Fun-run 5Ks reviewed: Color Me Rad, Warrior Dash, Insane Inflatable, The Great Pumpkin Run

Color Me Rad 5K

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An old photo of me from 2014 after my first ever 5K.

Throughout this bright and happy 5K, there are numerous color stations where volunteers throw colored powder on you or douse you in liquid color. The end of the run is even more fun though. There is lively music and the MC invites guests on stage to compete in games and other activities. For my first Color Me Rad 5K, a group of people and myself went on stage while the whole crowd sang “Happy Birthday” to us, so that was a cool experience.

The MC and his helpers also throw color packets into the crowd. You are encouraged to open the packet and share the powder with those around you by dumping some into your neighbors’ hands. Then there is a countdown and everyone throws the powder into the air making a huge rainbow cloud. This is where you will get the most color on you and sometimes it’s a little hard to breathe with the powder flying around, but the color is safe and non-toxic. It’s corn starch-based with food-grade dyes.

Tip: Most of the color will wash out of your clothes. To make clean up easier, cover your car seats with old towels or bed sheets.

Score: A  I ran in three of these so far so I don’t have much to critique. They could possibly add more color stations to the run but the after party makes up for this as well.

colormerad.com

Warrior Dash 5K

A much harder clean up than Color Me Rad, Warrior Dash will leave you full of dirt (and in my case, mulch.) The Warrior Dash is full of obstacles that will having you crawling in dirt and mud, climbing up and down structures, and also getting wet. I ran the Warrior Dash this past August and my favorite was the Goliath, one of the featured obstacles. You climb up a rope net and reach the top of a 30-foot slide. The slide is super fast and fun and you land in cold, refreshing (dirty) water.

You really don’t get that dirty until the final obstacle, Muddy Mayhem. You can skip any obstacle, but my friends and I wanted to complete them all. In Muddy Mayhem, you army-crawl under barbed wire through a 100-foot long mud pit. In this case though, it wasn’t so much mud as it was water and mulch. I think the mud would have been better than having mulch pieces sticking all over my body when I was finished.

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Skye and I jumping over the Warrior Roast obstacle. (Yes, we are rewearing our Pumpkin Run 5K shirts, see below.) Photo courtesy of Warrior Dash.

Tip: There are volunteers stationed at each obstacle but there is nothing to help break your fall between an obstacle and the ground. Most obstacles aren’t that high though and I was able to complete them all. Fingerless gloves helped me keep my grip while climbing especially on structures like Bridge the Gap that was wet with water and mud.

Tip: There are hoses to rinse off and changing areas. Bring trash bags for your dirty clothes and extra towels.

Score: A-  I would definitely run in the Warrior Dash again. It would be nice if they keep changing up the obstacles and have actual mud, not dirty water and mulch.

warriordash.com (Click each obstacle to view tips on how to train for them.)

Insane Inflatable 5K

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Don’t be fooled by the high expectations that this cool looking start line will give you.

I was extremely excited for the Insane Inflatable 5K because I love blow-up obstacle courses and racing my friends on them. (For some reason, a lot of events at DeSales University had inflatables). Going into this 5K, I think my expectations were too high. The video on their website also portrays the 5K as more fun than it actually is. Overall, the obstacles are so similar you can’t differentiate between a lot of them. Most of them involve climbing up the obstacle and then ending with a slide. (Like the Warrior Dash, the slides were my favorite parts.) I guess there are only so many variations of inflatable obstacles but I was also picturing them to be longer than they were as well. With that being said, the obstacles do give your legs a work out though.

All-in-all, this 5K seemed to be hastily put together. We were running on rocky terrain one minute and then grass the next. There were large rocks that seemed hazardous and I think should have been removed for safety purposes and easier running. Most runs also have signs when you hit mile marks and this 5K did not. My boyfriend, Chad, and I felt the run wasn’t even spaced out to a 5K, it felt much shorter.

Score: C+  I probably won’t be running this one again. I was disappointed by the obstacles and would only consider running again if they added more of a variety.

insaneinflatable5K.com

The Great Pumpkin Run

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Skye and I wearing our matching shirts. (Together we are known as Skellie.) Our team name was Pumpkin Bread Heads after first meeting through working together at Panera.

