Saxophone quartet to showcase at SU

By Sarah McMillin, Staff Writer 

The New Thread Saxophone Quartet will perform a concert in Stretansky Concert Hall on Feb. 5.

According to the music department, the New Thread Quartet, based in New York City, was “formed with the mission to develop and perform impactful new music for the saxophone and to provide high level ensemble playing to feature today’s compositional voice.”

The group has received critical acclaim and was called “adventurous” and “rule- breaking” by New Music Box. The New York Times also said that their performances were “a spell cast by music.”

According to its website, the group has traveled and performed in several locations, including but not limited to the New England Conservatory, Carnegie Hall and the World Saxophone Congress in St. Andrews, Scotland.

As a group, the New Thread Quartet has performed and recorded more than 30 works for saxophone quartets.

The group’s members are Geoffrey Landman on soprano saxophone, Kristen McKeon on alto saxophone, Erin Rogers on tenor saxophone and Zach Herchen on baritone saxophone.

According to its website, the New Thread Quartet likes to focus on bringing new works to life. As their website states, “NTQ has a track record of working closely with composers in a workshop environment during the formation of new works and encourages composer attendance at rehearsals.”

“The quartet strives for multiple performances of newly commissioned works in attempt to bring new music to different audiences as often as possible,” the website continued.

Susquehanna is only one of the schools that the group will be performing at this year.

In the past, the New Thread Saxophone Quartet has per- formed and held master classes for student saxophonists and composers at schools including but not limited to Peabody Conservatory, Queens College and NYU.

The New Thread Saxophone Quartet will be the second musical performance of the month after the SU Bridge Quartet recital on Feb. 1.

The rest of February will include performances by students including senior Heather Knox, juniors Kaitlyn Killeen, Hannah Nyce, Benjamin Nause and Benjamin Nylander. Faculty members Jeffrey Fahnestock and Naomi Niskala will also perform a joint recital.

Other musical events this month include a performance from Kevin Noe, director of the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble and the Honors Band Finale Concert in mid-February.

All previously mentioned performances are scheduled to take place in Stretansky Concert Hall, with the exception of the Honors Band Finale Concert, which will take place in Weber Chapel.

Gallery features works by women, ‘underrepresented voices’

By Kat Cardenas, Contributing Writer 

The Lore Degenstein Art Gallery showcased the first exhibit of the semester, “Prints by Women,” on Jan. 16.

The exhibit, organized by the Georgia Museum of Art in Athens, includes 46 prints-woodcuts, lithographs, drypoints, etchings and screen prints, among other types. The works range from the 19th through the 21st centuries, each by a different European or American female artist.

“Prints by Women” uses works from the museum’s permanent collection to recognize and advocate for women in art.

Ashley Busby, assistant professor of art history, brought the exhibit to campus, according to Dan Olivetti, the director of the gallery.

Busby has had a relationship with the Georgia Museum of Art in the past and spoke to the backgrounds of the pieces.

According to Olivetti, the most important thing an observer should take away from this exhibit is “the quality of the work that these women have produced.”

“Some of them were born in the 1800s and women had no opportunity for art,” Olivetti said. “If I didn’t have the sign that said ‘Prints by Women,’ then no one would think ‘Oh, this is women’s work,’ they would think, ‘This is really good work.’”

“I think it’s most important to give women who are under- represented a voice,” Olivetti continued.

Three works of the works Busby highlighted were by American women, who are lesser-known artists, while two were by European women.

There were also visual aids and music to accompany some of the paintings.

The gallery was also dimly lit because the museum requested that the lighting be similar to “five foot candlelight” to best display the art works.

The audience was comprised of students and alumni, as well as members of the community.

Sophomore Quinn Evans, who works at the gallery, said, “As a young female artist myself, I’m thrilled to see the meticulous and beautiful work of so many artists, many of whom are from the 19th and 20th century and have not had their work appreciated as much as it should’ve been.”

“There are a couple of prints by women who have become notable individuals in the art world, however,” Evans continued, “Such as Rosa Bonheur and Kathe Kollwitz.”

“I highly encourage everyone to come see this fantastic variety of prints by women, ranging from simple geometric compositions to intricate intaglio images,” Evans said.

Senior Gretchen Hintze said, “I’m always so impressed by how welcoming and professional the art gallery staff are.”

“I always enjoy myself at the openings and look forward to seeing the art,” Hintze continued. “The ‘Prints by Women’ exhibit was especially interesting to me because I think it is imperative to highlight the work done by creative, hard-working women.”

