COMMENTARY THE WABASH
ADVANCING EST.1993 1993 ADVANCINGIDEAS IDEAS&&INSIGHTS INSIGHTS ABOUT ABOUT TRADITIONAL TRADITIONAL WABASH, WABASH, EST.
SENATUS POPULUSQUE WABASHENSUS
COMMENTARY THE WABASH
E ditor -I n -C hief B randon J ohnson ‘19 E ditor -I n -A bsentia Nolan Callecod ’19 S taff
Jared Cottingham ’18 John Newton ‘18 Jacob Roehm ‘18 Logan Taylor ‘18 Brennan Davenport ‘19 David Thomas ‘19 Austin Yeomans ‘20 C ontributor S elena V an B aber
5| What is in a Gentleman?
by Brennan Davenport ‘19
9| Choose Your Own Finals Week by TWC Staff
11| The Loss of the Reserve by Logan Taylor ‘18
13| A Verry Jerry Christmas by Jared Cottingham ‘19
16| For Rent
by TWC Staff
Want to voice your concerns? Do you have a burning criticism? A consonant voice to lend? We publish letters to the editor: email@example.com Subscriptions inquiries: The Wabash Commentary The Wabash Commentary is published by the Foundation for a Traditional Wabash, Ltd., and is distributed free to Wabash Students (limit two copies per person). Donate $25.00 or more and receive a subscription! All contributions should be made payable to the“Foundation for a Traditional Wabash.” The Wabash Commentary is a member of the Indiana Collegiate Press Association (ICPA) and the Collegiate Network. Special thanks to the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, Leadership Institute, Young America’s Foundation and USBIC.
Who We Are: The Wabash Commentary (TWC) is a student-run journal of news and opinion dedicated to advancing ideas and insights about Traditional Wabash. Since its inception in 1993, TWC has fiercely maintained its editorial independence, free of administration or faculty control, not beholden to any social, partisan, or religious agenda. Drawing from both classical liberal and traditionalist thought, TWC’s mission is to foster rational discussion in the common pursuit of Scientiae et Virtuti, on campus and beyond.
Epistula Editoris Salvete Amici, Often we forget the influence the administration has on the culture of the campus. As it makes the rules, we must adapt to them, change the ways we interact with one another and the way we carry ourselves. As the rules change, so must we, and so must the College. Similarly, we often ignore the influence students – particularly student organizations – hold over the way campus runs. Individuals may not carry much weight, but hardly any of us is simply an individual. We are all a part of something more than just ourselves, which affects more than just ourselves. No man is an island. Similar to Rome, the progression of our history is held by both the people and the Senate – or in our case, the students and our governing bodies, such as the administration. The decadence of the Roman people led to a decline in culture, and a decline in the state, and it was the poor decisions and overexpansion of the Roman State that opened the Empire to its downfall. We have seen the culture of the campus change through the actions of both the students and the administration – sometimes for better, sometimes for worse. We have also seen our student body – through its own organizations and governing systems – grow in culture and resources through discretion, however now it appears as though we are watching what was once built up get torn down due to decadence and indiscretion. Although it may appear as though we are more inclusive and more culturally advanced than before, I find that we, like the Romans, have become far too spread out – wide as an ocean, but deep as a puddle. I hope that our history proves to have a better ending.
Depauw delenda est,
Cheers Jeers Jeers to Halloween at Wabash for
just religious vagrants if you hadn’t propaganda and, most likely, capitalist invoking fear well beyond the norm. outlined the proper place of the Monon schemes. Take it to the classifieds, capitalist worm. No fear can compare to the notes in Bell with red velvet guard railings. your desk drawer whispering you have Jeers to the Putnam County Jeers to DePauw students for exiting an exam tomorrow. Prosecutor, Tom Bookwalter. While the stands before the game was over. your prosecution of Wabash’s Bell We’re sure you all had somewhere Cheers to Don Morel and his brass sack for going for the two-point Heisters was fair, that bow-tie is better to be. conversion, bringing Wabash the win criminal. Cheers to lawyer and alumnus Mario during the Fall 2017 Monon Bell game. Cheers to Frat Cat. God rest ye, merry Massillamany for being an inspiration gentleman. to little Wallies everywhere after Cheers to students starting alladmitting to his involvement in Project campus email arguments. Your Cheers to the Latin tutor for not Frijoles on television. passion feeds our fires. having hours on Thanksgiving. Or any Jeers to this year’s shirt designs for other day this semester, for that matter. Jeers to whoever ran over FratCat. Our hearts are forever filled with inciting illegal activity. The Uncle Sam version of Wally cried out “bring back Jeers to the EQ curriculum. The sorrow due to your reckless driving. the Bell,” and Wabash’s Bell Heisters beatings will continue until the book We hope you get towed, or worse. selection improves. heeded that call. Cheers to the football team for Cheers to the Bell heisters for their bringing the Bell back. No, seriously, Cheers to PHO. We’re sure all those free snacks at your “callout” will drag bipartisanship. Next year, we’ll honor we mean it. all the alcoholics and drug abusers out your conviction with a symbolic Monon Bell heist. Jeers to the Monon Bell for no of the woodwork. longer allowing freshmen to drink Cheers to Comrade Amidon for from it. It’s Tradition, you don’t have Cheers to the Freshmen for guarding the Platonic form of the Monon Bell. silencing capitalist pigs in email war. to agree with it. We would have thought you were 45 minutes is too long for capitalist
Got Opinions? We can help!
