The Anchor: October 2023

Page 1




October 2023

Hope College Student Newspaper

Spera In Deo

Campus, p. 4-6

News, p. 7-9

Arts, p. 10-11

Features, p. 12-13

Opinion, p. 14-15

Fall SAC events return; gun ownership lecture with SDA

Climate action and second GOP debate

Album review of “GUTS” and preview of “Alabaster”

Discerning truth in a divided space

Finding Common Ground is: Moving Hope Forward

Cover photo by Nico Kazlauskas

1 Cover October.indd 1

10/2/2023 10:16:27 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 Editor Arts 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

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.

Mail letters to The Anchor c/o Hope College, drop them off at the Anchor office (located in the Martha Miller Center 151) or e-mail us at by Monday at 5 p.m. to appear in Wednesday’s issue.

Advertisement Deadlines: All ad and classified requests must be submitted by 5 p.m. Monday, prior to Wednesday distribution.

2 Meet the StaffOctober.indd 1

Contact Information: To submit an ad or a classified, or to request a brochure or other information, contact our Ads Representative at anchorads@ To contact our office, email us at



Letter Guidelines: The Anchor welcomes all letters. The staff re-

Advertising Policies: All advertising is subject to the rates, conditions, standards, terms and policies stated in The Anchor’s advertisement brochure.

10/2/2023 10:17:22 PM

Letter from the Editors



s the leaves change and we all slowly settle into our routines, I am becoming more excited for all that this semester will bring. I was honestly dreading the end of summer and the thought of another busy semester seemed overwhelming. Despite this, I was ready for a change and to have a different mindset towards this school year. I had a senior mentor my freshman year who told me that although she had more responsibilities and commitments her senior year, it all felt more manageable senior year than it did freshman year. She studied more efficiently, got homework done faster, and was involved in activities to a greater degree than ever before. As a result, she felt more confident, relaxed, and enjoyed more of the semester. As a freshman, I could barely even fathom that reality. How can you do everything and feel like it is not too overwhelming? As I carried on through tough classes and many extracurriculars, I felt like I would never be able to understand what she had meant. But this semester, I have gained more clarity, and I am starting to understand my mentor’s perspective. It was not that things had gotten busier, but rather that what I am passionate about is more directly related to what I am doing now more than ever. My closest friends are all involved in my extracurriculars, and my extracurriculars all relate back to topics I feel truly passionate about. I really love my jobs, and they have both given me an opportunity to look at things from a completely different perspective than ever before, allowing me to feel more certain about my future career path. And although I maybe have a little bit more studying left to do than I would like to, my classes this semester have proven to be a good mix of challenging and interesting. This semester I am realizing that it is not about how what you do affects your resume, but rather about how what you do affects the person you are becoming.

3 Letter from the EditorsOctober.indd 1

I think The Anchor is at a similar stage. We are continuing to evolve and grow in our mission: to provide the Hope community with the news and perspectives that matter most to us. And as a staff, we are all learning and growing along the way, and I hope our passion is evident to all our readers. Maybe the semester has not been the easiest transition or the most exciting. As things continue to settle in, I hope we can all feel more and more confident throughout this semester. No matter what stage you are in, I hope this semester brings us a little bit closer to being able to fully invest ourselves in what we are passionate about.


Spotting of The Anchor overseas in Cambridge during the Hope London May Term.

should rather

be than

embraced rejected.

ip hip hooray! It’s the start of a new school year and I’m no longer a ‘sophos-moros’ also known as ‘wise fool’ – at least not on paper that is! From recognizing familiar faces during class exchanges to taking major-focused classes to knowing the best spots on campus to study to no longer having a “syllabus” first week, I already feel like an upperclassman!

Here at the Anchor, we aim to consistently be learning. Not only do we seek to learn how to better communicate with and for the Hope College community, but we also seek to learn from the stories of the students, the faculty, the College, and the world. New team members and returning team members alike join in our learning journey. Together, I’m Co-Editor-in-Chiefs, Claire excited to enter into and embrace Dwyer (’24) and Madeline the start of the Anchor’s semester. Kenney (’25).

While ‘starts’ to anything can be exciting, they can be equally challenging. Starts can disrupt all that had previously been familiar and routine. They can lead to discomfort from the uncertainty of the future that lies ahead. I think a contributing reason to why individuals can feel discomfort and uncertainty amid life’s ‘starts’ is due to the fact that they have to learn what lies ahead. They have to learn how to navigate this new change. It is not naturally acquired. While it is not naturally acquired, what if we looked at this seemingly discomforting, unnatural process as in fact natural? As a student, this is even more important. Isn’t learning what we should be doing? We should be wanting to learn despite the discomfort. In fact, the Latin root word of student derives from the present participle ‘studere,’ which means an eagerness to learn. As such, not only should we learn, but we should desire to do so. With this mindset, the learning process

Gathering with friends in celebration of the start of the school year.


Madeline Kenney

Madeline Kenney

Claire Dwyer

10/2/2023 10:20:14 PM

CAMPUS Celebrating the beginning of fall with SAC events

Students decorate pumpkins at Fall Fest.

Grace Rossman Staff Writer


lthough the temperatures reached 80 degrees on the day of the Student Activities Committee’s annual Fall Fest event, it was still a successful night celebrating the beginning of the fall season. Apple cider, donuts, hayrides, corn mazes, pumpkin painting, bonfires and all things fall could be found at the Post Family Farm on Sept. 22. Catherine Rodrigues (’27) was one of the Hope College students enjoying the celebration of the changing season. “I am a big lover of fall,” Rodrigues said. “Even though it was 80 degrees, I felt like it was a good experience to get off campus and try something new. Coming from the East Coast, it was like a little taste of home for

Students peer over fence at goats.

Nico Kazlauskas

me, so I really appreciated that.” Rodrigues’ experience began with grabbing some apple cider and donuts, before heading to the woods to enjoy the fire pits. “My favorite part of the night was the little woodsy campfire moment with the s’mores and the hot dogs.” She especially liked walking through the forest on the dirt path that led to the bonfires. “I thought that was so fun and clever,” Rodrigues said. She ended the night with an authentic tractor hayride, which made a stop at the corn maze halfway through. “The corn maze at night was a little scary,” Rodrigues admits, but she still enjoyed the experience, and says it was a “ten out of ten.” Although she did not get to ride the hayride or walk through the corn maze, as a Core Member of

Donuts are served at Post Family Farm.

