Every year, the Wheaton Wire goes away for a week. In its place, the untrustworthy but absolutely beloved Wheaton Liar takes its place to poke fun at anything and everything happening on campus. So, sit back and enjoy a selection of satirical wonderings and remember: NONE OF THIS IS REAL.
Meet Wheaton’s newest club dedicated to documenting paranormal activity on campus
Jennavieve VanGalder ‘24
This past week SGA approved the formation of a new club at Wheaton that is dedicated to finding paranormal areas and activity on campus. To introduce and get to know the new club I sat down with them at their first meeting this past Friday. The club currently boasts 5 members but said they are totally open to anyone who wishes to audition and apply to be a member. The club recently voted on their official name, settling on Paranormal Haunts and Anomalies Research Team; P.H.A.R.T. for short. They had initially referred to themselves as the Paranormal Investigative Sciences Squad, or P.I.S.S. but felt that was not representative of the breadth of their work.
I first sat down with the President of PHART, Mike Myers to explain the thought process behind the formation of the club. Myers informed me that he had become President of PHART after a long and taxing campaign, to which the other members shared confused glances, knowing he ran unopposed. Myers then went on to explain why they decided to become an official club saying that, “Off the record, we’ve been doing this kinda work for months but we needed that SGA money so we could get some sweet merch and stuff, maybe even a thermal camera, or something for the research…I don’t know” I informed him that everything was very much on the record and yet he continued to begin every sentence with “Off the record…”. For brevity sake I have chosen to omit that from the rest of the interview. Mike has assured me that the work they do is, “…necessary, wanted, but it is not, I repeat, not fun and games. This is real stuff we’re working with here. Apparitions, disembodied voices, you know what I mean?” I indeed did not know what he meant but let him continue.
PHART’s latest event was a weekend in the Wheaton Woods. To learn more about this I sat down with Clarice Starling the Vice President/ Secretary/ Treasurer of PHART. I asked her how and why she had all of those titles, to which she replied, “Nobody ran for any of the offices and uh I’m just friends with Mike and he asked me if I could fill in the roles. I’m mostly just here to hang out with Mike, but now I guess there’s something to put on my resume, or three things huh?” I then was perplexed and asked Clarice how seriously she takes PHART, to which she said, “Well, like I said I’m just here to hang out with my friends. The other members, Rosemary, Jason, and Carrie are pretty serious about it, but yeah I don’t really know much about it. At least I’m the Vice President/Secretary/Treasurer though, right?”
Regarding said project, the group sat me down and had me watch what they call their latest masterpiece, which they’ve titled, “PHART in the Woods”, which is a four hours 17 minutes documentary of their time in the Wheaton Woods documenting paranormal activity. The film can only be described as what I imagine “The Blair Witch Project” would be if it was a Disney Channel Original Movie. It contained a lot of shrill shrieking and blurry footage of what the group referred to as “orbs” and “anomalies”, followed by singing around a campfire for far too long for a horror movie. The length of the film shocked me, though they also offered to let me view the 36 hours of unedited film, to which I promptly declined.
The group then asked me to promote their Instagram, which is @PHARTatWheatonCollegeMAnottheoneinIllinois, if you feel so inclined as to follow them. The page features photos of each member and a short bio of who they are and where they’re from. Which is great, but they’ve yet to post any of the work they have done and I know the general public is dying to get a whiff of “PHART in the Woods”.
The group informed me that their next meeting will be a game night open to the public, if anyone wants to meet the members. I jokingly asked if I could bring a Ouija Board, to which Mike replied, “This is totally off the record, but those are fake as hell and you better not even think about it.” So, if you’re free on Fridays at 8 a.m. I highly recommend swinging by the basement of Mary Lyon and seeing PHART for yourself.
SGA Creates New Subcommittee
Ben Cohen ‘22
Principled, Profane Political Participant
In response to claims that the
Sussy Student Government Association doesn’t do enough to pass meaningful legislation, Vice President Payce Shepard ‘22, announced last Friday that the group would be forming a new investigative subcommittee, titled Subcommittee Handling Investigative Things (S.H.I.T.) to focus on accountability, transparency, democratic process, and extreme inquisition.
