Home Spring 2021

Spring 2021

Pro-Life Marchers Swarm DC

By Devon Mitchell It’s a new semester for Roanoke College, and for this Maroon, I’m spending my time in the nation’s Capital, Washington DC. During my first full weekend in DC, people participated in pro-life rallies that took over the metros and streets. One of my roommates poorly timed a run through the National Mall and found herself caught up in the march by accident. These protests come at the anniversary of the 1973 Supreme Court decision of Roe v. Wade, protecting a woman’s right to choose.  Later this year, the Supreme Court is supposed to make decisions on cases challenging Roe v. Wade, including Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. This case came from a Mississippi law banning most abortions past 15-weeks. The Courts heard oral arguments in December and will decide later this year. Participants of the pro-life march braved the s20-degree temperatures to show their disdain that women, who are not themselves, are choosing to make the best decision for their bodies and life. Watching the March for Life take place in DC left a bad taste in my mouth. Not necessarily because folks were exercising their First Amendment right to peacefully assemble, but because of the way they came to other people’s homes and completely disregarded local mandates on masking. I find it a tad ironic that they were marching for “life”, while not even trying to wear a mask on public transportation or indoors, which is illegal. They gathered in large groups, endangering the people around them because they would not wear masks. I won’t say whether I’m pro-choice or pro-life (although I think you can guess), but I will say there is a way to respectfully assemble without endangering those around you. So, keep this DC tip in mind- if you’re coming to DC…

Starting the Semester with Online Classes

By Marisa Seager After being fortunate enough to return to in-person classes this past semester, I started to feel hopeful that we wouldn’t have to have online classes again. But, as we all know, here we are right back in online classes to start out the Spring semester.  The plan is to only remain online for the first two weeks, following phased move ins, but I’m worried that things won’t go as planned. All we can really do at this point is stay safe ourselves and hope that our peers will do the same. I guess we’ll see what happens rather soon… Between the emails about phased move ins and starting out online, I immediately had a pit in my stomach as it reminded me of when we first got sent home at the start of the pandemic. Although these plans have been set in place to keep us safe, I can’t help but feel like we are going to experience going completely online and possibly sent back home all over again. For a while it seemed as if things had gotten better but as we all know, it’s started to get bad again with the new COVID variant, omicron. The mask mandate is still being enforced, vaccines and boosters are becoming mandated across schools including our own, and we’re taking what feels like another step backwards.  When will this pandemic ever be over?  Will we ever return to normal – no masks, panic, and constant changing of plans? I really hope so and I’m sure you all do too. 

Winter Break Recap: Men’s and Women’s Basketball

 by Alexis Barton While most students were taking advantage of the month-long winter break, the men’s and women’s basketball teams were hard at work gearing up for the second half of their seasons. To kick off their December series of games, the women’s team hosted the Susan Dunagan Holiday Classic. The tournament is a nod to Susan Dunagan, former Roanoke women’s basketball coach who is the winningest coach in school history. The Maroons first took on the Blue Jays from Elizabethtown College. Throughout the first three quarters of play, the Maroons trailed closely behind their opponents. As they headed into the fourth, Renee Alquiza led the team’s rally with 7 additional points, but the Maroons were unable to make up for the deficit. The Maroons took their first loss of the season, with a final score of 78-63. The Maroons were unable to shake off their loss as they headed into another matchup against Christopher Newport. The Maroons held a narrow lead through the first quarter of play but were never able to come back after the Captains’ 33 points in the second quarter. Kristina Harrell was able to help the team break through CNU’s defense with 17 points, but the Maroons ended up with their second loss of the season.  Despite those two losses and three postponed games, the Maroons were able to pick up three wins against Hood, Guilford, and Virginia Wesleyan. The team is getting back into shape for the second half of their season, which will be filled with conference play. The team currently sits in 3rd place and is undefeated in their conference, so there is a bright future ahead for these Maroons.  The men’s team also had their fair share of ups and downs over the break. They began competition at the Cruzin Classic…

A Snowy Soundtrack

By Mia Shelton Happy winter!  Snow is falling and the temperature is dropping.  Everyone is bundling up for warmth and enjoying company of friends.  Winter can be a great time to reminisce and enjoy the beautiful scenery nature paints for us.  Having a pristine playlist can help bring out the beauties of a wintertime walk, and associate good memories with a song. Here are a few emotion evoking songs to add to your playlist this wintertime.  If you are looking for a calm R&B Soul song that guides your feet on a walk “Cold War” by Cautious Clay.  Another mellow song that frees you from your mind is “Mirrorball” by Taylor Swift.  This song makes one grab their partner and dance in the refrigerator light.  This song is also great for when you are stuck in your head and need a breather.  It will leave you feeling relaxed and recharged.   A nice upbeat song that will leave you feeling like the main character this winter is “Lost”, by Frank Ocean.  This pop soul song will have you dancing around your room and singing with a hairbrush.  Another feel good song to dance to is “The Spins” by Mac Miller.  This song will be on repeat until every line is memorized.  These two songs pair great when you want to turn the volume up and go crazy.  Some other honorable mentions are: “Guilty Conscience” by 070, “Shoot” by Tommy Lefroy, “For You” by Delaney Bailey, “Pink Slips” by Jenna Doe, and “My Ego Dies At The End” by Jensen McRay.   Music can add so much to a moment and can recall great memories.  Throughout this wintertime, remember to relax with some music, and capture memories as you make them.  Remember to stay safe and warm this winter season.  Be kind to…

