German group visits SU, gives “wonderful insight” into Bach’s cantatas

By Megan Ruge Living and arts editor

Amici Musicae of Leipzig, Germany performed in Stretansky Concert Hall on Feb. 21 as part of the Martha Barker Blessing Musician-in-residence series.

The group is considered the No. 1 force in the performance of the choral and orchestral works of Johann Sebastian Bach in Leipzig, Germany, the location in which Bach was church music director for 27 years of his life.

“[The performance] is a unique chance to experience the performance tradition of Bach music first-hand because those people come from the city of Leipzig where Bach lived and worked for 27 years,” lecturer in music Ilya Blinov said. “So it is a unique chance for all of us.”

The performance consisted of several of Bach church cantata’s. Oxford Music online defines a cantata as “literally a piece to be sung, as opposed to a ‘sonata,’ an instrumental work to be played. The term applies to a variety of genres, but most usually to ones featuring a solo voice, with instrumental accompaniment and quite often of a quasi-dramatic character.”

Associate professor of music Marcos Krieger gave an introduction to the history of the program. This allowed the audience members, who might not have background knowledge of the composer, to get an idea of the program before it was played.

Blinov said this group is “the source of how this music is performed because they are a part of the tradition.”

The performance began with one of Bach’s earliest works, “BWV 4: Christ lag in Todesbanden,” which means “Christ lay in the bonds of death,” a piece written for Easter Sunday.

The performance ended with “BWV 196: Der Herr denket an uns.” Krieger said the piece’s first movement sounds like that of a processional, leading many to believe it might have been written for the wedding of Johann Lorenz Stauber, the minister in Dornheim who married Bach and his first wife.

“The conductor is from the choir that Bach himself conducted almost 300 years ago,” Blinov said. regarding the authenticity of the group and how they conveyed Bach through their music.

“How you phrase this, how you phrase that. That playfulness of phrasing, that clarity is absolutely incredible,” Blinov added.

While at Susquehanna, the group offered a master class that allowed students to work with members of the group. Master classes are an opportunity for students to work with professionals in a given field to further the skill set and knowledge they have for the future.

“The soloists, the alto and the tenor, worked with our singers and they specifically worked on the phrasing. They worked on pronunciation, they worked on the sound and again it’s invaluable,” Blinov said.

Blinov added that the repertoire focused on in the master class was not Bach, but was in fact German music, which is the group’s area of expertise.

“It was German repertoire and these musicians could give wonderful insights,” Blinov said.

The group also offered insight to orchestral students.

“There were two cellists. The 23-year-old male, Jakob, studies cello at university. The 19-year-old female, Paula, studies medicine. We worked on a piece by [Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov] that the Susquehanna orchestra will be performing in April at their concert,” first-year Vicky Meneses said.

The group is currently on tour and will be headed next to perform in New Jersey. For this performance, Amici Musicae has invited several Susquehanna students to perform with them.

The students invited to perform are senior Sean Stead, sophomore Rebekka Rosen and first-years Pepper Joulwan, Sarah Franzone, Briana Heinly and Meneses.

Student embraces intersecting cultures

By Justice Bufford Abroad writer

I’ve always wanted to go to Japan. I’m not sure if it was the art or the culture that attracted me first, but I knew that I was simply fascinated by the country. Yet here I am in Scotland. I really am enjoying my time here.

At first I was a bit bitter about this. I knew little about Scotland and the culture that made Scotland what it is. But as I’ve lived here for a little over a month, I’ve come to appreciate the unique culture that can’t really be explained over the course of a semester.

Much to my surprise, Scotland is steeped in a deep history of nationalism and cultural invasion from Britain, to the point where present day culture—at least at the university—has reached a strange equilibrium of partially Scottish and partially British. I’ve noticed that Scotland is far more unique than I originally pegged it.

The University of Stirling makes full use of its country’s uniqueness to not only bring out the best qualities of Scottish culture and education but also to incorporate the cultures of other countries. In this way, an enriching learning environment is explored that certainly gives me a glimpse at what Scotland looks like in relation to the rest of the world.

Putting aside its large international student base, Stirling has often taken the initiative to highlight different cultures while at the same time retaining its Scottish roots.

