The Wonder of Mozzarella Sticks at CNU

The mozzarella sticks in the Regattas dining hall are delightful. That’s something CNU brochures don’t tell you. The eyes of hundreds of students light up when they read that these savory snacks are being served. Hoards of culinary connoisseurs migrate to the server line and ask “Can I just have lots of mozzarella sticks, please?” With a pleasant smile from the line chef, each student is served their delicious battered mozzarella.

Now, what’s so special about a mozzarella stick, you ask? Well, besides it being tasty, I suppose it’s more of what it represents. At CNU, there are tons of “mozzarella sticks.” These are the little things that students fall in love with and anticipate happily each day. The first little thing I fell in love with was the perpetual games of volleyball and basketball near the clock tower. Rain or shine, these games almost always seem to be going on. The best part? Everyone is welcome, whether you want to play or just cheer on the players. Similarly, when you’re struggling to fumble the door open to get into the building, there’s a pretty good chance the front desk assistant will open it for you with the click of a button.

CNU is a place to learn, to grow and to love, but most of all, it’s a place to call home.

Inside Student Assembly

Many students on campus are not familiar with the inner workings of Student Assembly, or any workings of Student Assembly for that matter. Firstly, Student Assembly is CNU’s student government. It is run by students, for students. The organization’s goal is to be the student’s voice on campus. We are all students on campus, and we all have ideas on how to improve the university. Student Assembly works directly with faculty and staff to see these ideas realized.

For example, several students had reported slow WiFi in the beginning of the semester. As a reaction to this, Student Assembly reported this issue and the university was able to double the WiFi’s bandwidth. Our organization is also working on raising mental-health awareness, implementing more creatively geared classes and there’s even talk of a brand new juice bar. All of these initiatives were suggested by students.

Being new to the Assembly, I have been welcomed with open arms and am thoroughly enjoying learning the ropes. I’ve been amazed at all the work we have been able to accomplish as a delegation. The members of this organization are extremely passionate, and work feverishly to help their constituents. We are a resource, so please be sure to get in touch!

Click the link below or visit the third floor of the DSU to suggest an improvement for the CNU community!


Family Weekend

My family group chat is busy, the tailgate passes are bought, my room is cleaned and my father has sent this year’s itinerary. I am ready for Family Weekend. I look forward to this one weekend every year. In my family, Family Weekend is a big ordeal. We start planning months in advance to make sure every member has a hotel room because all around town the hotels become booked with student’s moms, dads, aunts, uncles, grandparents and siblings.

The night before the campus is quiet, but I buzz with excitement knowing that tomorrow it is going to be busy with family and happiness. I find campus to be even more beautiful when it is full of people enjoying it. Planning for Family Weekend is easy when so much is offered. Our Campus Activities Board usually puts on a movie in the theater. Our chorus usually puts on a concert as well. The biggest event of the weekend, however, is the football game. My family looks forward to the game the most. We dress head to toe in Captains gear and go cheer on the team. It makes me love this school more when I see how proud my family is to come see where I spend my time and integrate themselves into our special community with their endearing school spirit.

Working at CNU

While Christopher Newport has been recognized as a best-value college, we all know college can be tough. Whether you’re working through loans, boosting your resume or saving for that really cute pair of shoes, it never hurts to have a little extra money in your pocket. CNU has so many fun on-campus jobs to apply for! Here are just a few:

  1. Ever wanted to learn how to make your favorite Starbucks drinks like a pro? Become a barista at Einstein’s! In this fun and fast social setting, you’re trained to make everything from a frappuccino to Einstein’s signature creamy milkshakes. It’s a great way to chat with other students while you’re serving them, as Einstein’s provides a caffeinated social hub.
  2. Do you bleed blue and silver? If school pride is your specialty, apply to be our mascot Captain Chris! Pump up crowds during sporting events, and even get the opportunity to travel with CNU’s teams. If you have lots of energy and are great at engaging people, Captain Chris is the perfect choice.
  3. If you love spending time outdoors and getting your hands dirty, Ferguson Center for the Arts harbors a secret garden nestled in between corridors. I am currently the gardener and get paid to prune, weed and sweep away my stresses in this magical little place. Fresh air does wonders for the soul!
  4. If you’re a bookworm and live off the smell of inked pages and brewing coffee, you should work in Trible Library! The space is hushed and beautiful with a gold dome and cascading staircases. You can help students check out books, work the front desk or even help out in IT services if you’re good with computers.
  5. Do you like writing? Plot twist, so do I! That’s why I write weekly blogs for the Office of Communications and Public Relations (OCPR). I get the amazing opportunity to shed some light on what it’s like to be a student at CNU. I also get to help with CNU’s student social media, which is fun and a great resume boost! If you want to share your voice with the world and help prospective CNU students find their paths, the OCPR is a wonderful platform.

