By JASE BRANDT and JESSE SHEPPARD, reporters
Friday, Dec. 7, 2018

This morning at 10 A.M., Sterling College hosted an open forum on racial awareness in Culbertson Auditorium. The forum was moderated by Reggie Langford, the Director of Academic Support, and it featured a panel of five Sterling College students.

Jason Briar, Sterling’s VP of Student Life discussed the vision of the forum.

“[To give] our students the opportunity to speak on this issue and for this college to listen and to discover new ways to grow and to develop this campus in a positive manner,” Briar said.

Theseus Anderson, a concerned student shared his thoughts with the panel.

“My experience at Sterling, I won’t say it’s been the worst, but it hasn’t been the best. They let us talk, but we aren’t really heard. In reality I’m just trying to have a conversation,” Anderson said.

Kalasia Thomas, a student on the panel said that gaining a voice in this issue was one of the reasons she became interested in the forum.

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PHOTO BY JASE BRANDT

“I’ve realized that everything that has happened on campus recently, we need to talk about, and I realized that we wouldn’t get another chance to talk about it,” Thomas said, “I’ve learned to not only get my point across but listen to the other person. Having a discussion about it is the best way to try and understand where a person is coming from.”

Melvin Irby, a student on the panel discussed the importance of the forum and its possible impact on campus life.

“Sterling College is trying to put aside race,” Irby said, “The only thing different is that we’re taking a chance to make a difference.”

Josh Schievelbein, a current Sterling RA and student ambassador discussed the idea of racial awareness on campus.

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“I think my thing for SC as a whole is awareness. Taking some time to have a conversation and how to react to negative situations. Figure out where they come from and finding out what their background is,” Schievelbein said.

Mike Merriweather, a Sterling College student voiced that some students don’t feel as if Sterling is a safe-haven for them.

“The minute I got here, it was the exact same as I had dealt with all my life. It’s supposed to be a safe haven for all our students, but many of us don’t feel that safe,” Merriweather said to the panel.

Layne Becker, a Sterling College student talked to the panel about keeping campus members accountable.

“I grew up in a small Kansas town. I learned a lot about our teammates and fellow classmates. My biggest thing with you guys saying that ‘you don’t feel safe on campus’ is the lack of accountability,” Becker said, “I feel that people should be held accountable. There needs to be action. With all of this being said, there are some things that need to change.”

Isaac Arvie III, a student on the panel compared racial insensitivity to an idea from the American Justice System.

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“Ignorance of the law is no excuse. Just because you’re ignorant of how it may make someone feel, that’s no excuse.”

Panelist Kalasia Thomas talked about how to reach a place of discussion when emotional issues arise.

“You can’t really understand what a person may feel about something unless you sit down and have a conversation with them. Many people will take it the way they want to. Everybody is entitled to feel that way. They should go to that person or someone and ask ‘why aren’t you seeing this as important as me?’,” Thomas said.

Estephany Moncada, a student panelist at the forum discussed prejudice and forgiveness.

“We all have different types of prejudice; also we [Sterling] have students coming from very diverse areas. Right now I feel like there is a lot of divisions between the students,” Moncada said, “We can do that; we can mend that. We need to be conscious, allow for forgiveness to dwell.”

Student Life Vice-President, Jason Briar discussed how this forum is merely the first of many steps that need to be taken for strong campus relations.

“I think this is an ongoing process. This is the first step in creating a better campus—  a campus that all students feel safe [in], a campus that allows all students to feel like they have a voice. A place where they feel safe to have a voice in. This forum was the first step in creating that. [To] come up with ideas to create a better understanding of our diversity culture.”

Reggie Langford, forum moderator talked about the importance of embracing culture and diversity.

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“I think that once we get to that point, and we start to be more aware of those things, and we start to really embrace each and every person for who they are and not just embracing them for what they do on this campus. Embrace ‘em for who they are, who they truly are. I think we’ll be in a better spot.”

Steps are currently being made by the college to embrace culture and diversity among the students and faculty along with changes to ensure that all students feel safe and that their voices are heard.

By HANNAH ABBATE, reporter
Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018

Sunday night was well below 40 degrees but that didn’t stop Sterling College students and faculty from braving the cold.

The 2nd annual Share the Light celebration was held at 6 p.m. on the front lawn of Cooper Hall. Lights, fire pits, and photo booth setups decorated the lawn. Along with the huge Christmas tree that was front and center.

For junior Sam Turner, her favorite part of the night was “the choir praising Jesus,” she said.

“Christmas means spending quality time with friends and family and just really knowing what you’re appreciative for,” said Turner.

