The Uncensored Voice of Salem College

Farewell Letter from the Editor

by Sarah Vick

    The Salemite began in 1920 as a student-run publication. To understand The Salemite as it is now, it is necessary to know its history. From 1920- 2010, The Salemite went through phases of printing weekly, bi-weekly, and monthly. There used to be multiple classes within the communication department that worked to contribute content to The Salemite, and editor positions on The Salemite were paid as part of Salem College’s work study program. Because this same opportunity was not made available to other publications (likely due to lack of funding),  this system was deemed unfair. Like all of Salem’s student-run organizations, The Salemite is now run by dedicated students who volunteer their time and labor.

    In 2010, The Salemite ceased printing and was converted to an online blog. We have limited records of how much it was actually kept up; several students didn’t even know it existed. In fact, I didn’t even know the The Salemite existed until halfway through my first year at Salem.

    All of this is a display of a bigger issue I’ve noticed as a leader in several Salem organizations; there is next to no enforceable structure for leadership transition.

    Following this hiatus of our student-run publication, Monique Ahmad C’16 took over The Salemite as Editor-in-Chief in 2014. Through exceptional organizational skills, she was able to add membership, manage a board of editors, print letter-sized pamphlets semi-regularly and publish certain articles on WordPress. Take it from me: that is way more work than it sounds like. While Ahmad could have easily let The Salemite dissolve and become a mere artifact of Salem’s legacy, she maintained and improved its infrastructure.

    My goals this year have been to increase visibility and relevance by: creating a sustainable system of printing a traditional newspaper, managing social media consistently, and publishing all of our print articles (and some extra articles) on WordPress. (Btw, if you’re not following us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, go do that now!)

    Behind the scenes, I’ve worked to set up and manage records to create easier transitions for future editors and to increase membership and interest in The Salemite. (We have had record-high numbers of applicants to The Salemite this year!) I’ve also held mandatory weekly meetings –often to my staff’s chagrin–  because I believe in-person communication is always most effective.

    I think the most demanding task for our future Editor-in-Chief, Kristen Maikoo C’17, will be developing a sustainable advertising program. It is a tall order, but she is undoubtedly qualified to handle it. I have to commend my section editors in particular (Emily Ramser ‘16, Maikoo, and Lesly Luna ‘17) for working tirelessly to make this publication excellent.

    There’s a quote from a previous editor that pretty accurately sums up my experience on The Salemite as Editor-in-Chief. Cynthia Gonzalez, Editor-in-Chief for the 2006-07 academic year said it best: “…somehow, I was elected by my peers to be Editor-in-Chief of this publication. Since then, my life has been nothing but chaos.”

    My life has been chaos, but this chaos has been an invaluable experience and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. As SGA Secretary next year, I will be the chair of Publications Board and will continue to be dedicated to improving campus publications. I beyond thankful to have had the opportunity to work with all of the talented and dedicated students on staff this year, and I can’t wait to see what they will do in the future.

    Happy writing, Salemites!


    P.S. Seriously, go follow us on social media!

Salem College Hosts First Annual Publications Conference

By Emily Ramser
Photo by Kristen Maikoo

    With attendees from North Carolina State, Guilford College, UNC Greensboro and Winston-Salem State, Salem College hosted its first Collegiate Publications and Journalists (CPJ) Conference on April 30. Roughly 50 to 60 students attended the conference throughout the day.

      “The conference is meant to promote journalism and collegiate publications, both of which are beginning to garner less and less attention by college students. Furthermore, we are hoping to assist collegiate journalists and writers with growing their writing, design, and networking skills,” says the CPJ conference website.

         The conference was sponsored by Salem’s Chapter of the Society of Collegiate Journals (SCJ), Dean Susan Calovini, and Salem’s Student Government Association (SGA). SCJ was started last spring by former Incunabula Editor-in-Chief Sarah Foil, former Sights & Insights Editor-in-Chief Caroline Jones and former Salemite Editor-in-Chief Monique Ahmad. Ramser, current Incunabula Editor-in-Chief, took over after Foil and Jones’s graduation in May 2015 and was elected president of Salem’s SCJ chapter in the fall of 2015. Ramser, SCJ vice president Katherine Williams and SCJ secretary Kristen Maikoo have spearheaded the conference planning.

     Kaitlin Montgomery, Editor-in-Chief of NC State’s student newspaper The Technician, was the keynote speaker for the day. She presented on how she became a “#girlboss” through her running of The Technician. In her talk, she focused on the discrimination she had faced both online and in person regarding her being Editor-in-Chief of The Technican.

