Student Activities

Wheaton Passage: From Separation to Integration

Posted by Charlston Ong '19


Technology is an essential part of our lives. Well, for my life at least. So when I found out I would not be able to update family and friends during Passage at HoneyRock, my heart sank. However, as the days went by, I was really glad that we didn’t have access to electronic devices. 

When we first arrived at HoneyRock, it was late in the night, and tiki torches illuminated our path to a campfire on top of a hill. Worship music started playing softly and everyone started singing. The stars lit up the night sky and with a glow stick from our cabin leaders, we headed to our cabins to settle in. That is where I met the members of Cabin 18 for the first time. It felt overwhelming to me coming from Singapore, which has a totally different culture from United States, but as the days went by, the friendliness and the closeness of our group helped not only me but also the group integrate into Wheaton’s community. 


We were so close that we even had to remind ourselves to go in pairs to sit with others at different groups during meal times, instead of sitting together. We also met Cabin 12, our sister cabin, and bonded over games and activities. Besides getting to know these two groups of people, I slowly opened up and interacted with others at HoneyRock. I would say the absence of technology helped us “live in the moments” of camp and also helped us connect to God on a more personal level. Even the professors helped to break down barriers, which helped tremendously. As Passage came to a close, tiki torches illuminated our paths to the closing ceremony once again, signifying the end with more worship songs around a campfire. Our closeness as whole camp of people was evident. It felt like it was still going to be evident when we arrived back on Wheaton’s campus. 

The members of Cabins 12 and 18 still make it a point to greet each other and have meals with each other on Wheaton’s campus. I am really glad that I attended Passage—the eight days of fun and adventure really eased my process of integration into the Wheaton Community. This is an experience I will never forget, and I wish I could do it all over again. 


Charlston Ong ’19 is a freshman at Wheaton. Find out more about the Wheaton Passage program at HoneyRock. Photo captions (from top): Fellowship around a campfire at HoneyRock; Members of Cabins 12 and 18 get ice cream in Three Lakes, Wisconsin, and gather at the Loberg Lodge cafeteria; Charlston (front, center) and fellow members of Cabin 18 arrive at HoneyRock.

Navigating the Competitive World of Journalism

Posted by Kirkland An '17


Dear Reader,

I don’t think that I am the most qualified person to write about journalism from Wheaton College, but I do think I’ve been blessed these past two years to do things that let me speak about journalism in a unique way. I picked up a journalism certificate at the tail end of my freshman year, and nearly simultaneously applied for The Wheaton Record’s editorial staff. I joined as the school newspaper’s associate editor at the start of my second year. Through a somewhat bizarre series of events, I landed an internship with the Chicago Tribune this past summer, editing and designing for the Midwest’s biggest newspaper. As a junior, I’m now the editor in chief of The Wheaton Record. 

It’s still the beginning of a career path, but I’ve learned a lot since my freshman year. I hope that these tips can help you navigate the competitive world of journalism, especially if you’re looking to go down a path similar to mine. 

  1.  Networking is everything. From what I can tell, if you’re not comfortable with a firm handshake/elevator pitch/business card approach, then it will be hard to get what you want. Journalism is crazy competitive. If you’re attending a liberal arts school — or, not a journalism school in general — you’re already at a slight disadvantage. Fortunately, not everyone who attends a journalism school is good at networking; that’s something that is determined by the individual, not the college they attend. Without talking to people who are in-the-know, I wouldn’t have been offered any of the opportunities I’ve received. Ask to shadow, too — it’s probably the smallest commitment for the person you want to shadow and you get that person to yourself for a whole work day! 
  2. Shoeleather journalism is still the best. Yes, emailing your sources is easier and then you don’t have to actually talk to them face-to-face. However, interviews conducted “in real life” will get you the visceral, off-the-cuff responses that are more genuine and less tailored. It will make your piece more believable and you will build trust with the interviewee as a real person, not an email address. 
  3.  Coding knowledge is a necessity. If you’re around my age, and you still don’t know how to code, you should probably jump on that. It’s necessary for you to know the basics of coding to stay relevant in the workplace, especially in journalism. Learn HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, the basic web design languages as soon as you can – more and more internships are requiring these skills of their interns. 
  4. Internships open AND close early! Journalism internships open around September and close around December — some end even earlier. Make sure you don’t wait to get your application in. 
  5. Learn everything. The more things about journalism that you know, the more attractive you will be to future employers. With its staff size shrinking, each newsroom requires every one of its employees to be able to do more things. Don’t stop at writing — learn design, code, editing, and photography! 