Galloping Into Success

Christopher Newport University has a wide array of fantastic clubs, service organizations and teams that students can be a part of. I am currently a member of the equestrian team. This team is a dedicated group of students who are passionate about horses. There is a place on this team for everyone, from those who have been riding for 16 years, to those who have been riding for 16 weeks. I have experienced this phenomenal inclusiveness first-hand.

When I joined the team this year I had only been riding for about nine weeks. I knew that I wanted to be a member of the team, but I wasn’t sure if I would be welcome at my skill level, so I went to the club fair to learn more. The girls there were all wonderfully supportive, and they encouraged me to try out even if I wasn’t sure I was good enough. They informed me that even if I didn’t want to compete the team has recreational members that simply take lessons and enjoy the ride in a low pressure environment. Their friendliness gave me the courage I needed, and I decided to try out for the competitive team. I am so glad that I did!

This team has taught me not only how to be a better rider but how to be a better human being. Riding a horse teaches you how to work as part of a team in a unique and valuable way. This is because our team is not just a team of people. We get to work with some of the most intelligent, gentle and majestic animals on the planet on a weekly basis. The feeling of bonding with your horse and growing together is the most magical feeling in the world. Not to mention, it helps me to unwind at the end of a long, hard week at school!

This team is one of the best things that has ever happened to me, and it was all made possible by Christopher Newport University. The best part is, this is only one of many wonderful clubs present on our campus. I can’t wait to explore the other options and get to know our campus’ rich and vibrant community even better in the years to come. Go Captains!

What CCP did for me

Here it is. Junior year of college. Let’s just say I have reached my mid-college crisis. Where am I gonna go after graduation? I know the majority of college students can relate when I say that I change my mind on my future everyday.

I have been leaning on my friends with my internal struggle, and one happened to mention that the Center for Career Planning had been helping them figure out their next steps. So, I went up to the third floor of Christopher Newport Hall and made an appointment – yes, it is that easy. One of our amazing career counselors sat down with me for an hour showing me the power of LinkedIn and giving me undivided attention about my concerns and interests. The conversation ended with me feeling heard and more confident.

I have been wondering if my dream lies with publishing or higher education. Again, I change my mind everyday. My career counselor suggested I meet with individuals in different offices and conduct interviews to see the paths those individuals took and to see a glimpse of what a career in that field would look like.

I left with action items and a plan which is a lot more than what I entered with. Even after I left my career counselor emailed me an article that she came across and thought I would enjoy just based off our one conversation. How lucky am I to go to a school where the faculty is so committed to helping me succeed.

My Oh My, Alpha Psi

There I was, standing with a look of trepidation, palms sweaty, heart aflutter. I had no faith at all that I would be welcomed into Alpha Psi Omega (APO), the national theater honor society. I’m not a theater major. I felt I had no place in the department other than being casual acquaintances with a few classmates I had encountered while pursuing my minor. What business did I have joining an organization for a department that I had such a small place in?

Although I feared the worst, I loved theater and I wanted nothing more than to join like-minded students who could eventually become some of my closest friends. So despite my doubt, I decided to go for it. I have never been more pleased with a decision in my life!

Everyone is encouraged to join even if they aren’t sure they have enough points, which are earned through participation in Theater Department activities. APO loves new members and gives them tons of opportunities to earn points throughout the year, such as volunteering in the theater library at the Ferguson Center, working backstage on productions or tabling for APO events.

