By Emily Alkire
When Grace Li, a junior from China, and Joy Chen, a junior from Taiwan, were first-year students, an upperclassman international student invited them over for dumplings and hot pot, two meals that remind Chen of home. “Getting to eat and talk about the foods we eat overseas really helped with my homesickness,” Chen says. Whenever Li or Chen asked the upperclassman what money they could contribute to the meals, she refused payment and instead asked that Li and Chen continue to provide a hospitable place for future students. Chen says, “That experience is probably one of the biggest reasons why I joined the International Apartments.”
Located in the center of Wheaton’s Crescent apartment complex, the International Apartments are a community living space occupied by eight international and domestic students. According to their page on Wheaton’s website, the mission of the International Apartments is “to provide a space for fellowship where international students can gather together, receive encouragement and build meaningful relationships across cultures and with domestic students,” and it is clear that the students currently living there are committed to that mission.
By Emily Nordhausen
Sitting in Lower Beamer for any amount of time, one is presented with a fascinating cross-section of humanity. Students bolting through in pajamas for the 9:20 class they overslept, sipping coffee with professors or arguing over group projects present a wide array of personalities. But amid the antics of college youth a casual observer is certain to encounter the presence of individuals significantly younger than your average Wheaton student. Dragged along, stuffed animals in tow, because of sick days, half-days or sudden changes in plans, the children of faculty possess a unique perspective of the school, its students and of course, Professor Mom or Dad. They speak without filter and provide imaginative depictions of college life.
By Emily Alkire
It’s a brisk, fall morning when Averi Cumings settles onto her couch and hands me a venti vanilla latte. She’s just finished her 5 a.m. shift at the Downtown Wheaton Starbucks where she works as a barista. Cumings, a senior majoring in applied health science, is the executive vice president (EVP) of the Campus Sustainability Committee (CSC) on Student Government (SG) this year, a position that enables her to provide education, policy and programming toward sustainable efforts on campus, such as streamlining campus recycling and decreasing plastic straw usage. The role is fairly new, with this being only its second year as an elected SG position. When asked why she wanted the position, Cumings said, “Students at Wheaton don’t really know what sustainability is and they don’t know how to engage with it. I want to give students that opportunity should they choose to pursue it.”
The CSC was created as part of a new wave of conservation efforts happening at Wheaton. Junior Leilani Lu shared her excitement for numerous sustainability initiatives that have yet to take hold at Wheaton. One of those initiatives is a sustainability certificate. Lu said the certificate “will give students who are not environmental science majors the opportunity to engage [in sustainability efforts].” In order to complete the certificate, students would spend two months at the Wheaton College Science Station in the Black Hills and complete environment-based courses on campus. This would provide them with a solid foundation for understanding how to best care for the environment. Professor of Environmental Science Chris Keil said that “potential projects [at the science station] include sustainable forest management, solar energy, restoration of native species in station meadows and sustainable water management practices.” The proposal for the certificate was submitted to the administration last month and is awaiting approval.
Wheaton students weigh in on Halloween
By Hannah Pugh
Rather than going trick-or-treating or attending costume parties on Halloween, junior Anna Edwards and her family went to “Hallelujah parties” at their church growing up. “We weren’t allowed to dress up as anything scary,” she said. “We just had big blow-ups and candy.”
Edwards’ experience with Halloween is not uncommon at Wheaton. Christian approaches to the holiday often encourage families to celebrate fall festivities rather than engage with neighbors outside of their church community through trick-or-treating.
A HNGR dispatch from Senegal
By Hannah Sanders
Last spring, I sat in Dr. Milliner’s office to discuss my paper topic for his “Mary, Mother of God” seminar. After sharing mixed emotions regarding my upcoming HNGR internship in Senegal and placement with a Muslim host family, he shared with me deep wisdom from Thomas Merton:
“It is my belief that we should not be too sure of having found Christ in ourselves until we have found himself also in a part of humanity that is most remote from our own.”
