Author Archives: Clare Lee ʼ16

The Head and the Heart: A Presentation of Rock Artists

The Head and the Heart Performing at the Kalamazoo State Theatre in Downtown Kalamazoo on May 28

By Trisha Dunham

Kalamazoo’s State Theatre hosted the folk-rock band The Head and The Heart on May 28. Indie-rock quintet Lucius opened the night. The concert was completely sold out and the entire front stage area and aisles were filled with spectators. There was an obvious excitement in the air, visible by the continuous clapping and shouting both before Lucius came on stage and during their performance.

Lucius walked onstage with a wood block and tambourine. The two female lead singers, Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig, wore identical half black half white outfits with short blonde bobs while the rest of the band, Peter Lalish, Dan Molad, and Andrew Burri wore all black suits.

During the bands interview with Sunday Times they explained their outfits, “[It] Is funny to us, because, 50 years ago, every act was hyperstylised. It wasn’t just about the music; all of it was connected, and people wanted it that way . . . For us, it all ties in: two voices as one, the fact that we write together and that we’re so close we finish each other’s sentences.”

Lucius started in Boston at the Berklee College of Music where lead singers Laessig and Wolfe met at school. The band’s debut album is titled Wildewoman and was released last October.

During the show the band played a variety of songs from their debut album Wildewoman and stopped to dedicate their song “Wildewoman” to, “all the women in the crowd.”

After Lucius finished, they welcomed The Head and the Heart. During the short transition period the audience was bursting with excitement. Several songs from the album were played over the loud speakers and the audience sang along eagerly anticipating the bands opening.

Unlike Lucius, the band did not wear coordinating attire. A majority of the members wore comfortable clothing—a mixture of T-shirts and button downs with no particular theme. Female vocalist and violinist, Charity Rose Thielen, distinctly wore all black with her blonde hair pulled back into a ponytail.

In an interview with Jerri Howell from Style Spotting Thielen said, “I would define my style as confident, classic, and eclectic. Confidence is the one piece from my wardrobe I won’t leave the house without.” And that, “My fashion is often inspired after a walk through an art museum.”

Kalamazoo College student Josefina Cibelli ‘16 attended the concert and said, “It’s hard to put into words what hearing The Head and The Heart live felt like. It was awesome being at the State Theater with amazing music and amazing friends.”

The band played a variety of songs from both of their albums, The Head and the Heart and Let’s Be Still. The crowd demanded an encore, and they got one. Vocalist Josiah Johnson came out and played a solo song, and then the entire band came out for another encore.

Anti-Federalists Hoist Gadsden Flag

The Anti-Federalists pay a visit to the twenty-first century to hoist the Gasden Flag on the campus' flagpole

By Colin Smith

A coalition of Anti-federalists hoisted up the Gadsden Flag on the Kalamazoo College flagpole two weeks ago. It read “Don’t Tread on Me,” and proudly displayed the iconic rattlesnake. These stalwart statesmen wax sealed a letter of grievances they sent via pigeon to the editor of The Index, voicing their opposition to the ratification of the United States Constitution. They signed their names as Brutus, Centinel, Federal Farmer, and Cato.

Cato, unlike the other Anti-Federalists, doesn’t keep his identity hidden. He reveals himself as George Clinton. But clearly he’s not the George Clinton who served as Vice President under both Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, because he died two hundred years ago. Rather, he’s the godfather of all things funk. Clinton said, “We’re standing for one nation under a groove.”

These veiled writers oppose a Constitution without a Bill of Rights, fearing a tyranny of the majority. A few specific qualms included: the emergence of a monarch through an

“Energetic Executive,” as proposed by Alexander Hamilton in Federalist No. 70, too much power taken away from the State governments, and a lack of a Bill of Rights.

Clinton summarized their stances when he said, “I wanna testify: power taken away from the States would be funked up. You gotta free your mind, and your ass will follow, dig?  Tear the roof off the sucker and give up that funk.”

Brutus said it was only over 230 years ago when the United States declared independence from Britain, and, “to ratify this Constitution would be to enforce monarchal rule that we just declared freedom from.” He also continued to cite recent “tyrannical” legislation, namely, the respective Alien and the Sedition Acts.

The other Anti-Federalists claimed the Federalist Party led by President John Adams handled the XYZ affair poorly—no, this is not to be confused with having one’s fly down. “But, keep in mind Adams also forget to double check his breeches’ buttons!” reminded Brutus.

