Freedom of Speech on Campus

Instilled during the first days of welcome week, newly admitted students sign Christopher Newport University’s Honor Code:

“On my honor, I will maintain the highest standards of honesty, integrity, and personal responsibility. This means I will not lie, cheat, or steal and as a member of this academic community, I am committed to creating an environment of respect and mutual trust.”

It is of the utmost importance to Christopher Newport that an environment of integrity and respect be mutually carried out by students, faculty and staff. It is not only suggested but exemplified in our ability to continually communicate transparently to all.

Recently we have had an open air/street evangelist come to speak in highly trafficked areas on campus (The Plaza and the lane dividing York East & West and the David Student Union-intended to avoid academic disruption). Note: there are specific regulations and procedures that all organizations/individuals must go through to be permitted onto Christopher Newport campus in designated areas that will not disturb the academic environment.

I did not initially know about this evangelist because I had walked by or heard from others, however, I heard directly from the Dean of Students, Kevin Hughes (in fact, every student did). His email alerted students of an event on campus that would be happening the following day. Not only was this email intended to keep students up to date, but it was meant to encourage and remind us why the street evangelist was able to come on campus.

“[He] was not invited by the University. Rather, he has exercised his free speech rights. These rights are guaranteed by the Constitution and have been affirmed numerous times through the federal court system. He followed the required procedures to request a space in which he could engage in free speech”

I recently sat down with Dr. Kevin Hughes to discuss the measures in which Christopher Newport takes to ensure students, faculty and staff are well-informed. I learned that with events like these he feels it is important for students to be aware of the situation, “we recognize part of being at Christopher Newport means different perspectives and we try to make students aware so that they can either avoid or engage [it].” The university itself promotes a neutral viewpoint on these types of events but encourages students to be respectful and tolerant.

As he continued in his email, Dr. Hughes reminded students of the rights of the guest.

“[His] strongly held beliefs may conflict with many of your own values. However, he is entitled to them and the Constitution protects his right to share them on our campus.  I encourage all of you to keep this in mind should you encounter the event.  If you need to discuss the event afterwards, please know the counseling center is available to you.”
Not only were students informed just to be informed but were reminded of the many resources that Christopher Newport offers for students. Christopher Newport recognizes that students can struggle and are open about ways in which they can and want to assist students.
As Captains, we are asked and inspired to apply the Honor Code not only to our academics but to our every day life.  This event reminded me how the university not only asks of its students to uphold the Honor Code, but that its students would respond to the environment of respect and mutual trust, for our fellow peer and fellow American. I am proud of the way our university was and is transparent.
As a student and first amendment aficionado, I want to thank Christopher Newport for not only protecting my rights but the rights of my peers, the faculty and staff, as well as community guests who get to experience what it means to be a Captain.

The Definitive Ranking of Einstein’s Fall Beverages

It’s Fall Y’all!
You know what this means? Yes, my friends, it is officially festive latte season. Whether you are getting cozy in your room, watching Netflix, cheering on your fellow Captains at a football game or just hanging at the Trible Library you’ll want one of these drinks by your side.

Here’s my personal ranking of Einstein’s beverages by festivity (and deliciousness).

5. Pumpkin Spice Latte
The OG pumpkin spice latte as we all know is a mix of traditional fall spices such as, cinnamon, clove and nutmeg. I didn’t really understand the craze until I tried it this year, and … it is totally worth it. GO PSL!

4. Chai Tea Latte
Chai Tea Latte
AKA The ultimate spicy beverage! The chai tea latte is a liquid blanket. Drinking this is a sure-fire way to make you feel cozy at this time of the year but people often overlook it!

3. London Fog
London Fog
10/10. I would have put this drink at no.1 at any other time of the year, but for the sake of this article, it is now at no. 3. But, with that being said, THIS DRINK IS SO GOOD. it’s made with hot earl grey tea and frothed milk, which is quite simple but someone once made a comment about this drink saying, “It tastes like Froot Loops!” and now I can’t think about anything else when I drink a London fog. Point blank, if you have not tried a London fog, please do!

2. Iced Pumpkin Spice Latte
The iced pumpkin spiced latte is basically PSL’s cooler, hispter sister. If you are a person who does not like hot beverages but still wants to celebrate the fall season, this is for you! It has all the elements of a traditional pumpkin spice latte.