The Great Pumpkin Run is you guessed it, held in the fall, and is always at a fall-themed farm or orchard. Because of the location the run is filled with pretty scenery. The 5K I participated in was at Savidge Farms in Mertztown, Pa., and we ran through the pumpkin patch and even part of the corn maze. There is also a Tough Pumpkin option where runners can hold a pumpkin up to 10 pounds during their run but that sounded more like hassle to me.

After the run, you are given complimentary apple cider and may enjoy the attractions of the farm. Since we already ran through most of the farm, my friends and I visited with the farm animals and left shortly after. This run is less exciting to me than others because if I’m paying money to run a 5K I want obstacles or color or at least money supporting a good cause; I can run a normal 5K on my own for free. This run is a fun way to celebrate the fall though. My friends and I also had a blast making our pumpkin-themed shirts to wear.

Score: B+  For being a fall-themed run, The Great Pumpkin Run succeeds; however, I’m not dying to run this one again. I think one experience is sufficient. I already have all the gear and see no reason for another pumpkin tech-jacket.

thegreatpumpkinrun.com

Read my most recent column in the Reading Eagle about how I got started running and my review of audio-guided runs on the Nike+ Club Run App.

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Six months adulting after graduation down, the rest of my life to go

They weren’t kidding about the six-month grace period between graduation and starting to pay back student loans. Exactly six months from my graduation date (two days ago), I received an e-mail saying my first payment is due Dec. 10. With this six-month mark, I would like to reflect on the dreaded “adulting” so far.

A lot is the same since my July blog about my job as an obituary writer at the Reading Eagle. At the end of that July blog, I said I was excited to see the next steps I would take in my journalism career and I have taken more steps. I write up the to-do list calendar for the Weekend section, published every Thursday. I also contribute to “My 2¢” columns. These columns are published every day and writers rotate, so I am published about every two weeks and it’s great that I can write on whatever topic I wish to cover.

These “My 2 cents” columns are also why I am not posting on here as much because I’m saving ideas for there. My portfolio page is constantly being updated with my latest Reading Eagle columns though. Topics include my first Eagles game, a ghostly experience, the Lantern Fest, which disappointed compared to last year, shows to watch on Netflix and more.

At the end of August, I also began freelancing for Lehigh Valley Style magazine. I interned there last fall and they did not find a fall intern this year, so they asked me if I would like to act as the intern, but get paid instead of college credit.

Um yes!

At Lehigh Valley Style, we work so far ahead that when I started in August I was working on the December issue so I can’t wait to see my writing in print next month. (This will also be posted on my portfolio page.)

I thought life would be easier after graduation. I do have more free time (helloNetflix and books and running), but jobs, relationships and other stress replaces college stress.

I remember being so stressed about finding a job after graduation. I wasn’t hearing back from a lot of the positions I interviewed for or heard the inevitable “need more experience” line of rejection. I couldn’t imagine where I was going to find a job, but I did find one that I am grateful I like a lot.

Before college I was stressed about where I was going to go to college and what I would major in. But I figured that out and I’ll figure out the other unknowns in my life as well.

I see my friends less now that we are all working. I’m also still sort of on the job hunt. The main goal is a full-time job in journalism. Right now, I would love to stay at the Reading Eagle, but there isn’t anything currently open. So I wonder if I’ll stay or end up somewhere else. I don’t mind being part-time for now; I’m only a few months in. I’m looking for other part-time jobs in my field that will allow me to stay at the Reading Eagle and to finally quit Marshalls. I was hoping to escape retail before the holiday season but no such luck.

Life doesn’t just fall into place after graduation like I daydreamed it would. There are constantly unknowns in life such as where I’m going and what the future holds. Eventually the hurtle is overcome and the next one comes into the line of view. Sometimes I fly over them and sometimes I stumble, but I always keep going.

Dove ad aimed for diversity, not racism

There’s a lot of pressure creating content these days when everyone is worried about being politically correct. The recent Dove ad fiasco is a great example. Dove released a three-second GIF showing a black woman taking off her shirt to reveal a white woman, who then takes off her shirt to reveal an Asian woman.