In this letter to the editor, the four statesmen reminded the Articles of Confederation would have worked with just a bit more time. To gain voters—free white men who own at least $132 in property—they are printing off their works as The Anti-Federalist Papers and will be distributing them throughout campus this week.

OSI Introduces “White Girl Wednesday” Event

Can't Even: Wind Down Wednesdays will undergo a #TransformationTuesday to become White Girl Wednesdays. OSI recommends bringing your fave Starbucks fat-free latte and wearing yoga pants.

By Katie Schmitz

In the recent weeks, the Office of Student Involvement (OSI) has noticed a decreased attendance rate of their weekly Wind Down Wednesdays.

“Nobody comes anymore,” one representative from OSI stated. “No matter how many T-Shirts and tubes of paint we provide, nobody seems to want to spend their hump day unwinding with us.”

OSI has come up with a solution to solve this dilemma. The same representative announced, “Next year, Kalamazoo College will be replacing ‘Wind Down Wednesdays’ with ‘White Girl Wednesdays!’”

White Girl Wednesdays will be very similar to Wind Down Wednesdays, the one difference being that instead of various crafts, and student will be able to gather in Hicks and engage in various “white girl” activities.

“We’ve already started looking for someone who will provide yoga pants in bulk for a good price,” said OSI. “We also have a plethora of iron-on letters, so students can customize their butts with any word or phrase that they want.”

Instead of providing popcorn and soda to attending students, pita chips and different flavors of hummus will be available to sample, along with LaCroix flavored water. “We’re also working with Kalamazoo College Dining Services to try and perfectly replicate Panera’s Broccoli Cheddar Soup,’ said OSI. “Perhaps we could also offer pastries for an additional 99 cents. We tried to collaborate with Starbucks, but like most white girls ‘they just cannot’.”

Other activities will include expressing each other’s feelings in 140 characters or less, creating Cute Emergency or nostalgic 90s TV stickers and putting them on things, putting Instagram filters on famous photographs, and creating a safe space to discuss their favorite drinks on Starbuck’s secret menu.

OSI would like to stress that anyone and everyone is welcome to attend “White Girl Wednesdays,” regardless of gender or race.

“In addition to being a time for students to gather together and unwind, it will also be a form of cultural awareness,” OSI stated. “We’re really killing two birds with one stone. I think students will be absolutely thrilled.”

More information about White Girl Wednesdays can be found by searching the following hashtags on Twitter: #WhiteGirlWednesdays #white #girl #Wednesdays #WindDownWednesdays #wind #down #nofilter #OSI #O #S #I #humpday #hump #starbucks

K’s Next Class to be Most Diverse

By Viola Brown

Kalamazoo College’s class of 2018 hopes to be the most diverse in history with 32 percent of the incoming students identifying themselves as people of color.

The domestic ethnic breakdown of the class includes: 27 Asian Americans, 30 African Americans, one Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, 41 Latinos and 22 multiracial students. Eight percent of students will international students coming from 10 countries: China (eight), Georgia (one), India (two), Italy (one), Jamaica (three), South Korea (nine), Lebanon (one), Myanmar (one), Spain (one) and Vietnam (six). Domestically, the students represent 29 states.

“We won’t know how many will actually enroll until the day the students move in. So far we have 377 students who have said they are coming, but I know we’ll lose a few between now and September and maybe gain a few. I hope to matriculate around 360-ish students,” said Eric Staab, Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid

Even though the College didn’t meet its goal of 390 students, it’s still proud of the numbers because college admissions have been down all across the Midwest.

“We are very pleased with many aspects of this class. It is slightly shy of our goal of 390 students, however this was a very rough year for liberal arts colleges in the Midwest. Many others saw shortfalls far greater that of K’s, so it could have been a lot worse. The academic quality of this class is excellent, similar to previous years,” said Staab.

Since this class isn’t as large as the previous incoming class of 464 students, Admissions believes that it will not be a problem to accommodate this new class through registration, housing or the College’s social atmosphere. The diversity of this class comes when students are pushing for an Intercultural Center on campus.

Admissions is still unsure of the impact this current crop of students will have on K history, claiming every class leaves a unique legacy at K.

“Every year the group of new students coming has some impact on the current students, but that is not something I could know in advance as to how this year’s new cohort of students will impact the returning students,” said Staab.