The Year of the Movie Musical?

By Charissa Roberson     At the end of 2021, three outstanding musicals hit screens both big and small, wowing audiences and raising the question: does this year belong to the movie musical?     To start off the releases, “Encanto” premiered in theatres and on Disney+ just in time for Thanksgiving. The newest Disney original musical is set in Columbia and follows the fantastical family Madrigal and their amazing, anthropomorphic house. When the magic is threatened, Mirabel (Stephanie Beatriz), the only family member with no magical gift, steps up to save her family’s miracle.       “Encanto” has been lauded for its stunning animation, moving storyline and, of course, its dazzling songs. Lin-Manuel Miranda – remember that name! – wrote the original songs for “Encanto,” including the expository earworm “The Family Madrigal” and surprise hit “We Don’t Talk About Bruno,” which recently surpassed “Frozen” (2013)’s “Let It Go” in popularity! Already taking the cake at the Golden Globes, “Encanto” seems set to dominate the animated playing field at the Oscars too, marking yet another success for the House of Mouse.     Soon after “Encanto”’s successful performance, another Miranda project leapt into the spotlight: Netflix’s “Tick, Tick…Boom!”, which represented the “Hamilton” creator’s directorial debut in the film world. (Told you to remember Miranda’s name!) Adapted from the stage musical of the same name, “Tick, Tick…Boom!” is an autobiographical rock musical written by “RENT” creator Jonathan Larson as he contemplates his life and creative choices on the eve of turning 30.       Andrew Garfield, who learned to sing for the role, plays Larson with an emotive energy that has already won him a Golden Globe and may win him his second Oscar nomination later in the year. (Rather than the year of the musical, some have proposed that this is the year of Garfield, with the actor also making…

Ciao, Italia Preparation

By Kristi Rolf I am kicking of my fourth semester writing for the Brackety-Ack with a brand-new column, Ciao, Italia! During the next three months, you can find me on the Culture, Lifestyle, and Wellness page and read about my adventures as a temporary expat while I study abroad in Perugia, Italy. When I board the plane at the beginning on February, I will begin a long series of personal firsts: my first solo plane ride, first trip outside the U.S., first time using a foreign language with native speakers, and the longest time I’ve ever spent away from home. With these experiences comes meeting new people, gaining new skills, and making countless memories. During the semester I will document what I’m learning and doing here in this column, so stick around! In nine days I will drive to the airport to begin my adventure, but I have already learned so much in the past few months. Just preparing for this trip has been as scary as I expected actually leaving would be! Learning how to pack for three months of living and learning in a foreign country has been stressful (although I definitely enjoyed the excuse to buy new clothes).  I’ve been dreaming of this opportunity since I was a little girl and now that it’s actually here, it has brought unanticipated challenges. I didn’t expect that it would be so hard to leave Roanoke College in December and say goodbye to my incredible friends for five months. I didn’t know that I could be so terrified and so excited at the same time. I didn’t know it was possible to make so many lists; shopping lists, packing lists, to-do lists, bucket lists…. the list of lists I’ve made goes on forever!  Despite everything I’ve done, I suspect that…

Golden Globes Recap

by Karen Kohler       This year’s Golden Globes were held on Jan. 9, though not how they are traditionally. There was no red carpet or big ceremony that was televised; there was only a private show with the results released on the internet and social media.  This definitely made the event more easily overlooked, but there are still some highlights that should not be simply brushed under the rug.        ​On the television side of things, HBO’s “Succession” came out on top with the most awards. They won Best Drama Series, which was well deserved, though out of the nominations “Squid Game” was definitely the most talked about and had the most media coverage. It seemed a bit of a surprise that it didn’t win that category, even though it is often the case that public popularity and amount of awards won do not correlate.         “Squid Game” did still leave the night with an award though, with O Yeong-su winning Best Supporting Actor. “Succession” also won Best Supporting Actress with Sarah Snook and Best Television Actor in a Drama Series with Jeremy Strong. After its sweep at the Emmys, some anticipated that “Ted Lasso” might have a similar sweep at the Globes, but the show only won Best Television Actor in a Musical or Comedy Series with Jason Sudeikis. It also did seem mildly surprising that “Wandavision” only had one nomination and no awards with all the coverage and praise it received — but, then again, popularity isn’t always a reliable indicator for awards season.       ​On the film side of things, there didn’t seem to be too many surprises. The biggest one would probably be Nicole Kidman winning Best Actress in a Motion Picture Drama for “Being the Ricardos.” This is not to say it was undeserved, but the impression seemed to…