Contact us at : thewabashcommentary @ gmail . com 4 - The Wabash Commentary
C h i va l r y
What is in a Gentleman? B y B rennan D avenport | bcdavenp 19@ wabash . edu We here at the Commentary are known for our love of a Traditional Wabash, vitriol notwithstanding. Our collective adoration of our beloved institution gives us ample motivation to jump and sarcastically golf-clap at whatever missteps we perceive within the administration, be it faculty or student-run. This type of behavior, while caustic at times, serves as a good starting point for a lot of potential discussion at Wabash. This typically has taken the form of criticism that can
moment in a man’s day-to-day business. As the foundation for a value system, the Gentleman’s Rule subtly helps dictate the behavior of every man that has set foot on Wabash’s hallowed grounds for even a semester. We find ourselves near the end of the year, and almost 4 months removed from the start of the semester. Our studies weigh on our minds as heavy as Eli Lilly’s bronze bust, as students mill to and from the library in a fever. And yet, by what intent is this feverish
states, “The student is expected to conduct himself at all times, both on and off campus, as a gentleman and a responsible citizen.” It can be seen first that the rule deals with the conduct of its constituents, explicitly making itself a rule regarding the behavior of the students which adhere to its principles. Next, at all times is very explicit with its meaning, and perhaps the most important of these phrases. Both on and off campus strikes one as semantics that the administration
The Gentleman’s Rule is intended as a basis for agreement, not disagreement, so by falling into contention it becomes trying to have constructive discussion over any other topic when an integral part of the Wabash academic sphere is in flux.
be mulled over quietly with a friend, decried from the rooftops, mentioned in a class discussion, or anywhere in between. However, there comes a time when reflection is preferred to reproach. When we feel the need to step back and take a look at what makes this college so beautiful. Let us take a moment and re-examine one of the principal tenants of Wabash: The Gentleman’s Rule. With finals looming on the horizon, this moment of reflection may provide ample break from holding our heads in our hands re-thinking all the time we may have wasted leading up to the day of tests, and push us into a mindset conducive to pulling oneself up by the pajama pants and beginning to study frantically for that exam. Grievances aside, a reminder of how a gentleman is to conduct himself is an invaluable
action driven? Academics would be the first thing that jumps to mind, but there is something underlying this answer, underlying all intellectual progress at Wabash. This is what I am trying to unearth, and this is what we must reflect upon in days such as these where public discourse has suffered and we must rely more and more on our core value system at Wabash to sort out the general mess. Luckily for us, this doesn’t seem to be too much of a problem around here. It is my belief that this subtle order and civility has to do with the Gentleman’s Rule. And in order for us, as Wabash men, to better understand this, we must analyze the root of our behavior. Examine the Gentleman’s rule, its wording, explicit qualities, and implicit qualities. According to our college website, the Gentleman’s rule
put there to emphasize the previous point, not unlike laws put in place that makes one question the situation that prompted their implementation. A responsible citizen is in much a similar vein. However, the least implicit part is ironically the simplest, the gentleman part. This part carries enough connotation to run the entire English and Philosophy department combined. Connotatively, the Gentleman’s Rule becomes more difficult to nail down. It is at this point we look to the wisdom of others, namely professors and administrators, to supplement our definitions and interpretations. When interpreting the “gentlemanly” connotations of the Gentleman’s Rule, our own Dr. Blix offers an anecdote, among many other things, to provide analogy. He references a point
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sometime in the 1990s when Student Senate hosted a presentation in Baxter, with an open invitation to, namely, the international students to help interpret the Gentleman’s Rule. Specifically, they were asked to translate the Gentleman’s Rule into their own native tongues, and observe the results from an interpretive standpoint. In the end, Dr. Blix remarks, French and particularly Spanish comes closest to an accurate portrayal, but all seemed to stumble with a good word for ‘gentleman.’ Spanish approximated it with the term ‘el caballero,’ (gentleman, knight, sir, cavalier). But, again, it lacks some of the historical English context behind what a gentleman is, a gentleman being a product of a more class-based origin of aristocratic times. In present age, the moniker has morphed into something that is applicable to all classes, being an extremely flexible term that can apply to somebody much in the manner, as Dr. Blix remarks, as those students whom Confucius would teach so long as they are willing to learn. Being a gentleman has become something you are not born into or something you attain by the size of your bank, but instead by the values and actions that an individual who subscribes to such high moral virtue displays on a daily basis. Wabash’s own Dr. Michele Pittard explains that “the Gentleman’s Rule has everything to do with respect,” affirming that it encourages mutual civility and an openness to new perspectives within our community here at Wabash. A look around Wabash’s campus and further into the classroom reinforces the voices of our professors, that discussion in the college sphere is generally calm, civil, and respectful. All markers of how a gentleman would conceivably act in a deliberative environment. Dr. Blix reasserts this by
6 - The Wabash Commentary
stating that the Gentleman’s Rule takes the question “is this good enough to get by?” and pushes it to the extreme. Our rule looks to work for the betterment of a community, which we have seen at Wabash. It encourages Wabash men to bring out the strong points in themselves, as well as others, and insists that we develop a sense of tact, timing, and sense of respect for our fellow men. It is important to note that while the Gentleman’s Rule is by definition a tool of the students for the students, as a learning device it holds great power in a community of a faculty and staff that help facilitate it. Wabash’s Dean of Students Michael Raters puts it best, saying the “administration is at its best when people don’t realize it,” insightfully implying that when the faculty has taken it upon themselves to put the tools of the Gentleman’s Rule in the hands of students, the students take over from that point to the extent that the faculty almost seems unnoticeable. This is not to be construed as a bad thing. Far from it, in fact Dean Raters states that when people observe such phenomena and ask “why Wabash does well, [the administration] typically responds with ‘we have good kids.’” When the Gentleman’s Rule works well in the hands of its students it shines like a beacon through the mire of all headlines that speak negatively of college life. Beyond even the College, Dean Raters remarks that “The Gentleman’s Rule is the most challenging way to educate young people, I believe it is also the best way. The Gentleman’s Rule as a learning experience begins with educating students, and the education is a lifelong experience.” The values and qualities that the Gentleman’s Rule advocates extend long through the rest of our years, and we Wabash
men ought do well to remember what it teaches us. The result of the Gentleman’s Rule bringing out the best qualities in its constituents can lead us further in a multitude of directions, but I would like to narrow it to two: 1) the Gentleman’s Rule as a tool for discourse at Wabash, and 2) the Gentleman’s Rule as a value system. While perhaps the easiest conclusion to draw about the most common usage of the Gentleman’s Rule, it is also the most important in the academic sphere of life at Wabash. Specifically, that the Gentleman’s Rule acts as an anchor in discussion for how to conduct oneself, and provides incentive in accordance with the students’ honor to seek other perspectives and broader opinions. Throughout discussion, all are meant to remain civil, tactful, and centered. Across the board of individuals interviewed for this article (Dr. Blix, Dr. Pittard, Dean Raters), all agree that the Gentleman’s Rule is the primary thing that makes all discussion at Wabash civil and respectful. As Dr. Pittard points out, “The Gentleman’s Rule expects students to fulfill the ethos of Wabash,” an observation which is underscored by Dean Raters, who says that it encourages seeking out others’ perspectives and walking in others’ shoes. As an example, this implies that a Wabash gentleman would not only recognize the fact that the female perspective is hardly present in classroom discussion, if not at all, but would further seek the perspectives that are lost. This applies to any situation in which perspectives are not heard, which Dr. Pittard again points out “requires conversationalists to have some imagination.” The Gentleman’s Rule guides this imagination in seeking
other perspectives civilly, and, as Dr. Blix asserts, “even though discussion may become heated it remains humane with a sense of respect throughout.” The gentlemen who engage in such heated discussion maintain this mutual respect. In further academic regard, some professors list the use of the Gentleman’s Rule on their syllabi with regard to rules for discussion, class conduct, and responsibility. The norms for a discussion and its parameters are then laid through the Gentleman’s Rule, and to be followed through the basis of expectation of Wabash’s gentlemen. In this regard, the Gentleman’s Rule makes itself known subtly, working as an overseer of discussion, and most importantly, as Dr. Blix puts, “acts as an implicit tool” for discussion.
