Chaplain’s Corner

By the Rev. Scott M. Kershner, University Chaplain

I lead a Global Opportunities trip called GO Jerusalem: Interfaith Encounters. If there is any place on earth known for political tensions, Jerusalem is near the top.

Jews, Christians and Muslims regard Jerusalem as holy. They have competed and fought over this city for centuries. They have also at times in history lived in great and inspiring harmony. Recent times have been a period of marked conflict.

Over the course of our program, we meet with a group who has been marked by the conflicts between Israelis and Palestinians in a particularly painful way.

The Parent Circle is a group of Israelis and Palestinians who are committed to building a future of peace between their respective peoples. The amazing and terrible thing is, to be a member of the Parent Circle one has to have had a loved one killed in the conflict.

This is a group of people who have taken the pain of loss and turned it into a commitment to build a better future.

On the trip last January, we visited the Parent Circle offices in Beit Jalla, just outside of Jerusalem, and we sat at a long table with Rami, an Israeli, and Kahled, a Palestinian. Each had lost a young daughter to the conflict. Rami’s daughter died in a suicide bombing; Kahled’s daughter was shot by an Israeli soldier on her way to school.

Each described the grief and fierce anger that had consumed them. And then they described a realization that they could continue the cycles of hatred and revenge, or they could use this bitter experience to shape a better future.

Then Rami, Kahled at his side, said these words, “And we, the bereaved families, together from the depth of our mutual pain, are saying to you today: Our blood is the same red color, our suffering is identical, and all of us have the exact same bitter tears. So, if we, who have paid the highest price possible, can carry on a dialog, then everyone can.”

I will never forget the force of both the pain and the courageous hope these two men conveyed. I take their example as an inspiration in our own divided political context today. We don’t live in Jerusalem and experience its ancient rivalries, but the sense of mistrust and resentment is incredibly high.

Can we discover for ourselves the fire of hope and the passion of bridge building of Rami and Kahled?

After all, our blood is the same color. No matter our differences, the future belongs to all of us, together.

Chaplain’s Corner 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

Student finds good side of stolen phone

By Brenda Ortega Abroad writer

I have been without a phone in Costa Rica for almost a month, and I can honestly say that it is the best thing ever.

I had my phone stolen at a club in Heredia, a small city in Costa Rica, and it sucked because I was threatened. Nothing happened, but it was still one of the scariest experiences of my life.

Being without a smart phone is great though. It kind of sucks that all of the friends I made here were on my phone, so it is not as easy to communicate with them, but we manage.

Being without a phone has not affected me greatly. It has actually made me realize a few things. First, I noticed how much other people are on their phones and that being without one makes you appreciate moments even more. It’s crazy how much a person can miss when all they truly look at is their phone. It is sad that I had to have my phone stolen in order to realize that.

Another cool thing about not having my phone is that people are more inclined to talk to me. I am not preoccupied with my phone, so I have time to stop and talk, which is great because I have made more friends.

My phone had a great camera and I had so many pictures of Costa Rica. Now I won’t be able to take pictures, but it’s okay because now I have all the memories. I am the kind of person who loves to live in the moment, and what better way to do that than without a phone? I am not worried about getting snapchats of the clubs or of my friends doing crazy stuff. I just enjoy it. I enjoy the laughs and fights we share because those kinds of moments can’t really be captured through an Instagram post or a snapchat. Besides, people don’t need to know what I am up to every day, and I do not need to prove to myself that I have a life because I know I am enjoying life here in Heredia to the fullest.

My host mom Flory is the most positive and loving person I have ever met, and every morning while I eat breakfast we listen to a pastor talk about religion, and every time he finishes his sermon he says, “do not complicate things and live happy.” My host mom stands by this statement whole-heartedly. I stand by this statement too. I could be crying and moping over my stolen phone, but I’ve realized that’s not how it should be; a phone is something that can be replaced.

