The Albrightian - April 2018 | Albright College

The Albrightian – April 2018

albrightian@albright.edu |  @TheAlbrightian |  The AlbrightianApril 27, 2018 | Volume 133, Issue 6

Top Stories

By JACOB POLLICOVE, The Albrightian

Last week, from April 18-20, Albright’s chapter of Alpha Sigma Phi held their annual Pond-a-thon.For 48 hours, their brothers rotated in and out of the Sylvan Pond, while always having two brothers in the pond.The main focus of this event was the fraternity’s work to raise money for the Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network, more commonly known as RAINN.RAINN’s main focus is to stop sexual violence and help victims who have suffered from sexual violence.Alpha Sigma Phi raised money for RAINN by selling t-shirts and collecting donations while submerged in the Sylvan pond.

The brothers made this an event for the whole campus by having cornhole set up next to the pond and playing music.

“We raised money for RAINN because it’s important to us and our campus. Sexual assault awareness is on Albright’s radar and we wanted to bring attention to it,” said Alpha Sig brother Colton Walker ‘19.

By ELISE NELSON, The Albrightian

As a child, did you ever feel that grown-ups were your enemies? This is quite literally the case in BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment’s 2017 game Little Nightmares. A small, fragile girl named Six must find her way through bizarre obstacles and survive the wrath of hideously deformed, bloodthirsty adults. Little Nightmares, which is available for download on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and Microsoft Windows, is sure to creep out even the bravest gamers. Beware of spoilers to come.Little Nightmares is a puzzle-platformer horror adventure. Apart from a short and dark cut scene where Six swims in unknown waters (so dark, in fact, that anyone without 20/20 vision will likely have trouble seeing the scene), the game begins with no context. Six wakes up in a large suitcase, her yellow raincoat the only splash of color in a muted world. She doesn’t know where she is, and you don’t either. And you’ll never know.This is one of the game’s creepiest qualities. You never learn who Six is, or how she got here, or why all these hideous adult-creatures are trying to kill her. The game has no dialogue and you (as Six) are entirely alone. The only other characters in the game are the ones trying to kill you. You are left only with a  small match as a source of light and your agility—you’re surprisingly strong for your young age and thin build.There’s no music, either, leaving you in suspense for the entire game. Will something kill you in the next room? What will happen when you pull that lever? You won’t know until you try. Little Nightmares is entirely trial-and-error—and your cause of death if you make a mistake can sometimes be brutal.You must escape from five locations—the Prison, the Lair, the Kitchen, the Guest Area, and the Lady’s Quarters. Along the way, you will encounter a blind janitor-turned-child-serial-killer, twin chefs who specialize in fried children, obese guests who will go into a mad eating frenzy when they spot you and a demonic princess who kills you with one glare.

The most popular theory is that the Lady runs the entire operation. She invites guests to her restaurant to eat as much as possible and fatten then up. Their main course? Children. The blind janitor is responsible for imprisoning the kids and preparing them to be cooked by the chefs. The Lady’s ultimate goal is to fatten the guests enough to take their life source and feed her own immortality. Game developers have never confirmed this theory.

In the final location, the Lady’s Quarters, you will discover that the Lady is obsessed with beauty and finds herself hideous (although, ironically, she is the only enemy in the game that isn’t deformed). You can only destroy her by forcing her to look in a mirror. Another theory suggests that Six is the Lady’s own daughter, and the Lady sent Six to the prison when she realized that Six was more beautiful than she was. Unfortunately, the theory also suggests that Six had been heavily abused.

As the game progresses, Six becomes more violent–in one scene, she chooses to eat a gnome (the small creatures that are seen running through the entire game) instead of the sausage that it offers her. Her behavior suggests that she is becoming like the Lady, her mother. Eventually, she does become her mother after she kills the Lady. The end of the game suggests that Six will continue the Lady’s evil operation.

Little Nightmare’s eerie graphics will scare even those who are simply watching the gameplay. You will truly feel as though you are Six, trapped in a strange world with no one to help you. Stay in the shadows, proceed carefully, and don’t get caught.

