Build A Buddy

This is the year! I am going to build a buddy. Each year our Campus Activities Board (CAB) hosts an event called Build a Buddy. The past two years I have missed the opportunity to go for different reasons such as scheduling conflicts, etc. But this is it. I am going to do it this year!

CAB hosts many amazing events on campus and the best part is they are absolutely free. On the weekends we have free movies, every fall we have fall fest and every spring we have spring fest. With a couple traditional events and frequent speakers CAB gives the community things to look forward to. For me, I have been looking forward to making my own stuffed animal for two years. This may sound trivial, or unimportant, but it has become a staple on campus and it is exciting as a member of the community to engage in those highlight moments of the semester.

My friends and I talk about build a buddy the minute it is announced. One year, my friend made a turtle stuffed animal, the next a bear. This year who knows what we will build, but I know I can count on the fact that we will do it together and I will finally get to build my buddy complete with a miniature CAB T-shirt for my stuffed animal to wear. Thanks to CAB, I have many opportunities to take a break from classes and engage in events with friends.

Walking Through the DSU

Christopher Newport is an incredibly active campus. It seems everyone is always doing something. The students love to engage, and no place showcases this better than the David Student Union (or, DSU). On most days, walking through the DSU, you’ll see rows of tables and booths. Organizations request these spaces to help encourage the CNU community to get involved.

For example, the Red Cross Club set up a booth to raise awareness for blood donations, the Marching Band had a table and had a bake sale, and the list goes on and on. It’s important to note that not every booth/table wants donations. Some just want your time, or for you to learn about their organization. It’s difficult to not stop and say hello to at least one or two. Plus, you just might get some free stuff, like a T-shirt or a water bottle.

I’ve been fortunate enough to be on both sides of the table. As a member of the SPCA Club, I sat behind a table to sell cookies to raise funds for our local SPCA. In addition, I also got the chance to sit behind a table for Student Assembly. We collected student surveys for a new Creative Classes initiative. There are so many opportunities at CNU, and to find them, one doesn’t need to look much further than a quick visit to the Captain’s Locker or Regattas Dining Hall in the DSU.

CNU Under Construction

At the moment, standing in the middle of campus one can see the expansion of the dining hall, Regattas, on one side of campus and the expansion of the library on the other. My first year here Christopher Newport Hall was just completed, and in the works are a few more buildings and expansions. To some this may sound inconvenient. People always ask me, “How do you feel about the constant construction?” and “Doesn’t it take away from the beauty of campus?”

My answer is no. When I see the construction I see growth. I see a campus in the process of reaching its highest potential. I do not see an inconvenience, I see it as an honor. I feel excited and honored everyday to be a part of the history of CNU where we are building. I feel attending this university at this time is a way for me to leave an impact on the expansion of this school. We are in a time where the changes we make as students and faculty impacts the future the most.

For this reason, I see the construction and smile. I see changes that I will be excited to come and see years from now as an alumna. The buildings being built do not take away from the beauty of campus, but rather adds an excitement. Excitement for the beauty and resources they are going to add.

Going to the Gym at CNU

If you didn’t go to the gym in high school, that’s OK! In college, you’ll find it’s much, much easier to start a gym routine and have a great time exercising. Many people’s reluctance to go to the gym has to do with distance and cost. Thankfully, at CNU, the gym is free for all students. Also, being such a small campus, the gym is only a minute’s walk away. You won’t have to worry about either distance or cost so long as you’re a Captain.

Though, many people believe that your first day at the gym is the “hardest.” In a way, it is. You have to motivate yourself to start exercising and take the leap. Also, it’s easy to feel like everyone is staring at you. However, at CNU, you’ll find no one is judging anyone in the gym. Rather, everyone is just working on bettering themselves. If you need a spot, or want to know how to use a machine, just ask a fellow student and they’ll be happy to help.

If you’re still feeling hesitant, consider taking a class. The Freeman Center offers free fitness classes for the students. These involve anything from Pilates to yoga or cycling to Zumba. There truly is something for everyone. So, give it a shot!

Define Yourself CNU

College is often thought of as the time to “find yourself.” To me, that just means being comfortable in your own skin, comfortable enough to be truly authentic to who you are. Now, I understand this is easier said than done, especially for young women at the college age. But, there is a brand new club on campus dedicated to providing a community where self-love and acceptance can become a reality.

Define Yourself is a nonprofit organization whose mission statement is “to inspire, encourage and equip young women with the strong truth that beauty is a choice to love who you are.” A very close friend of mine, Amina Bukasa, started this organization with the goal of empowering women so they can love themselves first and understand that their beauty is inborn and undeniable. It is more than what can be seen from a glance in a mirror, it is their strength, courage, intelligence and even our imperfections.

This organization provides a platform for questions and debates, but more importantly answers and solutions to so many of the issues all young women face. Define Yourself gives the young women on our campus the opportunity to not have to fight these battles alone, but with an entire organization of Captains determined to help each other truly be the best they can be. And the best you can be, is exactly who you are.

To find out more about Define Yourself, and the multitude of other on-campus clubs and organizations Christopher Newport has to offer, visit The Compass.

The Beauty of a Small Campus

Here at Christopher Newport University, you will always see someone you know as you are heading to class, the library or just anywhere on campus. You see familiar faces all around! I am sure you have heard about CNU having small class sizes. Well, if you have not, now you know!