Shepard stated that the working group is to be staffed with “SGA’s best”. Announced members of the subcommittee include former President Dennis Hanno, two students stuffed into a too-hot Roary the Lyon costume, the hippies who created the original trail to Red Rock, comedian Barry Brewer, Mickey Mouse, and Richard Nixon. Shepard also stated that the group will be chaired by famous anti-corruption advocate William Tweed, in a move that he said would “shake up the core of how students think about SGA.” Shepard continued “I look forward to inviting Mr. Tweed to Tammany H- I mean – Mary Lyon Hall.”
Wheaton students have pointed out that there are tons of problems that need to be solved, and SGA is responsible for addressing them as representatives of the student body on campus. Additionally, SGA is responsible for handling the budget of every club on campus, and if anyone wants to start a new organization on campus or wants a budget of more than $500 to buy some sick black and white sweatshirts, they must first go through SGA. Finally, students have also pointed out that SGA has enacted meaningful change in the past, with the 2015-2016 group having helped to fund the water fountains that are placed in every dorm. So, it’s great to see SGA finally take some actionable steps and stop dragging their (very fashionable) heels this year.
When asked about what they thought of this newest initiative by SGA, Katelyn Brasco ‘25 said “What’s an SGA?” Delaney Beaudoin, ‘22, a passionate advocate of building a dome around campus to solidify ‘the Wheaton Bubble’ was ecstatic when told of this development, stating “I can finally figure out why my proposal isn’t being added to the agenda week after week!” Congressman Jake Auchincloss, who represents Norton in Congress, released a statement following Shepard’s announcement that said “I’m glad to hear SGA is taking these steps to increase government efficiency. I cannot wait to visit Wheaton to get a taste of SHIT for myself!”
However, there’s still some trouble in paradise, with some community members claiming that SHIT isn’t efficient enough. To handle this, Shepard also announced that there are plans to form a sub-subcommittee, titled Bloc Investigative Group for the Subcommittee Handling Investigative Things (B.I.G. S.H.I.T.) in order to examine why SHIT hasn’t done enough to help pass meaningful legislation. Regardless, I’m sure we can all rest easy knowing that our student government is in capable hands, and I’m sure we will all remember to vote on Engage next semester during SGA elections.
Sportswashing: A Modern Conspiracy Theory
Khushi Parikh ‘25
Writer for the Sports Section not Editor
Recently, western mainstream media has been focused on its latest conspiracy theory based on a self-constructed phenomenon of “sportswashing”. They claim that authoritarian countries with “abysmal human rights records” are investing in sports to “improve their image on the international stage.”
Firstly, it is incredibly inane to assume that just because a country has invested in sports teams or events, suddenly the world is going to stop talking about anything else related to said country. Did England’s Premier League prevent the world from talking about its poor political decisions like Brexit? Did the NFL prevent the world from chuckling at the antics of their President Trump? Then why the double standard? While it’s laughable to claim that sports can be used to wash political sins away, it is downright unethical to label something as honest as sports to be a cheap PR tactic. How did investing in Newcastle United help the Saudi royalty? What did Sheikh Mansour get from Manchester City FC.? On the contrary, it is the sports and team that benefit. Since Sheikh Mansour’s acquisition, Manchester City FC has won multiple league crowns and FA Cups.
Secondly, the west claims this is an attempt to mask their imperfect human rights records. But there is the logical fallacy: If Saudi Arabia really was hostile to women empowerment and equal rights as the media accuses them to be, why would it invest in women’s sporting leagues like football and golf? Qatar is the world’s richest nation per capita. Would they really not compensate their migrant laborers fairly? Even the so-called human rights abuses the media refers to are accusations previously concocted by themselves. China has denied the abuse of Uyghurs in the Xinjiang camps, and Russia, so tired of the propaganda and fake news, has banned the usage of words like invasion and assault to protect its citizens from misinformation.
Furthermore, if sportswashing was really the case, why would the revered institutions like the IOC (International Olympic Committee) grant China the rights to host the Olympics? Why would the NFL announce a 5-year partnership with China? Why would Formula One sign a 10-year, $650m deal with Saudi Arabia? Are the governing bodies of F1, Golf, NFL, WWE, FIFA as well as the IOC all in cahoots with these countries that have “multiple violations of human rights”? How far-fetched does that fairytale sound?
The recent rise of sporting events in nations like China, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Qatar is a direct consequence of the marked increase in public interest and increased governmental efforts towards lobbying sporting institutions. Saudi Arabian Kingdom for example, hired Boston Consulting Group to help secure the rights to an upcoming World Cup. Moreover, these governing bodies grant these rights because it is more economical and easy to host events in those countries, as then-International Ski Federation President Gian Franco Kasper explained to a German Newspaper in 2019.