Things happen, and again I try not to complicate things in my life because it just adds unnecessary stress to an already stressful life. Costa Rica is amazing and it is the best place to find inner peace because the people here do not complicate situations. Their ability to live life simply has helped me self-reflect and appreciate the luxuries that I have. People in Costa Rico like to live happy and stress-free lives, and their at

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

Writer reviews ‘media-driven’ movie

By Megan Ruge Asst. living and arts editor

This week’s review comes to you hot off the press. I chose a fresh Netflix release for you all that is different than anything I have ever shared before.

This film comes to us from our current culture wave. In the media-driven hookup culture of today, we are all living on edge, waiting for the next adventure.

A large portion of the young adult lifestyle centers around taking the opportunities that are right in front of you and living them to their fullest—being part of something bigger than yourself. That’s essentially what this film is all about.

“XOXO” is a film about several young adults who find themselves at a music festival where they encounter terrifying and exciting troubles that connect them in very subtle ways. Each person becomes aware of the way things happen and how they never end exactly how they are expected to.

“XOXO” is a unique movie that allows the viewer to see the way that people of our generation react in different situations.

Some of these situations include accidental drugging, trying to find someone you have never met before and trying to navigate your way around something brand new.

The movie shows how easy it is for someone to get caught up in what they are used to and how often people can get frustrated with something simple.

This film uses a similar technique as “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World,” a movie which uses multimedia to present different ideas. Instead of a comic and video game type atmosphere, “XOXO” surrounds itself with social media and other technology-related graphics.

For example, throughout the film, small text message bubbles pop up and accompany the scene.

Viewers also see a countdown clock that is crucial to the plot of the movie. These graphics are important and further the plot, so they should not be ignored.

“XOXO” contains many themes related to new beginnings and the way events end. Each of the main characters experiences this in one way or another.

In the film, a young couple come to the festival as a last hurrah for the summer. Struggling to mend the unspoken trouble between them, they face a set of trials that lead them to reflect on what the festival really meant for them.

Another character, a young girl looking for true love, realizes that things don’t always happen exactly the way she pictures them in her mind.

A young man with the chance of a lifetime finds himself accidentally slamming the door on one opportunity only to find another opportunity present itself, while his friend realizes what kind of role he plays in the grand scheme of things.

Many other characters experience this new beginning or ending theme as well.

A sneaky artist is finally burned for the error of his ways, a has-been is able to forgive the past and move into the future and a man with a lot of power is helped to understand why he started what he did in the first place, getting back to his roots in the best way.

The film represents the best parts of being able to come together with people you don’t know in today’s modern culture and how it can change you.

It shows the power that our technology has on our lives and how much technology has changed from even 15 to 20 years earlier.

The film, although containing an interesting storyline, lacks a generally life-changing message. The acting was subpar and there was little variety.

If you enjoy teen and young adult films that are all about the biggest events of our generation, then this film is for you.

“XOXO” has a captivating storyline and is comedic. I give this film 3 out of 5 stars.

Writer recommends three female artists

By Sean Colvin Staff Writer

Last week, I wrote about three bands with male songwriters, so this week I am focusing on some new releases by female artists.

Angel Olsen released her most instrumentally lush and critically acclaimed album yet, “My Woman.” In “My Woman,” Olsen ditched the whispery vocals of her earlier work for a full-blown pop-rock sound, blending 60s pop with zooming synthesizers and classic American rock guitar. When you listen to Olsen, you might think of some female superstars like Dolly Parton and Stevie Nicks and also groups like Heart and Neil Young. She has a knack for taking the sounds of these classic artists and making music that sounds not only current, but also urgent. “My Woman” is inherently feminist. It’s an album about desire, womanhood, discovery, disappointment and most poignantly, it’s about action and moving forward. You can find “My Woman” on Olsen’s Bandcamp page.