Many social medias users speculated that this ad represented the stereotype of a “dirty” black person being cleansed to white. Perhaps if the order was changed and the white woman took off her shirt to reveal the black woman (model Lola Ogunyemi) people would not be in such an uproar. Changing the order would have changed the negative perception of “dirty” to clean; however, Dove wanted Ogunyemi to be the face of the campaign and I think that is commendable.

People are  too busy looking for something to be upset about and it’s especially easy to jump on the bandwagon when everyone is pointing fingers that Dove is racist.

I looked at this ad with the preconceived notion that it was racist as an article headline said. I understood what everyone was complaining about, but more than that, I saw that Dove was trying to represent diversity. Three seconds and they feature three different races; that’s pretty good in my eyes. Overall, I saw the message that Dove works for all women with different types of skin.

Even Ogunyemi didn’t think the ad was racist and said she is not a victim. She and other women were very excited about creating the ad as well.

“All of the women in the shoot understood the concept and overarching objective – to use our differences to highlight the fact that all skin deserves gentleness,” she wrote in an opinion article on The Guardian.

She also noted that her friends and family loved the ad and congratulated her on being the first woman to appear.

The 30-second TV commercial featured seven women of different ages and races. Instead of the T-shirts, they were in a bathroom answering the question, “If your skin were a wash label, what would it say?” Having the variety of skin types answer this question was more effective at getting Dove’s message across than the three-second GIF.

Dove took down the ad and released an apology saying they “missed the mark.” Their apology has upset people as well. Ultimately, I agree with Ogunyemi that Dove should have backed up their creative vision in the apology and explain their choice for choosing Ogunyemi as the face of their campaign.

My new job as an obituary writer is the opposite of depressing

I am a few weeks in at my new job as the obituary writer for The Reading Eagle newspaper. I know, I know, the job sounds depressing. That was my first reaction as well and I initially wasn’t very excited about my first job post-graduation.

First of all: death. Everyone is uncomfortable talking about it, but my job is actually positive. I get to read about the most impressive accomplishments these men and women have achieved in their lives and all their great and great-great-grandchildren who love them.

My job title is also misleading because I don’t actually write the obituaries. Family members often write them and funeral directors e-mail them to me. I edit the obituaries for AP style rules and style rules that are particular to the newspaper. I am also a fact-checker in a sense. For example, I check that a World War II veteran was born within dates that makes serving in the war possible.

Obituary writer is also an interesting position because although I work in the editorial department, I mainly work in the computer program AdBooker since obits are technically classified death obits.

Yes, my busy days at the paper rely on people dying, but I enjoy editing the obituaries. They make me wonder what I will accomplish in my life.

I never thought that I would be an obituary writer after college. I was hoping for a more exciting job title like investigative reporter or something where I could write more than I am now, but I am happy to have the opportunity to be working in the journalism industry. I applied to marketing positions and other jobs related to my communication major, but more than anything I wanted to end up at a newspaper or magazine, so I’m very thankful to be where I am.

One of my professors started out as an obituary writer and she has accomplished so much in her life as a journalist, author, and professor. So I know that this is only the first stepping-stone to my journalism career ahead of me.

I started at the bottom of journalism in high school and again in college and I know I can work my way back to the top to one day be an editor-in-chief again. But for now I’ll be working as hard as I can to shine as an obituary writer and welcome the next steps in my career that come my way.

From the Editor’s desk: Saying goodbye to my role as Editor-in-Chief

Originally published in Issue 14, Fifty-First Year of The Minstrel (May 4, 2017). 

I almost never joined The Minstrel.

I came into DeSales thinking I wanted to be an advertising copywriter and had no intention of pursuing journalism as a career. I became a staff writer on The Minstrel a couple weeks into freshman year to make friends and get involved in the school. I thought it might be difficult to handle the extra work, but I decided to try it out.

Looking back, I’d like to pat my freshman-self on the back for making that decision because this paper has created a passion in me to investigate facts, interview people and tell their stories.

Overall, The Minstrel has been one of the most impactful things I’ve done here. It’s taught me bravery, leadership and how to accept criticism.

