Faculty members propose changes to ECIC

Psycology department chair Thomas Sawyer answers the concerns about the new ECIC tagging system during his presentation of the system in Illinois Hall on Tuesday, Nov. 29 (Photo by Stefan Carlson)

Students who find themselves stressed over meeting the requirements to graduate may soon find a solution to their problems. A change to the ECIC Skills and Development or ‘tag’ system was presented to faculty members during two special meetings on Nov. 29 and Dec. 1, called by Psychology Department Assistant Chair Thomas Sawyer.

“The students will no longer be required to check o tags on a transfer sheet, a form for graduation or anything else,” said Sawyer at the Nov. 29 meeting. “So now, students will no longer be required to collect tags, but departments are required to offer them, is the idea of this proposal.”

Under the proposed system, departments would hold the responsibility of making sure that students in their discipline were collecting the necessary amount of tags, even allowing the departments the ability to create new tags relevant to their respective disciplines.

Biology professor Paul Arriola theorized that this new system would result in students gaining more skills in more key areas than they do under the current system at the Dec. 1 meeting.

“What’s likely to happen is tags proliferate across a curriculum because we start innovating. They’re actually going to get more exposure to these key ideas or these key skills and values that already sort of permeate our college,” he said. “In all likelihood, a student will probably graduate with many more tags and tags of greater diversity than what they currently get.”

Sawyer argued that the current tag system was making it difficult for transfer students in particular to take the necessary classes to graduate on time.

“One big issue with the current system is what I call transfer uncertainty. And that is when we meet with our transfer students we need to be able to tell them what courses they need to take to meet our requirements. And right now you cannot do that,” he said. “It depends upon a whole bunch of complex and complicated issues of what courses are tagged and when they’re offered and whether or not they’ll be offered at times [the students] can take them.”

The proposal didn’t seem to resonate with everyone in attendance, as Chemistry Department Chair Michelle Applebee voiced her issues with how the new system would undermine the core values of the ECIC system at the Nov. 29 meeting.

“My biggest concern about this is that a lot of departments don’t offer [Intercultural Global Engagement] and a lot of departments don’t offer [Intercultural Domestic Engagement] because of the nature of the discipline,” she said. “I think that we’re going to be losing that intercultural piece, which is important to employers and was one of the signature pieces of ECIC.”

Another one of Sawyer’s initiatives brought up in the proposal was to make the Experiential Learning development requirement into a tag explaining that, “This is basically calling a duck, a duck. Meaning it looks like a tag, it acts like a tag, so why not call it a tag?”

This also struck a chord with the professors in attendance as some believed such a system would lead to students being able to get out of doing any kind of experiential learning, which would be detrimental toward students’ future careers.

“Not everybody needs experiential learning, but experiential learning is now being touted as a way of getting skills that you need for jobs,” said Applebee. “I’m worried that moving it to something that students can get or not is going to reduce the number of students getting internships, doing study abroad and things like that.”

Though not every concern was directly addressed, Sawyer was confident in the strength of the new system. When questioned about whether or not students would even be aware of what tags they were collecting, Sawyer proposed that perhaps there could be academic awards given to those who collect a certain amount of tags. “We can offer achievements for collecting tags if we wanted to do so,” he said. “We could offer somebody a tag master designation or something for collecting all the tags. We have other things on campus that are positively motivated in that way. Why can’t this be one of them?”

Sawyer’s proposal will need to be officially presented to academic council before being voted on by the faculty.

BSU invites police chief to discuss tensions between African-Americans and the police

Elmhurst police chief Michael R. Ruth listens to black students and alumni’s stories of racial pro ling in the Elmhurst community durring a BSU discussion in the Blume Board Room on Monday, Nov. 28 (Photo by Marielle Decena)

At the height of discord between civilians and law enforcement, the EC Black Student Union (BSU) invited members of the EC community and the Elmhurst Police Department to take part in a dialogue in the Blume Board Room on Nov. 28.

“We want to fully understand both perspectives and understand how we can contribute positively to both sides of the conversation and the equation to ensure that both civilians and law enforcement all basically help each other, protect each other and all go home safely at the end of the day,” stated Adjunct professor Dr. Vincent Thomas Jr. who was the moderator for the discussion.

Students and faculty voiced their concerns over personal experiences that they felt involved racial profiling by Elmhurst law enforcement.

Junior Derrick Mayfield shared a recent experience in which he and a group of his six friends were walking towards Krave and were stopped by a police officer on St. Charles Street under the suspicion that they were carjackers.

Mayfield recalled that the officer then proceeded to follow them to Krave despite the group doing nothing ostensibly wrong.

“He literally gets there [Krave’s] just right before us, orders whatever he ordered, I don’t even know if he really ordered anything and he sat across the room from us and literally stayed there until we left,” he added.

Similarly, Thomas recalls a situation in which he and his friend were still students at EC and were stopped by police due to the suspicion that they were stealing from Dominick’s.

“To be honest, the officers saw two young black men, one with locks and one with a ‘fro in Elmhurst, Illinois in 2003. at’s why we got stopped,” Thomas stated.

In light of those incidents that have occurred within the Elmhurst community, Diamond Dixon an Elmhurst attorney and EC alum expressed the critical use of good judgement by officers in dealing with civilians.

“Police officers are trained differently so maybe their discretion levels are a little different, but at the end of the day, because we are expecting officers to be trained properly, your discretion is what’s going to matter on whether or not these people are going to jail,” Dixon stated. “We have to trust that you guys are trained to be unbiased and to do the right thing in that regard.”