Lamppost to Honor Memory of Emily Stillman

By Viola Brown

On June 5 at 4:00 p.m., a ceremony dedicated to Emily Stillman will take place to dedicate a lamppost in her honor. Stillman was a sophomore at K when she died from bacterial meningitis in 2013. Stillman’s family will be in attendance and everyone is advised to wear pink and/or purple, which were Stillman’s favorite colors.

“I am so elated the College is finally dedicating a tangible space for her on campus. Last year, my friends and I tried getting a bench outside of Trowbridge Residence Hall dedicated to her, but that never came to fruition,” said Skylar Young ’15, incoming Secretary of Communications for the 2014-2015 Student Commission and a good friend of Stillman.

After Stillman’s death, her family started the Stillman Foundation, which hopes to raise awareness about meningococcal disease and the vaccination of the different strains of meningitis, as well as organ donation. The foundation also actively works with Michigan Gift of Life.

Recently, the foundation made a historic accomplishment by busing people from the United States to Canada to get vaccinated against all strains of meningitis, especially the strain B that Stillman had, which isn’t covered in the US.

“Apart from making sure all of my family has been covered by meningitis vaccine…my greatest effort has been working with and raising awareness about Emily Stillman at Kalamazoo College,” Young said. “I was the liaison for the Michigan Gift of Life campus-wide challenge in which Kalamazoo competed against other colleges in Michigan to raise awareness about organ donation by getting people to sign up to become organ donators.”

Young reported that Kalamazoo College came in second for the challenge and that next year she is “absolutely determined to get first place.”

“I have been in consultation with Lisa Ailstock, Director of Health Services in raising awareness about meningitis,” Young said.

Skylar calls “Stills”, her nickname for Stillman, one of her best friends and someone that she genuinely clicked with instantly.

“We are so different and yet so similar. We lived in Crissey basement last year with Mindy, Bryan, and Jared, and it was so much fun,” Young said. “There are no adjectives that can describe her, no words that can express the beautiful human being she was inside or out. She always made me laugh, and made me feel better.”

“Emily has the biggest heart, the best laugh, and is the person I continue to turn to when I need guidance and perspective. She is all around me, and the people she touched throughout her life. Her death has affected me in both expected and unexpected ways,” Young concluded.

Database Trials Give Users Greater Access to Resources

By Kamal Kamalaldin

Kalamazoo College’s library subscribes to a myriad of databases such as JSTOR, PsycINFO, and ProQuest Research Library. Students, faculty, and staff have access to papers and journals that range all academic disciplines through these databases.

On top of its regular subscriptions, the library looks to bolster its database reach from time to time with database trials. These trials are offered by vendors for about a month, during which college-wide access to the respective database is allowed.

The library is always seeking feedback from students and faculty, and it uses this feedback to extend the offered databases accordingly. “For things we use as a trial, there are two voices we want to hear,” said Liz Smith, Reference and Instruction Librarian, “students and faculty.”

From faculty, the library wishes to receive feedback on whether the database contains information that their students will find helpful. As for students, the library looks for feedback on whether the students are finding what they need, and if the database’s structure and content are usable.

“Some [databases] are really hard to use, with the way they are organized,” said Smith, “and if students find something really difficult to use, we may not want to invest out money in it.”

While faculty feedback tends to be positive or informational, student feedback is mostly infrequent and negative, Smith mentioned. “I don’t think we get a lot of feedback from students, particularly on the database trails. We don’t always hear when people are happy; we always hear when people are sad. People email us when they think the library is noisy.”

Faculty offer more positive feedback and suggestions. Some faculty members suggest the trial of specific databases they believe will add value to the library’s index. Other faculty members point out that some databases on trial duplicate what the library already has access to, thereby helping the library reorient its budget to more effective uses.

Database trials will continue to be run for the coming years. The library runs 5-10 database trials a year. Trials are mostly implemented through the middle of the quarter, when students are apt to use them the most.

The library appreciates any feedback, especially from students and faculty via email or phone.

Student talent unveiled in the Cauldron’s 2014 edition

Untitled - By Allison Hammerly

Metropolis - Gabrielle Montesanti

Dreaming - Jessica Walters

The literary magazine showcases 50 pieces of creative writing and artwork

By Sarah Wallace

The magazine gives out two awards to deserving pieces each year: The Divine Crow Award and the Stephanie Vibbert Award. Senior Dorraine Duncan’s poem, entitled “You go a fariin go bruk out,” received both the Divine Crow Award, as well as the Stephanie Vibbert Award, a first in K history.

