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Rooney’s Freshman Feature

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Written by Garrett Ruggieri

All freshman students who come to Roanoke begin their college career with expectations, uncertainty and hope for what lies ahead. It is a journey like no other. A four-year experience that prolongs the expected reality of becoming an adult and being responsible for a full human, that is yourself. And yes, most of that is simply academics and a social life. I had the pleasure to talk with a couple of freshmen who are going through the same experience but additionally, they are student athletes. What does it take to be an athlete at Roanoke? How does this experience differ from high school? A few students gave me some insight on their first few weeks as a collegiate athlete. 

First, Taylor von Schilling, field hockey player from Midlothian, VA. When asked how it felt to be a Maroon, Taylor expressed, “This was my top choice, when I stepped on campus, there was a certain feeling, this is where I needed to be both athletically and academically”. She went on to say that “people are held accountable here, practices show who has the heart and who truly wants to be there”. Transitioning from high school to college athletics has been a challenging and exciting journey for everyone, but Taylor ensured success. She credits her teammates and coaches, explaining, “it was an awkward first couple of days, but the upperclassmen did a really good job about incorporating us into team meals as well as providing advice or counseling”. 

Next, basketball player, Morgan Micallef from Saddle River, NJ. She elaborated on being a Roanoke athlete, saying, “it feels good to be a part of the community vibe at Roanoke and be a valued member of the basketball team”. The expectations heading into offseason workouts differed from her typical routine, as Morgan said, “I didn’t expect early practices and conditioning”. She described everything being “faster” and “more intense” than high school, but she enjoys that part of it and accepts that it is best for the team to approach every day with that attitude. Although only experiencing offseason workouts, Morgan shared some experiences and goals that show great commitment, stating, “Everyone gets along, it’s a close-knit group. This is this warmest, most comforting coaching staff I have been a part of, and I can already see my improvements on the court”. When asked what her first bucket would feel like, she simply said, “I may run back on defense with tears of joy”. 

That’s what being a Roanoke College collegiate athlete is all about. The love for the game, the team comradery, and the personal development of skillset and character. You should be proud to be a Maroon. Good luck to all freshman taking on this enriching journey.

Humans of RC: Kaelyn Spickler

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Written by Lorin Brice Hall

Kaelyn Spickler is a Junior here at Roanoke College. She is the new Editor-in-Chief of the Brackety-Ack and has a happy smile that makes the Maroon Community better. Kaelyn is majoring in Communication Studies and her love for her major is apparent through the amount of effort that she has put into the Brackety-Ack. 

Kaelyn started working at the Brackety-Ack her freshman year as a staff writer until she was promoted to the position of Sports Editor. She continued to put in work and was selected by former Editor-in-Chief, Emma Grosskopf, to lead the staff. When asked about her plans for the paper Kaelyn said, “Emma did a great job expanding the paper and making the Brackety-Ack more creative and appealing for college students. I want to keep up that momentum and get the whole campus involved. I’m so grateful for the staff we have, and I feel like we balance each other out and have diverse interests. That will lead us to produce a product that connects to every person on campus- even if it’s just one picture or article.” 

Former Editor-in-Chief, Grosskopf, is out in the real world now, but she is glad that she had someone like Kaelyn to pass the Brackety-Ack torch to. “Kaelyn is a sweet girl, she’s nice and she’s fun, but she’s also whip smart, and I knew that she had the potential to be a good leader. I wanted her to apply to be Editor-in-Chief after me because I felt like if anyone could keep the Brackety-Ack moving forward to a stronger, more dynamic newspaper, it would be her.” 

In addition to running the Brackety-Ack, Kaelyn hones her Communication game through her blog K Has Too Much To Say.“I made my blog early last summer when I found out I was going to be editor of the Sports page. I wanted to stay in the routine of brainstorming ideas and writing articles somehow, and that was the outlet I used. I didn’t think I would still be blogging over a year later, but I keep coming up with new ideas, people keep recommending topics, and people keep following. I have learned a lot through it, and it’s a fun way to connect with people, so as long as I keep learning and having fun, and people keep following along, then I plan to continue blogging.” 

Kaelyn kept busy this summer by catching up with friends, perfecting her Chocolate Chip Muffin recipe and continuing to work on her writing skills through her internship. She is excited to be back to ‘Noke. “I feel like junior year is a big year, but maybe it’s just me realizing I’m getting old. I have a really good feeling about it, and I’m excited to get rolling with the paper. We’ve had staff meetings where we’ve brainstormed new ideas and worked on ways to get the campus involved. We also had a lot of success recruiting new writers, soI’m excited to see what we come out with every other week.” 

As she prepares to begin her junior year, K has this to say to all the new Maroons, “The biggest thing for me was remembering that I was not alone. I think it’s easy to see all of the upperclassmen and see how they have their life, seemingly, together with their friend groups and interests, but we were all there at one point. Not only that, but you have 400 or so other students right there in the same boat with you, struggling with the same things you are- adjusting to a new place. Don’t be afraid to be the first one to ask someone to eat lunch with you because that’s how friendships are formed. Don’t be too intimidated to join clubs. Be yourself, and put yourself out there, and everything will fall into place eventually. Remember everyone moves at their own pace.”