Elmhurst Chief of Police Michael R. Ruth, who seemed to express disbelief at the shared experiences of both Derrick and Thomas, asserted that racial profiling should not be a standard of judgement for any law enforcement officer.

“Good judgement is going to warrant a citation,” he said. “Race, ethnicity and age should never be a factor in the enforcement of the law. It should be based on the totality of the circumstance.”

In light of EC’s growing diversity, Dixon commends the chief for playing a role in implementing diversity training to his officers.

“I applaud the Chief for giving his officers diversity training and things like that because honestly Elmhurst as a whole right now is a lot more diverse than it was when I was going to Elmhurst College and that’s still not even a lot,” she stated.

Ruth makes it clear that he wants his officers to be engaged with the community and to assume active roles within Elmhurst.

“We hire people from the community to be police officers. We work an eight hour day, we go home, we have families where we assume different roles,” he said. “A multitude of roles are going to be son, father, husband or wife, siblings. So, we’re members of the community as well.”

Unfortunately, he feels that there is still an air of misconception about officers that make their duties substantially more difficult.

Media platforms such as Facebook’s new live streaming feature have only proved to mislead the public more than it informs according to Jeff Kedrowski executive director of security and emergency management.

“We are a microwave society,” Kedrowski stated. “We’re so used to getting things done quickly. I think sometimes that impacts perspectives of the police, perspectives of incidents and perspectives of people in the community,”

“We have all the video cameras we want, we can articulate the reason for the stop all we want, but if the person inside that vehicle feels differently then that’s something that we have to try to overcome,” Ruth stated.

Strong Reactions / Happy holidays, Charlie Brown

Roxanne Timan ,  Multimedia Editor Follow her at  @Roxlobster

Roxanne Timan, Multimedia Editor
Follow her at @Roxlobster

Roxanne Timan, Multimedia Editor
Follow her at @Roxlobster

Among all of the chaos of the holiday season, one thing our culture depends on to save us is cheesy TV specials. One of the hallmark cartoons to watch is a “Charlie Brown Christmas”. However, 1965 was so long ago that Millennials cannot relate anymore. Our generation has changed drastically since then, and Charlie Brown needs to face a millennial makeover to keep up.

The special starts with Charlie Brown going on about how Christmas is too depressing. He does not have any friends to send him a Christmas card, though he sent out many. This is the equivalent to being left on “read” or someone opening your snapchat without responding in our hip generation. It is rude not to respond and quite embarrassing to be ignored.

Yet, Charlie Brown goes completely savage. He says, “Thanks for the Christmas card you sent me, Violet.” She responds, “I didn’t send you a Christmas card, Charlie Brown!” If you are going to call someone out, you need to have a good comeback ready, CB.

Continuing through the film, Charlie Brown bitches about the commercialization of Christmas ruining his family. His dog Snoopy decorates his doghouse for a neighborhood contest, which makes Charlie Brown sick. If CB was really PC, he would applaud Snoopy for his creativity, and even give him a participation award. While trying to help his sister Sally, she asks Santa to “Just send money. How about 10s and 20s.” She does not understand the value of money. She cannot even write yet. Charlie does not care and makes fun of her. Fast-forward to our upbringing, where we are taught to educate one another, not bring each other down for things we cannot comprehend. Insensitivity is not cool. As Linus and Charlie Brown go out to get a tree for the Christmas play, Charlie decides to get a weak little twig of a tree instead of a nice, conventional one. He has good intentions, but seriously, a tree that can barely hold an ornament should not be your first pick.

I am starting to feel like Charlie Brown would fit the stereotype of a hipster douche in our generation. He is likely to be seen thumbing through crate after crate of vintage vinyl records, scoffing at anyone who enjoys anything mainstream, including some holiday cheer.

By the end, the children steal decorations from Snoopy’s doghouse to spruce up the tree for Charlie Brown. They never even ask the dog, which is one of the first rules we learn as a toddler: do not steal. The children make the tree shine like the ones sold in the farm. But the tree was bought because “it needed a home,” not to make it conform. If we are all seen as “special snowflakes” then why did the children need to make it like all of the others? We are all unique, unless you are a sickly-looking tree, then you need to change according to the Peanuts.

This outdated mess makes sure to seal the deal on the misunderstood youth of today as the characters scream, “Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown!” After ripping on this whole cartoon special, I finally feel for the cynical Charlie Brown. Millennials know better than to say “Merry Christmas!” So this one is for you: Happy Holidays, Charlie Brown.

World in Review

Cuban Americans parade through the streets of Miami celebrating the death of long time Cuban dictator Fidel Castro on Friday, Nov. 25. (Internet Photo)

Former Cuban dictator Fidel Castro dies at age 90

Fidel Castro, the Cuban revolutionary and long time enemy of the U.S died on Friday, Nov. 25.

According to the New York Times, Cuban state television announced his death, but gave no further details.

Castro had been in poor health for years and stepped down from power in 2006 when his condition became too severe for him to carry out his du- ties as Cuba’s President, hand- ing the title over to his brother Raul Castro.

Castro’s communist revolution at the height of the Cold War resulted in the decades long embargo from the U.S. and rocky relations that were only recently softened under President Obama’s administration.

The Cuban government reacted to the death of its long time leader by canceling all public events and engaging in a nation-wide day of mourning, while many cuban Americans in the U.S. have engaged in a day of celebrations.