Stirling hosted “Japan Week” during our mid-semester break. Here’s the reason why I mentioned Japan in the beginning—Stirling has brought the country to me. Figuratively.

During the week’s planned events, the university hosted the Edinburgh String Quartet, composed of two violins, a viola and a cello, for a short concert “Revolution!” It immediately captured my every sense and was a very intimate experience with the performers as I could feel their emotions through the pieces.

And true to the theme they explained the pieces they performed and their relation to Japan as well as Scotland. Several famous Western composers were performed, hinting at the exoticism of Japanese music, and their Eastern counterparts answered beautifully by imagining quartets in simple and clean tones.

This juxtaposition between East and West truly highlighted the differences between the cultures, creating a sense of disconnect. It was beautiful.

If I had to sum up the evening and the overall purpose of hosting such an event called “Japan Week,” it would be for moments when two seemingly different cultures come together to create something that works well, even though I’m not sure why. But despite not knowing, I’m still fascinated to see how these cultures— one which I’ve always loved and another that I’ve grown to admire—intersect in a way that is unique but still remains true to their origins.

And maybe that’s the point of these GO Programs. Traveling is all fine and dandy, but at the end of the day, it is these moments of intersecting cultures that teach us something amazing.

For me, these interactions that force my culture and other cultures to cross paths result in something beautiful. When this happens, I am reminded that no matter where I am or who I meet, we’re all human. And these things that separate us are not as dividing as they seem. The lens may change, but the beauty does not.

The editorials of The Quill reflect the views of individual members of the editorial board. They do not necessarily reflect the views of the entire editorial board or of the university. The content of the Forum page is the responsibility of the editor in chief and the Forum editor.

Director’s Discussion

By Eli Bass, Director of Jewish Life

As we close out Black History Month, I want to focus on the question of diversity in the Jewish community. Approximately one in four people in the American Jewish community are Jews of color. These include Jewish people with a variety of backgrounds, including African Americans.

From biblical times, the Jewish community has been composed of a variety of different ethnicities. The historic Jewish kingdom sat in a crossroads-trading center between Asia, Africa and Europe. The destruction of the second temple in 70 A.D. ended the Jewish kingdom. Faced with a lack of Jewish kingdom, Jewish centers grew in Europe, Asia and Africa.

Next month, the Jewish community will celebrate Purim. Purim is a story of how in ancient Persia, a Jewish queen was able to rescue the Jews in her kingdom. The story describes the kingdom as being from Ethiopia to India. These Jews were almost all likely brown.

Identity markers are a piece of what makes us rich in our identities. Being Jewish is an identity marker just like skin color, gender, sexual identity, disability and experience. Most black Jews are born into Judaism. Others join through marriage, adoption or conversion. A complex mixture of identity markers and experiences shape us into being complex people.

Ma Nishtana is a writer and thinker about what it means to be both black and Jewish. He is asked often if he is more black or Jewish. He responds that both identities are core to who he is: “Honestly? I’m tired of this question. When I walk down the street do you see a Jewish guy with black skin or are you curious about the black guy with a yarmulke on his head?” His experience gives us a glimpse of some of the challenges of being a minority subset of a minority community.

I am proud to be a part of a community that continues to work on addressing this diversity challenge. Rabbi Capers Funnye serves as the Rabbi of Beth Shalom B’nai Zaken Ethiopian Hebrew Congregation in my hometown of Chicago.

In Chicago, he is the only black clergy on Chicago’s board of rabbis. His congregation incorporates the culture of its African American congregants with the practices of traditional Judaism. His congregation is a diverse community. Funnye also serves as chief rabbi of a growing network of black Hebrew congregations.

Also in Chicago is rabbinical student Tamar Manasseh. Manasseh grew up in the South Side of Chicago. Raised in Rabbi Funnye’s synagogue, she is a committed part of the black Jewish community. Manasseh was educated in a Jewish day school, reinforcing her commitment to her religious tradition as well as her inner-city neighborhood. Her work in Chicago as a part of Moms Against Senseless Killings is something she sees as core to her Jewish identity.

MASK views getting community leaders out on the street as critical to recognize and stop violence. As a rabbinical student, Manasseh is using the neighborhood streets as her pulpit to reduce gun violence. She is also working to mobilize the Jewish community to engage in neighborhoods that are often ignored or avoided.