Japanese-born Mitski Miyawaki has been making waves since her 2014 album “Bury Me at Makeout Creek.” It is an album of love songs, protest and longing rolled into anthemic rock ballads. On first listen, Mitski’s fourth and most recent album, “Puberty 2” sounds quite like “Bury Me at Makeout Creek.” Lyrically, many of the themes in “Puberty 2” are much the same as those in “Bury Me at Makeout Creek.” These include city life, love, heartbreak, adulthood and the pursuit of happiness. Miyawaki uses allegory to talk about her life experiences in “Puberty 2.” She is not afraid to touch upon topics like sexuality, drug use and depression. Aside from the more obvious 90s indie rock comparisons, Miyawaki’s music might also be made akin to the music of Angel Olsen, The Breeders and Cocteau Twins. “Puberty 2” is an album that is sure to get your head moving and maybe even your heart swelling.

Melbourne, Australia’s Katie Dey is a solo artist who creates apocalyptic synth-pop compositions from her bedroom. Dey released her first full-length album, “Flood Network,” last month. Dey’s music has been referred to online as “nightmare pop” due to the arrhythmic and ethereal sounds she uses along with the highly distorted and pitch-shifted vocals of her music, which are mostly impossible to decipher—though the lyrics are not the focus of her music. It is the emotion Dey conveys that draws the listener in immediately. According to a 2015 interview with NOISEY, Dey is highly influenced by contemporaries like Alex G, R.L. Kelly, Elvis Depressedly and other bedroom pop musicians. Dey maintains a certain level of obscurity, opting not to make a fan page on Facebook, but you can find both of her releases on her Bandcamp page.

Abroad student sees differences in world

By EJ Schwartz Abroad writer

It’s the first day I’m on the shore and I am lying on the ground, toes sand-curled, staring up at a pink streaked sky. Views like this become photos that float around Tumblr, getting millions of re-blogs. People double tap them, the aesthetic beauty conveyed in a 2-D image.

They are not seeing the sunset or the waves folding in on themselves with a loud slap and sloshing against my shins. They are not seeing the sky turn dark in a blink, the water so black you can imagine anything is out there on the horizon.

Bali is beautiful, the sun high in the sky, burning my body and demanding I hydrate more, even though I’m only drinking what I can buy in closed bottles. In the daylight, you can see people on the street; the not so beautiful things, like men with red eyes, yellow teeth, who holler. Families climb onto mopeds, weaving around taxis so their babies’ heads narrowly miss being severed by rearview mirrors.

I find two mosquito bites on the back of my neck when I’m in the shower, and my brain goes on autopilot. I think malaria or dengue fever. I am going to be sent back to the United States in one of those air sealed cases—the ones where they push your meals through a mail slot—and get treatment that will hopefully save my life.

When I ask my friend Juliana to take a look, I realize it is acne. I laugh. I call my mom. I joke about how ridiculous I am sometimes. But at dinner I don’t eat the meat, too afraid that my vision of an Ebola-esque life might become a reality if I’m not careful.

A man comes up asking to take a picture with me by the shore, and assuming I misheard, I go to take the camera and snap a picture of him and his friends. He shakes his head, hands the Canon to another friend, and the group folds in on me. They snap a bunch of photos, me in the middle of eight strangers, boys and girls who are my age. They point to me and more clicks go off, and I think maybe they are mistaking me for a celebrity. Maybe they’ve never seen anyone with blonde hair before.

Here’s what I remember most: a little girl with thin bones and two missing teeth comes to me, asking for money that I don’t give. The horror of my own reflection when I keep walking and don’t look her in the eyes hits me like the slap of a wave.

The horror of my fortune, I mean. The horror that I am a woman who bargains for a fake Vendi bag, a Victoria Beckham purse and Jimmy Choo wallet, but does not give that little girl my spare change.

I think about going back, about handing her a bill, a big one, one of those one hundred thousand rupiahs—seven or eight U.S. dollars—because I’m pretty sure it’s more money than she’s seen in a long time, maybe in her entire life, and that’s the kind of person I want to be. But when I walk back, she is not there. I wish I had gotten it right the first time.

I understand what Bali is to a girl like me, a girl on a throne. A pit stop. A blink to remember the missing teeth of that girl and then forget. I go on living a life where I see beautiful photos on Tumblr, grab Chinese takeout when I’m on my period, become a girl with blonde hair in a sea of girls ten time more beautiful with blonde hair. I take photos of strangers, not with them, and pretend this is a world without children, small and barefoot, holding out hands and begging for what I did not give and what the world still won’t.