Joining Alpha Psi Omega was one of the best decisions I have made in my collegiate career! I have made a bunch of new friends, and I feel much more at home in the department as a result of simply getting to know my classmates. I had a blast during my initiation into the organization, and our members are sure to make everyone feel as comfortable as possible during the process.

Brought TEAgether

Freshman year, I lived in an octo-suite in York River Hall with roommates who hated cleaning as much as I did. We vowed that we would clean once a month, and to reward ourselves for being competent adults we would throw a tea party afterwards. The cleaning portion of the plan tanked, but we quickly became inseparable friends bonding over our love of tea.

Halfway through the semester, one friend joked that we should start a tea appreciation club and name it “TNU.” We stayed up late that night creating a constitution which included more sarcasm and tea puns than substance. We refined it the next morning when we were less giggly and turned it in for approval, still more as an inside joke than anything else.

Jump to three years later, and TNU is still a fully functioning if not thriving tea appreciation club. Around 15 to 20 of us meet every few weeks to drink tea, play tea-related games and unwind from a stressful week. All because one person had an idea sparked by personal passion and a hobby shared by new friends. We created TNU through rampant silliness and it turned into something beautiful. Still best friends and roommates to this day, we can pass this sassy, well-hydrated club on to future tea-loving students.

CNU makes it so easy for students to engage in what we’re passionate about and gives endless opportunities for leadership. We still avoid cleaning like the plague, but planning, managing and leading an entire club has set us on the path toward competent adulthood. So what are you passionate about? What could your club be? If you’re sitting down to think, I suggest a hot cup of oolong.

Thank Your RA

Coming to college, I was unaware of what a resident assistant (RA) was. You hear those stereotypes that an RA is a babysitter or a mom. That an RA is an employee hired to watch you 24/7. Well, what no one told you is, that’s wrong. An RA is a student first. They are beneficial to the health and safety of the hall. They spend time saying hi, getting to know you and decorating your hall. Decorations may not sound important, but with some color on the walls it feels a little homier. They don’t sit outside their door and watch your every move or listen to your every word. They don’t treat you like children. This isn’t just a job for them. They care and they work hard for you.

I forgot to appreciate my RAs freshman and sophomore year. I forgot to say thank you. I forgot to stop and think about all they do for the hall even if I don’t see them everyday. I forgot that on top of this job they also have classes, and they often have other clubs and obligations. After becoming an RA myself I realized how rewarding it is in 1,000 different aspects. I don’t need a thank you to know I am appreciated, but us RAs have a big heart for our halls and this job, so make our days and stop to say thank you!

5 Reasons why Fall Fest is a Must

The Campus Activities Board (CAB) has an annual event called Fall Fest. It’s widely anticipated and attended on campus. I myself look forward to Fall Fest rolling around every year. Here are just some of the reasons why:

  1. Say goodbye to summer; say hello to fall.

    It is a chance to celebrate the start of fall. The start of hoodies, football games and bonfires. The start of the cold weather, blankets and pumpkins. This semester, Fall Fest just happened to occur on the first day of fall anyway. What better way to say hello to fall than surrounded by your fellow Captains and free food?

  2. Yes, there is free food.

    You get free food! You get free food! You get free food! I know as a college student the word ‘free’ has become my favorite word. No dining hall swipes or cash needed. Things like cotton candy, pretzels and more. But wait! CAB is also handing out swag for your enjoyment. As soon as you enter you are showered with pens, sticky notes, pins, cups and more. I have an ongoing collection of Fall Fest button pins on my desk.

  3. It smells like apple cider.

    Another reason it is a perfect setting to welcome fall is the apple cider. It’s a fall icon. What’s a celebration of fall without it?

  4. Bouncy house galore, face painting and more!

    CAB takes you back to your childhood with all the bouncy houses you could ask for. They even have bouncy house obstacles. Compete with your friends with a blast to the past. Take off those shoes and hop in! If bouncy houses weren’t your childhood go to maybe face painting was. At Fall Fest you can enjoy that childhood moment again. Just take a seat and tell them what you want! I rocked a rainbow butterfly for the rest of the night.

  5. It’s a CNU tradition.

    Most importantly, the best way to immerse yourself in the Christopher Newport community is through our traditions. Traditions are something that this campus holds close to their hearts. Fall Fest is just one of those.