When I accepted my position as Editor-in-Chief last year, I had no idea how I was going to fill 14 issues. I knew I wanted to bring controversial topics to The Minstrel but I wasn’t sure what topics or how. This year is when I really got into the mindset that everything can be turned into a story and my gears were always turning for new ideas.

I also moved away from editorials this year since I have this great “Letter from the Editor’s desk” where I can write anything I want—which has been an absolute pleasure—and started focusing on hard news.

I am proud of my staff and myself for covering many weighty topics such as sexual assault, LGBT rights, mental health, sex trafficking and politics. We’ve opened up diverse conversations on a campus where these conversations were previously lacking or nonexistent.

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Proud and happy and sad to see my last issue as Editor-in-Chief. Photo by Tina Tran

It has specifically been great to witness the evolvement of the non-discrimination policy, which I first covered in November, and to now see that the decision to add “sexual orientation” is going to the Board. (Read the article out on Page 1.)

In addition to improving article content, we added the “Editorial” section and editor position. In previous years, there would only be an Editorial Page when there were enough articles to fill a page; however, this year we made sure to devote at least one page an issue to editorials.

We changed the masthead design, fonts and other layout changes such as photo stories to approve the paper’s appeal. Additionally, we cut the full puzzle page to either a quarter page to sometimes nonexistent in order to cover more content for our readers.

I have many people I would like to thank for their support at DeSales. First, I would like to thank The Minstrel staff for putting up with my perfectionist attitude when it comes to editing articles. It was a pleasure working with Managing Editor Will Edwards and all the other editors by my side. I know they will all have great success in the future. I wish Chris Shaddock the best of luck as Editor-in-Chief for the next two years. The enthusiasm you have for journalism will take The Minstrel to great places and I can’t wait to see the paper continue to evolve.

I’d like to thank The Minstrel’s advisor Professor McKnight for being an inspiration to me as a journalist and always helping me out of the hot water I often created; Dr. Grasso for bringing out the feminist in me, always chatting with me in her office and challenging me academically to be the best I could be; and all the other professors I’ve had an honor of meeting at DeSales who have shown their support for me in some way.

I couldn’t have made it through the past four years without my communication right hand (wo)man Erin Grube. (They’ll miss us roaming the Humanities hallway next year.) Thanks for being a friend to me since freshman year and helping me learn that it’s okay to not be
perfect.

Thank you to my best friend Skye Van Hook—who “doesn’t even go here”—but has shown so much support and encouragement for my articles on social media that you would think she did. She believes in me and my talent more than I believe in myself.

And thank you Tina Tran, the nicest person I know, for attending almost every DeSales event with me. It’s been a memorable four years and I know we will keep the random road trips coming.

Last, but not least I’d like to thank my mom, dad and Katie for reading ALL of my articles over the past four years; there’s been a lot.

Even as a commuter, DeSales was a second home to me. I will tremendously miss this place and the kind-hearted people I’ve met here, but I know I’ll be back to visit.

Although the future ahead of me remains uncertain, I know I’ll be writing. I’d like to take my investigative journalistic skills to the real world and continue to fight for justice in my articles.

I leave you with a quote from one of my favorite TV shows, “Pretty Little Liars,” that is also about to come to an end.

“How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard?”—Spencer Hastings

Peace, love & DeSales,

Kellie Dietrich
Editor-in-Chief

From the Editor’s desk: Sexism in the workplace

Originally published in Issue 11, Fifty-First Year of The Minstrel (March 23, 2017). Click here to view the entire issue. 

A recent Twitter thread about an email experiment has been going viral and caught a lot of attention, including my own. If you haven’t seen it, the thread was from Martin R. Schneider who worked at a small employment service firm with Nicole Pieri, whose boss complained took a long time working with clients.

Schneider recalls having accidentally sent e-mails under Pieri’s name and having clients being rude and dismissive towards him. After changing back to his own email signature, he received positivity and gratitude from the same client.

Schneider and Pieri then began an experiment where they switched email signatures for two weeks.

The results? Schneider tweeted, “I was in hell. Everything I asked or suggested was questioned. Clients I could do in my sleep were condescending. One asked if I was single.”