1. Caramel Apple Cider
This drink deserves a standing ovation. This is the perfect fall drink if you ask me. The apple cider is so sweet but has the perfect amount of spice that any fall beverage would want to have. If the barista at Einstein’s asks if you want whipped cream, say “yes”. This makes the drink into a latte consistency that you don’t want to miss out on, especially along with the drizzled caramel.

Places We Love Around CNU: Norfolk (Nor-fik)

Some of my favorite parts about being a Christopher Newport University student are the places that my friends and I get to adventure to on the weekends. Norfolk (pronounced: nor-fik by the locals) is about a 40-minute drive from campus. The city of Norfolk has an impressive local/gourmet food scene that I only recently was educated on (shameful, I know, as I am already a junior).

One of the first times I went into Norfolk was to see a concert at the club-style venue, the Norva. I often go to the Norva for concerts and like any pre-concert ritual, I somehow always find a good dinner location. Here are some of my favorite places that I’ve found:

For all the foodies:

  • The Grilled Cheese Bistro: For any grilled-cheese aficionado looking for a not-so-average sandwich. Serving gourmet grilled cheese, their small menu has proved time and again its cheesy goodness. They also specialize in fries, fried pickles, salads and craft drinks that are all uniquely delicious.
  • The Handsome Biscuit: This is perfect for a quick bite for breakfast or a late brunch while shopping around Norfolk. Freshly made-to-order biscuits make this morning trip worth it for a tasty southern delicacy well done. (Editor’s note: try the Fitzgerald, it’s amazing!)
  • No Frill Bar and Grill: With a commitment to fresh food simply done, this restaurant is great for brunch, lunch and dinner any day. Their menu has classic American dishes and some unique salads, and I have found that everything here is just fresh and good.
  • Field Guide: Self-described as an urban eatery, this is for foodies and friends alike. They offer gourmet-esque rice bowls, sandwiches and desserts all under $10. Friendly people, prices and all around tasty food.
  • Toast: Literally serves their dishes on thick toasted bread. Their various open face toasted sandwiches are unique-similar to the venue. The location also offers music events throughout the year. The perfect combo of dinner and a show.

Norfolk has an impressive food scene and if you’re anything like me, it provides more than enough opportunities to go out with your friends and try something new!

The First Visit Home

The strangest feeling I experienced in the process of leaving my residence hall to head back to the little town of Berryville was when I was packing my clothes for the weekend. When I moved in, I brought all of my clothing with me. While preparing to go home, I realized that this meant I would have to pack outfits for every day of fall break. This concept was incredibly weird for me. Any other occasion that I’d packed up clothes for had involved my leaving Berryville, not going back to it.

Of course, the oddity of the situation wasn’t anything nearly substantial enough to stop me from being excited about my first visit home. In fact, I was so excited that the four-hour drive didn’t bother me at all. My whole family had stayed up to wait for my arrival, and seeing them for the first time since I’d moved in was amazing. All of my little siblings seemed a whole lot taller, and they all have a million things to tell and show me. Somehow, all four of my little sisters ended up sleeping in my room that night.

Other than spending a lot of time with my family, I visited a couple of friends who had timed their visits home to sync up with mine. I got to see my good friend from Kent State in Ohio who I’d been in high school with. It was interesting to see how different things were for her, which gave us both tons of stories to share. I was also lucky enough to see my best friend who is attending George Mason University. It was her birthday, which gave us a chance to explore my little town and visit the new coffee shop that was built during my absence. I was surprised with how much my small town had seemed to change in only a couple of months.

The last thing I did on my first visit home was to stop by my old high school. Although I’m not close with many people who still attend there, I have good relationships with lots of my teachers who contributed a lot of effort and support into helping me become the person I am today. I stopped by my old yearbook class and learned about their new theme and got to look through some pages of the in-progress book, and once school was out I dropped by all my favorite teachers. It was great to be able to thank them yet again and to see how their year was going. However, it seemed like even my school had changed quite a bit. About 10 new teachers had been hired, and one of my favorite teachers from the year before had left to pursue higher education.