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

The news this summer has been memorable. Two candidates vie for the highest office in the land; the future leadership of our nation is in our hands. I’ve never seen an election with rhetoric more divisive or challenging. I cannot wait until Nov. 8 when it will all quiet back down.

As director of Jewish Life, I often follow the world of Jewish news. What issues are important? How do I help students to connect and grow? I studied politics in college and have a deep commitment to learning about and understanding our democracy.

Two organizations which have been deeply committed to the fight for civil rights have been the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (RAC). The NAACP was founded in 1909, and its goal is to “promote equality of rights and to eradicate caste or race prejudice among the citizens of the United States; to advance the interest of colored citizens; to secure for them impartial suffrage; and to increase their opportunities for securing justice in the courts, education for the children, employment according to their ability and complete equality before law.”

The NAACP’s historic leadership has included many Jews committed to the organization’s mission of full equality. In October of 1959 the president of the NAACP, Kivie Kaplan, contributed money to create a center for social justice for the reform movement. As a Jew, Kaplan took seriously the Jewish value of “Tikkun Olam,” a phrase which means repairing the world. The RAC has been a central advocate in the District of Columbia for civil rights.

The NAACP was founded with engagement in our democracy as a central pillar of the organization. Today the NAACP, RAC and other similar groups are noting numerous ways that people are being denied civic participation. The RAC has helped to unite many central Jewish organizations to join this fight.

According to The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement at Tufts University, 19.9 percent of 18-29 year-olds voted in the last congressional election in 2014. 45 percent of 18-29 year-olds voted in the 2012 presidential race. These are the lowest numbers of any age demographic.

Universities throughout the country are becoming aware of these low participation rates. At Harvard University, each student who checked into his or her residence hall was offered the opportunity to register to vote. In Pennsylvania, we know candidates are spending heavily here. It is seen as a must-win state.

In Judaism, we are taught by Rabbi Tarfon in the “Pirke Avot,” “It is not your responsibility to finish the work of perfecting the world, but you are not free to desist from it either.” We cannot ignore what is happening—we must be involved. Each vote is such a small piece of the total results, yet we have seen elections which are regularly decided by the smallest of margins.

As students, your actions are simple and critical. Oct. 11 is the last day to register in Pennsylvania. Your vote and voice matter. Talk to your friends; are they registered to vote? Work to register voters. If you are not a citizen, help your friends understand their rights.

Shine a light on the great work of diverse civil rights activists who are working to make sure all Americans can vote easily. On Nov. 8, show up to vote and remind your friends about the value of our democracy.

Editor learns to follow own path in future

By Jenna Sands Forum editor

I watched my sister and both of my brothers go through college, so I guess you could say I kind of knew what to expect when I went to college. I learned from their mistakes, as well as some of my own, but I find myself making the same mistake as things change in my life.

The mistake I constantly make is not taking opportunities that are right in front of me. It’s not that I don’t see the opportunities, such as running for a position in APO or joining a new club, I’m just too nervous and shy to take them. I tell myself that I have time and I can take advantage of these opportunities after a while when I feel more comfortable, but time always runs out. I always get to the point where I am comfortable to do these things when it is too late.

I keep telling myself now that I’ll one day learn from this mistake, and become more comfortable in situations faster than I used to when I was in high school. But now I am almost done with college, and I am still the same way. I can only hope that one day I’ll learn to force myself out of my comfort zone before the opportunity is gone.

This is something you can’t learn from watching older siblings brave life and make various mistakes.

Everyone makes mistakes, and while it is good to learn from others’ mistakes, people must allow themselves to make their own mistakes. Following the paths of others and being careful not to do anything wrong won’t get you anywhere in life. You have to put yourself out there and let yourself make mistakes. It may be terrifying to blindly walk through life without anyone to follow, but you will get much more out of life if you take control and follow your own path, not someone else’s.

