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December 6, 2019 • Issue 4 • Volume 7 •

PHOTO BY Celeste Fendt







2 • December 6, 2019






Editorial Staff



Editorial ith “the most wonderful time of the year” quickly approaching, malls become more crowded aND the lines become long with children anxiously waiting to take pictures with Santa Claus and tell him what they want for Christmas. While many people teach their children to believe in the jolly old man said to bring presents down the chimney each year, there are also many who do not practice this tradition, whether for moral or ethical reasons, or personal preference. According to a Pew Research poll, in 2013 69% of parents with one or more children under 18 would tell their kids that Santa Claus visited. Jeff Bilbro, English professor at Spring Arbor University (SAU), said, “I don’t see any moral problems with [Santa Claus] but we don’t believe in him in my home.” Mark Edwards, associate professor of history, also said, “I don’t think kids should be indoctrinated into Santa Claus. It just confuses them and teaches them to be ‘good’ to get presents. There’s better times and ways to introduce kids into worlds of magic and wonder.” Matt Hill, associate professor of philosophy, said, “My kids aren’t the sharpest pencils in the drawer— call it bad genes. Because of this, I choose to keep their life simple and not tell them lies. What if they got confused about their hopeful waiting for a historical figure that they can’t see (Santa) with another historical figure that they can’t see (Jesus). I want them to trust me on those issues. Call me crazy! Also, and more importantly, I paid for those gifts. I don’t want that bearded freak (Santa) to take credit.” According to PBS, Santa is just one of many myths that children believe, especially during the early years of their lives, so with their make-believe friends, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy, the Santa story does not seem that out of line. But some also consider the idea to be morally or ethically wrong because technically, it could be seen as a deliberate lie. However, some may overlook this lie because many other people do it, and because some would say, it is not doing them any harm but bringing them some joy.

The Pulse Staff & Contributors 2019-2020 Editor-in-Chief Celeste Fendt

Sales Manager Kaelyn Hale

Design Editor Celeste Fendt

Sales Representative Caytie Sprague

Associate Editor Caralyn Geyer

Designers Marissa Auxier Caralyn Geyer

Section Editor Jared Boekenhauer

Other Contributers Rylie Hasselbach

Staff Writers Ellie Brugger Christina Cherian Caitlin Douglas Jewell Hall Luke Richardson Brittany Roemer Kerrie Sparling Conner Williams Sarah Williams

December 6, 2019 •



New SAFMC Pastor: Kaye Kolde Jared Boekenhauer | Section Editor


he Spring Arbor Free Methodist Church (SAFMC) hired new head pastor, Kaye Kolde, this past summer. Pastor Kaye worked as a pastor in the Free Methodist denomination in Washington state before making the transition to the SAFMC. Pastor Kaye received a call from Free Methodist Superintendent, Bruce Rhodes, last December asking her to consider the job in Spring Arbor. “I was in a really thriving church, and my husband had a wonderful job, and I had my second child just graduating high school last year, so I hadn’t been thinking of leaving, but the phone call started the whole process, and then basically following the Lord,” said Pastor Kaye. Pastor Kaye grew up in Eastern Pennsylvania and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania. She received an undergraduate degree in sociology and history, and later received a master’s degree in education. She did not have plans in college to pursue being a pastor. “I didn’t know Jesus until I was graduating college, so I didn’t grow up in a Christian home and didn’t go to church, so at that point I was really wrestling with wanting to be in education but honestly feeling like that wasn’t going to pay enough. I was borrowing a lot of money to go to school and so that was the place where I was when I was just starting to seek God and ask questions about who Jesus was,” said Pastor Kaye. One of the most difficult parts of the transition was being away from her


friends in Washington, and being away from the lakes, rivers and mountains that she enjoyed during the summer. Pastor Kaye said one of her favorite parts about Spring Arbor is the close ties between Spring Arbor University (SAU) and the church. “I was really interested when I first got the phone call in the fact that the church does sit across the street from the university, so that probably is my favorite part that there’s some synergies, there’s some life between the two places,” said Pastor Kaye. She said she is looking forward to going to sporting events at SAU and hanging out on the SAU campus. • December 6, 2019


