Tips for any Political Climate

As a political enthusiast, the past few months leading up to the presidential nomination have been entrancing to say the least. I have remarked every so often that I am most passionate about Americans’ individual right to vote. Being in college during such a historic election, especially at Christopher Newport University, I have only been encouraged to partake in this political process. While our nation as a whole is divided on this new presidency, here are some tips I found that help bring hope and humanity back to friends, colleagues and peers.

  • VOTE. Become a registered voter either in Newport News, or your home town via absentee. Christopher Newport encourages its students to lead lives of great community involvement, one way in doing so is to vote in presidential, congressional, gubernatorial and mayoral elections. The voice of one community is best heard when individuals come together in unity for change.
  • Discuss/Ask Questions. Whether this be to your best friend, roommates, professor or teammate, there is value in discussing opposing views. In my philosophy and communication class this semester we have highlighted the idea of engaging in another person’s views so that we may have a better overall understanding. Because politics can be a tense subject, asking questions of clarifications can be a way to better understand the political process and to become a better informed citizen.
  • Friends First. LISTEN. This seems all to obvious to say, but all the more important, we must maintain an engaging attitude toward friends, loved ones, peers and professors. I have been able to treasure the intellectual perspectives of my peers and professors as a result of wanting to be better informed. It is also important to note that at the beginning of every semester at Christopher Newport, my professors have made it clear that if someone disagrees with what is being said we will all be respectful in response. If the respect in a classroom is compromised my professors, especially in the Communication Department, have made it clear that type of behavior will not be tolerated.
  • Have a Viewing Party. If the expectation of mutual respect is implemented prior to the results, this can be an educational experience as well as a laid back, fun environment for all. My roommates and I hosted a small viewing party with (our idea of) fancy cheese as well as cherry and blueberry pie to help settle qualms and just enjoy the company of friends on a Tuesday night.

Using Your Weekend Wisely

The other day I was thinking about how much I disliked Sunday nights when I was younger. This meant that I would spend almost the entirety of my time dreading going to school the next day. Now, it’s a little different. Sundays in college are great; It is almost universally used as a day to be productive and get ahead.

Gym Time: Going to the gym on the weekends is always really nice. There’s virtually no rush like there is during the weekday, and there are not as many people there, which means no waiting for a machine or rack!
Laundry & Linens: Working out every day really fills up the laundry basket fast. I go through clothes like crazy, and sweating in my clothes means that I (usually) cannot get more than one use out of a shirt. With that being said, doing laundry on the weekends is probably the most convenient and on the plus side, you won’t have to worry about putting your clothes in the washer and leaving for class while they are still in there.
Stock Up: Shampoo, snacks, paper towels, whatever it may be. You will run out of supplies one way or another. With countless of nearby retailers nearby it is so easy to run over there and stock up on your necessities.
Clear the Clutter: If your counter looks anything like mine, that means there is virtually no counter. There is nothing worse than in the middle of the week looking for something you lost in a pile of mess. A clean room is a stress-free room.
Unwind: Relax and maybe plan out some of your major activities for the week so you can tackle Monday with a fresh face and positive attitude. Make some tea, coffee, or any beverage of your choice, run a bath and wind down

The Buildings of CNU: David Student Union

Christopher Newport University is home to many gorgeous buildings known for their elaborate architecture and abundance of enormous white columns. All of our buildings are exceedingly new and offer a variety of services. One building near the heart of campus is the David Student Union.

The David Student Union – although you’ll never hear students call it anything but the DSU – sits across from the Trible Library, separated only by a small plaza. It is a huge, three-story building that holds the life of campus within its four walls. Let’s start on the first floor.

The first floor of the DSU is home to the breezeway. This is a wide, lengthy walkway with double doors on either side straight through the center of the building. Between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., it is full of countless organizations tabling for events, charities and their clubs. On one side of the breezeway is the main entrance, and by this entrance is the Center for Community Engagement and best of all, the Captains Locker. Inside a variety of items are sold, from apparel to scantrons to candy to books. On the opposite side of the breezeway is one of the best things on campus – the food. One of our two dining halls, Regattas, is located here along with a Chik-fil-a, a pizza place, a bistro and grille. You can use your dining dollars at all of these locations, which makes it a very convenient place to stop by on your way to class.