So, we have established that “Sportswashing” is really an illusion. But why is western media talking about it so much?
It’s obvious, isn’t it? They are jealous of the growing popularity of their eastern counterparts. With the Winter Olympics hosted in China, the World Cup hosted in Qatar, and the WWE’s Elimination Chamber event in Saudi Arabia – the west has lost hosting rights to some of the biggest sporting events of the 2022, prompting insecurity regarding their dwindling influence over international sports. Hence the defamation using exaggerated accusations of sportwashing. America’ s feelings towards Russia, China and the Middle East are no secret; so, it is not surprising that its European allies are propagating the same false rhetoric and unfounded allegations with such fervor that puts the moon landing hoax to shame.
Moreover, the west loves pretending that they put human rights above all else. But the infamous boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics was only performative in nature. Calling it a diplomatic boycott, athletes were still sent to compete. This just highlights their childlike obsessions with winning, which explains their discomfort with the rise of Russia and China in the sporting world. They even used intimidation tactics to scare off sponsors by calling corporations like Coca-Cola, Procter & Gamble, Intel, Visa, and Airbnb to congress in the name of corporate social responsibility.
Attempts to monopolize sport, excluding competition due to fear of losing, and defamation are all charges the west is guilty of. But I guess the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics will help sportswash their own crimes away?
New Anti-Racism campaign gains momentum
Carlos Yu ‘24
Double agent for Smudge Magazine
In response to DEI efforts and the unprecedented growth of the Marshall Center, Wheaton College has begun its “Enough is Enough” campaign. The campaign seeks to restore the glory of Patriotism on campus while “actually working towards inclusion and respect.” Their first order of business is to dismantle all identity or affinity groups that currently exist. That means, TWAP House, Safe Haus, EASA, SASI, LSA, QTPOC, and Smudge Magazine must go. The lead of this campaign commented on his petition to destroy these groups: “I speak on behalf of all white, cisgender, straight students when I say that these groups are inherently racist and discriminatory towards us since we cannot be a part of them, or they don’t make us feel comfortable enough to join, participate and become a part of the E-board. These groups claim they are part of DEI efforts on campus but they exclude! How does that make any sense?”
The EE campaign has amassed quite the following. It has become one of the largest clubs on campus, boasting a membership of more than 200 students. The secretary of the club commented on why she joined: “There was always talk of slavery this, slavery that. Microaggressions, institutional racism, blah, blah, blah. Somebody call the Waaaambulance! They don’t know what it’s like to be blamed for everything! They don’t know what it’s like to be targeted and bullied for their race! I’m tired of it. They get all this special attention for no reason! Where are our spaces? Where are our groups? Why aren’t we considered diverse?” Indeed this captures the reason why most of the students joined the campaign. Currently all but one member of this campaign are white. John Jing Allen says that he “knows he’s Asian to most,” but claims that culturally he is white because his parents are. He says that he doesn’t “understand his fellow POC. Why all the special attention on them? Why bring race into the conversation? Stop complaining! All the problems you have are the result of your own shortcomings.”
It seems that EE is the only campaign that is accomplishing real institutional change in the history of Wheaton. Smudge magazine has been cited for “discriminatory practices” that are deemed unconstitutional since they violate the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which prevents discriminatory practices. Smudge magazine’s E-board and editorial team are only made up of students of color and do not publish work from any white writers therefore discriminating against whites. “It’s what Martin Luther King Jr. would’ve wanted” claims EE campaign leader. The editor-in-chief of Smudge called attention to the all white e-board of Rushlight and The Wheaton Wire to which campaign leader of EE responded that “It just so happens that they’re all white. It is more a reflection of the POC community’s shortcomings than the discrimination of these clubs.” Their next step is to permit usage of the n-word in all spaces on campus as the “unspoken rule” prohibits their freedom of speech.
New Chase Dining Hall Hours Announced
In a controversial new policy, Dining services has reduced Chase’s hours from 8:30AM-9:00PM to 9:00PM-11:00PM only. In a statement sent out by email yesterday, the Dean’s Office announced “You wanted late night, you (expletive) well here you (expletive) go you Mother-(expletives).” The change comes in response to protests from the students to bring back late-night dining services chanting “better dead than not fed fries.” In addition to these policy changes, Dining services have changed the value of the lyon buck to be about $5 a leaf of lettuce to adjust to the changing economy.