Kirkland An '17 is a junior studying political science with a journalism certificate. Learn more about The Wheaton Record online. Photo captions (from top): Kirk explores the city of Chicago with his fellow summer 2015 Chicago Tribune interns; the Chicago Tribune masthead editors meet to discuss front-page content this summer.

Student Government 2015-16 in 400 Words

Posted by Morgan Jacob '17, Josh Fort '16


Hello Wheaton fam!

My name is Morgan Jacob, and I am excited to serve as the Student Body Vice President for the 2015-16 year. Student Body President Josh Fort '16, the rest of the Student Government (SG) team, and I just enjoyed a fulfilling Student Leadership Development week at HoneyRock and a rewarding time of policy development on campus, and we are ready for an incredible year.

While at HoneyRock, we spent some intense time evaluating our vision for the year. Ultimately, we felt that one cohesive statement explained our group’s heart for this year:

“Student Government seeks to embody Christ's love by being a proactive, hospitable family.”

Let’s unpack that a little, with definitions for those last key words. The first word is proactive. We desire to enable thoughtful, positive change toward reformational justice. SG is one of the few student organizations on campus that focuses almost exclusively on change. We have a unique opportunity to change Wheaton for the better, and we wanted to focus on directing change toward reformational justice. So whether it be working to add new discounts to the Wheatie card so students have more access to resources in their community or campaigning for more sustainable waste practices in order to better care for God’s creation, look out for SG to be working for impactful change.

The second word is hospitable. We desire to create spaces to listen to others and help them process. Student Government is most effective when it listens to the wide-ranging views of the student body, but we wanted to take that a little farther. We want to wade into the emotional, personal issues on campus, and to walk alongside our fellow students through their struggles. We want to empower students to tell their stories and interact with each other on an individual level.

Lastly, we want to be a family, a cohesive community that symbiotically enables one another. At the end of the day, we want to be able to come together, bear each other’s burdens, and share in the unique experience that is Student Government. Whether in an SG Fun Night or in a group workout, we’d love to come together outside of the boardroom.

So, that’s this year’s SG in 400 words. If you’ve got questions, thoughts, or ideas for how to make Wheaton better, drop us a note in the suggestion box in Lower Beamer, or use the Wheaton app to enter a suggestion. We’d love to hear from you!


Morgan Jacob ’17 is the Student Body Vice President for the 2015-16 school year, serving alongside Student Body President Josh Fort ’16. Learn more about Student Government on their website. Photo captions (from top): Morgan and Josh welcome new students at 2015 Orientation's "Mastodon March" outside of Edman Chapel; 2014-15 Student Government members at the 2015 President's Ball.

Welcome to #WheatonOrientation Week: 'To Whom Shall We Go?'

Posted by Dana Henderson '17


Hey there, new students!! This year I’ve had the privilege to serve on the Orientation Committee (OC), and we are pretty darn excited to finally meet you. We have been planning since January, and have a great Orientation week ahead for you! 

The time has come for you to start writing your story at Wheaton. Amid all the emotions you may be feeling, I hope you are excited and expecting incredible things for these next few years. 

You may be new students now, but soon enough you will be studying for that killer final, “hammocking” on Blanchard lawn, campus golfing, attending “Prez Ball,” and waiting in the seemingly never-ending line for omelets at breakfast (worth it). Before you know it, you will be firmly woven into the fabric of our community. 

