Discipline and Devotion

Daily prayer services inspire students during the Lenten season

By Grace Kenyon

Unbeknownst to many passersby, students and faculty have faithfully gathered for prayer and liturgical worship in Adams Hall throughout the Lent season. At 8:30 a.m. or 4:30 p.m. art professor Matthew Milliner can be found in small upper room of Adams encouraging participants to observe the period of fasting and mourning during the 40 days before Easter.

Lent is a time in the church calendar often set aside for discipline and solemn reflection. Milliner has hosted these meetings on campus for the past six years as part of his personal desire to participate in the historic practice and to engage campus in dedicated communal prayer. An expert in visual theology, he has aptly chosen a space filled with traditional religious art, providing an opportunity for attendees to focus before their day begins, or to reflect after a day of work.

Freshman Emma Sawyer, who has been attending these services throughout Lent, described them as a “mental reset before the day begins.” It is completely non-obligatory and open to anyone within or outside the Wheaton community. Sawyer says the prayer services create  a “shared sense of peace” as they begin their day with prayer.

Senior participant Jerusha Crone described the service’s start as “a ringing of a bell and a time of silence, a time to center ourselves in the space with the bodies around us in front of the icons. We then delve into a whirlwind of words: Old Testament, Psalm and New Testament readings, either Mary or Zechariah’s song depending on the time of day and a time of communal confession and intercessory prayer.”

Whether spoken aloud or whispered in the silence of the heart, these prayers constitute a rhythm of discipline and devotion that are part of classical Anglican Lenten practices. The Record spoke to Milliner to hear the story behind the service and how it became a part of the fabric of Lent on Wheaton’s campus.

Daily practices of liturgical prayer, especially during Lent,  are commonly associated with the Anglican tradition, but for Milliner the practice has a unique origin. After Milliner received a B.A. from Wheaton College in Art History, he moved to Pennsylvania to work in youth ministry. “When I was a youth pastor at a Presbyterian church in Pennsylvania,” he said, “there was an old hermit — that’s almost the word I would use to describe him. He had a Ph.D. from Princeton Seminary in New Testament. He was probably 65, 70, not in really good health, but he just took up shop in our church and said ‘I’d like to have morning and evening prayer here.’”

Milliner started attending prayer times led by this unlikely acquaintance, a man of deep intelligence who worked at a convenience store. Milliner said, “I learned from him this half hour rhythm [of prayer] … and it became a part of my day, just getting fused with scripture.”

When Milliner left Pennsylvania to attend Princeton Theological Seminary, he momentarily gave up the ritual, but when he heard that the praying Pennsylvania hermit had died, he felt compelled to find another way to reintegrate this practice into his life. Years later, after graduating from Princeton with an M. Div, M.A. and Ph.D. and returning to Wheaton as a faculty member, Milliner decided that he would “start offering [Lenten prayer] and see what happens.”

The service hasn’t always been well publicized, and it doesn’t always attract a lot of attendees, but it survives. Milliner asserted that “it has been obvious that God wants this happening, and I know that we throw around language like that, but I can be really specific.” He went on to provide a few examples of how God has provided the means and motivation to continue holding these prayer times.

A year ago, on Ash Wednesday, he decided that he wasn’t going to keep hosting the services. “I decided I wasn’t going to do it because I’m just tired and I don’t need another hour on my day … I’ve done this for a while and it’s just time to not do it.” That, he said, was when God intervened. He received a letter from a Wheaton alumna currently living in Munich, Germany. The student beautifully expressed how much she valued his Lenten prayer services when she attended Wheaton, saying they were a wonderful reminder of grace in her daily life. He knew at that moment that the prayer services needed to continue. He said, “It was one of the most dramatic interventions I’ve ever had in my life.”

Another way Milliner has seen God’s hand is in the consistent attendance at the prayer services. He jokingly called the fellowship during  services “the Lenten miracle.”

“I’ve never been alone,” he told the Record, “there was one time, it was 4:30 p.m. on Friday and it was only me [for the first time in Wheaton Lenten history].” Fifteen minutes passed, and he thought no one was coming, but that’s when “a studio associate here who cares for this building and puts on all the shows … he walks by and says, ‘Oh, I’ll come pray with you.’” So the services have continued, drawing in a diverse mix of people from liturgical and non-liturgical traditions alike.

