The Anchor: November 2023

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November 2023

Hope College Student Newspaper

Spera In Deo

Campus, p. 4-6

News, p. 7-9

Arts, p. 10-11

Features, p. 12

Opinion, p. 14

Fall Sports Review and Plant-a-Pot

Israel-Hamas War and the Hillsdale Sexual Assualt Cases

H2 Performances and ‘The Addams Family’

Vanderprov: a community for comedy

Demand a Seat + SDA and ‘Chipwrecked’

Cover photo by Nico Kazlauskas

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11/13/2023 7:17:10 PM

Meet Your Staff Therese Joffre Opinions Editor

Natalie Stringham

Heidi Hudson

Staff Writer

Bella Spry

Madeline Kenney

Owen Langellier


Features Editor

Claire Dwyer

Staff Writer

Editor-in-Chief Editor-in-Chief Production Manager Business Manager Media Manager Opinion and News Editor Arts Editor Campus Editor

Staff Writer

Nico Kazlauskas

Photography Editor

Media Manager

Jonah Whalen Copy Editor

Production Manager

Claire Dwyer Madeline Kenney Claudia Hwang Belle Glover Maiya Santiago ThereseJoffre Kate Lawrence Ellie DiLeonadi

Ava Bell

Maiya Santiago

Claudia Hwang


Staff Writer

Sydney Hughes

Arts Editor

Staff Writer

Gabriel Wolthuis

Staff Writer

Kate Lawrence

Staff Writer

Grace Rossman

Staff Writer

Julia Haight

Staff Writer

Grace Srinivasan

Shane Pitcher

Copy Editor

Owen Langellier Features Editor Nicolas Kazlauskas Photography Editor Natalie Stringham Copy Editor Jonah Whalen Copy Editor Grace Rossman StaffWriter Gabriel Wolthuis StaffWriter Grace Srinivasan StaffWriter

Belle Glover

Business Manager

Sydney Hughes StaffWriter Ava Bell StaffWriter Heidi Hudson StaffWriter Shane Pitcher StaffWriter Bella Spry StaffWriter Julia Haight StaffWriter Mark Lewison Student Media advisor

Our Mission: The Anchor strives to communicate campus events throughout Hope College and the Holland community. We hope to amplify awareness and promote dialogue through fair, objective journalism and a vibrant Voices section.

serves the right to edit due to space constraints, personal attacks or other editorial considerations. A representative sample will be taken. No anonymous letters will be printed unless discussed with Editor-in-Chief. Please limit letters to 500 words.

The Anchor will make continuous efforts to avoid wrong insertions, omissions and typographical errors. However, if such mistakes occur, this newspaper may cancel its charges for the portion of the ad if, in the publisher’s reasonable judgment, the ad has been rendered valueless by the mistake.

Disclaimer: The Anchor is a product of student effort and is funded through the Hope College Student Activities Fund. The opinions expressed on the Opinion page are solely those of the author and do not represent the views of The Anchor. The Anchor reserves the right to accept or reject any advertising.

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2 Meet the StaffNovember.indd 1

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11/13/2023 7:27:27 PM

Letter from the Editors



s I approach the end of the fall semester of my senior year, it truly seems that the first few of the many last moments of my college experience have begun. This is my last fall print edition, yet it feels like just yesterday I was sitting in at my first Anchor staff meeting as a freshman. As I reflect on this past semester, I know I had a lot of commitments and responsibilities that kept me busy, but that is not what I remember most. I remember all the big and small moments with friends: camping, Cubs games, trivia nights and house dinners. It is really hard for me to believe that this time next year things will be totally different. In the next week, my house plans to host a big Friendsgiving dinner for a bunch of our senior friends. We are going all out -- roasting a turkey (wish us luck), sending out invites to as many people as our little house will hold and even moving the couches to make room for more tables in our living room. It’s ambitious, but it is something we have been hoping to make happen for a while. A chance to sit with friends, show them how much we care about them, and to reflect on the past semester. It will be our house’s first and only Friendsgiving, but we are determined to make it count. We all are busy and have a million different reasons to not spend our weekend roasting a turkey and making side dishes, but I think senior year has made us all realize that there is too little time to spend with friends. At the end of the day, it’s not about the deadlines or the due dates, but rather the people in front of you. I am thankful for the great start to this year, and I am hoping to continue to make building community a big priority of mine for the rest of the year. Community is also a big priority for The Anchor as well, and in this season of coming together, I hope The Anchor can be a strong pillar of support for the Hope community. From everyone at The Anchor, we wish you all a safe and happy holiday season, and we

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hope you take the time to soak up all the little moments with the people who mean the most to you.



he month of October seemed to end just as it seemingly began to start. For me, I could not believe how fast this month went by! Along with the close of the month came the completion of my cross country season, which too seemed equally as fast…both its duration and in our team’s performance this season! Two weeks ago, my cross country team won the MIAA Championship Title! The win conveyed our team’s collective drive and commitment throughout the season, beginning in the summer and now culminating in this victory. Not only was the race itself exciting with runners clocking extraordinary times and personal records, but the environment was also electric. From the entire team racing to the multitudes of family and friends cheering on as spectators to the ideal fall weather and crisp fallen leaves that crunched with each step of our spikes, the atmosphere was tremendous to both witness and be a part of. For me, it strengthened the idea of being a part of something that’s much larger than myself. So too do I feel this way through The Anchor. From the creativity of brainstorming ideas for articles to the thrill of the ink’s touch to the paper during the editing process to the joy in distributing our newspapers together as a team throughout campus and everything in between, I am reminded of the spectacular sense of being a part of something larger than myself. For me, this reminder unfolds beautifully within the month of November, which serves as a time of remembrance and thanksgiving. During this month, we remember loved ones who have gone before us, veterans who have faithfully served our nation, and the memories of people, places and experiences that have filled our hearts with gratitude this year. This time of gratitude recognizes the importance of intentionality

The Anchor Team distributing our October newspaper edition across campus during our “Breaking News at Daybreak.”

Madeline Kenney

and refocuses us on our pursuit. It places us outside of ourselves and into a larger context of purpose. Here at the Anchor, we hope our newspaper conveys this same feeling. We aspire to see our stories as part of the larger campus, local and global community. In doing so, we seek to remember the ancestors that have gone before us and continue in their legacy. Thank you for reading and contributing to our newspaper. We are grateful to be a part of and convey this larger story.

Co-Editor-in-Chief, Madeline Kenney (‘25), holding the MIAA cross country trophy.

Co-Editor-in-Chief, Claire Dwyer (‘26), visits pumpkin patch in Calendonia, WI during the College’s fall break.

