FRIENDS OF HEYMANN GREIVE LOSSRYDER COMSTOCKMARIAH KENNEDYguest writers


Sometime in the past week, my dad sighed and said he felt as if we had been sent off to Earlham to get our hearts broken. This is certainly not the first time we’ve grieved together, and I understand how family, friends, and alumni must feel watching our beloved community go through this yet again. 
Yet as we gathered in Fell House this week, we all talked about how there is no place else we would rather be right now. The tremendous love and support we have felt cannot be explained in words - it has manifested itself in obscene amounts of homemade food, in warm hugs, in music and movie marathons, in visits from two-legged and four-legged friends, in photos and memories, and innumerable cups of tea. 
We occupy a strange place right now as we hope and pray for our friends Lenore and Graham and mourn the loss of our dear Tracey. While we miss our friend deeply, our hearts go out to the family and friends of Lenore and Graham - we are encouraged with every positive bit of news and we hope to see them smiling on campus soon.
We have many comforting memories of Tracey - from first meeting her in the fall of 2009, to cooking delicious vegetarian (and later, not so vegetarian…) treats, to hearing her infectious, joyful laugh when she thought something was inappropriately funny. There are few moments in our lives when we’ve been happier or more joyful than when we were dancing with Tracey.
Few people are as welcoming and reassuring as our friend, and we’ve found through shared stories that she really was the glue that held us together. She has blessed us with letters, pictures, journals, music, and videos to sustain us and we are grateful for how well she documented the things that made her happy. We feel very lucky and very close to her still.
Those hoping to share stories or memories with Tracey’s friends or family can come by Fell House at any time. Donations can be made in her memory to The Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose at http://www.cdm.org/Tracey. 
Thank you for all your love and support this past week. We are grateful and blessed to be part of the Earlham Community. 
With lots of gratitude,Friends of Tracey
FRIENDS OF HEYMANN GREIVE LOSSRYDER COMSTOCKMARIAH KENNEDYguest writers


Sometime in the past week, my dad sighed and said he felt as if we had been sent off to Earlham to get our hearts broken. This is certainly not the first time we’ve grieved together, and I understand how family, friends, and alumni must feel watching our beloved community go through this yet again. 
Yet as we gathered in Fell House this week, we all talked about how there is no place else we would rather be right now. The tremendous love and support we have felt cannot be explained in words - it has manifested itself in obscene amounts of homemade food, in warm hugs, in music and movie marathons, in visits from two-legged and four-legged friends, in photos and memories, and innumerable cups of tea. 
We occupy a strange place right now as we hope and pray for our friends Lenore and Graham and mourn the loss of our dear Tracey. While we miss our friend deeply, our hearts go out to the family and friends of Lenore and Graham - we are encouraged with every positive bit of news and we hope to see them smiling on campus soon.
We have many comforting memories of Tracey - from first meeting her in the fall of 2009, to cooking delicious vegetarian (and later, not so vegetarian…) treats, to hearing her infectious, joyful laugh when she thought something was inappropriately funny. There are few moments in our lives when we’ve been happier or more joyful than when we were dancing with Tracey.
Few people are as welcoming and reassuring as our friend, and we’ve found through shared stories that she really was the glue that held us together. She has blessed us with letters, pictures, journals, music, and videos to sustain us and we are grateful for how well she documented the things that made her happy. We feel very lucky and very close to her still.
Those hoping to share stories or memories with Tracey’s friends or family can come by Fell House at any time. Donations can be made in her memory to The Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose at http://www.cdm.org/Tracey. 
Thank you for all your love and support this past week. We are grateful and blessed to be part of the Earlham Community. 
With lots of gratitude,Friends of Tracey
FRIENDS OF HEYMANN GREIVE LOSSRYDER COMSTOCKMARIAH KENNEDYguest writers