Sawyer and Crone, who represent a sliver of the diverse range of liturgical backgrounds that make up the Wheaton student body, both talked about how attending a regular prayer time has helped them grow in their faith.

Sawyer recounted her own journey to observing the liturgy. “I did not grow up observing Lent. I don’t think I’d ever heard of it until, when I was twelve, I moved to the Netherlands and I went to an Anglican church. And there, it’s kind of ingrained into European culture, but it’s more the party aspect of it, like a Carnival or Mardi Gras kind of thing.” In high school, she moved back to the US and started processing what the Bible says about fasting and other similar practices. Ultimately, she realized that Lent is “a time of mourning and makes Easter more significant.”

Sawyer said that having a specific time and place set aside for prayer was helpful in her devotional life, especially in learning how to pray for others. “There’s a time in the middle [of the service] where Dr. Milliner would say to pray quietly or aloud for different people and you could just say their names.” Sawyer explained,  “When I say I’m going to pray for someone, I want to pray for them.” These prayer times give her the space to do so.

Crone had some profound insight to offer about the role of Lent in her own spiritual journey. She is now Anglican, although she grew up in a Southern Baptist church. She wrote, “I think there is something powerful about rhythms and seasons in our lives that allows us to experience the full range of human emotions and experiences, and the church calendar provides us with an ordering of some rhythms that we get to enter into with our Christian community, living and dead, past, present, and future, and all around the world. It’s a chance to say, I’m having this experience of God but it’s not all about me.”

This theme of community runs deep in the tradition of Lenten prayer. Milliner made it very clear that the prayer service “isn’t meant to replace daily devotions … it is a public form of [prayer]. [Jesus] councils both, and they’re not mutually exclusive.” He went on to say that he reminds himself daily that the services are not “your little project; this is part of what it means to be the church.”

Milliner also incorporates his love of art into the services. Church icons are used as a means of further reflection and meditation.. He explained a little about the origin of these images. “These are from all male monasteries … that women couldn’t even step foot in if they wanted to.” The icons, in replica form, now take up residence on the third floor of Adams, and can be seen be anyone. Milliner hopes people see them as an “exchange of gifts across church traditions.”

In a similar way, the words used in the liturgical rhythm of the prayers and scripture are taken from a long and rich tradition that spans church history. The language is beautiful and poetic, but sometimes not gender-inclusive. Milliner decided to use the gender-inclusive NRSV for the scripture readings. However, not wanting to compromise the artistry of the original language, Milliner decided to continue using the older version of the prayers. “There’s only a couple of moments where men are referred to to signify all humanity, and we’re all adults and we can make the adjustment,” he said.

The icons, like the prayers and the words of scripture, are gifts shared between all Christians across time and space, and Milliner hopes they help participants connect to the larger body of Christ.

As the interview drew to a close, Milliner had one more message he wanted to emphasize. He acknowledged that sometimes the practice of prayer can become a burden when we make each other feel ashamed for not doing it enough. “This is not intended to make you feel guilty,” he insisted. Instead, he urged the rest of campus to “Be encouraged that prayers are rising up from Adams Hall … when we kneel and sit to repent, we’re doing this on behalf of the campus and on behalf of the church.”

The conclusion of winter sports

By Maggie Franke

In the past few weeks, Wheaton athletes have finished their winter seasons with stellar performances at nationals and other competitions on and off campus. Here is a brief summary of what you missed:

