CNU’s Best Dance Crew

Ever heard of Best Dance Crew?

Students at Christopher Newport have, but it’s not the TV show.

Gamma Phi Beta sorority hosts an event every spring called “CNU’s Best Dance Crew,” and it’s a hit on campus. This year the sorority raised over $9,000 for their philanthropy Girls Inc. from the event. It’s not just Greek organizations that compete either. This year the event staff put a team together, and in years past we’ve had both club sports and a cappella groups sign up. The dances are no joke either (though some of them are intentionally quite funny). Many organizations will practice multiple times a week from the day applications are released to the day of the event. The dances are very well choreographed, and the competitive spirit is fierce.

The best part about this amazing event is that the money goes to a wonderful cause: Girls Inc.

Girls Inc. is the philanthropy supported by our chapter of Gamma Phi Beta, and aims to build strong future women, and organizes various programs throughout the U.S. that helps better prepare young girls for a bright and successful future they may otherwise be denied. In fact, some of the girls who have been positively affected by Girls Inc. performed at Best Dance Crew! The girls had a great time, and so did we.

If you didn’t go to BDC this year, definitely take the time to next spring. It’s a fun event for a great cause, and definitely one of CNU’s most successful on-campus events.


Don’t Forget To…

With the hectic schedules, overloads of homework and lack of sleep, it’s pretty easy to forget a lot of things in college. Here are a few things you should definitely remind yourself to do in the midst of the all the craziness:

1) Don’t forget to eat regularly.

Some of us have majors that don’t require a lot of lab hours and outside of class work, others don’t. Sometimes the dining hall schedule doesn’t fit our schedule, so remember to pack snacks and make trips to Einstein’s as much as possible throughout the day. Eating is an essential part to success in the classroom, and it’s much harder to focus with an empty stomach.

2) Don’t forget to call home.

Remember the people who got you to where you are now, because they didn’t forget you. My mom still asks me to call or text every day because she misses me. The adjustment to college life isn’t just something we have to go through, our parents and guardians do, too. Try to take some time each week to say ‘hello’ to the people who got you to your home away from home.

3) Don’t forget to enjoy the campus.

Christopher Newport’s campus is gorgeous. We all know this. You knew this when you walked onto campus for the first time. However, when you’re a student and you’re rushing from place to place, sometimes you don’t actually see all the beauty that’s around you. Remember to take the time to enjoy the beautifully designed campus and all of its wonder. There are trees to climb, places to explore and lawn to lay on as far as the eye can see.

4) Don’t forget the resources available to you!

During my tour of Christopher Newport back when I was a senior in high school, I remember my tour guide listing all the cool resources available to students. But, when I started my freshman year, I’d completely forgotten about all of them. Where is the Writing Center? I can rent DVDs from the library? The Office of Student Activities has stuff to make posters? There are so many resources available to us as students, but they’re not always advertised. Remember to find them, and make the most of them!

5) Don’t forget why you’re here.

Sometimes as students we get into slumps where we question why we’re undergrads in the first place. College intimidates you even after you’ve been accepted and have taken a semester or two’s worth of classes. As much as you can, remind yourself what your passion is. Remind yourself why you chose Christopher Newport to get your bachelor’s degree, and remember how lucky you are to receive a college education. As long as you keep all these things in mind, college will be a most memorable, productive and fulfilling time.

What College Offered Me Outside Of Class (Literally)

This week has been full of beautiful sunny days with Frisbee and picnics galore. What did I decide to do all this week when I wasn’t in class? I decided to sit on the Great Lawn with friends and enjoy the “summer” heat. I probably watched six cycles of classes go by as students walked in and out of the academic buildings. Hours and hours of sitting and doing nothing may seem like a boring activity, but it wasn’t at all. The best parts of this week where I learned most were sitting on the grass and watching the clouds roll by. Christopher Newport’s beautiful campus isn’t there just to look pleasing for tour groups, it’s there for the students to enjoy. It reminds us how wonderful it is to be alive, to feel the sun on your skin as you toss a ball back and forth with classmates, to be able to connect with like-minded individuals you otherwise never would have met. Our student body makes up a group of passionate, intelligent, talented young people, and this week many of us took the time to simply exist with each other on the grass. College offered me this opportunity, and I am so thankful for it. For those of you who haven’t taken the time yet: sit down and enjoy the beautiful weather, I highly recommend it.