Leaving home to head back to Christopher Newport University was bittersweet – I missed everyone on my hall and was excited to continue my classes, but I knew I’d miss my family, friends and town. All in all I had a successful first visit home, but now I’m ready to jump back in and concentrate on working towards finals until Thanksgiving break rolls around! I know I’ll be looking forward to heading home once more and discovering even more changes.

Bryd is the Word


img_7428I spent my summer interning in Long Island and exploring Manhattan. I was happy to leave the hustle and bustle of the big city behind and return to the bricks and columns of Christopher Newport University this fall. I’d continue to get my fix of art and culture in Norfolk at the Chrysler Museum or the Neon District but there was one thing my heart (er.. stomach) longed for, a great brunch spot.

My fading memories of avocado toast and fresh omelettes had almost turned to a misty memory when I stumbled upon Bryd’s Restaurant in Hidenwood shopping center. (Disclaimer: I’m sure I’ll regret sharing this gem with you all but it’s too good not to let everyone know) I had seen the new restaurant undergoing construction in August as I went on a quick grocery run at Food Lion. It looked like a cute little place but I was sure it was just some musty place that grandparents frequented, boy oh boy was I wrong.image1-2

During my first visit I dragged my brave sorority little with me to explore this unknown restaurant. With a mix of breakfast all day and delicious lunch items we were immediately impressed. She went with the eggs Benedict and I made my own breakfast sandwich, recreating my  New York Brunch favorite croissant sandwich complete with avocado. Paired with fresh apple slaw my meal came to a whopping $7! Can you say balling on a college budget?!? Fresh delicious food and perfectly priced, my brunch dreams had come true. So impressed with my first time I had to make a second trip, taking my roommate and boyfriend with me, they were just as impressed.

As a college student, I’m typically looking to get great food for an even greater price. Bryd’s does just that. Only a five-minute walk from campus (if that) and you’ve got yourself a perfect brunch spot. Complete with a coffee bar, friendly staff and diverse menu, Bryd’s has become a go to spot for me, check it out next time the link in Commons is too long or your parents are in town, you’ll be hooked just like me!


Life in an Octosuite

One factor of residence hall life that I wasn’t expecting to experience was living in an octosuite. I met my wonderful roommate, Cydney, on the class of 2020 Facebook page in early January. We were both early-decision students and clicked instantly. As August drew closer we hastily coordinated our decor, making sure our room would be as perfect as any freshman room could be.

When room assignments officially came out, I immediately informed Cydney that our home for the next year was going to be 250 – 250 A. Originally, the letter after the room number was not enough clue me in on the fact that my room was different from what I was expecting. Only once I discovered a picture of the floor plan did I realize that our little room on the end of the hall seemed to have an extra room, almost like a hallway. Another close examination revealed that this hallway was connected to another room – with no door to separate the two.

After a bit of asking around, I found out that I was part of something called an octosuite. This meant Cydney and I would be sharing a bathroom with a pair of suite-mates as usual, and on top of this our room would be connected by a short hallway to another room with two people who in turn would also be connected by a bathroom to a pair of suite-mates. Together we formed an octosuite, something somewhat common in freshman residence halls.

Although I originally felt dismayed at the fact that I’d be sharing my perfect living space with extra people, I discovered after move-in that it was one of the best arrangements I could have been placed in.

As someone who is somewhat introverted and often finds themselves locked in their room writing, studying or watching unhealthy amounts of Netflix, residing in a living space that is very open has resulted in my making more friends and coming out of my comfort zone. My octo-mates Abby and Sarah have kept it lively, even in the dreary weather we’ve been experiencing lately. I know if I’m ever lonely or lacking something to do I have six people other than my own roommate to keep me company.

Another major factor that living in an octosuite has provided is always having access to commodities I may not have in my own room. On a basic level, there’s always the fabulous fact that if I’m running late and one of my suite-mates is in the shower that I can ask my octo-mates to use theirs. Genenrally, though, it comes down to the little things. Sometimes I want iced coffee, and my octo-mates always have ice cubes in their freezer. They also seem to have a limitless supply of food. Another great perk of this is that my octo-mates have a printer in their room. Their generosity in sharing it with us has saved me on more than one occasion over the past two months. Of course this goes both ways – when our suite-mates or octo-mates are lacking something, they’ll stop by to ask if we have it. Since we’re lucky enough to maintain a friendly relationship with all 6 of them, I’ve found that the answer is always yes.