Jewell Hall | Staff Writer The most wonderful time of the year is near. As the end of the semester draws to an end, students and faculty are getting in the Christmas spirit. As the Christmas season approaches, there are numerous holiday traditions celebrated. For many, these traditions are part of the reason we look forward to celebrating this time of year. Participating in these traditions bring joyous memories to look back on. Some of our traditions stay with us for a lifetime, while other traditions are ones that we make along our journey. Throughout campus, students shared their favorite holiday traditions that they are looking forward to the most during the holidays.

“We have a ping pong tournament and a Christmas cookie contest.” –Grace Cotter, freshman

“We go out hunting for the holidays. It’s nice being away from everything and being in the nature waiting for some deer.” –Chance Vroman, senior

“Every year my family all sleeps by the fireplace on Christmas Eve.” –Kenzie Weener, junior

“We have a Christmas party at my mom’s and we binge watch Harry Potter.” –Katie Krell, senior

“We make a ‘Happy Birthday Jesus Cake’ and eat it Christmas Eve after the service. It’s always a chocolate pudding cake.” –Zach Weidman, senior


SAU Christmas Traditions

“Decorating the Christmas Tree, we have so many ornaments, that we have to put them in a rotation. Each time we have an ornament, we reminisce about it each ornament, because each one has a unique memory.” –Conner Michael, senior

Holiday traditions might not all look the same for everyone. Yet, each of these activities hold a special place in the hearts of many as they gather to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Upon entering the holiday season, be reminded of the purpose to celebrate, and cherish those who we are able to spend time with, creating memories through old and new traditions.

December 6, 2019 •



Hanging of the Greens: An Ongoing Tradition at SAU Kerrie Sparling | Staff Writer


s the semester winds down, final exams draw ever closer. But final exams aren’t the only thing on the minds of students and professors. The holidays are fast approaching, and with them comes the feeling of Christmas. Spring Arbor University (SAU) begins the celebration of the Christmas season with the Hanging of the Greens. According to the SAU website, the event “is a time for the SAU community and friends to gather and experience the amazing sights and sounds of Christmas.” The Hanging of the Greens is a free event open to both the SAU community and the public. The tradition of the Hanging of the Greens began back in 2001. The university underwent a time of growth and expansion under the leadership of Dr. Gayle Beebe, who served as SAU president from 2000-2007.


Dr. Dan Runyon, a professor of English and Communications at SAU, said Beebe “had this romantic idea of snow at Christmas with sleigh rides and fireworks, etc.” Beebe put this idea into motion with the first annual Hanging of the Greens, and “the program has stayed much the same ever since.” Hanging of the Greens starts off with a concert presented by SAU students in the Spring Arbor Free Methodist Church. This performance is followed by a candle-lighting ceremony where participants are encouraged to partake in singing a Christmas carol and to watch the subsequent fireworks. Once the ceremony has concluded, there are a variety of activities which people may enjoy and participate in. This includes eating treats and drinking hot chocolate in the Dining Commans. Families can take their children to the Ralph Carey Forum (RCF) room to decorate Christmas cookies, make • December 6, 2019

balloon animals, and get a chance to visit with Santa Claus. Children can also listen to stories being read-aloud by education students and participate in related activities. Students and families can take a ride throughout campus on horse-drawn wagons any time during the evening. There will also be an opportunity to look at student artwork which can be viewed in the Ganton Art Gallery. Families and students can participate in a silent auction which will be raising money for Action Jackson, a program which allows SAU students to mentor local K-12 students in the Jackson area. People will have an opportunity to bid on different gift cards and gift baskets. The auction will take place outside the RCF. Hanging of the Greens will start at 7pm on Friday, December 6th. All are welcome to attend.


