RHA can: challenge created to fight hunger
Nov16

RHA can: challenge created to fight hunger

The holiday season is coming up, and food drives around campus are in full swing. Local organization Helping Hands is collecting cans for families in need, and students have plenty of opportunities to chip in. The Collegiate Financial Organization was part of a group that announced a food drive, and the university’s Residence Hall Association joined forces to help inspire students to support local food banks and the community. Hot off the heels of the successful Flat Randy Project, RHA sponsor and Burt Hall Resident Director Rebeka Retta thought it was time to bring students together by performing a service project.. She brainstormed with co-sponsors Johnson Hall Resident Director Julie Barr and associate dean of students and Director of Residence Life Donna Plank. “I know there’s another organization that’s doing a can drive, and they asked (Julie) if it would be possible to do something in the dorms to promote the students within the dorms to (donate),” Retta said. “All the cans will eventually go to Helping Hands. So we got to thinking and Julie said, ‘Why don’t we do a challenge and see who can get the most cans?’” Retta met with the publicity team for RHA and hashed out the details. Since the competition lasts Nov. 5-15, the team decided to name it the 10 Day Tin Can Challenge. Though the main goal is to assist Helping Hands, RHA wanted students to have fun in the process by hosting a competition. The dorm that collects the most cans wins the chance to prank their resident director. Some of the proposed prizes include free room checks and throwing jello and pies at the RD. Freshman exercise sport science major and RHA publicity team member Nicole Viana believes the contest aspect of the canned food drive is what makes it successful. “We wanted to make it fun and not just donate cans. We wanted the students in the halls to get something out of it, so we decided to make it a competition within the dorms,” she said. Retta hopes to mimick the success that another project generated. She said, “The Flat Randy project that we did worked out really well; people had a lot of fun with it, so we did something else against dorms.” However, Retta is looking for more in the 10 Day Tin Can Challenge. “Even though the Flat Randy was a lot of fun, it was just fun,” she said. “This one is fun still, but it’s about helping other people, thinking outside of ourselves. It’s kind of a twist because it’s still like the Flat Randy where there’s competition, but it’s still helping...

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Pinterest to blame for unorginality
Oct30

Pinterest to blame for unorginality

“That’s really cute! Did you get it off Pinterest?” For much of the population at the school, this question would be quite a compliment. Others might take offense at the suggestion their latest project was someone else’s idea. People automatically assume that anything crafty or creative is unoriginal, which brings up a good point. In today’s wannabe-artsy generation, is copying a project from Pinterest truly a form of creativity? From a cutesy-crafty point of view, Pinterest is the perfect outlet for collecting ideas and creating a virtual dream world. Users can upload or “pin” images and organize them into personalized categories called boards. A few of the top subjects include recipes, workout tips, crafts, dream weddings and fashion. Launched in March 2010, the social scrapbook reached more than 11 million users before its second anniversary. The thought behind collecting ideas on virtual bulletin boards filled a void in the world of social media. More meaningful than liking a page on Facebook, pinning offers users the chance to paint a personalized picture of who they are based on individual interests, taste and style. According to the mission statement, Pinterest was created with the purpose of helping people relate over common pursuits. Its goal, as stated on the website, is to connect users around the world through shared interests, taste, humor and style. But the amount of originality on the website is greatly lacking. Many of the pins become trapped in an endless cycle, copied time and time again to boards across the globe and thus stifling the individuality of being creative. The number of repeated pins can be annoying. Even worse, users commonly admit to spending hours at a time on Pinterest and even becoming addicted to pinning. They spend more time sitting in front of their computer screens pinning recipes and crafts than they do actually cooking and creating. One quote wryly repinned by users serves to poke fun at the website: “Thank you, Pinterest, for helping me feel creative even though I’ve really just been sitting at my computer for three hours.” On the other hand, some members make an effort to take their ideas and put them to good use. They have Pinterest parties with friends, and they cook, paint or make scarves from old T-shirts. Cynics might see these parties through the lens of friends gathering in one place to make unoriginal, often useless crafts. In many cases Pinterest inspires a sort of cookie-cutter creativity, resulting in exact copies or projects slightly tweaked for a more personalized fit. Sadly, attempting to copy the cute DIY projects is often accompanied by a sense of dissatisfaction. Trying too...

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Zombies bring fear to Beall Hall activities
Oct30

Zombies bring fear to Beall Hall activities

Students put their zombie apocalypse survival skills to the test at Beall Hall’s Fright Night Oct. 26. Beall residents dressed up and gathered in the common room for pizza, candy and even a haunted house. The party was hosted by Beall’s house council. Freshman nursing major and house council co-president Marissa Lara said that planning began about two months ago. One challenge was figuring out how to have a successful Halloween party with limited funds. “We had a really small budget; our budget was first $50,” Lara said. “Then the RAs put more in, so we had $100 total to put everything together.” Lara turned her room into a haunted house for the party. Freshman music education major Eva Noxon helped decorate. “We had a lot of cobwebs. We had yarn hanging from the ceiling with spiders attached to it,” Noxon said. “It was an insane asylum, and there were strobe lights in rooms and people convulsing in beds and screaming and jumping out. People actually were legitimately scared…. I’d say it was a success.” With most of the money going toward the party, the planning committee conjured up a game that would be exciting but inexpensive. The result? Zombie Apocalypse, the brainchild of senior exercise and sport science major Aaron Miller. Students of all ages flooded the lobby and separated into two teams: humans and zombies. In order to survive the apocalypse, the humans had to reach safety zones and collect “vaccinations.” “We have 15-minute intervals that we’re open, or safe, and we mark their hand,” Lara said. “They have to have four marks to complete the game. Once they have four, then they’re supposed to go to the evacuation point.” The safe areas were scattered across campus from Shannon Commons to Burt Pond. The zombies took their roles seriously, dressing in costumes and painting each other’s faces black, white and red. They paced around campus, searching for runners to tag and guarding the safe zones. Sophomore studio art major Miranda Jenkins was one of the few survivors to reach the end. She had some close calls along the way, but her survival skills helped her reach the evacuation zone. As the apocalypse wound down, both zombies and humans agreed that it was a hit. “For a second there you kind of forget that this is a game,” Jenkins said. “It makes it...