SAC, Lucy Neville (’26) got to view firsthand the positive impact that the Fall Fest tradition has on the Hope College community. “SAC puts on Fall Fest because this is a big event that creates community within our school,” Neville said. “This is an important event for our school and it brings a lot of people together. It is also toward the beginning of the year so this helps students get out of their comfort zone and meet new people.” One of SAC’s objectives for this year’s Fall Fest was to make it even better than last year. According to Neville, “One of our goals was to make Fall Fest more accessible to all of the students at Hope College,” Neville added. “We also created signs to direct students once they got to the farm, we helped set up, clean up and worked different shifts throughout the night.” Their hard work does not go unnoticed by Rodrigues, who appreciates everything SAC did to make Fall Fest a hit. “I really feel

Nico Kazlauskas

like SAC went above and beyond with this,” Rodrigues said. “I just want to say a huge thank you to all the volunteers who were there throughout the entire night.” After enjoying the many activities that SAC made possible, Rodrigues felt very appreciative of the committee’s dedication that she witnessed throughout the entire night. “It was hours of countless work making sure that there were logs in every fire or making sure that people were lining up correctly or in the right spot for the hayride and just providing a lot of different activities.” SAC members put in hours of work to make this night what it was, and despite all of the extensive planning and manual labor, Neville remained positive-minded. At the end of the day, she stated, “ was amazing to see all the students who came to Fall Fest and had such a wonderful time. It feels so incredible to have a positive impact on the Hope College community.”

Nico Kazlauskas

4 4 Campus Page October.indd 1

10/2/2023 9:56:10 PM

With music and more, SAC Coffeehouse is back

Coffeehouse audience enjoys the ambiance of the BSC Family Room.

Coffeehouse audience listens on as Kellen Woolhiser (’27) plays.

Grace Rossman Staff Writer


s a piano player of 13 years, Kellen Woolhiser (’27) decided to share his talents at the Student Activities Committee Coffeehouse event on Thursday, Sep. 14. Performing a variety of pieces, such as orchestral pieces and Broadway songs, Woolhiser filled the Bultman Student Center Family Room with his serenades for over an hour. It was really fun just getting to run through a bunch of different music,” Woolhiser said. “I like the idea of getting exposure, getting out there and playing in front of people, just getting as many little opportunities like this as I can, which was kind of my goal coming here.” Every other Thursday, students are invited to bring their homework, snacks and friends to the BSC Great Room to enjoy the Coffeehouse performances. With two performers over the course of the two-hour event, Coffeehouse displays the many talents of Hope College students, including solo singers, bands, instrumentalists, dancers and poets. Director of Coffeehouse, Matt Czmer (’24), loves seeing students express themselves in the safe space Coffeehouse provides. “It makes

Nico Kazlauskas

me really happy that these students have a creative output, they have a place to play their instrument or sing or whatever they might be doing,” Czmer said. “It’s just a really great time to sit around for students to do homework, relax, hang out, take a break for their day and get ready for Friday.” As a 2014 Hope alumni, Coordinator of Student Life and SAC Advisor, Teagan Quinnell has seen Coffeehouse events evolve over the years. She remembers a time when they took place in the old Kletz Market, and she has overseen the program as it transitioned from a weekly to a bi-weekly event due to a lack of performers. “This year, we are doing Coffeehouse every other Thursday,” Quinnell said. “I don’t know if it’s that people don’t want to perform, but I know people have tons of talent, so we’re doing our best to reach out to students that we know.” On top of student performers, Coffeehouse also features different groups on campus, according to Quinnell. “We might do a collaboration with worship,” she said. “We like to also work with certain MSOs because they like to do a Coffeehouse takeover, and they like to display different cultures.” Czmer hopes that hosting

the event every other week will make it easier to find performers and alleviate the pressure that some students may feel to perform. He offers some advice for those who are on the fence of performing at Coffeehouse: “I would tell them that it is a very welcoming environment. Nobody here is judging you for any of your abilities. I myself am not musically inclined, so anybody who has any musical talent is impressive to me. It’s just a super welcoming space and we really love students to come participate.” Quinnel and Woolhiser also spoke to the nerves of any students considering performing at Coffeehouse. Both agreed that it is a low-stress environment, and Woolhiser added from his experience, saying, “…you’re

Nico Kazlauskas

just playing some nice ambiance music while [students] study so it’s as much enjoyment for you as it is for anyone listening.” One of the many students who attended Coffeehouse on Thursday is Katie Barth (’27), whose first Coffeehouse proved to be a relaxing evening spent working on her homework. Barth, who hopes to one day perform at Coffeehouse, applauds all of the student performers: “I think what makes this event special is that we get to see our peers showcase their talents and we get to celebrate them…that’s a really special thing about Hope and its character.”

If you are interested in performing, contact for more information.

CAMPUS | FALL 2023 5 Campus Page October.indd 1

10/3/2023 1:08:20 PM

Impact of gun ownership weighs on Hope students Sydney Hughes Staff Writer


ope College’s Students Demand Action for Gun Sense (SDA) chapter partnered with the Peace and Justice Department to bring to the community guest speaker, Shane Claiborne. Natalie Schiller (’26), a member of Hope’s SDA and survivor of the 2021 Oxford shooting, opened Claiborne’s lecture with words on her experience as an advocate against gun violence. Claiborne’s presentation took place in Winants Auditorium and was titled “Beating Guns.” It featured his thoughts on the epidemic of gun violence as it applies to the Christian perspective, as well as what we can do as students, individuals, activists and members of the community to bring about real change regarding the issue. Claiborne highlighted his time fighting for peace on the front lines in Iraq and Afghanistan. He reflected on how these

experiences impacted his point of view and fueled his fight for peace. This fight has close ties to Hope’s community members, including Natalie and Lauren Schiller (’24), two of the leaders of the school’s SDA chapter. Lauren began to lay the groundwork for the organization after her sister Natalie survived the Oxford High School shooting. Lauren recalled her desire to create “An organization that brought more awareness to the epidemic of gun violence and was able to make change.” Claiborne carefully articulated what makes guns so controversial and dangerous: their finality, their permanence and, most importantly, the purpose behind their creation. “We can devise ways to hurt people if we want to, but there are some things that are designed to kill.” This analogy is frequently used as an argumentative tactic by SDA members in their efforts to lobby. They argue that, due

Get 10% off with your Hope ID!* Anytime! Valid on one food item. Not valid with other discounts. 20 West 8th St. | Holland, Michigan | @waverlystonepub

6 6 Campus Page October.indd 1

Claiborne speaks in Winants Auditorium.