Madeline Kenney

Claire Dwyer

11/13/2023 7:34:48 PM

CAMPUS Semester in review: Hope athletic teams find success Grace Rossman Staff Writer


emperatures dropping, snow falling and winter on the horizon means that this season of fall sports is wrapping up. Some teams have completely finished their season, while others are still playing, like the women’s cross country team, who qualified for nationals after finishing in third place at regionals. Women’s cross country coach and recentlyawarded MIAA Coach of the Year, Mark Northuis, reflects on the successful season and the hard work that got them to nationals. “[One] highlight for me was that everybody was healthy to run the conference meet,” Northuis said. “We were the only team in the conference who had everybody healthy which demonstrates that the team trained well.” As the men’s soccer team’s season comes to an end, Jake Lyons (’24) reflects on the ups and

downs from the fall. “One of the biggest highlights of the season was beating last year’s national champions, The University of Chicago. It was extremely rewarding to see our training and prep come into play against a team of that caliber,” Lyons said. Ranked third in the country, the women’s volleyball team is still out on the court, finishing their MIAA semifinals with a win and headed to regionals. For Eva Hartung (’26), beating Hope’s rival, Calvin, was a highlight from the season. “With those wins we learned a lot about ourselves because they are pushing us to be a better team,” Hartung said. “We keep getting better each weekend when we play and I’m excited to see where the postseason takes us.” Women’s Cross Country The women’s cross country team started the season strong, with five runners placing in the

Josh Wiegel (’27) and Ethan Jansen (’24) jump for joy after a goal

Stephan Herppich

top 10 at their first meet. In midSeptember, they secured a thirdplace ranking at the Wheaton College Gil Dodds Invitational, with five of their runners ranking among the top 31. The team tied for first place in their conference, which sent them to regionals, where they placed third. With this achievement, they qualified for nationals in Pennsylvania. This season earned Mark Northuis the title of MIAA Coach of the Year for Women’s Cross Country, and Rebecca Markham (’24) was named MIAA Most Valuable Runner. Men’s Cross Country September brought many successes for the men’s cross country team, including a third place finish at Wheaton College Gil Dodds Invitational. In October, the team placed second at the MIAA championship, where they qualified for regionals. Four runners, Gabe DeYoung (’24),

Connor Vachon (’25), Carston Cole (’26) and Ian Petruska (’26), were recognized at the championship, earning All-MIAA honors. The team finished in fourth at regionals, the best performance at NCAA regionals since 1991, securing a spot at nationals in Pennsylvania. Volleyball The volleyball team has had a successful season, ending the season with 27 wins and only two losses. They became MIAA tournament champions after winning against rival, Calvin University, with a score of 3-0, advancing the team to regionals. This season, MIAA honored four players on the team, Lauren Lee (’26), Alison Deweerd (’25) and Kamryn Burbridge (’27), with Addie VanderWeide (’25) earning Most Valuable Player.

continued on pg. 5

Volleyball teammates in a huddle before a match

Lynn Powe

Gabe DeYoung (’24) and Nile Devers (’26) racing at Regionals

Tom Renner

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11/13/2023 9:45:55 PM

Geoff Henson

Liam Casey (’26) midswing during a golf match

Margaret Owsiany (’25) in a game against the St. Mary’s College Belles

Sarah Miesle

Sarah Miesle

Madeline Kenney (’25) running in the MIAA Championship race

continued from pg. 4

Women’s Golf The women’s golf team began their season in late August with a win against Calvin University. The team finished sixth at the first MIAA event of the season with a team score of 351. The next day, the team won eight out of nine matches at the DAP cup, earning another victory against Calvin. At the NCAA Midwest Region Fall Classic, they placed seventh out of 33 competitors. During their second MIAA Jamboree, Abby Fansler (’24) earned medalist honors for her impressive performance, scoring a 75. Men’s Golf Men’s golf opened their season placing third at their first invitational. They followed this with two first-place finishes over the course of the two-day Strawberry Creek Classic, beating 20 competing teams. The team continued their impressive ranks by placing first, second and


third at the next three MIAA Jamborees. They advanced to the NCAA Region V Showcase in Indiana, placing fourth and fifth out of 16 competitors. Women’s Soccer The women’s soccer team wrapped up the season with 10 wins, two ties and six losses. They played hard for a win in the MIAA tournament semifinals against Trine University, with a score of two to one, earning them a rematch against Calvin University. The final game went into overtime, but Calvin took home the tournament trophy after a shootout. Five players secured the All-MIAA title, including Jenna Mustapha (’24), who made history as a four-time honoree, Madison Holloway (’24), Carley Wagasky (’25), Ainsley Harris (’26) and Clara Feenstra (’27). Men’s Soccer With a six-game win streak, the men’s soccer team ended

Terrell Harris (’24) in a game against Loras College

their season with 11 wins, four ties and three losses. On Oct. 3, Griffin Brown (’24) made the game against Adrian one for the books with a hat trick, the fourth ever in Van Andel Soccer Stadium’s history. The game ended with a score of seven to one. They ended their run with a loss against The University of Olivet during the MIAA tournament quarterfinals. Seven players were chosen for the All-MIAA Men’s Soccer Team: Matt Wimmer (’24), Jake Lyon (’24), Ethan Jansen (’24), Daniel Hesselbein (’25), Mario Hrvojevic (’25), Cole Pauly (’26), and Josh Weigel (’27). Football The football team ended the season with eight wins and two losses and an impressive fivegame winning streak. The streak was broken against Alma College during the Homecoming game, but shortly after, the team secured their largest margin win yet at 63 to 17 against Kalamazoo

Steve Herppich

College. Players Terrell Harris (’24) and Nick Flegler (’26) received honors from D3football. com with securing spots on the organization’s Team of the Week. Up Next: Women’s Swim and Dive Women’s swim and dive is gearing up for their upcoming season, and already taking the pool by storm, beating Kalamazoo 17851 and The University of Olivet 180-29. Sara Kraus (’25) made an especially big splash in Chicago at the D3 Shootout, setting a national record for fastest 200-yard backstroke. She is now ranked first in the nation, and hopes to keep this spot at the top as the season goes on. “To be competitive this early in the season nationally is really exciting for me,” Kraus said. “I think my team really pushes me to be my best and encourages me and [I’m] working, putting in the effort as much as I can. Getting up early to do those practices and those lifts isn’t always appealing, but it’s nice to see that that work pays off.”