Cuban Americans flooded the streets of the Miami neighborhood of Little Havana, the home of many Cuban exiles.

Donald Trump calls Taiwanese president

Donald Trump broke decades of diplomatic precedence by calling the Taiwanese president on Friday, Dec. 2.

According to the New York Times, Trump is the first president or president-elect to speak with a Taiwanese leader since at least 1979 due to the rocky relationship between China and Taiwan.

It is unclear if it was indeed Trump who reached out to Taiwanese president Tsai Ingwen as he claimed on Twitter that was actually Ingwen who reached out to him. Taiwanese diplomats have said that this is highly unlikely, as their president would never have reached out to an American president-elect without arranging it beforehand.

Trump, who has been very critical of China, spoke with the Chinese president in mid November in a conversation that went well according to both parties.

China’s foreign minister dismissed the call as harmless stating, “I also believe this will not change the One China policy upheld by the American government for many years,” the New York Times reported on Saturday, Dec. 3

SGA approves club for study of witchcraft

SGA representatives listen and respond to the concerns of about the proposed Witchcraft club at the SGA meeting in the Bloom Board Room on Thursday, Dec. 1 (Photo by Stefan Carlson)

A group dedicated to witchcraft was recognized at the Student Government Association [SGA] meeting on Dec. 1.

Investigation of Modern and Past Witchcraft and other Pseudo-Sciences [IMP] is a group of students dedicated to furthering their own knowledge as well as others on the world surrounding different pagan practices, their history and place in the modern world.

“We want to make Elmhurst College a more inclusive environment for those who don’t identify with [the UCC]. [IMP] is a learning place for those who want to learn and broaden their knowledge beyond the bad name given [to witchcraft and other practices] by movies and television,” said EC sophomore Rex Wessel during a presentation to SGA.

After Wessel’s presentation, the discussion was then opened to the members of SGA to give their opinions on IMP becoming a recognized organization.

Many were supportive and thought this group was a way to further include EC’s diversifying student body.

“I think this is a really cool idea. I’m interested. It informs people of things that they aren’t necessarily knowledgeable about,” SGA member Maria Anguiano said.

However, one SGA member was not open to the idea of allowing such a group to meet on campus.

“I’m not interested in this whatsoever because of my Christian beliefs. I agree that this will fill in the gap and make the campus more inclusive, but this is a school affiliated with the UCC. I think it is important to stick to the core beliefs of the school,” SGA member Shawndell Young said.

This sparked a conversation that went over the allotted discussion time between Young and other members of SGA on what EC and the UCC stand for.

“The whole point of the UCC is we are inclusive to everyone of all different beliefs,” Janisa Hicks said. “Just because they are ‘different’ to you, Shawndell, does not mean they should not have that platform to be a group and come together and be recognized as a group.”

Cutting the discussion short to leave time for other business matters that needed to be attended to, President of SGA Esther Pereira called for a vote on the recognition of IMP.

IMP won recognition with a majority vote with only one member, Young, voting against the group.

Dancing on the graves of dictators

There are infinite reasons why someone may celebrate: perhaps they have bought a new house, just had a baby, turned a year older or finished school. But how about celebrating the death of a political figure?

In the case of Fidel Castro, it seems more people are relieved and filled with joy than saddened or negatively affected by the news of his passing. There are videos of champagne popping in front of Versaille in Little Havana shortly after the announcement made by his brother, as well as in many different locations.

One may think, okay, politics aside is it not a bit twisted to celebrate someone finally dying? Is it amoral? Does it make you a bad person if you celebrate someone’s death?

However, one must take into account all that Cuban people have endured under Fidel Castro’s dictatorship. Separation from families, starvation, little to no access to resources and unjust prison sentences are just a few of the hardships people endured while he was in power. People feared for their lives and the lives of their loved ones whom they worried they may never see again.

Why should it be a question of one’s morality if they are relieved to hear that one of history’s cruellest, most unjust rulers is dead? What it should be, rather, is a deeper look into Fidel’s communist regime and what it cost thousands of people who were forced to suffer under Castro’s rule. Many view his death as a gateway into democracy.

It does not make you a bad person to celebrate the death of someone who caused years of heartache, deprivation, poverty and suffering. It does not make you a bad person to feel relieved that someone who took away your civil rights, your rights as a human being, is permanently out of the picture.

Even those who disagree with all that Castro did still believe that his death being celebrated is wrong, that it is a macabre, inhumane concept. But why? What Castro did to his people was inhumane. What he put them through is beyond some of our imaginations. If anything, Cubans deserve to celebrate if they choose to, as well as how they choose to, and the rest of us should stay out of it.

As people who cannot relate to the struggles Cubans have endured over the last several decades, we have no say in how they choose to feel or react to Castro’s death. If they wish to mourn, let them. If they wish to rejoice, let them.

It is no different than when people rejoiced the death of Osama bin Laden after he was killed by the U.S. military, a man who also did terrible things and was responsible for the deaths of many.

Feeling liberated because someone can no longer control you or your family, even if it is because of their death, is not a bad thing.

Letter To The Editor

PSA: A Letter from the Niebuhr Center to Elmhurst College

Friends, the election has stirred up a variety of reactions across the nation. Some are outraged, some are rejoicing, some are terriffied for their lives. Some are protesting, some are holding rallies, some are committing hate crimes. Some of these actions have perpetuated and increased the presence and vocalization of white supremacist rhetoric. White supremacy is the belief that “the white race is inherently superior to other races and that white people should have control over people of other races.” White supremacy has always been present in the United States. In fact, this week we’re “celebrating” a holiday that commemorates the white European immigrant conquest of Native peoples and their land.