Professor Profile: Marisa Carpenter Chris Cherian | Staff Writer Marisa Carpenter is an adjunct has only been here for a few months, she which she finds is the “answer to life.” Spanish professor who is new to Spring has observed that people are a lot more Arbor University (SAU). She began her friendly and less “heads down” at SAU. She has read the Litany of Humility higher education career at Michigan State “There’s a really different vibe here… and believes it frees us from the desire University (MSU) for her undergraduate even over the phone, and looking at the for gratification and relieves much of degree as well as her master’s, but website. People aren’t just trying to ‘get the stress that people feel to be accepted she moved to Wisconsin to complete through.’ It feels like people are more and like they are special, which can make her PhD in Hispanic Linguistics and mindful, people are more aware of those life a little easier especially during such a the development of Latin American around them and happy to be here,” pivotal time in their life. varieties. Carpenter said. Carpenter hopes to remain a professor Although she started her She enjoys working with students, it here at SAU and to continue playing a undergraduate program as a pre-med makes her remember her own time in role in students’ lives during their time at student, it didn’t take her long to realize college. But in addition to the fun, she also SAU and their transition into being selfher love for languages, especially Spanish, relates to the stress that students feel and sufficient adults. which led to her change in majors, as well can help them because she understands as an entirely new career path. the struggles that they have and the Carpenter studied abroad numerous conflicts that they feel in their college times and enjoyed it immensely. Her days. She tries to teach humility, favorite memories are from when she studied in Morocco, especially an overnight desert run that she participated in. She and her husband, Pete, lived in Wisconsin for 10 years, but felt pulled People [at SAU] aren’t just back to Michigan trying to ‘get through.’ It feels after they had their two children. She like people are more mindful, began to work at Henry people are more aware of Ford as an adjunct and she worked there until those around them and happy this year, when she to be here” began at SAU. Since September, Marissa Carpenter she has noticed a few differences between the communities here at SAU and Henry Ford. Even though she


December 6, 2019 •



The History of Muffitt Hall Celeste Fendt | Editor-in-Chief Muffitt Hall was constructed on the Spring Arbor Seminary and Junior College campus in 1941 under President LeRoy M. Lowell. This residence hall was built to provide housing for the female students on campus. It replaced the Women’s Building, which was built in 1846 and torn down almost 100 years later due to its dilapidated condition. Muffitt was officially dedicated on the day of Commencement the year after it was built, June 7, 1942. The building’s name honored Reverend William C. Muffitt and his wife, Julia. The reverend, also known as Brother Muffitt, and his wife were enthusiastic supporters of Spring Arbor. They impacted the lives of many students during the 50 years that Brother Muffitt served as the pastor of the Spring Arbor Free Methodist Church. The reverend also served 50 years on the Board of Trustees, and never once missed

a board meeting. The husband and wife paid for the tuition and housing expenses for 68 students during their time in Spring Arbor. Some students contributed partially to their own expenses, but education at Spring Arbor would not have been possible for any of the 68 students without the contributions of the Muffitts. Many of these students lived in Muffitt during their schooling. Muffitt Hall was originally intended to house 50 women. The President’s Office, Registrar’s Office and Assessment Center were also located in Muffitt. The school cafeteria was also located in the basement of the building. The dormitory received several renovations and upgrades over the years, including the addition of new lounge furniture and venetian blinds and drapes in 1943. This upgrade was a gift from the class of 1937 along with other donors.

When the Hugh and Edna White Library was constructed in 2002, it was designed to mirror Muffitt’s pitched roof and gables. Muffitt Hall housed Spring Arbor women through the end of the 2016-17 academic year. According to the video shared by President Brent Ellis regarding the decision to demolish the building, Muffitt and Ormston no longer served the needs or wants of current students. After examination by structural engineers, it was concluded that Muffitt Hall’s foundation had irreparable damage. The building was demolished over the course of several weeks beginning on October 22, 2019. The area where Muffitt once stood will now be transformed into an extension of the plaza. A memorial to Muffitt will also be constructed.


