December 2, 2021

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Review OU students return to socialization after isolation ... PG 8-9 Here's a look at 2021 in photos ... PG 12-13 Charitable organizations make an impact despite the pandemic ... PG 15


Reflecting on a year filled with news


After 2020 gave us the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, there was a sense of longing in the air for the arrival of 2021. We rang in 2021 with the hope that we would see an end to the pandemic, that the craziness of modern politics would slow down and that we would have a comparably more normal year back on Ohio University’s campus. But, if 2020 taught us anything, it’s that we shouldn’t assume the standard course of action will always pan out. The beginning of 2021 allowed for some students to return to campus for Spring Semester. I lived off-campus, and getting to meet new Posties who had been working for us virtually in the spring was a great experience. They, along with all the other new Bobcats on campus, dealt with a slew of growing pains, such as long dining hall lines, COVID-19 operations and fewer campus events to attend. The return of students also meant a return to activism. Protests in support of Black lives, against AAPI hate and in favor of university professors all took place. OU has always been a supportive community

to any and all Bobcat, and the reemergence of protests was one of the biggest indicators that OU students were coming back in full force. There’s been changes administratively, too. Most notably, former OU President Duane Nellis stepped down in May, making way for President Hugh Sherman. Nellis pointed to his love for teaching as a factor in his decision, and he will return to teaching geography. However, Nellis’ administration was heavily criticized by students, faculty and other university stakeholders for its handling of the alleged budget crisis and waves of mass layoffs leading up to his decision. At The Post, we faced our own set of challenges during what was a hectic year for everyone. We dealt with doing our work in remote and hybrid formats and, in the summer, we were forced to reckon with the possibility of losing our business manager. This led to an outpour of support, both across social media and in the form of donations. We are incredibly grateful for the support and kindness the community has extended to us during a

period in which so many are struggling. Now, the business manager position will be expanded to director of student media, and we cannot wait to see what Andrea Lewis does in the position in the new year and beyond. The Post has accomplished so much in 2021 despite every obstacle thrown in its way. I’ve gotten to see our staff getting to know each other in the newsroom again, individuals publishing content they’re incredibly proud of and the return of notable events such as Homecoming and Election Night. The Postie bond, after a time of isolation, is now stronger than ever. While 2021 threw us a slew of new challenges, we’ve all made it through 100% of our worst days. That is something to celebrate as we look toward 2022 with bright eyes and a renewed sense of hope. Abby Miller is a senior studying journalism and political science at Ohio University and the editor-in-chief of The Post. Have questions? Email Abby at am166317@ or tweet her @abblawrence.






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Singing Men of Ohio issued cease and desist; additional COVID-19 death reported MOLLY WILSON ASST. NEWS EDITOR Singing Men of Ohio issued cease and desist order

Ohio University’s Singing Men of Ohio, or SMO, was put on a cease and desist order Monday for non-academic activities after allegedly endangering the health and safety of its members and violating the Student Code of Conduct. SMO is a student organization at OU and a performing ensemble within the School of Music. An investigation into the allegations has been initiated by the Office of Community Standards and Student Responsibility, or CSSR, which will take place all day Thursday and Friday. The outcome of the investigation will be determined by Director of Choral Activities Bradley Naylor, the College of Fine

Arts and the Provost’s Office. According to the order sent to Naylor, SMO is not allowed to meet in any capacity outside of academic coursework, sanctioned practices and university-sanctioned performances. SMO had to provide a full list of its members, including potential new members, to Taylor Tackett, assistant dean of students and director of CSSR, on Monday. In addition, a list of the members of SMO who may have left this year was provided to Tackett, including the reason for their departure and any related documentation. The university was unable to provide any additional details.

96 sometime between Friday and Sunday, as one more death was reported by the Athens City-County Health Department. There are 231 active cases of COVID-19 currently in the county, and 36 of those cases are new. However, the number of active cases in the county has stayed relatively stagnant since 228 active cases were reported on Nov. 22. Currently, 50.56% of county residents have received one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and 46.48% are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.


COVID-19 related deaths in Athens County approaches 100

The Athens County COVID-19 death count reached


Man’s car backfires; woman breaks into a residence ANNA MILLAR FOR THE POST Uhm, Not Your House

The Athens County Sheriff ’s Office responded to Allen Street in Glouster regarding a reported burglary in progress. The caller said when he returned home there was a strange woman leaving his house. He said the woman was wearing clothing that belonged to himself and his son. He followed her to his neighbor’s porch and waited there until deputies arrived. When deputies arrived, they detained the woman, who said she was under the influence of drugs. She said she chose to enter the caller’s house when no one answered the door. She was then arrested and taken to Southeastern Ohio Regional Jail with no further incidents.

Mysterious Mail

Deputies responded to Jet Star Drive in Hockingport regarding a report of a suspicious package de-

4 / DEC. 2, 2021

livered by mail, according to the sheriff ’s office. The package was taken into custody as evidence. The incident is under further investigation.

Eyes on the Road Please

Deputies were dispatched to Oxley Road in Athens regarding a vehicle wreck, according to the sheriff ’s office. The vehicle had driven through a yard, struck multiple items and crashed over an embankment in the woods. The Richland Fire Department and EMS helped with patient care and vehicle removal upon their arrival to the scene. The crash is under investigation.

It Never Ends

The sheriff ’s office responded to a residence on Hartman Road in The Plains regarding a report of a stolen catalytic converter. Upon arrival, deputies talked to the caller and took a report of the incident.

Just a Busted Vehicle

Deputies were dispatched to State Route 685 in Glouster regarding a report of possible gunshot sounds. When they arrived, deputies talked to a motorist who said he was broken down. He said his vehicle was backfiring, so deputies returned to patrol.

Hunting Season

The sheriff ’s office responded to Coolville Ridge Road in Athens regarding the sound of gunshots. Deputies searched the area but did not find anyone nearby. Deputies were asked to patrol again in the evening to look for hunters.


Ohio University students gather in the lobby of Nelson Dining Hall to get inside for dinner on Wednesday, Aug. 25. (CARRIE LEGG | FOR THE POST)

Interaction After Isolation

Students’ college experiences improved due to changing COVID-19 restrictions ALEX IMWALLE FOR THE POST An ease of COVID-19 precautions by Ohio University this Fall Semester has resulted in many students feeling more comfortable on campus, alongside a sense of relief from the social and academic difficulties of the previous school year. Max Faass, a sophomore studying psychology, said the biggest difference between this semester and last semester is the dorm room guest policy, which restricted visitors in residence halls. Faass said it’s nice being able to freely hang out with his friends instead of the previous no-visitor policy. “This semester, if I’m not doing homework, I’m usually hanging out with my friends in their dorm or they’re coming over here,” Faass said. He said the ability for more social interaction has also aided in his study habits.

Last semester, group study sessions would largely be held on Microsoft Teams, and Faass said he is able to be more productive and efficient when studying with other people in person. Quinn Mottice, a junior studying middle-childhood education, said the biggest difference and impact he has felt this semester is being able to go to class in person. Mottice said it is easier for him as well as many students to learn and do well in school when he is able to sit in a classroom. Faass said the switch to in-person classes has also helped him academically. “I learn a lot better when I’m in that (classroom) environment, and it’s so awkward asking questions over Teams,” Faass said. “In person, it’s a lot easier because it’s a face-to-face interaction.” Samantha Schimmoller, a sophomore studying journalism, said getting back into the classroom is not only good for her academics but also for her mental health.

“I don’t go a day without waving at someone on the street,” Schimmoller said. “Whereas in the past, it’s like I wouldn’t see anyone. It was just such a ghost town.” Schimmoller said social interaction is also a lot less stressful now, as there are more places open to safely socialize with others. “It makes connecting with people a lot easier because you don’t have to worry about whether or not they’re vaccinated or whether or not you could catch COVID,” Schimmoller said. “This feeling of safety has opened people up more, along with the rest of campus.” Faass said it is now a lot easier to meet people than it was before, and increased social interactions have created a community within residence halls and classes that did not exist in the spring. “A lot of the struggles of last semester were just feeling isolated,” Mottice said. “Even though I was on campus, it felt like

there wasn’t much of a social scene or much ability to get out and see a bunch of people.” Though OU’s COVID-19 policies last year caused him to lose touch with many people, Mottice said the loosening of these guidelines has allowed him to reconnect with old friends. Faass said though the masks in classes and residence halls can be inconvenient, he is glad the university is keeping its students safe without completely stripping them of a college experience. However, with the vaccination mandate, Faass looks forward to a time when students can walk down the hall or into class without having to wear a mask. “As more people are vaccinated and people are less likely to test positive, it’d be cool to see them slowly start to loosen restrictions to the point where it’s like we’re at college, (and) we’re not at a college with COVID,” Faass said.