  1. For the first time since 1960, the Wheaton Men’s Basketball team made it to the Final Four of the NCAA DIII Men’s Basketball National Championship Tournament. This historic victory added onto an incredible year for the Thunder men’s basketball team even though they ended up losing in the semi-final to UW-Oshkosh 104-85.
  2. Senior Aston Francis was named the DIII Men’s Basketball player of the year by D3News and D3hoops.com. Francis also won the Jostens trophy, an award that’s been honoring DIII athletes since 1998. Francis is the first Wheaton athlete to win the award. Francis scored a DIII-record of 1,096 points this season and a school-record of 388 career three-pointers during his career.
  3. Junior Hannah Frazier was named first-team All-American by D3hoops.com and the WCBA, and second-team All-American by D3news. Frazier scored 559 points, breaking the Wheaton record she set last year.
  4. Favor Ezewuzie earned All-American honors at the NCAA DIII Women’s Indoor Track & Field Championships. Ezewuzie finished second in the 60-meter hurdles after running a time of 8.69 seconds and seventh in the 60-meter dash after running a time of 7.77 seconds.
  5. Sophomore Hannah Roeske earned All-American honors at the championships. Roeske finished sixth place overall in the one-mile run with a time of 4:54.78.
  6. Leif van Grinsven finished third overall, earning All-American honors, in the heptathlon at the championships. Van Grinsven, who was also named an All- American, finished with 843 total points at the end of the multi-event scoring.
  7. Natasha Brown competed in the championships as well, but ran to an 11th place finish in the 200-meter dash, one place out of the final, with a time of 25.37 seconds.
  8. Junior Grant Miller competed in the 2019 NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships in the 285-pound weight class on March 8. Miller lost his first round match and completed his competition in the tournament after another loss in the consolation bracket. This was Miller’s first time qualifying for the national championships.
  9. Senior Brooke Barnes won an All-American title for the 50-yard and 100-yard freestyle events at the DIII Women’s Swimming and Diving National Championships in Greensboro, N.C. Barnes finished sixth overall in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 23.20 and fifth overall in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 50.54, both the second fastest times in each respective event in Wheaton Women’s Swimming history.
  10. Senior Chris Szymczak also wrapped up his historic four-year swimming career at the DIII Men’s Swimming and Diving National Championships. after qualifying for the meet in February. Szymczak swam the 200-yard freestyle and the 100-yard and 200-yard backstroke. His highest place finish was his 200-yard freestyle swim of 1:49.02, which put him at 20th place overall in the event.
  11. Sophomore Will Rinne swam the 200-yard freestyle, 200-yard individual medley (IM) and the 100-yard freestyle at the DIII Men’s Swimming and Diving National Championships in Greensboro N.C. While Rinne did not repeat his All-American honors from his freshman year, he finished 18th overall in the 200-yard IM.

Which sports are really spring sports?

By Maggie Franke

Over the past couple of weeks, there has been a lot of sports action for the Wheaton Thunder. Many athletes are just starting their competition season, but it can be confusing as to which sports seasons began and ended in the spring.

According to the NCAA, the sports that have championships in the fall season are cross country, field hockey, football, soccer and women’s volleyball. The winter sports are basketball, wrestling, ice hockey, swimming and diving, and indoor track and field. That means that baseball, golf, lacrosse, rowing, softball, outdoor track and field, tennis and men’s volleyball are spring sports.

Wheaton College does not have varsity men’s volleyball, rowing, field hockey, ice hockey or lacrosse teams. Wheaton does offer rowing, ice hockey, lacrosse and men’s soccer as club sports.

According to the CCIW, the fall sports that have championships in the fall season are cross country, soccer, women’s golf, women’s tennis and women’s volleyball. The winter championships are swimming and diving, basketball, indoor track and field and wrestling. The spring championships in the conference are for men’s golf, outdoor track and field, men’s tennis, softball, lacrosse and baseball.

That means that Wheaton College’s varsity baseball, softball, outdoor track and field and men’s golf teams all compete in the spring season. Spring sports can be hard to follow to completion because many of their seasons extend beyond the end of the school year.

However, there is plenty of action to be seen in each of these sports, all of which have already started competition.

The Wheaton Women’s Softball team split a doubleheader against Hope College Tuesday afternoon; they lost the first game 7-2 and won the second game 14-8. Their next game is this Saturday at Ruth Leedy Field at 1 p.m. against Millikin University. At the end of the 2018 spring season, Wheaton was 7-31 overall, but so far this season, the Thunder Softball team has lost 10 games and won six games already.

The Wheaton Men’s Baseball team hosted Illinois Wesleyan University Wednesday afternoon and won the game 8-5. Their next home game is a double-header on Tuesday, April 2 at 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. The men’s baseball team was 15-24 on the season last year. They are 11-3 on the season this year so far. Senior Evan Ogden was named CCIW Hitter of the Week on Tuesday.

The track and field teams wrapped up their indoor season, and now the outdoor season is underway. The Thunder competed in the WashU Mini Meet last weekend. The women’s team placed third overall, while the men’s team placed sixth. On March 30, the track and field teams will be competing in the Augustana College Viking Olympics, which will provide a preview of how the outdoor season will pan out for teams in the CCIW.