the Gentleman’s Rule performs as a value system that plays a critical role in the behavior of Wabash men. Because we aspire to be gentlemen, and because we aspire to be the best that we can be because of this rule, we create a standard among ourselves in order to hold one another accountable. This is much akin to an honor system of classical times, in which the values and respect held among similar ranks of men ties them together under a common banner of aspiration and drive to succeed. In this sense, the value system has helped to create a community, and that is exactly what the Gentleman’s Rule helps achieve at Wabash. Dr. Blix comments further on this, expanding on what eluded me to begin with. He states that in communities in which a value system
student may or may not take at said institution. Dr. Blix, who has taught at Iowa State, Hampden-Sydney College, and Millsaps College, cites these places as creating these rule systems with all the proper intent and goodwill to its respective students, but the result is “pigeonholing” life as a student, and as a person, into specific instances with specific consequences. “Life is complex,” Blix states, and rulebooks “cannot account for instances that fall outside of these [pigeonholes].” With institutions that implement rulebooks, parallels can be drawn to the proper ways of dealing with a populace’s freedom delineated by Niccolo Machiavelli, who states that when conquering a people, the prince must do one of two things with the freedom of subordinates: 1) Crush and
It is through this honor system [the Gentleman’s Rule] that Wabash men are allowed to thrive as a community of moral agents.
Briefly, it is important to note the way that the Gentleman’s Rule acts in conjunction to its “big brother,” the Wabash College Mission Statement, which states: “Wabash College educates men to think critically, act responsibly, lead effectively, and live humanely.” This is perhaps the most explicit of Wabash maxims, stating clearly what it intends to accomplish. Perhaps all the more fitting for a mission statement. However, what is implicit in its relation to the Gentleman’s Rule is that the mission of the College is best carried out when its students are acting as gentlemen. Any other way and you lose something of this beautiful relationship of guiding parameters at Wabash. Regarding acting like a gentleman,
is implemented instead of a set of rules it holds people, in our case students, accountable. It brings up the question, “Am I conforming to the values?” This question is exceedingly important to the Gentleman’s Rule by encouraging introspection as well as a sort of ‘selfmonitoring’ of one’s behavior. In this sense, if someone steps out of line in the community the first person to correct them ought to be themself, followed by others. This introspection and selfmonitoring is probably the largest point of comparison to other universities or colleges in which a value system like the Gentleman’s Rule is not present. Most other institutions have a rulebook which delineates with clear legal words the actions and consequences that a
regiment it, or 2) maintain it. In this sense, the institutions with rulebooks regiment the freedom of students, while the Gentleman’s Rule at Wabash maintains the freedom of students, but with a helpful dash of an implemented honor system. And it is through this honor system that Wabash men are allowed to thrive as a community of moral agents. There may come an instance, however, where the Gentleman’s Rule fails to reinforce in a constituent the moral values expected of him. This should not be viewed as a failure of the Gentleman’s Rule, but as a failure of the student. Typically at Wabash a ‘problem student’ is taken to the Dean of Students for a stern talking-to or correction. In such cases, as Dr. Blix
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attests, a judicious Dean is required to deal with the situation. Importantly, however, the Dean historically has encouraged students to think about what they did wrong. In this sense introspection is encouraged to seek the values expected of Wabash men that the Gentleman’s Rule lays out. The student asks of himself whether or not he is conforming to the values of being a gentleman, and if he is intent on being one he will correct himself. In instances such as these, the “carrot works better than [the] stick,” the metaphorical stick being a rulebook, and punitive in nature, whereas the Gentleman’s Rule is the carrot which allows Wabash men opportunity for moral and ethical growth. This method, Dr. Blix believes, is part of the reason why the Gentleman’s Rule as the governing moral guideline and tool to the education of Wabash men is so powerful, so unique, and so successful. There can, of course, be inaccurate 8 - The Wabash Commentary
these guidelines should fall. The Gentleman’s Rule is intended as a basis for agreement, not disagreement, so by falling into contention it becomes trying to have constructive discussion over any other topic when an integral part of the Wabash academic sphere is in flux. By concretely nailing down a concept of what a gentleman should be in accordance to the Gentleman’s Rule, we allow ourselves further intellectual development and a chance to become something great. All of this, of course, is predicated by the assumption that the community of Wabash men have a steadfast yet silent agreement to act as the best gentleman they can be. Finally, as Dr. Pittard puts it, “we all make assumptions about what we think [the Gentleman’s Rule] means,” and we should have continued discussion to reaffirm, refine, and reform what it means to us. Wabash men, continue to strive for success, be kind, forgiving, and respectful to your fellow man, and be the best version of yourself that you can be. Let the Gentleman’s Rule remind us as Wabash men, both students and alumni, of our moral agency, and what it means to be a gentleman.
