WEtown.org Wetown.org is a citizen journalism website for the Elizabethtown, PA community. The site is maintained within the Elizabethtown College Department of Communications, but all members of the community are welcome to post news, events, and images.

WEtown.org is a citizen journalism website for the Elizabethtown, PA community. The site is maintained by the Elizabethtown College Department of Communications, but all members of the community are welcome to post events, news, images and other content of interest to the community.

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"Little Shop of Horrors at Etown" Transcript: Elizabethtown College students, faculty, staff and alumni spent the fall semester preparing for this year’s musical, Little Shop of Horrors. The Ashman and Menken horror comedy musical follows floral assistant Seymour Krelborn, played by senior Devon Moravac, as he discovers a new species of plant. No ordinary plant though, Audrey II feeds on human blood. Associate Professor Dr. Anne Gross directed the first musical at the college since the theater major was dissolved. Senior Erin Vago was heavily involved in the show, including serving as the Assistant Director. She talks about working with Dr. Gross... [Vago] “We were on the same wavelength a lot of the time. There was hardly anything we disagreed on, which was really amazing, better than I could’ve possibly anticipated. I mean I’ve been in sync with other directors before, but never that well in sync so that was-that was a great part of the experience.” Senior Delphi Aubry also wore many hats throughout the production including building the set and serving as both the Assistant Technical Director and Fight Director. Aubry was also the Lead Puppeteer… [Aubry] “I was inside of 3 of the 4 puppets that were involved in the show. Which ranged from just a hand puppet to using my entire body to manipulate a puppet that weighed a total of 750 pounds. It was a lot of fun too because it’s kind of an opportunity to act in a way that people don’t usually see.” The show was originally scheduled to be shown in the Tempest Theater, but had to make a last minute move to the Leffler Chapel and Performance Center’s Musser Auditorium to accommodate the size of the plant puppets used. [Aubry] “I honestly think that moving to the new space was probably the best thing that could've happened for us because while it added like a week of work that we hadn’t anticipated, it also took off like a month of work that we had planned.” The musical was performed 6 times over two weekends, opening October 29 and closing November 6. In Elizabethtown, Jessica Freels. ECTV-40.
Beyond Christmas: Winter traditions from around the world Written by: Bridget Colwell The Friday after Thanksgiving is Black Friday for most Americans. For my family, it’s the start of Christmas. We take the Christmas season very seriously, spending hours decorating, watching movies, listening to music, baking cookies, and more. We have our own traditions, like chocolate fondue on Christmas Eve. We watch the 1974 Rankin and Bass film “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” right after enjoying our sweet treats. I have been surrounded by a culture that acknowledges Christmas as the winter holiday. There are Christmas plays, nativity scenes, Secret Santa gift giving, and ads featuring the jolly old man himself. With over ninety percent of Americans celebrating Christmas, this oversaturation of the holiday makes sense. However, there are other holidays celebrated and cherished during the winter months, in the US and all over the world. Hanukkah Hannukah is an eight-day Jewish celebration which begins on the 25th of Kislev on the Hebrew calendar. This usually falls in November or December. Hannukah commemorates a miracle that was witnessed during the second century B.C. when Jews had successfully driven Syrians out of Jerusalem. Although there was only enough oil to keep a menorah lit for a single day, the flames continued for eight nights, buying the Jews time to find a fresh supply. Hannukah is typically celebrated by lighting a nine-branched menorah; on each night of the celebration, another candle is added after sundown. Other traditions include foods fried in oil, such as potato pancakes known as latkes, playing a game with a four-sided spinning top called a dreidel, and exchanging gifts. Kwanzaa Kwanzaa was created in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Karenga, a professor and chairman of Black Studies at California State University, Long Beach. After the Watts riots in Los Angeles, a series of riots in a predominately black neighborhood, Dr. Karenga wanted to find a way to bring African Americans together as a community. He took aspects of several African harvest celebrations to form the basis of the holiday. Each family celebrates in their own way, but songs, dances, storytelling, and a large traditional meal are often involved. On each of the seven nights of the celebration, one candle is lit of the Kinara, a seven-branched candleholder, and one of the seven principles, called the Nguzo Saba, is discussed. These principles are unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith. Diwali Diwali is a five-day Hindu festival of lights that is celebrated around October and November. The celebration goes back more than 2,500 years and is linked to multiple stories in religious texts. Many of these stories center around the victory of good over evil. Other religions like Buddhism and Sikhism use Diwali to mark important events in their histories, and while it is a religious holiday, it is somewhat of a national holiday in India, too. Fireworks have become a part of Diwali celebrations in recent years, but most traditions revolve around lighting candles and lanterns, symbolizing bringing light into the world and warding off evil spirits. Las Posadas Las Posadas, Spanish for “the inns,” is a religious festival celebrated in Mexico and some parts of the US between December 16 and 24. It commemorates the journey that Joseph and Mary made from Nazareth to Bethlehem to seek refuge where Mary could give birth to the baby Jesus. While this is connected to Christmas and the Christian tradition, it is a unique festival for this cultural region. Each evening during the festival, a procession, primarily made up of children, is led through town to ask for lodging for Joseph and Mary. Traditionally, the procession is refused, but the hosts often provide refreshments at each stop. Passages of scripture are read, and Christmas carols are sung. Mass is held each day after the procession. Piñatas shaped like stars and filled with candy, toys, and money are also part of this celebration. Soyal Soyal is a winter solstice ceremony held by the Hopi tribe of northern Arizona. It centers around welcoming new life and celebrating all that nature has created. Sacred rituals are held to honor their guardian spirits, called kachinas, which come down to Earth and visit their people during the period of Soyal. These beings are said to leave behind gifts for children in their wake. Before the kachinas arrive, Hopi tribe members create pahos, special prayer sticks designed for this ceremony. They are commonly made out of feathers and pinyon needles, which come from a common tree to that area. At the end of the entire celebration, they perform a public dance for the kachina. Winter is a time for a fresh start. The pure white snow is a symbol for many of new beginnings and starting over. Christmas is just one holiday that embraces the beauty to be found in nature around us. This season is for anyone, regardless of belief, religion or background. The holiday season truly is for all.