Sorority Spotlight

Ever wondered how many sororities were on campus or were curious about what they do? Did you know events like best dance crew and preppy olympics are put on by Greek organizations? Here’s a little overview on Christopher Newport’s fantastic Panhellenic sororities!


Alpha Delta Pi

Theta Nu Chapter

“We Live For Each Other”

Philanthropy: the Ronald McDonald House

What does ADPi do on campus? They host ADPiHop, and tie dye with ADPi! They also put on the annual preppy olympics every spring semester, an event which involves both endurance and prep.


Alpha Phi

Theta Phi Chapter

“Union Hand in Hand”

Philanthropy: the Alpha Phi Foundation (which supports cardiac care and heart health)

Recently, APhi hosted a series of different events for heart health week, a week designed to raise awareness on heart health and promote a healthy college lifestyle! They also hold their red dress gala every year to raise money for their philanthropy.


Alpha Sigma Alpha

Theta Gamma Chapter

“Aspire, Seek, Attain”

Philanthropies: the S. June Smith Center, Girls on the Run and Special Olympics

What does ASA do on campus? They host “so you think you can’t even,” a pageant event that searches for the most basic of men on campus. They also put on “rock-a-thon” and “play your ASA off.”


Delta Gamma

Eta Tau Chapter

“Do Good”

Philanthropy: Service for Sight

You’ll notice anchors are a recurring trend for the ladies of DG, because their events include “anchorman” and “anchorsplash,” which raise money for their philanthropy! They also host a deliciously fun event called the “desserts derby.”


Gamma Phi Beta

Epsilon Iota Chapter

“Founded upon a rock”

Philanthropies: Girl’s Inc., Building Strong Girls and Girls on the Run

These ladies host “best dance crew,” which raises money for G Phi’s various philanthropies. This event is one of the highest attended annual events on campus, and this year will be happening March 25!


Phi Mu

Lambda Epsilon Chapter

“Les Soeurs Fideles (The Faithful Sisters)”

Philanthropies: the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and the Phi Mu Foundation

Where can you spot these sisters? They host the Phi Mu auction and dance marathon, the proceeds of which all go toward their philanthropies. Dance marathon even got its own Snapchat filter last year!


Zeta Tau Alpha

Kappa Phi Chapter

“Seek the Noblest”

Philanthropies: Breast Cancer Education and Awareness and the Zeta Tau Alpha Foundation

What does Zeta do on campus? During the month of October, you’ll see Zetas everywhere with a lot of pink on for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. They host various events all throughout the month involving – you guessed it – a lot of pink.

The lovely Panhellenic sororities contribute greatly to our community here, and now you know a little more about what makes each of them so special!

What Happened When I Didn’t Get Involved

What I learned my freshman year was that it’s very easy to not get involved on campus. You see, campus organizations want you, but they don’t force you to join. In high school, everything you did was forced. Attendance was forced, lunch times were forced, bathroom passes were forced and sometimes even extracurriculars were forced. What many of us realize when we get to college is that everything is truly optional. No one is sitting over your bed telling you to get ready before you miss the bus, or making sure you have money to buy cafeteria food. Everything is on you.

When I arrived at Christopher Newport in fall 2014, I noticed there was a plethora of student activities I was dying to get involved with. Campus Activities Board, Student Diversity and Equality Council, Greek Life, Rowing Club, Nintendo Club – there were so many options! I left the club fair with a ridiculous number of flyers, and was beyond excited to start getting involved. Then Monday came, and my first set of classes began. I realized that education at Christopher Newport was no joke like high school had been, and my time would have to be managed very carefully. I also really wanted to be friends with everyone in my hall (as most freshmen do), and skipped out on a lot of interest meetings in order to spend time with my friends who lived so close to me.

I didn’t go to that Improv Club meeting I’d been waiting for all week because my friends and I wanted to go to the beach. I skipped out on that audition for Initiative Student Theater because there was a hall meal at the same time and I didn’t want to eat by myself. I forgot about that CAB Street Team application because no one I knew was applying, too. As a result, I made a lot of great memories with my hall and enjoyed myself thoroughly … until the spring. My hallmates had joined things, my roommate and I weren’t getting along like we used to and people just weren’t as friendly as before. They’d found their cliques and things to get into on campus, but I hadn’t really. Even though I had joined one club, I hadn’t been as involved as I could’ve been because I didn’t want to miss out on the things happening in my hall. It hit me at the end of my spring semester that I regretted not joining things and branching out.

