April 25, 2024

Page 1

Pressed for time

The Post photo staff celebrates a year of capturing OU... pg 4

Baseball earns big win

Professors continue to protest for unionization... pg 5 against Morehead State... pg 14

APRIL 25, 2024

Potential Ukrainian class offers students learning opportunities

Student Senate and faculty are helping to further a connection between Ohio University and Ostroh Academy, located in Athens's sister city, Ostroh, Ukraine.

Mayor Steve Patterson visited Ostoh in February with the main goal of building bonds between the cities and institutions of higher education. Since returning to Athens, he said he has connected the two schools’ psychology departments.

Taras Tarasun, a sophomore studying business analytics and management information systems, is originally from Ukraine, growing up only 14 minutes away from the academy. He decided to move to the U.S. two years ago.

Despite the move, he said he managed to maintain close connections with several students who currently attend Ostroh Academy, one of whom is a part of the academy’s student government.

During a presentation to the Senate, Tarasun discussed possibly collaborating with both institutions' student governments.

Tarasun said he and Tetyana Dovbnya –his success adviser in the College of Business, who is also from Ukraine – are working together to try to establish an experiential learning course to educate students on Ukraine, its history, its language and Ostroh Academy.

Dovbnya also attended the Senate meeting in which Tarasun gave his presentation and was applying for a micro-grant to raise funding for resources needed to launch the course.

Although Dovbnya did not receive the grant, she said she was still happy because it prompted her to further develop the idea for the class to become an experiential learning opportunity.

“I need to forget about the (grant) proposal because the proposals are tied to something that is probably more already in place,” Dovbnya said.

The current timeline in which the class may be available to students is unknown, but Dovbnya said the next step in making the potential class come to fruition is to contact individual deans to see which colleges would be willing to house the course.

Dovbnya also said she would continue to develop the curriculum until she can find a permanent category for the class in the university’s class offerings.

“A lot of things are kind of up in the air,” she said. “There are many ideas, but there are also bureaucratic processes that need to be involved to help them along.”

Tarasun said one of the potential ideas for the class would include pairing students in similar majors from each institution to partner on a semester-long project.

He said the partnership could create future student exchanges. Tarasun said he does not think OU has a lot of connections in Eastern Europe, so the collaboration could help build those relationships.

As of 2023, 13 freshmen from the Eastern European region are enrolled at OU.

“We have also professors and other members of staff, and it definitely helps them, in a way, that they can communicate more of its culture and (to) people,” he said.

Dovbnya said creating a partnership between OU and Ostroh Academy could be-

come the cornerstone of Athens’ relationship with the city of Ostroh. She said because education is a consistent path for people, she thinks if the university starts a partnership in Ukraine it has the potential to enhance the city’s current involvement further.

“This exchange of ideas, hopefully, will potentially lead to some collaborative proj ects and partnerships that will extend be yond like a classroom or beyond the personal engagement of the students,” Dovbnya said.

Tarasun said he believes the collabora tion already established between the cities of Athens and Ostroh has been beneficial to connecting the universities and continues to make each partnership easier.

“I would say the fact that Athens has a

partnership with Ostroh helps establish this partnership between two universities, too, because we already have a partnership between cities,” he said. “It's much easier to do

Taras Tarasun poses for a portrait in Baker University Center, April 8, 2024, in Athens. (ABBIE KINNEY | ART DIRECTOR)

Unruly juvenile disrupts state testing, loose cow



Athens County Sheriff’s deputies responded to Trimble Middle School for an unruly juvenile.

Later charged with disorderly conduct, the student caused a disturbance during state testing hours.

Deputies resumed patrol following the incident.


A reckless driver entered Athens County. The Vinton County Sheriff’s Office notified the Athens County Sheriff’s Office who made a traffic stop and issued a citation.

The citation was for driving under a suspended license.

Deputies resumed patrol.


Sheriff’s deputies spoke with a man who reported a theft of a firearm.

A report was taken and an investigation is pending at this time, according to the Athens County Sheriff’s Office.


Athens County Sheriff’s deputies responded to The Plains for people arguing.

Upon arrival on the scene, deputies contacted an individual who informed them the parties involved in the arguing had already left.

No further action was taken.


A walk-in report was taken at the Athens County Sheriff’s Office. The individual could not provide any pertinent information after speaking with deputies.

No further action was needed according to the Athens County Sheriff’s Office.


A small child was playing in the road on state Route 13 near Sand Ridge Road, according to the Athens County Sheriff’s Office.

Once deputies made it to the scene, they located the child and spoke with the parents who were charged with child endangerment.


Responding to Penn Street in Glouster, Athens County Sheriff’s deputies took a stalking complaint, taking a report.

Deputies gave one individual a warning

Student Senate votes to remove Treasurer Reagan Farmer

This is a developing story, last updated at 10:50 p.m., April 24.

At the April 24 Student Senate meeting, Senate removed Treasurer Reagan Farmer in a vote.

On April 5, Farmer won the presidency for 2024-25 Academic Year, along with her running mates on the Unity ticket, which include Dan Gordillo, who won vice president, Johnny Susany, who won treasurer, Luke Vannus for SAC delegate, Aidan Kirk for residence life senator and Landen Hensel for residence life senator.

According to the Senate’s constitution, in cases of impeachment, an officer can be expelled regarding gross or willful neglect of the Senate.

tive officers to vote in favor of it.

In screenshots of the Student Senate Slack obtained by The Post, Kiandra Martin, who was presidential runner-up, said the judiciary panel voted Friday to impeach Farmer; however, Martin said she found out about Farmer’s voted impeachment from students unaffiliated with the Senate.

Other Senate members, including LGBTQIA+ Senator Kelsi Saunders, responded to Martin’s Slack message and said she did not know about the impeachment either.

for telecommunications harassment.

No further action was taken.


Deputies responded to a non-injury traffic crash in Parking Lot 134 on campus.

Ohio University Police Department took a report and labeled the incident type as failure to control the vehicle.


Ohio University Police Department deputies responded to a discharged fire extinguisher in a hallway in Ryors Hall.

Deputies took a report for criminal mischief by an unknown individual.


Athens County Sheriff’s deputies responded to Chauncey with a report of an inactive fight.

Upon arrival on the scene, deputies determined an assault had taken place after speaking with the caller.

The suspect left the scene before law enforcement arrived.

The case will be sent to municipal court for charges, according to the Athens County Sheriff’s Office.


Deputies were dispatched to state Route 550 at Hooper Ridge Roadway to patrol for a cow.

After searching the area for a loose cow, deputies could not make contact with the escaped animal.

No further action was taken, according to the Athens County Sheriff’s Office.


Athens County Sheriff’s deputies responded to Wildwood Lane in Athens for a trespassing complainant.

The caller said ATVs had been driven through his property, but after patrolling, deputies were unable to locate any ATVs.

No further action was taken.


The Ohio University Police Department took a report for a damaged exit sign in Sargent Hall.

No further action was taken.

Last Day of School Photos

A vote of impeachment needs at least two-thirds of seated senators and execu@MADALYNTBLAIR MB682120@OHIO.EDU

THEPOSTATHENS.COM / 3 FRIDAY April 26 th 11:00-2:00 Alumni Gateway for your last day of school photo-op! Join Us

Reviewing the year through the lens

A collection of images from the 20232024 school year by The Post photo staff. From the drag show during the first week of school to election night, multiple concerts and Fest Season, the images portray a variety of crucial news, life stories, uplifting moments and the culture within Athens. The lens of a photojournalist is powerful and the stories created from it are meant to be shared far beyond the general scope of the environment they are taken in.

Scan the QR to see the full online gallery.

Vermin Supreme wears an American flag-themed vest and dentistry-themed ties - a reference to his promise to make tooth brushing mandatory if eleceted president - at his rally in front of the Athens County Courthouse Sept. 29, 2023.

4 / APRIL 24, 2024
The Driver Era and Almost Monday perform at Memorial Auditorium in Athens, Ohio, Nov. 10, 2023. (ZOE CRANFILL | PHOTO EDITOR) VANVLACK | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER) Athen High School's marching band lines up before the national anthem at the football game against Alexander at Joe Burrow Stadium in The Plains, Ohio, Sept. 8, 2023. (JACK TATHAM | FOR THE POST) Double Jack performs at the Athens Halloween Block Party in Athens, Ohio Oct. 28, 2023. (ETHAN HERX | FOR THE POST)

UAOU continues to urge unionization vote

The United Academics of Ohio University, or UAOU, hosted an event and discussion of the current state of unionization on College Green Wednesday from noon to 1 p.m. to demonstrate to OU leadership that faculty are ready to vote for unionization.

Over 100 faculty members gathered, wearing UAOU buttons and waving red flags. The OU Samba Club played at the event and was heard around campus as attendees cheered in solidarity. A UAOU banner was available for faculty members to sign, signifying their support for the cause.

According to a previous Post report, UAOU sent a letter to President Lori Stewart Gonzalez on March 5 stating that a majority of full-time employees had approved UAOU as their exclusive bargaining representative. The letter urged the university to remain neutral until an election could be held and requested a reply by March 8.

Initially expecting a response from university leadership on March 26 regarding the request for a unionization vote, UAOU was informed of OU’s request for a 14-day extension, extending the deadline to April 9.

Despite the previously granted extension,

the university pursued an additional 30-day extension, pushing the deadline to May 9, a day after grades are due for the semester, postponing their response by over two months.

Dan Pittman, a university spokesperson, stated that university leadership is carefully reviewing UAOU’s notice regarding their intention to unionize.

Matt deTar, an assistant professor of communication studies, alleged that the university had hired lawyers from BakerHostetler in Columbus and has likely spent considerable university resources opposing faculty unionization. In an interview with The Post, deTar said the lawyer was Daniel J. Guttman, a lawyer with a history of working against unions.

“The process is not proceeding neutrally,” deTar said. “The university is actively trying to prevent or undermine the success of this election on unionization.”

Janet Duerr, an associate professor of biology, expressed her passion for OU and its collaborative faculty and staff but felt a loss of focus on education.