Editors-in-Chief Jane Huffman ’15 and David Landskroener ’14 structured the poems and artworks around a theme of trauma and transitioning, displayed by the loose ordering of the book by the seasons. The preface of “The Cauldron” leads its readers into their vision:

“This year’s book is full of self-reflective and fearless writing and art about times of trauma and transition, about things lost and things learned. The book examines the power and importance of both memory and prophecy, and often teeters in between the unforgiving spaces of both past and present. [The writers and artists’] sophisticated work reminds us that even in a desolate world, art has the power to deliver truth.”

Followed are excerpts from this year’s collection of student submitted artwork and poetry.

The Plague Doctor

David Landskroener


Dr. William Drake performed an autopsy in 1969 on Robert Rayford, an American teenager from Missouri who had the earliest confirmed case of HIV/AIDS in North America.


Sometimes in the cleanest chambers

speckles appear on white-cell floors.


Sometimes you prostitute yourself

to find the pleasure of outbreak.


Sometimes in New York and LA

the coffins are from Missouri.


Sometimes a third of Europe dies

and sometimes a third of queers die.


Sometimes the hopelessness of love

manifests itself as lesions.


One time a doctor stared ahead

a plague reflected in his eyes.




Last Spring

Madeline Weisner


This is what our days are like–

broken washer, backdoor unlocked,

windows open. Wind chimes. On Saturday

all four of us are asleep at noon, with

bedroom doors ajar.

Music plays.

Tonight we’ll drink, talk to strangers,

quarrel with friends.

We’ll try not to cry.

We’re content here together, but we won’t stay long.

At least we don’t work so hard that we

don’t have time to love each other;

we do.

Leaking cables causes power outage

Recent power outage on campus linked to leaking cables, awaiting repairs

By Kamal Kamalaldin

Outage: Students gather outisde of the Weimer K. Hicks Center on Tuesday evening following a power outage and subsequent fire alarm. According to Director of Dining Services James Chantanasombut, the alarm was set off by steam from the pizza oven.

Fixing the cables permanently will require an excavation and another power outage that would last until the new cables are in place.

If you were on Kalamazoo College’s campus at the end of eighth week, you might have experienced the power outage that struck students soon after midnight on Friday, May 23, 2014.

Although the outage was drastic, it affected only seven buildings. These included Olds Upton Hall and Markin Racquet Center, as well as Harmon, Hoben, Crissey, and Severn Resident Halls.

he outage lasted for over 24 hours, and was caused by a leak from one of the three main cables that feed the seven aforementioned buildings. Although only one of three cables was shorted, all three cables had to be disabled because some equipment inside each building requires power from all three cables, or else their motors would malfunction, reports Paul Manstrom of Facilities Management.

However, since some buildings had been equipped with backup generators, emergency lights within them were activated. Others, however, like Markin, Crissey, and Severn relied only on battery powered backup lights. Since the battery ran out by the end of the day, Facilities Management provided lanterns within staircases to illuminate steps and prevent accidents.

To try to fix the issue, FacMan changed the fuse, but the fuse burned again, twice, then thrice, after its installation. After further examination, FacMan determined that that problem was caused by a leak from one of the three main cables running through conduit.

In order to restore electricity, K had to replace the cables. However, since it does not have the equipment to carry out such procedures, a contractor was hired.

The contractor tried to pull the cables out of the conduit without avail. As digging down the street would elongate the power outage, an undesirable option by students and faculty, the contractor decided to run three new cables through another route. The route runs aboveground from a manhole in front of Mandelle to another manhole in the driveway next to Olds Upton. Full of warning signs, the path the cables take is now restricted, with the driveway being closed to protect the cables.

Even though it was only a one-day job, the repairs were highly expensive. The contractor employed up to eight workers and many trucks and equipment, raising the costs to more than an estimated $100,000.

The leaking cable has been in the ground since Harmon was build, 55 years ago. Although there are different ways to test the cables underground, maintaining them is nearly impossible.

Fixing the cables permanently will require an excavation and another power outage that would last until the new cables are in place. FacMan plans to postpone this procedure until the summer, when there is not as high of a demand for electricity.

Men’s Tennis Says Goodbye to Senior Members

By Daniel Herrick

That is all: Skippy Faber ''14 and Michael Korn ''14 competing in their final season at Kalamazoo College. Both members are seniors.

After defeating Grove City 5-0 in the first round of NCAA regional play last Friday, the Men’s Tennis team fell 5-0 to Case Western Reserve in the second round on Saturday.