CAMPUS | FALL 2023 5 Campus Page November.indd 1

11/13/2023 9:46:15 PM

Go Green: Clubs collaborate for Plant-A-Pot Event Sydney Hughes Staff Writer


ast month, two of Hope College’s sustainability organizations, Green Hope and the Gardening Club, hosted a “Plant-A-Pot” event in the Bultman Student Center to garner support for sustainability on Hope’s campus—creating a space for students and organization members to interact and enjoy an evening of crafts and conversation. Part of the SAC’s weekly “Something Every Tuesday,” this event helped the organizations gain exposure, informing the broader student population of their presence on campus. This was one of the organizations’ most successful events in the ongoing semester. Enthused students were encouraged to grab plants and pots provided by the hosting clubs, planting and embellishing them with colorful painted designs. One of Green Hope’s copresidents, Olivia Krenek (’26), claimed that the organization’s primary goal in planning this event was to establish “more environmentally friendly choices on campus.” Planting succulents is a fun and accessible way for students to get started. It also facilitates more involvement with

sustainability groups on campus. Krenek mentioned that Green Hope’s largest event is their biannually held “thrift shop” in collaboration with Hope Advocates for Sustainability (HAS). Krenek attested to the event’s popularity amongst Hope students, saying: “Last year we had a line of people waiting to come in.” Each semester, HAS organizes this event alongside other groups such as Green Hope in order to prevent clothing waste within the institution and to acknowledge the ways in which the everyday individual can make more sustainable choices. “Over the course of one evening everything is usually sold for about a dollar,” Krenek described. This event is profitable in more ways than one: it allows students to give their clothing another life—instead of it being sent straight to the landfill—and offers remarkably affordable prices. Additionally, as Krenek made known, “All of the funds go back towards sustainability efforts on campus.” While the aforementioned event is huge among Hope’s community, Green Hope also plans smaller, community oriented activities for its group members—such as taking a hike at Saugatuck State Park to get to

Brendan Friedauer (’27) is all smiles in the BSC Great Room

Students painting and planting in the BSC Great Room

know its new members. Through our participation in Hope’s sustainability groups’ events, not only do we advocate for a greener campus and community—we offer them the support they need to make change in both of these settings. In fact, HAS’s efforts prove that many pairs of hands are needed to make effective and permanent change. “We’re actually working with HAS right now on the art project that they’re doing in collaboration with the Kruizenga museum,” Krenek explained. This event is the “Found Art” project, which is to be featured as a mural installation. It will consist of found materials—trash and plastics—recycled and repurposed into something meaningful. This project serves doubly as a way to clean up the community’s spaces and to visually stimulate its viewers, conveying a powerful

Nico Kazlauskas

message of the severity of the crisis we currently face in regards to the environment. “It’s really hard [for college students] a lot of times to live sustainably,” Krenek acknowledged. Though making systemic change is impossible for the individual, the small changes we can make in our everyday lives are more effective than we realize. Simply donating clothes or buying second-hand makes a larger difference in the consumption-waste cycle. The struggle to live sustainably is a tough issue to tackle, its solution unfathomable considering the environment’s current predicament. Though planting and painting a potted succulent may seem trivial in the grand scope of environmental activism, these small actions are the first steps in spreading awareness and making other sustainable choices.

Nico Kazlauskas

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11/13/2023 9:46:49 PM

NEWS The Israel-Hamas war and its effect on colleges Therese Joffre

News and Opinion Editor


he Middle East sent shockwaves throughout the world earlier this month when Hamas unexpectedly attacked Israel. These attacks later led to a declaration of war from Israel on Oct. 8. On Tuesday, Oct. 17, a blast occurred at the compound of Al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza right before President Biden landed in Israel, the Wall Street Journal reported. Immediately, Hamas blamed the blast on Israel, while Israel and the preliminary evidence points to the source being a Palestinian militant group. After the bombings at the hospital, Israel has increased their aerial bombing on the Gaza Strip according to the Journal. These airstrikes are aimed at the Hamas militants in mostly northern Gaza, and are precursors to a proposed ground offensive by Israel. The Journal has reported that Washington warned Israeli leadership to hold off on ground offensive operations. This suggestion was made in order for Qatar to secure the release of additional hostages. Holding off on these operations would also give time for the US to organize its own military assets. Furthermore, the New York Times reported that the Biden administration “is concerned that Israel lacks achievable military objectives in Gaza, and that the Israel Defense Forces are not yet ready to launch a ground invasion with a plan that can work.” Marine Lt. Gen. James Glynn and a team of officers were sent by the Pentagon to help Israel with the challenges of the war. The Pentagon emphasized that Glynn was not making decisions for Israel and that he would not be on the ground if an invasion into Gaza were to occur. Following these reports, Israeli troops remain surrounding “buildings for humanitarian purposes” like hospitals, schools and mosques. One such hospital is Al-Shifa, Gaza’s largest hospital, where in three days, at least 32 people have died in the intensive care unit, according to The Washington Post. Israel “alleges that Hamas hides underground complexes

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President Biden at a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv

and a key command center” at the hospital in question, reports the Wall Street Journal. A military spokesman for Israel said “the ultimate goal is for them to come out and surrender while we’re in the vicinity of the hospital.” Hamas has taken over 200 hostages, including Americans, foreign nationals and many Israeli citizens. According to the Journal, Hamas released American mother and daughter Judith and Natalie Raanan on Friday, Oct. 20. This was coincidentally the same day that aid became available in Gaza after the bombing of the hospital. On Monday, Oct. 23, two more women were released for “humanitarian reasons.” Yocheved Lifshitz and Nurit Cooper were released at Gaza’s Rafah border crossing where their husbands were still being held. Hamas has not released any hostages since Oct. 23rd. According to a White House readout of a phone call between President Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the President reaffirmed his commitment to achieve the release of all remaining hostages. Biden in the readout also “underscored the need to sustain a continuous flow of urgently needed humanitarian assistance into Gaza.” Colleges across the country are in shambles in the aftermath of this conflict, and are divided on how to react and facilitate the conflict between students, staff and faculty. Hope College has yet to release

Miriam Alster/Press Pool in WSJ

an official statement or a campuswide email on the conflict. President Scogin was contacted by The Anchor to express his and the College’s position on the war. “The violence between Hamas and Israel is heart-breaking and tragic. Currently there are no Hope students from or studying in that region, but we are aware that some of our colleagues and alumni have ties to Israel and Palestine.” He continued on to say that “we are holding them and everyone affected in

our prayers. May the God of hope fill our world with peace and joy!” Other universities like University of Michigan have released comments addressing the issues. U of M President Santa J. Ono addressed the community with five simple words: “…violence is never the answer.” He continued to emphasize the importance of “…equity, inclusion, fair treatment for all and respect for our differences.” “Together, we can support our entire community and a renewed commitment to working together toward a common goal—making the world we live in a better place for all,” said Ono. Michigan State University also published a statement concerning the conflict between Israel and Hamas. “We condemn the recent acts of violence and share the concern of many in our community regarding the staggering loss of life in Israel and Gaza. MSU strongly opposes hate, bigotry, antisemitism and Islamophobia and the way these may manifest into fear and violence. The statement also provides resources for students concerned about safety and other counseling and psychiatric services.

HOPE is offering

your order with your I.D. Only at 361 E 8th Street, diagonal from the soccer stadium.