This is something that I have discovered, and something that I am still learning how to do. Of course I look up to my siblings, but I know now that I need to stop watching them and concentrate on my own life and my own destinations.

I watched my siblings go through college, and now I have watched them all move away from home.

We all may have made some of the same mistakes in college, but as I have watched them begin their lives outside of college I have seen that their experiences are so vastly different. My siblings went their own directions, and I realized that I need to go my own way as well and embrace the fact that I will make mistakes, but I will learn from them. As I go into my senior year in college, it is my goal to pave my own path and not be afraid to take a chance, even if I might make a mistake.

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

Dinner encourages students to reflect on events of summer

By Matthew Dooley Staff writer

The “Let’s Talk Dinner” series started off its third year on campus with a dinner titled “You Matter” on Sept. 1.

According to the Dean of Academic Engagement James Black, “The ‘Let’s Talk Dinners’ [were created] to help students engage outside the classroom in intellectual discussion, to build on academic interest [and] to get to know faculty.”

The dinner took place in the Shearer Dining Rooms in Degenstein Campus Center where the students were provided food and an opportunity for engaging discussions.

The event allows students to meet “new people that you probably would never interact with before,” said Dena Salerno, the assistant dean for intercultural and community engagement.

Students casually conversed with other students and faculty as they ate a buffet-style meal before the official discussion began for the night.

After they finished their meals Salerno began the moderation of the “You Matter” discussion. This “Let’s Talk Dinner” was important to her because, “this summer was especially charged and filled with a lot of violence,” she said.

The discussion revolved around many topics including reverse culture shocks after Global Opportunity trips, reactions toward the new Black Lives Matter flag in Degenstein Campus Center and feelings of frustration over American culture as a whole.

After a summer like this past one, Salerno said she wanted to make sure the students were comfortable with the issues at hand. “We start to think about what kind of shape are our [students] coming back in and what kinds of things are on their minds and hearts. And also, our faculty and staff. It was a lot to take in over the summer,” Salerno said.

According to Black, “[Salerno] was interested in starting off the year by doing something that addressed all [identity groups affected] without going to something like ‘All lives matter’ that dilutes the importance of the individual identity groups. She came up with the title ‘You Matter’.”

As the event continued, students spoke up about how it felt to be back at school after such a controversial summer.

“Although I did not resonate entirely with the direction the conversation went it was evident that many others were able to connect to the conversation,” Junior Troy Spencer said after the event.

He added, “I got more out of hearing the thoughts and concerns of others than I did of my own personal resonance with the questions of the night.”

Black hopes for more audience participation as the “Let’s Talk Dinner” series continues. “As we go further, getting the attendees to talk more and more has been a goal,” he said. “Not that I think that major world problems are going to be solved in these dinners, but maybe someone gets to come up with an idea that they would not have really done on their own.”

Spencer said: “I am a strong believer in community and by sharing our thoughts we grow together. By creating this tightly knit community, we can achieve, overcome and respond to more situations and events than if we act as individuals.”

If anyone wants to experience a “Let’s Talk Dinner” for themselves, Lakeisha Meyer, director of disability services, will be hosting one about academics and activism, and Michelle DeMary, professor of political science, will be hosting one focused on the upcoming presidential election soon in the Shearer Dining Rooms in Degenstein Campus Center.

Popular campus eatery gets facelift

By Mitchell Bollinger Staff writer

The new mascot isn’t the only thing new to Susquehanna this semester. Benny’s Bistro, the “grab-and-go” style food option in the basement of Degenstein Campus Center, has received a complete renovation and a new name: the “Hawk’s Nest.”

This renovation is also more than just a cosmetic one; the Hawk’s Nest offers a revised menu, a new eating area and new soft drink dispensers.

The new eating area is bigger than before. Instead of round tables and a few booths lining the walls, the Hawk’s Nest features different kinds of seating options.

Students have expressed mixed feelings about how the new seating area looks, with the bright lighting being one of the most common concerns among students. “The Hawk’s Nest is a little too modern for my taste,” senior Sam Zuckowich said. “But, the food has definitely improved, and that’s a good thing.”