Our Bluejay Community: Student clubs, covid, and the aftermath of it all Clubs, covid and community – they all have to do with our school, Elizabethtown College. Clubs on campus have played an important role in connecting students to each other and broadening their sense of community on campus. Clubs exist as a space for students to interact with one another from different majors or departments with similar interests such as anime, student government, radio and history. In this, covid has impacted many of the clubs on campus but with the loosening of restrictions, there are more opportunities for students to connect with each other. Before Like many other colleges, Etown’s 80+ clubs had offered a space for students with similar interests to meet. Many of these clubs include cultural clubs, student government and academic clubs as well as activities linked to respective academic departments on campus. The Department of Communications’ own radio station, WWEC 88.3, was a popular organization to the point where many of the slots for show times were filled. Emily Kuhn, a junior and PR director for the radio station said, “There were more people who signed up for slots than people do now. There were more people who weren’t just there for the [PR media] class. You could bring a lot of people in the studio. At one point, I brought like, 3 people into the studio as guests.” The radio station had a lot of interest from students both communications majors and students from other majors who enjoyed college radio. The Anime club was also a popular club in prior years before the pandemic as the club hosted Jaycon – a yearly anime convention held at Elizabethtown College. As stated by the club, “Jaycon 2012 brought Kevin Bolk and Cosplay Comedian Joe as guests and expanded our attendee cap to 350” and in later years Jaycon had invited a voice actress Michelle Knotz. Before the pandemic, both the club and events that were hosted flourished with popularity drawing many people in attendance. During The 2020-2021 academic year marked the first full year of learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some students were offered in person learning and as some professors offered only online learning and other professors offered a hybrid experience. Due to the climate on campus surrounding COVID-19 and safety precautions, the college took the necessary steps to protect the campus from an influx of positive cases. As a result of this situation, club activities were not approved for in person gathering and neither were people allowed to gather in large groups. All club activities were immediately moved online, including Etown’s Student Senate. Each of their weekly meetings - with around 60 people attending - were moved online to a virtual meeting. Even the Senior Leadership Team meeting – a meeting of high importance to both the student body and Student Senate where both groups were able to ask questions to the senior leadership team – was moved online where moderators asked the SLT questions through Zoom. Other Student Senate club activities or events hosted by Student Senate were affected by the pandemic as the annual tree lighting moved to a streamed event and even Junior/Senior - the annual dance hosted by Student Senate – was cancelled late on in the planning stages. Etown’s own radio station, WWEC, has taken a hit as well. Last year, there were no newly trained radio show hosts. The radio station was allowed a room limit of one person but there needed to be two people in the radio station so they could be trained. Additionally, no guests were allowed to participate in any shows unless they were pre-approved. After The summer of 2021 marked a full year of online learning and social distancing measures taken in place on campus. At the same time, Elizabethtown College removed all plastic partitions used in the dining hall, replaced any furniture taken away to promote social distancing and allowed loosened restrictions for face-to-face interactions with the entire Etown community. With the loosening of restrictions, all club activities were back to normal and were allowed to meet in person with no limitations. Many of the clubs had returned to normal activities after an entire year of a hiatus of meeting in person. Station manager Christian Shaaf talks about the current state of the radio station as “it is definitely a rebuilding time. With new leadership, it is our goal to increase the number of student radio shows throughout this upcoming semester.” Even though the radio station faces some restrictions as there is only one guest allowed in the radio station for each show to limit the amount of people in such an enclosed space, things are looking up for increased involvement in the organization. The radio station recently had a change of leadership as alumnus Meghan Kenney – former station manager to WWEC – graduated last year as transitioned her role to Shaaf along with adding other students to the Board of Directors. Following the lifted restrictions has also allowed more clubs to re-form such as the History club. It had been active in previous years but had halted their activities during 2013 and had yet to be revived with interested members. Gavin McCabe, junior and co-president to the History club, helped restart the History club, along with his other co-president Eric Shubert, in October of 2021. “He [Eric Schubert] and I agreed to be co-presidents, just like the dual consuls of ancient Rome.,” McCabe said. Looking towards the spring semester, the History club plans to host off-campus field trips with club members such as a Washington D.C. trip as well as touring the Gettysburg Battlefield. While many clubs and organizations are closing out their activities for the fall semester, Etown isn’t quite out of the woods yet with covid restrictions or fully recovered from the affects as they are a long way away from returning “back to normal” as a campus. Even so, the increased involvement of clubs with the student body has helped tremendously encourage students to be more connected with one another through the pandemic and the time after.