“Busby’s presentation on various pieces was super informative and it was great to see everyone so immersed in learning,” Hintze continued.

The Lore Degenstein Gallery is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. when classes are in session. The exhibit will be open until March 4.

Editor speaks on community volunteers

By Kyle Kern, Co-Editor in Chief 

Growing up, I wanted to be a park ranger as a profession and a volunteer firefighter to give back to my community. My father had been a volunteer member at our local fire company since he was in his 20s and had been in every leadership position serving terms for the company, the social aspect and the Fireman’s Relief Association. I got to know the children of the other firefighters and social members because my father would make frequent stops there on the way back from a family outing or even just a Sunday drive.

Volunteering at their fundraiser events and other social gatherings has been instilled in my being,however I am not actually considered a member there currently. Although when I do stop by nowadays, there are rarely any children or young adults there. It is the same people I grew up with that keep coming back.


Growing up, you can almost see a slow motion of wrinkles appearing, limps forming, grey starting to show on their hair, and the technology barrier being created. These factors led me to me think about volunteering overall in our nation today.

I am aware, as many others are, of membership declining in youth organization like the Boy Scouts of America and Girl Scouts of America, as well as the junior firefighter programs for volunteer fire companies among many other organizations. Studies have also shown that volunteerism from first-year college students through a couple years after graduation have a sharp decline in participation in volunteer activities.

In fire companies, 788,250 volunteers were recorded in 2014 compared to 808,200 in 1986 per the informational news Fire Rescue 1 website. The change is often attributed to our change in society. Where more individuals have households that commute to the city to work, where both parents work, the family has financial stability concerns and more commitment to other activities which might advance their career.

To me, this absolutely must have something to do with it. As a member of multiple organizations and professions that hold activities throughout the year, I understand this poke at a probable cause. Individuals, especially Susquehanna University students who seem to be involved in everything, have a lot of things that they are involved in.

In a Neon article by Andrew Dain he states, “What seems to be the most worrisome (and somewhat inconclusive) statistic is a sharp decrease in volunteering rate among highly educated Americans.”

According to The Non-profit Times, the rate of volunteering among people with a bachelor’s degree or higher plummeted from 42.8 percent in 2009 to 39.8 percent in 2013.” The researcher from the Center on Nonprofits & Philanthropy, Nathan Dietz, expressed that the loss of educated individuals volunteering could be a “canary in the coal mine” to future drops in volunteers.

“Education is the single best predictor of volunteering. It’s people with a job, and a good one,” Dietz said. However, in the age of institutions claiming “Service” as a pillar of their embodiment, how does one make sense of that? While we are immersed in service learning at school and on the job, we tend to fall out of contributing our time back to our many communities.

Do we do the service at college for the sense of fulfillment and to actually help someone? Or is it to add to our resume, add to our experience to become hired and further ourselves and use the service to others as a means to an end?

Student talks on MLK events on campus

By Shannon Weisbrod, Contributing Writer 

“It is not the color of your skin but the content of your character.” These words spoken by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and on Jan. 24 these words were brought back to life by Vy Higginsen and the sing Harlem choir.

An event that was put together by Dena Salerno, the assistant dean for diversity and inclusion on campus. Salerno calls this event, the launch into the week of remembrance for Martin Luther King that would bring students and faculty together.

This event helped keep the students unified into the following event where is- sues of race and power were discussed and the unity of students was present and they were interested to learn.

Salerno says, she found out about the choir through Mary Markle, the administrative assistant in the leadership and engagement office, who saw them perform and was blown away by their talent. Salerno then called them and since most of the kids are in high school they were thrilled to be visiting a college campus.

This event was powerful and most importantly taught everyone how to love one another for who they are. With opening words from President Green and the Chaplin, the audience learned this was going to be a night they would never forget.

When Vy Higginsen took the stage, she looked into the crowd with a smile and the excitement to be here was gleaming in her words. She talked to everyone about why she started the choir and how she wanted to give kids the chance to have an amazing life through the power of music.

Higginsen told the audience about all that gospel music was for her, a saving grace for herself and the amazing kids in her choir.

The night began when she had everyone in the audience warming up with breathing exercises and stomping our hands and feet just like we were kids again. From that moment on, the audience was hooked by participating in the routine and could not wait to see what the rest of the night had to offer.

The music master, came out to sing a song to kick off the night and in that song, was a quote, “How could anyone tell you that you’re anything less than beautiful.”

