Snow days bring out many different emotions for the students here at Christopher Newport. For some students, their inner 7-year-old comes out as they rush to play in the snow. They build snowmen and have campus-wide snowball fights in the middle of the Great Lawn at midnight. For others, they become sloths and lay around and sleep all day. Some use the time to catch up on all the work they procrastinated on so much. Either way, one emotion I think all CNU students share is the emotion of joy. Joy that classes are canceled. Joy that we get to enjoy this weather in whatever way we choose.
Last Friday we experienced our first partial snow day. All classes after 1 p.m. were canceled. When that email and text alert went out, I heard screaming and screeching all over my residence hall. It seemed as if the entire CNU population, including myself, took to Twitter to celebrate their first snow day and begin scheduling snowball fights. Once the celebrating died down, it was time to make some executive decisions. All I kept thinking was, “What if we get snowed in? What if the dining halls close?” It was already cold enough for me and I did not want to have to continue leaving my warm residence hall, so my sorority sisters and some of our fraternity friends went on a grocery shopping trip to stock up on all the last-minute stuff we needed. We drove over to the grocery store and there we found more of our fellow Captains. It seemed as if all of the CNU community decided to take their grocery trips at the same time.
When we returned, we watched movies and the snow falling outside our windows. We used our snow day to relax. I guess you could kind of refer to us as ‘sloths’ for the day. However, the next day we woke up early and immediately got into our books to study and read.
January 15, 1908 — The day Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority (AKA) was founded at Howard University in Washington, D.C. Alpha Kappa Alpha is the first historically black Greek-lettered sorority. I became a member of AKA last spring and have really enjoyed my experiences in Greek life so far. The most exciting day for me, since the day I became a member was my first Founders’ Day. My sisters and I all gathered together at midnight. It was like a national holiday for us. As soon as midnight hit, we sang songs and went straight to social media to post about how excited we were for our Founders’ Day. Although the day was all about AKA, the Christopher Newport community was very supportive in helping us celebrate. We received many tweets and shout-outs on social media from students. During lunch time, we performed a step and chant in the middle of the David Student Union. So many people gathered around and watched and cheered us on. Later that evening, we held a candlelight vigil to recognize and remember our founders. The room was filled with so many people, Greeks and non-Greeks, that some had to stand. My first Founders’ Day was so great and I cannot only thank my sorority for making it that way. AKA is the smallest sorority we have on campus, but the CNU community definitely made sure that we felt extra special that day.
One amazing thing about Christopher Newport is the fact that it has its own app! The main menu has 15 different sections under it, covering everything a student would ever need, including: athletics, dining, the academic calendar, campus events, and more!
I use this app multiple times every single day, mostly for dining. The dining section shows the daily menu for each of the dining halls and other spots around campus to eat, like Discovery Grill or Einstein’s. It is literally the most helpful section to me. When deciding where I want to eat throughout the day, I always refer to it.
The one I use most after dining is probably the TV section that list the TV channels and stations for the cable here.
My third most used section is athletics. It has the schedules for each athletic team on campus. With me being such a huge sports fan and having so much school spirit, this section is very helpful. Along with the schedule, it shows live stats and even streams live video. If you can’t make it to an away game, no worries, because you can watch straight from the app!
With Thanksgiving just passing, I figured it would be only right to tell you what I am thankful for at Christopher Newport:
- This may sound weird, but I am thankful for the rigorous curriculum offered by CNU. With the classes being challenging, you feel much better about yourself when you earn high grades, rather than them being given to you.
- After my actual education, or course, the thing I’m most grateful for is my sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha. Through this organization, I have had the opportunity to build bonds with people who no one could ever break. I have also had many opportunities to impact people’s lives through community service!
- FREE gym membership! After Thanksgiving and Christmas season go by, having a fully equipped gym to go to for free is great!
- The residence halls at CNU are unlike any other. There are rooms that come with kitchens. Some rooms are singles and even have their own bathroom. It’s like living in your own apartment or mini palace.
- Last but not least, I am so very grateful for the many Captains that I have been able to not only meet, but build actual relationships with. The feeling of community here seems so unreal sometimes but I am grateful I’ve been able to experience it.
Christopher Newport University has one very unique component to its community. Many schools have an honor code, but we uphold ours like no other.
Just about every day, I leave at least one of my belongings somewhere around campus, whether it’s my phone or my backpack, and every time I come back it is untouched and exactly where I left it. When I go into Regatta’s or Commons for breakfast, lunch and dinner, I normally always place my backpack and my phone down at the table where I am sitting then leave to go grab food. When I go to the library, I place my books and laptop out on the table where I plan to get my work done. If I leave to go to Einstein’s Cafe, and come back, my things are unbothered.
Sometimes it’s hard for me to remember that outside of Christopher Newport, the world does not operate the same. I cannot just go into a restaurant and leave my belongings around and be 100 percent confident they won’t get taken.
The trust that we all share with each other on this campus is something that I think gets overlooked very often. I am grateful for CNU and the honor code because it shows me that society isn’t all bad.
To me, one of the best features of Christopher Newport is its size.
- You do not have to walk a thousand miles to get around the campus. I live in Warwick River Hall, a residence hall for second-year students, and the longest I have to walk to get across campus is exactly seven minutes.
