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!

Registration 101

It’s that time of the semester again: registering for classes. This is a time that some students love and others fear. I know my roommate reacts to the release of next semester’s classes like it’s Christmas morning. Personally, it’s a love-hate relationship. I can’t get too excited about my classes until registration has come and gone and my classes are solid.

As a senior who is double majoring and minoring, I feel like I’ve mastered the art of mixing and matching my classes. I didn’t want to spend my time at Christopher Newport taking classes that wouldn’t advance me for post-grad life. I’ve made sure that each class I take has a purpose. With a liberal learning core you may feel that some classes you’re taking are pointless, but they really help to round you out and prepare you for the basics of any job. Once you’re a junior and senior you’re pretty much in your major classes and loving life.

Here are a few tips I have for registration:

  • Have plenty of back ups, nothing is worse than having a perfect list of classes to find half of them have been filled and you’re left scrambling at seven in the morning
  • Talk to your professors, really talk to them. You might find a new interest or a professor that has a teaching style that works for you
  • If you’re interested, try it! Especially as a freshman or sophomore try out classes, you might find a new passion, major or minor
  • Save your Creative Expression, you’re senior self will thank you
  • Aim for subject over class time, if there is a class you really want to take, take it regardless of time. You might not get out of class on Friday before Four but you’ll enjoy your classes so much more
  • Don’t anticipate override forms. Sometimes you might get lucky, but most of the time override forms are limited and hard to get, try your best to make your classes work without having to rely on them
  • SET MULTIPLE ALARMS! It’s not the end of the world if you oversleep but waking up on time will make your life much easier
  • Test your PIN ahead of time and verify when your time to register is
  • Some students suggest going off campus because Wi-Fi gets iffy with so many people jumping on at the same time, save yourself the hassle and use your smart phone for 10 minutes as a hot spot. It might spike your data for a few minutes but a few minutes off your data plan is better than the hassle of not getting the classes you want

Have fun, Captains and may the academic odds be ever in your favor….

Getting to Know Our Captains: Student-Athlete Edition

With the long-awaited Homecoming game coming up, I wanted to take the time to get to know one of our beloved student-athletes here at Christopher Newport, KJ Holloway. KJ is a member of the Christopher Newport’s nationally ranked football team and has some words of wisdom to give us.

Name: KJ Holloway
Major: Biology
Year: Sophomore

KJ Holloway - Football
Questions and Answers:

Liana: Where did you go to school before?
KJ: Great Bridge High School in Chesapeake, Virginia.

Liana: What position do you play?
KJ: Defensive Back.

Liana: Is it hard to balance athletics and academics?
KJ: Yeah, it definitely can be. Waking up early in the morning for lifting and practice is inevitably hard, but knowing that I have a whole day’s worth of classes, assignments and projects and a second afternoon practice can definitely be difficult – in the end, time management is key!

Liana: What’s the best part about being on a team here at Christopher Newport?
KJ: Camaraderie, brotherhood and knowing people are always there for you going into a game. One example, during pre-season in McMurran we were getting hyped up and our coach came in dressed as Harambe to get us excited.

Another one would be, last week when we played Montclair State. Our team went into double overtime, we all knew what we were capable of. Therefore, we came together as one entity, not just a bunch of players.

Stuff like that are moments you can’t get anywhere else.

Liana: Do you do anything to decompress or de-stress?
KJ: Football! When you get a chance to go out there and play the game that you love, it makes everything else worthwhile.

Interesting Facts

What is your favorite song right now?:
“Bank Roll” by Shy Glizzy.

If you could switch places with anybody, who would it be and why?:
My cousin Deion Branch, because he played for my favorite team, the New England Patriots. He won multiple Superbowls, and earned the MVP award for one of them.

Favorite Meal:
Fried Chicken, Ziti Pasta with a glass of purple Gatorade.

Celebrity crush:
Keri Hilson

My First College Football Game

As someone who went all-out senior year of high school in terms of supporting the football team, I’m honestly very surprised with the fact that this past weekend marked my first college football experience. I’ve never been a fan of professional football, and before my final year at high school I had no interest for that form of football either. However, when senior year came around, I became a photographer for the yearbook and was tasked with going to the first few games. I don’t quite know when it happened, but by the time the first three home games had been played (and won!), I was hooked. I attended almost every game of the season, even if it wasn’t a home game. When our team attended states, I even woke up at 5 a.m. to ride five hours on a bus full of cheerleaders to take picture at the final game.

I figured that college would be similar – I would attend every home game and follow the team closely. Unfortunately, until last weekend other events such as Student Assembly delegation improvement workshops and huge amounts of homework have led to me missing every home game.

During family weekend, one of the events offered was the home game. Since my only commitment that day was to be with my family, I offered up the idea that we should attend the game. I didn’t have to ask my parents (especially my dad) twice, and soon we were in the bleachers cheering on our team. I had high hopes for the game, considering our great record for the year.

The game began very competitively, with both teams staying neck and neck. However, the second and third quarter presented an upsetting situation – the opposing team was one touchdown ahead of us, and it had been a stale mate for the longest time. In fact the only highlight in that half of the game was the amazing Marching Captains and their halftime show. I was floored at their precision in their routine, along with the quality of their music. Best of all, I got to see my suite-mate/close friend Svetlana perform for the first time all semester!

Just when I started to think we were doomed to losing and that the final quarter would be dull, our team started performing better than ever and scored a touchdown. This happened in the last few seconds, and took the game into overtime. In fact, what started out as a boring match ended up in a neck and neck, extremely competitive game with double overtime.

In the end our team triumphed, bringing the incredibly intense game to a satisfying end. It was a fantastic first college football game to attend, and I can say with even more devotion that I am proud to be a Captain.

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.