to this intention, gun ownership should require a larger number of restrictions and regulations than other threats to life such as cars. Guns are the main cause of death in the United States for college- and high-schoolaged individuals. Car-related accidents were treated as a public health emergency and various restrictions were placed on seatbelt and car usage. Hope’s SDA then questions: Why is gun violence not receiving the same amount of attention and urgent action? During his visit, Claiborne spoke on how individuals can potentially manage the turmoil, fear and stress that this rampant increase in gun-related deaths has caused. He also emphasized that spreading awareness is the first step for those who wish to make an impact. In an article for Red Letter Christians, Claiborne wrote, “RAWtools is an organization that seeks to reverse tools of war into garden tools. We disassemble guns and convert them into spades, trowels and jewelry. We want to show that God, working through humans, can take ugly, horrible things and make them beautiful.” Hope students, particularly in SDA, claim that outlets like this are significant in the process of learning to cope with the trauma that the issue has caused. The students stand by the notion that we can use sadness and anger to fight for change. Lauren, the president of Hope’s SDA, says that it is best to let each other have the space to “feel those emotions.” The organization faces a difficult mission, and conversations must be had about where to bridge the gap between seriousness and

Nico Kazlauskas

lightheartedness in their activism. Claiborne’s experience as a Christian leads him to another question that has been central to his activism: How do we deal with a conflict that is politically controversial, yet clearly holds common moral grounds? As Natalie stated, “Gun control, the word itself, is kind of scary to people who lean right.” Claiborne implied that those in the Christian community may find it more difficult to grapple with drastic changes in laws regarding guns, and says that gun violence is a “spiritual crisis.” He also acknowledged that if this part of the gun-owning population realizes how deeply the issue of gun ownership and violence lies, it has the potential to become a politically neutral question. Also included as one of Claiborne’s areas of concern in his lecture was gun ownership’s role in domestic violence. He stated, “A gun in the home means that you are five times more likely to become a victim of domestic homicide.” Though not closely linked at first glance, gun and domestic violence in combination can be catastrophic. The SDA’s next event is in support of Domestic Violence Awareness month, which begins in October. They plan to make blankets to send to a resiliency center. The organization urges Hope’s students and community to garner as much support for the cause as possible—because the end to gun violence is inconceivable until policies are put in place to combat it.

For more information, check out SDA on Instagram: @hopecollege_sda.

10/2/2023 9:59:15 PM

NEWS GOP Debate Recap: Candidates to Follow Shane Pitcher Staff Writer


n Sept. 27, seven Republicans took the stage at Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in the second GOP debate to determine who the party will choose as their next presidential candidate. Those candidates, in order of pre-debate polling numbers were Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, biotech billionaire Vivek Ramaswamy, former South Carolina Governor and United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, former Vice President Mike Pence and North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum. Former President Donald Trump is still the frontrunner, by as many as 16 points in the early polling states. Rather than debating, the former President chose to speak to auto workers in Detroit, where he tried gaining support and speaking about the dangers of a shift to EV technology in the auto industry. The structure of the debate made it so that there were no opening or closing statements. Candidates had a minute to respond to questions given to them by a moderator and 30 seconds for any follow-ups. The first topic was the recent strikes by the UAW. Most of the candidates shared a similar conservative sentiment that they supported unions, but only to an extent. They supported the workers but called out that some Union demands included more pay for less hours. Ramaswamy was quoted as saying, “Victimhood is a choice” and he, as well as Mike Pence, suggested workers should picket at the White House because of high inflation. Tim Scott showed relative support for the unions saying the “American Dream is alive and well,” and Haley added that she wants to eliminate gas and diesel tax. The debate shifted towardsthe nation’s debt, and Christie and DeSantis both called out the Trump and Biden administrations

Candidates take the stage for the second GOP debate. From L to R: Doug Burgam, Chris Christie, Nikki Haley, Ron DeSantis, Vivek Ramaswamy, Tim Scott and Mike Pence.

for adding a combined $12 billion to our nation’s debt during their terms. Christie told Trump to “Stop hiding behind his golf clubs like a coward and come debate,” and called him “Donald Duck.” Tensions slowly began to rise to the point where there were multiple minutes of inaudible yelling between Burgum trying to make a name for himself, Scott taking shots at Ramaswamy and DeSantis trying to mediate their scuffle.

While they had slightly differing approaches to the issue, all seven Republicans agreed that there is a crisis at the border that the Trump and Biden administrations have failed to successfully address. One topic all of the candidates were able to agree on was the situation at the border. While they had slightly differing approaches to the issue, all seven Republicans agreed that there is a crisis at the border that the Trump and Biden administrations have

failed to successfully address. They all want to diminish illegal immigrants crossing at the border and the travel of fentanyl throughout the country. China became a heavy topic as all candidates acknowledged they want less Chinese influence on the U.S. and surrounding countries in North and South America. DeSantis also talked about limiting American businesses setting up shop in China. Shots were fired at Ramaswamy towards his former business dealings in China and then his lack of a voting record. China also came up on multiple occasions over the course of the debate in regard to the Russian-Ukraine War, TikTok and tech companies. Some other topics that were discussed were candidates’ views on education, the healthcare system, the LGBTQ community, support of the Ukraine war, abortion and TikTok. Some viewers noted the lack of questions involving gun violence. That was something that was briefly touched upon, but was quickly diverted into an argument about education. Following the debate, Trump is still the large frontrunner, his lead largely unchanged. DeSantis holds his spot at second, but after what

LA Times

was viewed as a stellar performance by Haley, he should be careful. Haley leapfrogged Ramaswamy in the polls following the debate which is a big deal following Ramaswamy’s performance in the first debate. Scott asserted himself as a legit contender and has gone up in the polls. These five are all seen as legitimate candidates and you can look to see all of them at the next debate. Note, however, that Trump might skip out on the next debate as well, assuming he retains his polling lead. Ultimately, it is expected, based on poll numbers, that Christie, Pence and Burgum will not garner enough support to make it into the next debate. It is important to note that Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, businessman Larry Elder, Pastor Perry Johnson and entrepreneur Ryan Binkley are still technically in the race for the Republican nomination. Unfortunately, none of them met the qualifications to debate: 3 percent or more on at least 2 national polls and have 50,000 unique donors. The third GOP debate will take place in early November. The GOP is yet to release information on sponsors, date or specific location.