Sherman’s Presidential Progress OU faculty groups yet to judge President Sherman’s administration, better understanding to come in spring ADDIE HEDGES FOR THE POST Both the Ohio University Faculty Senate and OU’s chapter of the American Associa-

tion of University Presidents, or OU-AAUP, agree it is too early to say how President Hugh Sherman has done during his first semester in office following his appointment by the OU Board of Trustees in May.

The Board’s appointment of Sherman as OU’s 22nd president came two weeks after former President Duane Nellis announced his decision to step down, according to a previous Post report. Faculty Senate, Student Senate, OU-AAUP and the mayors of each of OU’s regional campus cities expressed concern over their lack of involvement in the process of Sherman’s appointment. “I think that’s a problem, and I think the trustees have a lot to try to make up for there,” Joseph McLaughlin, a professor in the College of Arts and Sciences and the OU-AAUP vice president, said. “I think it puts President Sherman in a difficult position, one in which he probably needs to be even more attentive to shared governance because his appointment was marred by a lack of shared governance.” Faculty Senate also noted the issues with Sherman’s appointment but felt it was important to move forward in the process, Robin Muhammad, a professor in the College of Arts and Sciences and chair of the Faculty Senate, said. “(Faculty Senate) had very thoughtful conversations with the trustees about (the lack of shared governance) and then we moved forward,” Muhammad said. “I think

there’s been an added effort in all the conversations among the upper administration and the Faculty Senate to pay attention to (shared governance) even more so.” McLaughlin and Muhammad said the general consensus surrounding Sherman’s progress is undecided but hopeful. There has not been an increase of confidence in the administration, but there has not been a decrease in confidence, either, Muhammad said. There is stability in the administration, which creates confidence from the need to move forward, she said. A decisive opinion on Sherman’s performance as president will most likely come in the spring after budget decisions are made, McLaughlin said. Sherman’s priorities as president will then be visible. During Nellis’ presidency, 140 OU employees in the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, or AFSCME, had their positions eliminated in response to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as 53 instructional faculty members and 81 other employee positions. McLaughlin said faculty participation in the search for a new president would prevent the appointment of a president who does not hold the interests of students and faculty and that the university is in need of a leader who prioritizes academics. After his sabbatical ends, Nellis is returning to OU as a professor of geography in the College of Arts and Sciences in the spring. The dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Florenz Plassmann, said he is excited to work with Nellis in his new position. “My hope is that students will benefit greatly from the expertise that he has accumulated over the years,” Plassmann said. “He can also provide so much guidance to students beyond geography because he was a dean, (and) he was a provost before, so he knows university life inside and out, and students will always benefit from hearing someone like that speak.” As the Fall Semester comes to a close, McLaughlin said he hopes to see a change of loyalties in Sherman’s administration but is not confident he will. “One of my hopes is that the university would recognize that over the past 10 years, they have started to devote too many resources to the most highly paid people at the university,” McLaughlin said. “We would like to see some recognition that the administration understands that the core business of the university is teaching things and not helping students fill out checklists. Those would be the kind of changes, I think, that would signal there’s a kind of change in direction … but every indication is that very little has changed.”

@ADDIEHEDGES AH766719@OHIO.EDU Ohio University President Hugh Sherman discusses his term on Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2021. (ASHLYNN MCKEE | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER)

6 / DEC. 2, 2021



Warm start to December, dry conditions for most of the next week SYDNEY WALTERS FOR THE POST A look at the weekend: Rain will move out of the Athens area before Friday and make way for a partly cloudy day. A disturbance will develop over the Appalachian Mountains throughout the day Friday, which will not cause more precipitation but will cause conditions to be windy. Temperatures will begin to fall near December normals over the weekend, with highs around 50 degrees and lows between 20 and 30 degrees. A cold front will pass Sunday, which will aid in dropping temperatures and bring rain later into the day.

Coming up next week: Conditions will remain calm in the Athens area to begin the week following the passage of the cold front. Highs throughout the week will remain around 50 degrees and lows around freezing. A low pressure system will enter the area Wednesday and bring rain chances throughout the day, with the possibility for snow early in the morning or late in the evening, depending on when the system passes through.




The college experience: the sequel JILLIAN CRAIG FOR THE POST As the feet of freshmen, sophomores and juniors hit the bricks of Ohio University this fall, each group began their first semester of the fabled college experience all high school students aspire to have. For each of these classes, this will be the first full year of in-person classes since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. Although some students had the opportunity to take classes in person on campus last year or live on campus last spring, the “college experience” was lacking for many because most of the campus was a ghost town.

“Honestly, it was pretty secluded,” Erin Schultz, a sophomore studying forensic chemistry, said. “I mostly hung out with my roommate, or people from home would come down and hang out with us, but there wasn’t really a lot of interaction with new people.” Since the approval and administration of COVID-19 vaccinations during the spring, social distancing and mask-wearing relaxed in some public places in Athens, and classes resumed in various forms with many having some portion of them in-person in the fall. The combination of these factors made students feel safer and allowed them to more easily make friends in class, allowing students to dip their toes

ILLUSTRATION BY OLIVIA JUENGER into socialization after months of isolation. “I’ve been having a lot more fun being able to be with my friends again, and obviously making more friends now,” Katie Houlahan, a sophomore studying ex-

ercise physiology, said. “With in-person classes it’s a lot easier than making friends through online classes.” Meeting people and making friends outside of class has proved easier for Hou-




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lahan, too. “So, when you go out at night, and when you go to parties and stuff, you just meet random people and become friends with them,” Houlahan said. “So it’s obviously a lot easier now that everything’s opened back up and people are allowed to socialize now.” For some students, the opportunity to engage in face-to-face on-campus activities was better than staying at home and staring at a screen. Dylan Westmeyer, a junior studying journalism, is part of the Marching 110, a club tennis team and plays disc golf with friends in his free time. “It’s been good to actually get outside and meet people on campus, not just through ... Microsoft Teams,” Westmeyer said. “Most of the stuff I do is outdoors, so I’m not too worried about anything. Even the parties I’ve been to, there’s normally been something going on outside, so I’m not too worried, and I’m vaccinated.” For other students, though, this is their first time being on campus as an OU student altogether. Mikayla Turner, a junior studying adolescent to young adult education, is experiencing what it’s like to be on campus as a student for the very first time. “I transferred here last year with hopes of staying in my dorm and everything, and then COVID happened, so I didn’t get to do that, and I made the decision not to come in the spring to save money,” Turner said. “So this being my first semester, it definitely took … just like getting to know the campus and meeting new people.” Turner said her friends who were freshmen pre-pandemic have told her about how packed the bars used to be and how big and wild parties used to get. “It definitely feels like I am missing out on a portion of how the campus was before COVID because I have a lot of friends that were here since freshman year and … it is just not the same now,” Turner said. “Everyone is coming out of their shell more now because of the vaccine, but I’ve heard stories that parties were a lot crazier, there was more people going to the bars and stuff like that.” Turner said she doesn’t feel as though she has missed out on having the “college experience,” but rather she recognizes it is significantly different from what it could have been. “I don’t know that I necessarily am missing any elements of it, but I do think that it would be different had COVID never happened, and I would have had one more year under my belt,” Turner said. “I almost feel set back because I don’t really know anything that’s going on, other than if my friends tell me or if I hear about it through work or something.” Kimberly Rios, an associate professor of psychology at OU, said there is a human need for social interaction during transitional phases in people’s lives, which

would explain the drive for returning to normal social college experience. “People in general are social animals, and we do have a really strong psychological need to belong and fit in with other people, and for college students, this psychological need is perhaps especially strong because college is a transition period,” Rios said. “These sorts of experiences, while exciting for many people can also be somewhat isolating and add that to the fact that for almost two years in the midst of the COVID pandemic students, whether they’ve been on campus or off campus, they’ve been largely isolated from all but maybe just a few people taking classes on their computers (and) doing everything on Zoom as opposed to in person having limited interpersonal interactions.” In terms of being cautious and staying home, it’s up to individuals to weigh the importance of social interaction and personal health against each other, but there is a lot of variation between people with factors ranging from religious beliefs to media and social media engagement. “I think for a lot of people, it’s a risk-benefit calculation,” Rios said. “They