The Wheaton Men’s Golf team will be hosting the Wheaton Invitational at Cantigny Golf Course this weekend. It might be Wheaton golf fans’ only opportunity to attend a golf tournament so close to campus.

The Wheaton Men’s Tennis team has already competed in 11 matches this season of which they have won three. Their first match was on Feb. 8, and their next match will be in Wheaton against Illinois Wesleyan University on April 9 at a to-be-announced time.

The NCAA championships for women’s tennis and women’s golf are both in the spring, but their CCIW championship season is in the fall. Both of these teams have spring seasons which give them the opportunity to qualify for the national competition.

The Clean White Toms Behind “Dirty White Vans”

By Sophomore Jack Bennett’s unlikely path to Spotify popularity

By Piper Curda

With over 150,000 streams on Spotify and lyrics brimming with smooth confidence, one might expect the person behind songs like “In This Moment” and “Dirty White Vans” to have a somewhat dominating presence, commanding attention in the same way his music does. But sophomore Jack Bennett and he is anything but imposing.

Like his singing voice, Bennett’s speaks with a rhythmic lilt. He uses it quietly and sparingly. He is arguably one of the most well-known artists on Wheaton’s campus, but you would not guess it from the amiable way he presents himself and the humility with which he talks about himself and his music. Ironically, he also doesn’t wear Vans, and the white Toms he does have are relatively clean.

Bennett is the first to admit that his musical success was fairly accidental. He is a business economics major with no ties to the Conservatory. He plays on Wheaton’s men’s basketball team. “I don’t really have any musical background … I’ve never had any music lessons,” he admits, though his lack of formal training has never deterred him.

Bennett, who grew up in Wheaton, started teaching himself music production in sixth grade simply by listening to music “in detail, picking apart every sound in a song and then trying to replicate it.” He taught himself guitar and piano during his junior year of high school when, on the way home from church one day, his mom pointed out that he had a nice singing voice. As if being entirely self-taught was not impressive enough, Bennett also records, produces, mixes and masters all of his own music with equipment now occupies his dorm room. It is fair to say that Bennett’s journey has been anything but ordinary.

“I honestly didn’t think it would become what it has, as small as it is still,” Bennett told the Record. He describes the positive response he has received thus far as “exciting … fun, but nerve-wracking.” There’s a level of vulnerability that comes with releasing music. “Now, a lot more people have heard my music, so there’s more association of it with me.”

Even so, Bennett does not let the reception of his music carry much weight. “I don’t care if people don’t like my music,” he said. “If they like it and they want to share that they like it, then I appreciate that. I don’t want people to fake it.”

It is difficult to fake it with Bennett’s music given the deliberately honest approach he takes with his lyrics.“I want my music to be real to what I’m thinking and how I feel,” Bennett said, describing his writing process. He expressed his desire to remain authentic when creating. “I do it out of enjoyment and it’s not to satisfy what other people want to hear.”

Enjoyment might be the only rule that Bennett applies to his creative process. Given his nontraditional entrance to the music world, Bennett believes the best process is no process at all. He explained it as something that “just kind of happens” and that often even he is not sure what the final product will end up being.

As a result of his stylized yet scattered method, even going about describing his own sound proves slightly challenging for Bennett. He dubs it “a combination of rap, pop and indie-electronica,” the last of which is heavily inspired by Jeremy Zucker, Bennet’s favorite artist. He also said it’s “a little bit of alternative.” In the end, Bennett admitted, “it’s all over the place, to be honest.” But he (and his listeners) seem to be just fine with that. “I literally just create what I want to. I’ll get on a certain trend for a couple months and then completely switch,” Bennett told the Record. Yet while he does not count on or expect any particular reaction from people that hear his music, he is certain of what he would like people to experience.

Above all, Bennett wants people to feel “connected” and understood. All of Bennett’s lyrics are inspired by his own experiences and relationships, but he intentionally keeps them open-ended in an attempt to cultivate universality. With this approach, he hopes to “put into words some emotions that [listeners] might not understand how to put into words [for themselves].” But once again, Bennett wants to avoid putting himself or anyone else in a box, saying, “I’ve always wanted people to just connect with it in some way, whatever way that is.”