Sometime in the past week, my dad sighed and said he felt as if we had been sent off to Earlham to get our hearts broken. This is certainly not the first time we’ve grieved together, and I understand how family, friends, and alumni must feel watching our beloved community go through this yet again. 
Yet as we gathered in Fell House this week, we all talked about how there is no place else we would rather be right now. The tremendous love and support we have felt cannot be explained in words - it has manifested itself in obscene amounts of homemade food, in warm hugs, in music and movie marathons, in visits from two-legged and four-legged friends, in photos and memories, and innumerable cups of tea. 
We occupy a strange place right now as we hope and pray for our friends Lenore and Graham and mourn the loss of our dear Tracey. While we miss our friend deeply, our hearts go out to the family and friends of Lenore and Graham - we are encouraged with every positive bit of news and we hope to see them smiling on campus soon.
We have many comforting memories of Tracey - from first meeting her in the fall of 2009, to cooking delicious vegetarian (and later, not so vegetarian…) treats, to hearing her infectious, joyful laugh when she thought something was inappropriately funny. There are few moments in our lives when we’ve been happier or more joyful than when we were dancing with Tracey.
Few people are as welcoming and reassuring as our friend, and we’ve found through shared stories that she really was the glue that held us together. She has blessed us with letters, pictures, journals, music, and videos to sustain us and we are grateful for how well she documented the things that made her happy. We feel very lucky and very close to her still.
Those hoping to share stories or memories with Tracey’s friends or family can come by Fell House at any time. Donations can be made in her memory to The Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose at http://www.cdm.org/Tracey. 
Thank you for all your love and support this past week. We are grateful and blessed to be part of the Earlham Community. 
With lots of gratitude,Friends of Tracey

FRIENDS OF HEYMANN GREIVE LOSS
RYDER COMSTOCK
MARIAH KENNEDY
guest writers

Sometime in the past week, my dad sighed and said he felt as if we had been sent off to Earlham to get our hearts broken. This is certainly not the first time we’ve grieved together, and I understand how family, friends, and alumni must feel watching our beloved community go through this yet again. 

Yet as we gathered in Fell House this week, we all talked about how there is no place else we would rather be right now. The tremendous love and support we have felt cannot be explained in words - it has manifested itself in obscene amounts of homemade food, in warm hugs, in music and movie marathons, in visits from two-legged and four-legged friends, in photos and memories, and innumerable cups of tea. 

We occupy a strange place right now as we hope and pray for our friends Lenore and Graham and mourn the loss of our dear Tracey. While we miss our friend deeply, our hearts go out to the family and friends of Lenore and Graham - we are encouraged with every positive bit of news and we hope to see them smiling on campus soon.

We have many comforting memories of Tracey - from first meeting her in the fall of 2009, to cooking delicious vegetarian (and later, not so vegetarian…) treats, to hearing her infectious, joyful laugh when she thought something was inappropriately funny. There are few moments in our lives when we’ve been happier or more joyful than when we were dancing with Tracey.

Few people are as welcoming and reassuring as our friend, and we’ve found through shared stories that she really was the glue that held us together. She has blessed us with letters, pictures, journals, music, and videos to sustain us and we are grateful for how well she documented the things that made her happy. We feel very lucky and very close to her still.

Those hoping to share stories or memories with Tracey’s friends or family can come by Fell House at any time. Donations can be made in her memory to The Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose at http://www.cdm.org/Tracey. 

Thank you for all your love and support this past week. We are grateful and blessed to be part of the Earlham Community. 

With lots of gratitude,
Friends of Tracey

Co-op community keeps students strong

DEREK BRENNAN
staff writer



I heard the news of the accident just hours after it happened. Sitting in Mills with my girlfriend, her friend passed us on his way out for a cigarette and asked if we had “heard the news.”

He smelled faintly of beer, and I knew it was college night in the depot district. “The news” had to either mean there was an accident or some lame piece of gossip.

I hoped for the lame piece of gossip.

But he told us–incorrectly–that there was an accident and that Tracey and Graham were in the hospital, and there was a “third, unidentified body” still at the scene.

A silent, solemn, sheet of grief fell over me, and I decided it was best to just go to bed. Back in Co-op Hall, I ran into an equally solemn Alex Cook who asked, “How are you doing?” in that way that really means “How are you coping?”

Unsure of who had more information, I asked him what had happened. He said there had been a train accident, and when he mentioned Lenore’s name, a sick, nervous dread made its way into my stomach and tried to push its way up my throat. Praying my first source was wrong, and not wanting to cause panic and grief, I didn’t say anything about it.

I spent the night with him and some more of Lenore’s close friends, curled up on a bed watching Portlandia to keep our minds from going to bad places. My girlfriend and I went downstairs to make pancakes before going to bed, starting the flood of communal comfort foods in Co-op that weekend.

By Friday afternoon, of course, we all knew the situation. We all grieved for Tracey, and prayed for Graham and Lenore in intensive care. I’ve never known Tracey or Graham personally, but my heart, along with all the hearts of Earlham, go out to Tracey’s family, and with Graham as he makes his steady recovery.