“For me, this is about letting everybody participate in this wonderful Ohio University project,” Duerr said. “We are trying to help our students, but we need to support each other.”

Four trade unionists from São José dos Campos, Brazil, affiliated with the Brazilian trade union federation CSP-Conlutas, attended the meeting. CSP-Conlutas, which translates to “Organizations that struggle,” has 2 million trade union members.

CSP-Conlutas has engaged in various activities nationwide, including workers' conferences and collaborations with the International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America, or UAW.

Workers’ Voice, a socialist organization founded with Socialist Resurgence, extended an invitation to today’s event to CSP-Conlutas to express their support for UAOU’s faculty unionization initiative.

One of the points of Workers’ Voice’s TenPoint Program is the defense of unions and workers' right to organize.

Luiz Carlos Prates, an executive board member of CSP-Conlutas, spoke to the attendees in Portuguese with Jonathan Angel, a member of Workers' Voice, translating.

“We organize unions in order to recognize our own power,” Angel translated from Prates. “It is our belief and our ability to build that power, which is what lets us determine the course of our lives and not for them to be determined as they are today by others who just give us orders and don't pay attention

to the actual conditions that we are dealing with.”

Cory Crawford, an associate professor of classics, emphasized that unionization allows faculty voices not only to be heard but to be counted.

“Protecting the academic mission protects the students,” Crawford said. “It protects the investments made by the families and the taxpayers of Ohio. It protects our better future.”

UAOU organizers painted the cement wall behind Bentley Hall on Tuesday with messages such as "Stop the Delays!" and "Faculty Demand a Union Vote Now!"

Cassidy Brauner Jarrahi, an assistant professor of instruction in the College of Fine Arts, said the university’s delays are strategic. UAOU hopes to communicate their readiness to vote to the university.

The meeting concluded with over 100 faculty members marching from College Green, looping around the front of Alden Library, chanting, “No more delays, let us vote!” with the OU Samba Club playing along.

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Nelsonville Music Festival announces 2024 lineup, dates

Throughout Ohio, there are a surprising number of large and medium-sized music festivals. But only one was named by Billboard as “one of the U.S. festival circuit’s best-kept secrets.”

Nelsonville Music Festival, or NMF, recently announced its full 2024 lineup and dates. The festival will take place July 26-28 at Snow Fork Event Center just outside of Nelsonville.

This year’s lineup will be headlined by Killer Mike of Run the Jewels, Courtney Barnett and Thee Sacred Souls, along with 42 other bands and artists. Barnett performed at NMF in 2016. Throughout the festival’s 18-year history, it has hosted names such as Willie Nelson in 2009, Brandi Carlile in 2015 and Tyler Childers in 2017 as well as 2020.

Mackenzie Kucharsky, the marketing director for NMF, said in an email the festival does not try to stick to one genre for their lineups.

“NMF strives to curate a diverse, quality, and eclectic lineup,” she said in the email. “We believe any artist on our lineup, no matter what genre they may create in, fits within the curatorial vibe of the festival.”

Along with announcing the festival lineup, tickets for NMF also are now on sale. Options are available for weekend passes, camping passes and parking passes. Single-day passes will go on sale at a later date.

Weekend passes with a camping wristband currently start

at $190, while a standard weekend pass is currently $160. Campsites range from hike-in, car and RV sites, with the prices being $75, $150 and $200 respectively. Parking is $100 for on-site and $25 for off-site with shuttle access.

“As a nonprofit arts organization in one of the economically poorest counties in Ohio, we do our very best to produce a festival that is accessible to everyone in our community,” Kucharsky said in an email.

Even though the majority of the lineup is touring bands, Ohio will have 11 acts represented at the festival. Maureen Joyce, singer and keyboardist for Cleveland-based punk band PAL, said she is excited for her first time playing at Nelsonville.

“It’s really special, especially being an Ohio band,” she said. “To be a part of something so large for the whole state. Everyone knows about Nelsonville, and I really look forward to it every year.”

NMF is spread out between three stages on the Snow Fork Event Center grounds: Snow Fork, Porch and Creekside. The Creekside Stage is home to the Sycamore Sessions, which are stripped-down sets filmed by WOUB and the School of Media Arts and Studies. The Snow Fork Stage is host to the largest performances, while the Porch Stage holds smaller bands.

Also on festival grounds is a food court and Artist Village, which host craft and artisan vendors from throughout the region.

“Our food court will host around a dozen food vendors to satisfy a variety of taste buds,” said Kucharsky in an email. “Our vendor village will showcase an array of unique makers and small businesses from our region selling clothing, jewelry, ceramics, bath and body products and more.”

A full map of the festival grounds can be found here. Until 2022, the festival was held at Hocking College.

Greg Newton, associate dean of the Graduate College and yearly NMF attendee, said he has enjoyed Snow Fork as the new site.

“I’ve really gotten to appreciate the new venue,” he said. “I liked it when it was at the college and the different sorts of spaces and the different presentations of music there, but the Sycamore Sessions out back among the trees and the new mainstage setup just all works really nicely.”

Kucharsky said they expect growth in attendance at this year’s festival.

“We expect to attract 4,000+ attendees this year,” she said in an email. “We’re seeing a lot of folks who missed live music and community events, so the growth post-pandemic has been great.”

For those who wish to leave the grounds and come back at any time, wristbands are required for re-entry.

6 / APRIL 24, 2024
Nelsonville Music Festival at Snow Fork Event Center in Nelsonville, Ohio, Sept. 2, 2022. (ZOE CRANFILL | PHOTO EDITOR)

OU’s Habitat for Humanity creates sustainable, safe homes

Ohio University's Habitat for Humanity is a student-run organization that creates safe living throughout Southeast Ohio by building homes for those in need.

Habitat for Humanity is an international organization that was founded by Millard and Linda Fuller in 1976. According to Habitat for Humanity, the idea began in Americus, Georgia, when Clarence Jordan and the Fullers “developed the concept of partnership housing” and formed the “Fund for Humanity,” after receiving money from fundraising.

Eventually, the Fullers decided to take this concept to Zaire, now the Democratic Republic of Congo, and from there, they returned to the U.S. and gathered a group of supporters, forming Habitat for Humanity.

Habitat for Humanity's mission is “seeking to put God’s love into action” by bringing people together to “build homes, communities and hope.”

Habitat for Humanity at OU practices this mission by building sustainable and affordable housing for families in need while also participating in other volunteer activities, including zero waste initiatives and an annu-

al 5k that is open to the Athens community.

Omar Dissouki, a senior studying mechanical engineering, is the secretary and social chair and said the work can be hard, but the outcome is always worth it.

“At events we see people happy, and it is kind of satisfying,” said Dissouki.

Dissouki said some of his favorite aspects about his position are seeing how the organization has evolved through previous events and fixing what can be improved.

“I like posting on social media to see how engaged students are,” said Dissouki. “Sometimes you see them reacting to certain posts more than others, so I feel like that also guides you towards more reach.”

Several members of Habitat for Humanity are also involved in the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Service. Sam Mcavoy, a senior studying environmental biology, is Habitat for Humanity’s sustainability chair and involved on Voinovich’s zero waste team. She said students in Voinovich advocate for sustainability and there are several ways to get involved.

“We have eight or more different projects going on right now,” said Mcavoy. “Some are for green infrastructures, some are for composting, there is a lot of range within it.”

Habitat for Humanity is affiliated with programs including the design and construction department, the Office of Sustainability and Voinovich. These programs and departments meet twice a month to discuss what materials Habitat for Humanity can salvage and use for future projects and buildings. Sam Crowl, OU’s director of sustainability, said the partnership allows Habitat for Humanity to thrive.

“It’s a win-win -win, it gives back to the community,” said Crowl. “It helps Habitat for Humanity and it means it is not going to the landfill and so we love the partnership.”

Crowl said his wife is the reason for his interest in sustainable construction and Habitat for Humanity, as she has participated in an all-women’s building project.

The organization currently holds over 100 members, and each meeting is filled with an exciting, inclusive and welcoming energy. Mcavoy said her favorite part about the organization is the people.

“I think it really is a community,” said Mcavoy. “We are never hesitant to help one another and you can see by everyone who

is in the org that they just want to do good work.”

Mcavoy said the home builds take place each Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. However, because the school year is coming to a close, the organization will be continuing home builds and tree planting in the 2024-2025 Fall Semester. Mcavoy said students are encouraged to sign up even if they do not have prior experience in building.

Apart from Habitat for Humanity, staying sustainable is important to help create a cleaner and safer environment. Crowl said sustainability is all about education and remaining aware of the environment’s needs.

“You have to learn about things, you have to learn about a better way of doing things,” said Crowl. “A lot of times a better way of doing things is also saving you money and it makes you feel good.”

Photo provided by Omar Dissouki.

Holzer congratulates the Class of 2024!

Employee affinity AAPI group celebrates minority voices

As the school year is drawing to a close with finals the first week of May, Asian/ Pacific Heritage Month is just beginning. May has been AAPI month since 1992 when President George H.W. Bush designated the month to honor and celebrate the many cultures.

The fifth month of the year being chosen holds significance, according to Kettering College.

“May was designated AAPI month to commemorate the first Japanese immigrants to arrive in the U.S. in 1843. May was also chosen as a way to remember the Chinese immigrants who worked tirelessly to create the first transcontinental railroad in America in May of 1843 and ending in May of 1869,” the website says.

May has now evolved to hold significance to those who identify under the AAPI term as a month to celebrate and honor their culture, heritage and history.

The identity AAPI is not monolithic, however, and refers to around 75 countries from the Asian continent as well as the Pacific Islands of Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia.

According to the Ohio University Diversity Dashboard, as of the 2022/2023 school year, 131 faculty members identify as Asian.

OU has its own employee affinity group for Asian, Asian American and Pacific Islanders: Leadership, Education, Advocacy and Development, or AAPI-LEAD. AAPI-LEAD stresses the importance of inclusivity for all who identify under this and those who don’t. It also serves as a medium for professors who identify as such can come together to celebrate and appreciate their heritage and culture.