just are deciding for themselves what level of risk is acceptable in light of the potential benefits ... It’s just a matter of which of these needs and motives is most salient to people, whether it’s the need to fit in and socialize with others or the need to stay safe and healthy and whether people see these needs as conflicting with each other not.” Students, though, began to feel more secure going out because of the vaccine and vaccine mandate. “I definitely feel more comfortable knowing that like everyone was required to be vaccinated and from emails and stuff showing that the majority of our student population is vaccinated,” Houlahan said. “It definitely makes it more comfortable, even though we know that some people still aren’t, majority is, so (I am) definitely more comfortable than a month ago.” Other students felt safe prior and after the vaccine administration in the spring based on guidelines in place. “I was comfortable going out before the vaccine because it was structured in a way you had to wear masks going into the bar (and) you had to stay at your table,” Schul-

tz said. “So I think I’m more comfortable, kind of straying away from that and not wearing my mask when I go out or like, not being as cautious when I’m around people because of the vaccine.” Many students, like Turner, hope for another semester of near-normalcy during the spring semester. “I hope that people can start to feel more comfortable about going out and about doing things with their friends,” Turner said. “I hope that people, including myself, don’t have the feeling of regret for doing stuff that all college kids do.”



Preventing Hazing at OU OU implements anti-hazing education efforts throughout Fall Semester MOLLY WILSON ASST. NEWS EDITOR Ohio University implemented numerous hazing education measures this semester in accordance with Collin’s Law that have strived to make OU students more aware of power-based violence such as hazing. In July, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signed anti-hazing legislation into law following its unanimous passing in the Ohio House and Ohio Senate earlier in June. Collin’s Law, otherwise known as Senate Bill 126, is named in memoriam of Collin Wiant, an OU student who died of asphyxiation in Nov. 2018 at the unofficial Sigma Pi annex house. According to a previous Post report, after Wiant’s death, his family learned he had been beaten, belted, waterboarded and forced to take drugs. Prior to its signing, support for the bill was reinforced in March when various Ohio public university presidents, including former OU President Duane Nellis, signed a letter urging the passing of the legislation. The letter followed the death of Bowling Green State University student Stone Foltz, who died in a hazing-related incident in March. As part of the legislation, Collin’s Law, which officially went into effect in October, raises certain hazing penalties from a misdemeanor to a felony. It also requires universities to keep a public record of all student organization Code of Conduct violations. The law additionally stipulates that universities need to develop educational plans for preventing hazing at such institutions. In accordance with the legislation, OU implemented mandatory hazing education modules for all faculty, staff and students in September. According to a previous Post report, the modules covered why hazing is illegal, what the university community can do to prevent hazing and information about what hazing is. “Some of the modules or learning platforms that I’m looking at, I think are really going to change the game in that they will be engaging and hopefully facilitate some person-to-person conversation next year,” Ariel Tarosky, director of Sorority and Fraternity Life, said. “I think that this was a good starting point to at least facilitate a conversation for our community this year, and we’re actually one of the universities that are ahead of the game with all of our other peers in the state, so I think we did a good job this year.” Tarosky said the modules are particularly important for the entire student body because hazing is power-based violence that may occur in any student organization, and students need to know how to identify hazing and what steps to take in supporting other students. On Monday, the Singing Men of Ohio was issued a cease and desist order for allegedly violating the Student Code of Conduct and endangering the health and safety of its members. In July, both Sigma Chi and Delta Tau Delta fraternities were suspended from campus for numerous code of conduct violations, including reports of hazing. 10 / DEC. 2, 2021

As of Dec. 1, only 7,087 students have completed the training module. Carly Leatherwood, a university spokesperson, said that number continues to increase, and the university expects 100% compliance for incoming students who will complete the modules as part of orientation. OU also implemented a hazing education course known as UC 1500 that new members of sororities and fraternities on campus were required to take in the Fall Semester. The course concluded in November and strived to lead discussions on hazing prevention, bystander intervention, power-based violence and the transition into Greek Life and academic success. Allison Lusk, a freshman studying business management who is also a member of a sorority on campus, said it was particularly interesting to learn about the history of the sororities and fraternities on campus outside of the chapter of which she is a member. “I really think that it helped them not only transition to college, but helped them get a deeper understanding of their sorority and fraternity experience,” Tarosky said. “You could tell we were talking with them about things that I don’t think they necessarily have talked about prior and their fraternity and sorority new member experience.” Tarosky said those conversation topics included health

and safety standards, hazing, rights and responsibilities of new members and the Make Respect Visible campaign. Lusk also said she enjoyed the discussion element of the course because other students would mention a point of view on a particular topic that she hadn’t necessarily considered. While Lusk maintained the course was primarily Greek Life centered, she said some of the topics would be useful for all students on a daily basis. “We did a whole entire week on the Make Respect Visible … campaign. I saw those posters everywhere, but I didn’t know what they meant or anything,” Lusk said. “It was beneficial to learn about that kind of stuff and if I probably didn’t join a sorority, I wouldn’t have learned anything about that.” Tarosky said the course, in its first year, was primarily education focused, as many students, faculty and staff did not know what hazing was or their role in preventing such behavior. “I think we’ve definitely made strides in that area this year,” Tarosky said. “That education piece, I think that was critical. I think that we’re going to continue to do that next semester, next year. I think that we’re going to continue to really grow as a university and as a state as far as bystander intervention is concerned, and how we empower students to step in and take a stand.” Tarosky also said she is a member of task forces that talk about hazing education that would be consistent for all universities in Ohio and is working to create robust education for staff, faculty and students moving forward.


Magistrate Jonathan M. Perrin judges cases in the Athens Courthouse on Nov. 21, 2019. (ERIN BURK | FOR THE POST)

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2021 in photos

Danny Gray adjusts his mask, taking a small break from checking his e-mails while in his dorm room in Tiffin Hall on Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021. Students returning to campus for the Spring Semester are required to wear face masks while outside their dorm rooms to limit the spread of the coronavirus. (NATE SWANSON / DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY) Spectators watch as Karen Richards (left), Pat McGee (center) and Lara Wallace perform an orchestrated show while the cherry blossom trees are in full bloom. (NATE SWANSON / DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY) A protest is held at the Ohio Statehouse on Friday, Nov. 19, 2021, following the acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse. The protest was organized by Columbus’ Party for Socialism and Liberation. (ASHLYNN MCKEE / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER)

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The parade-goers reflected in the Marching 110 member’s tuba at the Homecoming Parade on Oct. 9, 2021. (ZOE CRANFILL / FOR THE POST) Wesley Garden carries Ledie Williams, 1, to get a snack at the Athens County Fair on Aug. 11, 2021. (TANNER PEARSON / FOR THE POST) A graduate’s cap read “one year later” at the delayed commencement ceremony caused by the previous year’s cancelation due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (RYAN GRZYBOWSKI / FOR THE POST)


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Ditching computers for connections KATIE MILLARD FOR THE POST When the residence halls re-opened in January 2021, it seemed as if Ohio University’s campus would return a little to pre-pandemic life. However, joining clubs last January posed a new challenge. Even though students lived on campus, socializing was done online, which forced clubs and organizations to hold Zoom-only meetings. With the introduction of vaccines, campus is still feeling the effects of COVID-19, but OU is nearly indistinguishable from the beginning of the calendar year. Now, in December, students look back on the clubs that mean so much to them and how they’ve grown and adapted over the tumultuous year. Lee Sites, a senior studying anthropology and history, is the public relations liaison for the Anthropology club. Sites said the club is a professional organization that connects anthropology majors and enthusiasts with internships, jobs and professors that can help them through their college career. The club has changed a lot over the past year, starting last January completely online and moving from bi-weekly meetings to weekly gatherings on Zoom. “We actually did a lot because we knew that people were struggling and they needed that connection,” Sites said. “We needed to connect to other people who were going through the same thing.” Now, in fall semester, Anthropology club meets every Thursday at 6 p.m. for masked, in-person meetings in Bentley Hall room 304. Sites feels the club has embraced a more direct focus this semester that’s helping it thrive and credits it to the growth from spring 2021. “We’ve had several things come up because of COVID,” Sites said. “We had to sit back and think, ‘What do we want to do as a club? How are we going to adapt to that situation?’ So I think that helped.” Jayla Neal, a sophomore studying film, also watched her organization adapt over the course of 2021. Neal is the vice president of public relations for the Black Student Union, or BSU, an organization she

