Directors Discussion

By Eli Bass, Director of Jewish Life

How can I become rich? This is a difficult question I’ve been thinking about at this time of year. I see richness, as a way to compare oneself favorably to those around. This happens with money, clothing, housing, cars and gadgets. As humans material wealth is often the way we attempt to differentiate from those around.

The Jewish book of wisdom, Pirkei Avot, teaches us “Who is rich? He who rejoices in his portion”.

This quote forces us to think about how we can never be truly satisfied with- out maximal acquisition. To transcend the rat race feels difficult if not impossible. It is all around us every interaction which we have. Unless we are able to pull ourselves back from a constant need to compare ourselves, we may become stuck.

We can see that this is true for even the most affluent people in the world. There is a human yearning which is hard to fight. We tend to compare ourselves with others. The principle of Pirkei Avot shows us that when someone is enlightened the drive to compile and compare oneself reduces.

The process of growing inner satisfaction is a challenge as we head towards Thanksgiving. That at least for one day we are asked to stop and recognize the blessings which exist in our lives. I see value in the moment of reflection which allows us to appreciate even when we face difficulty. This momentary pause is also a moment to reflect on our own internal talk. How often am I able to recognize blessing? What is bringing me joy and satisfaction? On a greater level, the pause of Thanksgiving allows us to contemplate whether we are living fulfilled lives. Lately, I’ve been fascinated by a Facebook video series called “Nas Daily.” Nuseir Yassin is an Israeli-Palestinian who runs a daily one minute video series. Nas is a Harvard educated 25 year old who was living in New York City and earning $120,000 a year at a tech firm. At the same time, Nas was looking at his life in tech and feeling very empty. Nas looked at his life span and started to calculate the percentage of an average lifespan he had lived. For a minute every day, Nas brings us a one minute video to join him on his journey to try to live days that matter, with a tiny budget. I watch him grow in his identity and skills as he travels and explores the globe.

I watch as he struggles with witnessing poverty and injustice. Nas is able to recognize his privilege and explore new ideas around the world. He also spends time focusing on people who don’t share his financial means or traveling ability.

His travels have forced him to see himself and his community with a new set of eyes. For Nas, traveling has been his route to creating a fulfilling life. His catch phrase speaks to both his brevity and continued story “that’s one minute, see you tomorrow.”

Judaism has a mechanism to reflect on the blessings in our lives. In fact Jewish tradition teaches that each day we are required to give thanks to God for one hundred things. This formal process forces us to slow down and reflect on what to give thanks for. Most food items in Judaism have an individual blessing. So do nice smelling herbs, strange people, fragrant trees and even going to the bathroom.

For those who engage in a regular prayer practice, creating time to intention- ally recognize blessings adds intention to our days. I encourage you to think about how you create moments of gratitude at thanksgiving and around the year. It is my belief that engaging in this process allows us to live deeper and more fulfilled lives.

Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving!

Senior talks Wye Oak’s new album

By Zach Bonner, Asst. News Editor

One of the most metamorphic musical acts of the current decade is the indie rock duo Wye Oak. Hailing from Baltimore, Maryland, the duo creates narrative music that evolves as you listen. Andy Stack and Jen Wasner create a sound that has been described as folk- influenced indie rock as well as synth-influenced dream pop.

They’ve created music from which emerges a blend of lyrics, vocals, and instrumentation that has a lasting effect on their listeners.

Their recent release, “Spiral/Wave Is Not the Water,” is a limited run single to promote their upcoming U.S. tour.

This single aptly bridges the gap between their last two albums, “Shriek” and “Tween,” both of which have a weird chronology.

Wye Oak’s album, “Civilian,” which was released in 2011, was classified as indie rock with heavy electric and acoustic guitars, backing keys, and clear-cut vocals. They released Shriek in 2015, which spun their sound into a realm of dream pop that their previous works didn’t necessarily suggest. In 2016, they released a mini-album, “Tween,” which they classified as a side-step in time.

Wasner stated in an interview with that “Tween” contained music they created between 2011 and 2014. This was the period of time when their sound was going through structural and aesthetic changes.

“Spiral/Wave Is Not the Water” is reminiscent of their body of work and acts well as a catalyst for their listeners to understand the evolution in their sound. It was released on October 17, and exhibits the same reverberating vocals found on “Civilian” that were solidified as an artistic choice in “Shriek.” The underpinning guitar is neatly backed by Wasner’s solid and step-based baseline, and Stack’s crisp percussion wrangles the cacophony into music that sounds effortlessly cohesive.