Yuchun Zhou, an associate professor of Educational Studies, spoke about the inclusiveness of this organization.

“We include people from different countries, including AAPI countries, and also we have some faculty members from the United States,” she said. “So we have both insiders and outsiders for this organization because we want to be inclusive as much as possible.”

AAPI-LEAD has been active for about three years and is working to continue to make strides for AAPI faculty and students. President Zhou said the organization has created a space for those who identify under

the AAPI umbrella as well as those who do not.

“We want to bridge the gap between AAPI people and domestic people in the U.S.,” she said. “So we want to improve intercultural communication and understanding in order to make the whole community more inclusive.”

One way that AAPI-LEAD does this is by hosting events articulated for AAPI employees and students as well as anyone else to come together to celebrate their culture and strengthen these intercultural relationships.

AAPI-LEAD’s biggest event that takes place annually is its Global Education Fair. AAPI-LEAD works with the Center for International Studies as well as the Athens City School District to bring further awareness of varying cultures and identities to the Athens local community. International and education students collaborate in teaching these K-12 students about different cultures and heritages.

Zhou said the vast range of cultures that were presented to the students.

“We presented more than 20 different cultures to K-12 students and their parents,” she said. “This year we had more than 200 parents and students showing up for this event, so they learn different countries and cultures.”

Vice president for events, Yuqiu You, a professor of engineering technology and management, said this event affected AAPI staff and students.

“We get AAPI faculty, staff and even international students involved,” she said. “So there are a lot of international students actually involved in that event. And I think that they feel that they’re connected to the community.”

AAPI-LEAD is not only a space for students and faculty but also gives time and effort to strengthen these intercultural relationships.

This organization gives students and professors a space to appreciate, celebrate and explore AAPI culture and heritage bringing people from all communities together.

“This organization is very important to students because students also need to feel like they are in a very diverse and inclusive environment and there are faculty members that can understand them,” Zhou said.

8 / APRIL 24, 2024
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‘Merging Concepts: In These Moments’ lets students curate


Every year, students in the Ohio University Museum Studies certificate program get together to gain hands-on experience in an exhibit at the Kennedy Museum of Art, located at The Ridges.

The exhibit is called “Merging Concepts: In These Moments,” and every year a new group of students come together to bring their ideas to the table and give their twist to the theme. This year, the students chose the name “In These Moments,” a topic exploring the storytelling process of emotions, narratives and events in the artwork.

The work leading up to the opening day of the exhibition is a dual semester process. Students first apply for the certificate and, if accepted, begin their work in the fall. During the fall semester, students begin with ideas and concepts by choosing particular objects to research and learning museum practices. Going into the spring semester, students make decisions on how to design the space and what to install in the museum.

Lisa Quinn, the registrar for the Kennedy Museum, said students get a behind-thescenes look at what goes into the exhibition and very hands-on.

“They get first-hand experience on actually creating an exhibition from the very beginning with the ideas and concepts,” Quinn said. “(From) choosing the objects, to researching the objects and creating, in this one particularly, the idea of common threads, it’s very strong. It’s really an exhibition from beginning to end. It’s in their hands.”

Sally Delgado, the curator of education at the Kennedy Museum of Art, has been a part of the program since it began 11 years ago. Delgado said the director of the Kennedy Museum of Art usually teaches the course, but this year it is being transitioned between directors. This year, Delgado and Quinn took over teaching the course.

“I think we view ourselves more as mentors,” Delgado said. “The first semester is much more about background like reading some of the theoretical backgrounds for museum studies. But it’s a very broad overview of class with that real focused experience of getting to an exhibition together.”

Luvina Cooley, a master’s student studying arts and administration with a specialization in museum studies, said the students gain hands-on experience from multiple different perspectives.

“You get to see all of the different elements that go into it, whether that’s design or any supplementary materials,” Cooley said. “We actually split up into three differ-

ent groups. One handles design, one handles learning and interpretation and then the third handles stewardship.”

Tessa Searing, a master’s student studying arts and administration with a focus on museum studies, was in the design group. Searing said the design group consisted of six people who worked together to create the banners, website image, email image, lighting and email drafting. The group splits the work evenly to accomplish the layout.

“It feels like a lot of chaos at first, and then it slowly gets pieced together, because you’re starting from such a broad perspective of what each object is going to look like and where it’s going to go,” Searing said. “You have to kind of design all the objects to get together. Color layout, where the supple-

mentary materials are going to go. It’s a big process.”

Avery Richardson, a junior studying art history, said this experience was beneficial to her because it taught her how to collaborate with others and prepare her for her career.

“In high school, you don’t really do that, like you have group projects; but in here, everyone really pulls the right way and learns how to work together,” Richardson said. “(This is) what I want to do for the rest of my life. Learning the curatorial process and how installations work helped solidify my future career.”

Quinn said students doing this experience get an idea of how small museums are run and how flexible they have to be. The great

part is choosing the pieces and how to set up the displays, but the students also learn how to be prepared for the different things they will be asked to do. The exhibition program prepares students for a graduate degree in museum studies to focus on museum work and entry-level positions.

Student’s work for “In These Moments” will be on display at the Kennedy Museum of Art at the Ridges until Sept. 8, 2024.

Art pieces displayed at The Kennedy Museum Of Art at the Ridges, Sept. 2, 2023. (BECKETT STARK | FOR THE POST)

Recruiting for Ohio

Through recruiting, Jenna Hall has been able to bring in her type of players to help vault this program into the next generation of greatness. After a great stretch during the late 2010s, Ohio was in search of a new leader after Kenzie Roark retired following the 2022 season. Hall was brought in to return Ohio to the good times it saw under Jodi Hermanek and Roark.

Regardless, Hall understood the task that lay in front of her. In her first year at the helm, she guided Ohio to 32 wins and won Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year. As easy as she made it look to transition to the top of the food chain, she understands she can always learn from her experiences as a recruiter.

Hall acknowledges the fact that her experience in the region has been a major asset to recruiting. In her previous stops at Ohio State University and University of Pittsburgh with a stint at Ohio sandwiched in between, she has become very familiar with the amount of talent in the area as well as some of the coaches.

“Ohio is a hotbed for talent in the softball world,” Hall said. “Thankfully for us, I think so many people know about

Jenna Hall looks to return Ohio to former glory through recruiting

this university and what it has to offer not just as athletics, but as a university. It kind of draws (athletes) to itself… It’s just about getting out there and making contact with a lot of these coaches. I’ve been in this region for a long time, so knowing a lot of people helps.”

Her first two commitments at Ohio came from Emily Caron and pitcher Mikie Lieving. The two have made different contributions. Caron has been blocked a bit on the depth chart by some of the more experienced players on the infield.

However, with Shelby Westler being done for the season, Caron could see more action off the bench. Lieving, on the other hand, has been the No. 2 starter for Ohio behind ace Skipp Miller. In addition, Ohio’s two other freshmen, Izzie Wilson and Brenna Farmer, have both gotten regular starts in the field and have contributed heavily to success. Both of these players have showcased some of the tools that brought them to Ohio and drew the attention of Hall.

Every coach, though, has a preference for what he or she wants in their players. In basketball, it could be shooting or length. In football, it could be players running a particular scheme. In softball, Hall likes athletes in general.

“Being able to run the bases, have speed, move people around,” Hall said. “Obviously, anytime you can get kids that can swing it that can put it over the fence that’s going to be

really important … Pitching wise, we’re looking for kids that can mix speeds, can throw in the mid-to-upper 60s, but can also change it up when they need to.”

A new advent in recruiting is the transfer portal. Hall intends on using it this offseason with hopes of bringing in another catcher to pair with Emma Hoffner. Hall wants another catcher mainly due to the size of the incoming freshman class pitching staff. Two players, Ally Meyers and Anna Wise, committed during the early signing period.

One of the challenges that comes with being in the state of Ohio is the amount of programs that are in the state. There are 10 Division I programs in the state, not to mention the teams in neighboring states. That creates a challenge for Hall and her coaching staff.

“I think that it is just learning that we can compete with (Power Five schools) recruiting-wise and get talent that is at the same level as a Power Five school,” Hall said. “We want players that are on the cusp of that and are going to bring that special talent to this university and choose us because of what we have academically, what we have athletically and just the competitiveness of our program.”

10 / APRIL 24, 2024
Ohio softball head coach, Jenna Hall, while being interviewed outside Ohio Softball Field, April 20, 2024, in Athens. (ABBIE KINNEY | ART DIRECTOR)

Ohio will look to keep it going against Toledo this weekend

slides back into first base during a game against Morehead State at Bob Wren Stadium, April 23, 2024, in Athens.

Ohio will be looking to string a couple of wins together when it takes on Toledo this weekend in a three-game home series. The Bobcats have won back-to-back games against tough opponents after a Tuesday night victory against Morehead State.

Toledo enters the series ranked No. 4 in the Mid-American Conference with a 12-9 conference record. Despite an overall positive season, Toledo enters its series with Ohio in the midst of a five-game losing streak.

The Bobcats will be hosting their first weekend series in nearly a month after backto-back weekends on the road against conference opponents.

Here is all you need to know for the weekend:


Opponent: Toledo (19-21, 12-9 MAC)

Location: Bob Wren Stadium

Times: Friday at 6 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m.

How to watch: ESPN+

You can follow live stats at https://stats. statbroadcast.com/broadcast/?id=505460


Head Coach: Rob Reinstetle (5th season) Statistical Leaders

Batting Average: Garret Pike (.354)

RBI: Pike (42)

Home Runs: Pike (14)

ERA: Grant Umberger (3.71)

Strikeouts: Umberger (55)


Overall, Toledo leads the all-time headto-head between the two teams, but Ohio has had the edge of late with four wins in the last five matchups, including a sweep last season.

In the first game of last year’s series, Luke Olson took the mound for Ohio and threw a 9-inning complete game shutout and allowed only two hits. The matchup between the two historically successful programs usually has conference title implications; this year is no different. A series loss could effectively end a late-season push for the postseason for Ohio and Toledo is desperately trying to hold onto its spot in the tournament amid one of its worst stretches of the season thus far.