Bennet’s inclination toward ambiguity is enhanced by his wish to create a musical experience that can be enjoyed by all, not just Christians. “A lot of people that would listen to my music that don’t know me wouldn’t know that I’m a Christian,” Bennett told the Record, explaining that this was, and has been, a conscious decision in order to reach both Christians and non-Christians as well as an effort to avoid ostracizing either population.

About the intersection of his music and his faith, Bennett expressed an authentic ambivalence. “I don’t really know how I want to approach it yet,” he said. Nonetheless, this willingness to embrace the unknown puts Bennet’s listeners at ease. To anyone looking to do what he has done, Bennet says, “Don’t force it. Don’t try too hard.” He speaks in earnest, but makes it clear that he does not think of himself as the prototype of a successful musician. “Have fun and don’t think you’re gonna blow up,” he said, adding, “I’m tiny. That’s fun, and that’s where I wanna be.”

While his streaming statistics and on-campus popularity may communicate otherwise, it is obvious that those are not the reasons Bennett does what he does. When asked if he plans to pursue music post-graduation, he shrugged and confessed that he did not really have any set plans for the future except one: “I do it because I love it … I’ll stop making music when I stop loving it.”  

Parents of Ethan Roser sue NCAA

Lawsuit claims NCAA negligence caused student’s death

By Bethany Peterson

The parents of late Wheaton College student Ethan Roser, who was killed in 2017 after being struck in the head by a hammer thrown off course during a Wheaton track and field event, have filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

The Associated Press reported Tuesday that Roser’s parents allege the NCAA was negligent in their safety requirements for the hammer throwing event. Specifically, the NCAA is accused of failing to require minimum sizes for safety cages around the hammer throwing area and failing to require colleges to have trained officials at track and field events.

Roser was a freshman at Wheaton at the time of his death, having recently transferred to the college, and was a member of the Wheaton Men’s Soccer team. He was volunteering at the track and field event at Lawson Field when he was fatally hit. Roser was raced from the scene by emergency responders to Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove where he was pronounced dead shortly after his arrival.

A subsequent investigation by Wheaton police reported that Roser was standing 30 feet outside the landing zone for the event, which involves throwing a 9-16 pound metal ball attached to a handle by a wire. They also concluded that Roser and two other volunteers may not have been paying full attention to the event when the accident occured.

Director of Media Relations LaTonya Taylor said that while the college is aware of the lawsuit, it is not a party to the legal case. Wheaton, Taylor said, is committed to honoring Roser’s legacy on campus through the Ethan Roser Memorial Scholarship.

In October 2018, Wheaton College and the Roser family jointly announced the establishment of the endowed scholarship in memory of Roser, identifying him as a student “known for his love for God and for others, his commitment to evangelism and his ministry service with Young Life.”

The scholarship went into effect this semester. According to Director of Student Financial Services Karen Belling, an amount of $1,509 was awarded to two spring transfer students.

Wheaton establishes new chair of world religions

By Melissa Schill

To better equip students to engage with the world’s diverse array of religions, Wheaton College has established an Endowed Chair of World Religions. Funded by the gift of an anonymous donor, the position will be housed in the Bible and Theology department.

“The funding of this chair will allow us to bring in an internationally known scholar into this position, which will allow Wheaton to be at the forefront of the conversation of understanding world religions, and especially from our position of an evangelical understanding,” Provost Margaret Diddams said.

Once the position is filled, Biblical and Theological Studies majors will be required to take two to four credit hours in either world religions or archaeology. Other majors will also have the opportunity to take classes in world religions.

“We offer electives now in world religions … but I think the fact that now we have someone dedicated to world religions is going to mean that we can offer more of those courses and make them a higher profile for our students,” Dean of Biblical and Theological Studies David Capes said. “As Wheaton students think about the world they’re stepping into, where all these religions are present, they need to have some sort of working intelligent knowledge of them.”

Wheaton once offered a major in world religions. Anthropology professor Brian Howell, who began teaching at Wheaton in 2001 when the program was offered, said it was a difficult program to support in isolation. “I’m very hopeful that this time we can be more intentional about supporting [the study of world religion] from places like anthropology so that there is more of a well coordinated support [system],” Howell said.

Regardless of whether a student’s major directly corresponds to world religion studies or not, Capes and Howell agree that understanding religious traditions around the globe is pertinent for every student in our day and age.