assumptions as to what the Gentleman’s Rule implies for those who operate under its heavy hand of expectation. Various students can have vastly different perspectives on what it means to be a gentleman, and people can apply these assumptions onto other people before applying it to themselves. These assumptions may prove costly to those around them – what may prove gentlemanly to one could be just the opposite to another. Such diametric disagreements could ultimately cause the downfall of the Gentleman’s Rule as we understand it. What ideally should hold this system together in such an instance is the Gentleman’s Rule itself, but when it is the topic of disagreement then things become even more difficult. The On behalf of TWC, I’d like to thank Gentleman’s Rule sets the parameters Dean Raters, Dr. Blix, and Dr. Pittard for discussion and civil thought here at for participating in interviews with me Wabash, and when those parameters for the purpose of this article. are unclear in the academic setting it may see rise to argument over where
Choose Your Own Finals Week Finals are upon us, along with impending stress. Some of us will have a difficult yet manageable time, some of us will be utterly worn down. Regardless, we all go into finals week like any other, with lofty aspirations of how well we will perform and commit to our schedules and deadlines. We all know it never turns out that way. In light of this wisdom, we at TWC offer a diagram to help you track your finals week experience. However, TWC expects that most of us will inevitably end up doing exactly what we know we shouldn’t.
Finals Weekend Already studying for finals. Finished rough drafts of papers a week before due date.
Study and work on papers daily
Maintain 9 hours of sleep
Plan ahead. Schedule what you’ll do and when, well ahead of due dates, with little to no free time. Get absolutely hammered
Begin studying for exams and writing papers.
Treat caffeine like gas, and you’re body like a semitruck
Study 25% of materials. Prepare outlines.
Plan to sleep for 1.5 hours. Wake up 6 hours later. Have a panic attack.
Have some tea while watching the sun rise. Reflect on suffering peers.
Unnecessarily study/ edit papers 24 hours before exams/ due dates
Realize you were artificially created to be the perfect human, a fable, or are just an intelligent, lonely sociopath. Proceed to read The Stranger
Study and write papers with otherworldly determination and focus.
Study majority of materials. Write majority of papers, 24 hours remain to refine.
Curl up in a blanket. Catch up on Game of Thrones. Exhausted, but confident exams went well. Determined to do better next time.
Procrastinate. Tell yourself you work well under pressure.
Illegally purchase stimulants
Stay awake studying for 48 hours.
Wish you didn’t exist.
Start and finish studying/ writing papers within a day, up until minutes before it’s due
Passed your classes. Know you could have done better.
Overdue assignments remain overdue
Procrastinate more. Continue to tell yourself you work well under pressure. Realize your track record with this justification has only provided a false positive association.
Half-ass through overdue assignments.
Make your first plea to God for your suffering to end Finish your exams and papers. Jittery. Uncertain if you’re delusional or just over confident about your work.
Passed your classes, but barely. Reflect on capabilities.
Sleep Deprived. Tell yourself you’ll be better prepared next semester. The Wabash Commentary - 9
The Loss of the Reserve
B y L ogan T aylor | latyalor 18@ wabash . edu We all get those callout meeting emails: Outdoorsman Club is having a callout at this time, Extreme Sports Club at that time, Dork Club now, Cigar and Pipe Club later, all with pizza provided for anyone who shows up. We have a lot of clubs here at Wabash, which is a great thing. All Wallies can find something they’re interested in and find a way to be involved. But are there too many clubs at Wabash? This is the question I started with when I began my investigation into Student Senate’s spending habits, and the results were interesting to say the least. Let’s start at the beginning. Student Senate has been overspending when allocating funds for the clubs. It receives a certain allotment of money at the beginning of every semester, and have been allocating more than this amount to clubs at the beginning of each of the last three semesters. You can see this yourself; the budget form sent out after the initial allocation at the beginning of this semester shows how much was allocated and how much the Senate was actually given to spend, and the club allocation exceeds the amount given. This is not a scandal by itself. The Senate has extra funds to give; due to the frugal spending habits of the AFC (Audit and Finance Committee) and Senate’s past, there is a sizeable reserve of funds that the Senate is free to allocate as it sees fit. These are the funds from which the extra money is drawn. Why care if the Senate spends more than it’s given each semester? The money is there, isn’t it? Might as well spend it. Let’s look next at how the AFC and the Senate ran in the past and compare 10 - The Wabash Commentary