PHOTOS FROM Library Archives

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2019 PHOTO FROM Facebook

December 6, 2019 •



Operation Ethical Outreach Ellie Brugger | Staff Writer


s the Christmas season approaches, nights get colder and we are often reminded of people who might be struggling to get by. This often inspires giving, and in Christian circles there are many opportunities to make an impact in your hometown or abroad. A popular organization called Operation Christmas Child has packed around 168 million shoeboxes since 1990 to send to children in developing countries, full of small toiletries and trinkets along with evangelism papers and pamphlets. Many churches, schools and even individuals participate in this program with the goal of sharing the good news alongside their gifts for the less fortunate. However, the Operation Christmas Child program has some downfalls,which begs the question if they are a program worth your time and money. The Christmas we know as evangelicals in the western world is different than the celebration that occurs on the other side of the globe. The idea of gifts and Santa Claus do not transcend cultural barriers.


In fact, some communities that receive these gifts do not celebrate Christmas or know about the holiday at all. Another fracture between the goal of this ministry and its outcome are the items that are carefully packaged and prayed over. Once the shoeboxes of toys, socks and toothbrushes arrive, local shops and families are unable to sell the similar products they have. This is harmful to their businesses and causes the local economy to struggle. What is intended to be helpful for the kids is then harmful for the adults. Perspective is also important to consider when participating in charities. If you place a band-aid on a wound that needs stitches, it is merely a temporary solution that will end up being more challenging to solve. Global poverty is that wound and Operation Christmas Child is merely a band aid. It will require educated people to properly mend the wound, meaning those who are familiar with the local nuances are needed to provide insight on what services or resources are most helpful for the community in question. Grassroots • December 6, 2019

movements typically address this issue by working with local people to come up with a comprehensive plan for improvement. Participating in Operation Christmas Child is by no means a “bad” thing to do. After all, isn’t something better than nothing? But as the saying goes “if you give a man a fish, he’ll eat for a day. But teach a man to fish and you’ll feed him for a lifetime.” The supplies a person buys to send overseas could be given to someone in their community. If you bought a shoebox full of small hygiene products and winter accessories, you could seriously impact a person who is homeless in your city. The money could be spent on donating period products to a women’s shelter or middle school. The toys could be donated to a local charity that gives back to a family you may well be connected to. The shipping costs could be redirected to driving to a local food shelter to volunteer serving or making beds on a weekend.

Features This is not to discredit the needs of those in other communities worldwide. However, the same amount of money and effort you give to helping someone who is unaware of your traditions, could be spent on giving back to those in need in your community. With knowledge comes power, and as people who have been blessed with time and money to spare, it is crucial that this power is used for good. The knowledge about the negative effects of Operation Christmas Child may initially be discouraging to those who have loyally participated. Ultimately, it is up to the individual whether or not to continue participating, but the good news is that there are many other organizations deserving of your time and money that you can partner with instead.

also sell creative cards to explain their mission. Calacea Farm, Not for Sale This farm employs people who would otherwise be caught in sex trafficking and other forms of modern-day slavery. They sell t-shirts that they make, using the money to support the farm’s expenses and pay their employees. Women for Women International This organization goes into post war countries and educates women so they can make a living to support themselves and their families, and in turn teach other women in the community to do the same. It is a grassroots organization, so the people who are being helped are the ones with the most input on what they need and how to go about things. This makes for a sustainable organization.

Heifer International This organizations gives animals to families in need, giving them a source of food and income. A donation can be given in the name of someone you would otherwise get a gift for, and the donation will be used to purchase an animal. They

December 6, 2019 •



December Poll

Should Christmas songs be played before Thanksgiving?

Dressing or stuffing?

Are you getting coal this year?