Our identities and life journeys shape us into the people we are. Learning about the black Jewish community both inspires me and challenges me as a Jewish communal professional. It is a reminder to me of parts of my community that I need to learn about more deeply. Black History Month is committed to sharing stories that need to be told. I know that is true both broadly and within my community.

Director’s Discussion reflects the views of an individual member of the religious field. They do not necessarily reflect the views of the entire university. The content of the Forum page is the responsibility of the editor in chief and the Forum editor.

Editor justifies career choice of print media

By Megan Ruge Living & arts editor

As a journalism major at Susquehanna, a school we pay about $50,000 a year to attend, I am often asked if I think this is all worth it.

For some reason, in today’s society, people feel the need to remind me that journalism is a dying field. They feel like it is their responsibility to point out that I may never make a salary they deem respectable.

The media, in the age of technology, has become a source that is immediately available at our finger tips. In today’s modern culture, it seems so pointless to go out and get a paper copy of anything you can learn about in two seconds online.

Why then, you may ask, are my aspirations to become a print journalist? The answer is simple. This is where my passion lies.

I have spent the last three and a half semesters at Susquehanna trying to decide if I was making my mother proud. I took myself down so many “roads of possibility” to decide if being a nosey journalist is what I want to do with the rest of my life.

I walked through many options, I took a business minor, I considered changing my major to education, but every time I walk into a new communications class, I knew that is where I was meant to be. So stop telling me that this isn’t worth my time.

I didn’t declare a major in communications for you to snicker at. I wasn’t looking for the easy way out, in fact my work load has doubled. I love what I do and it’s time I stopped caring what everyone else thinks of it.

When I graduate from Susquehanna, I will have a degree that I am proud of because, if I receive a job in my field, I will be doing what I love. I will be living a life that makes me happy despite the knowledge that others do not deem my profession “respectable.”

For the remainder of my time at Susquehanna, I will be putting my best foot forward and encouraging others to be proud of their choices.

Deciding what you want to do after graduation can leave many feeling like they are suffering from an identity crisis and the lack of support from the people around them can leave people feeling like they have made the wrong choice.

Support is a major part of success, the ability to succeed is a major component of happiness. So who cares if my nosey tendencies and my ability to write 500 well researched words on a page are the things I chose to base my future on. The only person that should care is me.

It is important to offer support to the people around you and give people the opportunity to dream big dreams. Dreams are the foundation of the big ideas of the future. All of the technology that many believe has rendered my dream job obsolete began as a dream.

The editorials of The Quill reflect the views of individual members of the editorial board. They do not necessarily reflect the views of the entire editorial board or of the university. The content of the Forum page is the responsibility of the editor in chief and the Forum editor.

Residence life to bring political conversations

By Matthew Dooley Staff Writer

The Department of Residence Life will bring political seminars to campus starting on March 1 in Evert Dining Hall.

The seminar, “Consuming the Political Process,” is to take place over a two-week period every Wednesday.

According to Jonathan Lopes, the campus life coordinator for the Office of Leadership and Engagement, “The seminar is an overview on the U.S. political process including what parties are involved, how a bill is made, executive orders, interest groups, etc.”

The seminar may be a refresher for some, but for others it can be a one stop shop for their political queries.

“The main objective is for students to have context to their strong views,” Lopes said.

According to the event’s online synopsis, “The unknown is much less frightening when you have a strong construct of the political process.”

As the seminar’s name suggests, the goal is to make some of the more technical parts of the process digestible for students, giving them a wider well of knowledge to pull from when engaging in a political conversation.

According to the Susquehanna website the event is meant to “enhance not only your influence on our [Susquehanna] community, but our global community as well.”

Lopes said that the event will be part presentation style and part question and answer.

He wants the event to create an environment that would be “relaxed in that all views are welcome as long as there is mutual respect.”

“Come spend time with us during the dinner hour in the cafeteria, consuming food and knowledge,” the online synopsis advertises.

Lopes said, “We hope to enhance not only your influence on our [Susquehanna] community but our global community as well.”

The event will also feature a short video and a PowerPoint presentation.

According to the Susquehanna website, the event will include a Schoolhouse Rock video in addition to the discussion taking place.