I met Lenore last fall when she needed a ride home to St. Louis–my hometown as well. We’ve become good friends since then, and she continues to blow me away by her natural presence, her nonchalant confidence in her sincere and goofy self.

In Co-op, we’ve been grieving the temporary loss of a cherished community member who dedicated herself to making Co-op the fun, creative, and productive community it’s supposed to be.

It’s hard not to sound cliché when talking about people you miss.

Lenore never fails to bring a smile to someone’s face with her lovably absurd sense of humor or her enthusiasm about…anything and everything. A few days before the accident, Lenore gave me a full presentation on river otters, the entire time so excited she sounded like a kid in a toy store trying to get their parents to buy them something.

“It’s very obvious there’s a presence missing,” said Zoë Stringer, the co-coordinator of Co-op events with Lenore.

The weekend after the accident was spent comforting each other. After the candlelight vigil on Friday night, Co-op members came back to Wilson to cook each other food, play Nintendo 64, and cuddle up and just be there for each other all night.

On Saturday we, and other non-Co-op friends of Lenore, made a big “We love you, Lenore” sign and took a group picture with it before going inside and, again, cooking for each other for the rest of the night. The picture will be sent to Lenore in the hospital whenever we’re allowed to.

Sunday’s typical Co-op family dinner and consensus became an open potluck for anyone who wanted to come and share thoughts and feelings about anything about the tragedy.

The feeling of community I sense at Earlham—and in Co-op especially—is overwhelming. Never before have I felt so personally responsible for the well-being of my friends, and felt it so reciprocated. 

I’ve never had a time in my life that I’ve felt so sure I’ve found true friends as I had this past weekend. Co-op Hall is short an important community member for now, and Earlham is missing a dear friend.

Derek Brennan is an undeclared sophomore and can be reached at dgbrenn11@earlham.edu.

This article is a subjective account written from the perspective of a Co-op student in the same community as Lenore.

Students, faculty donate blood in support
Top Photo: Senior Annie Taylor donates blood for the drive held in honor of Tracey, Graham, and Lenore. She was one of many to donate blood in the Comstock room of Runyan on Wednesday, Nov. 24.
Bottom Photo: President David Dawson looks over and fills out his blood donor information as he waits in line during the blood drive held in honor of the recent train accident that lead to the death of one student and the hospitalization of two others.
Photo credit: Zosha Winegar-Schultz
Students, faculty donate blood in support
Top Photo: Senior Annie Taylor donates blood for the drive held in honor of Tracey, Graham, and Lenore. She was one of many to donate blood in the Comstock room of Runyan on Wednesday, Nov. 24.
Bottom Photo: President David Dawson looks over and fills out his blood donor information as he waits in line during the blood drive held in honor of the recent train accident that lead to the death of one student and the hospitalization of two others.
Photo credit: Zosha Winegar-Schultz

Students, faculty donate blood in support


Top Photo: 
Senior Annie Taylor donates blood for the drive held in honor of Tracey, Graham, and Lenore. She was one of many to donate blood in the Comstock room of Runyan on Wednesday, Nov. 24.

Bottom Photo: President David Dawson looks over and fills out his blood donor information as he waits in line during the blood drive held in honor of the recent train accident that lead to the death of one student and the hospitalization of two others.


Photo credit: Zosha Winegar-Schultz

‘Serving Sandy Survivors’ gains momentum

NATHAN CHANDLER
staff writer



Hurricane Sandy, which pummeled the upper-East Coast a few weeks ago, caused mass destruction not seen in the United States since Hurricane Katrina made landfall in Louisiana in 2005. In the midst of a tragedy of their own, Earlham students are nevertheless rushing to aid those affected by Sandy’s wrath.

Junior Jese Stetson challenged the Earlham community, through social media, to pitch in to help with Sandy relief. 

His challenge has been met with overwhelming responses.

“Essentially, last Wednesday, I posted a challenge on my Facebook page specifically asking Earlham students if they would be willing to help me load up my semi and head to New York to help with relief efforts,” Stetson said. “Within two hours, the thread, my email, and my phone were blowing up with enthusiastic volunteers from Canada to Florida asking how they could get involved.”

Although the Earlham community has been dealing with a local tragedy over the past week, Stetson’s experiment was greeted enthusiastically by students.