The Spartans proved their number two regional ranking and number nine national ranking as they handled the Hornets with little issue. After winning all three double’s matches, Case received wins at number’s one and three singles to complete the 5-0 sweep.

The defeat marked the end of the season for the Men’s Tennis team and the end of a career for three seniors: Peter Rothstein, Mike Korn, and Skippy Faber. Korn and Faber were both four-year players at K, while Rothstein transferred into K for his sophomore season from Johns Hopkins. Whether they played three years or four, all of the seniors felt blessed to be a part of this team and this program.

“It’s a great feeling to know that I contributed four years to our history,” said Korn. “I hope that I was able to not only have an influence on these last four years, but also on the future players going forward as well.”

“It’s special being part of something that means so much to so many different generations,” said Rothstein. “It mean’s a lot because it is bigger than just one year’s team, it means something to 76 years of teams. Each year I was playing for the hundreds of men that have played at K.”

Being a part of the legacy is something that these three won’t soon forget. It occupied a special place for all three during their time at K and they would be quick to recommend their program to future generations of players.

“I would advise any recruit to give K a long look,” said Faber. “It’s a winning atmosphere where a chance to play in the NCAA tournament is but guaranteed every year.”

“If you’re an in-state player, unless you’re a superstar, like D-I level,” said Korn. “K is the school for you. I don’t know why you would look anywhere else.”

History and resources are of course factors that speak well for K, but the players feel that Coach Riley should absolutely be mentioned as one of the main reasons for attending K.

“He’s a very experienced coach, but he’s more than a coach,” said Korn. “He treats you not just as a player, but as a person. He’s very interested in your development both on and off the court.”

“He brings out the best in players and makes the entire experience of playing college tennis much more enjoyable,” said Faber. “Which is a lot more than what can be said for other programs.”

Rothstein had the unique opportunity to play for two college tennis programs and provides a unique perspective on the K program because of it.

“At Hopkins, there was no winning tradition. After graduation, it was the end of Hopkins tennis,” said Rothstein. “At K, you are in the family for life.”

Baseball Team Falls in First-Ever MIAA Tournament Slot

By Spencer MacDonald

The Kalamazoo College Baseball team was defeated in the program’s first ever MIAA playoff appearance, falling to Adrian College 17-1 last Wednesday and then 10-3 in the elimination game against Hope on Thursday.

First year Nate Donovan scored the only run in the first game against the Bulldogs as his fellow classmate Mario Ferrini drove him in.  Sophomore pitcher Dylan Pierce, who held Adrian to one run over six innings in his last outing against them, struggled early on and allowed the Bulldogs to jump out to an early 7-0 lead.

In the second game, Marc Zughaib led the charge in his final appearance in orange and black, going 2-4 on the day.  Juniors Carter Chandler and Joey Aliota both knocked in an RBI a piece in the loss.  The Hornets were outmatched in both contests despite beating Hope three out of four games in the regular season and playing a number of close games against Adrian.

“I think we let the moment get a little too big for us,” said junior pitcher Adam McDowell.  “We’ve proven we can hang with these teams but we just psyched ourselves out a little bit.  Hopefully when we get back there next year we’ll be able to compete a little bit more.”

The program has seen a drastic turnaround since the appointment of a full time head coach in Mike Ott, who was hired for the 2013 season.  The Hornets finished 15-13 in conference play, which is the first winning season since 1990.  They also made the postseason for the first time in school history despite fielding a roster filled with youth.  The change to a winning culture is trending among many of Kalamazoo College’s athletic teams, but nowhere has the shift been as dramatic as this baseball season.

“It was a big step forward for the program,” said junior first baseman Carter Chandler.  “This means a lot to the school and the athletic department as they’re trying to change the culture around here. I definitely feel like we’ve helped with that.”

The Hornets will enter next season with everybody returning except their captain and starting second baseman Marc Zughaib. Zughaib received All-MIAA second team honors for the second time in his career this season and was pivotal to the team’s success.

Even with the loss of a great player and leader, the outlook is still very optimistic for the 2015 season.  Outfielder Scott Devine returns for his senior season after garnishing all conference honors as will freshman Mitch VanKoevering.  Fellow freshman Ian Kobernick will play a large role for the Hornets next year after batting .377 in his first season, which was good for first on the team. Adam McDowell will head the pitching staff once again for his senior season.

“This season we showed not just everybody else, but ourselves too, that we can compete in this league,” said McDowell.  “With the most players returning out of any team in the conference, I think the expectation is to not only make the conference tournament but to win it as well.”