Here are a few tips on how to tackle you first week as an official Wheatie:

  1. Ask a different question. “Where are you from?” “What are you majoring in?” Brace yourself for hearing the same 5 questions repeated approximately 217 times. Be the person to think outside of the box and ask something like “What do you want to explore in Chicago?”
  2. Be yourself. This is probably the most cliché but important thing to remind you. Don’t waste your time trying to fit into a mold of who you think you should be. Embrace what makes you different. Celebrate your diversity! Likewise, celebrate those around you.
  3. Pace yourself. Take advantage of the events and the down time. Be all there during the events, no matter how trivial you may think they are. At the same time, don’t pull an all-nighter trying to have an intentional conversation with every single person on your floor. Trust me, you will have plenty of time.
  4. Check out these links to stay connected: Visit our website for all things O-week, including a schedule of events, and use the hashtag #WheatonOrientation on all things social media.

At this point, you probably have answers to a few basic questions: Where are you living? What professors should you choose? How many jackets do you need? As you enter Wheaton, there is one more question to which I would like to draw your attention. This year’s Orientation theme verse, John 6:68-69, asks the question, “To Whom Shall We Go?” Interestingly enough, the question actually functions more as a profound statement of faith. My hope is that we as a community will proclaim with a voice of surrender and trust, “Only to you, Lord.” In a world that is constantly changing, let us hold tightly to our never-changing God. 

On behalf of Orientation Committee and the rest of the Wheaton College family, we can’t wait to finally meet you!


Dana Henderson ’17 is this year’s Orientation Committee director. She is originally from Fullerton, California, and is a junior studying Applied Health Science and Business/Economics with the hope of pursuing a career in management within the healthcare field. Learn more about Wheaton Orientation on their website. Photo captions (from top): Getting excited for O-week while wearing our Orientation shirts at HoneyRock!; Setting out on our two-hour canoe trip to our overnight campsite during Student Development Week at about team bonding!

Three Ways God Surprised Me During My Freshman Year at Wheaton

Posted by Chloe Keene '18

chloe keene wheaton square dance

It’s hard to believe that my freshman year is just a few short weeks from ending. It has been a whirlwind experience, and God has surprised me in ways that I never expected. I found my first surprise on my floor this year, Fischer 4West. I grew up as the only girl with three younger brothers, so the idea of suddenly living in close quarters with 50 other girls was both exciting and a little daunting. I had heard great things about residence life at Wheaton (or Res Life, as it is endearingly termed), but I also knew that housing that many girls together held potential for some serious drama. 

All of my hesitancies have disappeared as I’ve gotten to know my floormates this year. I have laughed heartily and cried bitterly with these girls, shared lots of meals, enjoyed fun days in Chicago and long nights of good conversation. They are so much more than floormates to me now. They have become some of my closest friends, and I am 100 percent confident that those friendships won’t end with the close of this school year.

A second surprise came through landing a job in Wheaton’s Academic and Institutional Technology (AIT) department. As an English and secondary education major with no prior IT experience, I wasn’t expecting much when I turned in an application to AIT at the beginning of the year, but a few weeks and three rounds of interviews later, I was offered a position as a student tech in their office. 

chloe keene honeyrock

Learning to “think like a computer,” in the words of my supervisor, has definitely proved to be a challenging process, but everyone with whom I work has been incredibly patient and gracious to me as I learn to stretch this part of my brain. One of the best feelings in the world is seeing someone’s face light up when you fix their computer’s problem, and I love being able to help people in that way.

I discovered the third and final surprise—Wheaton’s community diversity—through class discussions and informal conversations around campus. In these spaces, I have found dozens of fascinatingly different nationalities, upbringings, and ways of thinking. I didn’t expect an explicitly Christian school of 2,400 students to offer that kind of diversity. I am so thankful that I thought wrong. Hearing other people’s opinions and worldviews has challenged me to think critically about my own beliefs as well as the beliefs of others. 

People often ask me, “Are you glad you chose to go to Wheaton?” With newfound friends, the opportunity to learn to think like a computer, and a broadened view of life and the body of Christ, how can I say no? In fact, I’m so glad that I chose Wheaton that, next year, I’ll be serving prospective students as a member of the Diakonoi and building community as a returning resident of Fischer 4West. I look forward to seeing what other surprises God has in store.

chloe keene chicagoChloe Keene is a freshman studying English and secondary education. Learn more about her Wheaton experience by visiting her author bio page. Photos from top: Chloe and friends enjoy a square dance on campus, visit HoneyRock in the winter, and enjoy their proximity to Chicago and its landmarks.

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