“It’s been very easy to be excited about this project because so many people are ready and willing to help their neighbors on the East Coast,” Stetson said. 

“Many of us have friends and family that have been affected by the storm.”

To aid their friends and family who were affected, Stetson and the others involved have planned to do more than just fundraising. A group of students have expressed the desire to travel to the site and participate in actual clean-up.

“There are 41 students signed up to help with fundraising and 14 students signed up to volunteer from Earlham so far, but this has been with very minimal advertising,” Stetson said.

To get the word out about their efforts, Stetson has relied heavily on using social media, but they have plans to extend their advertising to ensure that everyone who wants to assist have the chance to.

“We are calling it S Cubed for ‘Serving Sandy Survivors,’” Stetson said. 

“Also, expect to see us tabling in Saga and the Runyan Center in the near future.”

The support for S Cubed has been great so far and should only increase as the message about their cause continues to spread throughout the student population.

“I think it’s amazing to see students who want to help any way they can,” said senior Chris Tillery. 

“It’s a great cause and I wish it would be advertised more so others could get involved in any way.”

“I think it’s a really good idea,” said senior Ashlee Herberger, who is from New York. 

“My area was not directly affected by Sandy, but I think people coming together and trying to help is a really amazing thing.”

Now that S Cubed has gained the support from the student population their focus has shifted to encouraging administration involvement.

“We are trying to get Earlham to pay for all the expenses of the volunteers,” Stetson said. 

100 percent of the funds raised outside of the campus to be given to victims of hurricane Sandy.”

Student clubs are also encouraged to get involved. 

“We are wanting all clubs across campus to get involved with the fundraising efforts because we want this to be an all Earlham coalition,” Stetson said. 

“If anyone is a member of a club and can help get their club on board that would be awesome.”

Those looking to volunteer can do so by contacting Stetson via Facebook, or by dropping by the Sandy Cubed table.

Nathan Chandler is a senior history major and can be reached at nmchand09@earlham.edu.

Historian Hochschild discusses WWI-era pacifist movementsANASTASIA VLADIMIROVAdesk editor 

Dayton Literary Piece Prize recipient Adam Hochschild discusses his book To End All Wars  during his Nov. 12 address.

In his new book entitled To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918, this year’s Dayton Literary Peace Prize winner Adam Hochschild takes a look at World War I from a rare perspective, challenging prevailing views about the war.
A distinguished author and journalist, Hochschild addressed the book during his presentation “The War That Changed the World Forever and Those Who Refused to Fight In It” on Monday, Nov. 12. According to the author, his main interest was to focus on the people who formed a pacifist opposition movement against the war. “The madness of the war made me interested in other people, in those who refused to fight it,” he said. 
Hochschild believes that the way history is traditionally taught allows one to learn about those who fought in war, but not those who opposed or refused to fight in it. “You tend not to learn about the amount of the resistance that is happening when the wars happen,” said Hochschild. According to Hochschild, some 20,000 people refused to go to war and more than 6,000 went to prison. These numbers are important for understanding the size of the opposition movement.
Students and professors had many opportunities to engage with the distinguished writer and journalist, including Hochschild’s visit to the Peace, Memory and Modern Culture class. Here he discussed the battle of Somme, the most crucial battle of World War I, which took the lives of almost 21,000 soldiers in a single day.
Hochschild also discussed the British documentary and war propaganda film “The Battle of the Somme,” which he believes was one of the most significant events in the history of historical movie making. “People could identify with the way troops were living,” said Hochschild. The author also expressed that the film not only allowed people to identify with the suffering of the troops, but also to understand the realities of war better.
Later in the day, Hochschild spent some time talking about his books with faculty and students during the informal reception in the Richmond Room. Those who attended had a chance to ask questions about Hochschild’s work, books, and journalism career.
Allan M. Winkler, a distinguished professor of history from Miami University, was present, and asked Hochschild why journalists tended to write better history books than professional historians. “In every academic discipline, people are trying to write for their peers,” said Hochschild. He believes this is why it is often hard for the general public to read history accounts written by professional historians. Hochschild thinks journalists are capable of reaching out to general public better.
According to Nigel Young, visiting professor of peace studies who helped bring Hochschild to Earlham, said that the author felt very welcomed by the Earlham community, students, and professors.
He also stated the the author’s visit was an important and beneficial event for Earlham community in general.
Anastasia Vladimirova is a sophomore PAGS major and can be reached at avladi11@earlham.edu.
Photo credit: Gisèle Aubin
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Historian Hochschild discusses WWI-era pacifist movements
ANASTASIA VLADIMIROVA
desk editor 

Dayton Literary Piece Prize recipient Adam Hochschild discusses his book To End All Wars  during his Nov. 12 address.

