-to-face interaction. Once that issue was recognized, the wheels started turning in the right direction. For Johnson, a major part of the recruiting process is getting the prospects on campus to see the facilities, talk to their potential position coaches and show all of what Shippensburg has to offer. With SU hosting campus tours in limited fashion in the fall, officials granted permission for potential recruits to get those opportunities, minus some dining experiences. The chances only applied to Pennsylvania athletes, however. With travel restrictions in place, out-of-state athletes did not qualify for those same opportunities. “We struggled early on with getting kids on campus because of COVID,” Johnson said. “But as time went on, we were able to get some Pa. kids on campus. Unfortunately, we couldn’t do the same for out-of-state kids.” “But we were lucky the university even allowed us to have
on-campus visits. Some schools didn’t get that opportunity,” he added. “That was the major positive out of all of this.” In wake of the positives, there is still some concern moving forward. That concern being how the recruiting scene will be impacted for years to come. From Williamson’s perspective, he said he is unsure what the future holds. “I think the process will get back to normal eventually. The way we go out and evaluate and see kids,” Williamson said. “Recruiting in regard to spots available, eligibility getting back, [it’s] kind of a log jam basically. There’s been a trickle down effect from junior colleges to the transfer portal.” “I don’t know the answer to that [what will happen] and in regard to how long it will take to get back, or if it will ever get back to what it was,” he added. “Honestly, hopefully it does for the players’ sake.” In Johnson’s eyes, he said he feels recruiting will revert to its traditional routine in some shape or form, but does not know if it will ever return to what it once was. “I can’t say for sure it’s going to be exactly the way it was, but I think from my perspective and standpoint, we’re going to be OK,” Johnson said. “I don’t think this will hinder us in any way in the future.”
This is the Feb. 23, 2021 edition of The Slate.