7 11/13/2023 8:29:53 PM

Hillsdale College unreceptive to students' sexual assault cases Shane Pitcher Staff Writer


illsdale College is a school of around 1,500 undergraduate students located in Hillsdale, Michigan, about 40 minutes southeast of Jackson, MI, near the Michigan-IndianaOhio border. They pride themselves on their prestigious academics and reputation for being a conservative, Christian school. Grace Chen and Danielle Villarreal chose to attend Hillsdale, thinking the Christian values would lead it to be a safe school environment. Both girls gave permission to NBC and USA Today to use their full names when discussing the situation. In court papers filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan on Oct. 25, lawyers for Villarreal and Chen alleged that the school retaliated against the women and blamed them for reporting their sexual assaults while failing to fully investigate the allegations. Both attorneys added the college “fostered a campus environment that exposes students to an unacceptable and unusually high risk of sexual assault.” Grace Chen is a 21-year-old junior from Los Angeles. She said in her lawsuit that Hillsdale “presents itself as a safe and welcoming environment.” She went on to say this all changed when she was sexually assaulted by a member of Hillsdale’s track team in 2021. She sought help, but a female school counselor told her “the school’s Deans would take no action on a report of sexual assault without concrete evidence.” Hillsdale hired an independent lawyer, Kimberly Graham, to investigate the allegations. Graham told Chen and her family not to go to the police and refused to interview witnesses. She also made inappropriate comments to Chen saying “she was fortunate her assailant did not rape her.” The attacker was not punished because he was already doing community service, attending AA meetings and going to counseling for prior drinking infractions.

Chen remains a student at Hillsdale and her mother supports her decision saying she is a voice for other women. “So many women have reached out to me to express their support, and some have told me similar stories about reporting abuse to school officials and being treated with similar negligence,” Chen said. This was not the case for 21-year-old Danielle Villarreal who now attends Vanderbilt University. The Omaha, Nebraska native talked of how initially she was excited to attend Hillsdale because of its seemingly safe environment and the large scholarship she received. “I had visited once and I liked it,” Villarreal said in an interview. “And things started out fine. It was exciting to meet new people. But as I got more integrated into the community I discovered that this place had a lot of biases that weren’t, I guess, advertised.” She reported that she was raped by a baseball player on Aug. 29, 2021. Villarreal was unsure of who to talk to about the horrible events that occurred. “There was no Title IX office. I mean, my first questions were, ‘Should I talk to the dean of women, because I’m a woman? Or do I call the dean of men,’ who is who I wound up calling,” she said. She was directed to another outside lawyer, Mechelle Zarou. After an investigation by Zarou and Hillsdale College, the baseball player was given community service,

Central Hall on Hillsdale College's campus

‘social probation’ and was “indefinitely suspended from baseball.” His suspension was lifted during the start of the second semester, and the student was able to play during the team’s regular season. According to Chen and Villarreal’s lawyer, Annika Martin, Hillsdale’s legal counsel, Bob Norton, told her parents “that if she continued to inquire about the investigation and punishment, there would be consequences for her,” the lawsuit states. “Norton further suggested that Plaintiff Villarreal reported her rape only after she came to regret a consensual sexual encounter.” Villarreal was incredibly discouraged and filed a police report. Hillsdale Police Chief Scott Hephner confirmed the report and stated the police investigation was concluded with a recommendation that the attacker was charged with criminal sexual conduct. This was denied by the prosecutor's office. Graham, Zarou and Norton were reached out to by NBC. None of them responded with additional information or commentary. Villarreal stated “You have this feeling like there’s a target on your back and you’re not getting any support from the school. I felt it wasn’t safe for me to be there anymore.” She said her school work suffered and she has since been treated for depression. Hillsdale is a 100% privatelyfunded school with an endowment

Hillsdale College

of over $900 million. Because it does not receive government funding it is not entitled to guidelines of Title IX. “To maintain our independence in every regard, Hillsdale does not accept one penny of state or federal taxpayer funding – even indirectly in the form of student grants and loans,” reads a statement on the school’s website. Title IX is a law that bans gender discrimination and protects any and all students from sexual harassment. It shows thousands of colleges how to properly respond to these incidents. If they do not comply, that leads to Federal Investigations, sanctions and loss of government funding. Fully private colleges like Hillsdale, Grove City College (PA) and Pensacola Christian College (FL) are technically exempt from these laws. Hillsdale spokesperson Emily Stack Davis publicly stated, “Any discipline — whether in regards to a student’s failings academically, socially, morally or otherwise — are not the subject of public ridicule or judgement by that student’s peers or by the campus at large…In an effort to maintain confidentiality for all parties, including witnesses, written findings are not distributed.” “This is a school that holds itself out as being based on Christian values. But they’re not walking the walk,” said Annika Martin, one of the attorneys on the case. “When you don’t protect your students, you hinder their growth and development. That is what is happening here.” This case could have much wider implications on the federal government’s oversight into schools like Hillsdale. If the court system accepts the notion that completely private institutions are subject to federal regulations it would “affect every parochial school in the country,” said Brigid A. Harrington, an attorney at Bowditch Attorneys with expertise in Title IX. “It would be a big change,” Harrington said. “I am not saying this issue would get to the Supreme Court. But if it did, I don’t know how friendly this Supreme Court would be to that idea.”

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11/13/2023 8:28:58 PM

Bad news blues for University of Michigan football as a scandal arises Ava Bell

Staff Writer


scandal has arisen in Ann Arbor, Michigan after the University of Michigan’s head football coach, Jim Harbaugh, was suspended for the final three games of their regular season. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is investigating the university’s team after being accused of sign-stealing— the act of paying people, such as staffers, to attend the games of past, future or current opponents in order to steal the signs that their coaches use to communicate with their players on the field. Signs are used to communicate to players because unlike professional football, college level players are unable to use communication devices inside their helmets to hear from coaches. The practice of sign-stealing was banned by the NCAA in 1994 after it was deemed as an unfair advantage. On Friday, Nov. 10, 2023, the Big 10 Conference announced a violation of their sportsmanship policy. “As a penalty imposed on the institution, the University football team must compete without its Head Football Coach for the games remaining in the 2023 regular-season, effective immediately,” the statement said. It continued, “this disciplinary action shall not preclude the University or its football team from having its Head Football Coach attend

Recruiting analyst Connor Stalions

practices or other football team activities other than the game activities to which it applies.” Harbaugh will be unable to attend games, but, will still be able to work with the players during the week. University of Michigan football analyst Connor Stalions is at the center of this investigation and has since resigned from the University. In reference to Stalions’ resignation, he and his attorney told The Athletic that “I do not want to be a distraction from what I hope to be a championship run for the team, and I will continue to cheer them on.” According to ESPN, they have “confirmed that Stalions has purchased tickets to

“I do not want to be a distraction from what I hope to be a championship run for the team, and I will continue to cheer them on.” more than 35 games at 17 stadiums around the country. He has used a network of at least three people, who were forwarded the tickets to attend games.” Meanwhile, Jim Harbaugh and the University have denied any knowledge of the sign-stealing scheme going on within their program both