In his new book entitled To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918, this year’s Dayton Literary Peace Prize winner Adam Hochschild takes a look at World War I from a rare perspective, challenging prevailing views about the war.

A distinguished author and journalist, Hochschild addressed the book during his presentation “The War That Changed the World Forever and Those Who Refused to Fight In It” on Monday, Nov. 12. According to the author, his main interest was to focus on the people who formed a pacifist opposition movement against the war. “The madness of the war made me interested in other people, in those who refused to fight it,” he said. 

Hochschild believes that the way history is traditionally taught allows one to learn about those who fought in war, but not those who opposed or refused to fight in it. “You tend not to learn about the amount of the resistance that is happening when the wars happen,” said Hochschild. According to Hochschild, some 20,000 people refused to go to war and more than 6,000 went to prison. These numbers are important for understanding the size of the opposition movement.

Students and professors had many opportunities to engage with the distinguished writer and journalist, including Hochschild’s visit to the Peace, Memory and Modern Culture class. Here he discussed the battle of Somme, the most crucial battle of World War I, which took the lives of almost 21,000 soldiers in a single day.

Hochschild also discussed the British documentary and war propaganda film “The Battle of the Somme,” which he believes was one of the most significant events in the history of historical movie making. “People could identify with the way troops were living,” said Hochschild. The author also expressed that the film not only allowed people to identify with the suffering of the troops, but also to understand the realities of war better.

Later in the day, Hochschild spent some time talking about his books with faculty and students during the informal reception in the Richmond Room. Those who attended had a chance to ask questions about Hochschild’s work, books, and journalism career.

Allan M. Winkler, a distinguished professor of history from Miami University, was present, and asked Hochschild why journalists tended to write better history books than professional historians. “In every academic discipline, people are trying to write for their peers,” said Hochschild. He believes this is why it is often hard for the general public to read history accounts written by professional historians. Hochschild thinks journalists are capable of reaching out to general public better.

According to Nigel Young, visiting professor of peace studies who helped bring Hochschild to Earlham, said that the author felt very welcomed by the Earlham community, students, and professors.

He also stated the the author’s visit was an important and beneficial event for Earlham community in general.

Anastasia Vladimirova is a sophomore PAGS major and can be reached at avladi11@earlham.edu.

Photo credit: Gisèle Aubin

Senior art majors receive local recognitionKARA M. RUSSELLmanaging editor

Senior art majors Lindsay Pitts (left) and Marcela Pardo pose after last week’s 114th Annual Exhibition of Richmond and Area Artists held at Richmond Art Museum on Nov. 8. Both received merit awards for their photography submissions. 

Two senior art majors took home cash prizes and local recognition from the Nov. 8 unveiling of Richmond Art Museum’s 114th Annual Exhibition of Richmond and Area Artists.
Marcela Pardo and Lindsay Pitts were both honored with merit awards in the amateur division. 
Pardo received the W. Ray Stevens Jr. Memorial Merit Award of $250 for her photograph “Horizontal Gravitational Force.” Another Pardo entry, entitled “Corpse #1,” earned her a $100 merit award provided by Petal and Stem Garden Club.
Pitts’ photograph “Nude 1” awarded her a $100 merit award. Sixty-five art pieces, ranging from photography and oil painting to mixed media, were in competition for only seven awards given to artists in the amateur division. 
Neither Pardo nor Pitts expected their awards. “It’s surprising to have nude photos of men next to a lot of landscapes be successful here,” said Pardo. 
She explained that since most of the other submissions were more conservative and impressionist, the recognition is particularly unexpected. “I had my expectations so low,” she said. 
Like Pardo, Pitts was surprised by the reception. “I simply make art for myself. It’s my passion in life. It’s never my intention that the work is going to receive any merit,” said Pitts. 
Both students were encouraged to enter the exhibition by assistant professor of art, Walt Bistline, who also gives extra credit to students who participate in the exhibit. 
Bistline, who teaches photography, said that entering exhibitions “take[s] a little more work and organization. It’s good training, good exposure.” 
Bistline has been working with Pardo for her four years here at Earlham and with Pitts since she was in high school through family connections and the Explore-A-College program.
The Richmond Art Museum’s exhibition gives students an opportunity to present their works to a larger audience, as well as continue the long history of collaboration between the museum and Earlham.
Lance Crow, the museum’s education director, said, “Earlham is a great community partner for the museum.” 
Richmond Art Museum has borrowed objects from Earlham for various exhibits, including collections of folk and Quaker art. 
The museum also offers internships for Bonner Scholars and students interested in pursuing art and museum studies.
Kara M. Russell is a English and French double major and can be reached at kmrusse09@earlham.edu.
Photo credit: Alex Pianetta
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Senior art majors receive local recognition
KARA M. RUSSELL
managing editor