It’s scary making friends, especially ones you don’t see everyday like in high school. With hallmates, you see them all the time and it’s basically like high school all over again. But things change, and you won’t live with them all next year. You also could be missing out on some amazing friendships by not joining clubs, and gaining life experience you couldn’t get in the safety of your residence hall. Now I’m a member of a sorority and a leader in the Christopher Newport community, and I’m so much happier.

I’ve made memories and friendships that never would’ve happened without branching out and following my passions. It was awkward, scary and definitely difficult for an introvert like me to do. But now I’m completely fulfilled. If you’ve thought about applying for membership in that group, or joining that club, do it. Christopher Newport is full of quality organizations that do absolutely amazing things. Get the most out of your experience here, and do it sooner rather than later. I promise you it’ll be the best decision you could make.


Familiar with “Pitch Perfect”?

Deke Sharon (one of the producers of “Pitch Perfect”) was here this past weekend, as he taught a masterclass to all six of Christopher Newport’s a cappella groups (Trebled Youth, University Sounds, Extreme Measures, Take Note, The Newport Pearls and Expansion).

Deke also worked on the shows “Pitch Slapped” and “The Sing-Off,” and is known in the a cappella community as the “Father of Contemporary A Cappella.” In his class he gave each group 40 minutes of working time with him, while the other groups took notes on what he was teaching them.

The class also determined who would open for “Vocalosity,” an a cappella show currently touring the U.S., and the pride and joy of Deke Sharon himself. The show will be coming to the Ferguson Center for the Arts on Monday, February 22, and Deke had to choose who would open for Vocalosity. Despite the class also being a competition, all groups involved learned so much about the a cappella music style, and Deke agreed that all of our University’s groups are phenomenal.

Want to see who Deke chose to open for Vocalosity? Click here to watch the announcement video!

How’s It Feel To Sign For Your Major?

Signing Day is a special day at Christopher Newport. It’s the day sophomores officially declare their majors and head down the path to their bachelor’s degrees.This past Tuesday was Signing Day for me, and I felt a rush of emotions afterwards. Here’s how it feels to sign for your major.

“Will I ever make money now?

That’s a thought I had while declaring my major as English. There’s a very negative idea that English majors will most likely become teachers and never make a lot of money. That’s what I was thinking about as I wrote my name in the English majors signing book.

A lot of people feel that way when they sign. You never know what your future will hold, and signing makes your options more limited. I could’ve been a biologist, but I probably won’t be now. But then I started to feel another way…

I felt supported when the professors at the English table welcomed me to their department.

Christopher Newport is lucky to have such a large pool of quality professors teaching. Even if my future is still unclear, I can always look forward to the possibility of being in the position of my professors one day. They also have a lot of knowledge in our field, as do all the professors with their respective concentrations. They’re here for us to use as a resource, and having them as your supporters makes it a lot easier to get to graduation.

I also felt complete.

Not everyone decides their major at the same time. For me, I was set on pursuing a degree in English. For others, they decide on Signing Day, or even after they’ve signed. But when a student finally picks their path, they get a feeling of purpose. The future is a little more clear, and a sense of community can be formed with you and your classmates who share your major.

It’s scary declaring a major, but the way it’s done at Christopher Newport really makes you feel like you’ve been given the tools to succeed and are supported every step of the way.


Signing Day at Christopher Newport University!

High School vs. College Snow Days


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Christopher Newport University’s first snow day of the year.

When I was in high school, getting a snow day was one of the greatest things ever. My mom, an elementary school teacher at the time, would teach me all these weird rituals to make the snow come. We’d wear our pajamas inside out, and put spoons under our pillows. It’s safe to assume that we really liked getting out of school. When it did snow, we’d make snow ice cream (also known as snow cream) and go sledding. All the kids in the neighborhood would come over, and we’d play without a care in the world. When we had to go back to school, all my friends and I would talk about how much sleep we got and all the fun we had. In fact, my senior year it snowed so much that mid-terms were canceled! It was great.