Yahoo Sports

Head coach Jim Harbaugh of University of Michigan’s football team

this season and in seasons past. However, Big 10 Commissioner Tony Petitti took action in suspending Harbaugh now because the Big 10 has reason to believe violations have happened within this season. In another article from ESPN, Petitti states that “The goal of the scheme was to gain an unfair advantage by stealing the signs of teams that the University’s football team was due to play later in the season,” and that “...such misconduct inherently compromises the integrity of competition.” Petitti has also made it clear that this suspension was not made against Harbaugh himself, but instead against Michigan as it allows the athletes to continue competing in the season and also shows that the head coach represents the face of a football program, such as this one. The University of Michigan played their first of three games without Harbaugh on Saturday, Nov. 11 against Pennsylvania State University where they won 24-

Paul Sancya/Assoicated Press in WSJ

15. Their final two games of the regular season will be against the University of Maryland on Saturday, Nov. 18 and The Ohio State University on Saturday, Nov. 25. Tensions are rising as the University of Michigan has high odds of making it to the Big 10 Championship held on Saturday, Dec. 2 with or without the team and fans’ beloved coach. However, investigations by the NCAA are still in progress and will likely not be concluded until well after the football season ends. Decisions on if Harbaugh will be allowed back for the possible championship game have not yet been determined but leave people anxiously waiting for an answer. For now, the rest of Michigan’s coaches, the staff and certainly the players must give the rest of their season the best they’ve got in order to make it to the championship game and come out strong on the other side of this scandal.

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11/13/2023 8:28:22 PM

ARTS H2 Dance performance captivates audience Grace Srinivasan Staff Writer


or the past two weekends, students of Hope College and the H2 Dance Company put on a phenomenal fall performance at the Knickerbocker Theatre in downtown Holland. The historical and well-known Knickerbocker Theater was built in 1911 by Hope to accommodate the people of Holland. The performance was choreographed by Sharon Wong, Matthew Farmer, and Jasmine Meija with guest choreographer Kristen Farmer. The perfomance opened with a slower ballet-style dance, titled “Stretto” because of its musical climax. This piece was choreographed by Matthew Farmer. The dancers wore ballet shoes and tan leotards. The audience was enthralled with the piece’s movements of grace and delicacy that demonstrated how deliberate and practiced the dancers were. Their twirls enthralled the crowd as their exquisite, beautiful moves filled the stage, and they were in perfect harmony with each other. A violin piece of contrasting rapid and slow speeds served as the music for this number. This inaugural dance piece was a beautiful start to the evening. One dancer in this ballet piece, Madeline Williams (’24), expressed that she “loved the graceful ballet elements of Stretto… that was a really fun piece for me to perform because I don’t usually perform such classical pieces so it was fun to work on a light and graceful piece.” Williams was also in the Elan Vital number choreographed by Kristen Farmer. On working with Kristen Farmer, Williams said “Kristen pushed me to the max with challenging choreography and having to have a strong and captivating performance amongst a difficult cardio set.” As a senior, this is Williams’ last season of dancing for H2 and the Hope Department of Dance. She said, “It was really fun to do a full company piece and to dance with all my friends for the last time at the Knickerbocker. It was really a full circle moment for me.” Another dancer in Kristen Farmer’s piece, Morgan Mohler (’24), found that “for Kristen’s

different styles. I was a rehearsal assistant for one dance, and it was nice to be able to step into that leadership role in the company. After being in the company for three years, I felt like I really understood [the choreographers]. I am going to miss working with them.”

Marquee outside the Knickerbocker Theatre

piece it was definitely very strong and refreshing to dance in a more jazz and contemporary style with more hard hitting elements.” Jennifer Almquist (’24) was also in the Kristen and Matthew Farmer pieces as well as Sharon Wong’s “We’re Just Getting Started” which channeled the 1960s with its vibrant, retro costumes. The costumes ranged from vibrant gowns to flowing wide-leg jeans. Almquist stated that “the audience seemed to really appreciate the variety in the dance styles and we got a lot of great feedback on the performance.” This dance showcased vigor and positivity in the movements. It was evident from their animated facial expressions that the dancers were having a blast performing. The performers’ vibrant outfits, updos and heels truly contributed to the overall professional performance impression. The dance piece following the show’s first seven minute intermission was “Who’s Game,” choreographed by Jasmine Mejia in collaboration with the dancers. The costumes for this piece contained sports uniforms, representing a variety of athletics such as softball, football, basketball, track, soccer and gymnastics. The dancers were singled out to showcase their skills in each sport’s suit while the music began slowly. It amused the audience immensely while conveying the message that every sport is important. Mohler also performed in “Who’s Game” and said that “for Who’s Game I think it was a new, fresh take on what dance and art can be… it was a refreshing experi-

Nico Kazlauskas

ence to learn and it was a fun experience to work with my other cast mates.” In general, for the H2 performances, Mohler declared “I had a great time performing with the entire cast and to dance alongside everyone in the entire company. The movement was very interesting and different. Its uniqueness made me excited to perform it.” Dancer Cali Smith (’24) also performed in the “Who’s Game” piece. She stated that “the show was super diverse and had something everyone can enjoy. It was nice to showcase that we are all very diverse dancers who can do very

The dancers performing in H2: “Stretto”: Zoey Cappatocio, Maureen Cole, Maggie Hartman, Abby Mains, Mackenzie Kellogg, Madeline Williams “We’re Just Getting Started”: Jennifer Almquist, Kylea Canada, Jordan Dillabough, Taryn Meyer, Sloane Provost, Cali Smith, Miranda Stepchuk “Who’s Game”: Kylea Canada, Zoey Cappatocio, Maggie Hartman, Claire Knodel, Shannon Rodreiguez, Cali Smith, Sloane Provost “Elan Vital”: Jennifer Almquist, Kailoni Christian, Claire Knodel, Abby Mains, Morgan Mohler, Shannon Rodriguez, Madeline Williams “De solitude et de logique”: All dancers listed above

10 10 Arts Page November.indd 1

11/13/2023 9:53:33 PM

Chaplain Bruce Benedict’s “creative crop rotation” Gabriel Wolthius Staff Writer


t’s fair to say that Bruce Benedict has a lot of experience when it comes to music. In addition to serving as Hope College’s worship chaplain since 2014, and being a professor of worship theology, he has also been involved in a wide variety of projects, bands and musical collectives. He has had a lot of time to hone his craft and a lot of opportunities to work with other artists, so he seemed like the perfect candidate to talk about art, creativity and inspiration. One talent that Benedict seems to put to good use frequently is being a collaborator and facilitator. Throughout our interview with him, Benedict seemed to be most interested in discussing his biggest influences and how many of his artistic contributions have been made alongside peers and mentees. “The more resources, influences, artists and people you introduce yourself to, the more you have to work with and the more interesting conversation partners you have.” While this statement in itself is solid advice, it’s even more intriguing to see how fruitful of a philosophy this has been for him in his work. Cardiphonia music is a col-

“The more resources, influences, artists and people you introduce yourself to, the more you have to work with and the more interesting conversation partners you have.”