Toledo is a well-balanced team with a good offense and a handful of productive pitchers in the front of its rotation and the bullpen. The Rockets have been up-anddown against some of the best teams in the conference but have played well against the teams that rank around the same spot as the Bobcats.

Garret Pike has led the team in most of

fensive categories this season and is sure to provide some run production against a struggling Ohio weekend rotation.


The Bobcats haven’t had a season that has lived up to its fifth-place ranking in the conference’s preseason poll. Currently ranked No. 9 in the conference, Ohio is looking to make a late push up the rankings with some recent success.

A pitching staff that has struggled all season for Ohio has strung together two of its most impressive performances of the season, pitching back-to-back games and allowing 2 runs or less for the first all season.


Garret Pike has been Toledo’s most consistent hitter all season and will enter this weekend amidst a five-game hitting streak. Pike currently has 14 home runs, which ranks top five in the conference. Ohio will have to slow down Pike and the Toledo offense if it wants to find success against them this weekend.


Olson is coming off his best performance of the season against Morehead State, with two innings pitched and six strikeouts. With Toledo coming to town, a team where Olson had his best game of last season against, the 6-foot-2-inch senior is a player who should provide some quality innings out of the bullpen for Ohio.



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Ohio right hand pitcher, Patrick Straub (37), throws the ball to Ohio infielder, Bryce Smith (12), as Morehead State outfielder, Ryley Preece (9),

Professors work to unionize, administration delays

In 2020, 58 Ohio University employees lost their jobs due to cuts brought on by declining student enrollment that was exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The budget cuts began a push for unionization among OU faculty that, years later, is coming to fruition on OU’s campus amid early retirements and layoffs.

Although the push is at least four years in the making, unionization at OU has long been a topic of debate. A clear pattern appears in the OU archives where articles from The Post document a fight for unionization dating back to Oct. 7, 1961. In the article, custodian Paul Robinson expressed discontent with the University’s attitude toward unionizing. He said that although university officials listened to his complaints, they did not do much beyond that.

In an editorial from 1976 titled, “An act of desperation,” The Post’s editorial board writes that although the university may not currently be ready for unionization, “in a few years’ time, the university may be ready to adopt faculty unionization from a position of strength.”

Now, 48 years and many articles about raises, working conditions and unions later, the position of strength is seemingly nowhere to be found.

March 5 marked the first demonstration by the United Academics of Ohio University, or UAOU, with a “Day of Action.” The event, attended by over 150 faculty members, ended with UAOU submitting a letter to the Office of the President requesting that Ohio University President Lori Stweat Gonzalez respect its wishes to organize.

The letter stated that most full-time employees had endorsed UAOU as their collective bargaining representative and asked that the university remain neutral until an election could be held. UAOU also requested that the university respond to the request by March 8. Soon after, the university changed its anticipated response date to March 26, according to a previous Post report.

The university declined UAOU’s request to remain neutral throughout the process.

OU administration requested one 14-day extension, changing the deadline to April 9, and then a 30-day extension, setting the date back to May 9.

Around 50 faculty members gathered again to show their solidarity again at Scripps Amphitheater April 10.

John O’Keefe, an associate professor of history and president of OU’s American Association of University Professors chapter, or OU-AAUP, said the COVID-19 layoffs were a catalyst to the current push for a union.

“The advocacy chapter has been here for a number of years, but that experience of layoffs, I think, was really galvanizing for people,” O’Keefe said. “There was really a sense of urgency, that we really had to do something, that the university had all this power, and we had no way to push back effectively.”

This sense of urgency was felt throughout OU faculty, but certain departments felt the layoffs more than others. Kyle Butler, associate professor of instruction in the Ohio Program of Intensive English, or OPIE, and vice president of OU-AAUP, said that OPIE, in particular, was hit hard.

“In OPIE, we had 10 faculty in 2020 and seven of them were laid off,” he said. “It was a huge blow.”

Regardless of the sense of betrayal widely felt among staff, this blow was a great factor in spurring Butler’s involvement with AAUP. He said he began attending support group meetings through the AAUP for instructional faculty.

“What I found there was that a lot of my feelings of frustration with the way things were going and the way decisions were being made at the university were not unique to me or my program, and I really found a sense of comradery there,” Butler said.

Along with frustration with OU’s handling of the 2020 layoffs, OU faculty is grappling with the administration’s handling of the Supreme Court decision in the Harvard v. Students for Fair Admissions case.

The decision, which ruled that race-based affirmative action programs violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, magnified the pressure created by the COVID-19 layoffs.

Based on Ohio Attorney General David Yost’s interpretation of the decision, the university instructed faculty not to award diversity scholarships in the 2024-25 school year. Professors have been informed that if they do award said scholarships, they will be held personally liable for any lawsuits relevant to the ruling. Essentially, the school has told professors they are on their own.

However, Executive Director of the Ohio Conference of the AAUP, Sara Kilpatrick, said that if OU unionized, these issues could be addressed in their collective bargaining agreements.

“I know that there are concerns that there might be things that faculty may participate in that they may be held personally liable for, and it’s such a gray area,” Kilpatrick said. “Because this is all just coming to fruition really over the last several months, we haven’t seen how this might play out yet.”

Currently, Butler said there is not much that the advocacy chapter can do beyond making statements about issues including the

Human and Animal Services

SCOTUS decision and contacting the provost and President Gonzalez.

“What we currently have is our advocacy chapter,” he said. “We are affiliated with AAUP, but it’s really an organization that is independent of the university. We have a charter with AAUP national and they recognize us as an official advocacy chapter, but we don’t have any sort of official recognition from Ohio University or the state of Ohio for the advocacy chapter.”

In the wake of the SCOTUS decision, O’Keefe said he sees yet another threat to professors who share this vision of building a more egalitarian society in which a more diverse group of people have the opportunities that college provides.

“We’ve had faculty who’s been really fiercely advocating for (the university to push back against the decision), and we want to push back against the administration’s willingness to give into this directive because that’s not the only interpretation of the law,” he said.

By unionizing, professors would not only

12 / APRIL 24, 2024
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Signs sit on a table at a rally hosted by United Academics of Ohio University on College Green, April 24, 2024, in Athens. ( ABBIE KINNEY | ART DIRECTOR )

stand up to the administration for better benefits and more job security in lieu of what happened in 2020, but also participate in an act of unity.

O’Keefe said he wanted to make sure that the university knows just how much support exists for a union among faculty, as a supermajority of faculty on campus are in favor of unionization. “We’re proud to advocate,” he said. “We’re willing to do so very publicly, and we have strength in numbers.”

Even if the university does accept the unionization, it will likely be on its own terms. When Miami University faculty unionized, the university accepted but left librarians out of the union deal entirely. While the Miami librarians eventually won the ability to unionize, it made the process much more difficult.

Butler said this bump in the road to unionization delayed total unionization for eight months.

Although the AAUP only unionizes faculty or professors, Kilpatrick said oftentimes other groups of workers, such as librarians, communication workers and service employees, form their own staff unions.

“For faculty in a collective bargaining agreement, (they are) talking about things like shared governance, academic freedom, tenure, whereas the terms and conditions you’re talking about with staff are a lot different,” she said.

However, the decision does not end with the workers, as Butler said the university may work to further break up the bargaining unit. If that happens, Kilpatrick said further state powers will weigh in.

“Sometimes this comes down to how the state board rules on these kinds of things because we do have librarians and other faculty unions around the state, so there is precedent for that,” Kilpatrick said. “A lot of this comes down to (whether) the university administration will object to the proposed composition of the bargaining unit, the State Employment Relations Board will rule on that, and then you just have to go

from there.”

She added that if the university objects to the composition of the bargaining unit, the process may be dragged out even longer.

OU stated that the university is aware of the push to unionize but declined to make any further comment on the situation.

“The University is in receipt of formal notice of UAOU’s filing with the Ohio State Employment Relations Board; however, since this is a complicated process with multiple steps, it would be premature to comment further at this time,” Samantha Pelham, university spokesperson, said via email.

Kilpatrick said the OU administration could end this now and give the OK to the bargaining unit, allowing an election to be held to determine whether the faculty could have a union. She added the longer this goes on, the more public funding and student tuition are funneled into suppressing the union.

“Instead, institutions will try to fight the composition of the bargaining unit and delay, delay, delay,” she said. “What this ultimately means is that they are spending public dollars and student dollars to fight the union. And they could be spending that money on much more worthwhile objectives.”

In fact, the university has hired lawyer Daniel J. Guttman of the Columbus-based BarkerHostetler law firm. Communications professor Matthew deTar said that although the university has yet to make an official statement, the law firm only works with the employer side of labor work and has a history of fighting unionization efforts at the state level in Ohio.

“The current strategy is to delay any decision on the election,” deTar said. “They have gotten extensions from the State Employee Relations Board twice now to push their own deadline past when grades are due so faculty are not on campus so the faculty are not around to respond and the more that they are able to delay, the longer this could happen.”

Regardless, Butler said he remains impressed by the facul-

ty’s unity, specifically between tenured-track and instructional-track faculty. He said that although there can be tension between the two, it did not exist in this space.

“I didn’t feel like there was a division within the campaign between the tenure track and the instructional faculty,” Butler said. “Everything felt very collegial, very egalitarian.”

Although rumblings about unionizing have long echoed throughout Hocking Hills, Kilpatrick is optimistic that this time, a union will be born because of how faculty members have gone about unionizing “the right way” this time around.

“They had one-on-one conversations with faculty members,” she said. “They made sure that they had sufficient support before going public and announcing their intentions to unionize, so they have very strong support, and we feel really good that they will win their election.”

Both Butler and O’Keefe relayed the importance of oneon-one conversations in this process and emphasized the importance of a genuine grassroots effort between faculty members.