In recent months, this quote has become poignant as I have encountered, been welcomed into and slowly become part of a society different from the one that sent me. Linguère, the small town in rural Senegal where I live, is far removed from any other place I’ve experienced. Of course, there are ostensible differences which have brought excitement and wonder, pain and exhaustion. For the first three months, I was the only person with white skin living in my town. I am the only Christian in my host home and one of very few in the community. I do not speak any of their languages well and am clearly a foreigner, which the kids playing on the street remind me too often.
By Melissa Schill
Junior Ben Waldee did not start making music in order to become famous. He and his two childhood friends, Jordan Rys and Noah DeVore, began playing together in their hometown of Erie, Pa. during high school. Although they began recording covers of songs by their favorite artists, like Why Don’t We, PRETTYMUCH, and Post Malone and “just messing around,” they soon progressed to writing and recording their own music. During sophomore year of high school, they decided to give their group a name and make the band official.
When asked to describe Three Guest’s music, Waldee laughed and answered, “I wouldn’t. That used to be my clever answer.” He then compared their music to Blackbear, a singer/songwriter whose wrote Justin Bieber’s “Boyfriend,” a song from 2012 that hit the Billboard Top 100. Rys described Three Guest’s music as alternative R&B with some elements of pop for the sake of larger audience appeal.
An inside look at the Tolkien Society’s creative writing group
By Hannah Pugh
When I arrive at my first WhInklings meeting, the Stupe table has an array of pineapple chunks, watermelon and carrot cake, and is adorned with pink flowers and a “Reserved” sign on a silver pedestal in the corner. “WhInklings” stands for the Wheaton Inklings, named in honor of the famous literary discussion group which included writers such as C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien and Hugo Dyson. Originally an extension of the Wheaton Tolkien Society, the group not only exists for its members to appreciate Tolkien’s work but to also experience his writing process hands-on.
By Jonathan Mullins
One of the beautifully terrifying parts of living alone abroad for six months is getting to know myself much more intimately than I could have imagined. In a cross-cultural, cross-lingual, cross-generational, cross-youname-it environment, I have more to process than I have ever had, and I am further than I have ever been from the communities who know me and speak my language. The truth is, there’s been a lot of soul-searching, a lot of opening up my heart and mind to see what’s inside. I’m constantly pondering why I react to my circumstances the way that I do and why I am the way that I am.
More often than not, I’m faced with my own overwhelming brokenness. Who am I that I should be included in the kingdom of God?
By Katy Coley, Associate Editor
A neon “open” sign lights up the unassuming storefront, located between an auto shop and a drugstore. In the midst of the steady stream of cars zooming along Roosevelt Road, Los Burritos Tapatios would be easy to miss, but for many Wheaton students, there is much more to be enjoyed at the restaurant than the “Tacos Tortillas Burritos” advertised in black-block letters above the door.
As soon as I stepped across the threshold, the smell of the steak and chorizo sizzling behind the service counter washed over me. It’s a small space with the wooden tables assembled in the front, but at 10 p.m. on a Thursday, there wasn’t much of a crowd. Tucked behind a heap of peppermints was a to-go cup stuffed with dollar bills. Glass bottles of Jarritos in every color lined the counter, directing my attention to the mountain of chip baskets under a heat lamp on the end. It was clear staff would be expecting many more customers before closing time at 2 a.m.
The highs and lows of first-generation students at Wheaton
By Grace Kenyon, Staff Writer and Jacob Hosier, Features Editor
Sporting Chacos, blue jeans and a Rend Collective crewneck, junior Bible and theology major Darby Stevens may look like a typical Wheaton student — in many ways, she is one. What is extraordinary about Stevens though, is that she is part of an increasing number of students on campus who identify as first-generation college students.
“First-gen students [can] look like anyone,” fellow first-generation student and Wheaton alumnus Christian Ganza (‘19) said. “It’s not just international, it’s not just students of color, it’s not even just poor white people, it can be wealthy students whose parents didn’t go to college and [the students] have to figure [college] out for themselves.”