For students interested in the event, Lopes said that there will be signs around campus advertising the event to grab people’s attention.

Lopes added that if students enjoy these seminars they may also become more frequent events.

He continued, “We haven’t planned yet for fall 2017. We will evaluate the quality of programs and possibly collaborate with other offices to produce bigger programs.”

The first “Consuming the Political Process” discussion will be held on Wednesday, March 1 at 5:30 p.m. in Evert Dining Hall.

Poverty simulation brings awareness

By Kyle Kern Staff writer

In order to bring more awareness to the struggles of poverty, the Johnson Center for Civic Engagement at Susquehanna hosted a poverty simulation in the Benjamin Apple Meeting Rooms in Degenstein Campus Center.

This event was focused on the obstacles in everyday life for families labeled as poor and brought an understanding of this to students.

In order to help bring that situation to the students, the Community Action Agency of Snyder and Union Counties was brought in to help.

Community action agencies are found in every state in the United States and are dedicated to provide services such as GED classes, technical skills classes, financial support and networks of help to those in need.

To begin the simulation, everyone was given a role to assume in a predetermined family that is in poverty. In each family there was a packet with biographical, financial, medical and work information on each of the members of the families.

Some families were left with disabled parents or children, young-age pregnancies, unemployment or homelessness.

When the simulation began, the families had 12 minutes to finalize work and financial payments, while also balancing transportation costs. The catch was that after the 12 minutes were up, the week was up.

There were four rounds of the 12 minute periods, which constituted a month of time. Within the month, families dealt with various obstacles like medical expenses, food bills, loan payments, mortgage payments, transportation issues, family member situations, schooling and unemployment.

This simulation was designed to imitate real life poverty situations as closely as possible.

Families had to figure out how to maintain their household, while also dealing with the obstacles of poverty. Some families in the simulation lost their home, even after obtaining a full-time job.

Others experienced hardships where children had to drop out of school, while parents lost their job because they went to buy food instead of showing up to work.

At the end of the month, the families returned to their seats and the community action agency staff led a discussion of what the students experienced in the simulation.

The staff members tried to bring awareness to the forefront with poverty statistics of the area around Susquehanna.

Eleven percent of families live below the poverty line, $24,300, but that number is not always accurate as the poverty line basically only includes food costs.

The newer indicator for poverty is the Self-Sufficient Standard of $46,000, under which 26 percent of families live.

This standard includes payments on loans, transportation costs, medical expenses, food and clothing.

Sophomore Clarissa Woomer said, “I think being aware of all of this information and statistics, while also being aware of poverty stricken families’ situations is important. That they deal with this on a regular basis is humbling and we should make an effort to help out.”

Sophomore Abbie Wolfe, JCCE staff member and coordinator of the poverty simulation, was excited for the amount of people at the event.

She has been volunteering with communities from a young age. She said, “Since attending SPLASH I have held a greater intensity to help with poverty stricken families, and it also means a lot to me as I am majoring in childhood education, where a lot of children are going to school hungry. It is so important for people to realize that this is everywhere.”

‘Let’s Talk’ teaches students to respect all political views

By Kyle Kern Staff Writer

new administration, tension between different political ideologies is building.

In response to this, the Center for Academic Achievement sponsored a “Let’s Talk” series that dealt with how people deal with differing political views.

David Heayn, adjunct professor of history, led the discussion on “Respecting Differing Political Views” on Feb. 21.

Heayn, who has been a member of the faculty at Susquehanna since May of 2015, ran as a write-in candidate for the state House of Representatives in Pennyslvania’s 85th district.

The event was held in the Benjamin Apple Meeting Rooms. The event started at 5 p.m. with a light dinner.

Throughout the dinner there was light conversation. Heayn then proceeded with the larger discussion about how someone should go about a respectable political discussion.

To begin, he started with the three basic ways to discuss politics that he has encountered the most.

The first one is dialogue, which constructs a learning experience and allows you to explore different variations of the topic.

This option is where the participants converse casually with developing ideas and thoughts, while not trying to persuade the other to believe as you do.

The second option, probing, deals with asking questions, but not exploring the mind of the individual.

Heayn said, “[Probing] is almost like trolling on the internet, to further your own agenda by seeing how the other person responds.”