Senior art majors Lindsay Pitts (left) and Marcela Pardo pose after last week’s 114th Annual Exhibition of Richmond and Area Artists held at Richmond Art Museum on Nov. 8. Both received merit awards for their photography submissions. 


Two senior art majors took home cash prizes and local recognition from the Nov. 8 unveiling of Richmond Art Museum’s 114th Annual Exhibition of Richmond and Area Artists.

Marcela Pardo and Lindsay Pitts were both honored with merit awards in the amateur division. 

Pardo received the W. Ray Stevens Jr. Memorial Merit Award of $250 for her photograph “Horizontal Gravitational Force.” Another Pardo entry, entitled “Corpse #1,” earned her a $100 merit award provided by Petal and Stem Garden Club.

Pitts’ photograph “Nude 1” awarded her a $100 merit award. Sixty-five art pieces, ranging from photography and oil painting to mixed media, were in competition for only seven awards given to artists in the amateur division. 

Neither Pardo nor Pitts expected their awards. “It’s surprising to have nude photos of men next to a lot of landscapes be successful here,” said Pardo. 

She explained that since most of the other submissions were more conservative and impressionist, the recognition is particularly unexpected. “I had my expectations so low,” she said. 

Like Pardo, Pitts was surprised by the reception. “I simply make art for myself. It’s my passion in life. It’s never my intention that the work is going to receive any merit,” said Pitts. 

Both students were encouraged to enter the exhibition by assistant professor of art, Walt Bistline, who also gives extra credit to students who participate in the exhibit. 

Bistline, who teaches photography, said that entering exhibitions “take[s] a little more work and organization. It’s good training, good exposure.” 

Bistline has been working with Pardo for her four years here at Earlham and with Pitts since she was in high school through family connections and the Explore-A-College program.

The Richmond Art Museum’s exhibition gives students an opportunity to present their works to a larger audience, as well as continue the long history of collaboration between the museum and Earlham.

Lance Crow, the museum’s education director, said, “Earlham is a great community partner for the museum.” 

Richmond Art Museum has borrowed objects from Earlham for various exhibits, including collections of folk and Quaker art. 

The museum also offers internships for Bonner Scholars and students interested in pursuing art and museum studies.

Kara M. Russell is a English and French double major and can be reached at kmrusse09@earlham.edu.

Photo credit: Alex Pianetta

Sexual aggression: interdisciplinary concern

OLIVIA THORNBURG
staff writer 


In Hawayan Al-Koubra (1406), Al-Doumairy wrote that striped hyenas were vampiric creatures that attacked only brave people at night and sucked the blood from their necks. In a similar vein—no pun intended—Greeks until the 19th century believed that untamed werewolves would hunt battlefields as vampiric hyenas, sucking blood from wounded soldiers.

Contemporary pop culture’s obsession with vampires aside, hyenas were, and continue to be, cross-cultural allegories. They are often depicted as symbols of aggression and violence—a phenomenon that, like any literary myth, is anything but arbitrary. On the contrary, hyenas—specifically spotted hyenas—are the only species whose female’s genitals are virilized. That is, the female anatomy of a spotted hyena more closely resembles what we understand as male.

In Natalie Angier’s New York Times science column piece “Hyena’s Hormone Flow puts Females in Charge,” “While in the womb, male and female fetuses alike are exposed to extraordinarily high levels of male hormones, particularly testosterone.” Angier’s article was published on Sept. 1, 1992.

In the same article, Angier wrote: “As a result of the androgen bath, both sexes end up with masculine-looking genitals, the male bearing the standard equipment, the female having an extremely enlarged clitoris that resembles a penis.”