Journalism Professor Bill Reader, who joined OU’s faculty in 2002, also said in an email statement that this push to unionize is different. Reader said the focus is on pay and benefits as opposed to keeping faculty workloads reasonable and protecting the little shared governance left at OU.

He said over the years, there have been several presidents, provosts and deans who would impose top-down decrees that undermine faculty rights.

“The mid-pandemic layoffs, the failed ‘One OHIO’ initiative, and recent top-down edicts to remove academic advising from faculty duties are just three such examples,” Reader said in an email. “Another was the sneaky and obsequious move by Cutler Hall to defund diversity scholarships this past semester based on a flimsy and mean-spirited overreach by the state attorney general.”

No matter how the university responds, OU will have to accept the consequences of its actions, whether it be learning how to work with a union or the backlash that would follow if unionization was blocked.

“We are very passionate about our mission, and one of the things that we say very often is that faculty working conditions are student learning conditions,” O’Keefe said. “So we really want to be able to have class sizes where we can get to know our students a little bit better and look out for them and ensure they get the education that they deserve.”

Collective bargaining is something that public employees are entitled to under Ohio Revised Code 4117. Kilpatrick said the idea behind a union is that there is strength in numbers in terms of the employees coming together and advocating for themselves.

Still, Kilpatrick said the state of Ohio’s hostile attitude toward higher education runs deep and that OU’s unionization now does not mean it will be safe later. She said those concerned with professors’ right to unionize should remain vigilant, specifically with Ohio Senate Bill 83 and how university administration will react to it.

“(Ohio Senate Bill 83) is a bill that tries to gut collective bargaining rights for college and university faculty,” she said. “So these are things that are happening that could potentially have an impact on our unions and how collective bargaining agreements get negotiated and what can be negotiated.”

Kilpatrick said there are mixed reactions from administrations in favor of some parts of the bill, including the anti-collective bargaining aspects of the bill, but not in favor of other parts.

The implications of Senate Bill 83 and how it has been received by university administrations throughout the state suggest something much bigger stewing in the state’s hostility toward the right of higher education workers to unionize. Although the fight for collective bargaining at OU has been brewing for decades, it may only be one battle in a much larger war.

People gather at a rally hosted by United Academics of Ohio University on College Green, April 24, 2024, in Athens. ( ABBIE KINNEY | ART DIRECTOR )

Bullpen powers Ohio to big home win

It had been exactly a month since Ohio (12-24, 7-14 Mid-American Conference) last won a game at its home field of Bob Wren Stadium until Tuesday night’s 4-2 victory over Morehead State (23-18, 8-7 Ohio Valley Conference). Ohio’s last home victory took place on March 23 against Central Michigan in a blowout win by a score of 18-3.

The Bobcats had seen struggles everywhere they played after that win in late March. The team would go on to lose eight straight games before finding success on the road against Eastern Michigan twice. It then ended a weekend series at Bowling Green with a comeback victory over the MAC’s top team, which was undefeated both in conference and at home.

Ohio carried that momentum from the huge win at Bowling Green into its midweek nonconference matchup with Morehead State, a team that scored 20 runs on Ohio

and defeated them in blowout fashion on March 12. This time the game was different, with Ohio rested and playing on its own field.

“They (Morehead State) kind of play to their field,” said Ohio Coach Craig Moore. “Their field is a little bit of a different style field than most parks and they're a little bit of a different team on the road.”

Being at home benefited the Ohio pitching staff greatly, helping a unit that has struggled all year to allow just 2 runs on the day.

Adam Beery made his first career start for Ohio and gave a very solid performance, pitching two innings and allowing six hits and the only 2 runs that Morehead State would score in the game. He would exit the game for relief pitcher Carson Denham, who started an excellent day from the Ohio bullpen.

The Bobcat bullpen would go on to throw five shutout innings and allow just two hits,

marking a noteworthy outing from Ohio’s trio of relief pitchers, Denham, Patrick Straub and Luke Olson.

Denham was the first pitcher to enter the game, providing Ohio with two valuable innings of work, giving up just one hit over his 21 total pitches. Straub followed Denham and pitched just one inning, taking seven total pitches to do it and not allowing a single Morehead State baserunner.

“Carson then came in and threw up some zeros,” said Moore. “Straub came in and threw up some zeros.”

Once Straub left the game it was senior pitcher Luke Olson’s time to take the mound for the final two innings of action. Olson wasted no time on the bump, starting red-hot and striking out the side to end the eighth inning for Morehead State.

He would carry his start into the ninth inning, striking out three more batters and allowing just one hit to put the game away

and earn his first career save for Ohio.

“Luke Olson just came in ... six strikeouts in the last two innings, that was pretty impressive right there,” Moore said.

Olson and the rest of the bullpen's standout performances were crucial to Ohio’s huge win over an above .500 Morehead State team, a win that Olson hopes will lead the team in the right direction for the remainder of the season.

“It's just awesome to get things going in the right direction. I mean, losing sucks,” Olson said. “It's kind of good to get off on the right note going into the games we know we need to win.”

14 / APRIL 24, 2024
Members after a game against Morehead State at Bob Wren Stadium, April 23, 2024, in Athens. (ABBIE KINNEY | ART DIRECTOR)

Ohio heads north to Buffalo with hopes of improving MAC standing


Fresh off a rousing weekend series win over Western Michigan, Ohio (23-21, 11-8 Mid-American Conference) will begin the lighter portion of its schedule to close the season. First on that list is Buffalo (15-25, 7-12 MAC). The two teams are coming to play on the heels of big series victories, with Buffalo taking two of three from Northern Illinois over the weekend. Ohio is looking to reaffirm its spot in the MAC standings with two or three wins in the series, with hopes of moving up in the six-team MAC Tournament field. Entering the weekend, Buffalo is two games back of the sixth place team, Kent State.


Opponent: Buffalo

Location: Nan Harvey Field, Buffalo, New York

Dates and times: Game 1 is on Friday, April 26 at 1 p.m., Game 2 is on Friday, April 23 at 3 p.m., Game 3 is on Saturday, April 27 at 1 p.m.

Streaming will be on the Buffalo Athletics

YouTube channel for all three games

Live stats will be here for Game 1, here for Game 2 and here for Game 3


Head coach: Mike Ruechel, sixth season

Individual statistical leaders

Batting average: Madison Fernimen (.294)

Hits: Fernimen (37)

Runs: Fernimen (25)

Home runs: Mia Mitchell (7)

RBI: Alexis Lucyshyn (24)

On-base percentage: Fernimen (.385)

Innings pitched: Lucyshyn (116.1)

ERA: Lucyshyn (3.61)

Strikeouts: Lucyshyn (134)


Buffalo is a team that is rather unassuming, at least statistically. After a 3-1 start to MAC play, it stumbled to the tune of a 4-11 mark in its last 15 conference games. Some of the skid can be attributed to the quality of competition it has played, as two of its wins to begin conference play came against Bowling Green, the worst team in the MAC with a 2-15 record.

That being said, Buffalo does have a competitive roster. It does not have anyone leading in any statistical categories, but it is led by dominant two-way star Alexis Lucyshyn. She leads the team in RBI with 24. Overall, the offense for Buffalo is nothing spectac-

ular, but has gone through some stretches during recent weeks where it exploded for some powerful offense.

The main culprit of the losing ways recently has been the pitching staff for Buffalo. One thing it does well is keep the ball in the yard, as it has given up only 18 home runs on the season, the best mark in the conference. However, it has only been average at just about every other stat. Lucyshyn has the second-most strikeouts in the conference, sitting at 134. Outside of her, Buffalo has few reliable options to eat innings.


Over the course of the weekend, it felt like it was time for Ohio to show its true colors against a talented Western Michigan team. For the first game and a half of the doubleheader on Saturday, Ohio looked lifeless and flat. Then, a switch flipped and Ohio ended up taking two of three games with a walk-off home run boosting it to one win and a flurry of runs giving it another.

Heading into its final stretch of the season, Ohio will face significantly weaker competition. The best remaining team on the docket for Ohio is Akron, who sits at 8-10 in MAC play. With some weaker opponents on deck, Ohio can get some more confidence heading into the MAC Tournament. The boost to morale can be the final push Ohio needs to make a deep run at defeating Miami, the clear-cut favorite in the conference.



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Ohio catcher/infielder, Emma Hoffner (7) and Ohio pitcher, Ellie Greene (7), during a gme against Western Michigan at Ohio Softball Field, April 21, 2024, in Athens. (ABBIE KINNEY | ART DIRECTOR)

OU’s modernization attempts subvert timeless beauty

Most of the oldest buildings on Ohio University’s campus were built in Georgian-style architecture, featuring grand brick exteriors with numerous windows and hipped roofs. Endearingly dubbed the “Harvard on the Hocking,” OU’s architectural style replicated the timeless charm and prestigiousness of Ivy League schools in the northeast, specifically Harvard University.

The Ivy League reminiscence is not acci-

dental. OU’s co-founder, Manasseh Cutler, attended Yale College. Jacob Lindley, OU’s first professor and first president, attended Princeton University. John Calhoun Baker, OU’s fourteenth president, received his MBA from Harvard University’s Business School, where he later served in administrative roles. The instrumental figures in the university’s history fully intended to replicate the beauty and prestige to enhance the attractiveness of OU to students and alumni.

Yet, more recent campus developments, such as the Chemistry Building, the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine and even Alden Library, show a shift to a modern, dystopian facade. By adopting this new style, OU’s timeless beauty has begun to flicker. The inconsistency of architecture may be to the detriment of the student experience and future admissions. However, design renderings for the new Housing Master Plan show it may be possible to balance timeless charm and modernization.

On April 5, the Board of Trustees approved the $110.5 million plan for the Housing Master Plan, featuring a 591-bed, five-story living facility on South Green. Monday’s groundbreaking ceremony celebrates the construction projected to happen until completion in May 2026. The facility will attempt to meet

the capacity demands of admissions while fostering student connection. The plan also shows that OU may have finally balanced modern architecture with classic architecture.

