Exploring Christopher Newport Hall

During my sophomore year, I was working for CNU TV and pitched the idea to film a story on the newest building on campus, Christopher Newport Hall. The building in all its gold dome, marble staircase glory would make a stunning news clip. My videographer was content to take the viewer on a brief tour of the offices, but I wanted to push further. I emailed the vice president of the school, William Brauer, and asked if he would allow us access to film the fifth floor, inside the dome. To our shock and delight he agreed, and even gave us a personal tour.

Talking to him was incredible. He was kind and gentle in nature, asking my videographer and I about our personal CNU stories. He was genuinely interested in hearing our feedback about the school, and his passion about his career sparked something in me. Pride, excitement, whatever it was only grew as we climbed up a winding staircase behind a locked door on the fourth floor. We entered a white spherical room flooded with natural light. Windows panned 360 degrees, showing stretches of sunlit and campus in every direction.

In one direction was the Trible Library and if I turned my head I could see the brick and graceful white columns of the David Student Union. Farther back, I could see the academic halls surrounding the Great Lawn. It was a breathtaking panorama of everything I had come to love about the school, colorful bursts of red brick and emerald grass all bathed in light. As I tried to nonchalantly wipe away tears, muttering lamely about allergies, the vice president met my eyes and smiled kindly. “I agree,” he told me, warmth matching the sun streaming in from the windows. “I agree.”

The Many Places to Study at CNU

Christopher Newport is a great campus to study on. This is due to its commitment to academic success. Besides providing a myriad of different resources around campus to help us learn and study, the university also offers many different places to study.

Firstly, of course, there are study rooms in every residence hall. These are awesome if you want to find a quiet place to study without having to leave the comfort of your building. However, these can get crowded really quickly. Luckily, there are plenty of other options.

A big study hot spot is the Trible Library. Most every night, you can find students working on projects and studying here. There is a big lobby with plenty of computers and table space, but there are also several “conference table” style rooms as well. If you can snag one of these rooms, they’re perfect for a group project or study group. It’s also important to remember there is a second floor (often times, it seems as though this is overlooked). There’s plenty of computers and workspaces up there too. And if you’re feeling peckish, feel free to stop by Einstein’s Cafe for a late night pick-me-up.

Though, even the library can become crowded or noisy on busy days. Don’t worry, there are even more locations to choose from. From the many conference rooms in every academic building, the two front rooms of the Freeman Center or the Luter atrium, the list goes on and on for places to study. With so many activities and opportunities at CNU, it’s easy to procrastinate studying. It’s important to get involved on campus, but remember to schedule time for studying, too!

Written Agenda vs. Google Calendar

“Google calendar is my life,” “I couldn’t live without my agenda.” Based off of these common quotes I hear around campus it seems there is a controversy between the efficiency of Google calendar and a traditional notebook agenda – yes, they still exist. Time management skills at Christopher Newport are a must, and that is taught to students from day one. We often have a number of obligations that need a structure if we are going to be successful. I have always used an agenda in my time as a student. I couldn’t live without my agenda. Everything must go in it, down to what I need from the grocery store.

However, second semester sophomore year I discovered the power of Google calendar. You can schedule recurring events, you can color code, you can set reminders and others can invite you to meetings and events that magically show up on your calendar. I went from a list of things needed to be done each day to a schedule that told me what time each day I was going to be working on tasks. This structure was so specific, so detailed it kept me on task and up to date. However, seeing a schedule filled from the time I woke up to the time I went to bed was, visually, stressful.

So, pros to Google calendar are that it is interactive, easy to use and quick, but it can be extremely detailed. First semester of junior year I decided to use a little of both. I have scheduled all my classes, work shifts and dinner dates into my Google calendar. I have color-coded my agenda with homework assignments, papers and tests. This way I get the best of both worlds from each form of scheduling and I stay on task without getting too stressed.

The moral of my story is that time management is essential. Try different strategies or stay with the one you like, but find what works for you so you can succeed.

Forever a Captain

As a student at Christopher Newport, a term commonly heard around campus is #CaptainForLife. Once you step on this campus as a student you are, from that moment on, a member of the CNU community. It’s a standard the university has that doesn’t limit your time here to the average four-year experience. Now, this term not only has the words, but an entire beautiful building backing it up.

The Gregory P. Klich Alumni House opened less than a year ago and stands as the newest building on campus, adorned with the classic red brick and towering columns. But even cooler, it is the first building on campus to be named after an alumnus. This beautiful new building serves as the headquarters for the Office of Alumni Relations, but also my new favorite study spot! The halls of this building are trimmed with artifacts from the beginning of the university’s time to now. Whenever I’m struggling before a test, looking at those walls, and seeing how immensely and impressively far my university has come, never ceases to give me that extra push I need to keep working to be the best Captain I can be.

Here at Christopher Newport we are all proud to be Captains, and how incredibly exciting it is for us that we can carry that pride with us forever, knowing that we will always have a home on campus. It’s not four years, it’s for life.

Looking Back on Welcome Week

Unlike many other colleges, Christopher Newport’s welcome period is a week-long introduction to the community. Most colleges have a 2-3 day transition period to welcome students. The university genuinely makes a real effort to insure that every individual is sufficiently acclimated, or is aware of resources if they are having a difficult time.

As soon as I reached the campus, I was greeted by students and faculty who were helping the freshmen find their residence halls. After I was settled, I received a schedule highlighting all the events of the week. Among these were several mandatory seminars. Now, I know the word “mandatory” has a very boring connotation, but these seminars were actually incomparably helpful. They informed me of the rules, resources and recreations available on campus to help me make the most of my four years here.

I was able to learn about the Center for Academic Success. A place where students can go to get extra help in their classes and other places, if needed. There was also a seminar on the study abroad programs available here. CNU is very enthusiastic about these programs, and emphasizes that there is a program for everyone and every major. In addition, I was introduced to the incredible Title IX program that combats sexual assault extremely effectively. I learned what I can do to be a better resource for my peers, and where I could find resources myself.

I was also able to make a lot of terrific friends. As a result of the campus being mostly freshmen during this week, everyone I came across was very friendly and equally excited to engage with other members of our new community. At the end of the week, we all attended the Light the Night festival, a neon party out on the Great Lawn that quite literally “lights the night,” with live music and all.

It’s been two months since, and I am still benefiting from the seminars and connections made during Welcome Week. Community is a cornerstone of Christopher Newport University, and it’s for reasons such as these that community is made. After only one week, I knew I had found a home on campus.

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!