14 / DEC. 2, 2021

joined as a freshman in 2020 during strict COVID-19 restrictions. Now, in the Fall Semester, she’s finally been able to experience more normalcy for BSU. Neal said the Involvement Fair in August was one of her favorite events BSU has participated in this year because it introduced her to a more typical environment for the organization. “I actually hadn’t met them in person until that very instance, so it was really cool,” Neal said. “When we all went to our table and met up, I was actually getting to put names to faces and see everyone in person.” Prior to this semester, Neal had only participated in BSU online. Last semester, she said all meetings were held on Microsoft Teams, whereas in the fall, they began meeting bi-weekly on Thursdays at 6 p.m. in the Multicultural Center room 219. She has been a board member for the entirety of 2021 but said online meetings made things more difficult. “That, too, was different because we were trying to create chemistry and bond with each other over the internet,” Neal said. “For probably about six, seven, eight months, we were working with each other, yet had never met one another necessarily in person.” Emma Beard, a senior studying psychology, is the president of F-Word Performers, a student organization dedicated to creating and sharing art, often poetry. Beard said after the changes in January 2021, the club was worried last semester about being able to continue as an organization at all as numbers dipped and members graduated. F-Word Performers’ weekly Zoom meetings in spring 2021 involved online workshops and social nights, including its tradition of “Write Drunks,” a social event where club members get together to socialize and write together. The name is due to the fact that those 21 and older drink as they create, which they recreated over Zoom for a sense of virtual normalcy. “I think it really did become like a lot of people’s highlight of the week, just because it was a chance to socialize and share art and vent about the current situation that we were all in together pandem-

ILLUSTRATION BY OLIVIA JUENGER ic-wise,” Beard said. Virtual meetings aside, the largest change for the club was the inability to perform their art, as the club traditionally holds a large performance event each semester to present what they’ve worked on. Instead, the club adapted to produce a zine of members’ best poetry and creations, which it distributed in place of a performance. Now, the club is able to meet in person again, which its does in Kantner Hall room 308 every Sunday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The club recently held its performance for the semester on Nov. 13. However, Beard said coming out of pandemic, restrictions have brought more than a return to normalcy; it brought new life to the club. OU has over 550 student clubs and organizations, and each has adapted to changing restrictions differently. However, the effects of COVID-19 and the switch in constraints from spring to fall over the course of 2021 has been felt by many. “Not to say that we weren’t enthusiastic before, but I think pre-pandemic, it was kind of a run-of-the-mill, just going

through the motions, like this how we always do it,” Beard said. “And it was really fun but I didn’t get the sense that new people were as excited. This semester, coming out of the pandemic, getting the opportunity to do the college thing and be a part of a club, I can feel that energy.”


Charitable Giving Charitable organizations reflect on their efforts, successes of 2021 ALEX IMWALLE FOR THE POST During a year spent recovering from the coronavirus pandemic and seeking normalcy, people have put a great deal of importance on maintaining community service toward those in need. Local charitable organizations and nonprofits have been active over the past year to ensure everyone can have access to necessary resources. Bobcathon is a student organization that raises money throughout the year to fund its annual dance marathon, with the proceeds donated to the Ronald McDonald House. However, this past February, the event was canceled due to COVID-19 precautions, Ryan Lee, a senior studying science education and the president of Bobcathon, said. With the COVID-19 precautions in place, Lee said it was difficult to continue raising money for the organization, and Bobcathon had to experiment with a lot of new strategies. “We had to get creative,” Lee said. “We had to do virtual things; we had to really work to try to raise our money.” Lee said the loss of the dance marathon was hard to manage because the event is the main aspect of the organization. Despite the cancelation, Bobcathon prevailed and held a virtual 12K last March to represent the usual 12-hour duration of the dance marathon. The event generated over $50,000 in donations. “We wanted to make people feel like they were doing something together, even though we were all separated,” Lee said. “I consider it a big success for the times that we’re in.” After the success of this event, Bobcathon held the “Haunted Hustle,” a Halloween 5K based on the previous 12K designed to increase funds for the return of the dance marathon scheduled for Feb. 19, 2022, Lee said. In addition to the 5K, Bobcathon has held various fundraising events, including a raffle, a yard sale, a Dad’s Weekend Breakfast and more. Lee said the organization also receives donations and sponsorships from many local businesses. Currently, Bobcathon is in the process of preparing for the upcoming dance marathon by working on getting people to sign up for the event and reaching out to more businesses about sponsorship opportunities.

“What the organization was built on is the dance marathon, so when we don’t have that, it’s so hard to be who we are,” Lee said. “Being able to have the dance marathon allows Bobcathon to act as its true self.” Lee said all year for Bobcathon is in preparation for the dance marathon. He said in years past, the dance marathon has consistently raised over $100,000 and, this year, it has a goal of raising $120,000. Karin Bright, president of the Athens County Food Pantry, said the pantry has been providing food to those in need for over 40 years, but it has seen a decreasing trend in the number of people it serves since the pandemic began. Bright said at the beginning of this year, numbers were likely down because of government assistance, such as stimulus checks, to families in need. She also attributed this to other food banks being more proactive in serving the people of Athens than they have in the past. Bright said people are also tentative to take food from the pantry because of a worry of taking it from others in need. “Even though our numbers may be a little lower this past year, we know that the people that we are serving still really, really need our services and are very grateful,” Bright said. Though the number of food donations in the beginning of the year and during the pandemic also decreased, Bright said monetary donations to the pantry remained consistent in terms of both business and public donations. Despite a decrease in activity, the pantry stayed in business during the pandemic and stayed true to its schedule of 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday. Though the building was on lockdown, the organization worked out of the building’s windows in order to serve those in need while adhering to COVID-19 protocols. Alongside the reopening of its building in June, the Athens County Food Pantry has implemented multiple new programs over the past year in order to increase its reach and service to the county, Bright said. The On the Road program was implemented by the food pantry in February and is designed to transport food from the pantry to various outlying communities. Bright said the program is designed to provide food to those who struggle to make it to the pantry due to their work schedule or an issue of transportation. Another vision for the pantry that began

its premier phases this year is the cleaning and personal hygiene program. The pantry began stocking a limited assortment of cleaning products this fall and plans to fully implement the program in January 2022. Though providing food will always be the pantry’s No. 1 priority, Bright said it will continue to pursue different programs like the cleaning and personal hygiene program in order to serve the public as much as possible. “We want to keep building on what we have done,” Bright said. “Our whole idea is we want to help people and help make their lives better, not just in terms of food.” The Athens County Foundation is an organization that gives out $500,000 to $600,000 in grants to Athens nonprofit organizations, focusing on areas of economic vitality, thriving communities and individual health and well-being, Kerry Pigman, executive director of the foundation, said. The organization has worked during the year to fund broadband access, community food security and programs that work to advance racial equity and justice. Pigman said with the pandemic, the foundation created a response fund that it later labeled the Response and Resilience Fund. Over the past year, the fund has been designated to support the community more generally rather than focusing on the pandemic response. This fund will make up for over $350,000 worth of grants. “This year, we renamed it the Response and Resilience Fund to signal to the community that we are continuing to provide rapid, flexible sources of funding,” Pigman said. The remaining grant money will be distributed during the foundation’s fall grant cycle, making for another $270,000 donated.

Even though our numbers may be a little lower this past year, we know that the people that we are serving still really, really need our services and are very grateful,”

-Karin Bright, president of the Athens County Food Pantry, said. Pigman said the Athens County Foundation is funded from donations as well as partnerships with other similar organizations. She said during 2021, the foundation has seen a significant increase in donations toward the Response and Resilience fund, and the foundation welcomes these donations with open arms. “In Athens County ... the need far outweighs the flow of donations in terms of what the work that nonprofits throughout our community are doing,” Pigman said. “People have been really generous, but I would also just encourage people to continue with their acts of kindness and generosity.”