The renderings show four Georgian-style dorms connected via walkways. These buildings exhibit the beauty of OU’s oldest, most iconic buildings. Yet, the two buildings paralleling Brown Hall each feature additions that share similarities to the modernized buildings.

Though OU may have struck a balance between architectural exterior facades, I have concerns OU will continue to lose cultural beauty through architectural expansion. The true beauty of OU is the student experience and connection to nature, and the university’s expansion — demanded by recent growth — tampers with that.

For example, OU unveiled its new Paw Print Park in October 2022. According to OU’s website, the park sports “two giant Bobcat paw prints – one designated as a hammock space with sunshades and metal poles that can accommodate as many as 56 hammocks, the other available for student gatherings and events.”

The premise was attractive, but I met it with dismay. OU is nestled in the scenery of

Athens, Ohio, and the students’ love for nature shines through campus hotspots like College Green. How could concrete and sunshades ever replace the trunks and canopies of trees?

Based on the renderings, students’ favorite features of South Green may fall victim to the same concrete compromise of expansion. For example, the volleyball and basketball courts, the sites of core memory-making for students, may be vulnerable to becoming walkways and swathes of grass in the coming years as the university expands South Green.

As the university continues to welcome new Bobcats to campus, officials must also consider how the campus itself will impact the students’ experiences. Architectural style may influence how we weave the cultural fabric of campus. The Georgian style fits gently against the backdrop of Athens, while the modernized style is juxtaposed. How the university implements architecture during expansion may have a far greater impact on students than aesthetics.

Taylor Orcutt is a sophomore studying journalism. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Want to talk more about it? Let Taylor know by tweeting her @TaylorOrcutt.

16 / APRIL 24, 2024
Taylor Orcutt

Looking back on 2 years as Equity Director

I am as satisfied with my time at The Post as I am with my time at Ohio University, that is, not at all, for it is the nature of English majors to wonder how things could be done differently, the nature of poets to wonder how reality would change if we were different people and the nature of journalists to never be satisfied, and my education has only enhanced these identities even more, albeit with an added air of exhaustion and anxiety.

It is not that I am not proud of the work I have done, as it is a miracle we do anything at all, but as I stand at the end of this road, I wonder what other paths I could have taken, and whether they would have been paved with dirt or stone. The path I now look back on is lined with bricks: although uneven and a tripping hazard, generally solid and secure.

If I were to say this is a job I never wanted, I wonder who would understand my sentiment. Why take the role instead of letting it fall to someone else? Why do this job for two years, no less?

But necessary work is rarely something people ever want to do. I am sure those who volunteer to build schools would prefer education to already be accessible, or those who work in soup kitchens would prefer there was no hunger.

I would prefer not to need to explain what microaggressions are, or to use years of my life to argue why I deserve not only to exist, but to be happy, but that is not the world we live in, and someone must do the work, and I can do the work, so it might as well be me. It is not that I did not enjoy my time as The Post’s first Equity Director; I liked it very much. It is one of the few worthwhile things

I have done. I think The Post has improved so much since I stepped foot on this campus. However, I have learned it is extraordinarily difficult to get people to listen to you. It’s even harder to get people to care. I often felt I was wasting time and energy on pointless projects.

However, I have grown to realize that touching every mind is as realistic of a goal as becoming God. A single mind is much more attainable. If at least one person is glad I existed, I have succeeded. I have taught someone at least one thing, I am happy. In the business of opening minds, that’s all you can hope for. Wishing for more guarantees madness, and I only have so much sanity to spare. I only hope that the general consensus is that it was good to have me. I know I was glad to be there.

I will undoubtedly look back upon my time among people whom I am unsure if they would call me a friend or if I would call them mine, but who are undoubtedly more than acquaintances that I like more than coworkers, fondly. I suppose that is why people often compare groups like these to families. You don’t have to like all of them, and many members are often distant or nearly strang-

Saying goodbye to green and white

When I first moved to Ohio University, it was cold. It was snowing because I could not go “in-person” until January, but luckily my mask helped keep my nose and mouth a bit warm. The path to the person I became throughout my four years here seemed farther than the walk up Jeff Hill at the time; I could not even imagine her. Now I sit here so incredibly grateful for every experience I’ve shared, treks up the hills included.

College began cold and distanced, but it quickly became warm, crowded and lovely. College became watching “Love Island” every Sunday night, cutting our favorite celebrities out of People and sitting on everyone’s desk in the newsroom. It turned into marg towers at El Tenampa, backbends on the Stephen’s dance floor and weekend debriefs at Nelson Dining Hall. It’s shared clothing and secrets, making jokes and Canva invites.

I have The Post to thank for so much of what college became. Weary of more Zoom calls my freshman year, it was not until I was a sophomore that I joined the organization that would become so much of my life. The world opened up in a way I hadn’t believed it could and I threw myself into everything. I knew what being static felt like and I just wanted to move, and The Post was my first step into what college life could be.

I spent a lot of time feeling robbed of my first year of college, and it’s true that as I leave, I feel I’ve only been here three years. But as unfortunate as online classes from my childhood bedroom felt at the time, I find myself left with only gratitude.

I am grateful I felt limited because it made me try everything as soon as I could. I am

grateful for nights spent bored in a small Washington Hall corner room, eating pasta from a green box because it made me appreciate all the nights I’d eat laughing with friends as a gift, not a given. I am grateful for every trip on the bricks, every late night of work and even every tear I cried because it meant I had something to care deeply about.

Most of all, I am grateful it did not take until writing this column to understand how wonderful each opportunity has been. Last October, I ran from The Union’s stage to the newsroom, sweaty and covered in glitter and the rest of my Janet makeup from a “Rocky Horror” dress rehearsal, ready to help proof pages to send to print. I felt so lucky to have the role in the annual “Rocky” performance and so lucky to get to serve as editor-in-chief of an organization that means the world to me.

Someone asked me how I was doing both, if I was tired. I could never be tired of this.

So thank you, college, for teaching me how lucky I am for every experience. To anyone entering or continuing their journey at OU who is feeling they aren’t making the most of their experience, my advice is to join everything. Take in deep breaths of the Ap-

ers, yet there is a connection between us all. I came to Ohio alone, and I will leave Ohio alone, but at least I have people to leave behind. I pass on my torch to minds more brilliant than mine and look toward a new path without the people I haven’t had enough time with. I wonder how this passage will be paved.

Goodbye The Post, goodbye OU, goodbye College Green, goodbye to the bars and businesses I never visited, goodbye to the parties I never went to, goodbye to the few that I did, goodbye to the chances I took and to those that I didn’t. Goodbye to sickness and to health and to thousands of dollars, both mine and not.

Alesha Davis is a senior studying journalism and English at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. What are your thoughts? Tell Alesha by tweeting her at @AleshaTDavis.

palachian air, slightly tinged with the smell of marijuana from your next-door neighbor, and enjoy each day. Do everything and give everything you can because standing at the other end of a long, strange trip, I am so grateful I gave OU my all.

Two weeks from now I will walk at graduation for the first time in my life, and know how lucky I am to get to do so. A green and white cord – for The Post – will wrap around my shoulders like a hug goodbye and I know whatever happens next, I will be equipped for it because of my time here.

Thank you.

Katie Millard is a senior studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. What are your thoughts? Tell Katie by tweeting her at @katie_millard11.

Katie Millard Alesha Davis

Eddith Dashiell delivers powerful, necessary banquet speech

Ohio University’s annual journalism scholarship and awards banquet took place Tuesday. It marked the first banquet since the university paused the awarding of racebased scholarships following Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost’s interpretation of the June 2023 U.S. Supreme Court decision to strike down affirmative action. During the ceremony, Eddith Dashiell, OU professor and director of the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, made a powerful statement by addressing the removed scholarships in a speech lasting over 10 minutes and ending in the night’s only standing ovation.

Dashiell has been vocal about her opposition to the university’s decision. Her actions at the banquet sent a clear and necessary message that commitment to diversity and inclusion in the form of race-based scholarships is needed to support OU’s journalism students.

One particular statistic she referenced is the ratio of white journalism majors to nonwhite journalism majors. She said that out of the 419 journalism students, 354 of them are white.

The university took away 12 Scripps scholarships, amounting to approximately $46,000.

“The Ohio Attorney General’s office was quoted as saying race-based scholarships discriminate against white students,” Dashiell said. “How can 12 scholarships discriminate against white students who make up 84% of our majors?”

During her speech, Dashiell took time to list each of the paused scholarships and give some information on the students they were previously awarded to — and how those students will be impacted now that they are gone.

“The Ford Scholar Scholarship, which was for a minority student with financial need, last year was $1,100,” she said. “This year it won’t go to a student.”

She also thanked the donors of the unawarded scholarships.

“One scholarship was established by former Associate Dean of the college Dee Dee Riffe,” she said. “The Eliza Alcorn Clark Memorial Scholarship honors Dr. Riffe’s grandmother. Last year, we honored Dee Dee’s

grandmother by awarding a $900 scholarship to an African American sophomore. This year, we cannot honor her grandmother because we are not allowed to award the Eliza Alcorn Clark Scholarship. I expect Dee Dee will be contacting me soon when she realizes that she has not received her ‘thank you’ note.”

Each of the removed scholarships has a donor and a story behind its origin. Taking them away is not only a disservice to the students who need them, it is also an insult to the donors and their generosity.

“We may not be able to award these scholarships, but the donors deserve to be honored, recognized and thanked anyway,” she said.

Dashiell also noted that many of the unawarded scholarships did not have race as part of the requirements, such as the Edward J. Martin Memorial Scholarship, which is designated for students interested in print journalism. According to her, preference is supposed to go to a Native American student; however, there are zero Indigenous students in the J-School. The scholarship

still could have been awarded this year had the university not paused it.

“But we have been awarding the Martin scholarship for decades,” Dashiell said. “This year, no student will get this $2,000 scholarship.”

The Post commends Dashiell’s continued advocacy and her bravery at Tuesday’s event. Her speech at the banquet serves as a reminder to the university that its decision is unacceptable and will not be forgotten. OU is a school that prides itself on its dedication to diversity and inclusion, but the removal of those scholarships suggests otherwise. Actions speak louder than words, and we are grateful where the university has only statements, Dashiell took action.