“I really like the hot chocolate and the fellowship,” said Resident Director Emilie Heinl. “I love the part in the beginning, where everyone’s walking around. Going by the fire and talking, and I think it builds good community while we talk about Jesus.”

“For me, Christmas is just a celebration of Jesus’ birth. I think Christmas is a good representation of the celebration part of Jesus’ birth and His life and His story,” said Heinl.

For Kaitlyn “Red” Tawater, she was also amazed at the gathering. “I think genuinely seeing the campus cons together,” said Tawater, “for such a simple act, but yet, we made it all seem so unique with all the different aspects of the adorable hot cocoa bar, the gorgeous tree, and then our choir singing just truly felt different than any other tree lighting ceremony I’d been to.”

She continued by saying, “You really felt the community come together and the joy that Christmas should always bring.”

As the night came to a close, students stayed behind afterwards to continue to socialize. Even through the freezing cold, the Christmas season never cease to bring people together.

Merry Christmas everyone!

By JESSE SHEPPARD, reporter
Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018

On Saturday, December 1, 2018, the Dungeon Dwellers Club hosted a game night in Cornerstone from 6-9 P.M. The event consisted of groups of students playing assorted card and board games and snacking on food provided by the club.

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The Dungeon Dwellers Club has been present on the Sterling Campus for just over two years since it’s introduction in late 2016. In those years, it has become one of the most active clubs on campus while holding individual meetings for specific games and campaigns throughout the school year as well as its required two events per semester.

One popular game hosted in individual meetings is “D&D” (“Dungeons and Dragons”). “Dungeons and Dragons” is an RPG (“Role-Playing-Game”) in which few or several players can delve into guided quests throughout imaginary realms in what can only be described as a “turn-based, dice-rolling interactive story”. Each campaign consists of a single story line, multiple characters and a “DM” (“Dungeon Master”) who assists players and helps construct the narrative flow of each meeting.

The club has had massive success in student interest over the last year. Dungeon Dwellers President, Seth Kite is happy with the club’s growth.

“We have seven campaigns currently running on campus, which is decently high-numbered considering we only have three DMs,” Kite said.

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The “Game Night” event lasted until 9 P.M. and was primarily focused on chess, checkers, and a tabletop card game called “Dominion”. There were around twenty students and guests in attendance at the event, and many expressed their fondness of the event.

Blain Holdman, a Freshman at Sterling attended his first “Dungeon Dwellers” event on Saturday.

“It was actually very good. The people were nice and welcoming. It was great. If they were to hold another event in the future, I would consider attending,” Holdman said.

Kite was pleased with the turn-out of the event.

“I think this is actually the singular most successful event the Dungeon Dwellers club has ever had,” Kite said, “at least five people [who attended] were not club members.”

By JESSE SHEPPARD, reporter
Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018

On Monday night, the Potato Club hosted a Thanksgiving Feast for the students of Sterling College in Heritage Hall. The event began at 7 P.M. and ran for over an hour.

The club served a traditional meal of mashed potatoes and gravy, turkey, stuffing and macaroni, alongside pie and sparkling cider. The event also included time to fill out numerous “thank you” cards for Sterling faculty members.

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Students gathered in the hall at seven, and quickly filled the room. Ashley Dodge, an SC senior and the club publicist was surprised by the large turnout.

“It went better than we expected,” Dodge said, “We were really excited when a lot of people came, and it was good to see their excitement within their fellowship together.”

The students sat with their food and enjoyed each other’s company as the event came to an end. The event concluded with a large selection of “thank you” cards for students to show their appreciation of the entire Sterling College staff.

Brett Couture, a Resident Director at Sterling enjoyed his time at the event, and he was glad to see the student’s appreciation and spirit.

“I enjoyed seeing everyone and signing the cards for all of the awesome people who work on this campus,” Couture said.

Shelby Stowe, Potato Club Treasurer and Sterling College Senior expressed that having “thank you” cards was a great choice for the atmosphere of the college.

“The cards are an element we chose to encourage students to think about others during this time of thanksgiving,” Stowe said.

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Sterling Senior and Potato Club President Chloe Heard shared her appreciation for those who made the event possible.

“Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful. I would like to thank Caitlin and Anthony Glaze for letting us use their space to make all of this food,” Heard said.

Heard also discussed the preliminary plans for their upcoming Spring semester event.

“Bring out your fancy dresses,” Heard said, “Our next event in the works is the ‘Potato Prom’ in the Spring.”