The Niebuhr Center is dedicated to meaningful reflection that seeks deeper understanding of self and others as well as the implications of our words and actions. As a college we are “committed to cultural diversity, mutual respect among all persons, compassion for others, honest and open communication and fairness and integrity in all that we do. We are also mindful of humanity’s interdependence and the dignity of every individual, we are committed to social justice on local, national and global levels.” We commit to “act on our social responsibilities and call others to do the same.”

No matter who you voted for in the election, it cannot be denied that hate crimes toward minorities have increased since the election results came in. This proves to us, again, that the civil rights movement isn’t over. Racism is not a thing of the past. Justice has not yet come.

Peoples’ lives are in danger. These are very real realities. Do you know that we are capable of love greater than this? That we are called to be each other’s neighbor? That if we work together, we will succeed? We have a lot of work to do before we are able to work together in a way that is respectful of each other and our histories.

So this is the call to action. White students, staff , faculty, administration, and alumni: take a look at the resources below. Do your homework. Educate yourself. Listen to your friends and colleagues of color. Learn how we, as a country, still purport white supremacy as a part of our narrative. Then ask your friends what they need. Ask how you can be supportive of them. If we don’t do this work now, we will only become a more divided country. If you need support in processing the materials or would like to have a conversation, Professor Haq and I are more than willing.

To students, staff , faculty, and administration who are feeling scared and uncertain because of who you are in the world: please know that we seek to provide a safe space in the Niebuhr Center for all of you. We are available for further conversation, support, and resources. We are here for you.

Thank you for reading this all the way through. I look forward to the work we can do together on campus and in the world.


Rev. Emily Labrecque and Prof. Inam Haq

0 to 100 / The finish line

As my last semester of school approaches, I cannot help but recount how the past few years I have spent at EC have molded me as a person and shaped my outlook on things. In retrospect, the changes I see are all positive.

When I first started, I was not so sure I would finish. Graduation seemed eons away, like an ungraspable task that could never be accomplished. I could not help but trick myself into believing that obtaining a Bachelor’s degree was a dream and nothing more. Education is not an option in my family, but beyond that I knew it was something I wanted to do for myself. I wanted to prove to myself that I could stick to something through the end. At times, however, it seemed impossible.

So many nights I spent sprawled over my laptop, six cups of chai already consumed, hair a mess, hours flying by with each second I blinked. In those moments I wanted nothing more than to call it quits.

Now here I am, just weeks away from being finished for- ever, and the reflection has me pondering the lessons I have learned along the way.

Sometimes, friends are closer than family and can break the barrier of blood. They can prove themselves to be intimate soul connections that feed you positive energy when all you wish to do is sulk. Maybe our best friends — I mean true, genuine friends — are people we connected with in a previous life. I do not leave any possibilities out anymore, another thing that changed about me this year.

I truly believe friendships are the most valuable thing this earth possesses. Without them, I am not sure where I would be right now. My friends push me to be better, tell me I deserve better when I cannot see it myself and force me to look at things from a different perspective when I need to. Good friends are everything. Over the past couple years, I have lost tons, but in return gained a few gems. The switch made all the difference.

And sometimes, your family knows you better than you know yourself. My dad is forty-six years older than I am, so I guess he knows a little bit more about life than I do. All the times I doubted the advice he gave me, I ended up regretting it (though most of the time I never admitted it.) I carry too much pride still. But I am learning.

My point is this: family (in most cases) are the people who look out for your best interests at heart. They want my well being with nothing in return. They go to the ends of the universe for me even when I wish to fight my own battles and strive for independence. They are annoying as all hell, and they screw me up a little, but I have learned that all their pushing is only to force me to do better.

And if I have learned anything about myself, it is that I am ultimately more intelligent, caring and stronger-willed than I used to give myself credit for. The good in me outweighs the bad, and if I come to blows with my personal problems, I know now that I am strong enough to overcome them. Too many times I was scared about what lay ahead for me, and too many times I thought my issues would swallow me whole. But every single time I have proven myself wrong. And I am so glad.

College is somewhat of an other worldly experience. It is different for every person but certain elements stay the same: you hate yourself, you cannot remember the last time you got decent shut-eye, you live in the library and you meet interesting people you are certain you will not forget.

So I leave with this: gratefulness for the two years I was able to spend on this campus, growing and nurturing and flowering my mind so that it is ready for the next phase of my life, the friends I made along the way and the work that forced me to put all my effort and energy into what I believe matters.

The details of the rest of my life are insignificant. They do not matter. I will make it up as I go. All I can do is live in the moment and know that each one is a blessing from the universe.

Within and Without / Under pressure

Every year, around this point in the semester, it is inevitable that we students begin experiencing the effects of school-related stress. This is only added to by a myriad of other factors: the political climate, the meteorological climate, the economy and our lives at home.

Not that we were not experiencing incredible stress before, no, we were, but now is when dealing with that stress begins to feel insurmountable.

Projects, papers and exams begin to build up and finals loom in the distance, yet paradoxically the end of the semester somehow feels further away than ever. We become desperate to fulfill all of the requirements we have stacked up for ourselves, like an increasingly growing, wobbly Jenga tower ready to collapse the next time one block is pulled out of place.

During this time, the pressure upon us can be great enough to break us. We may even come crashing down. But it is okay.