Two albums Benedict collaborated on

Bruce Benedict

Hope College

lective-of-sorts that he has played a very active role in organizing. Each album, of which there are 25 currently available, can range from 10 to almost 30 songs, and each have a different vocalist and lead musician. Or look to Hope’s thriving chapel worship program, which is comprised of three different teams of students each year and has only continued to diversify in the styles of music and songwriting voices represented. He was also involved in the making of Work Songs by The Porter’s Gate, the stunning debut album from a collective of some of the most interesting and exciting spirituallyminded artists of the last 20 years (such as Audrey Assad, Madison Cunningham, Josh Garrels, Jon Guerra and Sandra McCracken). What’s more, he seems to continually find new avenues for collaboration, often based around breathing new life into timeless works of art. In addition to Cardiophonia, he has also been making music with Bellwether Arts, a group of Holland-based liturgical artists who release biblically-in-


spired music for different seasons of life. Yet another creative muse for him recently has been the rich folk tradition of the Great Lakes area. Working alongside a group that call themselves Michigan-IO, Benedict helps arrange and play gorgeous renditions of old Michigan folk songs that, like his countless works inspired by the Psalms, Gospels and other religious texts, help us remember the past and acknowledge the beauty of artistic traditions that came before us. Benedict himself readily points out that he is a big fan of building upon the resources that other artists have provided for us, especially those from a background of making art to glorify God. When honing his craft as a songwriter and musician in college, he was advised to “make music in the style of other artists until he got bored of that,” a strategy he frequently recommends to budding songwriters in the chapel team or at songwriting workshops. In his eyes, taking inspiration from other artists has become more gratifying the longer he has made art, almost comparing the process to working on a painting for a long time. “That’s the fun part about doing this for so many years, you’re always adding layers upon layers of color, context and content.” Speaking of painting, Benedict does that too, a passion he especially credits to some of the creative communities he’s been a part of. He dabbles in many different medias of art depending on where his inspiration is taking him, leading him to provide the surprising notion that writers’ block is a myth, or at the very least misunderstood. Citing a recent dialogue with rapper Sho Baraka, Benedict says that the phenomenon that people call “writers’ block” is just an artist reaching the end of the creative energies that have been carrying them to the point that they get stuck. Once artists hit this block it’s time for them to do a creative pivot. Hence, if he ever feels a lack of inspiration to write music, he might switch to painting, writing or pottery, a process that he calls “creative crop rotation.” In case this sounds like a bold and unsubstantiated new idea, Benedict also points out that Joni Mitchell spoke to a similar effect about 30 years

ago in The Sunday Times. Even some of his favorite artists like Sufjan Stevens (’98) and My Brightest Diamond, which Benedict enthusiastically encourages everyone to listen to, have had remarkable longevity while staying fairly prolific in their output by changing directions every time they make an album. It’s entirely possible that some readers will wonder why anyone should care about the revitalization of and reverence for past voices when, thanks to artistic tools becoming more accessible every

“That’s the fun part about doing this for so many years, you’re always adding layers upon layers of color, context and content.” passing year and the advent of streaming services, there is a saturation of content and a seemingly limitless wealth of new voices, ideas and means of expression. If so, truly consider the recent patterns in music-making, where new trends can spread fast enough to sound cliché and dated in a matter of months. Artists are hesitant to acknowledge their influences for fear of monetary repercussions (such as Olivia Rodrigo being forced to retrospectively add songwriting credits). This can also be seen in how bands have become a rare presence within pop charts at the moment. Whether or not these trends should spark serious concern is a separate issue, but at the very least, it’s refreshing to hear stories about healthy collaboration. Artists do still work together for the joy of making art with others, and Bruce Benedict has been instrumental to that process time and again. Benedict leads the Hope College worship teams Monday, Wednesday and Fridays at chapel and for the Sunday night Gathering and post-Gathering worship.

ARTS | Spring 2023 11 Arts Page November.indd 1

11/13/2023 9:51:59 PM

FEATURES A look into Hope Admissions with Nate Haveman Julia Haight Staff Writer


’m sure we can all remember what our college application process was like. Overwhelming, stressful, trying to pick the college thats the best fits us. Thankfully, we are past that part of our lives by now, but have you ever wondered what the process was like from the perspective of college admissions? In an interview with the Vice President of Admissions, Nate Haveman, he described what the process is like here at Hope. It begins when students are in the second semester of their junior year of high school, and this is when they typically take in-person tours of the campus and receive mail and emails from the school. “During their senior year, we capture students via email pretty early on. We do a communication plan for them in that general time period”, Haveman stated. During senior year, this is when students begin and complete their college applications. At Hope, students have the option to either complete their application through the Common Application, or apply directly through Hope. He also said, “This year, if students had their application completed by November 1st, they would hear our decision by early December.” The admissions staff at Hope makes the process as personable as they can. This begins once the school receives a student’s entire application. Havemen explained, “Since we aren’t a part of a large school, it allows us to spend so much more time review-

VP of Admissions Nate Havemen

Hope College

Hope College

A view of the admissions building, Bekkering house.

ing applications from students.”

“We take the time to get to know them as a person rather than a test score or GPA.” When it comes to reviewing the essay portions, they are read by many different people. “As staff we also look at the role we had in our own experiences. We really want students to find community and mentors, hold them to high expectations, and know that they are seen” he says. One other aspect that the staff ties into their decision making process is ensuring that as a school, we can provide what the student is looing for. Within the admissions office, there are 12-14 full time recruiters. They are separated into different geographical areas, and three admissions recruiters work solely with international students. Of those that work within the United States, they are separated into different regions and by schools as well. There is also a back office team who works on the application processing. Haveman says that “They do all the stuff nobody sees, they dot every i and cross every t. They make sure every detail gets covered.” Admissions also works closely with public affairs and marketing, as well as financial aid. “We are trying to iterate towards something more affordable for Hope Forward, so we work closely with the financial aid offices to do this” Haveman stated. There is also a campus engage-

ment team that works really hard when there are admissions events such as Anchor Days. Those who are on this team are there to help the prospective students engage in student panels, hear from current students and professors, answer any questions and push the students where they need to go. When it comes to prospective students touring campus, the process is as personalized as it can be. Haveman contuied, “Our visit process is really strong, and we want to make sure to showcase the organic events and student interactions. This way, the touring students can see what Hope would be like for them if they choose to come here.” Another thing that Haveman said that they try to emphasize is that not everything here is perfect, and not every day is going to be perfect either. When it comes to the tours, each student is paired up with a guide that matches them the best. “We have about 50 student tour guides from sophomores to seniors, and we do the best we can on cross-sections of academics, experiences, research, athletes, and more. When we see a prospective student is interested in xyz, we pair them up with who we see best fit for this part. The tours are about 45-55 minutes long, and we hit most of the campus.” When giving a tour, the team also caters to the student’ interests as well. Of course, they show every student the main buildings, such as Van Wylen library, the Bultman Student Center, Dimnent Chapel and Phelps Dining Hall. From there, they cater it to what the student is interested in. Haveman added “For