The facets of these singles are primarily brought together through a repetitive and hypnotic marimba that echoes throughout both pieces. After a few listens, it’s still not a work that I could easily piece apart.

As contemporary performers, Wye Oak leaves little to be asked for. They create an unusual interest in lyrical content and instrumentation, with heady vocals and a melody composed tactfully above complex percussion and key- board work that does little but ardently bolster its compositional companions. Wye Oak’s recorded sound is mirrored by their live production value.

They don’t shy away from any of their music at their shows and allow the listeners to truly hear how each was meant to be consumed. Their music invokes grandiose feelings that envelop listeners in a world of Wasner and Stack’s creation.

Assistant editor talks health event

By Kara Little, Asst. Forum Editor 

Susquehanna University’s Black Student Union (BSU) started off this semester with a bang. They had a number of events that helped to inform the general public about issues that students of color face both on and off campus, as well as support systems that Susquehanna has to offer for their students.

One of the more recent events that Black Student Union co-hosted with Gender Sexuality Alliance was a “Sexual Health” session. Two of the women that work in the Student Health Center, Betsy Magill and M. Yevette Devine, as the guest speakers, talked about ways to prevent sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), how to use contraceptives, and what the Student Health Center offers within their services.

The night started off with Magill and Devine passing around cucumbers and condoms, showing their audience how to properly use a condom, as well as the dangers of using it incorrectly. The discussion then moved towards the different types of STDs, how they can be contracted, and the kinds of treatments to consider if contracted.

The two women discussed what the Health Center offered for students. Some of the services offered are, but not limited to, immunizations, allergy injections, and STD testing.

After giving their presentation, Magill and Devine opened the room to any questions. As the session concluded, attendees were offered “goody bags”, filled with items like contraceptives, pamphlets, snacks, and first-aid kits.

I, as the Political Activist of Black Student Union, find this to be my favorite event co-hosted by us so far. This session was much more than your typical middle school health class.

Betsy Magill and M. Yevette Devine made learning about sexual health fun, interactive, and informative.I have learned a few things about what Susquehanna’s student health center offered, like the fact that STD testing provided by them is free of charge towards students.

Another part of the session I enjoyed was that the conversation was directed towards people of all sexual orientations. I am happy Susquehanna staff members are inclusive of all different types of people.

I feel if people in the “LGBTQIA” (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and/or questioning, intersex, allies and/or asexual) community do not hear as much about sexual health and how they can stay safe, so this information made the session better. The Student Health Center is open Mondays-Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (with an hour allowed for lunch from noon to 1 p.m.), and Saturdays from 10-11 a.m.

The staff welcomes all students with open arms and are willing to answer any questions at any given time.

Senior calls to donate for hurricane relief

By Michael Bernaschina, Staff Writer

This past summer, myself, 11 other students, and our two program directors traveled to Puerto Rico for our two week GO Short program. While we were there, we worked with a couple service groups, one being El Proyecto ENLACE Del Caño Martin Peña, whose mission it is to restore the body of water known as El Caño Martin Peña, as well as assist the surrounding area, in overcoming poverty, which became impoverished due to its pollution.

Unfortunately, ENLACE was heavily affected by the recent Hurricane Maria. In effort to assist them in rebuilding, our group has begun trying to raise money through GoFundMe.

To advertise our efforts, we’ve designed and printed flyers to be distributed around campus, detailing what we’re doing and where money can be donated. Students in our group have also visited other GO classes to spread awareness for what we’ve been doing, using a Power-Point designed by other students from our group. A video was also made, featuring pictures from our trip, as well as the devastation Puerto Rico experienced following the hurricane.

Within the first week or so of being up, the GoFundMe page reached just over $100 of an arbitrary $5,000 goal, but has since seen an increase.

“Once we really started marketing it and beefing up the page, and actually utilized our students’ skills to enhance the page, it helped,” said Molly Roe, Faculty-led Program Manager in the Global Programs department, and one of our two program directors on the trip.

The page has currently raised $1,340 of its $5,000 goal in the month since it’s been up. According to Roe, the majority of the money raised has come from Susquehanna University faculty and staff. “I’m proud of what we’ve done so far, I do think that since we really started marketing it, it has gotten more attention,” Roe said. “I’d love to see even more because I’m seeing the posts from the organization about what they still need, and it’s a lot.”

“So I’m optimistic that we can continue the efforts and I’m proud of what we’ve done so far, but it is just kind of a start,” she added.

For those who wish to donate to the cause, you can do so at www.gofundme. com/GOPRProyectoEnlace.