Unlike Benny’s, which had two or three food stations, the Hawk’s Nest now has five different stations where food can be ordered.

At the “Fire Box Grill”, one can order grilled and fried foods such as burgers and french fries.

At “EVOO”—which stands for “extra virgin olive oil”— students can order pizza, pasta and chicken wings.

The “Bistro ‘58” station is a rotating concept station, in which two types of food will be served each semester.

For the first half of this semester “Bistro ‘58” will be serving BBQ style food. At “NOSH” students can order sandwiches in a style similar to that of Subway, and at “Field & Fork” students can order salads and wraps.

One difference between Benny’s and the Hawk’s Nest is the system in which food is ordered. Instead of having electronic kiosk ordering systems, the Hawk’s Nest uses paper slips where customers can write their name and order.

This system is only temporary for the “Fire Box Grill” station, but the rest of the Hawk’s Nest will continue to use the paper slip system.

Another major change between this year and last is the integration of the Hawk’s Nest’s eating area with the newly renovated Charlie’s Coffee House.

Charlie’s has moved from its old location to the eating area of the Hawk’s Nest.

The coffee bar, sound stage and big screens that were defining characteristics of Charlie’s are all still there, but the dim lighting and couches have been replaced with brighter overhead lights and new furniture.

“I miss how Charlie’s was its own space before,” senior Meaghan Wilson said.

Wilson added, “Especially because SU Slam, GSA and other clubs had put on stuff there that required an intimate space, and having people just sitting there eating dinner when they’re trying to do a poetry reading or show a movie might be complicated.”

While some students may be dissatisfied with the new arrangement, only time will tell how Charlie’s will continue its usual programming in its new location.

One less obvious change to the Hawk’s Nest is the addition of flavor shots to the soft drink dispensers.

While some students have taken issue to the renovations, the option of adding flavored syrup to soft drinks has certainly sweetened the transition for them.

SGA, clubs kick off school year with campus activities fair

By Kyle Kern Contributing writer

What do Susquehanna students do in their free time? They pursue their passions, interests and academic skills and wade into new experiences and interests.

To do this, students at Susquehanna enroll in over 140 academic clubs, honors groups, student-run clubs, club sports, volunteer groups and media groups.

It is fairly easy to become involved in any extra-curricular group at Susquehanna.

On Sept. 6, the Student Government Association and the Office of Leadership and Development co-sponsored the annual university activities fair on campus.

The fair, held in front of Degenstein Camps Center, allowed clubs to display what they had to offer to students.

When students visited five or more tables, they received a free cup of Rita’s Italian Ice from the nearby Rita’s truck.

This event was helpful for those students looking for clubs to join or for ways to help out their community.

Elizabeth Winger, the coordinator of leadership and engagement, is tasked with coordinating this event every year. Winger said: “[The fair is] a great opportunity for students to become engaged in extra-curricular activities. Whether it be scholar oriented, academically geared, possibly a special interest or passion, it could be a part of Greek Life or maybe you’d like to do a club sport.” Winger added that the extra-curricular activities are a great way to gain leadership skills, use your passion and build upon knowledge gained in the classroom.

Josh Levesque, a junior who is starting the fall semester as the president of the beekeeping club, agrees that the fair is a great way to introduce students to extra-curricular activities.

However, he added that he believes something should be added to allow people who are more shy to be more comfortable trying to join a club.

While there are already a large number of current clubs, there are always students with new ideas for a new organization.

Archery club, rock-climbing club, skate club, League of Legends club and a club based on volunteering with animals are all among those attempting to become an official extra-curricular activity.

Anyone who has the dedication to their idea for a club can start one.

To start an extra-curricular activity, Winger recommends that the founder attend one of the two workshops that she will be holding in the month of September.

The first one will be held on Sept. 14 starting at 4:30 p.m. in the Benjamin Apple Meeting Rooms in Degenstein Campus Center.

The second workshop will be held on Sept. 15 starting at 11:45 a.m. in the same meeting rooms in Degenstein Campus Center.