The University of Lynchburg Men’s Basketball Team is kicked off preparation for their 2021 season with the Hornet Cup.
Israel Lockamy, a senior guard on the University of Lynchburg Men’s Basketball Team, saw the Hornet Cup as a confidence boost for the 2021 season. Lockamy said, “My favorite moment was when our team won the Hornet Cup, and I hit the last half-court shot to win it! It will give me more confidence when shooting in actual games.”
He also said, “Just working out, I have seen many improvements from my teammates, which shows that they have worked on their game throughout the offseason.”
With only two weeks left of class, students are beginning to wonder about COVID’s effect on the spring 2021 semester.
After this compressed semester, students are seeing the positives and negatives of a compressed, hybrid semester, additionally, they saw how COVID still persisted despite the precautions. With students preparing to go home for the winter break, there is a rising concern for taking the virus home or bringing it back in the spring.
Nothing had been confirmed about testing for students and staff returning in the spring, but the University of Lynchburg Health Services sent out an email with information about free COVID testing before Winter break. The email started with, “The Health Center has partnered with the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) to offer free COVID testing prior to students returning home for winter break. Students wishing to take advantage of this service must pre-registerusing the link below.” The message included the link for registration and also states the location, “Hall Campus Center, Memorial Ballroom,” and time “Nov. 11, 2020 … 1:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.” There is also a bulleted point explaining that the test is only for those who do not have symptoms.
By Grace Cavanaugh, Cassandra Mathews and Dr. Ghislaine Lewis
As the United States grapples with a global pandemic and rising social tensions Tuesday, Nov. 2 marks the end of what has been a contentious electoral season.
At the University of Lynchburg , the Center for Community Engagement along with faculty, staff and students across the campus have been engaged in encouraging the community to participate in the electoral process.
Director of Community Engagement and Bonner Leaders Cindy Ferguson said she hoped students will be able to see that they have a voice and be able to learn to listen to all sides of the issues as they have constructive, civil, respectful conversations with others.
Ferguson noted, “My motto is that ‘it takes all kinds of people to reach all kinds of people,’ and we are always better when we work together to meet the needs of our communities, states and nation.”
Vice President for Inclusive Excellence, Dr. Robert Canida said, “Students who exercise their right to vote, should feel a sense of fulfilling a civic duty. My hope is that they realize that their vote counts, but equally important, that they have participated in such an important process whereby they can hold leaders accountable.”
Many students at Lynchburg at Lynchburg are ambivalent about this year’s elections but are still committed to exercising their right to vote.
Junior Niraly Patel said, “I’m sad and empowered at the same time. I wish our political system allowed for more competent candidates to have a chance, but money and connections are inextricably tied to success in the presidential race. I am empowered because it will be my first time exercising my right to voet and although the choices aren’t ideal, I will be able to vouch for myself and minority groups around the nation.”
While Amanda Linehan said she was not particularly excited but understood it was part of her civic duty.
Other students like senior Julia Melone said, “I’m glad I get to vote because so many Americans are being denied that right but I’m definitely dreading the election itself.
Ferguson cautioned students, she said, “Don’t listen to anyone that says that you are too young or know the issues well enough to vote. You have a voice, be empowered to use it.It is important not only to vote but to be an informed voter. Know the issues that are important to you and the candidates’ stands on those issues.There are many people who have fought for your right to vote and your responsibility as an American citizen should not be taken lightly.”
Despite the national concerns around free, fair and safe elections, Dr. Canida noted, “What a wonderful feeling it is to have your voice heard, especially by casting your vote. College age students will be this Nation’s future leaders! Their action to vote will drive the future of the United States.”
On Oct. 23, the University of Lynchburg held a Fall Festival, which has been just one of the many events being held around campus to celebrate the season.
With the Senior Exclusive Oktoberfest, the Fall Festival, a scary car competition, and even a trivia night, the school is still making efforts despite COVID to keep students engaged and interactive. For some students, this is a needed and wanted break and distraction from the workload and pressure of this compressed, strange semester. For others, these events pose a health risk or often don’t fit into their schedules, so they are making their own Halloween plans instead.
Kayla Zinski, a junior English and studio art double major, said that she has not “been involved much this semester. [I have] been mainly swamped with school and work.” Zinski said she is burnt out from working two jobs and homework. She also explained, “having festive activities on campus might help, but I think a true break from school would help the most.”
The Prism, the University of Lynchburg’s literary magazine, is seeking creative writing and visual art submissions by Nov. 1.
Every year, a new edition of The Prism is published. Anna-Catherine Kueng, a co-editor, said, “We accept poetry, prose, fiction, creative nonfiction, photography, and visual art submissions. Submissions are only open to Lynchburg undergraduate students.”
While only students can submit their work, Kueng explains that the entire University of Lynchburg community is encouraged to read the magazine. Nicole Tolley, another co-editor, mentioned how even alumni request copies in the spring, which is when the latest edition is published.
The Westover Honors College inductions were hosted on Oct. 24 for the class of 2024.
Due to the pandemic, the induction was virtual. Dr. Beth Savage, Dean of the Westover Honors College, said, “This semester we could not have families here physically, but we still thought it was important to have our newest students go through the process of formal induction, welcoming them to the Society of Westover Fellows. We also could not have the entire Westover student body there, as we usually would. So, all of Exec Board sat at the front during the ceremony, and helped to call names and distribute certificates. And for additional support, the older students who are mentors for our freshtovers came and sat at the back of the room to cheer them on, and also wrote letters of support that they picked up afterwards at the reception. So the inductees were physically surrounded by their peers who have already offered them so much support and guidance. And, of course, families joined us via livestream!”