   Junior Kayla Conway, Incunabula‘s Assistant Editor, says that Montgomery’s session was her  favorite session of the day. “My personal favorite was the talk on how to be a #girlboss,” said Conway. “[It] helped me understand more where to draw the line between the personal and the professional through tips on how to handle certain situations and, when it comes to it, damage control.”

     Two students from Guilford College,  Allison DeBusk and Beatriz Caldas, also presented at the conference. DeBusk, a senior at Guilford College, is the Editor-in-Chief of  The Guilfordian and sophomore Caldas is the Social Justice and Diversity Coordinator of the college’s paper. The two hosted a talk titled “A Guide To Being A Social Justice Newspaper” during the second session of the day.

    The closing session, “What I Wish I Knew: Tips for Young Journalists,” was hosted by Meghann Evans, a reporter for the Winston-Salem Journal. Evans, a Salem alumna from the class of 2009, offered suggestions to student journalists for how they can transition from being a part of a student paper to a professional paper.

    Senior Carolina Ovando found the session to be both “informational and applicable.” Ovando says,“She [Evans] had lots of applicable personal experiences. It was like, I did this so you can do it too.”

    Salem students juniors Pat Berryhill, Rachel Taylor and Ramser also presented on a variety of topics. Berryhill presented on networking. “I enjoyed the experience of putting a workshop together and seeing where my pitfalls were, meeting new people is always a plus,” said Berryhill when asked about her experience.

    Professionals, such as Karen Weintraub, a freelancer for the The New York Times and Harvard Extension Professor, Weasel Patterson, owner and editor of Weasel Press, Spring-Serenity Duvall, Salem College professor of Communication and Laura Leigh Abby, creator of 2Brides2Be, also presented.

    First-year Sam Thurman attended Weintraub’s session on science journalism and came away having learned a lot.

    “I went in expecting a fairly regular, bland approach to writing science, but I was pleasantly surprised,” says Thurman. “The angles to which she analyzed the field and the approach she took to presenting it made everything very interesting.”

    Williams enjoyed helping with the conference, as it provided her with many opportunities to network with other collegiate journalists. Williams, Ramser and Maikoo are already looking at ways to improve next year’s conference.

   Williams says, “I think the biggest difficulty was having the expectation of the people who had signed up would all be there, and then having some not show. It made me wonder as to why.” In order to find out that and how to improve overall, she and the other staff are working on a feedback survey to send out to attendees. Those interested in assisting with next year’s conference should email Ramser at

    Conway says that she enjoyed the conference. “I think that the idea of bringing students that work on other publications together to share ideas and discuss what they’ve done to become successful in order to help others do the same is really wonderful and it was a valuable experience to be able to tap into the world of other schools to see similarities and differences between Salem and other college publications.”

Crossing Campuses: WFU’s cross-registration system with Salem College

By Merritt Enright

    It is the first day of Fall semester at Wake Forest University and sophomore Emma Battle joins the throngs of students making their way across the brick labyrinth of campus.   

    As Battle takes her seat in Latino Political Behavior and listens to Professor Wilkinson take attendance, she never hears her name called.  The professor seems confused, looking up at Battle and then back to the roster in search of a missing name. When introductions go around the room, one-by-one, the rest of the students find out why.  

    “My name is Emma Battle,” she says, “but I actually don’t go here.”  

    Battle, in fact, attends Salem College.

    Each semester, approximately 15-30 students from Salem College enroll in courses at Wake Forest.  This is a part of the WFU cross-registration relationship with Salem, which began in 1961 as a way for both institutions to expand their course offerings. According to Richard Vinson, Dean of Academics at Salem College, the program allows Salem and Wake Forest students to utilize academic opportunities otherwise not available at their own school.  

    “It is a long-standing arrangement,” said Vinson.  “Students benefit by being able to take courses that either are not offered or won’t be offered in a timely fashion on the home campus,”

    Salem’s academic records report that the cross-registration arrangement dates back to 1961.  The arrangement was dubbed “cross-registration” and developed into a full-fledged program in the early 1980s as students from both campuses sought broader academic opportunities.  For students like Battle, the cross-registration system plays an integral part in expanding her educational horizons.

    “When I took Latino Political Behavior at Wake Forest, there wasn’t anything like it being offered at Salem at the time,” said Battle.  “It’s a great way to add diversity to your education, whether that be diversity of opinions, subject matter or even college campuses.”

    Significantly more Salem students cross-register each semester, taking advantage of Wake’s extensive course offerings in Political Science, History, Journalism, and musical ensembles,   This semester, 15 Salem students and 4 Wake students are cross-registered.  