By KAITLYNN LITTLE, reporter
Monday, Nov. 12, 2018

College students and local families hurried out of the cold and into the Sterling United Methodist Church on Broadway St., Monday evening, to order warm drinks and snacks. The second floor of the church, called Connection Café, is set apart for balancing socializing and working on homework.

The café is meant to be a space for all who enter to experience the love and grace of Jesus. It is meant to be an inviting atmosphere where friendships can be strengthened and burdens can be shared.

The Connection Café was founded in memory of Jacob Oden. This café was his vision, though God called him home before he was able to see it become a reality. Jacob had named the café and came up with some of the new drink ideas. Memorial money was given in his honor to furnish the space for it. His heart for service is remembered through the existence and purpose of the café.  

 The café space was dedicated to the glory of God on October 19, 2016. Since then, many students have made it their space away from college.

“I come about roughly every week. I actually also work here and am one of the people who attended and helped out-right from the start. I really enjoy the community here and the mission to reach people during study time has always appealed to me. The Connection Café is a fun place away from campus, with cheap coffee, good company, and a place to work,” senior Brianna Chastain said.

Brianna and her friends sat behind their laptops circled around a coffee table, all focused on their screens yet taking moments to reach for their coffee mug and take a sip every now and then.

“I usually come every other week. The atmosphere is just extremely relaxing. I can come to the Connection Café for multiple reasons, whether it be completing a big assignment or catching up with friends,” junior Kaylyn Oberle said.

“One of my favorite memories during one of those friend nights, was when I decided to hide a few of their bookbags and laptops around the church. They found them within 30 minutes or so and then proceeded to steal my keys while I wasn’t looking, go move my car, and then wait for me to notice it when it was time to leave. All of that extended from a fun night of fellowship at the Connection Café. I really appreciate the awesome environment. Coffee is a great bonus as well!” Oberle said.

Students come to enjoy the space and the beverages, but students are also behind the counter working as baristas.

“Working here has been a very growing, new, and relaxing experience for me. I’ve worked in the coffee business for two years now and I love the environment that a coffee shop provides for customers. I love working here at Connection because I think it’s so special that this church is using coffee as a way to reach out to the community and provide inexpensive yet savory coffee for the community,” freshman Emma Kwasiborski said.

Besides food and doing homework, students also enjoy playing board games and table tennis there too. Their menu includes: lattes, hot chocolate, steamers, affogatos, pop, Gatorade, water, Capri Sun drink; and cookies, chips, candy, granola bars, popcorn, and pop tarts.

The Connection Café is located on 137 N. Broadway. They are open from 7-10 p.m. each Monday night. If you have any questions, feel free to contact Jeff Darnauer at 620-474-1102 or at jdarnauer@sterling.edu. 

 


By JASE BRANDT, reporter
Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018

On Friday, Nov. 9, the Music @ Sterling College club held hosted their fourth annual ’20s Night event in Cornerstone.

“This originated three years ago with M@SC,” M@SC club member Alex Engelken said. “We wanted to do an event that kind of brought awareness to music history and the cool stuff from the past. We picked the ’20s because The Great Gatsby was just coming out in theaters around that time. People were like, ‘Oh, ’20s, that’s so cool.’ So, we started this event and it was a pretty big hit, so we thought we’d try to make it an annual thing. And, so far, it’s been going well.”

The event consisted of music and dancing as well as live vocal performances by Sterling College students. There were also snacks, coffee, and fake cocktails called “mocktails.” Attendees were encouraged but not required to dress up for the event.

“It always surprises me that people actually dress up. I never think that they’re going to but they do,” Engelken said. “Even though it is kind of stressful to put together an event like this, it’s really fun to see different people coming together and dancing and having fun and letting loose and not being afraid to step out of their comfort zone.”

M@SC does not have any other events planned for the remainder of the fall 2018 semester.

Photos by Jase Brandt.

By JESSE SHEPPARD, reporter
Friday, Nov. 2, 2018

The Sterling College Symphonic Band and Percussion Ensemble as well as the SC Jazz Band performed their annual fall concert this past Thursday Evening at Sterling United Presbyterian Church.

Professor Larry Brownlee ‘80 directed the band through seven musical works. The concert’s opening piece was “Seat Beat” by Daniel Bukvich.

Hunter Hathaway, a Sterling College Freshman enjoyed the beginning of the concert.

“Using the chairs as drums was awesome. It’s something I’ve never seen before,” he said.

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PHOTO BY JESSE SHEPPARD

The other songs performed by the concert band were “Rhythm of the Winds” by Frank Erickson, “Shenandoah” by Frank Ticheli, “On An American Spiritual” by David Holsinger, and “A Bridge to Somewhere” by Jon Phelps.