Director’s Discussion

By Eli Bass, Director of Jewish Life

Bob Marley teaches us that “If you know your history, than you will know where you are coming from.” Knowing and understanding history also challenges us to face up to deep injustice of the past. In Charlottesville this summer, white supremacists fought to keep monuments of General Robert E. Lee, who fought to maintain slavery. The monuments are a historical record of those who supported enslaving and subjugating based on race.

Round year anniversaries are times to look at and face history. As a staff member who serves Jewish students at a school with Christian roots, I also need to grapple with its history. I want to take a moment to look into the person of Martin Luther. Luther was a prolific author who wrote and dictated many volumes of works. He was a monk and a powerful teacher. He translated the bible into a German that could easily be read by the people. His publication of Ninety-five Theses” on Oct. 31, 1517 developed a schism with the Catholic Church, which created the protestant reformation. This is the 500th anniversary which many Lutherans are celebrating this week. Luther’s contribution to the development of Christianity is unquestionable.

As a Jewish person, I also need to grapple with another side of Luther as the author of “On the Jews and their Lies”. Luther was the author of texts, which were utilized, to justify and promote attacks on Jewish people throughout a period of over 400 years. Luther worked to inspire his followers to commit terrible acts. Luther urges followers “to set fire to their synagogues or schools and to bury and cover with dirt whatever will not burn, so that no man will ever again see a stone or cinder of them. This is to be done in honor of our Lord and of Christendom.”

During the holocaust, Luther’s works were a large part of the theology utilized to validate genocide of European Judaism. The Nazi party regularly held up “On the Jews and Their Lies” at Nazi rallies as they worked to gain support of Germany’s Lutherans. The 500th anniversary of the “Ninety-five Theses” is a chance to reflect on Luther’s story. Talking about Luther requires us to look at his entire person including his ugly hatred directed at the Jewish people.

Today, I’m also reflective on the modern Lutheran church. Susquehanna has an affiliation with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. After the holocaust the ELCA church began to confront the theology of its namesake. In 1994 the ELCA released their “Declaration of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America to the Jewish Community.” This declaration demonstrates the church confronting its past, “In the long history of Christianity there exists no more tragic development than the treatment accorded the Jewish people on the part of Christian believers. Very few Christian communities of faith were able to escape the contagion of anti-Judaism and its modern successor, anti-Semitism.”

Lutherans belonging to the Lutheran World Federation and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America feel a special burden in this regard because of certain elements in the legacy of the reformer Martin Luther and the catastrophes, including the Holocaust of the 20th century, suffered by Jews in places where the Lutheran churches were strongly represented.”

My exposure to the Lutheran church has helped me to see both the large strides of the church has made to confront its history and others where Luther’s theology can be scrubbed of his ugly record with the Jewish community. Today’s ELCA is committed to interfaith diversity and dialogue. I have seen its leaders like those of so many other religious communities acknowledge that much work is still required. It is because of these modern commitments, that I’m proud to work at an ELCA affiliated school.

Knowing and confronting our history and recognizing the misdeeds of those who preceded us help us to be better people and better communities. I believe this is the way we make progress and grow.

Editor offers advice to all with classes

By Matthew Dooley, Forum Editor

Pulling up their inbox, students may begin to notice a new email from their advisor. This is the signal for students to ready themselves for the next semester.

However, this occasion may not hit everyone in the same way, especially since the second half of this semester recently began.

Students may begin to take their second semester into view as a new start in a continuous sequence of life. It is not uncommon to be surprised by how quickly registration can catch up to you.

Registration is an annual event all students undergo to advance in their academic careers. This is the chance for choose their course load, explore different majors, and proceed down a squirrel covered road to the end of their school year.

For senior students, this will most likely be their final chance to register for Susquehanna University courses. While, the first-years rush to their advisor sessions to start deciding if the major they came to SU with, is actually what they wish to study.

Depending on the advisor, you may want to have an idea of what courses you wish to take before the initial meeting, so the advisor can lift the hold and allow your course registration to be validated.

Prior to the meeting, will update its course list for “Spring 2018.” Once logging in, go to the “Self Service” tab and hit “Current Student” tab.

Afterwards, you will be able to click on “Registration.” A list will appear. The first point on the list is “Search for Sections.” I mainly use this to search for courses. Once your advisor has lifted your load, go back and hit “Registration”, but instead of “Search for Sections” hit “Fall/Spring Register for Sections.” Here you will be able to put in the courses you plan to take next semester.

Using this method, the students will be able to discover a courses’ pre-requisites and if the variety of core curriculum courses that hang over every students’ Susquehanna University career.

Also, starting October 30th, students will be able to register for courses over winter break. Depending on the course, it may be offered in an online capacity or be solely to be taken on campus.