the differences. According to a trusted source in the Senate, only three years ago, the AFC and the Senate ran smoothly together, like a machine. The AFC was the primary body deciding how funds were allocated, and it was conservative with its money; if a club could not argue effectively for why it needed the funds it requested, the request was denied. This decision could be appealed by the club in front of the Senate, but by and large the Senate ratified the AFC’s decisions. This led to the Senate not allocating all of its money every semester, and thereby the reserve was built up over time. Like an adult saving money from each paycheck, the AFC acted as the voice in the back of your head that says, “Do I really need to buy that?” By contrast, the AFC’s current leadership delegates most of its responsibility to the Senate, or just allows cases to be approved without the proper scrutiny. The AFC is either
rejecting requests so the Senate has to deal with them, or approving all requests because it can’t be bothered. Why is this bad? Because the AFC’s whole job is to field these requests and make decisions regarding club funds, and the people on the committee are supposed to be responsible with these decisions and not defer every request to the Senate, which is full of students whose responsibilities extend beyond the scope of just allocating funds. There is a reason the Senate is the secondary force in these decisions. When the AFC doesn’t do its job, then the job doesn’t get done well. As the Senate generally doesn’t examine each of these decisions closely and make rigorous, unbiased judgments about where to allocate funds when clubs come asking for them, so almost every request for funding is being approved. So not only did Senate’s original club allocation exceed the amount it was allotted for the semester, but it is
continuing to give out funds from the reserve to almost any club that asks for it. This is what happens when the legislative filter that is supposed to prevent this, the AFC, fails. The problem here is not that the Senate is spending money that it
funded by the Senate, and so does the Fly Fishing Club. There’s a Climbing Club and an Extreme Sports Club that have overlap. There are 56 clubs that were given total or partial funding this semester, many of which share overlapping interests. The Bachelor
Senate to be more careful with how they allocate club funds. Yes, the funds are there in the reserve to spend, but the most important thing to examine when setting a pattern of behavior is whether or not it’s financially sustainable. This spending is not
The AFC’s whole job is to field these requests and make decisions regarding club funds, and the people on the committee are supposed to be responsible with these decisions and not defer every request to the Senate...
doesn’t have; it does have the money, otherwise there would be nowhere for it to come from. The problem is that this spending binge is unsustainable. In Spring 2017, the allocated funds to spend that semester were $186,075.00 and the amount allocated to clubs was $321,277.29. The remaining balance came from the reserve. The pattern this semester is similar; the funds to spend were $193,120.43 and the funds allocated were $202,323.59. While not as big of a discrepancy, the overspending is still present. The spending practices currently in place simply cannot continue; in a year there won’t be enough money to give as much as they’re giving. When this happens, instead of frugality being a wise decision on the part of the student body, a show of responsibility and a sign that we know how to handle our money, the Senate will be forced to cut back spending due to budgetary constraints. It’s a loss of freedom for everyone. And this is not just an indictment of the Senate and the AFC. The answer to the question I posed at the beginning of this article is yes. We have too many clubs at Wabash, and some clubs are allocated too much money. The Outdoorsman Club gets fishing trips
prints 900 issues every week; you can walk around campus and see stacks of Bachelor copies that are two, three, or even four weeks old. We need to examine which clubs can be combined so that, instead of funding a bunch of different clubs that do redundant things, we can have bigger clubs that reach more people. These clubs can organize bigger events that are more enjoyable and less common, instead of forcing someone interested in the activity to be in several similar clubs that take up more time than a single big club would. We also ought to examine where spending can be cut for certain clubs; frivolous spending does not befit Wabash men. The responsibility for this problem is spread across the student body. Many clubs operate with past budgets as templates for new treasurers to use, and over time leads to little reexamination of which events are really merited, and how much money is needed for those events. It is up to a club’s leadership to mend this problem and not ask for funds without thinking through why it needs them. It is also the responsibility of the AFC and the
sustainable. This is not catastrophic, this is not the end of clubs as we know it. But when asked, when we examine our student government, wouldn’t we rather say that we spend responsibly and ensure funds are spent where they should be, and not wherever any random student says they should be? I know I would. Let’s conserve the fund balance in the reserve for as long as we can.