This lyric was alone so powerful, this had you thinking, if this was already so moving and strong, I can’t imagine what the rest of the night had in store. The choir walks on the stage, and the kids were in their teenage years looking out to the crowd. In those few moments of silence you wondered what those voices were going to sound like. Just then, it hits you like a train, and they start to sing and you are blown away by the joy that lights up on their faces when they begin to perform.

You find yourself clapping along and wanting to dance along with the kids. Salerno says she felt the audience become one around mid-performance and saw these people from diverse backgrounds and religions just enjoying the moment and putting their hearts into the music.

The members of the choir were able to get the audience involved, making them laugh, cry, and sing along to all the songs. They ended the night with the song “Let It Shine”. This song led to them jumping into the audience and getting everyone involved. Higginsen dancing around the isle taking in all the wonder and magic that she saw within the community that was there.

The Vy Higginsen Sing Harlem choir was a show that brought beauty, love, and inspiration to the campus of Susquehanna that will last a lifetime.

Writer sees difference in experiences

By Megan Ruge, Staff Writer 

Before I woke up on Jan. 14, I dreamt that I had just moved back in to start another semester at Susquehanna and was preparing for class.

When my roommate opened the ho- tel room curtains, I woke to remember that I would not be returning to Selinsgrove this semester and that I was in London for 20 weeks.

On our way to our host university, we fantasized about the school. “Would there be a welcoming committee? Would we have help with our bags?”

These questions swirled around in our heads but when we arrived, our dreams were shattered in a matter of seconds. There was no one there to greet us and there wasn’t school spirit.

As the week went on, my roommate and I fell in love with London. We walked in the footsteps of legends, but the longer we were here the more we saw the university’s short comings. We wanted to resume our gym schedule and maybe get a flu shot, but the school doesn’t have a gym or health services.

After talking to many full-time students, we learned that the school used to have these facilities.

Our frustrations grew as we had trouble with our class schedules and just the inconvenience of life. We thought that being in a city would be easier, but it seemed like no one wanted to help you find the stores you needed.

We were tired, hungry and irritable to say the least. We missed Wal-Mart, Benny’s and my boyfriend’s car.

Susquehanna not only provides us with accommodation, they give us accessible food, many opportunities for involvement and the convenience of Selinsgrove, a place that has a little bit of all the necessities.

Though my experience here has made me extremely homesick, I couldn’t imagine a better place to be. London is a unique and wonderful city. Receiving this opportunity has given me the motivation to make positive changes in my life. I cut off a foot of my hair, began to exercise and took public transportation by myself, all things I never considered before.

I’m truly on my own and that can only cause positive change. I have always been the person with so many things to do, but I have given myself a freedom I didn’t know I needed.

The idea of a semester abroad was absolutely terrifying, but it was the push I needed to start seeing farther than the end of my nose.

I need to be more independent, I need to try new things and I need to be more grateful what I’ve been given.

Though there isn’t much to report after three weeks, I can say that I am grateful for Susquehanna and for the things they do for us, but most of all I am grateful this opportunity and I plan to take advantage of it.

New recruitment week is unveiled

By Abbie Steinly, Staff Writer 

Exciting days are ahead for the Greek organizations on campus, with Panhellenic formal recruitment wrapping up this weekend and the Inter- Fraternity Council (IFC) holding their new formal recruitment next week.

Sororities on campus are in the middle of recruitment, with the process ending on Sunday, Feb. 4, with bid day. Participating sororities include, Alpha Delta Pi, Kappa Delta, Sigma Kappa and Zeta Tau Alpha.

Women will “run home” down University Avenue to the organizations they have chosen after a week of recruitment events.

All are welcome to attend the “run down the avenue” to cheer on the new members of the Panhellenic community at 12 p.m.

Recruitment started on Wednesday, Jan. 31, with open house nights at each of the four Panhellenic sorority houses, where women had the chance to get to know some of the women in each of the organizations.

On Friday, the sisters will talk about their philanthropies and the different service opportunities that their organization offers on and off campus.

Organizing a set of week long events for four different organizations to take part in takes a lot of planning and communication. Vice President of Recruitment for the Panhellenic Council, senior Meaghan Shoppe said, “The most important thing is to keep up communication. I am constantly in contact with each chapter, all of the potential new members and the recruitment counselors to make sure everything runs smoothly throughout the week.”

While sororities are familiar with the recruitment process, this will be a first-time experience for Susquehanna’s new Greek Life advisor, Bryan Rivas.

“I am looking forward to seeing the progress of the women finding their home on campus and watching them run down the Ave, which is a great tradition we have here on campus,” Rivas said.