7 7 News page October.indd 1

10/2/2023 10:35:22 PM

Combating Climate Change Worldwide Heidi Hudson Staff Writer


ll summer, headlines screamed of recordbreaking temperatures. Fires erupted in Canada turning the sky in New York City orange, Maui burst into flames and any air quality regressed from progress gained past years of work. A question that has been hanging in the air for years is now too large to ignore: Is the earth warming? Is our climate really changing? On Sept. 20, the United Nations gathered at their headquarters in New York City to discuss these ever-present and urgent questions presented by climate change. The United Nations are confident that the summit, lead by Secretary General António Guterres, demonstrates a “...collective global will to accelerate the pace and scale of a just transition to a more equitable renewable energy based, climate-resilient global economy." This event was organized to tackle the regression from climate change progress and was called the Climate Ambition Summit, and top leaders in climate action spoke at the summit. Intentionally, leaders from the highest global polluters, the United States, India and China, were not allowed to have speakers to further highlight the importance of taking meaningful climate action. Often, the negative impact of high emissions from wealthy countries have a bigger effect on underdeveloped countries. Representatives from China and India did not attend the summit, feeding a new idea that ego is what is at the core of action stagnation: Nothing changes because emissions are the business of thriving countries. China, for example, has a thriving factory industry. When forced to face their contribution to the environment, the whole of their economy rides on what other countries are saying should be stopped. Their success as a country is dependent on their industry. The outcomes of the summit are outlined on the United Nations website and founded around three tracks: ambition, credibility and implementation. While no concrete pledges were formed, it is clear that there is an intention to bring

and take-out containers reduce waste from styrofoam and plastic dishware; Kleinheksel Cottage, with the help of the engineering department, has newly installed low emissions accommodations powered by solar panels. These are just some of the examples of how Hope is doing their part in implementing change. Change does not and will

Climate change isn’t something that can be solved locally, yet it requires local action. Bowman and Christians talk in a CIS Breakout Session.

about change in global emission policies and project funding.

There is one thing, however, that we know with substantial certainty— climate change is real and it is happening to our world as we eat, sleep and breathe. On Sept. 27, just one week after the Climate Action Summit, Hope College held a Critical Issues Symposium where students and faculty explored the importance of pursuing truth in our studies. Former faculty member Dr. Josh Bowman and current engineering professor Dr. Jeff Christians tackled a breakout session on climate change. Dr. Christians specifically studies the implementation of sustainable practices on campus and in the city of Holland using his knowledge of engineering and chemistry. In the session, the professors discussed the certainty of what there is to know about climate change and what its true effect is. There is one thing, however, that we know with substantial certainty — climate change is real and it is happening to our world as we eat, sleep and breathe. So, what can be done to help our worsening climate situation?

Matthew Scogin

The answer is more complicated than you would think. Climate change isn’t something that can be solved locally, yet it requires local action. It is a problem that requires a simultaneous effort. Hope has implemented its own sustainable practices to contribute: Phelps Dining Hall features a greenhouse; reusable silverware

not come from one area’s effort. Holland, Michigan cannot solve the problem of global warming on their own. In last week’s breakout session, Christians said, “It has to be local and it has to be a lot bigger than that.” What is happening at Hope is a start. What happened at the Climate Ambition Summit is a start. With local focus and global ambitions, we can hope for a more sustainable future.

HOPE is offering

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

88 8 News page october.indd 1

10/2/2023 10:37:06 PM

The WGA wins while SAG-AFTRA struggles Strike Updates Ava Bell

Staff Writer


n May 1, 2023, members of the Writers Guild of America (WGA) voted to go on strike after there was no agreement made to improve a contract called the Minimum Basic Agreement (MBA), which protects the guilds film and television writers. Making this writers strike the second longest at just five days shorter than the 1988 strike, WGA East and WGA West marched on the picket lines against The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) for 146 consecutive days before studios were forced to negotiate. Bringing a breath of relief for 11,500 members of this union, a tentative agreement was made on Sept. 24, 2023 and was finalized after the Negotiating Committee, WGA West Board and WGA East Councils all voted in favor. “It is the leverage generated by your strike, in concert with the extraordinary support of our union siblings, that finally brought the companies back to the table to make a deal,” said the WGA Negotiating Committee in an announcement about the agreement. “We can say, with great pride, that this deal is exceptional—with meaningful gains and protections for writers in every sector of the membership.”

“It is the leverage generated by your strike, in concert with the extraordinary support of our union siblings, that finally brought the companies back to the table to make a deal.” This new deal gives the WGA fair pay and protections against artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, both of which being major points of negotiation for this contract. According to the Summary of the 2023 WGA MBA, the minimum pay of writers will increase

WGA members show appreciation for WGA leadership

These writers were prepared to fight until they were given the terms that they think they deserve and that is exactly what they did. at a rate of 5 percent upon the contracts ratification, 4 percent in 2024 and 3.5 percent in 2025, considering this same contract will be negotiated again in May of 2026. While originally arguing for a minimum increase of 6 percent, 5 percent and 5 percent for the next three years and making the final contract less than originally wanted. The WGA beat the AMPTP’s original offer of a 4 percent, 3 percent and 2 percent increase each year respectively. In addition, this summary stated that “AI can’t write or rewrite literary material, and AI-generated material will not be considered source material under the MBA, meaning that AI-generated material can’t be used to undermine a writer’s credit or separated rights.” The terms of this contract reflect a strong and persistent union who fights for what they want and what they believe is right. These writers were prepared to fight until they were given the terms that they thought they deserved and that is exactly what they did. When the AMPTP came back with their offers to the initial proposals, the WGA voted “no” and continued to refuse to work.

Brittany Woodside

When Bob Iger, Chief Executive Officer of Disney, stated in an appearance on CNBC’s Squawk Box that “...there’s a level of expectation that they have that is just not realistic,” the WGA struck back harder. This story is one of inspiration and one of great hope because even though sibling unions such as the Directors Guild of America (DGA), The Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) and the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) have stood in solidarity, the odds were against the WGA. The producers hold the money, and therefore the producers hold the power. But much like David beat Goliath, the WGA beat the AMPTP, and now the writers can write with fair pay and protections. Following the agreement, four late night talk shows includ-

SAG-AFTRA on strike

ing ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” CBS’ “The Late Night With Stephen Colbert,” NBC’s “Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and “Late Night With Seth Meyers,” said in a joint announcement on their podcast created in order to raise money for the writers out of work called “Strike Force Five,” that each of their shows would be returning to air on Monday, Oct. 2. Similarly, HBO’s “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” was set to return on Sunday, Oct. 1. The writing business is slowly but surely getting back up and running, but that doesn’t mean war with the AMPTP is over. SAG-AFTRA has been on strike since July 14 when the SAG-AFTRA TV/Theatrical Committee stated in an announcement that “SAG-AFTRA’s National Board convened this morning, July 13, and voted to issue a strike of the Producers–SAGAFTRA TV/Theatrical Contracts of 2014, as amended by the 2017 and 2020 memoranda of agreement, effective July 14, at 12:01 a.m.” SAG-AFTRA is fighting for similar changes in their contract. Among others, the similarities include an increase in minimums and protections against AI. On Oct. 2, SAG-AFTRA will meet with the AMPTP to resume negotiations. Until then and much like the WGA, they stand tall and they keep fighting with the support of their sibling unions behind them, because while one war is over, the other still roars on amid the push for change.