In my time as a college student, my yearly mental breakdowns seem to arrive around this time like clockwork. The anxiety from the stress and the pressure builds, making it more difficult to get things done, which makes more things pile up, which causes more anxiety, only agitating my preexisting anxiety and depression.

This exhausting vicious cycle of anxiety and stress is incredibly real, and is one you might be intimately familiar with as a college student or even just as a human being.

This chronic condition of pre-occupation is one that we have adopted with responsibilities piling upon responsibilities.

We are trained as we grow up to stay busy: to do as much as possible, to take on as many projects as possible, to be more ambitious, to be competitive. Pressure grows as we build relationships and expectations from our professors, our friends, our families and most of all ourselves which combine to weigh us down and break us.

Which is why it is okay to ask for help. It is okay to fail sometimes. It is okay to distract ourselves from the pressures we face, and who could blame us?

When you are feeling so totally overwhelmed, skip class, call in sick to work, take a nap, indulge in distractions, binge watch Netflix, listen to your favorite album, have amazing sex, meditate, pray, eat ridiculous amounts of food, exercise, go to The Wellness Center, talk to a therapist, call your parents, talk to a random stranger, ask a friend for a hug, do whatever you need to do to get through this. Do whatever you need to keep yourself from crashing down into a jumbled, stress-induced heap of stress.

And most importantly, be happy. Because, although it may be cliché, life is too short not to be.

Coffee Talk / French Presses

If you are an avid coffee drinker and have not heard of a french press, you should definitely look into it.  It is certainly a contender for my favorite brew method. The french press is comprised of two main components.  First, a glass beaker that comes in many sizes ranging from 8 ounces to 50 ounces. Second, a lid with a plunger that has a screen attached.  To properly brew a french press, use 7-8 grams of coffee per 6.7 ounces of water. Coffee should be coarsely ground and resemble sea salt. Add a little bit of hot water to the top of the coffee to allow it to bloom.

Blooming refers to the escape of gasses from the coffee. Next, wait 45 seconds and then pour the rest of your water.  Put the lid with plunger on and press down until the screen submerged about an inch.  This ensures that the coffee is fully submerged in the coffee.  Allow the coffee to rest that way for four minutes.  Next, slowly and gently depress the plunger, pour, and enjoy.

I love french presses.  They offer a robust flavor and heavy “mouth feel,” which refers to the viscosity of the coffee. Generally french presses result in thick and syrupy coffee.  This pairs nicely with darker roasts. Flavor profiles to look for when enjoying french press coffee include chocolaty, smoky, woody and earthy flavors.  If you are a dark roast lover, this is the brew method for you.

However, the french press does offer some limitations.  Generally speaking, light roast coffees do not turn out exceedingly well.  It seems as though the thick, syrupy consistency does not lend itself to the light, bright, and often acidic tones of light roast coffees.  Also, you typically do not want to drink the very last sip of a french press.  More often than not, very fine coffee grounds make their way past the filter(s) and end up in the last sip of the cup. I always forget this fact and get a mouth full of sandy coffee grounds. Not so fun.

I would give french press brewers an A-.  They are great for college students because all they require is the french press itself, an electric tea kettle, and coffee.  They brew a phenomenal dark roast coffee with all of the robust “mouth feel” one could want.  However, they are pretty severely limited to dark roast and (typically) flavored coffees.  All in all, the french press stacks up to be a formidable opponent.

Man-slaughter / White women failed us

Like many, I was shocked at the results on election night. However, the most surprising result of election night was not that Donald Trump won, but that 53 percent of all white female voters cast their ballot for him.

While 94 percent of Black women and 68 percent of Latina women voters cast their ballot for Hillary Clinton, more than half of white women voters supported Trump.

Before this election, I naively thought feminism was colorblind. I understood the existence of dominant white feminism and its problematic nature, but assumed that when all women were under attack, feminists from every religion, race and ethnicity would be united.

How wrong I was. No, the “diverse” sisterhood is not dead. It had never existed.

It should not be so shocking that white women voted how white men wanted them to. After all, historically it was not white women who stood by women of color as they strove to be recognized as equals in society, and continue to do so. The women’s suffrage movement may as well have had a large entry sign that read, “Non-white women need not apply.”

And as women often do — white women sacrificed their own self-interest for the interest their husbands, fathers and brothers, prolonging the preservation of white supremacy and male privilege. Many white women voted for Trump because it was politically expedient. Because they could.

It is time to understand that women of color can no longer rely on white women to fight our battles for us. We are less privileged and therefore hold less power than them and this means we will have to work twice as hard. But it is essential to understand that the fears of all women in this country are diverse as we are. White women will never have to confront those who perceive their presence in this country to be a threat. White women will never have to be victims of racist institutional policies. It is not easy being a woman, but it is even harder being a woman of color.

It is also time to recognize that internalized sexism and inherent patriarchy that underlie our society played significant roles this election. Women can still be, and quite often are, both perpetrators and victims of misogyny. When we condition women to believe that they are less than, that men’s sexually abusive attitudes are normal, then they will admire those who seek to undermine them and reject other women on the basis of these conditionings.

Although white women’s race impacted their vote, discount- ing the role that many women’s implicit, subconscious self-hatred had in this election is imprudent because who they cast their ballots for signals a larger problem — a society where women can vote, but men hold the political power because of entrenched patriarchy, which in turn keeps women’s progress and advancement at a stand-still.

Now more than ever women of color must give white women an ultimatum: you are either with us or against us. The mobilization of a new feminist movement, this time on the backs of women of color, must begin.