While the Panhellenic recruitment process is very standardized and structured, it is a little different for fraternities.

The IFC is trying a new recruitment process this year, with changes implemented by Rivas.

In previous years, each fraternity held their recruitment events on separate weeks. This year however, all organizations will hold a minimum of three events all during the same week. Events such as video game nights and trivia nights will begin Monday, Feb. 5 and conclude Saturday, Feb. 11.

Rivas believes that these changes will make the process more organized and efficient for fraternities.

“Putting all of the organizations’ recruitment events in the same week will give men the ability to check out all of the Greek organizations and will be more fair and equal for the chapters,” Rivas said.

Taking part in fraternity recruitment can be challenging but rewarding for some men on campus. For the Vice President of Recruitment of the Inter-Fraternity Council, Duncan Horne, the most important aspect is showing men what they can gain from joining Greek life.

“It is important that we convince men to make a great decision on this campus,” Horne said. “In my position I am really the one who tries to open the doors and expose them to the great opportunity that is Greek life.”

Fraternities are able to hand out bids to potential new members after the organization has held the mandatory requirement of three recruitment events.

In addition to the 11 social fraternities and sororities on campus, Susquehanna also offers other Greek organizations including Alpha Phi Omega, Sigma Alpha Iota and Sigma Gamma Rho.

Alpha Phi Omega focuses on community service and giving back and Sigma Alpha Iota is a women’s music sorority. Both organizations will hold their formal recruitment starting on Monday, Feb. 12 and are open to all students, even those who are already members of social fraternities or sororities.

Sigma Gamma Rho, Inc. is a sorority not included in the Panhellenic Council and will be hosting their own informational session on how to become a sister, Tuesday, Feb. 6.

First Trax party attracts large crowd

By Hanifah Jones, Contributing Writer 

Trax brought back a popular DJ as they threw back to the 90s in the annual “90s House Party”. The event was hosted by the Susquehanna’s Black Student Union (BSU) on Saturday Jan. 27.

The event ran from late Saturday night into early hours Sunday as students danced to hits from the iconic era.

Students came together in their best nostalgic outfits to enjoy the party, with music provided by Brookyln-based DJ Jase.

“We’ve been having this party since Trax began twelve years ago, and [BSU] has been sponsoring it for the past two,” said junior Abby Dawes, the event manager for Trax.

The 90s party has become heavily associated with the BSU in recent years.

“I think [the 90s party] is a great way for BSU to attract new members and increase cohesion between the black community and the white community on campus,” BSU Vice-President Shanon Benjamin said. “[We] advocate for all minorities as well as the students of SU, to really show that we are here to support each other and to make our presence known here [on campus].”

The crowd in Trax on Saturday evening was very diverse, including students of different backgrounds, as well as a large group of visitors from out of state and Bucknell.

Trax staff had rave reviews for the event, including claiming it as one of their biggest hits.

“I love the 90s party,” said junior Alyssa Howson, the public relations and marketing manager of Trax, “Honestly it’s the first weekend back, everyone’s really excited for the semester and everybody’s ready to get back in the gist of things. It’s sponsored by BSU and they always have a great turnout. Everyone loves them and they come and have a great time.” The participants were surrounded by pictures of 90s themed shows and music artists. Snacks provided were childhood favorites including gushers, Dunk-a-roos and fruit rollups. Events are hosted every week- end at the on-campus nightclub; upcoming events include both Hip Hop Happening and the Super Bowl party happening Feb. 2 and Feb. 4, respectively.

For more information and up-to-date events,visit the Trax Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Beth Winger, director of Trax, can be found in the Office of Leadership and Engagement.

Economics with dystopian worlds

By Benjamin Roehlke, Staff Writer 

Titles like Divergent and The Hunger Games have become household names but for Brian O’Roark, they are much more than that.

On Monday, Jan. 29 Susquehanna hosted O’Roark, who holds his doctorate in economics and philosophy, to speak to students about economics, but more specifically how economics tie into dystopia through recent novels.

The lecture titled “Economics Lessons from The Hunger Games, Divergent, and other Dystopian Novels” took place at 7:30 p.m. in Issac’s Auditorium. O’Roark is a professor at Robert Morris University, and has past teaching experience at James Maddison where he was a lecturer for four years.

The lecture focused on the recent popularity of books such as The Hunger games, wherein society has collapsed and the make shift authority that remains rules over those in lower classes.

To begin his lecture, O’Roark described dystopian fiction as a category in which our world has been altered fundamentally and turned into the opposite of an ideal society. He said that some of the books that fall into this category are: Maze Runner, Brave New World, Divergent, The Walking dead, and the Hunger Games Series. After giving a brief definition of dystopian fiction, he mentioned various elements that almost all dystopian novels contain.