In college, snow days mean a different thing. A little bit of snow isn’t going to cut it for our lovely university to stop running. It takes a lot, so a snow day for a high school might be another day in the life of a college student. When it does snow a lot and class is canceled, we’ve still got plenty of work due when we come back to school. We have these nifty little things called syllabuses, and they make it so even if a day of class is missed, you don’t have to wait on the professor to tell you what to move on to. All your reading assignments are on there, too. Even if you don’t have class on the day your big paper is due, your big paper is still due. So really, it’s like you’re taking your class online because class doesn’t stop outside of the classroom for us.

We do have fun, though. When the snow piles form, we climb them. We also have snowball fights on occasion. However, the cold weather mostly just keeps us from our much-needed trips to the Trible Library, and makes it more slippery when walking to the dining hall for food.

Friends and family, don’t be mad at us college students for not sharing your enthusiasm for the snow. We’re happy for you, really. It’s just different for us.

The Sorority Recruitment Experience

Let’s talk about recruitment.

Going into it, I had a lot of preconceived ideas regarding what each sorority was about. I tell you this because it’s true: you need to go in with an open mind. Formal recruitment into Christopher Newport’s thriving Greek life involves hours of socializing with sisters, learning about philanthropy work and getting an idea of what sisterhood is all about. Going into it with various rumors floating in your head really messes with your experience, and can make you say no to the sorority that’s perfect for you. Luckily, I was given this advice prior to the second round, and, sure enough, it helped me make the right decision in joining my sorority.

Day one starts with learning about the philanthropy, then day two is all about sisterhood and what it means to be in each organization. On day three, also known as bid day, you visit your preferences and later on in the day get a bid to a sorority. One thing I also saw a lot of during that final day was a lot of people being upset they got their second choice and walking away. My advice for that is trust the system. Trust that these women know what they’re doing, and are matching you up with the people who are going to bring out the best in you and love you for who you are. Perhaps that’s not the sorority you thought it was, but you know what? All seven of the Panhellenic sororities are amazing and full of dedicated sisters who love what they do. Being able to join one is a privilege, even if it wasn’t the one you thought it would be.

Though recruitment was stressful, and some tears were involved, I had a wonderful time and encourage any other female Captains to seriously consider going through. And if you don’t like it, you can drop! But give it a chance, because this weekend I was impressed by hundreds of classy, hardworking, fun-loving women of Christopher Newport University. You could be, too.

Waiting for our bid cards!

The 3 Things We’ll Try Not To Do This Semester

Every semester we tell ourselves we’re not going to do these things, and yet we always do. Here’s a list of the things that seem to repeat themselves every time we head back to Christopher Newport.

1) We skip class, much more than we intended to.

We start out our year pretty strong. No skipping, getting to class early, doing homework ASAP. We’re all model students those first few weeks. And then one morning, we just don’t feel like getting up, and we skip. Then a few days later we skip our other class because we’re swamped with work. Now we’re at the end of the year, and our grade is not as high as it could’ve been and our understanding of the material needs improvement. Maybe this year we can skip a little less?

2) We don’t go to events on campus as much as we should.

Sometimes homework holds us hostage from socializing. Don’t feel bad, it happens to all of us. Other times though, we don’t want to go to events or concerts purely because we’re lazy. Then the end of the year comes and everyone is talking about all the cool stuff they did and saw (like when Tyler Oakley came to campus, or when the Campus Activity Board hosted Build-A-Buddy), and we sit there and remember all the Netflix you watched instead. Netflix will be there even when we’re legit adults. Campus activities … not so much.

3) We get behind on our assignments.

It’s the first day of class, and our professor told us we have a 10-page paper due in a month. You’ve already shuffled it to the back of your brain, and sure enough you only remember it when the class period before your professor says “All right everyone, that paper I mentioned at the beginning of the year is due on Wednesday.” We proceed to get minimal sleep and maximum caffeine. This year, let’s do our bodies a favor and stay on top of things a little more.

What we will do: make the most of our college experience, which involves a little bit of cramming and all-nighters. We’ll do what we can to have the greatest semester we can, and stay positive while doing it. Being a student isn’t easy, but being a Captain means we’re going to do our best.