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Students reveal patriotic side with ’Merica Monday
Oct16

Students reveal patriotic side with ’Merica Monday

If a stranger visited campus on a typical Monday, he might stop and ask himself, “Why are these students celebrating the Fourth of July in the middle of the fall?” The answer is simple: It’s ’Merica Monday. Each week, a group of Crusaders honors old glory by donning their most patriotic outfits. Sophomore business administration major Ryan Sewell is said to be the mastermind behind the ‘Merica Monday fun. The trend is on the rise on campus, and Sewell wanted to get the word out by taking his idea to the Campus Activities Board. Lucky for Sewell, a patriotic palooza was in the works. Sept. 17 was Constitution Day, and the university planned to raise awareness about its history. CAB Assistant Director Jeff Sutton explained that schools celebrate the anniversary of the U.S. Constitution and the men who signed it in 1787. “It’s the next best thing to the Fourth of July,” senior sociology major Mary Baucom said. Held at noon in the SUB, the celebration offered pamphlets and cupcakes to students. Though it is not the first time CAB had honored Constitution Day, this year’s event was one of the biggest yet. “’Merica Monday just kick started it,” Sewell said. Sophomore nursing major Lizzy McElyea was excited to be involved. “I got a Facebook invite that said it was Constitution Day and to wear red, white and blue to rep your American pride, so that is exactly what I did,” she said. “Me and my roommate decided we’d find what red, white and blue we had in our closets.” McElyea completed her look with a manicure even Betsy Ross would envy. “I have a psuedo-American flag when I put all my nails together,” she said. Freshman finance major James Ewing was also ready to party like a patriot. He sported red pants and a blue American flag graphic T-shirt. “It’s kind of an underlying tone on campus that it’s ’Merica Monday, so you’re supposed to dress up for America,” he said. “Then Constitution Day was on Monday… mainly how I knew about it was through my friend who works for CAB.” Freshman business marketing major Ashley Lovett is another CAB member who participated in the event. She credits Sewell for inspiring the red, white and blue wardrobe. “I (dressed up) the last two Mondays. I went thrifting today so I (would) have two more Mondays before I have to recycle,” she said. Both she and Ewing agree that Constitution Day was a success. “I didn’t need a cupcake. I just went because I love America,” Lovett said. “Oh yeah,” Ewing said. “I’m a huge America fan.” Though Constitution...

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Opera Cru blows house away
Oct16

Opera Cru blows house away

Putting on a live performance can be quite an endeavor, as the Opera Cru knows well. When the venue changed last minute and the microphones kept acting up, the group’s performance of The Three Little Pigs brought plenty of challenges. Junior vocal performance major Josiah Davis said that preparations for the children’s show began last spring. “We had gotten the music back at the end of last semester, and learned it throughout the summer,” he said. “As soon as we came back at the beginning of the semester, we started rehearsing it.” Davis plays the role of Wolfgang Bigbad in the show, a character similar to the ones he’s played before. The Three Little Pigs was scheduled to open the morning of Oct 12. Despite careful preparations, the cast and crew had to work hard to be ready for their first audience. Due to construction gone wrong in Hughes Hall, the debut risked delay. Opera Cru founder and director George Hogan explained the ensuing challenges. he said, “We missed two days —Tuesday and Wednesday — so we weren’t able to rehearse at all.” Thanks to a colleague, Hogan and the Opera Cru were able to move the performance to Shelton Theater at the last minute. “I’m really appreciative to Dr. Humphrey for spearheading us getting into here, or I don’t know that we would have been able to put it up. It would have caused a real back log,” he said. “I think also nurse Debbie (Rosenberger) and Dr. Bill Carrell were a part of moving stuff. I think nurse Debbie had an event in here this morning that she moved for us.” With the new location at hand, the cast members were able to focus on changing their blocking as well as moving set pieces. “Because we had to tackle the problem of the wolf blowing the houses down, we did PVC pipe frames for the houses and then curtain drapes with different colors,” Davis said. “When the wolf blows, (the actors) yank back the curtain… It’s a simple way of accomplishing what we want, and it will allow us to travel.” The preparation and efforts of the Opera Cru paid off. The opening performance had a full house, and, despite a few technological glitches, the first show was a success. Now that the cast and crew are equipped to face any future changes, they can focus on the audience, local school children. Sophomore vocal performance major Katrina Bernhard is on the stage crew. She helps with the set and has a cameo in the show. She enjoys seeing the children’s reactions and the genuine enjoyment they have...

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