Molly Sunberg, Bari Sax player and Junior at Sterling College enjoyed the performance.

“I think the concert went really well. We were all very excited for this concert, and it was the best we have played the songs. I am really looking forward to our Christmas concert in December.” She said.

Wesley Lowrey, a Senior at Sterling enjoyed the concert.

“My favorite segment was watching my fiancé, Brianna Chastain perform in the jazz band.”

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PHOTO BY JESSE SHEPPARD

The SC Jazz Band performed two pieces. These songs were “Emblem of Unity” by J.J. Richards, and “Rites of Tamburo” by Robert W. Smith.

Kassidy Brandt, a Sterling Sophomore was impressed with the band’s diverse works.

“I really liked the drum line, and I liked the jazz pieces. It [attending] was a great way I could support my roommate.” Brandt said.

 

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PHOTO BY JESSE SHEPPARD

Professor Brownlee is a recent addition to the Sterling College Music Department, and Thursday’s concert was his first concert as the Director for the Symphonic Band.

Adam Moore, Percussionist and Sophomore at Sterling is excited for the future of the band with Brownlee in charge.

“I’m really excited with the direction Professor Brownlee is taking this band, and I think that the future of SC band will shine bright with him at its helm.” Moore said.

The Sterling College Symphonic Band will perform at its Christmas Concert on December 2 at 3 P.M. at Sterling United Presbyterian Church.

Halloween Movie Marathon Poster

By JASE BRANDT, reporter
Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2018

On Wednesday, Oct. 31, the Sterling College Student Government Association held a Halloween-themed movie marathon in Cornerstone.

“We’re trying to have monthly events that kind of increase the community around Sterling. This seemed like a really quick and easy one,” SGA President Drake Koops said. “This was kind of a quick, easy, no-budget way to do things and have people as they kind of walk in and out.”

Selecting the movies to play was somewhat of a challenge given Sterling College’s strong Christian values.

“Most of us in SGA, we don’t like scary movies so we were like, ‘Scary movies that aren’t scary,'” Koops said.

SGA’s itinerary of movies included Ghostbusters (1984) at 11 a.m., Hocus Pocus at 1 p.m., Monster House at 3 p.m., and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone at 5 p.m.

SGA plans on doing more events like this in the future. Their focus is to promote the community on campus through events such as this one.

“We’ve talked about doing a more active event like we did the Fugitive across town and one that’s more passive like this,” Koops said. “Our biggest thing is we’re wanting to increase a sense of community like this is a kind of home for people to go to.”

By KAITLYNN LITTLE, reporter
Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018

Career Services and the Writing Center partnered to host an informative and practical workshop, Tuesday, Oct. 30, to help students in their process of applying for graduate school.

Terry Ehresman, director of Career Services, explained to students that now is the time to 1) decide if they want to go to graduate school, 2) do research to figure out the requirements and deadline for their program, and 3) give themselves plenty of time to write the personal essay.

Ehresman also gave students a tour of his Career Services website. It provides important internet links and career guide pdf’s that he has gathered for students’ success.

“Part of the services offered by Career Services, is grad school advice. And so, whether that’s “How do I know if I should apply,” “Will a grad school degree help my career,” “If so, how do I decide which school to go to,” “How do I write the paper?” These are services I offer one-on-one for students anyways, so this was just a form to do that in more of a group setting” Ehresman said.

Dr. Rachel Griffis, assistant professor of language and literature, presented a powerpoint titled “Strategies for Writing the Essay.” Her two main points began with “it’s all about you” and “your dream school.”

“Writing these statements—like I mentioned in the presentation—these statements are some of the most difficult rhetorical documents to write. Job, scholarship, and fellowship applications are also kind of in that same genre. These short things that can only be like 500 words or 1000 words, are so difficult to write, so students can benefit from getting guidance specifically in this genre,” Griffis said.

Students were given a handout of an example of a bad personal essay with edits marked in red. After reviewing it, they were given a packet of four good example essays and discussed what qualities made it excellent. Lastly, Ehresman handed out a “Personal Statement Worksheet” that provided questions to help students start brainstorming and write down some ideas for him and Griffis to read and give suggestions.

“I’m in the process of applying for graduate school. My plan is to apply to master’s programs for applied mathematics. Right now my plan is to apply for between 5-10 programs, just depending on what I find and what interests me, and what would be a good fit for me. This workshop was really helpful just to get some general writing tips and kind of keep alert for what’s expected,” senior Shelby Stowe said.