RC Recap

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Written by Alexis Barton

Cross Country: The Cross Country will soon be in action on September 6th as they travel to West Virginia Tech for the Golden Bear Classic.

Field Hockey: The Field Hockey team (1-0, 0-0 ODAC) had a dominating win over Lancaster Bible College last week bringing them to an undefeated start to the season. Catch these ladies in action at their next home game v. Wesley, September 8th at 12 P.M.

Men’s Soccer: Men’s Soccer (1-0, 1-0 ODAC) has started their season with a thrilling 4-1 over rival Lynchburg. The Maroons will be at home on September 7th to take on Regent University at 7:30 P.M.

Volleyball: Women’s Volleyball (1-3, 0-0 ODAC) has started off their season with 4 close games at home, be sure to catch these Maroons on September 6th as they take on Mary Baldwin at 4 P.M.

Women’s Soccer: The Women’s Soccer team (1-1, 0-0 ODAC), split their weekend to open the season with a win versus Mt. St. Mary (N.Y) and a close loss versus Johns Hopkins University. The Maroons will take on Maryville at home on September 8th at 2 P.M

Across the Aisle: the 2020 Primaries So Far

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Written by Joey Slusher

2019 marked President Trump’s third year in office. So far the Trump administration has been marked by a number of controversies and a mix of personal successes, such as public outcries over child detention centers and the passage of the new tax law by the Republican-controlled Congress. He and his party also saw the loss of one of the chambers of Congress, when in the midterm elections the Democrats took a majority in the House of Representatives. Aside from the failures and achievements of Trump’s administration, 2019 also saw the launch of many 2020 presidential election campaigns. 

In late 2018 and into the new year, Democrats from across the nation began to announce their candidacy for the Democratic nomination for President. Such major political players as Bernie Sanders, the famous democratic socialist Senator from Vermont, and Elizabeth Warren, the progressive Senator from Massachusetts, were quick to enter the race and quickly gained as much steam as some of the races frontrunners. Other minor candidates that caused a wave of interest include the millennial mayor of South Bend, Ind., Pete Buttigieg, and entrepreneur Andrew Yang, who both gained traction as unconventional candidates in a race that was becoming quickly saturated by more than two dozen candidates. 

As 2019 moved into late April, the biggest question remained: would former Vice President Joe Biden run for president? In polls of Democratic voters, Biden consistently held no less than 27 percent of voter support, which in an extremely crowded field is quite a large portion of the vote. When he finally answered that question on Apr. 25, he quickly rose ahead of the other 25 or so candidates. 

To fast forward to the present, Biden remains the candidate to beat in the race, but his major competitors are far closer to him in poll numbers. Biden, a moderate, has built a platform of pragmatism and a return to the status quo. He continues to poll at around 29 percent. His main competitors at the moment, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, have chosen to build populist progressive platforms in order to combat the President’s conservative populism. Sanders and Warren are polling at 15 percent and 17 percent, respectively, according to a recent report by the New York Times. 

As the election continues, we will see if the margin between Biden and his major competitors continues to dwindle. Until then, I will be doing a profile on each of the three front runners for the Democratic nomination.

Why We Need More Disabled and Queer Characters in Literature

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Written by Caisi Calandra

At the very last minute, I was able to take Dr. Bosch’s May Term — one that focused on studying the history and social issues of people with disabilities. Not only was it enlightening, but we had to participate in having a certain disability for forty-eight hours.

And, lo and behold, my assigned disability was “blindness.”

I was forced to wear a blindfold and have an aide for forty-eight hours, and this included being blind for readings, homework assignments, and everything else in between.

What really shocked me about this whole experience was recognizing that there was a severe lack of representation in the YA genre. I’m a big nerd when it comes to reading literature and writing things, whether it be for my own pleasure or for an assignment, and I was forced to come to the realization that I’d never written a physically disabled character.

Literature has such a big impact on the way a child sees the world, especially because it puts the reader in the shoes of the main character(s). In high school, my senior year project included examining the effects literature has on children, and it was commonly cited that those who simply read more (doesn’t matter at what level) have a higher emotional intelligence — that they’re more aware of others around them and their feelings.

Even though reading has such an impact on young minds, there’s a common push-back from parents who don’t want their children reading “unfavorable” things, such as queer characters, queer relationships, violence, etc. Beloved by Toni Morrison, one of my all-time favorite books, is banned from certain schools because it had racial themes and sexual content.

And, well, that was the whole point of the book to begin with. It’s supposed to make readers uncomfortable.

When I sat down to write this article, I wracked my brain for characters’ disabilities I may have forgotten. The only one that came to mind was Percy Jackon — he has dyslexia. But really? Was that it? Nowadays, literature is starting to flourish with queer characters, as there’s the need to record and share experiences, whether it be in the form of a memoir or essays or creative nonfiction. Even though this burst of queer literature is amazing, there really ought to be more disabled characters, whether it be visible or invisible.

The whole point of including these narratives is to provide children and teenagers with stories of themselves. No, the story isn’t actually about them, but they’re able to picture themselves in the shoes of the character more clearly. They’re allowed to read about queer characters — allowed to see characters with disabilities in action. When children see themselves, or simply learn about the lives of others in literature, they are being told that these sorts of people are deserving of stories. That they’re allowed to be heard.