    “Because of Salem’s size, it is hard for the professors to teach focused topics,” said Salem College junior Ella Hill. “So every semester I skim the Wake Forest History Department website for their upcoming course schedule.”

    Likewise, cross-registration enables Salem students to experience a co-ed campus while still receiving the benefits of a women’s education.  Hill, who has taken two courses titled Fashion in the Age of the Atlantic Revolution and Music History of Winston-Salem at Wake Forest, reports that WFU’s cross-registration system played a role in her college decision.  

    “When I went through the college search process, Wake Forest University and Salem College caught my eye,” said Hill. “I thought it was neat that at Salem College you had a school wide sisterhood support system, but could also get a taste of a co-ed institution with opportunities like attending athletic games and cross-registration.”

    For Wake Forest students, Salem’s niche course offerings in Arts Management and Not-for-Profit Management appeal to those looking for more specified areas of study.  

    “Some Wake Forest music majors are taking Arts Management courses at Salem, since Wake Forest doesn’t have that program,” said Vinson. “Most semesters there are at least one Wake student taking courses at Salem.”

    To Wake Forest senior Tiansong Zhou, taking a course at Salem meant he could complete his Business Enterprise Management and Archeology major, a track that can be carved through WFU’s Anthropology Department and Business School.  In order to graduate, Zhou still needed to take an upper level art course, but was unable to register for any Wake art courses without certain prerequisite classes.

    “I couldn’t take any museum/gallery classes at Wake Forest because they are higher level classes and I did not take any entry art classes [for prerequisites],” said Zhou. “So my advisor recommended I look at the Salem course catalog.”

     At Salem, Zhou could fulfill a WFU credit by taking arts management courses, which do not require entry level art.  He enrolled in Museums and Galleries taught by Cynthia Marvin, making the 10-minute drive twice a week to Salem’s downtown campus.  He summarized his experience at Salem as “interesting…very different from Wake but still good.”

    Is it odd being a male student on an all-women’s campus?  “Definitely not,” Zhou reported.  “I am kind of enjoying it.”

    The registration process itself is less straightforward.  According to Melissa Cumbia, Academic Counselor at Wake Forest, the student must first receive approval from the Dean of Academics by writing a brief explanation regarding why they want to take the class.  Once approved to move forward, the student must also contact the course professor and ask for permission to join the roster.  On receiving the professor’s approval, the student’s paperwork is then sent to the WFU registrar for processing, but the student will not be formally added to the waitlist until a few days before the start of the course.  Even then, the student must remain on the waitlist until the course begins.   

    “Cross-registering was a very long and complicated process which took about a month,” said Zhou, who is one of four Wake students enrolled at Salem this Spring.  

    Aside from the complicated enrollment process, another abnormality arises in the financial logistics of cross-registering.  When a student cross-registers at Wake or Salem, they are not required to pay any independent tuition cost to that school.  When asked how the course cost is accounted for, the administration declined to comment due to FERPA regulations.  

    Since the “arrangement” of cross-registration has no specific financial policy that is publicly disclosed, this raises the question of whether it is fair for Salem students, who pay roughly $25,000 in tuition, to receive the benefits of a WFU education, which costs approximately $44,000 per year not including room and board.  It can be assumed that each school merely exchanges the necessary costs for courses, but the absence of information is unsettling.  

    “My impression is that this is very good arrangement for all concerned,” said Vinson. “If there ever were issues needing resolution, I’m confident that we and our good friends at Wake Forest could work things out.”

    The vagueness and complications of cross-registering may explain why it is largely unadvertised by administrators and unbeknownst to students, particularly at Wake Forest.  Donors to Wake Will, for example, might not be pleased to know that their financial gifts could be benefitting the education of non-WFU students.

    However, on the student level, cross-registration seems to only reap positives and offer diversity to both Wake and Salem undergraduates.  Hill, Battle, and Zhou all agreed that they would recommend cross-registration at both schools and for all majors.  While the administrative process might be an enigma, the pros of student experiences appear to outweigh the unidentified cons.

SCDC Reflects on Their ACDA Experience

By Shea Bove

    Halfway through spring break, the Salem College Dance Company members found themselves traveling the six-hour drive back to Winston-Salem after attending the American College Dance Association Conference. The dancers had journeyed to West Virginia University ready to showcase three pieces and take various dance classes while at the conference.