Rhiannon Davis asking for donations for a Beta Alpha Psi event to buy Athens families Christmas presents. (ZOE CRANFILL | FOR THE POST)


Community Through Coffee LINDSAY WIELONSKI FOR THE POST Coffee shops offer opportunities for people to socialize, network, study, connect, hold meetings and more. For the first time since the height of COVID-19, coffee shops in Athens are operating at normal capacity, which has allowed business to thrive. The community support that Donkey Coffee, 17 W. Washington St., received during COVID-19 allowed the business to stay open during the pandemic. Recently, students and community members have been eager to support Athens companies after many businesses reopened. “We’re super busy,” Ben Ziff, manager at Donkey Coffee, said. “Realistically, we’re busier than we’ve ever been. This Fall Semester has been amazing. People have just been really, really supportive of local businesses. I think a lot of people that would normally maybe make a Keurig pod at home have been actually making the trek out to go to a coffee shop just to try and support places that have been trying to make it through this time.” Because Athens coffee shops are so close to Ohio University, they’re typically crowded with students and faculty mem16 / DEC. 2, 2021

bers alike. Some professors even host their office hours at local coffee shops. To Timothy Wasserman, manager at Court Street Coffee, 67 S. Court St., the student-professor connections that can be cultivated at coffee shops are especially refreshing to see. “One of the things that I think we see a lot of is faculty meeting with students and getting coffee together, whether that’s based on some kind of professional meeting or even not professional, where it’s just a professor catching up with someone who they had several years before,” Wasserman said. “I just think that that’s a really unique experience to watch happen.” Coffee shops serve as an asset to communities. They offer a place for people to gather and socialize while also being a source to the public for community events. Coffee shops also often promote music, art and social justice. For instance, Donkey Coffee hosts weekly open mic nights and “Designated Space,” which is a poetry, prose and spoken word open stage, according to Donkey Coffee’s website. These events provide an outlet for artists to showcase their work. The coffee shop also offers an alcohol-free way to be social. “I think having shops that are open late


gives a lot of people who wouldn’t necessarily be comfortable going to a bar or something like that. Maybe they just don’t want to be around alcohol, maybe they’re too young — it gives them a place to just hang out at night,” Ziff said. “You can be social with people in a public setting without being in a bar which, in Athens, I think is hard to find.” Coffee shops provide artistic and musical expression that people might not experience otherwise. Wasserman said coffee shops are a part of a larger atmosphere with other surrounding companies. This atmosphere provides a mutually beneficial relationship among businesses. “I think that there’s a lot of room for art,” Wasserman said. “I’m a big fan of the bookstore next door; other things to be highlighted that people normally don’t take time out of their day to stop and look at – whether it’s visual art, written art, music — it forces people to experience that for a brief amount of time and exposes them to that. I think that that’s also really beneficial.” As finals approach, many Athens coffee shops are crowded with students who are trying to stay on top of their schoolwork as the semester comes to a close. Sydney Lent, a fifth-year student studying com-

munication studies, goes to coffee shops often because they offer Wi-Fi. “I don’t have Wi-Fi at home, so I have to have a place to go where I can work on homework, so that is either a place like this or the library,” Lent said. “Coffee shops are a big part of my semester right now, just trying to get through homework and stuff.” Both employees and students cherish being able to have face-to-face interactions with each other once again. As business begins to resemble what it was pre-pandemic, many in the Athens community look forward to sharing more time together in local coffee shops. “It’s almost a hopeful feeling,” Ziff said. “I love having all the students back. It’s such an important, vibrant part of what makes Athens, Athens ... our student population. Being able to have everybody back in the shop is great.”



A tale of 2 seasons CHRISTO SIEGEL FOR THE POST 2021 was a tale of two seasons for Ohio. The COVID-19 pandemic moved what would have been the fall 2020 season to spring 2021, and the 10 matches played in that time left something to be desired for the players. In a shortened Mid-American Conference schedule only, the Bobcats went 3-7 and missed postseason contention. However, in the following fall season with a full schedule, the script was fl ipped on the way to an 11-5-3 record, including 7-1-3 in conference play. There was a night and day difference in the success between the teams, even with just four months of prep between seasons. “Man, I don’t think anything can compare to that COVID year,” coach Aaron Rodgers said. “But, I think, honestly, a lot of what we went through last year has helped develop what we have now.” Rodgers also noted how the players improved on the grittiness they lacked the season before. Gaining an edge and flexing their toughness helped grind out wins in late-match opportunities. “I think everyone took last season very personal and did what they needed to do individually to get better for the team, and then we all came together,” forward Shae Robertson said. Ohio was able to contend for a MAC title as the second seed, earning a fi rst round bye in the conference tournament. However, Ohio ultimately fell in the semifi nals to Kent State 3-2 in a heated rematch from the regular season’s conclusion. Although it was not the ending it wished for, Ohio was a force in the MAC throughout the season and posted its best record since 2002. The Bobcats lost only one match in regular season conference play and outscored MAC opponents 16-6. To the players, the opportunity to play for the MAC title was a blessing in and of itself. “We were just really determined to not feel that way again, like at the end of last season, we were playing for nothing, really,” goalkeeper Sam Wexell said. “I mean, we had no chance to make the tournament … and that’s just a terrible feeling. I think everyone just really, re-

ally wanted to win this year.” Ohio also didn’t end their season without some individual hardware. Rodgers was awarded 2021 MAC Coach of the Year. Olivia Sensky and Wexell were given First Team All-MAC honors, and Abby Townsend and Haley Miller got the nod for Second Team All-MAC. Wexell was selected for the MAC Defensive Player of the Week award twice. Paige Knorr also received the award once, as did Sensky. Regan Berg was Ohio’s only MAC Offensive Player of the Week recipient after standout performances against Eastern Michigan and Central Michigan. Sensky was also selected to First Team of United Soccer Coaches Women’s Soccer All-Midwest Region Team, proving she was one of the best defenders in the entire region. Miller and Townsend were placed on the Third Team of the same name. Rodgers asserted the Bobcats play defense with all 11 players on the field. That mentality helped them allow the least amount of goals in a full season in over two decades with only 17. Wexell contributed 57 saves on the season. Ohio’s opponents were held scoreless in 10 of 19 matches in 2021. Highlights of the season included a 1-0 victory over Miami on Senior Day, avenging two losses from the season before. Ohio also showed prowess in its domination of Northern Illinois on Oct.10 in its highest scoring performance of the year. Its offensive capabilities appeared earlier when it fi red 25 shots, including 11 on goal, in its 3-1 win against Cleveland State on Sept. 12. Ohio will be back on track next season as it hopes to mirror the success of 2021. That being said, the team has much to be proud of. “It’s hard to be nervous when you know your teammates are going to play well,” Wexell said. “We just believe in each other and try to love on each other whenever we can. It may sound a little cheesy to people on the outside but it’s really important … It’s hard mentally and physically, so (we) just try to hold each other up.”






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Ohio turned a season around through its strong bond ASHLEY BEACH SLOT EDITOR The sun was setting over Lake Hope State Park at the end of Ohio’s team retreat in August ahead of the 2021 season. It was a retreat the team needed. 2021 was gearing up to be a year of change for Ohio. It was the first season under coach Geoff Carlston, who had been hired in July. Several members of the Bobcats decided they wanted to celebrate the new season. So, one by one, a group of the Bobcats started jumping in. “I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, we’re living in a movie right now,’” fifth year Maggie Nedoma said. “But just like watching all of us and then our assistant coaches started jumping in too.” The Bobcats jumped into the lake with blind faith, just like they jumped into the upcoming season. For the first few weeks, the Bobcats needed to hold onto that faith. They’d started off the season with 11 consecutive losses, due in part to a difficult nonconference schedule that led them across the Midwest. They traveled to cities as close as Columbus and as far as Manhattan, Kansas, to prepare for their Mid-American Conference schedule. However, the Bobcats were unable to scrape together a win in their first five weeks of the season. Ohio hosted its first home match in mid-September for a series against Toledo. A little taste of The Convo proved to be all Ohio needed to return to its winning ways. It swept Toledo on Sept. 24 for its first win of the season. A victory was all the Bobcats needed to alter the course of their season. The win over the Rockets provided the Bobcats with a new sense of energy. “The next week of practice was so aggressive,” Nedoma said. “We all were in there like, ‘We got one, now let’s see how many more we can get.’” The Bobcats’ newfound vigor in practice paid off. They created a raw attack fueled by an eagerness to win, and they became a new team on the court compared to how they played in their nonconference schedule. Before MAC play began, Ohio was unable to win a match if it went beyond three sets. That changed after the Bobcats began their MAC schedule. Ohio only lost one match between Oct. 9 and Nov. 6. Of the 10 matches played in 18 / DEC. 2, 2021

that span of time, seven went longer than three sets. But of all the wins, there was one that held more weight than the others. Its 3-1 win over Miami on Nov. 5 clinched Ohio a spot in the MAC Tournament. “We just proved that we deserve to be there, and that it wasn’t luck or given to us,” Nedoma said. “We proved to everybody and we proved to ourselves that we are a very good volleyball team.” Ohio had to face the hardest part of its schedule before the MAC tournament, though. It had three more matches in its regular season schedule, two of which were its final home matches against reigning-MAC East champion Bowling Green. Ohio hadn’t beaten Bowling Green since 2015. The homestretch was going to require Ohio to lock in more than any other match. The Falcons bested the Bobcats 3-0 in their first match on Nov. 12 despite the Bobcats running the score close. Ohio was

at a disadvantage before its final match in The Convo. Senior Day was bittersweet for Ohio. It was losing some of its best and most experienced players such as Nedoma. Emotions ran high in The Convo before the ball had even crossed the net. The Bobcats ended up having more to celebrate that day beyond what was already planned. They defeated the Falcons 3-2 in their largest upset of the season. Everything they had been working on all year came to fruition on Senior Day. “I was just so happy and so proud for our seniors, for our whole team,” Ohio coach Geoff Carlston said. With their biggest win of the regular season under their belts, the Bobcats carried a confidence boost into the MAC Tournament. They easily swept Northern Illinois in the quarterfinals, and advanced to the MAC Tournament semifinals for the second time in two seasons.