“The world is more integrated than ever,” Howell said. “Being able to speak well with people of different theological backgrounds but also having the intercultural competence to understand how religion and culture are intersecting is going to be very important for Wheaton students and for everybody as they live in this increasingly complex world.”

Sophomore Anna Cole pursues her interest in religiosity through participation in the informal campus group, Benedictine-Wheaton Interfaith Conversations. A group of students meets with Muslim students from Benedictine University to “build friendships, learn about each others’ faiths and practice authentic Christian witness,” according to Cole.

“Jesus very clearly calls us to love our neighbor,” Cole said in an email exchange with the Record. “This is very difficult to do if we don’t know anything about our neighbor.”

A committee will be formed later this spring and the official search for candidates will begin in the fall of 2019 for the new endowed chair. According to Capes, the committee is looking for a candidate well known in the field of world religions studies who has made contributions to publications and can represent other religions fairly. Capes hopes to have the position filled by fall of 2020.

“We’re looking for a scholar for whom [world religions] is their interest, but for whom their own faith commitment — evangelical protestant commitment — is deeply held,” Diddams said. “That will make this position unique compared to where you see this at other institutions.”

WheatonGives raises $238,578 in one day

By Micah McIntyre

Loud music and friendly competition set the mood as faculty, students and even the Chick-fil-a cow crowded into Lower Beamer last Wednesday afternoon. Blue and orange decorations covered the walls and playful banter between faculty coaches filled the air as student volunteers shouted over the commotion to get the attention of their classmates and bring in donations for Wheaton’s first annual giving day.

WheatonGives 2019 is described on its website as “Wheaton College’s first annual 24-hour giving campaign designed to empower you and other like-minded Wheaton alumni, faculty, staff, parents and friends in supporting transformational Christian higher education.”

On March 21, the WheatonGives website opened for donations from any current students and alumni, with booths set up in Lower Beamer for students to donate in the name of their class. Student volunteers from various groups across campus, such as dekes and phonathon employees, manned the booths throughout the day.

In the end, the class of ‘21 hast the most donors at 134 followed by a close second with the class of ‘19 with 132 donors. The class of ‘22 finished third and the class of ‘20 rounded out the top four. Collectively, WheatonGives 2019 recruited 1,179 donors from 67 different classes of Wheaton and raised a total $238,578 to the Wheaton Fund.

Sophomore deke Collin Kavanaugh enjoyed his experience listening to the live music, all while raising money for what he believes is a worthy cause.

“WheatonGives is a way to directly support organizations we love on campus,” said Kavanaugh. “You were able to specifically request what you wanted your money to go to — whether that be Crew, Improv, A Rocha, or any other club — so you were benefiting your peers and (truthfully) yourself with whatever you donated.”

To energize the campaign and engage students and alumni, prizes were awarded to the class — past or present  — with the most donors. T-shirts were handed out to students who donated to the booths in Lower Beamer and those who shared the donation page on social media were entered into a raffle. In addition to prizes, a number of events were held that afternoon, featuring performances from Gospel Choir and Jazz Band as well as a trivia contest between the faculty coaches for each class.

“We are trying to put giving to Wheaton in a positive, exciting, stewardship kind of a context and get people excited about contributing to a Wheaton education for all of our students,” said Vice President for Advancement, Vocation and Alumni Engagement Kirk Farney.

While the event aimed to raise funds for this year’s budget, members of the administration explained that they hoped Giving Day would also help establish a giving culture in the Wheaton community, as well as show that current students can help support their classmates and the organizations they care about on campus.

“I think what’s important is the opportunity afforded to a student to know that they are a part of growing Wheaton,” said Associate Director of the Office of Multicultural Development and one of the coaches for the class of ‘20 Billye Kee. “Whatever the organization is that you have really benefited from, you can give your money [to that] organization.”

All proceeds from Giving Day and WheatonGives 2019 go directly to organizations and scholarships supported by the Wheaton Fund. Some of these groups include the Discipleship Ministry, Men’s Glee Club, International Justice Mission and Wheaton Women’s and Men’s Swim teams. All donors were allowed to choose the organization they would like their money to support.

One of the things that made this particular fundraiser unique was the participation of current students in making donations. Many students participated and donated money, however, others were not opposed to donating, they simply did not feel the situation warranted a donation.