    Once the weekend was complete, the dancers packed their bags, climbed back into the bus, and prepared for the long drive home. While on their journey, the dancers debriefed about their experiences. They discussed what they learned, what they found interesting, what they thought went poorly, and how they could improve themselves for next year.

    Junior Katherine Williams was the choreographer of the only Salem adjudicated piece performed at the conference.

    Katherine reflected on the judges’ feedback saying, “I was able to portray my ideas and purpose in a way they understood, but at the same time, I made them uncomfortable. I think their feedback was based a great deal on what they expected to see, and I think that had they not come in with expectations their reactions would have been different.”

    Exhausted and sore, the dancers were still able to come to the conclusion that the weekend was overall a positive one. The dancers were able to take classes that are not offered here at Salem. These classes included an H2O class where the students danced in a swimming pool. Other dancers took an introduction to stage combat class where they were able to learn how to create fake fighting routines.

    In addition to taking exciting classes, the dancers were able to watch other North Carolina schools showcase their talent. Other schools present at the conference included ECU, UNCG, and Wake Forest University. The dancers spent the weekend learning from other instructors, taking interesting classes, and spent many nights with five people to a hotel room laughing, bonding, and complaining about how sore they were. The conference was an opportunity to learn more about the art of dance, but it also gave dancers in the company the time to get to know and bond with their peers.

    The dancers plan on taking the feedback given and the knowledge gained at this conference to improve themselves as dancers and choreographers for the next year.

    “I plan on using their feedback so that I can work on trying to choreograph with new styles,” says Williams. “And so that I can continue to portray my thoughts and ideas through dance in new and different ways.”


Introducing Pierrette’s President Kerri Hughes

By Eva Andrews

    In 1909, long before the Student Government Association, there was a group of thespians who formed a theater group. First called The Dramatists and later renamed the Pierrettes, this campus club has been entertaining Salem College for over a hundred years. This past March, they performed The Addams Family Musical, a story about Wednesday, the daughter of the morbid Addams family, marrying a “normal” young man. This spring musical in particular was a great success.

    The ticket sales were excellent, according to Kerri Hughes, the Pierrettes vice-president for this past school year, “the buzz was huge, but we ended up with three sold out nights, even to the point where we had to find extra folding chairs and line them against the wall to fit the number of audience members.”

    Currently, vice-president Hughes was elected Pierrettes president for next year during SGA elections. She is being trained currently for her future presidency under the guidance of Emily “Gil” Gilmore, the current president of Pierrettes: “Gil has kept me in the know of everything we do as well as giving me certain responsibilities to handle on my own in order to prepare me for taking over next year.”

    Hughes has been a member of Pierrettes for three years and served under and took guidance from three different presidents including Gilmore. Hughes seems more than prepared for the position, and she comments that she “can call any previous president and they’ll help [her] in a heartbeat.”

    Her plan is to leave the Pierrettes in a better condition after her presidency. Hughes has several ideas for things she would like to do over the next year. She is planning to raise money to pay the spring musical musicians at a higher rate. She would also like to purchase more supplies such as microphones in order to protect performers’ voices.She wants to see the Pierrettes continue to thrive and “bring the joy of theatre to Salem long after [she’s] gone.”

Student Illustrates Poetry Chapbook

By Eva Andrews

    This semester, Sara Tolbert has illustrated a poetry chapbook, Uhaul: A Collection of Lesbian Love Poems, written by Emily Ramser. The chapbook was inspired by Ramser’s experiences with Tinder last summer and her relationships with women. Ramser reached out to Tolbert to illustrate the book during the fall semester. The two worked together to compose the book over spring with Tolbert contributing five drawings to accompany Ramser’s poems and the cover.

    Her passion was ignited with the crafted words of Ramser’ poems. She chose from the collection of twelve poems those that most inspired her to illustrate.

    The illustrations are sketches that capture the essence of the poems. The poems have an offbeat, conversational vibe to them, and Tolbert is able to mirror that vibe with a fragments of sketches that express timeless moments within each poem. Tolbert looked for vibrant descriptions in order to inspire her illustrations. The illustrations consist of stuffed dogs and moving boxes, a face with flowers surrounding it, a curious pair of eyes, an abdomen with the written tattoo “Queer,” a skillet with smoke pouring out human figures and a mixtape with the recording tape spilling out the side.

    Ramser describes Tolbert’s illustrates as “something just short of magical.”

    Tolbert was never formally taught art until she attended college. Her family couldn’t afford formal art lessons, and she states, “money was a problem.” Even without that formal teaching, Tolbert had “the opportunity to work with Art Organizations who were associated with RISD and Brown University.” RISD stands for Rhode Island School of Design, which have had notable alumni such as James Franco and Seth MacFarlane. Tolbert’s reason for pursuing a major in the arts is her passion.