The startling female anatomy of spotted hyenas was just one of many topics discussed at the interdisciplinary panel on sexual aggression. Four faculty members from a range of disciplines presented on sexual aggression within the context of their academic discipline.

Each faculty member addressed the question: “How does my field frame the concept of sexual aggression?” The answers were varied, to say the least. The aforementioned hyena example was included in Chris Smith’s presentation on biological sexual conflict. Smith, a biology professor, discussed how scientists understand biological sexes as possessing inherently different interests. This means that males produce enough sperm to fertilize any given embryo, but it is up to the female’s discretion to decide which male is best fit.

One of the themes of Smith’s talk was how many studies have researched the relationship between testosterone, sexual behavior, and aggression. In the hyena example, the female is exposed to high levels of testosterone in utero. Female hyenas also exhibit more aggressive behavior than males. “While feeding on a fresh kill, hyenas spiral toward a frenzy, hardly stopping to take a breath between bloody mouthfuls. There is no cooperative feeding or sharing,” said Angier.

Biology is not the only discipline in which testosterone, aggression, and sexual behavior are linked. Maggie Thomas’ presentation of how sexual aggression is studied in social psychology included examples of “rape myths.” A concept developed by sociologist Martha Burt, rape myths are defined as “prejudicial, stereotyped, or false beliefs about rape, rape victims and rapists.”

Rape myths are socially contextualized, and they range depending on the theory that defines them. One widely accepted rape myth is that rape, which is often characterized by aggression, wins approval, and status rewards.

“In other words, good things come to men who are manly,” said Thomas, assistant professor of psychology. To be clear—Thomas did not posit that rape is a “manly” act, nor did she define rape as an exclusively male act. Thomas discussed how in psychology, aggression is characterized as a stereotypically masculine attribute. Ergo, if aggression wins approval and social status, then acts of rape could yield the same rewards. Thomas pointed out that statistically, rapists accept rape myths to a greater degree than non-rapists.

Catherine Griffith, professor of religion, discussed the prevalence of sexual aggression in a myriad of biblical texts. There are stories of sexual violence in the Old Testament, including the rape of Dinah (Jacob’s daughter) in Genesis 34. Griffith elucidated the fact that sexual violence is condoned in religious texts. In Genesis 19, attempted acts of sexual aggression against male strangers were perceived as a violation of the norms of hospitality.

Trayce Peterson, director of multicultural affairs, discussed sexual aggression within the Earlham community and in society at large. Peterson’s discussion was multifaceted, although there was a single point that punctuated her presentation: sexual violence cannot be attributed to a single perpetrator. Peterson described the perpetrator of sexual violence as being twofold. Interpersonal power differences and social structural issues both perpetuate sexual violence.

“It is clear that institutions support and enable sexual aggression,” said Peterson. Although Peterson was making a statement about institutions in general, there were also specific examples provided by the faculty. Thomas presented a flyer from Miami University that was photographed in a dorm. The flyer read: “Ten ways to get away with rape,” followed by serious guidelines.

Needless to say, the university did not acknowledge the flyer until students publicized it on the Internet. The incident was a testament to the institutional acceptance of sexual violence in this country.

The takeaway message from the panel was that sexual aggression is widespread; it is both current and historical, and it is prevalent both cross-culturally and academically. 

In evaluating sexual aggression from multiple perspectives, we may perhaps gain insight in the complexity of the issue and begin to remedy the deeply rooted problems associated with it.

Olivia Thornburg is a senior neuroscience major and can be reached at osthorn09@earlham.edu.

Subtle survival skills: Milgram experiments ask what’s so natural about human nature

KAT’S KRADLE: THE SCIENTIFIC BEAT
Kat Beidler
columnist 

Evolutionarily speaking, humans are driven by the need to survive. However, as social structure has become more rigid, methods of survival have become subtler, and people grow more conscientious.

That is to say, nobody’s really sure where “nature” stops and “nurture” begins. Where does responsibility begin and end? When acts of violence or cruelty are committed, who is to blame? 

Are humans inherently good, bad, violent, or aggressive? They’re all good questions, and in the mind of Stanley Milgram, ones that required investigation.

Stanley Milgram was one of the most progressive psychologists in mid-20th century America. His experiments attempted to answer these questions objectively, but their results are liable to many subjective interpretations. Specifically, Milgram wanted to know how much authority could override a human’s instinct to care for another.