example, if we have someone who is really interested in athletics, we highlight and showcase DeVos Fieldhouse, or if we have someone who is interested in off-campus study, we show them the off campus study lounge in Martha Miller, or if someone enjoys art, we showcase the DePree art building” So for students touring, their tour is created to be something unique and specialized towards them. Just recently, the admissions office was assessed by Student Congress. Haveman said that he gets really excited about their work when something like this happens. “We had one of our student workers speak at the opening of Anchor Day, and the stories these students are telling are incredible.” He also emphasized that having students be able to form committees and shape governence is both crazy and great, not only for the leadership aspect, but it is just an incredible thing in general. “The community aspect of Hope is not perfect, but being able to hear student’s stories is a great thing. The work we do becomes especially important if we are trying to be holistic not in name but in practice.” Another point that Haveman wanted to emphasize was that by doing things such as dropping the requirement for a standardized test score for admission, allows all prospective students to be seen more clearly. “GPA is a marker, but so is community involvement, strong writing, etc. We want to get to know our students because they are the ones who are ultimately leading this school.”

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11/13/2023 7:25:50 PM

Vanderprov, a community for comedy and fun Bella Spry Staff Writer


n Nov. 5, around 10 p.m., Hope College’s Vanderprov met for their third show of the semester. The team consists of 10 Vanderproveians who performed a series of improv games. Crowd participation was encouraged and viewers roared with laughter throughout the show. Joel Scheneman ('24) has been a part of Vanderprov since his freshman year. An engineering major, Scheneman was drawn to Vanderprov because his brother was involved as a senior when Scheneman started at Hope College. Being involved in theater during his middle and high school years, Scheneman wanted to find something similar at Hope. Since being involved in the Theatre Department is a much larger commitment, Scheneman looked to Vanderprov. Started around 20 years ago, Vanderprov is Hope’s Improv Club. Scheneman stated that, as a club, “We want to provide a space for people to relieve stress and express themselves, and provide opportunities for theater as an art form that is not affiliated with the theater department. It’s free fun entertainment and a chance to grow community.” He then shared Vanderprov’s Organizational Statement: “Regardless of the individual Vanderprovian’s political or religious standing, Vanderprov is held in the light of being a fun, stress-relieving space for its members. In our silly space, we do our best to not just be funny, but to make smart and well-crafted comedy hence why we rehearse twice a week. We hold a firm stance that students are welcome to be part of our team regardless of gender identity, sexuality, or religious belief....” So how exactly does improv run? Scheneman explained that improv is very easily molded. The model for any scene is the acronym CROW: Character, Relationship, Objective and Where. Once these four are established, creativity is free-flowing. Joel also expresses that the first rule of Improv is the “Yes, And?” mindset. The goal of improv is to keep building on a scene, so it is impor-

13 Features Page Nov .indd 1

tant not to cut off a fellow actor. Improv is difficult, so Vanderprov strives to create a healthy and positive space where participants are encouraged to grow and openly discuss their “missteps, strengths, and weaknesses in any given scene”, as reflected in their mission statement. The group meets twice a week for an hour each to practice their improv, get to know each other and simply grow in the community. For those interested in joining Vanderprov, the group would love to meet you! Although it is too late to join this year, they always have a booth at the Student Activities Fair and advertise with posters in the fall. Auditions are in September and, as Scheneman stressed, are informal and light. It’s a time for the group to get to know the auditioner by playing a few improv games and chatting. If you’re interested, give it a try! When asked what his favorite thing about Vanderprov was, Joel said “Community. The team is pretty tight, we’re all very close. We want to get better at Improv but also have a safe, loving, and uplifting group. It’s a place to grow in improv and as people. It’s something special I couldn’t get somewhere else.” Similarly, Jayme Noll ('26) expressed “I love Vanderprov because it’s a second family. It’s almost an excuse for us to just goof around on stage in front of an audience.

Searching for honest conversation about faith and life? Desire spiritual support from LGBTQIA-affirming pastors?

“And the best part about

it is that I always walk into practice or a show, and I know that I’m going to laugh”.

Through its members, we can see how impactful the Vanderprov community is. Vanderprov tries to perform shows at least once a month, although Scheneman said that they were hoping to do at least two shows a month starting next semester. Vanderprov’s next show is Nov. 19. at 2 p.m. in the Schaap Auditorium. They also hold a show following Hope College’s classic Christmas Brinner. Stay tuned for more details near the end of the semester.

Annie Jouras

Vanderprov’s third performence of the year

Contact Pastor Phil and get connected. HOPE CHURCH LOGO PURPLE—C61 M96 Y0 K0 / R127 G51 B146 GREEN—C85 M22 Y100 K9 / R32 G136 B66 RED—C13 M100 Y100 K4 / R204 G33 B39 GOLD—C13 M29 Y100 K0 / R225 G177 B37


Room for All



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Master Final CE Wiers | Hedgehog Arts & Letters 06.09.2011

Features | Fall 2023 11/13/2023 7:24:52 PM

OPINION Taking our advocacy to the next level: Young people demand a seat Anna Whittle Guest Writer


uns are the number one killer of my generation. Since I’ve been a student at Hope College in Michigan, they have been at least two school mass shootings in the state. On Nov. 30, 2021, Tate Myre, Hana St. Juliana, Madisyn Baldwin and Justin Shilling were shot and killed at Oxford High School. In the wake of the Oxford school shooting, my friends and I established a Students Demand Action group at Hope. Being a founding member and leader for Students Demand Action at my college has taught me so much about how to lead when emotions are high and tragedy is present.