    Tolbert’s future plan is to be a professor or “work within an art organization and give others the opportunities that [she] was able to have.” She is all about giving back and pursuing her passion. She plans to take a year off from school after she graduates and travel the world. After her expedition, she plans to apply to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago for her graduate school experience.

    Tolbert and Ramser’s book is set to come out later this year in the fall with Weasel Press, an independent press based out of Texas. Those interested in ordering a copy should contact Ramser at her email

Kim & Company XX: Twenty Years of Salem Art Alumnae

By Alex Benson

    In celebration of the achievements from students that have studied under Professor Kim Varnadoe, Salem College is presenting a showcase of artwork by previous graduates. The exhibit, Kim & Company XX: Twenty Years of Salem Art Alumnae, features a collection of artwork from alumnae from classes 1996 to 2015.
    The exhibit contains art from all angles – detailed paintings, intricate mixed media, handcrafted pottery, and unique installation pieces. The viewer is able to walk through the gallery and experience the transformation of style and technique by alumnae over the past twenty years.
    From traditional Japanese prints by Mona Wu to the complex installation piece of jellyfish made from cellophane by Wren Wilson, this exhibit can satisfy even the pickiest of art critics. With such a diverse variety of form and genre, viewers are bound to find themselves gazing upon at least one original piece of artwork.
    Included in the gallery is a book of written statements from the artists as well as information on how to purchase individual pieces. This show can easily be considered one of the largest collaborations of art from Salem alumnae that the college has ever seen.

Location: Elberson Fine Arts Center at Salem College
Date: April 1st – May 2nd, 2016

Sexy Suzy: Group Sex

Hello Dears,


    Society’s increasingly liberal views on sex are often pointed to as a negative. However, I would like to propose that this is a positive. It has given people a unique opportunity to safely pursue things that they may be interested in that would have been taboo, and therefore potentially dangerous, otherwise. Just one example of this is group sex.

    It is not uncommon for one to be interested in inviting others into the bedroom. But at first it may seem nearly impossible to most people. As I often claim and as is true with most sex acts, communication is key. Be wary of situations in which group sex seems to come up by surprise in a group of potentially intoxicated people. The best way to experience group sex is to spend a lot of time discussing it and even planning it before. If you have a primary partner make sure to bring it up with them first and gauge their level of interest as well as set soft and hard boundaries with each other so that you know what you both are comfortable with.

    Finding people who are interested in joining can sometimes be the hardest part of group sex. One common method is for partners to make joint dating profiles to find people online. Other times you may realize that a friend is potentially interested in joining. Either way discussion beforehand is necessary to ensure that everything that happens in consensual and also to maintain good relationships with everyone involved.

    Once you’ve got together the group of people who are all interested in having sex with each other, make sure to have a sober conversation before anything gets started, perhaps even on an entirely separate day, in order to make sure that everyone has established what their boundaries are. Additionally, recognize that these boundaries may change up to and during the group sex itself. Some different aspects of group sex to take into consideration and discuss include protection, language to be used during sex, specific acts that one might be interested in trying or not interested in at all, and during the act periodically checking in to make sure that everyone’s needs are being met is often a good idea.

    Group sex ultimately is just another way that one can explore their sexual interests and have fun. Thankfully, now that it is becoming less taboo it is easier to do so in a safe and communicative environment.

Sexy Suzy


Camino Brookstown: Could This Be Salem’s New Go-To Coffee Spot?

By Emily Ramser

    Camino Bakery is opening a second location just a few steps away from Salem College. The bakery and coffee shop will be taking over The Flour Box bakery at 300 S. Marshall St. at the intersection with Brookstown Avenue.

    In order to differentiate it from the Camino Bakery downtown, this location will be called Camino Brookstown. It will open in mid-May. The initial hours are set to be from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday right now. However, owner Cary Clifford told the Winston-Salem Journal that this is subject to change based on the amount of traffic the location receives.

   Though in a different location, Camino Brookstown will serve coffee and a lot of the same baked goods as the original location. It will not have wine and beer for the time being.

   Students at Salem are excited about the proximity of the new location to Salem. First year Kenzie Confer is among those who are looking forward to the store’s opening.

   “I feel that it’s new location will be more accessible for UNCSA and Salem College. I believe it will lessen the overcrowding at the current Fourth Street location, especially because this new location on Brookstown is more secluded,” says Confer. “I can’t wait for my new, cozy study spot.”

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