Synagogue Members Held Hostage in Texas

by Jack Miller On January 15th, the community of Colleyville, Texas faced a distressing threat to their peace. The congregation of Beth Israel Synagogue met for service that morning when an unknown man entered their midst. The worship service was being live-streamed and observers watched as a man, now identified as British citizen Malik Faisal Akram, started talking and acting sporadically. Akram then took four members of the congregation hostage, including the presiding Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker, beginning a long day of fear, prayers, and negotiations. Six hours into the incident, at 5 p.m., with the help of negotiations from Colleyville Police and federal officers, one hostage was released. The remaining three witnesses, including Cytron-Walker himself, reported that following this event, Akram became increasingly threatening and abusive. Around 9:30 p.m. the remaining three hostages managed to escape from the synagogue unharmed. Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker praised the congregations’ security courses taken to teach effective evacuation techniques and urges other communities to take the same steps to protect themselves. FBI agents entered the synagogue following the situation and Akram was killed in the standoff. Authorities are now working in conjunction with British intelligence to learn more about Akram’s motives. As of right now, they have not found any information or criminal background on Akram, he was not a member of any watchlists and had entered the United States legally over a month prior to the situation. The United Kingdom’s Counter-Terrorism Police announced on Sunday that two teenagers have been arrested in South Manchester and are undergoing questioning for connections to the incident. There is no evidence pointing to this being an ongoing threat, but authorities continue to investigate the hostage-taker and his contacts in the United Kingdom. Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker took to Facebook on Sunday morning expressing his gratitude for the larger community’s…

Winter Ready Habits

By Lucy Collins The weather during the start of the spring semester at Roanoke College is most often than not very cold and gloomy. Cold weather and overcast skies can typically make students feel slow moving and wanting to stay in bed all day. It can be hard to get the motivation to exercise or eat right when cold weather is present. However, there is no reason for taking a break from physical activity or healthy habits after the cold weather hits.   There can be some pretty distinct advantages from keeping in tune with physical activity and healthy habits during the winter season. Depending on the person, exercising outdoors during the winter months can be far more invigorating because of the absence of heat and humidity in the air. Going for a brisk walk or jog during a cold day can also help stimulate the brain. For students who are not fond of exercising outside in the cold, there are many workout applications that are available to download on smartphones. This allows the individual to exercise in the comfort of their dorm room or home.  It is also very important to continue eating the right foods. During the winter, eating foods like oatmeal, fruits and veggies rich in vitamin C, iron rich foods (i.e., red meats, lentils, and leafy veggies), fish, eggs, cheese and soups is very beneficial for one’s health. Eating healthy also contributes to high energy levels as well as boosting the immune system. Keeping a healthy immune system is very important especially during the winter season. This is also very important on a college campus where illnesses can spread very easily.  Eating healthy and staying active can be very hard on a college student during the winter months, due to unwanted stress and gloomy weather. It is…

Maroons Talk: Crave Town

By Sydney Young There is a new dining option on campus, and its name is CraveTown! As the new late night dining option it will be open from 7-10:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 5-10:30 p.m. on Saturday. They offer a variety of food including personal pizzas, crunchadillas, flatbreads, salads, and are establishing mobile orders! Late night dining is important to the schedules of many students, especially athletes who have to fit food around their training schedule. Over the course of one year we have already had 3 different late night options and are set to have our fourth open sometime this Spring semester.  “I miss having Cavern open, I really loved the chicken sandwiches and cookies that they had. It was a really reliable place to go get food at night and CraveTown has had a really rocky start and now the mobile ordering doesn’t work. I am excited to try the crunchadlias that they have, and maybe find a new favorite like I had at Cavern”  -Abby Young “I got the classic cheese quesadilla and it was a 6/10, it was edible but not the best thing I’ve ever had. I like that we have a new option, and I am curious if this is similar to what the “new Cavern” will be like. Mobile ordering doesn’t work half the time and if I wanted to eat and it doesn’t let me order that is incredibly frustrating. I really like that if I’m not hungry for dinner when Commons is open I can eat later. I don’t have to stick to the time constraints of the main dining schedule. So far it’s been a pretty mediocre experience, but I am curious to try the pizzas and give it another shot.” -Raigan Linquist “When I went, I got the…