9 9 News October.indd 1

10/2/2023 10:44:15 PM

ARTS Art, ‘Alabaster’ and anthropomorphic goats Gabriel Wolthuis Staff Writer


r. Daina Robins should not need an introduction.

As a director, professor and administrator at Hope College for over thirty two years, she has the skills, talent and experience to be directing productions with venues and budgets that would be unthinkable in a town the size of Holland, Michigan. However, she has long had a preference for smaller, more intimate productions. Hence why Robins has thrived at Hope. Her preference for smaller productions is one of the reasons she has chosen “Alabaster,” a fourperson play by Audrey Cefaly, as her last show as a Hope faculty member. “Smaller-scale productions, such as ‘Alabaster,’ give me more time to spend with the actors and give the actors more time to spend with each other, allowing for a more intimate process and creating a more personal connection with the audience,” she says. “Alabaster” is a drama that benefits from that intimacy, as it explores themes of loss, grief, trauma and healing (among other things) concepts that are easier to explore contemplatively when each character is given space in the script for their own story. It is the kind of play that demands the audience’s full attention be paid to each character in order to do their stories justice. There are several reasons why Robins chose this particular play. The first aspect she emphasized is that she “likes productions that don’t try to duplicate film.” Case in point: two of the four characters

Robins directs rehearsing cast.

are goats (played by humans), and one of those goats is a significant speaking role. This creative decision sets this story apart from other mediums of storytelling, but what is even more extraordinary is that these goats are also absolutely integral to the story; in fact, one of the goats is the narrator. Both play crucial yet nuanced roles in reducing the distance between the audience and June, the deeply scarred and hurting protagonist who does her best to remain isolated from the rest of the world after being the sole survivor of a tornado strike. This exploration of loss, trauma and scars is another reason Robins was so captivated by this story. Both of the human characters in the story (June and a photographer named Alice) have experienced significant trauma, and the play intelligently explores the multifaceted nature of how people deal with psychological and physical wounds. Robin’s insight into this core theme is fascinating: “...there are traumatic events that the two women in this play are dealing with. On some level, they help each other, but they’ve both got scars, literally and metaphorically. Looking at how human beings cope with loss in healthy and unhealthy ways, both with each other and alone, the playwright asks some hard questions, and that speaks to me.” As Robins continued to expand upon her insights into this drama and her appreciation for theater, it became abundantly clear that getting audiences to engage with difficult questions essential to the human experience is one of her

Lydia Konings (’24)

Lawrence (’26) as June and Wake (’26) as Alice rehearse.

deepest-held motivations. In her words, “ humanizes us and improves our quality of life. When you go to the theater to watch a play for two hours, it adds to your quality of life. It makes you engage with different perspectives and different circumstances that are not yours. To engage with theater is to become a more empathetic person.” She was enthusiastic about the importance of live performance in particular, pointing out that with pre-recorded, prepackaged media, especially film and television (which makes up the vast majority of art that the world engages with), there is a barrier to connecting with it, whereas live performances have an intimacy and immediacy that allow for a more in-depth engagement. Tragically, live performances and thoughtful reflection have not been high priorities in the current cultural landscape of the United States, which Robins sees as a clear indication of how a lack of emotional human flourishing is prioritized in this country. Fortunately, Hope has not abandoned its commitment to challenging and meaningful art. Many of the plays produced and performed throughout the year engage with challenging and enriching topics, such as “Alabaster” or “Bright Star,” the musical that Robins directed in the spring of ’22. Not only that, Hope continues to provide students with free admission for plays performed during the school year. Robins is particularly encouraged by the shift in attitudes towards underrepresented or marginalized voices at Hope. “I do feel encouraged by the commitment to cultural competence, di-

Lydia Konings (’24)

versity and equity, as well as the increased awareness that there is more to this world than Holland, Michigan. I see sincere efforts and commitment to those things, and I see the difference that organizations and establishments like the Keppel House have made for students that feel on the fringes.” This brings us back to “Alabaster.” Taking into account Robins’ commitment to supporting marginalized voices, as well as her passion for reducing barriers related to misunderstanding, it makes perfect sense that she would choose to cap off her illustrious career as a Hope theatre director with this story. Comprising of a small, all-female cast of characters on the figurative and literal fringes of society, it is likely that a good portion of the audience will not find the play relatable, but that in many ways makes it the perfect story to make each and every audience member to grapple with uncomfortable topics. Hopefully, in the aftermath of the discomfort, people walk away from the theater slightly better equipped to see the humanity in each and every person, regardless of identity, circumstance or defining characteristics. “Alabaster” will be performed between Oct. 13 and 15, with additional showings between Oct. 19 and 22. The play stars Kate Lawrence (’26), Audrey Kunce (’26), Sofia Wake (’26) and Kelsey Siverston (’24).

10 10 Arts Page October.indd 1

10/3/2023 1:10:05 PM

Students react to new Rodrigo album ‘GUTS’ Grace Srinivasan Staff Writer


he Anchor sat down with two Hope College students who are fans of singer and songwriter Olivia Rodrigo to discuss her latest album. Rodrigo is an up-and-coming singer, more formally known for starring on the tv-show series, “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series.” She has recently blown the music world away with the debut of her sophomore album, “GUTS.” From the marketing to the overall release of the album, Rodrigo did phenomenally at reaching her target demographic. The album features thoughts of heartbreak, maturity and growth. Alyssa Segura (’23) mentioned her favorite song off the album was “teenage dream.” I thought ‘teenage dream’ was very honest and kind of got to the depth of who you are as a young woman that you don’t necessarily want to confront.” Another student, Nyomi OliverMartins (’23), said her favorite song from the album was “pretty isn’t pretty,” “ go on social media and you are exposed to all these beautiful women, and it’s really easy to look at them and feel insecure of how you look. I like how in ‘pretty isn’t pretty,’ we have makeup, change our hair and do all of these things, and it still feels like it is not enough. We need to realize that we are already beautiful.”

“I felt happy and sad and felt a mix of emotions. I felt like I was able to scream and be happy and jump towards the end and self-reflect on myself. It was a mix, it was everything all at once.” When both fans were asked about their first learning experience of the album was like, Segura responded with, “[It] definitely contained a lot of jaw-dropping lyrical moments and also jawdropping sound moments… I feel like she really stepped in her

with, “‘ballad of a homeschool girl’...because I know how it is being awkward with social groups, and how what you say isn’t right. I rethink everything I say ...sometimes I overshare and think ‘Why did I say that?’” For the final question, Segura and Oliver-Martins were asked what their favorite lyrics from the album were, and if they held any special significance.