If not, the glass ceiling will remain unshattered.

EC students wage wintery war on the Mall

EC students throw snowballs at fellow classmates on the Mall as part of a tradition celebrating the year’s first snowfall. (Photo by Stefan Carlson)

The first snowfall of the year brought war to the EC campus on Dec. 5.

As is tradition at EC, the first snowfall of the year means a midnight snowball fight among the students of EC and is held in the Mall.

Many students join their friends in the snowball fight while others get together to make a snowman or snow angels in a patch of untouched snow.

“My friends are the reason I came out here,” EC freshman Trisha Corasis said as other students threw snow at her. As she was talking, one of Corasis’s friends came up from behind her and smashed snow on the top of her head.

From their first tour on campus, the snowball fight is an event even EC’s newest students look forward to.

“[The Tour guide] told us on the tour when I first got here about this,” Corasis said.

The tradition of throwing snow at friends and having fun in the first snow of winter is one that will continue for quite some time.

“This is something I would do every year,” said Corasis.

How to decorate your dorm for the holidays

EC students Jessie Allcock and Taylor Dorband decorate the student lounge in West Hall with a Christmas tree. (Photo courtesy of Jessie Allcock)

December is finally here, bringing with it all the joys of the holiday season. The streets glow with beautiful lights and Christmas music fills the air, putting everyone in a jolly mood — until suddenly reality hits and college students at EC realize that finals are looming ahead. Here are The Leader’s suggestions to keep a little bit of the holiday spirit with you in your dorm room as you study.

Christmas lights

Christmas lights are relatively inexpensive — Walmart sells some strands for about $6 —but they instantly brighten up a room. They can go anywhere: windows, doors, the ceiling, a mirror or a bunk bed. For those who do not like peeling tape off of walls, place the lights in a jar for a beautiful holiday lantern.

Wrapping paper

Wrapping paper is a great decorating tool because it is both cheap and versatile. Use a roll to wrap your door, a bulletin board (complete with bow) or get a roll covered with little characters — such as soda-drinking Santas — and cut the figures out to use as decorations or ornaments.

Christmas music

Music might not seem like a decoration, but no Christmas scene is complete without Bing Crosby crooning in the background or Elvis Presley singing about the Christmas blues. WLIT-FM on 93.9 FM plays Christmas music 24/7, although the songs do tend to get a little repetitive. Spotify and Pandora are good choices too, as they tend play a wider variety of songs than 93.9 does.


Scented candles are a favorite room decoration no matter what time of year it is, but Christmas is the time when they really shine. Depending on where they are from, candles range from around $6 (Walmart) to $20 (Bed Bath & Beyond or Bath and Body Works).

Most stores will sell candles with festive scents such as “Christmas Pine” or “Winter Wonderland.” However, for those who want something a little more unique or who might be feeling a little homesick as the holidays draw near, Homesick Candles offers candles that smell like each of the 50 states. They are a bit pricey — $30 per candle — but as the song goes, “There’s no place like home for the holidays,” and the next best thing to being at home is imagining you are already there.

Weak acting, cliché plot fails to possess audiences in ‘Incarnate’

Aaron Eckhart stars as Doctor Seth Ember in the new horror  lm ‘Incarnate,’ out now in theaters. (Internet Photo)

In the decades since the release of the William Friedkin’s 1973 horror classic “The Exorcist,” there have been multiple attempts on the part of contemporary directors to leave their own mark on the genre. But most of these directors get trapped under “The Exorcist’s” influence and become consequently derivative.

However, “Incarnate,” the new film from director Brad Peyton (“San Andreas”, “Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore”) begins with a promising and unique twist on the genre, but ultimately fails to possess audiences because of its weak performances and hilariously awful dialogue.

The film opens with a dream sequence, introducing its most unique and interesting facet. Instead of exorcising demons through traditional methods of prayer and the sprinkling of holy water, protagonist Doctor Seth Ember (Aaron Eckhart) travels inside the minds of the possessed in an attempt to convince them to take control of their bodies back from the demon inhabiting them.

After exiting the first dream sequence when we are introduced to the lm’s central conflict, Camilla (Carice van Houten), a representative from The Vatican, calls on Doctor Ember to exorcise an archdemon out of the body of Cameron, an 11-year-old boy.

After entering Cameron’s mind, any novelty earned from its premise is lost after subjecting audiences to some of the most laughably cliché plot points most directors and writers work tirelessly to avoid.

For example: It is revealed that Doctor Ember’s wife and young son were killed by a woman possessed by a demon in a head-on collision, now he is out for revenge. In addition to the revenge trope, “Incarnate’s” plot derives any and all suspense from plot twists so blatantly obvious, viewers cannot help but see them coming at least fifteen minutes before they are revealed. The filmmakers cannot even seem to restrain themselves from adding in a shoehorned, last-minute romance for no apparent purpose other than to have one.

The acting here is no better. In most cases, actors in major releases are at the very least good enough to attempt to elevate a film when given terrible material to work with, but the actors in “Incarnate” only add to the mess.

Eckhart (“Batman: The Dark Knight”) is supposed to carry the movie, starring in almost every scene, but instead loses our attention by delivering every single line in the same low growl. We get it. Your character is damaged.

If there is any actor worthy of praise it is Houten (“Game of Thones”) who at the very least attempts to add some emotional depth to her delivery. But there is not much she can do given some of the most inane and cliché dialogue I have ever had the displeasure of hearing in any film.