“I can’t say I really felt compelled to give,” said sophomore Chris Baer. “Especially [with the donations] online — it feels much less personal and there is not much of a draw because of that.”

Others consciously chose not to donate — they were unhappy that the college asked for money from students who are already paying for tuition and did not approve of the way that Giving Day was conducted.

“My issue was that [Wheaton] made it seem like a time for the community to grow closer together and fellowship,” said freshman Luke Rutt. “To me, it came across as greedy more than anything.”

The administration understands that some students may not feel that they should donate money since they are already paying tuition. However, they say that the money will be used for things beyond what tuition covers.

“The cost of providing a Wheaton education is not entirely covered by your tuition,” said Farney. “Tuition pays part of that expense and we realize that tuition at any school is an expensive thing … but a Wheaton education is not covered by tuition even if you are a full-paid student.”

Farney went on to explain that the proceeds from Giving Day and the rest of the endowments in the Wheaton Fund go directly to the yearly operating budget, meaning that the donations of current students directly support the education of their peers.

“There are a lot of students at this institution who benefit significantly from the Wheaton Fund,” Director of the Center for Vocation and Career and one of the coaches for the Sophomore class, Dee Pierce told the Record. “How awesome [is it] for those students to say thank you with a dollar donation and how awesome for students who are blessed enough to pay full-pay to know that they are having an impact on their fellow classmates.”

Fifth and final player in hazing case charged with misdemeanor

By Tori Dobleske

On Friday, March 22, the open criminal case against Benjamin Pettway, the final of the five Wheaton College football players involved in the hazing case of Charles Nagy, was closed. The sentencing documents indicate that, per a plea agreement, the state dismissed all pending felony charges and Pettway entered a rare “Alford plea” to the Class C misdemeanor of disorderly conduct.

An Alford Plea is a rarely-used type of plea in which the defendant pleads “guilty” to the charges but does not admit guilt. In entering an Alford plea, a defendant acknowledges that the prosecution has enough evidence to lead to a conviction, but retains their stance that they are not guilty of the charged crime. By doing so, Pettway continued to assert his innocence to even the disorderly conduct charge for which he was found guilty.  The final sentencing order notes the state’s objection to the characterization of Pettway’s plea as an Alford plea, but the judge found a “factual basis” for the plea and sentenced Pettway accordingly.

Judge Brian Telander formally sentenced Pettway to 50 hours of community service, which the judge acknowledged Pettway had already served at Wheaton College, and one month of court supervision for the Class C misdemeanor. According to the Daily Herald, the judge deemed Pettway the “least culpable” out of the five originally charged football players and stated Pettway’s charges amount legally to little more than a traffic ticket.  The judge indicated that the case would be closed upon payment of court costs and fees.

Wheaton College, which was also named in a civil suit along with Pettway and other individual defendants, has since settled with Nagy. In response to the suit by Nagy for $50,000 for injuries he claimed to have sustained during the incident, Pettway has filed a countersuit according to the Daily Herald. A hearing on Nagy’s motion to dismiss the counterclaims is scheduled to take place on May 15. Wheaton Athletics staff and Administration declined to comment further.

Halfway there

Highlights from last quad and upcoming Spring break adventures

By Grace Kenyon

Peter Jacobs (Junior)

“We’re road tripping a total of 46 hours in a car out to Utah, going to Zion National Park, Arches National Park and then ending with some skiing in Colorado.”

Katie Gillaspie (Junior)

“We’re going down to my roommate’s house in Tallahassee, Fla., just a bunch of us who have all been friends since freshman year. We wanted to go do something together and Florida’s nice.” (Katie will be traveling with Caleb Penney, Jacob Rhoda and Tristan Hoppe.)

Zoe Douthit (Sophomore)

“I’m going on tour with the Wheaton College Symphony Orchestra in DC, Maryland and North Carolina. I’m really excited for this experience because we get to perform old rep and new rep from the last two semesters, and we get to share it with high schools, churches and other organizations. I’m really looking forward to growing as a musician in this next week and a half.”

Noah Olsen (Sophomore)

“Well, honestly this past weekend was one of my highlights [from A-quad] Going to Michigan and planning to come back at one o’clock in the morning turned out to be quite a ride. Losing both tires on the right side of the car and being out there until four-ish in the morning on the highway until the tow truck came was very eye opening. I’m not quite in control of my life — and I’m okay with that. Thank God for that and thank God for the safety. And the only downside is being tired.”