GUTS album cover

pop-rock era, and I thought it was cool because I really hadn’t heard an album like that in a while.” Similarly Oliver-Martins said, “I felt happy and sad and felt a mix of emotions. I felt like I was able to scream and be happy and jump towards the end and selfreflect on myself. It was a mix, it was everything all at once.” As Segura and Oliver-Martins were contrasting Rodrigo’s first album, “Sour,” with her most recent album, “GUTS,” they both agreed that “GUTS” is more relatable and expands on content from her first album. Segura compared Rodrigo’s stylistic choices between the two albums saying, “‘GUTS’ is definitely more a pop-rock album… which I enjoy. I do think they are very different, but I think “GUTS” speaks to her growing up and having new perspectives on her relationships and what she’s going through. I do think they both serve different purposes so it’s hard to pick one that I prefer.” Unlike Segura, Oliver-Martins felt that the relatability of “GUTS” made it a more enjoyable album than “Sour”: “I feel like ‘Sour’ was like just about a breakup and ‘GUTS’ is more, like, breakup, but also after the breakup, how you feel when you’re alone by yourself,


processing, and everything that goes on beyond the breakup. I like ‘GUTS’ more because I can relate to it more and I feel like I can scream and relate to it more than ‘Sour’.” The students were asked where they thought Rodrigo came up with the album’s title: “GUTS.” Segura said, “...the lyrics definitely seem to be from the depths of who she is and the thoughts in her mind that don’t necessarily come out in normal day-today conversations. I think she admits to things people may find it difficult to or find it hard to articulate. I’d say honesty is a big central idea of this album.” Oliver-Martins said: “I think she named the album ‘GUTS’ because it’s like you’re getting everything out, all these emotions and feelings, and letting it go. She’s just releasing everything and it’s, like, messy.” When listening to an album, especially during the time of its release, there is typically a song that the listener gravitates towards. The Anchor asked these students what song they resonated with the most as they listened to the album for the first time. Segura said, “I like the lyrics and ballad form of ‘logical’, and it’s a very heart wrenching and beautifully done song.” Oliver-Martins responded

“I have to give myself grace and progress in life and learn things to grow into the person I want to be. It’s not easy and I’m not going to do everything right, but then again, I’m only 19.” Segura said, “From ‘teenage dream’, ‘ your whole life ahead of you, you’re only 19.’ It’s hard to want to grow up and stay young at the same time, and I feel like this lyric makes me rethink my last year as a teenager and how there is definitely a lot to still learn… I have to give myself grace and progress in life and learn things to grow into the person I want to be. It’s not going to be easy, and I’m not going to do everything right, but then again, I’m only 19.” Oliver-Martins said, “Maybe ‘my undying love, [now] I hold it like a grudge’. To get a little personal…my dad was not a part of my life. I remember when I was little I had such love for him, and he made promises he couldn’t keep…I resent that love for him because he didn’t deserve it. So when I hear ‘the grudge’, it brings me back to my younger self.” As we interact with new works of artistry, such as Rodrigo’s album “GUTS,” it is important as consumers to think about questions like these. It is one thing to scream song lyrics in your car, but it is another thing altogether to understand why the lyrics resonate so deeply with us, and what message the artist may be trying to promote with their work.

ARTS | Spring 2023 11 Arts Page October.indd 1

10/3/2023 1:09:40 PM

FEATURES Dr. Beattie: A new face in Communication Dept. Julia Haight Staff Writer


his past year, the Communication Department at Hope College hired a few new professors onto their staff. After visiting last spring and completing the interview process, two final choices were made. One of these professors the department chose to join their staff is Dr. Austin Beattie. Beattie was born in New Jersey, and grew up here in Holland, Michigan. After graduating from Black River High School, he attended Northern Michigan University to obtain his bachelor’s degree in Communication. During undergraduate school, he was also working full time, which resulted in his bachelor’s degree taking a lot longer to obtain. Despite this, he says, “I am grateful for the scholarship and teaching lessons I learned while working and being in school at the same time. I learned a lot about myself during this time and realized what I wanted to do with my life.” After finishing at Northern, Dr. Beattie went on to Western Michigan University to obtain his master’s degree and he recently graduated from the University of Iowa with his doctorate in Communication. His passion for the field of Communication was formed from a mix of working experience in telecommunication during undergraduate school and an enjoyment of talking with people. “What’s really interesting about working in telecommunications is that there are so many different perspectives of working with people. I dealt with all kinds of customers and realized that attitude was a huge predictor of how the experience with them was going to play out. Because of this, I wanted to look more closely at how people interact.” After realizing that he was interested in learning more about how people communicate, he switched his major to communication. Seeing the theories that he learned about play out in real life was an incredible experience for him, and gave him the opportunity to attend a conference with a professor, confirm-

12 12 Features Page Oct.indd 1

Dr. Beattie joined Hope’s faculty Hope College

ing the idea that communication was the right field of study for him Since he has spent so much time in upper-level education, Beattie obviously had some motives behind wanting to become a professor. “I enjoy doing research, thinking critically, answering questions, and I love learning from students by collaborating in the classroom. Every year I have students come up with creative new ideas for their assignments, and I love seeing what they are able to make. Students are so much fun and have a lot of energy.” He also said that, “A lot of the work I had done in my previous career was teaching-like, and I realized that this skill would be much more rewarding in a classroom.” This semester, he teaches the courses Comm 151- Media and Society and Comm 280- Quantitative Research Methods in Communication. When he recalls his application process to Hope, he said that he never thought he would end up back in Holland. After applying at a few big schools that were similar to the ones he attended, he stumbled upon the professor position here.

“When I was reading the description, it just fit who I was perfectly, the experience and skills I had lined up with exactly what they were looking for. It felt like God was telling me to apply for this job.”

tions about certain topics. “I have been in a lot of places where the mission statement isn’t carried through the practices of the place, but here at Hope there is someone who will listen to you every day, and do it in a hospitable way.

During his interview process, he said that everything just “felt right”. Everyone was welcoming, and this gave him a really good feeling about being here. He shared that having the potential to collaborate with students was a high priority on his list, and he knew he would have such opportunities at a smaller school like Hope. Even just after a few weeks here, he is so glad that he listened to that strong gut feeling telling him to be here. His favorite parts of being at Hope College so far are the students and the overall collegiality here. Something he admires about this school is the overarching sense of community built between both students and faculty members. He said that he has never been in any workplace where people are able to disagree with grace and still continue a professional relationship, and a place where people are encouraged to ask deep ques-

I love how the faculty here challenge each other to bring out the best in each other.” It is clear that Beattie has been enjoying his time here at Hope so far, and he has a passion for learning about and teaching communication. If you are interested in learning more about him or the topics he specializes in, take a course with him next semester or reach out to the Communication Department to welcome Beattie to campus!