The third and final way that a discussion on politics happens, Heayn said, is called an attack conversation.

This example of conversation is only for trying to convince the other person that you are right and to convert them to your way of thinking.

The discussion is sharp and deals with one’s own view and doesn’t take the other person’s into account.

To combat the last two discussion techniques, Heayn advocated laying down a few ground rules to help ensure that everyone can voice their opinion and discuss each other’s point of view.

The first is to respect each other. The next step is to use sentences that utilize “I” instead of “you.” This makes the structure focused around what you believe and takes the blame away from the other person.

Heayn believes that once the other person thinks they are being attacked the respect is lost.

He also stressed the negative impact of interruptions, because interruptions disrupt the flow of the conversation and make the other person feel like their opinions aren’t respected.

However, Heayn also said that you should not let anyone walk all over you and that the discussions should be equal and just in all aspects.

Adding upon this, Heayn proposed a few ideas as to why people tend to lose sight of the dialogue-type discussions.

He stated that inflated statistics, misinformation and copious amounts of probing cause constituents to develop an opinion that is based upon false statements.

In several scenarios that Heayn cited, he told of how participants based findings of a situation on false information at first, because they were told that the information was true.

However, even when given sources and information that proves to them that the initial information was wrong, the participants still felt strongly about their opinion that was based on false statements.

One way that could be used to combat this, Heayn later explained, is the use of dialogue more often.

Before the event ended, he set up groups of the participants to begin talking about controversial topics in order for the event goers to experience what he warned them about.

Before he did this, he said, “Trolling can be fun, but it is not effective [or] efficient and is in no way helpful to the situation.”

The groups discussed for the remainder of the event while Heayn went from group to group helping to either moderate the discussion or to add the perspective of the other side to the discussion.

“I don’t think you can have progress in society without respect for the thoughts and opinions of others,” sophomore Rick Farmer said. “Being able to discuss that is a fundamental aspect of the political process.”

At the end of the event freshman Hattie Venable rationalized how conversations could go.

She said: “Attempting to recognize both sides to the conversation is important. It’s useful to try even with friends, neighbors and everyone in order to enhance discussions in the future.”

If any student is interested in attending a “Let’s Talk” events in the future, they can check the mySU homepage for updates on the events.

New admissions building scheduled to be completed in May

By Michael Bernaschina Staff writer

Anyone who has spent time on Susquehanna’s campus during this academic year has likely noticed the large new structure under construction on University Avenue.

The building will be the new home to Susquehanna’s Office of Admissions.

“The idea is that they want what is essentially the front door of Susquehanna to be as impressive as the rest of the buildings,” said Madeleine Rhyneer, vice president of enrollment and marketing at Susquehanna.

The new facility, which began construction late last year, was approved as a way of improving upon the current admissions building, according to Rhyneer.

“Our Board of Trustees, who were the guiding force behind the decision, I think that they took a look at all of our buildings on campus,” she said.

Rhyneer added, “The residence halls are beautiful; we have gorgeous academic buildings. There’s been a lot of renovation done, and then you come in here and it’s relatively unprepossessing.”

The new building is a $7 million project and is being funded by contributions from the Board of Trustees, according to Susquehanna’s website.

Unlike the current admissions building, which was originally a house and later turned into an office, this new facility has been designed specifically for the needs of the Office of Admissions.

“The concept behind the admissions house is that it’s built for guests, so the entire first floor is all about the guest experience,” Rhyneer said.

She added, “There’s a beautiful reception area. The large part of that sticks out, that you can see, that’s a presentation room.”

The new building will also contain other new features, including specially built interview rooms and bathrooms for guests to use.

The presentation room will contain new technology that the department will be using, according to Rhyneer.

“I think it’s really going to be a ‘wow’ building, and so what I want is for people to walk in the door and say, ‘Wow, this is an impressive school.’ The building is impressive, therefore the school is impressive,” Rhyneer said.

She added: “We want people to feel like this is a college that has created a really welcoming environment, but it looks like it’s on-the-move academically. So, I want it to have that ‘wow’ impression for families. I don’t want anyone to feel intimidated or uncomfortable, I want them to feel comfy in the building.”

The Office of Admissions is currently hoping to move into the new facility at the end of May.