Even though sometimes it can be a little hectic, being part of an octosuite has helped me to venture out, make many new friends and altogether embrace the college experience even more wholeheartedly.

The Places We Love Around CNU: Yorktown

One of the many marvelous aspects of Christopher Newport is our location. Being located in such a historic part of not only Virginia, but also America, proves very beneficial for off-campus day trips. Yorktown is about 20 minutes from here and offers an extensive amount of quintessential shops, local restaurants and a picturesque beachfront.

Yorktown (YT) Beach/Riverwalk Landing:

  • Beachfront: the two-acre shoreline is perfect to flock to right at the beginning of fall semester and then again at the end of spring semester with all of your friends for a stress free afternoon.
  • Ben and Jerry’s: it always a delight to end up in an ice cream shop but this is one of the highlights of YT especially during Ben and Jerry’s free cone day and the perfect addition to a beach trip.
  • Yorktown Bookshop: a local bookshop with a highly knowledgeable staff selling lightly used books from many different genres.
  • Water Street Grille: living in a coastal region, seafood is no longer a luxury but a necessity. With an all-around good atmosphere and diverse menu, this is perfect for birthday dinners as well as a nice place for your parents to take you when they visit.

Other fun spots around Yorktown:

  • Pops Drive-In: for over 50 years this restaurant has been in YT serving classic American dishes with small-town charm.
  • Yorktown Battlefields: for history majors and history buffs, the historic YT battlefields are where the Revolutionary War was rung victorious!
  • Yorktown Bowling: For a night of retro fun, grab a group of friends for bowling alley fries and a night of fun!

This corner of the historic triangle is a great destination for a quick trip to see the water and enjoy a break from study not too far from campus.

How I Survived My First Exam

It’s midterm week at Christopher Newport, and that means my worst fear is coming true: I can no longer gaze happily at the unblemished list of As on Blackboard Scholar, put there by semi-easy work and simply turning in everything assigned. I am going to actually be tested on everything I have learned up to now, and I have to face the fact that I am entering one of the most dreaded weeks of college students everywhere.

However, I’m not panicking as much as I could be – and that’s because my science class had an exam last week as opposed to a midterm.

When I finally realized I was actually going to be taking my first exam of the year, my first reaction was to procrastinate and pretend it didn’t exist. I did that confidently until the following class period, when I was reminded of it and decided I really needed to get my act together. So, here are some survival tips on what to do when facing the crippling fear of an exam worth about 30 percent of your grade!

  1. DON’T procrastinate. I started out failing on this particular account, but I still ended up devoting a large amount of my time to readying myself, starting about a week in advance.
  2. DO read the textbook. I never did this in high school, but it’s a whole different story in college. This particular class didn’t even require the textbook and never assigned readings. On my own accord, I asked the professor which chapters correlated to the presentations and went ahead and read them through. This helped solidify what I’d learned in class and even gave me further detail on topics we hadn’t spent much time on.
  3. DON’T assume the lectures prepare you for everything. Even after taking and reviewing notes on the lectures, I knew I was going to struggle since science had always been a difficult subject for me. Because of this, I made notecards for every new term we learned, along with some for every concept we dealt with. Between studying these everyday and taking the self-tests in the textbook, I found that I became far more comfortable with the lecture material and how the topics interacted with each other.
  4. DO use outside resources. You’ll be told this time and time again, but go to office hours. When I got homework or self-test questions incorrect, I would write them down and meet with my professor to ask where I’d gone wrong and to help review the concept as a whole. If office hours are hard to get to or you’re still having a hard time mastering a topic, Christopher Newport has other great options such as free personal and group tutoring for any subject. Even if you’re working on a big paper instead of preparing for an exam, they also offer help in the form of the Writing Center.

Even though I got off to a rough start, in the end by devoting a lot of time and utilizing all my resources I managed to know most of the material on the exam and to feel confident about how I did afterwards. Thankfully my exam grade reflected how much work I put into preparing, and hopefully the same work ethic will get me through midterms!