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 KAITLYNN LITTLE, reporter
Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018

During chapel Wednesday morning, Writing and Editing Professor Aaron Brown, used quotations from well-known theologians and literary authors to relate the College’s verse of the year, Ephesians 2:10, with students’ commission in life.

Before Brown spoke, the choir sang three songs: “Go Tell It On The Mountain,” “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” and “When the Little Baby Boy Was Born.” The songs helped everyone get into the Christmas spirit, and audience members were seen swaying and clapping to the last song with the choir members.

Brown opened his sermon with a prayer from St. Augustine, about how humans are the evidence of God’s ability to create meaningful things and restore glory. He then connected it with Ephesians 2:10, and replaced the English word “workmanship,” with the Greek word, “poiema.”

For we are His poiema, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them,” Ephesians 2:10.

Brown explained that we are God’s “poem.” We were created to create. But our desire to create should come from our adoration of God’s creation first.

“By looking around us, we are reading God’s beauty—there is no shortage of it around us,” Brown said.

Brown encouraged the students that they have a unique role in God’s divine plan, and that God expects them to use the gifts He has given them to glorify Him. But sometimes students may struggle to define what their gifts are.

“We are created, then we are invited to create. Ask yourself: When I do _X , I feel God’s pleasure,” Brown said.

His main ideas were: 1) We are called to create, not consume. 2) We are called to create, not just the physical but also the spiritual. 3) We create as a witness of what God has done and will do.

Brown ended his sermon with the verse 2 Corinthians 5:20, about how we are the vessels through which God makes His appeal to others. To not fulfill our commission to create, is a waste of our unique gifts.

“I really agree with what Aaron said about us being created to create. I feel that drive myself as an actor, and it was cool to hear that message in Chapel today,” senior Bobby Foster said.

By JASE BRANDT, reporter
Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018

Basketball season is underway and Sterling College’s women’s junior varsity basketball team has been hard at work.

While junior varsity teams do not rank, the women’s junior varsity basketball team still plays competitively against other college teams.

“They’re very, very competitive,” Head Coach K.C. Bassett said. “They’ve played four really tough junior college teams and have improved a ton. It’s crazy.”

Coach Bassett believes in her team and is hopeful for their future together.

“I think it’s a really good group. I really think that they work hard every single day in practice,” Coach Bassett said. “There’s been much improvement we’ve made since we’ve started. One of our goals is to get better every day and they’re doing a really, really good job with that.”

The women’s junior varsity basketball team started conference on Saturday, Nov. 17 in a game against Tabor College. Sterling beat Tabor 68-63. The team’s next game will be a home game against Kansas Wesleyan University on Nov. 20.

 

By KAITLYNN LITTLE, reporter
Friday, Nov. 16, 2018

The Sterling College men’s and women’s cross country team finished their season competing at the KCAC Conference Championship race, Saturday, Nov. 3, at Bethel College. Both teams placed ninth overall, with their top runner, sophomore Jasmine Travelbee, placing thirtieth-–just ten spots away from qualifying for nationals.

The team faced some challenges this fall battling injuries and merging young runners into the program. The result of all their training was revealed at conference, and freshman Zach McCammon said that opportunity for a comeback was rewarding.

“I will always remember how well we pulled together and finished the season strong,” said McCammon.

The two teams had ran the Bethel course twice already this season, so senior Abby Reed said that helped them feel confident during the race.

“Going into the meet, the girls were projected to place eleventh, so we did do better than what was expected for us. I think it could have been considered a successful meet before the race even finished just because we had all 8 girls racing for the first time all season. Everyone competed really well and I think the majority of the team ran a personal best, which is always exciting,” Reed said.

 Though the runners entered the season with running goals and scholarships, the bonding aspect of the team is equally important, if not more important than the medals and qualifications.

 “This season brought us all closer to each other in friendship. We have been through thick and thin these past few months, and each circumstance has helped create a tight, lasting bond between us,” sophomore Evelyn Barnhart said.

 Head coach Jack Dillard was proud of his athletes, and looks forward to continued growth and development during track season.

 “Our student athletes competed with courage and strength. Both men’s and women’s teams ran very smart tactical races that helped everyone overall,” Dillard said.

 Senior Abby Reed looks forward to training and racing for track season with the team, and helping each other be the best athletes and people they can be.

 “I’m looking forward to track season because it gives everyone the opportunity to do their specialty. In cross country, every girl runs the same distance and every guy runs the same distance. So track allows for a little more individuality in what people get to do. And those on the team that don’t run cross country have been working hard all fall, so I’m looking forward to being able to cheer them on in their throwing and sprinting like they cheered us on all fall,” Reed said.

 At the end of each season, the coaches award a male and female athlete with a Giving Tree, to recognize their outstanding commitment to the team through their time, effort, and attitude on and off the course. This season’s award recipients were Abby Reed and Zach McCammon.

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 Kaitlynn Little, reporter
Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018

Dr. Roy Millhouse, assistant professor of biblical studies, and Dr. Mark Watney, assistant professor of language and literature, held the second lecture of the Theology+ Lecture Series in the Presentation Lab in Cooper Hall on Wednesday afternoon.

The lecture — “Are Translators Traitors?” — explored how the poetry in the Bible should be interpreted and translated from a theological point of view and a literature point of view.

Millhouse proposed questions like, “How do we get the words of the Bible, written over 2,500 years ago, into something we can understand,” and “How does a translator avoid miscommunicating the text?”

He explained that there are various theoretical models that translators of the Bible consider. The two main ones are Formal Equivalence, meaning that the language is translated word for word, while the other model is called Functional Equivalence, where the language is translated instead into thought for thought.

Translations are more difficult to read the closer they are to Formal Equivalence (a 12th grade reading level; NASB), while Functional Equivalence translations are easier (a 5th grade reading level; MSG).

Millhouse explained that the series is relevant to college students, because we all choose what kind of Bible we like to read from.

“It’s important that you understand what the translators are trying to accomplish with the Bible, because that helps to guide you into what kind of translation that you’d like to use for study. To have an idea of what the translators are trying to accomplish—to know that this is basically a discussion between form and function—then learning the NIV is going to lean a little bit more towards function than the ESV is, if form is important to you, then maybe you want to use the ESV,” Millhouse said.

Dr. Watney introduced literature’s standpoint on translating the Bible by reading Ephesians 2:10, “We are God’s poiema,” using the Greek word for workmanship—meaning poetry. He compared the process of writing poetry to God’s care in creating us.

“To accurately translate the Psalms, you have to look at the poetical form. Because Psalms were written to be performed, to be chanted, to be sung. If you translate it simply as prose, then you lose that performative element. It’s one book in the Bible, that is to be used very differently from any other book in the Bible. We don’t chant through Genesis and we don’t sing through Revelations, but we do with the Psalms. So that has to be taken into account, that the poetical form is essential for the Psalm’s function–what it was written to be,” Watney said.

A question and answer session followed after the speaker’s presentations, and students had an opportunity to ask the two professors their questions about translation.

“I am also very interested in learning about the ways the Bible relates to other aspects of daily life or culture. Learning about the Bible in the context of literature brings more meaning into the scripture that I’m reading,” junior Elizabeth Berens said.

Future lectures to look forward to will occur next semester, and will include a Theology+Science lecture as well as a Theology+Business lecture.

 

 

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.