“The team believed we could win this tournament and so did I,” Carlston said. Ohio’s run in the postseason ended as quickly as it began, though. It faced Bowling Green for the second time in under two weeks, and there was no win this time. Bowling Green stomped Ohio 3-1 in the semifinals and ended its season. Thinking back to the Bobcats’ day at Lake Hope, Nedoma reflected on the ideals her coaches instilled into her and her teammates: be grateful, be vulnerable and be selfless. “Sometimes life goes by so fast, but that was a moment where I felt like time was standing still,“ Nedoma said. The sun may have set on another season for Ohio, but the memories and bonds they created stay strong.



Consequences of COVID-19 response CHARLENE PEPIOT is a senior studying English at Ohio University As 2021 draws to a close, it’s fair to say that COVID-19 kept a tight grip on the world, and Ohio University is no exception. While the university was able to remain open and provide students with a somewhat normal semester given the circumstances, there was room for improvement. At the beginning of the year, I discussed how closing Shively made the two remaining campus dining halls overcrowded and dangerous for students. As the semester continued, I did notice a decrease in the lines, though this was likely students avoiding the busier hours to beat the rush rather than anything the university did. To OU’s credit, they did eventually set up belt stanchions around the counters in Nelson and split the taco bar and Carvers Cut into two lines at The District on West Green to lessen the number of students crowding together. OU also released weekly health reports updating

students and faculty about active cases and important information. As someone who was terrified of returning to remote learning, I would anxiously skim each email to see if students had to leave campus before reading the article in full. I, and many others, relied on these reports for accurate information, which is why many people were upset when OU grossly miscalculated the faculty’s vaccination rate. While the error was later corrected, it still inevitably called into question how well OU could manage the virus. As a point for further student stress, OU’s professors were a mixed bag when it came to accommodating student absences due to quarantine and COVID-19. Some professors offered substitutes for missing lectures while others were slow to respond, did not accept late work or didn’t excuse absences. When I got sick and was self-quarantining until I got my test results back, my professors were all great about not counting me absent. However, my experience isn’t universal. Nevertheless, OU did allow eating in the dining halls this semester and tried to give students the college experience as best they could despite the circumstances. Students could go see live performances again, experience Homecoming and its parade, have

craft night in Baker University Center, sign up for clubs and attend class in person. If remote learning taught me anything, it’s that these simple college experiences shouldn’t be taken for granted, and I’m grateful the university was able to sustain these college staples while keeping us safe. Despite having one online class and one hybrid class this semester, I only have one fully in-person class in the spring, with the rest being online or hybrids. Having had only a year and a half of pre-pandemic college life, it’s frustrating that despite the vaccine mandate and things getting better, my last semester will yet again be me staring at my computer screen. The world is returning to normal, and OU needs to do the same in 2022. Charlene Pepiot is a senior studying English at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Want to talk more about it? Let Charlene know by emailing her


Make the time, read a comic BENJAMIN ERVIN is a senior studying English literature and writing at Ohio University The past year was packed full of the best independent and studio graphic novels we’ve gotten in the past few years. Though, it’s easy to pick favorites — Chainsaw Man, Sweet Tooth the Return, Reckless or Ultramega — it’s harder to pick the best. Stories that present something that truly stand out. Anthology comics are always a place for creative stories. This year was no different with the return of Batman Black and White. The comic has a simple concept: to tell a Batman story in eight pages, with no coloring. This leads to some creative stories. Standouts in this collection include James Tynion IV and Tradd Moore’s visual spectacle The Demon Fist, G. Willow Wilson and Greg Smallwood’s rumination on the hero’s agency and Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie’s subversion of the choose-your-own-adventure story. In Far Sector, writer N.K. Jemison and artist Jamal Campbell introduce readers to the City Enduring, a planet where three alien races suppress emotions to forestall conflict, with the arrival of rookie Green Lantern Sojourner Mullein and the first murder in 300 years.

Equal parts heady sci-fi, hardboiled noir and cheeky references, Far Sector is a reason to love superheroes. Specifically, Jemison blends in intersectional identities with the Green Lantern’s powers to brilliant effect. Far Sector shows the legacy of Vertigo that DC’s Young Animal maintains. Vertigo comics were often speculative and noir stories. It published books like The Sandman, Swamp Thing and Y: The Last Man, Vertigo perpetuated an image of the literary comic, and The Good Asian continues this legacy. The Good Asian follows Edison Hark, a detective looking for a missing girl as he faces racism from both white detectives and other immigrants. Set in the wake of the Chinese Exclusion Act, the comic explores a forgotten chapter of history, and it acts as an antithesis to the Jack Nicholson film Chinatown. The Good Asian creative team consists of former Vertigo editor Pornsak Pichetshote on writing, Alexandre Tefenkgi on art and former Vertigo colorist Lee Loughridge. Picheshote’s researched writing presents a hero who is as much a part of the system he is attempting to dismantle. The art team brings Picheshtote’s vision to life with vibrancy, making The Good Asian one of the year’s best comics. In nonfiction, there is Alison Bechdel’s Graphic Memoir The Secret to Superhuman Strength, written and drawn by Alison Bechdel with coloring by Holly Rae Taylor. The memoir is an open history of Bechdel’s love for physical activity. Blending in the athletic history of William Wordsworth

and Jack Kerouac, Bechdel creates a layered narrative of rebellion, physical fitness and body image that is equal parts memoir and second person narrative. Another independent comic is Barry Windsor-Smith’s new book Monsters, which asks the question: What makes a monster? Bobby is a drifter enlisted into a secret military program seeking to create a super soldier. What happens instead is Bobby becomes a monster. Windsor-Smith had the idea for Monsters 35 years ago. Over the course of 3 1/2 decades, the comic experienced revisions and adapted elements of Windsor-Smith’s Weapon X. This being a core element to the origin of Marvel’s Wolverine. Monsters is comparatively more nuanced. Formed by the ‘70s alternative comics scene that asks to be read. Style changes, from simple panel work to more Will Eisner freeform, as well as flashbacks are used to great effect as characters are fleshed out, and their relationship to the monster becomes clear in the final poignant moments of the story. Monsters bridges horror, sci-fi and mysticism into a story rooted in the American past. In the end, it moves from being a simple graphic novel to a true piece of art. Benjamin Ervin is a senior studying English literature and writing at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Want to talk more about it? Let Benjamin know by emailing him THEPOSTATHENS.COM / 19

Best New Artists WILLIAM TROYER FOR THE POST We’ve finally reached the end of the semester. With the end of the year quickly approaching and our Spotify Wrapped now out, it’s time to reflect on some of the best music that 2021 has given us by focusing on the best rising artists of this year. While everyone has their favorite genre of music, this list will appeal to any mood or preference. Below are up-and-coming artists in the music scene that truly stood out this year. Here are eight rising artists to know and watch out for:


Hailing out of the Houston underground is reggie, who came into the scene with his unique sound that combines R&B and hiphop, mixed with a Southern charm in his nontraditional structure. St. Louis rapper Smino showed recognition by tweeting a link to reggie, stating, “This is one my favorite artists … been waiting on dis day.” Reggie continues to make waves and has released several singles this year. “AVALANCHE” and “AIN’T GON STOP ME” collectively have 3 million streams. If you enjoy lo-fi hip hop, reggie is a must-add for your end of 2021 playlist. Continue looking for him in 2022.