By SIERRA LAMBETH, The Albrightian

In my previous two pieces, I discussed the benefits of budgeting and avoiding debt for students and soon-to-be-graduates. This last installment on personal finance will focus on the topic of credit scores. It’s likely that almost every student at this school has some sort of credit score. If you have student  loans (held in your name), a credit card, or a car payment, you’ll have some sort of credit score. If you have any sort of debt, you’ll have a credit card. If you were added as an authorized user on one of your parent’s credit cards, you’ll have a credit score!So… what exactly is a credit score?A credit score is basically a number tied to you as an individual that measures how worthy of “credit” (i.e. loans, payment plans, etc.) you are that will be used by banks to determine if they want to loan you money. Scores range from 300-850 (this range might vary slightly based on the type of credit score) and the higher your score, the more likely you are to get a loan and the lower the interest rate offered will be. The scoring can be a bit misleading.Based on this range, one would guess that an average score would be around 600, which would be the statistical average, but in actuality, it is NOT a good or even okay credit score. A “fair” credit score is usually considered to be from 650-700, a “good” from 700-750, and an “excellent” score to be 750+.

If your score is below 650, it will generally be difficult for you to be approved for loans and those you do acquire will probably have high interest rates (8-10%+ for car loans for example).How do you find out what your credit score is then? Credit scores are offered for free by many different credit monitoring sites and even some credit card companies. Free sites like CreditKarma.com will show your credit score for two of the major bureaus, Transunion and Equifax.

It really is free and sites like this will not hurt your credit score in any way!

So how do you get a good credit score?

It can be a little complicated, specifically because the exact method for scoring is known only by the three major credit bureaus (the companies that generate these scores based on a variety of known factors).

These factors consist of the length of credit history (meaning how long you have had your credit cards, open loans, etc.), your credit utilization rate (the % of credit that you use on a credit card each month), your hard credit inquiries (how many times you have applied for a loan, credit card, etc. within the last two years), your total number of accounts, and the number of derogatory marks on your credit (which refers to the number of late payments or unpaid accounts in collections).

The easiest way to improve your credit score is simply to open a credit card or two, pay the balance in full each month (NEVER pay interest to build credit) or at least keeping your utilization rate below 20%, and to just keep the account open so long as the card does not have a fee associated with it.

It’s a common misconception that it is helpful to keep a small balance on your credit cards, but this is false.

You will probably pay interest on this balance and it does not help build your score much faster and does simply eat away at your finances.

Pick a card with a low annual fee (or better yet, one of the many that have no annual fee) and use it like a debit card so that you build credit for free! You will slowly see your score rise.

If you have an accounts in collections, try your hardest to negotiate a charge off for this.

Many debt collection agencies will remove (note that this is different than changing the status of the account to “closed”) the debt account from your credit report if you ask them to and offer to pay them in full.

Try to get this in writing to make sure that they can’t back out of this.

It’s also important to watch out for fraudulent charges, accounts, cards, inquiries, etc. on your credit report on credit monitoring sites/apps like CreditKarma.com.

It’s important to monitor your score at least a few times a year to avoid identity theft and also to find resources for increasing your score and learning about credit!

In general, credit takes some time to build.

But by paying off your loans and credit cards on time and in full, yours can be stellar in just a few years!


Features

By JOSH TEMPLIN, The Albrightian

It’s 2018 and Maynard James Keenan must be tired. Keenan’s spent a lifetime defined by Tool, a band that thrives on mystery and complexity. He’s also spent the last two decades distancing himself from his obsessive fans by doing whatever he wants, like opening a winery or dressing up in SWAT gear while calling some members of his audience “snowflakes.”

Keenan’s knee-jerk reaction is partly understandable: many of his fans still measure everything he does against Lateralus, an album he released eighteen years ago.

In that sense, writing tunes for A Perfect Circle — a joint project between Keenan and guitarist Billy Howerdel — should be therapeutic. No matter how intense the clamor of APC’s diehard fans, it’s surely quieter than the furor over anything Tool-related.

With those kind of relatively low-stakes, all Keenan really needs to do is show up.

The problem is that on Eat the Elephant, neither Keenan nor Howerdel extend themselves beyond obvious lyrics and undercooked melodies. What results is a set of songs – lacking in novel ideas – that just muster gloomy bombast instead of real menace. Nowhere is this marriage of muddled
themes and deflated melody more clear than on the lead single “Disillusioned.”

A cavalcade of ultra-woke Gen Xers and Xennials have thrived by making trite observations about how being ever-connected has actually made us disconnected, and Keenan doesn’t do anything but add to this monotonous din with lyrics like “Time to put the silicon obsession down / Take a look around, find a way in the silence.”

Musically, only the slight bite of distortion keeps the guitar and piano melody from becoming adult contemporary schlock.

“Disillusioned” typifies the problem of the album as a whole: it is both bloodless and overbearing.

Piano lines are pounded out slowly and methodically, calling attention to their apparent profundity, but they always resolve into easy melodies without much character.