As for Pieri, Schneider tweeted, “Nicole had the most productive work week of her career. I realized the reason she took longer is because she had to convince clients to respect her.”

This experiment reveals that sexism still exists in the workplace today and is a daily obstacle for women.

“I wasn’t any better at the job than she was, I just had this invisible advantage,” tweeted Schneider, who realized his unearned privilege of being a male.

Twitter users were also quick to bring up the fact that if Pieri had a black-sounding female name, she would face additional struggles.

This incident also reminds me of the Howard/Heidi experiment. Half of a Harvard class was given the case study of Heidi Roizen, a real-life entrepreneur. The same case study was given to the other half of the class except the name was changed to Howard.

Both groups found Heidi and Howard equally competent, as it should be since the accomplishments were identical. However, Howard was seen as more likeable while Heidi was seen as selfish and not someone you would want to work with.

It is sad that while success and likeability are positively correlated for men, it is negatively correlated for women. Additionally, women are often sexist against other women, so it’s not like sexism exists solely because of men. Women and men both need to reflect on the respect, or lack of respect, they give others.

I have been applying to jobs and I wonder if my resume is perceived as less strong because of my gender. Will that affect my job opportunities in the future? I sure hope not, but like Pieri, I will work twice as hard to get the job done.

This issue is full of successful (and likeable) women such as alumna and business owner Anne Gurtowski, CSSJ volunteer of the month Erin O’Neil and the women’s lacrosse team who will be making DeSales history all season long.

Peace, love & DeSales

Kellie Dietrich
Editor-in-Chief

From the editor’s desk: Discrimination is not dead

Originally published in Issue 10, Fifty-First Year of The Minstrel (March 2, 2017). Click here to view the entire issue. 

In November, The Minstrel published my article “‘Sexual orientation’ missing from non-discrimination policies.” Seeing this article published was a proud moment for me as a journalist. I’m glad my article is still leading to faculty discussions four months later, and was glad to see “sexual orientation” being included in the NSSEE survey, which DeSales did not include in any previous years.

The Notice of Non-Discrimination found in the student handbook and faculty handbook says, “DeSales University will accept and make available to all students, faculty members or employees on a non-discriminatory basis, without regard to age, sex, race, color, disability, veteran status, national origin, or ancestry, all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students, faculty members, and employees.”

Clearly, sexual orientation is missing (and many non-discrimination policies list gender expression and gender identity as well), but it’s about way more than adding words to a list.

It’s about the students.

It’s about the faculty and staff.

It’s about equal treatment.

One of the key reasons same-sex marriage was legalized in the U.S. is because of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. It says states should not deny any person “the equal protection of the laws,” so I don’t think it is fair for DeSales to deny recognition to the LGBT population in their policies.

However, do you notice anything else missing from the non-discrimination clause?

Ironically enough, the nondiscrimination policies of this religious-based institution are lacking religion, which most non-discrimination policies include.

The students and staff at DeSales have diverse religions. Of course, Catholicism is the majority on campus; however, people practicing different religions may feel like the odd man out and unable to express their views.

Discrimination is not dead.

According to Pew Research Center in 2015, anti-Muslim assaults in the U.S. were at the highest level since Sept. 11 era levels. In 2001 there were 93 reported aggravated or simple assaults motivated by anti-Muslim bias while in 2015, there were 91, and that number most likely increased for 2016 and still increasing today. Additionally, there were 257 anti-Muslim hate crimes incidents in 2015, which is 67 percent higher than the previous year.

Sexual orientation and religion need to be protected by the University.

I have de nitely made my opinions clear on the subject, but read Father Dailey’s “Letter to the editor,” which also relates back to my sexual orientation article and gives context to the most popular DeSales’ phrase: “Be who you are and be that well.”

I appreciate hearing the feedback and different voices at the University. If you would like to send a “Letter to the Editor” for a future publication, e-mail me at kd6695@desales.edu.

Peace, love & Desales,

Kellie Dietrich
Editor-in-Chief

From the editor’s desk: Online health information, abortion inaccuracies

Originally published in Issue 9, Fifty-First Year of The Minstrel (February 16, 2017). Click here to view the entire issue. 

At this point in the semester, you’re either one of three things: about to be sick, sick or just got over it. Unfortunately, I currently fall under the “sick” category.