Specifically, O’Roark said that the way in which society deals with scarcity in their everyday lives is a key component. This ties along with the element of choice that people make within these novels, due to the fact that “choices are economic in nature”.

O’Roark said that choices tie in with the division of labor and specialization, sustainability, and the struggle between markets and government failure.

He related this to our lives today, in which EpiPen prices are rising, causing government to step in and therefore causing various effect to stem from the greed of some pharmaceutical officials.

O’Roark then spoke on the synopsis for various dystopian novels.

He spoke about his analysis of a few novels including Brave New World and Clockwork Orange, outlining that extreme mind control is used within the book to constrain behavior.

He continued that in the Brave New World, a new drug is then introduced to keep society from realizing the issues that they see every day. This lead to the argument: is evil better than forced good?

The third novel he spoke of the Hunger Games series. This well-known series highlights the struggle in dystopian fiction about making choices which in economics translates to opportunity cost.

The main character Katniss has to choose between her sister and the games, two different love interests, and her own survival vs the betterment of society. He discussed that only political leaders have a slight amount of power, and that even the rich are poor.

Throughout the games he related Katniss and her skills to economic principles such as her use of incentives and game theory. O’Roark highlighted that many aspects of successful economics and development are missing in the hunger games universe such as labor mobility, efficient use of resources, voluntary trade, growth promoting institutions, and corrupt justice with no property rights due to the dictatorship.

O’Roark described successful economic systems by having the answers to three questions: What do you need to produce? How can you produce it? And For whom are these things produced? O’Roark said that “these novels have command economies”, and sometimes that is directed by a clear cultural government, other times its societies choice.

O’Roark concluded by highlighting that many of these novels featured oppression or free speech and dissent, market failures, and government failures, and that we can often learn a lot from such dystopian novels. Attendee junior Luke Rivera said, “I thought it was an interesting way to apply economic principles to such a mainstream topic.”

Economics presentations happen frequently on campus and are offered for both the Spring and Fall semesters. For more information about the study of economics or if a student is interested in learning more about economics, please visit the Sigmund Weis Business School’s web page.

Faculty information is listed on the web page and can answer questions about the presentation and about economics.

Student organizations kick off year by engaging students

By Michael Bernaschina, Staff Writer 

The semi-annual activities fair took place from Tuesday, Jan. 30, through Thursday, Feb. 1, and filled Mellon Lounge with tables and students.

The fair, which began each day at 4:30 p.m. and ended at 7:00 p.m., gave students the opportunity to meet and interact with members of different clubs and organizations present on campus, and sign up if they were interested.

Groups present on the first day included the school’s radio station WQSU, Greek Life, Her Campus and the Italian Club, among others.

“For me, WQSU has changed my life and has given me a role where I’ve learned many leadership skills. It’s a place for freedom and encouragement, no matter what your major is,” said sophomore Raven Coleman, the news director at the radio station, who encouraged students to sign up.

On the fair’s second day, groups like the Regional Engagement Center, the Johnson Center for Civil Engagement, Enactus, the Campus Garden and the Western Riding Club were present.

“We really consider ourselves entrepreneurs,” said Nathaniel Leies, a senior and member of the

university’s Enactus team. “We use our business skills and innovation to help those in need. That includes women in abusive situations, and children with special needs, as well as veterans.”

Religious groups were also present at the fair, including the Lutheran Student Movement (LSM) and Hillel, both of which sought to promote inclusivity.

“The big thing that we’re trying to push forward is that even though our name has ‘Lutheran’ in it, everyone is welcome,” said Troy Spencer, a senior and member of the LSM’s executive board.

The students representing Hillel offered the same message, as well as advertised a program Hillel is involved with called Birthright.

Students who become part of the program are able to take a free trip to Israel, where they get the opportunity to learn Hebrew and visit tourist attractions like the Dead Sea.

On the final day, the fair featured groups such as the SLAC, PSECU, Better Together, Women Speak, and Psych Club, among many others. “The SLAC is the Student Library Advisory Committee,” said Syd Sirois, Engagement Officer of the SLAC. “We organize events like the Chill-Out and host book club, and just try to bring new things to the library that will get more people to come by.”

“We also want to let people know that the library isn’t a place to stress out,” said SLAC Vice President Jack McKivergan. “It’s a good place to do homework and unwind.”

Information about organizations can be found at the Leadership and Engagement office.