Kansas City native Parker Bata, best known by his stage name PmBata, is taking the world by storm with his dynamic flow and rhythmic sounds. He’s known as the TikTok sensation who remixes viral TikToks from fan stories into melodic beats. After releasing “2little 2late,” his single “Roadtrip” accumulated over 18 million views on YouTube and more than 76 million streams on Spotify. PmBata’s unique use of contemporary tonality and wordplay of invigorating hip-hop lyrics solidifies the rapper as an artist who will continue to prosper. Keep an eye on for PmBata and his new fulllength projects.

Zach Hood

December 14, 2021, 7:00 PM Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium


20 / DEC. 2, 2021

The 20-year-old singer-songwriter from Alabama is becoming more familiar with the world of mainstream music. This year alone, he has garnered 45 million streams across his first five singles. Hood has even had placements among Spotify’s Pop Rising, Radar Us and Global Viral 50 charts. According to Volatile Weekly, he has the ability to be vulnerable and open-minded in his songs such as “Isabelle” and “Just Kids.” Hood can relate to a lot of people, especially teens. He’s expected to be a big name in music moving forward.


GAYLE, the Nashville-based 17-year-old singer-songwriter, came onto the scene this year with her released single “abcdefu.” She aims to tell the story of who she is through songs on love, sex and heartbreak. The music has reached 2.7 million streams and has become a song used in over 81.6k videos on TikTok. GAYLE is reaching stardom and has no intention of slowing down.

Silk Sonic

Silk Sonic, a new musical superduo consisting of Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak, has officially warped modern R&B for the better. Its debut album, An Evening with Silk Sonic, is a love letter to the ‘60s and ‘70s, focusing on soulful funk beats of the eras. Songs like “777” and “Smokin Out The Window ‘’ really made this album, and they are welcomed changes to today’s modern music.

Arlo Parks

Releasing her debut album, Collapsed in Sunbeams, this past January, Arlo Parks — at just 21 years old — has caused a lot of buzz in the music world. As of this year, the British singer-songwriter prides herself in exploring the fusions, spanning indie all the way to jazz. “I feel like my sense of purpose is strengthened every day just by knowing that the songs that I make in this intimate personal way reach across the world,” she said in an interview with Billboard. Expect her soulful impact on the genres of music to continue way into the future.

Rina Sawayama

Japanese-British singer-songwriter Rina Sawayama released her debut album, Sawayama, last year. However, she has taken off in 2021 after a collaboration with Elton John on “Chosen Family.” Now, at 31 years old, Sawayama is balancing studio life and preparing for her large world tour. “Such a big part of my creativity involves going to gigs to feel the raw energy,” she said in an interview with The Guardian.

Remi Wolf

Thriving like a bulging brain, the 25-yearold rapper Remi Wolf describes her music as “chaotic, color-free and funky.” Her confidence and resilience shines through in catchy songs about the difficulty of staying true to yourself in this turbo-fueled social media world. Releasing her debut album, Juno, this past fall, she weaves lyrics about bisexuality and party culture in “Guerrilla” that bring the exciting synth and percussion she’s known for.



Baggy Jeans for $45.00 today.

the materialization of leather pants, outfits were able to enhance themselves with a more refined look that pairs well with graphic tees, corsets and bodysuits, which all make for great going out fits. You can grab a pair of Faux Leather High Waisted Flares for $20.70 at Nasty Gal.

After being cooped up inside, lounging in basic sweat sets and pajama pants for the majority of 2020, the onset of 2021 brought style trendsetters, “it” girls and fashion gurus the opportunity to express themselves more creatively through dress. Naturally, new and never-before-seen fashion trends emerged, making the past year undoubtedly unforgettable and a win for the fashion industry. Here are nine of the most prominent and popular looks of 2021:

Sweater Vests

Perfect for fall and the holidays, sweater vests — especially the longer dress ones — are a classy and comfortable option to wear to a dinner reservation or your next family get-together. Did we mention they look incredibly chic with the cowgirl boots mentioned above? Throw one over top a white button up and you have yourself a killer, sophisticated look. H&M is on top of it this year, offering a bunch of options for sweater-vest lovers.


Cowgirl boots

Bucket hats

Hoodies and blazers

Leather pants

If there is any shoe that dominated not only the runway but also the streets this year, it’s cowgirl boots. However, the cowgirl boots that prevailed aren’t your traditional honky tonk ones. They can be chic, tall or short, white, black, beige or any other color, even crocodile printed kicks. Paired best with dresses, long blazers or oversized button ups, these boots add personality to any ordinary outfit. You can buy a pair today at Princess Polly for $115. As if hoodies and blazers aren’t polar opposite articles of clothing already, the collaboration of the two is something nobody would’ve thought to pair, nor did anyone know was everything streetwear needed. The combination of a hoodie and a blazer makes for a casual yet incredibly chic vibe, perfect for a lunch date or running errands. Boss up a blazer and pair it with your favorite hoodie, or buy a new one.

Any look can be elevated with the simple addition of a bucket hat. Coming in all different shapes, sizes and materials, the bucket hat is the accessory of the year. Wear one to college game day, a brunch with friends or a night out in the city. The hat is truly versatile and well-fitting for any and every occasion. To take part in this trend, you can purchase a Highland Bucket Hat for $14.00 at Princess Polly. If anything was evident this past year, it was that jeans will no longer suffice as the only options for bottoms. With

Romper-like jumpsuits were all the rage this past year, especially during the summer with influencers’ posting in what accentuated their bodies in flattering ways. Shortly after, everyone was wanting a jumpsuit of their own, coming in all different styles, fun colors and lengths. For a fun, flirty outfit one could save for this coming summer or for a vacation spent somewhere warm over the holidays, buy an Amazon Women Jumpsuit Solid Color Short Sleeve Combi Bodysuits Bodycon Sexy Romper Overalls Shorts Y2K Playsuit for $24.99, which comes in all different colors, patterns and materials.


Trench coats

Trench coats, like blazers, are a trend that have risen to fame this past year and are styled in a similar fashion. Dress up a trench coat with a bodysuit, some leather pants, booties, layered jewelry, sunglasses and a slicked back hairdo, or forgo a more mellow mood with a sweater, jeans and sneakers. ASOS DESIGN has a slouchy trench coat in washed stone for $73.10.

Bright and bold

Although neutrals are a staple of the winter season, for the past year, bright and bold-colored everything has monopolized many fashion trends. By sporting eye-catching colors, it is clear people are not holding back after being unable to wear anything flashy or head turning for a large part of 2020. Free yourself of all style restraint by buying a multicolored piece of clothing.

Baggy jeans

To everyone’s benefit, skinny jeans are out, and baggy and straight-legged jeans are in. When trends are at the height of their popularity, it’s hard to imagine them no longer being stylish. Like, who would have thought it would be cool to wear baggy, high-waisted jeans with no holes? But sure enough, it is, and we’re here for it. It’s a trend we can only hope to see carried into 2022. Please, no more skinny jeans, and no more obnoxious rips either. You can get a pair of PacSun Light Blue High Waisted


the weekender Krampus Parade honors tradition, kicks off holiday season KAYLA BENNETT ASST. CULTURE EDITOR