When I’m sick I do two things. First, I Google my symptoms and find out from WebMD that I have cancer. Then I panic and text my sister, who is an RN, and nd out that WebMD is wrong and I’m not dying.

Most likely, you also fall under the category of googling your symptoms. According to a Pew Research Center 2013 survey of online health information seeking, 77 percent start with search engines like Google or Yahoo instead of going to a health-oriented site.

This may not sound problematic, but most people do not try and decide if the sources they are looking at are credible and trustworthy. They most likely choose the first source on the page and work their way down.

Additionally, many people have confirmation biases. If they believe they have the flu, they are going to look for websites telling them they have the flu in order to confirm what they already believe.

Most people are satisfied with their searches; however, many websites contain inaccurate health information. Once a lie is told on the Internet, it tends to spread. Health information is sometimes syndicated, so it appears on multiple sites. This means they are verifying their information with multiple sources, but they have really read the material from the same syndicate on two different websites.

Information is often misleading to set certain agendas and one of these is the pro-life agenda. In December 2016, the French Senate signed a bill criminalizing the posting of misleading pro-life information online. They believe it is unlawful for sites to pose as neutral sources of information but promote anti-abortion agendas.

In the last issue the article “Pro-Life Club attends 44th March for Life in D.C.,” quoted a student who stated that having an abortion could cause their mental and physical health to suffer such as damaging reproductive organs, causing infertility and leading to emotional trauma like PTSD.

As the editor, I read every article before the issue is sent to the publisher. After reading this, I was unsure if the information was true or not and a quick Google search confirmed what the student said, or so I thought. Unfortunately, I fell into the trap of inaccurate information being falsely spread around the Internet. I’m not trying to argue for or against abortion here, but as a journalist, it is important to me that the facts are presented accurately and that lies do not spread out of control (i.e. for the hundredth time, vaccines do not cause autism).

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, abortion is a low-risk procedure. Fewer than one in 100 women have complications from an abortion performed before 14 weeks of pregnancy and up to two in 200 women after. Additionally, the risks from an abortion are less than the risks of giving birth.

Going back to abortion inaccuracies, a 2010 study “Informed or misinformed consent? Abortion policy in the United States,” found that one-third of informed consent information is inaccurate. Most states have informed consent statutes, which require that a woman seeking an abortion receive a state-authored informational packet before an abortion is performed.

Researchers found that 31 percent of the information was medically inaccurate ranging from 15 to 47 percent across states with Pennsylvania averaging to 24 percent. Most of the inaccuracies were about the first trimester of the pregnancy, and among women who have abortions, 90 percent do so in the first trimester. The patterns of inaccuracies included accelerated fetal development, especially size and weight.

Similarly, a 2014 study, “Crisis pregnancy center websites: Information, misinformation and disinformation” looked at a total of 254 websites of crisis pregnancy centers (348) referenced in state resource directories for pregnant women. A total of 203 out of 254 websites had at least one false or misleading piece of information. The most common being mental health risks, preterm birth, breast cancer and future infertility.

Now that the facts are straight, you should definitely check out The Minstrel’s new “Volunteer of the Month” section honoring students dedicated to service. There’s also an ice hockey double feature on the back page and lots of great reading in between.

Peace, love & DeSales,

Kellie Dietrich
Editor-in-Chief

From the editor’s desk: life is waiting

Originally published in Issue 8, Fifty-First Year of The Minstrel (February 2, 2017). Click here to view the entire issue. 

I ended last year’s letter from the editor with a quote so I feel like it’s only appropriate to come full circle and start this year’s letter with a quote too.

“As long as you live, there’s always something waiting; and even if it’s bad, and you know it’s bad, what can you do? You can’t stop living.”—Truman Capote, “In Cold Blood”

I love this quote because I think it’s perfect for entering 2017. There is so much waiting for us this year. We will learn, laugh, cry, love, make mistakes, try new things, meet new people, discover ourselves, have good days and have bad days.

Whatever is waiting for us, it’s there. It’s waiting. You have to keep living and taking chances. There’s no one who doesn’t experience hurt and pain in the world, so do your best to make each day brighter for yourself and others.