Editorials represent the majority opinion of The Post’s executive editors: Editor-in-Chief Katie Millard, Managing Editor Emma Erion and Equity Director Alesha Davis. Post editorials are independent of the publication’s news coverage.

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18 / APRIL 24, 2024 Editor-in-Chief | Katie Millard Managing Editor | Emma Erion Equity Director | Alesha Davis EDITORIAL News Editor | Madalyn Blair Asst. News Editor | Donovan Hunt Culture Editor | Alyssa Cruz Asst. Culture Editor | Abby Jenkins Sports Editor | Bobby Gorbett Sports Editor | Robert Keegan III Opinion Editor | Tate Raub Asst. Opinion Editor | Megan Diehl The Beat Editor | Trey Barrett Asst. The Beat Editor | Grace Koennecke Projects Editor | Hannah Campbell Investigative Editor | Alex Imwalle Copy Chief | Addie Hedges Slot Editors | Arielle Lyons, Jackson McCoy, Ashley Pomplas, Tre Spencer ART Art Director | Abbie Kinney Asst. Art Director | Emma McAdams Director of Photography | Alaina Dackermann Photo Editor | Zoe Cranfill DIGITAL Director of Web Development | Tavier Leslie Audience Engagement Editor | Logan Jeffries Asst. Audience Engagement Editor | Jenna Skidmore Director of Multimedia | Cole Patterson Asst. Director of Multimedia | Kendall Timms BUSINESS Media Sales | Gia Sammons, Molly Wilson Director of Student Media | Andrea Lewis ONLINE thepostathens.com FACEBOOK thepostathens TWITTER @ThePost INSTAGRAM @thepostathens Volume 114, Issue 30 Advertisement Policies The Post will not print advertising that violates local, state or federal laws. The Post will not run advertisements that violate the Fair Housing Act, or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission policies. The Post reserves the right to reject advertising deemed to adversely affect the integrity and credibility of the publication or be in conflict with the educational mission of the university or community it serves. The Post retains the right, at its discretion, to approve or reject an advertisement that negatively affects the relationship with our readers or that promotes content, services, or activities that violate our advertising policy. If an error occurs, and an advertisement is published not as ordered, please notify The Post by the end of the business day following publication, a corrected advertisement will run without charge in the next print edition. Cancellation requests for advertising must be received and acknowledged by staff no later than 2:00 pm on Wednesday for the Thursday print edition. Refunds will not be given for ads that have been printed.
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Controversial celebrity deaths spur humor, debates

On April 10, 2024, Orenthal James “O.J.” Simpson died of prostate cancer at 76-yearsold. Simpson is most known for being on trial for charges involving the murder of his exwife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman. The trial was televised and spanned 11 months, starting Nov. 9, 1994 and ending Oct. 3, 1995. Simpson pled not guilty, and his response has been parodied ever since.

In 2017, comedian Dave Chappelle famously joked about four encounters he had with Simpson in his comedy special, “The Age of Spin: Dave Chappelle Live at the Hollywood Palladium.” The internet has also joked about Simpson since the trial. However, the news of his death has led users to become ruthless in their constant jokes and memes about him.

According to an article by TMZ, “The news of O.J. Simpson’s death is sparking a wave of commentary – much of it coming in

the form of humorous memes based on the most controversial aspects of his life.” The same article provides a handful of examples of Simpson-related memes and jokes.

A user on X (formerly known as Twitter) posted a photo of the late comedian Norm Macdonald saying, “Tonight we report the unfortunate passing of NFL legend O.J. Simpson, may he rest in peace. On a more positive note, sources say the real killer has been found dead!”

Regardless of whether Simpson is guilty, public reaction to his death highlights an emerging social media trend of users posting memes or joking excessively about controversial celebrity deaths.

Emily Hester, a freshman studying electrical engineering, gives her opinion on this phenomenon.

“I think people respond this way on the internet because whether or not a controversial celebrity has been proven to have done that controversial thing, it’s almost a form of solace for a lot of members of society,” Hester said.

Hester said she also makes jokes when grieving so “it’s a way to make light of something scary.”

Queen Elizabeth II and Henry Kissinger are other controversial public figures who have had memes and jokes created after their deaths. Queen Elizabeth II died Sept. 8, 2022, when she was 96 years old. An article by New York Magazine provided many examples of posts made by X users, who joked about or made hateful comments about the former queen and royal family.

One example is a post by an X user named Justin Baragona of a video of a CNN reporter asking a British woman about Queen Elizabeth II’s death. The woman being interviewed adds she is not “the biggest fan of the queen” because of “British colonial history” and “quite shady” things like Prince Andrew.

Kissinger died Nov. 29, 2023, at the age of 100. He was also met with a flood of memes and jokes related to his death. According to a Dazed article, “The long-awaited death of Henry Kissinger has been an internet meme for years, and now it’s finally happened.”

The article provides readers with a Henry Kissinger-related meme example, using a post made by an X user named Evan Shapiro. The post shows Kissinger taking a BeReal photo while in hell.

Kissinger played a role in the U.S. bombing of Cambodia, which led to an estimated 150,000 civilian deaths. The same Dazed article states Kissinger has “also been accused of facilitating genocides in East Timor and Bangladesh, and scores of coups, death squads and assassinations in Latin America.”

When it comes to social media users reacting to controversial public figure deaths, comedy is often seen as a perfect manner for people to express their thoughts on each celebrity. The reception of each celebrity’s actions also led people to find solace in making fun of awful tragedies.


9 best bar specials in Athens

Many bars in Athens have unique food and drink menus with specials for students and locals to enjoy. Here’s a list of some of the best specials:


Located on 66 N. Court St., Stephen’s On Court has everyday food specials.

From Monday through Thursday, Stephen’s has a Happy Hour from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. During Happy Hour, patrons can get $2 off appetizers, 50 cents off bottled beer, $1 off glasses of wine and $2 off signature cocktails and martinis.

Each day of the week also has special food items. On Mondays, baked penne, a rib dinner and a choosable pasta special are available. On Tuesdays, patrons can choose either a buffalo chicken pasta, rib dinner or choosable pasta special.

Fettuccine alfredo with grilled chicken and $5 destroyers are Wednesday’s specials while chicken parmesan over linguine pasta with a choice of alfredo or marinara sauce is Thursday’s special.

Stephen’s brings white fish dinners as its special on Fridays.


Broney’s Alumni Grill is located at 7 W. Carpenter St. and has some of the best bang for your buck when you visit on Tuesdays for Taco Tuesday. The Tuesday specials include $1 tacos, $2 well tequila, $5 loaded margaritas, $4 regular margaritas and $2.50 imported Mexican beer.

On Wednesdays, the bar holds Wing it Wednesdays with bone-in wings for 75 cents and Blue Moon shorts for $2.50. Thursday has Electric Lemonades, Sex on the Beach and Long Island drinks for $3. Classic burgers are also $7 on Thursdays. Friday includes half-priced appetizers for Happy Hour and $5 fish bowls on Saturdays. On Sundays, the restaurant has $3 nachos.


Pitchers are the highlight of the week, and both of these bars have them for the midweek special. Pawpurr’s Bar, located at 37 N. Court St., has $5 liquor pitchers and $7 blackout pitchers on Wednesdays. Lucky’s Sports Tavern, located at 11 N. Court St., also has $5 liquor pitchers on Wednesdays.


Located at 32 N. Court St., The C.I. has drinks specials every day of the week. With a two-for-one and pitcher special every day, it would be surprising if one left without a buzz.

MONDAY: $4 Ultra pitcher, two for $4 tequila shots and $5 Mojitos

TUESDAY: $4 Labatt Blue Pitcher, two for $5

Vegas Bombs and $4 double well drinks

WEDNESDAY: $4 Miller pitcher, two for $5 Gordon Bombay and $5 double Pink Whitney Powerades

THURSDAY: $4 Coors Lite pitcher, two for $6 Little Beers and $6 Double Vodka Red Bull

FRIDAY: $4 PBR pitcher, two for $5 Dr. Pepper shots and $5 Tequila Sunrise

SATURDAY: $4 Budweiser pitcher, two for $5 Green Tea and $5 Dirty Shirley

SUNDAY: $6 Blue Moon pitcher, two for $3 Jolly Rancher shots and $12 Mimosa pitcher


Tony’s Tavern is located at 7 W. State St. and has lots of drink options for everyone. The drink menu is extensive with drafts, import bottles, craft bottles, seltzers, ciders, domestic beverages and non-alcoholic options. Happy Hour runs every day from open to 9 p.m. with 50 cents off everything.

MONDAY: Draft night with $.50 off all draft pints and $2.50 Well drinks

TUESDAY: 50 cents off Import & Craft bottles and cans

WEDNESDAY: $2 Domestics, $1.50 PBR or HiLife and $1.50 Hot Nuts

THURSDAY: Thursday is Ladies’ Night with ladies getting $.50 off all regularly priced drinks. Other specials for everyone include $3 Long Island Iced Teas and $1 Jell-O shots

SUNDAY: $4 Mimosas, $1.25 PBR or HiLife and $1.75 Hot Nuts


O-Hang is located at 63 N. Court St. and has a selection of food and drinks. Happy Hour is Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. with $2 domestic beers and well drinks.

On Sundays, patrons can get well rum for $1.50 and beer pitchers for $4. Mondays have well vodka for $1.50 and wine for $2 while Tuesdays have $1.50 well tequila and import beers for $2.

Karaoke night occurs every Wednesday at 9 p.m. with well whiskey drinks for $1.50 and root beer floats for $3.

Patrons can get Whiteclaws for $3 and Brainsompers for $3 on Thursdays. F-bombs are available for $3 on Fridays and well double drinks are available for $5 on Saturdays.