Howerdel wants us to see how grown-up APC has become, but his approach to the piano is all big gestures: harmonically simple structures that work with distorted guitars but that feel overly-sparse on piano.

The bulk of Eat the Elephant is taken up by tracks like “The Contrarian,” the kind of plodding ballad you would normally skip over to get to the good stuff. But even when APC picked up the tempo on “The Doomed,” the palm-muted guitar chug and operatic horn section just sound as expected. APC can’t seem to manage anything unexpected over the run time of Eat The Elephant, instead resorting to the same songwriting tricks like building the tension until Keenan reaches the slow, sparse chorus.

It’s the kind of fake out that really only pays off once, but APC keeps going to that well again and again, like a bad director trying to shoehorn twists into his derivative plot.

Even the guitar tone sounds the same as it did on “Judith,” like Howerdel and Keenan just picked up their equipment, dusted it off, and then forgot how to write a hook.

The only song where APC seems to strike the right balance between dramatic balladry and alternative rock atmospherics is “TalkTalk.” Here, Keenan finds a more worthy opponent than our collective Facebook obsession with hypocritical Christians who fail to act in accordance with the gospel Jesus actually preached.

During the anthemic chorus, the guitar is gigantic; suitably barbed to match Keenan’s vocal delivery, which manages to draw a little blood.

Unfortunately, even “TalkTalk” is far inferior to hits like “Judith,” and only further pushes APC into the shadow of Keenan’s other big band. It’s a shame, though, because if ever there was a time for larger-than-life alternative rock with a message, it’s now.

By TAYLOR GRAYSON, The Albrightian

Block party was a huge success this year. It was held on the Science Field, as usual, and the weather was rather nice.

Upwards of 200 students came out as well as alumni and their families.

It was beneficial that Alumni Weekend fell on the weekend of block party because it enhanced the turnout.

Hot Dad Calendar performed a near hour-long set that excited the crowd. President Fetrow joined students in the cupid shuffle on the field.

This year, the Albright College Activities Council purchased and gave away about 100 Betta fish. Students had mixed feelings about the ordeal, but  most people were happy about it. The DIY street signs were another big hit.

There was a laser tag attraction near the far corner of the field that many students were ecstatic about. The sweet treats may have been the biggest hit of them all at the block party.


Student Life

By PROVOST MARY MCGEE, featured columnist

What a pivotal month April is at Albright.

It is a month for looking back on what you have learned this semester and how all the pieces fit together as you prepare for final papers, exams and projects, which allow you the opportunity to make sense of and synthesize what you have learned in a specific course.

It is also a time to look forward to the summer and the fall, as you build on Albright and personal networks, leads, and your learning to pursue summer jobs, courses, internships, or ACREs.

In late March or early April most of you met with your faculty advisor, who is one of your greatest resources and champions.

Your advisor is your guide on the side, helping you to frame questions and make informed choices that will help you create a personalized and intentional pathway towards the goals you have set for yourself at Albright and beyond.

But I know for many of you, right now, your days are likely more focused on deadline-driven goals: housing choices, final papers, summer jobs, upcoming exams, completing Experience Events.

Let’s agree: it can be a stressful time of year.

Are you conflicted about whether you should be studying or the desire to take a break and enjoy the great weather and the company of your friends before you split for the summer? Find a way to do both.

Take advantage of the therapy dogs that come on campus, the cookies, and late-night hours in the library, the midnight breakfast on May 10, the review sessions offered by your faculty.

At each of these venues you will find Albright faculty and staff to cheer you on, to support you, to guide you, or just to listen.

I also encourage you to join in one of our end of year celebrations to remind yourself why you chose Albright and this vibrant learning community to push you and engage you on your educational journey. Dropping by one or more of these events could provide just the incentive you need to energize you and propel you through the last weeks of the academic year. From Monday, April 30-Thursday, May 3, drop by the CFA mezzanine to check out the cool research projects of students in our Honors Program.

And while you are in that neighborhood, stop by the Freedman Gallery to enjoy the colorful and diverse pieces in the Annual Juried Student Art Show.

On Saturday, May 5, is the Fashion Showcase, always a treat. Come Sunday, May 6, we will be celebrating new members of the Jacob Albright Society and the many accomplishments of our students at the annual Academic Honors and Awards Ceremony, from 3-5 p.m. in the Chapel: who will  receive this year’s Gold A awards? Come join the celebration and find out.

Monday, May 7, introduces a new tradition, as we celebrate our seniors (#AlbrightAwesome), from 4-8 on the campus walkways: food and fun and stories to share. Our seniors’ stories are inspiring!