The Wabash Commentary - 11
Your Own Personal Jesus
Someone to hear your prayers, Someone who cares. thewabashcommentary.org/contactus 12 - The Wabash Commentary
A Very Jare-y Christmas: A Gentleman Celebrates Tastefully
B y J ared C ottingham | jtcottin 18@ wabash . edu With classes coming to an imminent close and the holiday season now fully upon us, it truly is the most wonderful time of the year. However, for the gentleman, it is a time of great opportunity and great danger. It is quite easy to get sucked up into the more whimsical elements of the holiday season, and be spat out onto a family Christmas card wearing a sweater coated with pom-poms and lights. The gentleman must be merry and bright, yet careful to retain some elements of taste. From dress, to parties and gift-giving, there are tremendous opportunities to let your curated sensibilities and thoughtfulness shine through the end of the year festivities like a leg lamp in Northwest Indiana. Beginning with dress, it is absolutely okay (encouraged, even) to be festive in your ensemble throughout the holiday season. Deep reds and greens always pair well, and are a conservative bet to be both jolly and tasteful. Perhaps the easiest way to flex holiday sartorial muscles is through sweaters. Sweaters present an excellent opportunity for the festive gentleman to stay warm, while also providing the chance to really get into the holiday spirit. My favorite sweater for the holiday season is the Fair Isle. This sweater, traditionally in wool, derives its name from an area of the Shetland Islands off the northern coast of Scotland, and has a long historical association with winter holidays in European culture. With intricate knit patterns and a rather muted color
Oxford just as easily as he can a tee-shirt and topcoat. In the more casual times we live in, it perhaps goes without saying that jeans are acceptable. Darker washes tend to work better with the holiday color palette, so it’s probably best to leave your stone and lighter washed denim in storage until the spring. Weather permitting, the ideal shoe to ground your outfit is made of a sturdy leather, with Goodyear-welted soles. I tend to favor pebbled-leather shoes during the winter, although Old Fair Isle sweater Man Winter sometimes doesn’t palette, the Fair Isle sweater allows the allow for leather. In such cases, modern gentleman to not appear as a you’ll need a sturdy boot to brave the colloquial stick in the mud, but rather snow and slush. As frequent readers as a tasteful individual observing the will already know, my go-to winter agreed upon dress of the holidays. boot is the namesake Bean boot by Though the Fair Isle is my personal L.L. Bean. Its duck boot silhouette is favorite, any lambswool sweater will absolutely classic, and it’s kept my do the trick. I do quite enjoy cashmere. toes snug and warm during the coldest However, when the mercury begins to of winters. For those of you skeptical fall, more and more layers are required about the silhouette, Sorel also makes over a cashmere sweater to stay warm. The optimal choice for your bottom half during the holiday season is the trouser. The trouser keeps a sense of formality, while also providing the flexibility to change your top layer as you please. With a trouser in either wool or cotton, a gentleman can pair a sweater or Bean Boot The Wabash Commentary - 13
a fine winter boot. To accompany your boots, you’ll want a nice, thick pair of wool or cashmere socks. My best advice is to never skimp on your socks during the winter months, as you’ll need a pair that transitions well between boots and more proper shoes. On nastier days, the gentleman commutes in his weatherproof boots and brings his leather shoes along for once he arrives at the office or workplace. The added effort is expected in many metropolitan environments, and will save you a great deal of money, as you won’t need to have your bench-made
with an oxford and sweater. It’s always better to be overdressed than to appear at a holiday get together looking like Cousin Eddie emptying the latrine. Simply put, formal occasions demand a tuxedo or dinner jacket with formal footwear. However, the holiday season allows the modern gentleman to put a lot of flair into black-tie. The dinner jacket is the easiest way to do so, as many designers have begun to add color to the modern tuxedo. The designer to most effectively spice up black-tie in my opinion is Tom Ford. In some of his more recent F/W collections, he had created
local rusty spoon, it’s absolutely pivotal to remain pleasant. You needn’t offer raving reviews if they aren’t warranted, however you should always remain gracious to your host for the effort and the invitation. Use the experience when you are the host to ensure you don’t make the same mistakes. When hosting others for a holiday get-together, it’s important to fit your menu and beverage selection to your guests. Though you may have impeccable taste, a good host places the desires and preferences of guests above his own. You may love Beaujolais and ossobucco, but, your guest may
Like a seating chart, curated music can take a holiday dinner party to the next level. A gentleman has his obligatory staples...