Along with, students will be able to lookup “Spring 2018” courses in a newspaper format. Courtesy of The Quill, students will receive a course list published on newsprint.

Based on past issues, the paper often has the courses for the two upcoming semesters will be distributed to student mailboxes on campus.

Coordinator Column

By Barbara Johnson, Title IX Coordinator 

As Title IX Coordinator, I work with an awesome group of professionals who are passionate about efforts, to uphold a just Title IX process, that keeps our students safe and supported. The three areas that I want to focus on are: emergency support, “time on task” and training.

At Susquehanna University, we have a 24-hour campus emergency response team that consists of Public Safety, Counseling and Health Services. We also have a partnership with Transitions of PA, a non-profit organization that has a 24-hour free hotline, with sexual assault advocates available to talk with our students at any time. Our Public Safety Director has built a relationship with the Selinsgrove Police Department, so that they are responsive to campus emergencies as needed.

Finally, Evangelical Hospital in Lewisburg has a sexual assault nurse educator available in their emergency room, to provide our students with free sexual assault exams. Completed exams are stored as evidence at the Selinsgrove Police Department, should a student decide to open a criminal investigation.

“Time on task” is the time we spend enriching the work that we do in Title IX. The Title IX Coordinator responds each day to submitted reports, replies to every

responsible employee who submits a report, meets individually with all par- ties involved in a report, sends letters to students wishing to close the report, formally turns a report into a case by submitting it to the Title IX Investigators, to conduct the trauma informed investigation, matches students with a Sexual Misconduct Awareness Resource Team (SMART) member and moves a case forward to the conduct process.

The Title IX team consists of the Coordinator, three deputies, three investigators and the student conduct officer, who meet every other week to review case updates.

The Title IX team reads Title IX manuals, training binders, information guides and media updates to al- ways be on point, about the intricacies of our work. The Coordinator and the Investigators meet weekly to review the progress of pending investigations. SMART team members are as- signed students involved in cases, to provide resources and another layer of support. We often have “talk it outs” for those times when we meet at a moment’s notice to talk through a situation, without names, to be sure we have considered every angle and avoided any bias or assumptions.

We are super excited about the training modules from our new Safe Colleges Learning Platform, focused on Title IX, the Clery Act and Violence Against Women Act. Every employee will have two hours of training by January 2018. That will include about 450 full time employees, 300 part time employees and over 1,020 student workers.

That is 3,540 hours of training! In addition, the Coordinator and Investigators have logged in over 100 hours of specialized training from the Association of Title IX Administrators, D. Stafford Associates and Transitions of PA. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has implemented a new requirement that all athletes are trained in Title IX. Group trainings are scheduled this semester with two completed already. We are learning and growing as we continue to stay on course with our efforts.

SU student talks stress at university

By Kelsey Rogers, Assistant Living & Arts Editor

College is currently dragging. I’m constantly being reminded that these will be the best four years of my life, since apparently everything goes downhill after this and I’ll be spending the rest of my life worrying about debt and mortgage and offspring covered in snot.

With that constant reminder, I try to soak in every moment that I can. When I’m away over break, I’m longing to be back on campus. I’m normally the first to brag about how amazing my school is, but lately I’ve been feeling like I’m chasing after a train that is way too fast for me and I don’t have the time to appreciate the little things that I should be enjoying.

This is where a person with common sense would take a step back and reflect on what is making them feel stressed and make the adjustments accordingly, but I’m dense so I decide to crank everything up five notches.

With that, my stress levels go up too. You can compensate stress by simply working harder, right?

This method normally isn’t very affective. Next thing you know, you’re doing laundry and a reading assignment at 4 a.m. and living off of mac and cheese.

However, when people ask about how I’m doing, I immediately start to list any kind of assignment or project I’m currently pursuing. It doesn’t cross my mind to mention the fact that I lack a consistent sleep pattern or that I can’t remember the last time I took a whole day devoted to myself. I’d rather bury myself in work and hope that everything works out accordingly than admit that I need to take a step back sometimes and do some self-care.

It’s okay to feel frustrated and it’s perfectly normal to feel overwhelmed with your workload because it’s bound to happen to every individual that pursues a degree. When you decide to shove your stress to the side, it will eat you alive and you’ll feel yourself crumbling like a nature valley bar.

Take those few moments that you have to yourself in the day and just relax. Don’t check emails or reorganize your planner. Breathe and tell yourself that you are capable of what you’re striving for. There’s a difference between drive and dread, and sometimes—all the time—I seem to draw the line between the two very hazily, and as a result I start to resent things that I once loved.