And of course, we want to celebrate those Albrightians completing their first year at Albright: so, for you, we have designed a midday Study Break and Ice Cream extravaganza on Tuesday, May 8, where you can reunite with your FYS classes and POP groups. You will see me at many of these
events: I’m known for my hats.

I would love to hear about your year, the ups and the downs, and learn how we can better guide you and support you.

If I don’t see you over the summer, I look forward to your return in the fall (or for seniors, to seeing you at Alumni events).

The campus is just not the same without you; we learn so much with you and from you.

by ANONYMOUS, The Albrightian

On Thursday, April 12, 2018, administration held a town hall meeting encouraging students to speak their minds about the four-year housing policy. This policy was put into place by the previous administration and the current administration was planning to continue with the policy, even though some rising juniors and seniors signed a two-year housing contract with the college.

The event was open to anyone wanting to air their feelings (students, faculty, and landlords of the community). It was filled to the brim with emotion from most attendees. Several landlords expressed how this policy could ruin the rest of their lives by forcing them to go bankrupt and lose their retirement funds in the process.

Their pleas to administration certainly struck a chord with all those in attendance, especially because of how passionate they were. Some students also expressed their fears over the cost of housing. One of the main reasons people cannot live on campus for all four years is monetary constraints.

Let’s face it, housing at Albright College is really expensive. It is hard to pay for school and housing with financial aid only covering so much. The administration kept repeating the same two words: “safety and success.”

The administrators claim that the school will end up better and safer using the new policy.

However, it is hard to justify safety when looking at some of the anecdotes that were shared by members of the student body. If students do not feel safe, they probably will refuse to live on-campus.

Personally, I think they should appeal the policy as a whole. As a student who has severe financial strain placed on me every year, I need the option of living off-campus. I also feel safer and more successful if I’m able to have my own space, away from the hustle of campus.

Honestly? I don’t know how to feel about the town hall. I want to say that this policy makes sense, but for the most part, it doesn’t. I think that this situation deserves further discussion between administration, students, and landlords.

This community needs to work together to make this process work.

With the right solution, everyone can be satisfied, and the administration will get the safety and success that they so crave.

By TRISTAN ELLIS, The Albrightian

During a weekend three game series against Widener University 15-15 (8-8) the Albright baseball team 10-15 (4-12) was only able to win one of their three games.

A 5-0 loss in game one, a 4-1 win in game two, and a 5-0 loss in game three. Pitcher Nick Dinnocenti took the mound for the lions in game one pitching 4.1 innings before being relieved. Unfortunately, the Albright offense was not able to get much going as they scored no runs off five hits during the first game in the series.

Widener, however, took advantage of poor pitching to earn five runs off 11 hits. Albright also recorded two errors on the game.

The Lions would fare much better in game two with a 4-1 win. This time Shaun O’Reilly took the mound, and produced seven dominant innings, only giving up one run off four hits while earning the win.

The Albright offense improved too, as they produced four runs off nine hits. Jimmie Gentry led the team with two hits off three at bats also bringing in one run. Logan Adams, Jeff Yordy, and Logan Pennypacker all had one hit, and brought in one run each on the day.

Neither team scored until the third inning when one run was scored by both the lions, and the pride ending the third tied 1-1.

Albright would score another run in the sixth inning, and two in the seventh, ending with a 4-1 victory with Widener unable to overcome the deficit.

The lack of offense would return in game as the Lions would face another 5-0 blowout loss to the pride. Matt Fisher took the mound for the lions pitching seven innings and giving up five runs off seven hits.

The offense once again went cold only getting three hits the whole game and no runs. The last few games have been a rough stretch for the Lions as they have lost five of the last six games.

Albright will try to get back on track with a game against Susquehanna University, and then a three game MAC series against Messiah College to follow.

By JACOB POLLICOVE, The Albrightian

To the Graduating Seniors of The Albrightian:

It is with love, affection, and a twinge of sadness that we have now worked with you for the last time to produce The Albrightian.

As you prepare for your exams and get ready to enter the next chapter of your lives, the underclassmen editors of this paper want to thank you for everything that you have done for us.

You have taken this wonderful publication and nurtured it to continued success during your tenures as editors. Without all of you, this paper would not  be the esteemed publication that it is today.

So, to Elise, Sierra, Liz, and Nicole, we wish you all health and happiness, as well as continued success during your life after Albright.

We cannot wait to see all of the fantastic things you have yet to accomplish.

With deep respect and admiration, Jacob, Taylor, Owen, Abby, and Bryan