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

LIVE 77 W. Eleventh Street Holland, MI 49423

Master Final CE Wiers | Hedgehog Arts & Letters 06.09.2011

10/3/2023 1:09:23 PM

Discerning Truth: A Challenge in a Divided Space als and truth and what individuals can do to better discern the truth. To start, McBrayer defined truth as the correspondence between a description of the world and the way the world is.

Truth is not created, rather it is discovered, and it is utterly objective.

McBrayer a philosopher, professor and published author from Fort Lewis College CO Fort Lewis College

Bella Spry Staff Writer


n Sept. 27, Hope College hosted its annual Critical Issues Symposium. This event is hosted by the Provost Office and Student Congress as a collaborative project and is open to Hope students, faculty and the Holland community. The day opens with a keynote speaker, followed by two sets of breakout sessions that students can attend and finishes with a reception, where students have the opportunity to talk with the speakers of the day. This year’s topic was “Discerning Truth in a World of Uncertainty”, and the Keynote speaker was Dr. Justin McBrayer of Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado. McBrayer is a Christian and a philosophy professor with an emphasis in epistemology. He has written a few books, with his most recent titled, “Beyond Fake News; Finding the Truth in a World of Misinformation.” After interviewing Madeline Chrome, this year’s CIS director, she expressed, “You can see why he is a perfect fit for this year’s CIS!” McBrayer described himself as a “philosopher who likes to work on important human questions.” McBrayer opened his address with two statements: (1) the world is swimming with misinformation; (2) the world is becoming an increasingly challenging environment to navigate. In the remainder of his address, he delved into what truth is, what the barriers are between individu-

He emphasized that the truth is black and white because the world is black and white. However, the evidence we find for truth can sometimes be gray in the way we see and interpret it. Our view of the truth can be relative and fuzzy, but truth itself stays black and white nevertheless. Next, McBrayer listed a few things that bar us from the truth. First, he explained that our view of the world is limited. We do not know every side of every situation we encounter; our view can be narrow. We experience the world, but do not always see the full picture. This can also lead to disagreement, as other people see different sides to the same experience. Second, he says that there are two types of questions in the world: little questions that we answer on our own and big questions that we need help answering. Big questions that we struggle to answer alone, but don’t ask for help understanding, are the ones that can stop us from finding the truth. Third, Dr. McBrayer explains that we are not “truth computers”. He states, “We are wired to survive, not to think accurately and clearly about everything.” He also draws on the idea of heuristics. In psychology, heuristics are a mental shortcut where the mind strives to solve problems by filling in blank spaces with what it knows from previous experience. However, this does not always create a complete and accurate picture. It’s simply how our brain functions. McBrayer emphasizes that we crave social comfort over truth. According to student and professor surveys, 90% of college professors think they’re better at teaching than the average lecturer. Because we are human and not computers, we do not have the abil-

ity to inherently know the truth. Finally, McBrayer gave three tools on how to better discern the truth. First, he encourages cultivating diversity. Based on the idea that every person only has one perspective of the world, it is easier to piece together the truth when there are several different backgrounds sharing their viewpoints. Different voices must be welcomed into the conversation. Second, since there are questions that people are unable to answer on their own, there must be academic methods deployed. McBrayer used the example of libraries, labs and field studies. These methods open the doors for students to begin to see the truth in the world around them. Finally, McBrayer stresses the importance of the free competition of ideas.

In a world where so many things can be found offensive or crazy, it is even more important to be willing to listen and hear from everyone around you. McBrayer states, “Offense is a bad guide to the truth. Most true things will offend at least someone.” Essentially, “keeping ideas out of the university because they

CiS Pamplets

are offensive is a bad way to find the truth.” He uses examples of students being scared to speak their minds in class or newspapers being unable to write articles because they harbor fear of being shut down by the school. McBrayer highlights that, in order to find out the truth, people must be open to alternate perspectives of the world around them. This year’s Critical Issue Symposium tackled a highly significant topic. As stated by Madeline Chrome in an interview, “When we were thinking about topics, we wanted something broad and engaging to a wide audience, but also relevant to society today. News, media and in general, the US, is very polarized. There’s lots of mixed information. It’s hard to discern what’s truth, opinion and fact. It’s hard to discern the facts and what to do with them. We want to equip students and the community with the tools to discern facts and opinions.” In today’s culture and society, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find truth in the chaos of social media. Misinformation can quickly spread and people are driven to express opinions in aggressive and hostile ways, often without caring to listen to the other side. McBrayer stresses that, while there may be barriers and tough conversations, the truth is out there. And it is more critical than ever to find it.

Nico Kazlauskas

Features | Fall 2023 13 Features Page Oct.indd 1

10/2/2023 10:05:02 PM

OPINION Common Ground: Moving Hope Forward Heidi E. Kraus Guest Writer


n her book “Generous Thinking: A Radical Approach to Saving the University,” Dr. Kathleen Fitzpatrick offers the following: “Generosity lies in part in the force of the commitments that we make to one another, but commitments that are based on an ethical obligation that endures beyond and outside individual agency. It’s a commitment that we must continually make the choice to renew, but an obligation that persists regardless of our choice. Generosity, in my sense, both dwells in and grows from conversation: a generosity of mind.” Focusing on conversation, Fitzpatrick highlights the need for generosity to be continually renewed to function. Conversation demands not that we become more giving, but that we become

Event Logo

Hope College

more receptive. We must inhabit a role that is not just about speaking but also about listening, absorbing and considering what our conversational partners have to say. Listening, absorbing, considering: These ideas about generous conversations made me think more about our campus community. Specifically, what is the common ground, the fertile soil, that unites us as a community of learners despite our differences? How does common ground contribute to feelings of genuine belonging and deep understanding? How can Hope College’s Christian aspirations, Virtues of Public Discourse and Hope Forward pillars serve as this “common ground”? These questions were rooted in this year’s Pre-College Conference, “Common Ground: Moving Hope Forward,” held from Aug. 24 to 27. The Pre-College Conference (PCC) is an annual event for faculty and staff that marks the beginning of the academic year with formal addresses by the President and Provost. For the first time, staff were invited to participate in a luncheon traditionally limited

to faculty. Led by leaders of the campus community, breakout sessions on the afternoon of Aug. 24 allowed for faculty and staff to discuss topics of mutual interest, engaging both the curricular and co-curricular programs on issues that included utilizing

“...through understanding, acknowledging and respecting each member of our community and their roles, we can keep moving forward and deliver on our promises to our students” transparency frameworks to increase learning, formation and belonging; supporting students with empathy and policy; and hallmarks of belonging and inclusion as they apply to a global campus. On belonging, “Blooming Hope,” an art installation curated by Hope Forward Program

Coordinator Erin Drews, was simultaneously available for viewing in the Jack H. Miller Lobby. Blooming Hope is about the botanic lifecycle—sowing, growing and eventual giving. It showcases the work of fifty-eight Hope students in the current Hope Forward pilot cohorts. They created block prints as a reflective exercise to consider their strengths, growth and hope for future impact. During their time at Hope, Hope Forward students receive nourishment for growth to spread the seeds of new life in the world around them through generosity, access and community. A theme that resurfaced for me in the sessions and throughout the Pre-College Conference broadly was this: through understanding, acknowledging and respecting each member of our community and their roles, we can keep moving forward and deliver on our promises to our students. Some may say it is a lofty goal, and perhaps it is. But in a place called “Hope,” we need big ambitions and generous conversations. With God’s help, we will. This year’s PCC felt like a good step in the right direction.