Although the biggest problem with “Incarnate” is that it feels like a joke, playing more like a spoof of a horror movie than a genuine one. Every line of dialogue, plot twist, and special effect is executed so poorly, yet presented with an un inch- ing seriousness, winning more laughs than scares from audiences.

In fact, I feel no hesitation in deeming “Incarnate” one of the worst films of the year.

Usually, horror films fail because they are formulaic and mediocre at worst. “Incarnate” is outright offensive. Either because the filmmakers think their audience stupid enough to accept the idiotic plot and dialogue, or that they could manipulate audiences into believing this garbage more original than “The Exorcist.”

EC men’s basketball continues to struggle, gets blown out in conference opener

Senior forward Caleb Mowry shoots over two Wheaton defenders on Saturday, Dec. 3. (Photo by Kivin Woods)

The EC men’s basketball team had high hopes on Saturday night as they matched up against the Wheaton College under (4-2). R.A. Faganel Hall was the setting, as the Bluejays (2-4) struggled with a shooting slump and dropped their CCIW opener, 82-69.

Wheaton set the tone early, jumping out to a 12-3 lead by the 16:45 mark of the first half. The Thunder did not trail outside the first minute of the game.

Forward Caleb Mowry led his Bluejay teammates once again, scoring 17 points and securing 3 rebounds in 22 minutes. e strong production leaves his season averages at 19.7 points and 9 rebounds per game.

Mowry is in the midst of a breakout performance in his final season in a Bluejay uniform. After spending three seasons in a reserve role, the senior has taken a significant step forward early on this season.

Mowry felt it was just an off day for the Bluejays.

“Honestly, I just think it might have been one of those days, you know? Our shots weren’t falling,” he said. “We are a really young team and it was our first conference game, so it’s a bit more pressure and whatnot.”

“I just think we are a young team. We’ll come around, I really think we will,” he added.

Mowry certainly has a valid point, as Bluejay shooters shot a mere 40.7 percent from the field, including 5-19 (26.3 per- cent) from 3-point range. Both figures were well below the Bluejay season averages of 49 percent on field goals and 34 percent from deep.

The slump saw a peak in the first half of play, during which the Bluejays could only convert 37.5 percent of their field goal attempts.

The Bluejays took their struggles with them to the charity stripe, posting a 48.5 percent free throw percentage on 33 attempts, well below the season average of 59 percent.

The young Bluejay shooters will need to grow up fast in order to compete during what is expected to be a grueling CCIW schedule this winter. EC will lean on its leaders, such as the aforementioned Mowry and fellow Seniors Jalen Loving and Nathan Rogers. However, underclassmen will need to step forward and contribute in order to lighten the load.

6’8’’ Freshman Devin Tennant could prove to be a factor in conference play after scoring 13 points during his first extended play time of the season. Tennant hit on 6 of his 7 attempts and added a pair of rebounds in addition to a pair of assists throughout his 18 minutes.

As he reflected on the loss, Mowry acknowledged that there were missed opportunities that could have helped turned the tide.

“We knew they were not a very good transition defense team, so we just could have pushed the ball a little bit harder and maybe put the press on a little bit earlier to turn the tempo up and speed them up a little bit,” he said.

The numbers certainly reflect that sentiment. Wheaton outscored the Bluejays following turnovers, with 23 points coming after takeaways versus 12 for EC.

Fast breaks were an issue throughout the game as Wheaton scored 12 points on the break while EC was shut out.

The lack of consistent points after takeaways proved quite costly late.

After entering the halftime intermission trailing by 14, the Bluejays scored a pair of baskets quickly and trimmed the Wheaton lead down to 10 points early in the second half. However, the next 5 consecutive Bluejay possessions ended with a turnover and Wheaton was able to capitalize, stretching their lead out to 18.

Combined with the lack of fast break scoring, the Bluejays offense became one dimensional and never seemed to find their timing, although they did outscore the under in the second half, 39-38.

Despite playing from behind for much of the game, the Bluejays showed their merit with the way they were able to compete for possession throughout the contest. EC out rebounded Wheaton 43-34 and held a respectable turnover differential with 17 takeaways versus 23 giveaways.

In addition to rebounding, the Bluejays also held a clear edge in points from their bench as EC reserves scored 32, a total only surpassed by the 36 point performance by the bench against Concordia-Chicago. Meanwhile, the Wheaton bench only scored 5 points.

While it failed to make a different versus Wheaton, sustained production from the bench would be a significant advantage throughout conference.

Looking forward, the Bluejays will head to Waukesha, Wisconsin on Wednesday, Dec. 7 for a 7 p.m. game against the Carroll University Pioneers.

The 4-1 Pioneers have been a stingy defensive team this season, allowing only 74 points per game.

Offensively, Carroll is led by junior Tanner Zaeske and senior Kyle Keranen. The duo averages a combined 36.2 points per game. The Bluejays will need to slow them down in order keep pace with the Pioneers.

This will be the first CCIW basketball matchup between EC and Carroll since the Pioneer’s return to the conference.

Women’s basketball win streak broken at six

Junior guard/forward Mikaela Eppard attempts a contested layup on Satur- day, Dec. 3. (Internet Photo)

After their best start in over 30 years, EC women’s basketball was beaten for the first time this season, falling 71-52 to rival Wheaton on Saturday.

After facing less than stellar competition their first six games, the Bluejays did not realize what was in store for them until it was too late, as they faced off against the no. 19 team in the country.

“This was definitely our first time in November [facing this level of competition], our competition was good but not as good as this,“ coach Tethnie Carrillo said after the game.