Hannah Sanders (Junior)

“One of the highlights of A-quad was going on the HNGR retreat with all of the outgoing HNGR interns. I really enjoyed\ getting to go inner-tubing in the snow and playing broomball and getting to share community with the other interns around the fire.”

Noa Nakao (Junior)

“The softball team goes down to Florida every year to play 10 games against teams from around the country. This trip is the start of our official season and while the schedule is packed, it serves as great bonding time for our team as we get to spend time together and hear devotionals from one another. As a student manager, I help the coach prepare paperwork for games and keep stats in a physical ‘book’ as well as on an iPad.”

Meredith Eades (Junior)

“My highlight from A-quad was having the opportunity to meet and sing with The King’s Singers! Their impeccable musicianship was inspiring and their warm personalities made for a truly exceptional day of rehearsing and performing.”

Brian Walker (Senior)

“Me and some of my best friends are all going to Mexico for spring break! We’ve usually gone as the same group to Florida, but we wanted to do something a little extra for our last spring break!”

Campus groups plan for Spring Break trips

By Melissa Schill

Several Wheaton-sponsored organizations, including Honduras Project, BreakAway Ministry and the Wheaton College Symphony Orchestra, will be traveling to work on projects over spring break from March 9-17.

A group of 27 students will travel to El Barro and Cooperativa Seales in Honduras with Honduras Project (HP). This branch of the Office of Multicultural Development sends a group out each year to install a gravity-fed water system and lead Bible studies.

Each Saturday from the beginning of the school year through fall break, HP students participate in service projects such as raking leaves and mowing lawns around the Wheaton community. All donations from these workdays go toward funding the water system. Once enough money is raised, the community in Honduras begins the installation process. During spring break, the HP team help finish installing the water system.

“It’s all about the relationships,” freshman HP team member Mark Pupkiewicz said. “We’re going down there to encourage them and put a face to who is helping them out in the U.S.” Pupkiewicz continued, “We’re not taking any phones with us and we’re not bringing any homework, so basically all our time down there is focused on the relationships we’re building.”

In preparation, the team has weekly small group meetings to build deeper relationships with each other. The whole team also comes together every Wednesday to learn about Honduras and the people they will be serving.

“I’m excited to meet people that we’ve been thinking about and praying for two semesters now and to put a face to where all this work has been going,” sophomore HP team member Zoe Talbott said.

BreakAway Ministry (BAM) is sending out six teams of students to participate in service projects. This year, students will be traveling to Mexico City, Puerto Rico, Tennessee, Angola, La., New Hampshire and Wichita, Kan. In each location, BAM partners with existing ministries to serve the area.

“Short-term missions can get a really bad rap, but the thing about BreakAway is that we really try to partner with people who are already doing good work,” said junior BAM chair Daniel Hanson. “We can come alongside of people so we’re not coming in and trying to steal the show. I think we serve a God big enough [to] do a lot of good in a week.”

Though students will be participating in different projects based on their location, the cabinet set a collective vision of “serving in unity with the body of Christ and growing together in love.”  

“We are very intentional about trying to address this not as ‘us going to serve’ with a savior complex type of thing … but to encourage a spirit of humility and servant-heartedness and the ability to learn,” senior Mollie Borchert said. Borchert is the BAM administrator and is also responsible for organizing the BAM trip to Tennessee.

The Wheaton Symphony Orchestra will be touring the East Coast over spring break to put on free concerts for various communities in North Carolina, Maryland and Washington D.C. They will also share their music with youth in schools and in a detention center.

When they aren’t performing, they will have the opportunity to learn from professional musicians and take master classes.

“Performing will be so great,” freshman violinist Rachel Noh said. “Spring break will be a really good time getting to know everyone in orchestra. Since I’m not in the conservatory I don’t really know anyone well so it’ll be a time to meet new friends.”

Though each spring break trip has a different agenda, all teams say their hope is to shine Christ’s love in the various destinations.

Sophomore HP team member Zoe Talbott summed up the sentiments of those spending their spring breaks on Wheaton-organized trips saying, “I’m thankful to go to Wheaton where I have this kind of opportunity in the middle of the school year.”