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.”
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.
As of Monday, Oct. 26, a new supreme court justice has been appointed to the highest council of the land. With a split decision of 52 to 48 to confirm Justice Barrett 8 days before the presidential election, it leads Americans to wonder at the workings of the supreme court for years to come. With conservative justices leading the majority by 6-3, rulings are bound to lean more towards the right than previously. With the appointment of J. Barrett following in the footsteps of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who was known for a more liberal approach in her rulings, it shows just how different the court she ruled on for 27 years will become in the decades to come. J. Barrett, who is claimed to favor beliefs held by her mentor Justice Scalia, is bound to push the conservative agenda now that she is sworn into such an influential position.
Dr. Mike Robinson ~ UL Communication Studies Professor
Lately I have been wondering: is it really possible to “hunt” a ghost?
I am not thinking about the actual existence of ghosts. Personally, I am highly skeptical about the veracity of that particular paranormal phenomenon. But if ghosts do exist, can they be hunted?
Oh sure, it is possible to imagine all sorts of fantastic technology that could be deployed to do this. I mean, we all saw Ghostbusters. Just wave a P.K.E. meter* or something like it around and a certain undetermined number of beeps later, ghosts are located.
This year has been crazy with all the restrictions due to Covid-19. It is very understandable that the school wants to take precautions. With this being said, it may be hard for students to have a social life here on campus.
Last week was a great opportunity for girls to come out and meet the sisters of all different Greek organizations here on campus. The four Panhellenic sororities that we have on campus are Alpha Sigma Alpha (ASA), Alpha Chi Omega (AXO), Kappa Delta (KD) and Sigma Sigma Sigma (Sigma).
On Tuesday, Oct. 22, AXO had a pumpkin painting event which allowed for potential new members to come out and get to meet new people. Zara Collison, the President of AXO, said, “With Halloween right around the corner, our pumpkin painting party was a success! Alpha Chis and other members of the Lynchburg community painted, laughed and enjoyed the weather and the good vibes.”
To wrap up the Halloween anime, I want to talk about “Owari No Seraph,” which means “Seraph of the End” in English. This show is a post-apocalypse anime about vampires, humans, demons, angels, and the wars and dependencies between the four of them.
In this work, a disease broke out that wiped out everyone above the age of 13, and the vampires offered humans protection from the virus and the monsters of the outside world the “Horsemen of John.” Over time, the humans have become unhappy with this arrangement, and wish to break free from vampire rule.
In comes a group of kids of the Hyakuya Orphanage, spearheaded by the main character Hyakuya Yuichiro and Hyakuya Mikaela (called Yu and Mika for short). These children decide they no longer want to be cattle for the vampires and Yu and Mika attempt to escape. They make it a fair bit, only to learn that Ferid Bathory, a vampire progenitor, was waiting for them to think they made it to confront and slaughter them. The only two survivors are Yu, who runs away and makes it to the outside world, and Mika, who sacrifices himself and is assumed dead until it is revealed that another vampire, named Krul Tepes, turned him and saved his life.
Halloween is quickly approaching! For Wiccans, witches, and neo-pagans, Saturday and Sunday mark Samhain, and the last full moon of October.
Samhain, pronounced sow-en, dates back to pagan Celtic traditions and practices. It is believed that the barriers between this world and the next break down, if only for a little while, allowing us to interact with the dead and the creatures of the beyond. Folks celebrated by building a big fire in their village, and leaving out offerings to the creatures that crossed over so they would not be taken.
Nowadays, celebrations are a little less community based, probably because paganism is frowned upon, for the most part. You are still encouraged to participate with your fellows, but there are solitary practices you can take up as well.
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.”
This poem I wrote for my children. I hope my kids never lose sight of their dreams no matter how cold the world is to them. I hope my kids always remember that I will be right there to support their dreams and always protect them to the best of my ability.
Somnium Meī tenēte fortiter pretiosī. Conserve vestra somnia omnibus vīribus. Enim hīc valeō atque hīc stō. Semper hīc meum manum tendere,
Alere omnia somnia quae tenētis.
Et dēfendere vōs ā frigidō.
Vōs semper amābō meōs pretiosōs.
Quod mater vestra sum, amor meus numquam timet.
Meī tenēte fortiter pretiosī,
Ad omne somnium in vestrīs aspectibus.
My dears, hang tight. Keep your dreams with all your might. For here I am and here I stand. Forever here to reach out my hand. To support every dream, you hold. To shelter you from the cold. I will forever love you my dears. For I am your mother, my love never fears. My dears hang on tight. To every dream in your sights.
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.”
As part of the University of Lynchburg 2020 Homecoming for Home celebrations the Panhellenic Council, Interfraternity Council, and National Pan-Hellenic Council participated in a virtual homecoming.
Each of the three IFC fraternities, four PC sororities, and three NPHC organizations made a slide outlining what they had done over the year so far, including how much money they had raised for various philanthropies, what their plans were for upcoming service events, and other social plans.
Because of COVID-19, homecoming was moved online into a Google Meet, with four to five representatives showing up for each organization.
Hannah Pine, president of the Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority, said, “Homecoming has always been one of the biggest and, in my opinion, most important events at the University of Lynchburg. I was very concerned that this year, Covid would not allow us to celebrate our University as we should. Luckily, our faculty put on a Virtual Homecoming to give us some semblance of a normal homecoming. As president of Sigma Sigma Sigma, I was asked to present annual updates about our chapter to my community. In doing so, I was allowed to reconnect with some friends I had not seen due to the pandemic as well as meet some alumni that are both part of my Lynchburg and Greek families. Getting to learn how other chapters are making changes and thriving under these conditions both helped me be a better president and helped me feel less alone in my struggle to adapt.