The game was knotted after the first quarter at 13 a piece for both teams, but during the second quarter Wheaton went on a thunderous 22-4 run.

In the second half the Thunder took over the game, creating a 27-point lead for themselves that the Bluejays were never able to diminish.

“Against a team like this you know you’re probably going to give up a little bit more [points],” Carrillo added.

“I think that [was] the biggest disappointment, we didn’t quite stick together as much as we needed to in the defensive end,” she added.

Despite losing by 19 points, junior All-American Mikaela Eppard believes the Bluejays are not a bad team.

“We have the opportunity to be top four in our conference, go to the conference tournament and come out of that [as champions],” Eppard said after the game.

Eppard leads the team in points and rebounds.

The CCIW tournament is a ways away and the Bluejays should turn their attention to their next CCIW opponent, undefeated Augustana.

EC will need to do a 180 from Saturday’s game if they hope to beat an Augustana team, that has already scored 100 points or more in half of their games.

“We really stressed in the locker room that we have to have two good solid practices before [facing] Augustana,” Carrillo said.

“Defense is what we’re going to live and die by this year,” she added.

Undefeated Augustana College will visit the Bluejays court on Dec. 7, with a 7 p.m. tip-off.

Luckily for the Bluejays they will have another chance at life next Saturday when Illinois Wesleyan visits the EC court with a 2 p.m. tip-off.

Athlete to watch: Mikaela Eppard

Mikaela Eppard is now seventh all-time in Bluejays eld goal percentage (Internet Photo)

In the Spring of 2013, a young Mikaela Eppard committed to EC as a basketball recruit, as she finished her high school career with over 1,000 points.

She played for a decently sized suburban school in Colorado called Cherry Creek High School. The school has 96 teams that play in 26 different sports.

Her Cherry Creek Bruins team did not win a state championship, but by the time Eppard graduated she had earned four varsity letters and first team all-league selections her last two years in high school.

In her senior year, she earned second-team all-state honors, and since then has only propelled her game.

Her freshman year at EC was stacked with success as she was named the CCIW Newcomer of the year and again earned second-team recognition, this time earning all-conference honors as a Bluejay.

It is evident that she knows where her game is. She attempted no threes the entire season, instead relying on her size and power inside the paint and around the basket to put up 370 points of the season.

Although young and new to the collegiate athletics learning process, Eppard lead the team in steals as well.

She finished her first year as a Bluejay with a team-leading .539 field goal percentage, averaging 14.2 points per game.

She followed all that up by earning first-team all-conference and all-region honors after starting all 26 games of her second season, now starting every game for the Bluejays.

Jump forward to present day and her progress is evident, as she leads the team in several categories after seven games.

Eppard’s isolation game is where she excels, offensively and defensively. She has been able to help and lead her team in many ways. She attributes this success to her coaches.

“My coaches help me with my one on one game, expanding my game and watching film to see where I need to improve,” she said.

EC sits atop the conference defensive rebounding, in large part to Eppard’s average of 8.3 boards per game.

Individually, she’s leading the entire conference right now in rebounding, as well as eld goal percentage.

Averaging 16.6 points per game now, she is fourth in the conference in scoring, and leads the conference in eld goal percentage at .598 which is a major improvement over her average from last season.

She is one of the most efficient players to ever play for EC, as her 53.9 field goal percentage currently places her in 7th place all-time for the Bluejays.

The only other current EC player to come close to Eppard’s scoring efficiency is Forward Kaela Jones, who is currently holding the number 10 spot in the conference at .482.

Eppard has essentially lead her team to victory in the team’s last three victories, which resulted in her being named the CCIW Women’s Basketball Player of the Week for the week of Nov. 28, 2016.

In that week alone, she averaged 21.9 points per game and 8.7 rebounds.

She was named MVP of the Colorado College Rock Mountain Tournament, which served as EC’s first tournament of the season.

EC was 6-0 before falling to Wheaton College, which had been the first time in thirty years the team had started the season so successfully, and at least three of those victories can largely be attributed to Eppard’s commitment to her team.

In fact, even though Eppard’s game is most successful in iso situations, she says her favorite part of basketball is the team efforts and the team’s success overall.

“I love the team aspect of sports, it’s why I play,” she said.

Although she is a great individual player, her contributions as a teammate are largely the reason that Elmhurst has the second most wins overall, only falling behind to the defending conference champs, Augustana College.

“Having a whole group of people to lean on for support and being able to win together and lose together,” she added as being part of her own enjoyment of team-play.

It was a team loss to Wheaton, as the Bluejays shot 34.9 percent overall, while Wheaton shot 51.9 percent.

Eppard added only 10 points and five boards, well shy of her average.

She says that it is part of her job to help the team move for- ward from losses, showing that she is not afraid to do more than just score points and snatch down rebounds.

“I think I help my team win by being a positive communicator and getting excited when things go well and help us move on when things don’t go our way,” she said.

The lady Bluejays will have their hands full when they host the undefeated Augustana Vikings on Wednesday, Dec. 7. Eppard reminds us that sportsmanship and being a part of something bigger than oneself is a big part of the game, and that it is not all about wins and losses right now.

“There is always someone there. The excitement it all brings is something you can’t replicate,” she said. “It is pure joy and being able to have that experience [and] those same emotions as a team is awesome.”

Passion for the game, love for her team, and skill on the floor will continue to propel Eppard’s game, which is why she is this week’s athlete to watch.