In response to a reporter questioning about viability for students to obtain food, lead dining officer Scottland O’Russy, said that Dimple Dining would still be in session from 12PM to 1AM on every other month’s first Friday. He continued “Unfortunately due to fire safety concerns, burgers will be grilled using body heat primarily.” O’Russy also addressed the changes to Rockbot, the popular music service in Chase. “We fixed RockBot so that it can now correctly only play whale noises and All-Star by Smash Mouth.” He also added, “between you me and a hole in the wall if I hear any more complaining I will throw you through this hole in the wall.”
Dean Patrick declined to have a comment or that he has ever thought about having a comment or declining a comment in the first place or that he had ever commented before on anything and also that he knows what Chase is.
The coming famine has prompted local student leaders in the food industry to step up and find alternate forms of nourishment. As a resident entrepreneur in the Stone Stew community, Sam Stoner ‘22 said, “We need to make a change, and the change we need to make has to be made, through change. Can anyone give me 5 1$ bills for a 5$ bill?” In response to calls for finding other sources besides the meal plan, Dean English commented “You can opt-out of the meal plan when you are dead, or when you graduate, whichever comes first. But it will be one of those two. I’ll make sure of it.”
The cutbacks come with some new programs and initiatives to improve food options on campus. O’Russy commented “We have heard student opinion about the retirement of the International Station. Because of this, we have decided to open it once again.” He continued that while the International station is open they will have to close the pasta station and the International station will only serve pasta.
In response to student food quality concerns ……/…..CENSORED CONTENT . ………. While the cutbacks are substantial, Wheaton Dining services would like to remind students that there are several berry bushes behind the president’s house and an overpopulation of squirrels on campus.
What Your Tote Bag says about you
Forget about astrology- here is what your tote bag says about you
Trader Joe’s- When you were a kid you watched the movie How to Eat Fried Worms and curated your personality around it. When the wind blew wildly and your hair fell into your mouth you just let it stay there and become saturated in saliva, rather than moving it out of the way. You used to breathe on windows, enough to cause some fog, then make little drawings in the moisture. But, just like the drawings you made as a child, your innocence left. And, now you own a Trader Joe’s tote bag.
LL Bean- You are from New England and the truth is, you owned this bag before tote bags became a “thing.” Maybe it belonged to one of your parents and you dug it out from the closet. You carry a lot of stuff around and therefore use a bag from a brand with a former “Lifetime guarantee” that was, unfortunately, revoked in 2018 becasue customers were abusing it. Your spirit is tried and true and you uphold the lifetime loyalty that L.L Bean once stood for. The bag is a reminder of what can be good and solid in this messed-up world.
New Yorker- One word: Insufferable. You really thought people were going to look at you and think you are intellectual and cool? Well, guess what, you ended up looking like all of the other girls.
What is so bad about being like the other girls?
Because other girls are great!
Alright, never mind you get a pass on thing one. <3
Leather bag/large purse- You enjoy meme posts from accounts run by teenage girls where text is put on top of a photo of Bella Hadid or Lily-Rose-Depp that says something like, “Just act like Rory Gilmore if you can’t get yourself to do your homework”. You listen to unreleased Lana Del Rey songs illegally uploaded to Spotify, and become sad when they are taken down and you have to resort to Youtube. And, that is okay.
At the end of the day, all of us tote bag owners share a common flaw: We all know that damn bag is not made to carry all that stuff. We will all have scoliosis leaning in the same direction in our elderly years.
Team Wheels or Team Doors? A Letter to the Wheaton Community
Alyssa Myers ‘23
Dear Wheaton Community Members,
There has been a seemingly unsolvable debate that emerged on the social media app TikTok just a few weeks ago: the Wheels versus Doors debate. After liking just one video of this debate, my “For You” page was flooded with them, and I wasn’t alone. The question is simple: Are there more doors or wheels in the world? Of course, this debate had gone on too long so I turned to Wheaton Community members to help me answer it once and for all.
I might as well start off this article transparently by saying that I tend to side with team wheels. Thankfully, “team wheels” won, with 61% (14 votes) of people thinking that there are more wheels than doors in the world and 39% (9 votes) of people thinking there are more doors than wheels in the world.