Small class sizes are beneficial to students when it comes to wanting to get to know the professor and go to him or her for help. The professors here at CNU genuinely care about the success of their students. They make themselves available to help us whenever we are not understanding the material 100 percent and they encourage going to office hours. If your schedule conflicts with the professor’s office hours then that is no problem. All professors are open to scheduling appointments with their students at a convenient time for the both of them.

Aside from office hours, the professors offer extra help in class. Even if you start off the class poorly, they offer several opportunities to bring your grade up. They work with each student to make sure we are successful. The relationship between students and professors on campus is unique and reminds us of why we chose to be a Captain.

A Checklist for Registration Success

I love class registration! Well, let me reword that. I love putting together a schedule, or two or three. I love looking at the class options and getting excited about interesting topics being taught. I do not like the morning of registration, but I have found success in the following checklist:

  1. Run a degree evaluation! This is so important because it tells you the classes you need to graduate on time. It is done through CNU live and it will become second nature to you by the middle of your CNU career.
  2. Check the list of classes offered! I love to see what is being offered and who is teaching what before I pick the ones I want in my schedule.
  3. Put together multiple schedules, like I said above. This is my favorite part. I look at it like a puzzle. Trying to fit the classes I need and want into a schedule. It is important to be prepared with different options in the case the class you want is full by registration morning.
  4. Meet with your adviser! They are an important resource to you. They can tell you if you are on the right track and answers those burning questions you have about registration. The most important part about this step is getting your verification code. You can’t register without it.
  5. Check to see if your verification code is correct! This is also done through CNU live and is important for the reasons above. You cannot register without it.
  6. Know your registration time and be awake at least 20 minutes before. This is important in order to do a final check on what is still available.
  7. Don’t panic! The biggest thing I have learned through my time is that no matter what happens the morning of registration you will always end up in the classes you need to graduate.

The biggest thing to know is be prepared, be calm and have an open mind about the classes being offered!

A Movie in Newport News

My friends and I have been looking forward to “Thor: Ragnarok” since it was announced in 2014. As such, we were first in line to reserve tickets for the early Thursday showing. Thankfully, we didn’t have to look any farther than Newport News City Center for a quality time.

If you are anything like I was for the past 18 years, I had never truly experienced a quality movie theater. Of course, at the time, I was not aware my theater-going experience had any capacity to be better than it was. That was until I visited the theater in City Center for the first time in late August. I’ll begin with this: the seats recline. That’s insane. That is absolutely awesome. Is this a norm I’m not familiar with? In any case, you can expect to watch your movie in leisure with their incredibly cozy lounge chairs.

Perhaps more importantly than seating is the company. CNU handles that just fine. With such a small campus, it’s easy to quickly get to know plenty of people and befriend them. Assembling a group to see “Thor” was a task completed within minutes. It led to a very pleasant night in pleasant seats with pleasant friends. What more could you ask for? Also, did I mention CNU students get a student discount? That’s pretty sweet too.

Everything You Need to Know About the President’s Leadership Program

The President’s Leadership Program (PLP) is one of the best scholarly programs at CNU. However, it is more than an academic organization. PLP invites its members to become active citizens in the CNU community and beyond; to engage with others. Personally, I am very honored and excited to be a part of this program and I hope to encourage others to understand its benefits and apply themselves.

Firstly, the program is meant to build tomorrow’s leaders. PLP requires its members to pursue a Leadership Studies minor. This is incredibly useful. Learning about and honing one’s leadership abilities is imperative to becoming a good leader in any field. Though, PLP also emphasizes being a leader in your community. This is through civic engagement.

As a freshman in the program, you will be required to volunteer 30 hours of your time towards community service. This sounds daunting, but don’t be worried. This will be some of the most rewarding time spent during your college years. The community of CNU and Newport News is incredibly supportive and easy to interact with. Once you settle on a service track, you’ll develop a very personal and rich relationship with those you are volunteering with and for.

PLP students also enjoy opportunities to see terrific guest speakers on campus, among other things. There is a lot to gain from being a part of the President’s Leadership Program, so be sure to apply!

Why I Joined the SPCA Club

When I walked into the Freeman Center for Club Fair during welcome week it was near overwhelming. There were so many amazing clubs and activities to join. All of them beckoning me, and the rest of the student body, to join. I knew I could only handle a commitment to so many activities, so I had to narrow my choices down. Ultimately, I decided I’d join the SPCA Club, and I had several reasons for this.

Firstly, since I’m already in the President’s Leadership Program, I figured joining SPCA would be a great way to gain service hours. Though, this was hardly the deciding factor. I have always loved animals (I think everyone does). From endlessly re-watching cute dog videos, to becoming a vegetarian several years ago, I’ve always been very passionate about animals.

I was sold when I went to my first meeting. The leaders were incredibly enthusiastic. They had been a part of the club since their freshman year, and now, as seniors, they are leading it. Clearly these people loved the club, and they had good reason.

The SPCA Club works directly with our local SPCA right here in Newport News. 100 percent of our profits go to them, and they do wonders. They work diligently to prevent animal cruelty and give shelter to stray animals. We partner with them. This means we fundraise on campus, such as selling cookies and other treats, and volunteer our time at the shelter. I am absolutely thrilled to be a part of this amazing club. I highly encourage anyone interested to get in touch!