Even if you feel defeated, fake it until you make it, right? Eventually the ball will start rolling and things will end up better than you planned for. Papers will be completed and exams will be turned in and you will finally be able to take a deep sigh of relief. One week at a time is my mantra, and with six remaining in the semester, best of luck.

Chaplain’s Corner

By the Rev. Scott M. Kershner, University Chaplain

I write this days after the massacre of 58 people and the injury of over 500 by a shooter in Las Vegas.

The sheer scale of what happened in Las Vegas is terrifying, made more terrifying by the fact this person rained bullets on people from 32 stories above.

These events bring the now predictable public exchanges about gun control, with Democrats arguing that for legislation that would tighten gun availability, and Republicans rebuffing these initiatives as unwarranted and unnecessary.

But, no matter what one thinks about gun control, the sorrow and fear these events inspire is common to all. I, personally, am both a gun owner and a proponent of gun control. I believe the buying and selling of guns should be regulated to keep them, as much as possible, out of the hands of the wrong people.

I am also a pastor. Part of the work of a pastor is to speak with conviction on matters of conscience, not because being a pastor makes my opinions correct, but because earnest moral dialogue is essential for a healthy society. Whether we agree or disagree, we won’t get anywhere without the conversation.

I believe we need to start here. We have a gun problem. No amount on invoking the second amendment takes away that fact. Gun related deaths in the US far exceed that of any other developed country. More guns mean more gun deaths, by homicide, and even more commonly by suicide.

How can we address our gun problem together? Even more, how can we acknowledge, across the political divides, this very fact that we have a problem? How can we establish and work from, what some communication experts have called, a “pool of shared meaning”? What might that shared meaning be?

Can we agree that no one, no matter their stance on gun control, wants to see guns used to kill and injure innocent people? Shared meaning is essential if we are to find shared solutions.

Those on the political right frame the issue of guns in terms of individual liberty, and tend to see any restriction on gun ownership as a slippery slope to some sort of government tyranny. Those on the political left tend to frame the problem of gun violence in terms of public health, and see gun control measures as a means of reducing preventable, violent deaths.

Until we find way to arrive at a pool of shared meaning, and see one another as partners in solving a common problem, we will continue to be victims of a problem of our own making.

For better and for worse, we’re all in this together. All our blood runs red. Lord, have mercy.

Editor feature gives insight on rap today

By Liz Hammond, Digital Media Editor 


Looking back, the definition of a “rock star” changes. In the 60’s, it was The Beatles, Bob Dylan, and The Who. In the 70’s, it was Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles, and Led Zeppelin.

Fast-forward to today and the music industry is dominated by Lil Uzi Vert, Lil Yachty, and Post Malone. What do they all have in common? They got their start on SoundCloud.

SoundCloud itself is a massive entity that is home to an entire nation of rappers trying to “make it.” While there is a lot of amazing music to be found on the app, there is a lot that isn’t worth a listen.

Without the help of Chance the Rapper, SoundCloud would have gone down the drain. By early July of this year, the company fired 173 employees and only had enough money to sustain till the end of the year. But in the end, Chance saved us, like he always does.

Once an artist builds enough of a following on SoundCloud they shy away from it and start to branch out to Spotify and Apple Music, where they can be put on playlists that undoubtedly help make artists famous.

Looking at the top charts on Apple Music, there is no denying the influence that these rappers have. The number one song right now is “Rockstar” by Post Malone (feat. 21 Savage). This song has toppled streaming records since its release. Not only that, but A Boogie wit da Hoodie has four songs in the Top 10 right now and his album was just released last week.

But they aren’t the only ones who are dominating the charts.

Lil Uzi Vert and Lil Yachty are the face of SoundCloud rappers.

Yachty made it big when his song “One Night” was used in a viral comedy video. He then really stated his dominance with the iconic song, “Broccoli,” on which he partnered with D.R.A.M.

Lil Uzi was noticed for his rapping skills right away. When he released his mixtape, “Luv Is Rage,” everyone started to hop on the bandwagon. It got intense when another iconic song, “Bad and Boujee,” was released featuring Lil Uzi and Migos. His fame only grew when he debuted, “XO TOUR Llif3”.

Whether you think it’s lame or stupid that these people are making it big, it doesn’t change the fact that they changed the way music is shared and played. It took me a long time to be okay with this.

I idolize old rock idols like my stepdad did, but times are changing and we can either support it or sit and groan.

The way I see it, I’d rather sing along to Post Malone than think I’m too good for it. These artists are around to stay no matter how much hate you have for them. Welcome to the new generation, where SoundCloud rappers are the new rock stars.