I’ll start off generously with evidence in favor of the losing team: team doors. To start off the debate, Jennifer Lima, the Office Manager for SAIL and Residential Life said that there are “Probably more doors. I feel like there are more buildings than cars and buildings are bigger.” This argument makes sense as one first reads it, and it sets the basis for many other arguments. It is, however, very surface level. Just because buildings are bigger and there may be more of them, it does not take into account the amount of wheels that may be in the buildings as well as the amount of wheels that are not on cars.
Another argument for doors that seemed to me to be surface level, but based on a reasonably educated guess, was presented by Leigh Kozak, Area Coordinator of YMC. Kozak argued that “If you look at structures before there were legitimate methods of transportation, historically there were more places to live even without things with wheels.” Firstly, I love that they took into account the amount of people that lived without things with wheels. I think that it is important to consider the holistic view of the world before constructing an argument. I do, unfortunately, have one very important qualm, which is that if the historical structures Kozak is referencing have doors at a time where there were no wheels, there is a good chance that these structures are nothing but ruins now and therefore do not exist in the world.
A more in-depth doors argument was presented by Sarah Simkevich, ‘22. Simkevich argued that “There are more doors than wheels because of all the front doors, side doors, all the normal things you think about when you think about doors.” They added “… In one hotel room, how many doors are there?… A LOT. You have the main door to get in, … a door leading to the bedroom, a door leading to the bathroom and a door leading to the closet. That in and of itself is 4 doors. As of December 31, 2020, there were an average of 313.1 rooms per hotel. If you multiply 313 times 4, there are 1,252 doors. [This calculation does] not [include] main doors and side doors to the hotel, conference room doors, doors that people don’t even see, or doors that people don’t go into.” Simkevich continued to elaborate on things that are not included in that calculation that should be considered when counting doors, such as cabinets, and the millions of buildings that are not hotels. I will give this argument the credit it deserves for being well thought-out and backed by mathematical evidence. (The numbers may have come from thin air, but the calculations seemed to be based on an educated guess, and I respect that) Well done, Sarah. I have one question for Simkevich however: What about the suitcases brought by each of the guests in the room as well as the carts that the suitcases are wheeled around on? Each suitcase has at least two wheels on it.
Another pro-door argument was presented by Carlos Corrada, ‘22, who claimed that there were
“More doors”, for the typical reason that there are so many “…skyscrapers and buildings.” What he added that I believed set his argument apart is that “windows are doors because they are on hinges.” While I do not agree that windows are doors, I welcome the explanation that for something to be a door, that thing must have hinges. This premise touches upon something that will become vital as we move forward: doors and wheels need an agreed upon definition.
Before I dive into the need to define terms, I will present the “team wheel” arguments.
To start off, Katelyn Brasco, ‘25 claims that there are more wheels “obviously.” Brasco encouraged that one think of “… toy cars, wheelbarrows, f**king 18 wheelers…” She concluded that “there is no way it’s doors.” Very similar reasoning was echoed by Eva Danielson ‘22 who claims that there are more “Wheels, so many more wheels.” She elaborates that there are “Wheels on toys, wheels in elevators, wheels on rolly furniture, wheels on lawn mowers and wheel barrows”. I appreciate that both Brasco and Danielson provided me with multiple excellent examples of things with wheels. However, providing a list of items that have wheels does not explain why or how those items with wheels outnumber doors.
A pro-wheel argument that does attempt to provide such reasoning was presented by Abi Twigg, ‘23. Twigg claims “There are more people than buildings and with more people, more wheels are needed to transport them around. Although buildings, with many doors, accommodate people, there are more people than buildings and some people even exist without doors in their homes.” This argument is well-thought out because it does take into account that there are in fact many doors. It has an effectively structured argument that people outnumber buildings (which have doors), wheels are needed to transport almost every person, and therefore, there are more wheels than doors. This is nearly indisputable. Yet, like usual, I have a counterargument: If one is basing their reasoning on the large number of people in the world, and may consider a door to be something with hinges, most coffins have hinged doors and there are more dead people than living people in this world.
To wrap things up, I will quote Harry Topol, ‘22. Topol exclaimed “I truly don’t even know. I go back and forth a lot. Because what is defined as a wheel? Like in machines, you have those little things that spin around, is that a wheel? What about doors? I could climb through a window, does that make it a door?” Topol’s indecision led to what I deem the most valuable point of them all: No argument can reach a logical, agreed upon conclusion between academics without having properly defined terms.
A Philosophy Nerd