The second floor of the DSU is something of an events floor. Our ballroom is located at the top of the staircase, and this is where large celebration events such as our recent Fear 2 Freedom care-package event are held. Our Captain’s Ball is also held here in February. To the sides of the ballroom are smaller rooms with chairs and screens/projectors. These rooms are often used for smaller events such as our town hall meetings and Honors events. On the opposite side of the second floor is the mailroom, along with the mailboxes. Next to the mail room is a really nice study space called the Crow’s Nest. This is a great resource if you need somewhere quiet to study or chill, and often the students that commute will lounge here during classes.

Finally, the third floor of the DSU holds a lot of very important resources. The half by the stairs is home to many small rooms that the clubs call home. Leaders of clubs hold their office hours/visiting hours here, and are able to reached by phone in these offices throughout the day. There is also a resource room with paper, paint, glue, scissors and any other sort of arts-and-crafts material you could ever imagine. This is open to clubs to make posters or anything else that may benefit their club. On the opposite side of the stairs is the Office of Student Affairs. I actually work here as a front desk assistant, and if you’re a part of the President’s Leadership Program you’ll get to know it very well. The dean of students works from here, along with the organizations CHECS. The fellows, recent CNU alumni spending a year working for the university, have their offices here as well, and they hold success meetings for the President’s Leadership Program kids. They help keep everyone on track, and make sure the transition from high school to college is happening as smoothly as possible.

The David Student Union is most definitely one of the most lively buildings on campus. If you’re ever in doubt as to where something is, chances are it’s in the DSU. Make sure to stop by when you visit Christopher Newport University!

504 All-Americans!

This past Saturday I spent my evening admiring all who have helped execute a tremendous milestone in Christopher Newport’s track and field program. 504 student-athletes have gotten the chance to receive the honor of being an All-American athlete. As a result of this monumental experience, the team, coaches, alumni and our president, Paul Trible came to the Ferguson Center for the Arts for a ceremony honoring them.

P Tribz
We started off the ceremony with our president making great remarks saying: “When I came to CNU 21 years ago, I quickly realized there was a rich athletic tradition, headed by the powerful track and field program.” I thought that was pretty cool hearing him say all this about us. It was super cool being recognized for what we have accomplished throughout these years!

P Tribz

Afterward, we had a combination of chicken, beef and some vegetarian options accompanied with a salad, and a tasty dessert to top it all off. The whole experience was so put together and so inspirational. It was so cool seeing some of the track and field alumni come back to celebrate as well! Experiences like this are something I’ll always have fun talking about!

What to do When You’re Sick

When you apply for colleges and start getting ready to move out of the room you’ve lived in since you were little, the last thing on your mind is being sick away from home. Honestly, you’re far more nervous about how you’ll transition or deal with separation or time management or even just classes. To tell you the truth, one of the most difficult things about your first semester is that you’re probably going to get sick. A lot.

Getting sick is the inescapable truth of college. You’re going to be living with 40 other people, who interact with easily 100 people a piece each day, who then come back do your dorm sweet dorm. Once one of your hall-mates catches something, you’ve got a good chance of catching it from them.

I spent my first month of college cycling through every illness imaginable – I seemed to catch everything everyone on the hall picked up. Amazingly enough, my roommate somehow managed to live with me, take care of me and not pick up any of the illnesses. So, here’s a list of things to do to prevent getting sick and to do if you do become sick.

  1. This one is obvious, but wash your hands. Wash them before you eat, before you touch your face, before anything. If you’re by a sink, wash them. You’re sharing a campus with 5,000 people and therefore you’re sharing all of their germs.
  2. Actually take your vitamins. Find a great multi-vitamin (just have your parents send you some) and take it every day. Make it a part of your morning or evening routine.
  3. Sleep. Please, please sleep. Not only is this going to help you in practically every area of your life – academics, social interactions, etc. – but it will keep you from getting sick or becoming even sicker than you already are.
  4. If your roommate is sick, do what mine did – walk to a nearby store and buy some sort of germ-fighting spray and take the time every day to wipe down the surfaces of your room. It’s a simple, five-minute chore that truly helps you from catching what even the person in your own room has.
  5. Tell your teachers. Get a feel for whether or not what is happening in class during the week would be dire to miss, and gauge how they feel about you missing a class or two. Sometimes the best idea is to not push it.
  6. If your teacher’s response to number 5 is positive, get ahead on homework. Read the online materials posted for the class you missed, take notes, start working away at projects and essays and knock out any homework that you have the ability to do. Trust me, you’ll thank yourself later.
  7. Finally, eat a lot of soup. I’m a vegetarian, so unfortunately this doesn’t apply to me, but Regattas has chicken noodle soup at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Take advantage of this, and feel blessed that you have this option. It’s the ultimate sick-food, right?
  8. Tis’ the season for the flu, so remember there’s always the option to get your flu shot! You can usually get this for free, so if you’re not opposed to it, go get it before the flu gets you.