When do you put up your Christmas tree? Who should be the next host of Almost Chapel? “Larry the Lizard” “Armless Brian Kono” “Dark Mouglass” “Tommee Smith”

12 • December 6, 2019

Celeste Fendt | Editor-in-Chief


The Night Before Finals

Twas the night before finals, when all through the dorms Every creature was stirring, even students of Professor Storm’s. The assignments were submitted in Blackboard with care, In hopes that passing grades soon would be there; The professors were nestled all snug in their beds; While visions of winter break danced in their heads; And my roommate in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap, Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap, When there on my laptop arose such a clatter, I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter. The familiar noise of a new message rang out, It must have been an email from my professor, no doubt. Away to my desk I flew like a flash, Tore open my computer and screamed, “This is trash!” When what to my wondering eyes did appear, But a message from Dr. Bilbro that said, “Why weren’t you here?” Ah yes, our final was this morning, not tomorrow like I assumed, I knew in a moment my grades would be doomed.

December 6, 2019 •


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Sarah Williams | Staff Writer


pring Arbor University’s (SAU) men’s bowling team received 1st out of 11 and the women’s bowling team received 2nd out of 10 at the Toledo Classic tournament. Male bowler, Joshua Richardson, said there are eight bowlers on the men’s team, and all are returning players. Brown said there are 12 bowlers on the women’s team, 10 are returners and two are first time players. Before their Toledo Classic tournament on November 23, Richardson said if they are consistent with their shots, pick up their spares and start off strong they could win. Brown said the adopted structure of practice and Coach Lobell’s preparation has been significant in the team’s success. “…if it weren’t for the determination and cooperation of the team as a whole, as well as the grace of God, we would not be where we are today,” Brown said. According to Richardson, they practice Monday and Wednesday. They also practice on Thursday if they have a tournament or Friday if they don’t. They are required to bowl two sets of four games every week on their own time. Brown said her favorite tournament of this year was the Toledo Classic. She enjoyed cheering and laughing with her friends. Richardson said his favorite highlight of the season was when he bowled a 279 backer game during the WHAC tournament on October 5th. Dylan Benthy, Zach White and him

placed top 20 out of 127 bowlers. “I enjoy bowling because it is


Bowling Team Updates

“ ”

If it weren’t for the determination and cooperation of the team as a whole, as well as the grace of God, we would be not where we are today.

a fun sport to play and I am surrounded by all of my friends so that is definitely a plus,” Richardson said.

PHOTO provided by SAU Athletics

December 6, 2019•


Sports 16

JeffAthlete Beckman of the Month Brittany Roemer | Staff Writer


s the first semester of his senior year comes close to the end, Jeff Beckman is looking forward to another basketball season with his teammates, especially after winning the National Championship last year. Beckman started playing basketball 16 years ago when his older brother started to play and his dad, being the coach, put him on the team. As he grew up, he continued playing basketball, but also played golf, baseball, football and ran track. After high school, he decided to just focus on basketball because he had been playing it the longest and because he loved it. Since joining the Spring Arbor University (SAU) men’s basketball team, he has learned a lot from his academics, the team and his coaches. He has also won a National Championship, which he hopes to do again this year, all while glorifying Jesus. “Winning that championship last year was a huge achievement. It made me feel like all my hard work actually payed off. There is nothing like winning the last game of the season,” Beckman said. He mentally and physically prepares for practice and games by “striving to do extra workouts outside of what is required.” In this time, he tries to be super intentional and workout with a plan. He wants to use his

preparedness to help the team win another national championship and

“ ”

Jesus is the ultimate example of selfless hard work,” Beckman said.

...goals need to be SMART. Specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-oriented. Jeff Beckman

see the SAU men’s basketball team be characterized for their love of Jesus Christ. He hopes to achieve these goals using the strategies his father taught him as a kid. “My dad instilled in me at a young age that goals need to be SMART. Specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time -oriented. I have always set goals in this way but also add an action step to each. This action step gives me somethingto do every day in order to achieve a longterm goal,” Beckman said. “I hope that anyone who reads this sees that Jesus Christ is way more important than sports. We think we as athletes work hard, but • December 6, 2019

PHOTO provided by SAU Athletics

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