- The campus is big enough to see different people every day (if you wanted to). If I do not go out of my way to hang out with friends from my Tuesday and Thursday classes, I usually will not see them around campus.
- The small campus allows for everyone to basically know (or know of) each other. CNU is one big family.
- With a small campus comes small classes. These small classes allow for a more intimate setting where students and teachers get to know each other, and students can get personalized help if necessary. Four out of the five classes that I am taking this semester have 25 or fewer students.
- Last but not least, something that I find extremely interesting is that Christopher Newport offers special topic courses. The topics for each of the special topic courses vary based on the special interests and needs of the students and the expertise of the faculty for that subject. I have not taken one of the special topic courses yet, but I plan on taking one next year!
People always say “time flies when you’re having fun.” If that’s the case, then Christopher Newport is the most fun place to be on Earth because time is moving entirely too fast for my liking.
It feels like just yesterday that I was moving into York River Hall as a freshman. Now, I am registered for spring semester of my sophomore year. Since then, I’ve had the opportunity to take advantage of many of CNU’s unique traditions.
One of my favorite traditions that CNU offers is the themed dinners. It is so much fun to see the dining halls turn into a carnival or a spooky house with foods like crab legs, cocktail shrimp, prime rib, Oreo creme pies, gyros and more. CNU also does a great job offering theme-inspired food for people who have gluten allergies or vegan diets.
I always look forward to participating in Homecoming activities, and for the past two years they have been great. As a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, I participated in Yell Like Hell, a spirit board competition and Midnight Madness. Yell Like Hell is a competition where campus organizations make up a chant that has to do with CNU and Homecoming. Our chant got second place in that competition, where we encouraged students to vote for Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity’s Rodney Smith. The spirit board competition was nice because it allowed our sisters the chance to all come together for an arts and crafts night. It was also nice just seeing the boards plastered around the campus.
All of these great memories seem to come and go so fast. I don’t know where time is going but I am definitely taking advantage of all that CNU has to offer while I am here.
This past weekend, I had the opportunity to compete in my first-ever campus-wide competition as a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority. Eight of my sisters and I participated in Stroll to the Polls III, a stroll-off between 11 campus organizations.
Performing in the actual event was so much fun, but putting it all together required much more than what people saw. Part of the competition including raising money for March of Dimes, one of our targets for giving back. All 11 groups were encouraged to raise money and donate it for points in the competition. Although the organizations were competing against each other, some of us still gave to each other’s different collections. Also, much of the Christopher Newport community, including students, faculty and staff all donated to multiple groups at a time.
The other part of the competition was actually performing a five-minute stroll (precisely choreographed dance routine). During performances, everyone cheered, even if you were in an opposing organization. We not only all cheered, but we also gave standing ovations, screamed until we lost our voices and gave out high-fives as performers walked by.
If you looked through the crowd, you could see the genuine happiness on everyone’s faces from just being together in the room. No one was concerned about winning or losing; we all just wanted to see each other go on stage and be great. People I didn’t even know were out there cheering for me like they were a proud sister or brother. My heart was warmed when I saw Ms. Linda, one of the dining hall workers, standing at her seat cheering each team on as if she was a proud mother. It made me happy to see that the Ferguson Center’s Concert Hall was filled up almost to capacity, but it made me more happy to see who was actually sitting in the seats. CNU is more than just a school. We are definitely one big family.
After talking with my friends from back home who go to different schools all over the place, I realize how special of a school Christopher Newport is. While they all spend time complaining about things on campus, I get to brag about how everyone here speaks to each other, holds doors and acts as a family. I get to brag about how clean and nice our buildings are, how fancy and updated our residence halls are, and how great our food is.
Dining at CNU is very unique compared to other schools. You do not feel like you are eating in your high school’s cafeteria, but instead you’re eating at a nice restaurant. The food is high quality and tastes like a home-cooked meal every time.
My favorite part of CNU dining is the weekly specials. However, they are my most difficult day sometimes because I have to make some of the hardest decisions of my life (choosing CNU was a super-fast and easy decision). Wednesdays are literally my favorite day of the week. I wake up in an extremely good mood and get dressed up super cute because it is Wing Wednesday. The conflict arises from there, because it is also Buffalo Chicken Wrap Wednesday.
During lunch time, the newer dining hall, Regatta’s, transforms into that great place to get wings. There are normally three different sauce choices each week, along with a side of fries, curly or waffle or normal, and ranch or blue cheese. On the other side of campus, another dining hall known as The Commons, transforms into your favorite sub shop. The dining hall workers wait behind the glass as you pick and choose your toppings and sauces for your buffalo chicken wrap. Since I can’t be at two places at one time, I struggle every week trying to decide whether I want all-you-can-eat wings for lunch or one of the huge buffalo chicken wraps (they’re all-you-can-eat as well, but they are so big that I can barely finish one).
Despite the problem of making a decision between Wing Wednesday and Buffalo Chicken Wrap Wednesday, dining at CNU is great. Instead of hating school food and having to go spend my own money on fast food just to get a decent meal, my school provides me with quality meals, where I can taste the love in every bite. Also, there’s always more than enough food, which I always seem to be surprised by because Wednesdays are like holidays here for everyone.