“While it’s easy to disengage from a problem that’s not affecting you directly, it’s near impossible to do nothing and ignore gun violence when it hurts someone you know.” Our new Students Demand Action group was just beginning to gain momentum when a tragedy close to home forced us to quickly spring into action. Almost a year and half after the horrific Oxford shooting, on Feb. 13, 2023, Arielle Diamond Anderson, Brian Fraser and Alexandria Verner were shot and killed at Michigan State University. While it’s easy to disengage from a problem that’s not affecting you directly, it’s near impossible to do nothing and ignore gun violence when it hurts someone you know. The Michigan State shooting was a spark for many Hope students, who had friends and family on campus that night. People from across the state showed up in droves to demand common-sense gun legislation at the State Capitol in Lansing. I even led a trip for Hope students

Students participating at the Demand a Seat: Student Edition program in Denver

to attend a rally with Gabbie Giffords and Moms Demand Action, where we advocated for a package of three common-sense gun violence prevention bills. That day in Lansing sparked something within me as I heard the stories of leaders, legislators and students affected by gun violence. I knew that I wanted to continue to be involved in the gun violence prevention movement, not only at Hope, but also on a larger scale. Earlier this year, Governor Whitmer went on to sign the three common-sense gun safety bills I advocated for: universal background checks, extreme risk protection orders and laying out safe storage requirements. I remember celebrating all these wins with our Students Demand Action group at Hope. Still, I wanted to do more. After applying, interviewing and being selected, I had the amazing opportunity to travel to Denver, Colorado over fall break to participate in the inaugural Demand a Seat: Students Edition program. Demand a Seat is an election training program hosted by Everytown for Gun Safety, where we learn from seasoned campaign pros, politicians and their staff about the fundamentals of building a winning campaign. During this extensive threeday program, 40 high school

Students Demand Action

and college students from across the United States came together to learn about the ins and outs of campaigns and build community with one another. My generation is sick and tired of politicians putting their political careers over our safety, so we are not only holding our current elected officials accountable, but we’re now demanding a seat at the table. Because we should

“My generation is sick and tired of politicians putting their political careers over our safety...”

have a say in the decisions being made about our futures. If current lawmakers refuse to change, then we will just work to replace them by running for office or working on campaigns. Our weekend in Denver was all about empowering young people to demand action by teaching us the fundamentals of political campaigns. Overall, the message from program leaders, guest speakers and fellow students was crystal clear: Young people are not the future—we are the now. My time in Denver was meaningful because it restored my faith in the political system by reminding me that change is possible and that students like me can be at the forefront of the change we hope to see within politics. Guns are the leading cause of death for children, teens and college-aged people in America. But while we continue to bear the brunt of this crisis, we’re also leading the fight to end it. At least seven Michigan students have been killed during school mass shootings in the past two years, and hundreds of Michiganders die by guns every single year. Something needs to change, and my participation in Demand a Seat: Students Edition showed me that young people will be the ones demanding this change and replacing those who refuse to protect us.

Participating students at the conference posing for a group photo

Students Demand Action

14 14 Opinion Page November.indd 1

11/13/2023 7:19:03 PM

OPINION Cinema’s ‘Chipfluence’ on an audience: An analysis of ‘Chipwrecked’ Nico Kazlauskas Photo Editor


uteur Theory is the idea that film directors have total control and operate as the true writers of a movie more than the actual writers. It makes sense; directors are given the option to control lighting, cutting, editing, camera

“Auteur theory is the idea that film directors have total control and operate as the true writers of a movie more than the actual writers.” movements, lenses, colors, tone, mise en scene and the camera operation as a whole. Whether you believe in Auteur Theory or not, it is safe to say that directors control their films so that the little compositional aspects and juxtapositions of scenes and their cutting match perfectly. The editing of a film acts like a political spectrum where Einsteinian Editing is when directors believe that the cutting of scenes should clash and cut often. Other directors may believe in maintaining action, keeping cuts to a minimum by using longer takes to preserve

“the realism aspect” of a scene which is called Bazininan Editing. Despite where a director lives on the editing spectrum, the idea that a scene influences an audience through its composition is unmistakable and it is purposefully done by a director and their style. A good example where editing comments on a movie’s theme is seen in the film, “Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked.” Directed by Mike Mitchell in 2011, “Chipwrecked” acts as the third installment in the Alvin and the Chipmunks series. The overarching theme of the film is independence, as all the chipmunks have developed a belief that they are old enough and responsible enough to care for themselves despite the constant and consistent chaos that seems to follow them everywhere they go. The film’s theme is mentioned many times throughout the movie

“This way of piecing together scenes reinforces the idea the movie was constructed in such a way as to clash with the theme of independence.”

“Chipwrecked” gives viewers much to ponder about its directior’s influence

Nico Kazlauskas

by the characters themselves, and of course, the editing itself, such as the quote, “Kids will rise to the occasion given trust.” Throughout the film, Mitchell edited the film in such a way that scenes are filled with Pudovkin editing. The cuts within the film are more noticeable and clash. Pudovkin editing is used to force a visual thematic message. This way of piecing together scenes reinforces the idea the movie was constructed in such a way as to clash with the theme of independence. The audience themselves are no longer able to watch the film independently, we are forced into a way of thinking and comprehending the scenes solely by the director’s editing. In the film, towards the end, there is a scene where the chipmunk Jeanette is being lowered into a volcano cave and forced to steal treasure against her will. The scene lasts roughly 30 seconds, but its use of editing is done so that this 30-second bit represents the entire theme of the movie. The scene starts with Jeanette being lowered into the cave while tied up. Immediately we are shown her freedom and independence being stripped away as she is physically taken hostage. Her descent into the cave clashes with the theme as well. Earlier in this article, the quote, “Kids will rise to the occasion given trust,” was stated. Jeanette being physically lowered while her freedom is being taken away contrasts that idea perfectly. The shot is a medium-establishing shot where the only things present in the frame are Jeanette dressed in purple and the cave’s yellowish glow. The colors purple and yellow are extremely intentional since when looking at the color wheel, they are complementary opposites. This presents us with the idea that Jeanette doesn’t belong in the cave and is being forced into a situation she will never belong in. Additionally, Jeanette begins to sing the song “SOS” by Rihanna. This song in the movie is different from the rest of the songs in the

“The only sound paired with her singing is a faint echo, presenting the audience with loneliness.”

film—there are no instruments. The only sound paired with her singing is a faint echo, presenting the audience with a new theme of loneliness. When we call out for help, we only can hear ourselves in response. As the lyric, “Someone help me,” is sung, the camera cuts into a closer shot of Jeanette, isolating her in the frame, which instills a feeling of fear and anxiety in the audience. We then cut to a topdown shot of the bottom of the cave. We see how far of a drop this is, adding more tension to the scene. We then are shown a long shot from the perspective of the bottom of the cave. The camera begins to tilt up, and we see again how high up and how far the drop is for Jeanette. Almost immediately, we cut away to Jeanette’s captor, naturally framed by a hole in the cave. The framing of her makes us feel trapped as the only natural light in the scene is blocked by the person holding Jeanette’s independence captive. We then cut to another close-up of Jeanette as she reaches the bottom of the cave, still singing acapella. Once she reaches the bottom and begins to ground herself just before the scene ends, we finally hear a bass line cello, then cut. It’s this type of editing in a scene that can influence an audience’s thoughts subconsciously. A brief 30-second scene can represent the entire movie’s theme through editing, angles, music, sounds, colors and visuals. Whether you believe in or even notice Auteur Theory, the director’s editing style on a film is unmistakable. Simple editing to a brief 30-second scene can change context and an audience’s emotions drastically.

OPINION | FALL 2023 15 Opinion Page November.indd 1

11/13/2023 7:22:04 PM

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