To test this, volunteers of various ages and professions were told that they would be testing the effects of negative reinforcement on memory via electric shock. The test subject was introduced to a confederate, who appeared to be a kind, middle-aged man.

In a rigged drawing of roles, the subject was given the role of “teacher,” administering the shocks, and the confederate was given the role of “learner,” receiving the shocks. The subject then witnessed the confederate being strapped to a chair containing a dummy electric shock device, and was given a 45-volt shock, to demonstrate the various levels of intensity.

A researcher in a white lab coat instructed the subject to shock the “learner” for every wrong answer to a series of random word pairings, and remained in the room for the duration of the study. As the shocks increased, the “learner” appeared to show signs of discomfort, great pain, and finally fell silent.

As the level of the learner’s perceived discomfort (actually a pre-recorded tape) rose, the teacher’s seemed to accelerate in unison. When they asked the researcher if they must continue, they were given various commands, ranging from “please continue with the experiment,” to “the experiment requires you continue, you have no other choice.”

The most surprising and pivotal point in this study is that most subjects believed these statements to be true. Unable to see the nature of their actions, an overwhelming 65 percent delivered a maximum shock well above what they believed to be above a 450-volt shock, ten times the one they had been given. When debriefed, most subjects were initially unable to take responsibility, claiming the researcher was at fault.

Milgram concluded that humans were subject to the influence of perceived authority figures, perhaps as a leftover survival mechanism of yielding to an “alpha,” or dominant, figure. He attributed those who were able to resist as having “residues of selfhood,” stronger personalities, or stronger previous life experiences.

Milgram believed people to be inherently good, but capable of inflicting violence under the command of an authority figure. 

There is no known way to predict every facet of an individual’s character, just as there is no known way to predict behavior when under a stressful situation. Few people have a chance to prime themselves for this kind of situation, as hopefully it does not arise too often within their lifespan.

Only by the continued questioning of personal and moral responsibility can one make a morally sound decision in a difficult situation. You need a lot of grit, a lot of character, and a lot of resolve.

So stay in the light, and may the force be with you.

Kat Beidler is an undeclared sophomore and can be reached at kebeidl11@earlham.edu. 

Senior student designs, directs theatre project

SAMARJEET SINGH THAPA
staff writer 

For his senior project, theatre major Eric Frysinger will be directing “First Kiss,” a play featuring two 11-year-olds who fall in love. “First Kisses” playwright Jay Hanagan takes his characters, Mary and John, through different experiences as they age from 11 to 72. It is a love story, but full of elements like humor, tragedy, and everyday life.

An important part to Frysinger’s project is casting appropriate actors to take the audience through the emotional story. “The main goal of my project is to develop a creative process that I can use to develop and create characters for shows. Characters already come written for the play, finding appropriate actors is the challenge,” said Frysinger.

After choosing a workable play, Frysinger conducted extensive research. With the Meisner Technique, which involves a series of exercises to improve acting skills, and an abundance of research, Frysinger was well-informed and able to pursue characters on a deeper level. Now in the final stage, Frysinger rehearses with his three actors.

Sophomore Catherine Blencowe is one of the actors working with Frysinger. “He is very enthusiastic about the technical aspects of the play. We are at the phase where we are trying to get the most out of the play and he is working with me to make that happen,” said Blencowe.

The senior project is required of all theatre arts majors, but students have a wide range of plays and forms of expression from which to choose. Frysinger, like other students, developed the project himself and meets with other theatre students and professors once a week.

“We require students to do a senior capstone project and we expect them to take something that interests them but at the same time challenges them,” said Michael White, professor of theatre arts. 

 Depending on what project a student chooses, a professor with that specialty is selected as an advisor. Frysinger chose Lynne Perkins-Socey as his advisor because his project is more concerned with acting, her primary focus. 

“The theatre department encourages us to find projects that will help launch us into our career trajectories,” said Frysinger. 

Frysinger’s direction of “First Kisses” will come to life on stage Feb. 1 and 2. 

“It has been a good experience and has worked out well for me. The professors here are good, and to top that, there are a variety of courses offered. The range of courses offered is good. While doing the project, no matter what you focus on, whether it be directing or the other technical aspects, the support has been good,” said Frysinger.

Frysinger is now looking for theatre/acting related jobs around the Philadelphia and New York areas. He also has graduate school in mind.

Samarjeet Singh Thapa is an undeclared first-year and can be reached at ssthapa12@earlham.edu.

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