Student Success Day brings prospective students to SU

By Jacquelyn Letizia Staff writer

On Feb. 20, the Office of Admissions held Student Success Day on Susquehanna’s campus.

Student Success Day, formerly known as Accepted Students Day, brought in prospective students and their families to campus.

The students attended an academics fair in the morning and panel discussions in the afternoon with current students about campus life and extracurricular involvement.

There was also an activities fair for different organizations on campus in the Garrett Sports Complex Field House, which allowed current students to interact with prospective students who introduced them to what activities are available on campus

Some students attended classes relating to their future majors, while others had meetings with faculty in their respective departments.

Additionally, students and their families were able to go on tours of campus throughout the day.

The event ended with a celebration at TRAX nightclub recognizing the prospective students’ acceptances and previous accomplishments.

Members of the Office of Admissions hope that through the activities, incoming students had the chance to develop relationships with faculty, staff and current students who will help support them and guide them to success in their four years at Susquehanna.

Abby Dawes, a sophomore tour guide at Susquehanna, said that Student Success Day goes beyond just the formalities of learning about more logistical things like academics.

“Student Success Day is important because it gives accepted students a chance to really experience the campus and make a more well informed decision as to whether or not our school is right for them,” Dawes said.

She added, “Success Day also gives students the opportunity to make friendships before they are official students on campus.”

Michael Doran, the senior admission intern in the Office of Admissions, agreed with this idea.

Doran said, “[Student Success Day] is an opportunity for students to engage themselves in a more direct way to assist them in their college search.”

Basil Mokhallalati, a junior tour guide at Susquehanna, said Student Success Day is a “crucial moment for students thinking of coming here.”

He added that it makes them ask, “Can this be home for the next four years?”

Natalie Ciabattoni, a senior philosophy and French double major at Susquehanna, reflected on her experience at her Student Success Day—then Accepted Students Day—in 2013.

“Accepted Students Day was important for me because I had already committed to Susquehanna, so it gave me the opportunity to get acquainted to the campus knowing that it would soon be my new home,” Ciabattoni said.

She added, “I also met my roommate that day, which helped me feel more comfortable with the idea of starting college knowing that I already had a great friend by my side.”

Another Student Success Day will be held on April 1.

Senior reading offers variety of poetry, fiction and non-fiction

By Liz Hammond Staff Writer

Several seniors in the creative writing department presented some of their work from their past four years at Susquehanna on Feb. 22.

It was a chance for the students and faculty at Susquehanna to see how the writers institute affects each student personally. Faculty members, associate professor of English and creative writing Glen Retief and associate professor of creative writing Karla Kelsey, introduced the seniors giving a short personalized speech about them before they presented their work.

The first senior to read was Jess Kilcourse. She presented four poems and one short excerpt from a fiction piece she wrote.

Then, Hana Feiner presented her work. Glen Retief described her as, “a writer, leader and an organizer.” She chose to read three poems and one excerpt from a nonfiction piece she wrote while in Cuba.

Eileen Gonzalez was next and, before she presented her work, she explained how all of her pieces were very much tied into her heritage. She presented two poems and one excerpt from a nonfiction piece that she wrote.

Brian LeBlanc presented one excerpt from a fiction piece he wrote called, “The Adventures of the Maskurbator and Boy Floyd.”

To prepare for this night, LeBlanc said that the senior portfolio capstone class prepared them on how to give a good reading and how to time it right.

He spoke about the piece he chose, saying, “I want it to reflect on my time here, the things I’ve learned, but also showcase specifically my writing.” Picking one piece for LeBlanc was hard he said because he has dabbled in everything. He went on to say, “I think the program’s brought out a lot of good writing in me over the years.”

Lastly was Emily Teitsworth, who presented a series of poems and one excerpt from a fiction piece that she wrote.

Teitsworth said, “I have stage fright so reading them to myself over and over again is necessary for me to avoid stage fright.”

Teitsworth was inspired by everyday moments here at Susquehanna.

She said: “One of my poems is based on a daydream I had while in math class last semester. Another poem is based on a snippet of a conversation I overheard a few years ago.”

She knew from the start that she wanted to stay as far away from the political landscape as possible.

“I wanted to avoid reminding people what’s going on,” Teitsworth said. “We’ve all heard enough; let me read for one night without being reminded.”