The Pigskin is located at 38 N. Court St. and has food and drink specials during the week. There is even a 20% discount OU students and Greek life members can receive on Mondays with their student ID or wearing Greek letters. The food specials are below:

TUESDAY: Patrons can get 50% off all halfpound specialty burgers with Pigskin Chips Wednesday: 1 lb. Boneless wings and Cauliflower wings $5.99

THURSDAY: House Specialties $7.99

Happy Hour also runs from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Pigskin with $2 Domestic beer, $4 craft beer, $2 well liquor, $3 call liquor and $3 Bombs. The drink specials during the week include:

MONDAYS: Mojitos are $3 with flavors mango, raspberry, dragonberry, pineapple and traditional to select from

TUESDAY: Wine Not? All wine is $3 with selections of Rose, Chardonnay and Cabernet

WEDNESDAY: $3 Spike lemonades, Long Islands and Georgia Peaches

THURSDAY: Black Widows and Red Deaths are $3

SUNDAY: From open to close, Mimosa pitchers or 16oz. Pitchers are $10 and 16 oz are $3. Domestic Beer Fishbowls are $3.


Located at 85 N. Court St., Courtside is a great delicious meal and drink option. Courtside sells pizza by the slice for a quick snack at the bar.

MONDAY: $6 domestic pitchers, $8.49 14inch one-topping dine-in pizza and $9.49 14inch one-topping take-out pizza

TUESDAY: $3 Whiteclaws, $3 any well drink double, $3 slushies, $7.99 special 10-inch pizza and $13.99 special 14-inch pizza

WEDNESDAY: $2.50 Blue Moon drafts, $3 any Crown, $3 any Ketel One and $1 slice night

THURSDAY: $3 casino night drinks, $3 Jamesons, $2 domestic bottles, $3 Red Bull drinks and 14-inch with two toppings and breadsticks for $12.99

FRIDAY: $4 Mimosa specials 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., 14-inch with one topping with breadsticks and a 2-liter soda for $12.99.

SATURDAY: $4 Mimosa special 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

SUNDAY: $15 domestic beer buckets, $7.99 14-inch one-topping dine-in.

20 / APRIL 24, 2024

‘The Tortured Poets Department’ is an immersive ride through vulnerability

Taylor Swift has again made a dramatic musical entrance with her eleventh studio album, “The Tortured Poets Department.” The album’s announcement came as a surprise on Feb. 4 at the Grammy’s, with fans previously speculating about the rerelease of Swift’s “reputation.”

The shock continued after its release on April 19, as Swift delivered the promised album and a secret 2 a.m. edition, titled “The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology.” It came with 15 additional songs, culminating in a 31-track masterpiece for the new era. This unique release strategy is a testament to Swift’s creativity and ability to keep her fans on their toes.

The album’s starter track, “Fortnight,” featuring Post Malone, also serves as a lead single. The track details an affair between neighbors, seemingly continuing with Swift’s themes in “folklore” and “evermore” as her songwriting bridges reality and fiction. The song also talks of drinking problems, using substances and being a functioning alcoholic.

Swift comes out swinging with this track. While Malone unfortunately does not get a verse, their voices blend well in the melancholy track. After its release, “Fortnight” quickly gained fans’ attention and is now No. 1 on Spotify’s Top 50 Global chart. A music video was also released for the song, which now has over 34 million views. While the song faces public success, it would have been better with more collaboration on the verses from Post Malone.

Another collaboration on the album is “Florida!!!” featuring Florence + The Machine. In contrast to “Fortnight,” Florence Welch’s powerful vocals appear in a verse as she makes her mark on the track. The drumbeat of the chorus is unique to the album, as the two harmonize and sing of Florida, making it one of the standouts on the album.

With the release of “TTPD,” fans speculated who the album would be about: Swift’s new boyfriend Travis Kelce, ex-situationship Matty Healy or ex-boyfriend Joe Alwyn. But as Swift has proved time and time again, her talent goes far beyond who she is and has dated.

Track 10, “Who’s Afraid of Little Old Me?,” encapsulates this with Swift discussing how her fame has affected her. The track is bold and edgy, with Swift screaming the chorus, exemplifying the reclaiming of her power amid constant criticism in the media.

Swift pays homage to a similar female star and silent film actress, Clara Bow. In the song “Clara Bow,” Swift mentions her and Fleetwood Mac singer Stevie Nicks. It is a slower track and relaxed melody, paying homage to the women who came before and after. Its catchy chorus stands out from slower songs on the album like “Cassandra” and “Peter,” which are both skippable.

While Swift’s love life is not the only exciting aspect of her music, it certainly is part of this album. To fans’ surprise, many songs hint at Swift’s “situationship” with Healy, The 1975’s lead singer.

The titular track, “The Tortured Poet’s Department,” alludes to Healy and masquerades as a catchy pop song filled with producer Jack Antonoff’s classic synth instrumentals.

Swift discusses the aspects of a partner she now loathes, mentioning his appreciation for typewriters ending up at parties. She even shouts out singer Charlie Puth, as the story


goes he “should be a bigger artist.” Fans quickly determined this song was about Healy because he mentioned in a 2018 GQ video he appreciated typewriters and tweeted about his love for Puth.

The album holds a negative view of Healy as “I Can Fix Him (No Really I Can)” nods toward a “bad boy” reputation in a partner. With a similar style used by The 1975 in the song’s title, it seems Healy is the bad boy. “The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived,” hints toward Healy in its title.

Alwyn also makes an appearance in this album with “So Long, London” referencing the loss of Swift’s previously described “London Boy” in her “Lover” album. Another song, “loml,” also mentions the loss of Swift’s life with the actor, seemingly jabbing at the pair’s breakup.

Kelce and Swift’s fairytale romance is referenced in “So High School” as Swift sings about a partner who “knows ball” and plays the game. Swift also questions if her partner is going to marry, kiss or kill her — a reference to Kelce’s old interview playing this exact game. The song is sweet, old-school romantic and shows her happiness with Kelce. The second to last song, “The Alchemy,” sings the tune of a pure, once-in-alifetime love, reminiscent of the pair’s connection.

Some other stand-out tracks on the album include “thanK

you aIMee.” Many think it is about Kim Kardashian due to the capitalized letters and lyrics about a bully. “I Can Do It With a Broken Heart” is about Swift continuing to perform during her “Eras Tour” despite her breakup with Alwyn. “But Daddy I Love Him” has an addicting tune, and Swift breaks the fourth wall by teasing fans she is pregnant. She then details in the song that she is not with “you should see your faces.”

“The Manuscript” is the last song in the composed collection and is easily forgettable; however, it perfectly wraps up the album, showing how Swift reflects on what she did in the past as she moves on to a new chapter. The album’s second half is produced primarily by The National band member, Aaron Dessner. The song’s creativity is stunning and a bow ties the 31 tracks together.

Overall, “The Tortured Poets Department” is a well-done release by Swift. Although the track list is heavy, Swift’s songwriting is introspective and captivating. Few people in the industry can create like Swift can. Even though she is ever-evolving, her music will always excel.

22 / APRIL 24, 2024

Popular artists revamp their style through rebranding

JoJo Siwa, once known for her sparkly rainbow merch and flamboyant, juvenile outfits, is attempting to turn over a new leaf. It is certainly garnering a lot of attention, just not necessarily positive attention. Many have deemed it cringy and have not embraced it.

However, Siwa is not the first artist to completely change her image — despite what she says in her interview with Billboard. Rebranding is a relatively common phenomenon in the music industry, used when an artist wants to reinvent their style or sound.

Miley Cyrus rebranded similarly to Siwa. The two moved from child stardom to a much more adult-centric image. However, rather than attempting a more goth-inspired look, she switched to a super raunchy style. Additionally, Cyrus’ shift was rife with publicity stunts in addition to scandalous music videos and an occasional paparazzi picture, such as her notorious 2013 MTV Video Music Awards performance.

Cyrus then completely changed her image for her 2017 album “Younger Now.” Rather than her previous “sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll” style, she shifted to a softer and more mature image. Her sound later shifted to a more rock-oriented, yet still mature, musical style and look on 2020’s “Plastic Hearts.”

However, a rebrand does not necessarily mean a simple change from a child star to an adult musician. Others have rebranded to switch genres and change their images in adulthood, such as Beyoncé.

For the first two decades of her career, Beyoncé mostly released R&B, soul and pop songs. However, she recently took inspiration from her Texas roots and released a country album, titled ”COWBOY CARTER,” in 2024.

The rebrand signals a switch in the music industry in which country music has become incredibly mainstream, mixing into the pop charts. Additionally, when an international superstar switches genres, it can signal to other artists that it might be a good idea to dabble in different musical styles.

Beyoncé was not the first to do something like this either. Gwen Stefani started out in the ska-punk band No Doubt in 1987. However, she eventually went solo in 2004. Her

debut album “Love Angel Music Baby” was wildly different from No Doubt’s rock roots. It was much more pop and hip-hop-inspired, allowing Stefani to differentiate herself from her role as the band’s frontwoman.

Rebranding can also mean something other than switching genres or differentiating oneself from another project. It can also signal a new era for an artist that will allow them to make shifts in their sound and reach new audiences.

An artist who is notorious for this is Taylor Swift. Whether you love her or hate her, it is undeniable how her endless rebrands have helped make her a global superstar. In the past 10 years, each album has become

indicative of a new era for her, oftentimes with a distinct sound appealing to different listeners.

For example, her 2020 sister albums “folklore” and “evermore” have a more folk-inspired sound. Contrarily, 2022’s “Midnights” was defined by glittery synths and late-night imagery. Swift brought in new audiences with 2017’s “reputation,” which took on a much darker sound than the pop star had done previously.

However, rebranding for a new sound and a new audience is not new either. Another artist who was well known for his eras — though they were not necessarily called that — was David Bowie. Throughout the

1970s and 1980s, Bowie changed his image and musical style depending on the album, taking inspiration from rock, pop, soul and glam rock to create musical characters such as Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane and the Thin White Duke.

Rebrands are a consistent phenomenon in music. Artists will always be rebranding and changing their image and style in order to stay relevant, gain new audiences and experiment musically.

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