Have a great week, and stay healthy!

Back on Track!

Today is the day Christopher Newport University’s track athletes got a chance to finally showcase their growth over the course of the year. We finally got a true measure of how hard we have worked all summer. All the heavy lifting and workouts have brought us here on the track to test our strong legs, and even stronger minds.

runningMondays are already exhausting as is, so I really couldn’t tell you why track athletes choose to purposely exhaust themselves in a physical aspect, so with that being said, yeah, we are kind of crazy. We went full throttle on our first day of practice with an intense but, “fun” workout. It was hard, I won’t lie, but we all came together as a group and pushed each other so that we were all getting the same benefits.

Once the actual test was over each and every one of us talked about how different it is running on an indoor track and how our legs felt like noodles after the workout. But in the end, I think we can all agree that we are on track for an amazing season!

Glow!

Christopher Newport University’s a cappella groups hold one of the highly anticipated events of the year: Glow in the Darcappella. Glow is one of the many unifying events held on campus each year. Held in the beautiful Ferguson Center for the Arts main concert hall, a cappella groups: Take Note, Expansion, Trebled Youth, Extreme Measures, University Sounds and Newport Pearls hit the stage for a black-light performance.

Once in the concert hall, lights go down and black lights turn on. For the past few years, Hypnotic Control, Christopher Newport’s hip hop dance club, takes center stage. Dressed in all black and accents of neon, their performance makes for a  perfect opener to an evening of showcasing Christopher Newport’s most talented students.

As a professional singer (in the shower), every year I am blown away with the talent of my peers. A few of my best friends are in a cappella groups and commit hours every week to arranging, practicing and performing their rendition of songs.

It is incredible the amount of work that goes into arranging one song! One of the best moments as a friend is getting to see how hard they work and then to see them thrive on stage. I get to support my friends in doing something that they love and we, as the audience, get to experience an incredible full-blown concert. I love being able to support all their hard work during the semester and being able to show case that to our peers and the public.

This event is so creative in its performances and in how it encourages all of the Christopher Newport community to attend. It shows just how supportive the faculty and staff are when I was able to see professor after professor coming just to support students. There is something intrinsically special that a professor would give up their night to support a student they may only know for minimum 16 weeks.

Yet again, I find myself so thankful to go to a university that encourages community outside of the classroom as well as faculty and staff who genuinely care not only about us academically, but care enough to see us thrive elsewhere.

Getting Hyped for Hoco

My high school was obsessed with homecoming (as most high schools are). Spirit days, which those of us on student council planned, were eagerly participated in with the hopes of winning the spirit stick in the Friday assembly. Christopher Newport University may not have spirit days, but it does have insane amounts of spirit and a Captain’s Cup organizations can win.

Homecoming week is something of legend here at CNU, with alumni flocking in to visit and watch the homecoming game. Even though the game is a great way to end the week, the events leading up to it are what build all the energy and excitement to bring us together.

During the week, different organizations can sign up to compete for the Captain’s Cup. The group who wins this becomes the face of Christopher Newport, so as one can imagine it is a highly sought-after position. To win this, the organizations compete in many different aspects throughout the week in an attempt to prove how deserving they are and end victorious.

So far, we’ve had homecoming court reveal on Monday, which is when Class Council finally announce the candidate for homecoming king or queen. Tuesday really hit the ground running with the homecoming kick-off where candidates campaigned in the plaza. The night ended with an incredibly hyped-up event called “Yell Like Hell” where each competing organization wrote a 30-60 second chant to yell from the steps of Christopher Newport University Hall. A large portion of the school came out to support their friends and the great organizations, and even President Trible made an appearance to watch the creative chants. Wednesday marks the presentation of the spirit signs – huge 4-foot by 4-foot boards decorated by each competing organization – and a night of improv along with the opening of the voting on the Compass. On Thursday the organizations will compete in various field games on the Great Lawn to continue culminating points, and finally on Friday there will be celebration events such as Glow In The Darcapella put on by all a cappella groups on campus and Midnight Madness, hosted by Student Assembly.

Saturday will be a grand celebration, with a parade and of course the homecoming football game. Best of all, the winners of the Captain’s Cup will be announced along with the crowning of the new king and queen. Until then, the student body will be avidly participating in the upcoming events and showing just how much spirit they really have as Captains. Follow along at #CNUHC16!