GOP Presidential debate an unremarkable event Shane Pitcher Staff Writer


n Wednesday night, I watched the GOP debate and to be completely honest, I thought it was relatively unremarkable compared to ones I’ve watched in the past. However, there were some clear winners and losers of this debate and I’m going to break down how I felt every candidate fared. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis DeSantis ultimately had a very uneventful debate. That can be shown by him barely increasing in the polls, according to Project 538. I think it became more apparent how far he is behind former President Trump after the performance. Ultimately, he played it safe on Wednesday. His

responses seemed very scripted and planned, which is not a bad thing. He did take time to take jabs at President Trump, notably calling out his federalist approach to the abortion ban, leaving it up to the states. He seemed to vanish for stretches of time, until asked questions by moderators. Right now DeSantis is still in second place, with a steep climb to the top. An unmemorable second debate did him no favors, but it did not hurt him by any means. He is neither a winner nor a loser. Former Vice President Mike Pence Pence had the least memorable debate of all the candidates. He mentioned the success the country saw economically while he was Vice President which was a positive. He did, although, seem to contradict himself when he talked

of cutting back on government jobs by 25 percent and then wanting to enforce federal bans on abortion and militarize the Mexican border. His one noteworthy comment was telling Ramaswamy, “Let me say I’m glad Vivek pulled out of his business deal in 2018 in China. That must’ve been the time you decided to start voting in presidential elections.” Ultimately Pence is another candidate I do not expect to see at the Miami debate in November. UN Ambassador Nikki Haley Haley is one of my big winners from the debate. After Ramaswamy’s phenomenal first debate, it seemed that Haley was going to fade into obscurity, but that was far from the case. She was attacked multiple times by multiple candidates,

“Let me say I’m glad Vivek pulled out of his business deal in 2018 in China. That must’ve been the time you decided to start voting in presidential elections.” even getting teamed up on by DeSantis, Ramaswamy and Scott simultaneously. However, she held her own. I like Haley as a slightly more moderate, less divisive candidate. I believe she is one of the two biggest winners from the debate and she should look to dethrone DeSantis for second place in the GOP’s third debate in Miami in a few weeks.

continued on pg. 15

14 14 Opinion Page.indd 1

10/3/2023 1:08:45 PM

OPINION continued from pg. 14 Biotech Billionaire Vivek Ramaswamy Ramaswamy followed up a great debate in Milwaukee in August with a dud in Simi Valley. Myself, and most of America, was intrigued by how he would perform. Unfortunately, he came across as contradictory and poor at responding to jabs by other candidates. At one point he was challenged by Scott, and that devolved into a few minutes of indecipherable yelling. DeSantis took jabs at his business deals in China, Pence called out his lack of voting record and Haley called out his contradictions between hating China and social media while campaigning on TikTok. His strategy of calling everyone on stage “good people” was largely ineffective and overall he came across as what he is: a billionaire new to the political world and a self proclaimed “know it all.” He will be fighting for his place back in the upper echelon of the Republican candidates in Miami.

“He has the unique perspective of being an African American raised by a single mother who still strongly believes in the American dream.” South Carolina Senator Tim Scott Tim Scott came in with a lot to prove, and he did just that. The South Carolinian has always been the “nice guy” of this presidential election cycle. There were questions about if he could stand up to criticism. He proved that he can argue when it was needed, and he stood his ground. He has the unique perspective of being an African American raised by a single mother who still strongly believes in the American dream. Which is huge for the party. He is a common sense Republican that people like. I liked when he clarified his view on the UAW strike and the border issue. Best of all was the credibility he brings with bills he has passed and committees he has been on in his 12 years in Congress. While he might not get the nomination, he has asserted

GOP presidential candidates debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library

himself as a legitimate candidate rather than a guy just scraping by. I hope to see him in a bigger role in Washington in the future. Former President Donald Trump Trump was another big winner Wednesday after skipping the debate. He kept his sizable lead over DeSantis all while spending his day speaking to striking auto workers in Detroit. While he was not there to take the onslaught of attacks, particularly that of Chris Christie, his team was at the debate. Whether you like the former President or not, it is clear that it is his nomination to lose. I doubt we will see him in Miami in November unless something drastic happens, but he may make an appearance






N. Daktoa Gov. Doug Burgum Going into this debate I didn’t know a lot about Doug Burgum, but he really impressed me. Now, I should preface with the fact that Burgum has absolutely no chance of winning the nomination; he only qualified for the debate a few days before. Right away, he was interjecting and interrupting until one moderator told him they would mute his mic—a threat they would only deliver to a lesser candidate. While that isn’t a great look for many, it was necessary for him to make a name for himself. I really liked his businessfirst approach where he backed his economic plan up with some

CNN News

evidence of what he has done in North Dakota. North Dakota is a very small state however, so I would be curious to see his ideas with energy, border control and the budget work on a larger scale. Ultimately, I was really impressed with Burgum, but he will likely be out of the race by November. Former N. J. Gov. Chris Christie You can’t talk about Christie’s debate without discussing his hatred for Donald Trump. Time and time again, Christie diverted his questions towards his disdain for the former President. He called him a coward for not debating with them, criticized his spending habits as President. and even called him “Donald Duck.” Talk about pettiness. Other than that, Christie’s

“...and even called him [President Trump] ‘Donald Duck.’”

Donald Trump addressing blue-collar workers outside of Detroit, MI


debate was largely uneventful. Many Republicans thought he outright lost the debate, and I don’t totally disagree. Christie came in with a confidence that no candidate polling less than 4 percent of the popular vote should have. Christie will likely be out before the next debate, and I think that is for the better. Although, it is of note, that he fared better this time around than he did in 2016.

OPINION | FALL 2023 15 Opinion Page.indd 1

10/2/2023 10:02:15 PM

backpageadOctober.indd 1

10/2/2023 10:23:04 PM

Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.