Krampus is known as an anti-Santa, a creature who would go around with Saint Nicholas and punish the naughty children rather than reward them with gifts. The legend of Krampus originated in Alpine countries, like Austria and Germany. In recent times, Krampus parades have become popular in these countries, and the traditions have carried over to the U.S. The parades have become a fun way to start the holiday season. “Krampusnacht” is traditionally Dec. 5, but Athens is starting its tradition Dec. 4 this year. Athens will be carrying this tradition to its streets for the first time this year. After talking to the City of Athens, Kelly Lawrence, owner of Chosen Pathways Spiritual Emporium, decided to host her own parade this Saturday at 5 p.m. Lawrence said the people of Athens love to dress up and be loud, and the parade will give them the opportunity to do just that. “(It’s) just an opportunity to get together and walk along and be loud and boisterous,” Lawrence said. “Ring bells and bang drums, just have a lot of fun.” Lawrence was inspired by a friend, Seamus Dillard, co-owner of The Magical Druid, to start her own Krampus Parade. Dillard’s store is located in Columbus and has been hosting a parade since 2015. “We’d seen a couple of videos that had been circulating for some Krampus Parades, Krampus night events that were happening in Europe, and (they were) very elaborate, very full costumes with fire dancing and just amazing,” Dillard said. After doing some thinking with his business partner, Dillard started thinking Columbus should do something like the events in Europe, asking himself, “What would be the meaning behind it?” Dillard said the parade turned into a way of taking the negativity away and relieving bad spirits out of the holiday season. The 22 / DEC. 2, 2021

parade is a way of spreading joy and taking away the known fear of Krampus and turning it into positivity, Dillard said. “I think what we have in common regardless of our religion, regardless of what happens in our home, is we have the idea of community, and I think that that’s what the world needs now,” Dillard said. “We need to look for the things that we have in common and build towards those things.” Those who would like to attend the Athens parade will meet at Chosen Pathways Spiritual Emporium, 400 E. State St., Suite A, and continue the walk up State Street toward the mall. Bell-ringing, drum-banging and festive costumes are encouraged. Lawrence said the scarier the costume, the better. She also said Krampus masks are for sale on Etsy. “I really am excited because I’m wearing a mask made by a local artist, and I get to be really into this character,” Emily Smith, a resident of Athens, said. “I’m going to be dancing around, and my partner is going to wear the other mask. There’s going to be lights, lanterns, and everyone’s wearing bells.” Smith said the implementation of a parade will bring people together while drawing the eyes of other Athens residents. “I’m hoping by next year people will be really inspired and be working on their costumes for quite some time and be very elaborate,” Lawrence said. For many, Athens once again hosting holiday events is a positive way to bring people together. “I definitely think now that we’re getting out of COVID, I think it’d be really important to do (things) like tree lightings and such because we’ve all just been stuck inside and trapped for the past year and a half or so,” Maiya Cunningham, a senior studying communication, said. Lawrence said people need to be there no later than 5 p.m., and all children must be accompanied by an adult. Once the

group reaches the Athens Community Center, they will enjoy donuts, hot cocoa and cider and walk back to Chosen Pathways. The Krampus Parade is hoped to become an annual tradition, Lawrence said. “It’s just the beginning of something we

hope will grow into something really fun and exciting,” Lawrence said. @KKAYYBEN KB084519@OHIO.EDU

IF YOU GO WHAT: Krampus Parade WHERE: Starts at Chosen Pathways Spiritual Emporium, 400 E. State St., Suite A WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 4, at 5 p.m. ADMISSION: Free


Jam at Benefest; celebrate holidays with Krampus parade ANASTASIA CARTER SLOT EDITOR

Reindeer Run at 9 a.m., hosted by Friends of Athens CASA beginning at Eclipse Company Store, 11309 Jackson Drive, The Plains. This 5k run and walk will feature costumes, hot chocolate and Santa. All registered participants receive a jingle bell necklace to wear during their run/walk.

Holiday Prints, Plants & Pots Sale at 10 a.m., hosted by ARTS/West, 132 W. State St. Get a head start on holiday shopping with this unique experience focusing on handmade artwork, live plants and more. The event will also be open Sunday beginning at noon. Admission: Free

FRIDAY, DEC. 3 Telescope Viewing at the Observatory at 5:30 p.m., hosted at the Ohio University Observatory, 174 Water Tower Drive. Guests are invited to take a look at Jupiter and Saturn either Friday or Saturday night. The event will be canceled if it’s cloudy or rainy.

Krampus Parade at 5 p.m., hosted by Chosen Pathways Spiritual Emporium, 400 E. State St., Suite A. Meeting at Chosen Pathways, participants are encouraged to dress in costumes as the group will walk to the Athens Community Center for donuts, hot cocoa and cider. Bring bells, drums and hand-held lanterns (no flashlights) to bring the holidays to Athens.

Admission: Free

Admission: Free

10th Annual Benefest at 7 p.m., held at The Union, 18 W. Union St. All proceeds will benefit Stuart’s Afterschool Music Program and The Gathering Place. Artists performing Friday include In Flow, Water Witches, Boy Jorts and Sneakthief. There will also be performances Saturday night at the same time.

SUNDAY, DEC. 5 Athens Holiday Market at 11 a.m., hosted by Market on State, 1002 E. State St., in the former Elder-Beerman. Check out locally grown and locally made goods to purchase for holiday gifts.

Admission: $8 for those older than 21, $10 for those under 21

James and the Giant Peach Jr. at 2 p.m., presented by ABC Players at Stuart’s Opera House, 52 Public Square, Nelsonville. Join the players as James discovers magic in a giant peach and embarks on a largerthan-life musical adventure.

COVID Flow: Livin’ That Dream at 7:30 p.m., hosted by the School of Dance at Putnam Hall in the Shirley Wimmer Dance Theater, 96 E. Union St. Join the School of Dance as it continues to explore the effect of COVID-19 on the self. There will also be a show Saturday at the same time. Admission: $8 SATURDAY, DEC. 4 Athens Farmers Market at 9 a.m., hosted by Athens Farmers Market, 1002 E. State St. Shop for locally grown and locally made foods and goods at the farmers market. The market accepts SNAP and credit cards. Masks are recommended, and social distancing protocols are in place. Admission: Free

Chosen Pathways Spiritual Emporium

Admission: $20 for adults, $10 for youth under 18, $30 for adults registering the day of

Admission: Free




The babes of Goddess Collective Burlesque have been so naughty this year that we couldn't fit it all into just one show!!

Come enjoy some delicious drinks and tasty treats as we tease you under the mistletoe Performances by: Ellie Olin; Magnolia D'Flowered; Ramona Rattail Ruby Royale; Tatiana Fauna Veronica Honeywell Guest Performers: Apara Lashes Channel Cherry with Debuts from: Lucy Goosey and Lil Olmee hosted by: Bianca Moore 21 and up presale tickets will be available 1 NIGHT : 2 SHOWS

Saturday Dec 11th 5-7pm & 8-10pm @AthensUncorked $15 Admission Must be 21 to attend

Admission: $8-$12 Bella Voce Concert at 6 p.m., hosted by the College of Fine Arts at Athens First United Methodist Church, 2 S. College St. Under the direction of Dominique Petite of the School of Music, Bella Voce is an inclusive treble choir.

Various locations


The need is constant, the need is urgent, sign up and give today.

Admission: Free


visit the Red Cross online. Enter your zip code to search for an available drive. Times availble each week

scan to schedule your donation

Celebrate. Krampusnaucht- All are welcome. Meet at Chosen Pathways shop - all ages are welcome to join the fun. We will walk down the sidewalk to the light next to Donatos and cross over to the Athens Community Center. We will enjoy doughnuts with hot cocoa and cider. Then we will walk back again to chosen Pathways. Costumes are encouraged, the scarier the better - there are Krampus mask patterns for sale on Etsy. Bring your bells, drums and handheld lanterns (no flashlights, please). We will make lots of noise and have some fun bringing in the holidays in Athens

Saturday, Dec. 4th 5-7:00 pm


The perfect place to gather ANY NIGHT OF THE WEEK! we have 32 Beers on Tap & Don’t Miss Bengals/Browns games every Sunday. Tuesday night trivia. Wednesday night live music with The Blues Cowboys.

@EclipseBeerHall Open to All

Arts West



Join us for the holiday edition of the Prints, Plants & Pots Sale to be held in Free & Open to the Public the performance space and lower gallery of Arts West! At this truly unique shopping experience, the focus will be on handmade artwork, live Market on State plants, and ceramic work, all created or grown by local artists or horticulturalists FEATURING: Bobcat Print Club (Ohio MADE LOCAL•GROWN LOCAL University Students & •BUY LOCAL Faculty); Moonville Print Find hand-crafted jewelry, Shop; Seeds & Things; pottery, paintings and Quinn Amorette Ceramics; prints, yarn, lotions, quilts, Dainty Prairie; OU Ceramics; eco-printed clothing, silkBaby Grapes screened t-shirts, wooden tables, boxes, bowls Get a jump on your Holiday and more! shopping while supporting Locally made by members of your local economy! FREE the Athens Art Guild. and Open to the public. Located in the Market on Parking available behind State in the former Elder Arts West. Beerman location



3 WEEKEND EVENT Saturdays 9-4 pm Sundays 11-3pm Dec 4th & 5th Dec 11th & 12th & Dec 18th Masks required

Saturday, Dec. 4th 10 am - 6 pm Sunday, Dec. 5th 12 pm - 5 pm

For more information contact: Emily Beveridge: ebeveridge@ci.athens. or call Arts West: 740-592-4315.






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