One thing that has already been affecting everyone this year is the inauguration of President Donald Trump. Most of the country has accepted the fact that he is our president; however, citizens aren’t sitting back and waiting to see what happens. On Trump’s rst full day in office, an estimated 2.5 million people united together at women’s marches in the nation’s capital and cities around the world.

Many are already infuriated that pages on the official White House website, whitehouse.gov, have been disappearing. Some of the pages include those on climate change, civil rights, health care and LGBT rights. It is important that America does not move backwards on these issues and citizens have a greater responsibility now than ever to be informed.

A lot of people have strong views for or against Obamacare with many believing Obamacare is better than the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and vice versa. “Jimmy Kimmel Live” recreated a 2013-segment where he asked people on the street which they preferred. Four years and a lot of media coverage later, people do not realize Obamacare is the nickname for ACA.

While funny, the video is also horrifying, specifically because the reason most people gave for not liking Obamacare was because they don’t like Obama. So let’s concentrate on the facts. We can’t believe every word and fear Trump puts inside our heads because we like him and we can’t dismiss every word he says because we don’t like him. The most important thing is to continue to educate yourself on important issues.

So give 2017 a chance. There’s going to be highs and there’s going to be lows. Most of us have witnessed both already. CJ Bamert talks about his experience at the Women’s March, Jaci Wendel covers the Kraft lecture and Steve Manzo predicts the winning team of Superbowl LI.

Peace, love & DeSales,

Kellie Dietrich
Editor-in-Chief

From the Editor’s Desk: Finding Christmas Spirit Despite a Terrible 2016

Originally published in Issue 7, Fifty-First Year of The Minstrel (December 8, 2016). Click here to view the entire issue. 

I didn’t know what to write this letter about so I asked my mom. Since it’s the last issue before winter break she said, “Isn’t it suppose to be about Christmas?”

I mumbled some sarcastic comments back to her, but I love Christmas and have no ideas. So, here goes nothing Mom.

Stereotype me as a “basic white girl,” but Christmas has always been my favorite holiday. I love that I get to spend time with my family and hey, presents never hurt anyone. I also love the decorations: putting up the Christmas tree and our train and village that reside underneath it. Green, red and sparkly decorations throughout the house and glittering lights outside courtesy of my “Bah-humbug” saying Dad. (We know you secretly love Christmas, Dad)

Christmas transforms everyday places like your living room, DeSales’ campus and most importantly, people. In my opinion, everyone’s a little more cheerful with Christmas music, decorations and holiday spirit. (Christmas music is great and if you disagree, try not to smile while my sister Katie and I duet “Dominick the Donkey” for the hundredth time.)

During the Christmas season, I can almost forget how terrible of a year 2016 was. Shootings in Orlando, the bombing in Brussels, Hurricane Matthew, outbreak of Zika, the presidential election and other events have made 2016 so terrible that basically everyone can agree on the fact that this year sucked. On a personal level, I had a pretty great year, but with everything happening in the world around me, I am hoping 2017 has better global outcomes.

So while I am fearful for the future of America and the rest of the world, I can pretend that we live in a happy, joyful place during the month of December and also regain hope that America will thrive and become a place filled with equality.

I hope this letter has given everyone a little bit of hope and willingness to embrace Christmas and the New Year ahead of us. There is no greater feeling than knowing that my writing has reached people and that I have impacted their lives. If I have made someone laugh at my letters or considered new points of views in my editorials, I did my job. If I can be a voice for LGBT students or sexual assault victims, I did my job.

I write because I love writing, but most importantly, it is because of all of you. I don’t want to get too mushy because I’m saving all that for the end of the spring semester, but thank you to everyone who has supported me and everyone who let me tell their stories.

This issue, The Minstrel leaves you with many stories to take with you for winter break. Some of these stories deal with terrible circumstances like the stabbing on campus but most of them, like the feature on Dr. Focht and No Shave November, are filled with hope and silver linings. Be sure to find your hope and joy over the holiday season.

“The day will be what you make it, so rise, like the sun, and burn.”—William C. Hannan.

Peace, love & DeSales,

Kellie Dietrich
Editor-in-Chief