shoes constantly repaired and resoled. One of the more enjoyable aspects of the holiday season is the myriad parties the amiable gentleman will likely be invited to, or host himself. When one receives a party invitation, it is absolutely vital to inspect the invitation to determine whether or not the host has requested one to R.S.V.P or respond to the invitation regarding status. Once you have informed the host of your availability, stick to your commitment unless something unavoidable comes about. No, catching up on Netflix or the latest Xbox release do not constitute unavoidable circumstances. Another pivotal aspect of inspecting an invitation is taking note of the dress code. Most holiday parties will be either formal or business casual. For business causal soirées, I tend to opt for a suit and tie, or trousers
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beautiful dinner jackets with peak silk lapels in hues like navy, maroon, and forest green. Thankfully, these designs have had a great deal of downstream influence at more affordable price points through brands like J.Crew and H&M. In the spirit of Christmas, I’d reach for the forest green and add a bit of red through a pocket square. Brands like Richard James of Savile Row make a divine pocket square for such occasions, and ensure that the gentleman really gets the little things right for the holidays. Though one can’t control elements at parties thrown by others, it’s imperative to remain cordial and to go with the flow. People often use holiday parties to show off their cooking chops or wine expertise. Whether your host chooses an excellent vintage and is reminiscent of Mario Batali, or opts for Franzia and couldn’t get a gig at the
prefer Cabernet or Malbec and quail. Opting to follow your own preferences may hinder guests from enjoying their experience. Two areas to follow your own sensibilities with are the seating chart and musical selections. A good holiday dinner party will always have a seating chart, as it helps the conversation to flow. Many people, including recently passed cultural icon Glenn O’Brien, echo in favor of a seating chart and opting to sit couples across from one another. Now this may initially strike one as odd, and would likely get me into trouble with my own fiancée. However, couples tend to converse within themselves, which can create a bit of a lull at the table. Creating a good seating chart will bring together people who may have never met or who barely know each other. This brings about interesting conversation,
and may allow each person an outlet when he or she has little to say about table topics, or wishes to get to know their neighbor a bit better. Who knows? Your seating chart may bring about a marriage or two! Like a seating chart, curated music can take a holiday dinner party to the next level. A gentleman has his obligatory staples: Frank Sinatra, Vince Guaraldi, Perry Cuomo, Dean Martin, Nat King Cole, Andy “Mr. Christmas” Williams, and Bing Crosby. However, there are many oft-neglected holiday compositions that equally would suit a fine dinner party. Some Baroque favorites like Handel’s Messiah and Bach’s Christmas Oratorio are fine examples of festive dinner music that won’t belt over when you are serving the aperitifs. More modern composers like Ola Gjielo and Morten Lauridsen offer great alternatives if Baroque is not of your taste. Lauridsen’s O Magnum Mysterium is one of the most divine holiday choral compositions that exists, and would serve well to accompany periods of light afterdinner conversation, and the reflection provided by a cigar. Art music provides a slight reprieve for you and your guests from the haughty versions of Santa Baby bellowing out of shopping malls everywhere. A carefully curated holiday playlist is a nice touch that will not go unnoticed by your esteemed guests. Perhaps the most difficult area of preparing for and enjoying the holidays revolves around gift giving. Simply
put, it requires a great deal of thought and consideration. For those close to you, gift giving is an opportunity to showcase how well you know them, and how well you’ve been listening. Remember: it is never how much you spend, but rather the thought that counts. Now, this may seem trite, but a carefully selected book beats an
you need to break the bank, however they should be your priority when gift giving. You may be tempted to opt for a lavish gift, but remember that something thoughtful and heartfelt always surpasses that which lacks sentimentality and meaning. Get your mom a pair of tickets to that show she’s always wanted to go to with you. Get your significant other that sweater she’s been talking about since September, or plan an evening in where you cook just for the two of you. The key element in giving a thoughtful gift to your mother and to your significant other is choosing what will mean the most to them rather than what will look the best. Now is not the time to be cheap, but do not overspend simply because of appearances. impersonal luxury item every single The holidays are a time of time. The gifts a gentleman will most great enjoyment, nostalgia, and an likely be buying are for his friends, opportunity to spend quality time family, and significant other. with your loved ones. While doing For your friends, really try to tap so, it is important to look your best into their hobbies. If one of your friends and to give all of the small details the is really into music, perhaps try to add consideration that they warrant. There a record to his collection. If you have is something so special about this time a friend who really enjoys whiskey, of year, regardless of your religious pick up a bottle of his favorite brand beliefs, that truly make it a joy to be or introduce him to a new distiller you alive. No matter where or how you suspect he may like. celebrate the holiday season or ring in For your family, the same idea the New Year, take the time to really usually works. If you tap into their enjoy those closest to you and cherish hobbies and little things that they those moments. From mine, to yours — may need, your gift will be especially Merry Christmas. thoughtful. Two people that a gentleman never skimps on are his significant other and his mother. This doesn’t mean that
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Approximate Figure: [Monon Bell] pedestal
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