After being away from competition, all University of Lynchburg varsity athletes received the opportunity to compete in the Hornet Cup, a series of intrasquad competitions.
University of Lynchburg Athletic Director, Jonathan Waters, gave more detail about the Hornet Cup. Waters said, “The Hornet Cup was a fun way for our student athletes to be engaged and show their pride during the week leading up to homecoming. They have all worked incredibly hard this semester and sacrificed a lot while not being able to compete externally to represent the University. We are proud of all of our students on campus and look forward to the spring with hopes that the cheers that normally fill our venues can once again be heard and will be louder than ever as we dominate our ODAC foes.”
Wind a risk as California fires keep tens of thousands away
Crews tried to beat back two out-of-control wildfires in Southern California on Tuesday that have kept tens of thousands of people out of their homes even as another round of dangerous fire weather raises the risk for flames erupting across the state.
Gulf Coast braces, again, for hurricane as Zeta takes aim
Residents of the storm-pummeled Gulf Coast steeled themselves for yet another tropical weather strike Tuesday after Zeta raked across the Yucatan Peninsula on a track that forecasters said would likely bring it ashore south of New Orleans as a hurricane.
Scientists remove 98 ‘murder hornets’ in Washington state
Workers from the state Department of Agriculture managed to destroy the first nest of so-called murder hornets discovered in the U.S. without suffering any stings or other injuries, the agency said Monday. The nest, located in Whatcom County near the Canadian border, created concern because the Asian giant hornets are large and their sting can be lethal, especially if a person is stung numerous times. The hornets also pose a huge threat to honey bees that pollinate many crops.
The University of Lynchburg has a food pantry on campus that is readily available to students who are in need of food.
The Student Judicial Board (SJB) recently held a canned food drive to help collect food for the pantry and encouraged people to donate by including a game of bingo; 2 cans equated to 1 entry, 5 cans equated to 3 entries and 8 cans equated to 5 entries. The events were held Monday, Oct. 19, from 11-1 in Schewel and then again Tuesday, Oct. 20, from 5-7 in Drysdale.
According to Alexa Moak, a Chairperson for SJB and who spearheaded the bingo game, “We do bingo once a semester and always offer the option of donating food as a form of payment, but this year we made bingo free due to COVID but still wanted to help out the community so we opted to do the food drive.”
The University of Lynchburg Men’s Tennis Team is training to ensure they are able to return to competitive play.
Head Coach Christopher Johnson, said, “Our practice format has not really changed due to fluctuations in case count on campus with the coronavirus.”
Johnson also said, “Our players do a great job of working out and playing over the summer. I was immensely proud that they were in great shape when they returned this fall despite the circumstances.”
He said, “Serving and returning is all about starting the point with a purpose. We do put a high priority here. Our objective is to make the other player work as hard as possible and that is unable to happen if we do not start the point.”
The University of Lynchburg celebrated the class of 2021 with an Oktoberfest event on Saturday, Oct. 17. The festival was held in the pavilion behind the townhouses and was split into two shifts to help control attendance and ensure safety. The event featured wine, beer, bratwurst, and music and allowed attendees a chance to socialize with their peers.
Oktoberfest is traditionally a celebration of beer, wine, and German culture held in Bavaria, Germany. The event was organized by the Senior Planning Committee, spearheaded by Malik Nowlin, a senior and chairman of the Senior Planning Committee, and aided by BJ Keefer and Lauren Ferry Merck.
Nowlin noted that executing the event around pandemic restrictions included thinking about how to facilitate all seniors. He said, “We had people RSVP to account for those that wanted to attend. We also took people’s temperatures before they could enter.”
The class of 2024 at the University of Lynchburg is slowly adjusting to college life in the midst of a pandemic.
Every year, freshmen have to juggle living away from home for the first time, making new friends, and doing well in their classes. This year, freshmen are doing all of that while navigating the challenges that COVID-19 imposes.
Ryan Pulaski, an art major and member of the Westover Honors College, said that he did notice how there are not as many events occurring on campus as he would expect there to be if there was not a pandemic. He said that Westover was not able to go on the retreat that the program has every year for its freshmen, though they are still doing other activities.
“I know this last Saturday they went to Yoders’ Farm. I was unable to go, but I am going with Westover on a sunrise hike next Saturday and I’m very excited for that. They have been really trying to get us active [and there has] been a lot of stuff in conjunction with [the Outdoor Leadership Program]. Sometimes it gets cancelled because of weather, but it tends to work out,” said Pulaski.
Assistant Professor of English Dr. Meghan McGuire received a $500 grant from Keep Virginia Beautiful 30 in 30 Green Grant program.
According to the Keep Virginia Beautiful website the “30 in 30 Green Grant program is designed to empower groups all across Virginia to make an environmental impact in their own communities. To honor our commitment to the Commonwealth, Keep Virginia Beautiful funds thirty grant recipients, announced one each day in the month of June. These grants are awarded to schools, parks, counties and towns, environmental groups, associations, nonprofits, and service organizations in four different categories: Community Beautification, Cigarette Litter Prevention, Litter Prevention, and Recycling.”
Dr. McGuire is using this grant towards the ‘Writers Recycle’ initiative, which she said, “aims to reduce writing instrument waste in our community. As an academic institution and a community of students and scholars, we go through a significant number of pens, pencils, highlighters, and dry erase markers every semester. Up until now, that waste gets thrown away and goes straight into our landfills.”