To think back to my first few weeks on Grounds is to remember it in a very different way than I see it now. I still have the scribbles in my planner from first semester that identified Bryan Hall as “the building behind the walkway with columns” and Maury Hall as “behind Bryan overlooking the stairs.” My days rigidly consisted of walking from class to class to the dining hall and back to my dorm. A while after I got the hang of my schedule, I started venturing out to the Corner and farther away to the Downtown Mall. However, my evolving vision of the University was not only due to my expanding horizons.
As Grounds appeared to shrink in size and its red bricks fade in color over time, I impulsively signed up for the Outdoors Club. I figured this would give me the opportunity to have my ultimate adventures that would burst my University bubble — bringing some earth-shattering revelation that I always imagined American Romantic writers like Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau experienced when they were immersed in nature themselves. Whether it was a “bubble,” an environmentally conscious mindset or a sacred wildness — whatever it was they felt in relation to nature — I was seeking to feel it, too.
One Saturday morning, I tightened my sneakers’ laces, armed myself with four (reusable and eco-friendly) water bottles and dressed in five layers. I thought I was prepared, but at the same time, never having gone hiking before, my standards for preparedness were fairly low. I imagined myself almost as a Cheryl Strayed figure from “Wild,” straying from Grounds on a journey to lose myself in order to find myself.
About an hour-long drive later, I was at the base of Hightop Mountain in Shenandoah National Park with 12 other strangers. We hiked in a single file line with our heads bowed and squelching mud and snapping twigs beneath our feet. After the first 20 minutes, the sound of heavy breathing, gulping water and unzipping jackets drained the mud and twigs out. About 2.8 miles of the Appalachian Trail, a dozen empty water bottles and one and a half hours later, we hiked through a congested area of towering trees and outreaching limbs (that poked me in the eye more than once) to get to a small clearing of rocks jutting out into sweeping views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
That was supposed to be the moment. Upon reaching the summit, I had fully — and rather naively — expected my anxieties to dilute into mammoth, wispy clouds that hugged the mountains and the dark blue, rolling hills that lapped into one another. Disappointingly, there was no snap of inspiration, meditative hum of energy or life-altering epiphany about the meaning of human existence awaiting me at the top. Instead, my mind fell silent, and perhaps that silence was more than I could have even hoped for to begin with.
My mind has a way of feeling rusted from overuse between its consistent lack of sleep and incessant churning through thoughts. Finding silence in everyday life is nearly impossible when I surround myself with to-do lists and deadlines, the clicking of keyboards and the scratching of pen to paper. So when I had finally caught my breath and stopped panting and my mind lulled into rare silence, I realized that I had been misled.
I was not searching for a “spark” that would liven my dulled senses, but rather my senses were in this rut to begin with because there were too many sparks and I had gotten burned. Although I did not “find myself” like I had romantically imagined I would, I found the silence I was in search of all along and didn’t even know it until I experienced it at the peak of Hightop Mountain.
In recent years, education scholars and students alike have called for the abolishment of the examination-based educational system at colleges and universities around the nation. These scholars cited a number of reasons exams should be abolished, including their lack of post-graduation relevance. Phil Hedayatnia, a researcher at Rice University, recently argued that the skills students use for examinations are not useful to their future employers. Furthermore, he proposed that higher education as a whole should seek to change its formula and focus more on preparing students for the workforce. Though this criticism may be correct for certain examinations, students gain practical skills from their university examinations that will carry them through years of post-graduate work.
One reason university examinations are beneficial is that they are a good way to prepare students for high-stress situations in the workplace. After graduating from universities, students will likely deal with proposals, presentations, projects and other important tasks for their prospective jobs. For certain jobs, these tasks may be the difference between a pay raise and a punishment from an employer. University examinations are largely criticized for the pressure that they place on students, but if a student learns how to excel under pressure in college, that skill could easily be applied to a post-university job. Final exams in particular are often worth anywhere from 30 to 60 percent of a student’s grade and they present a “make-it-or-break-it” situation in the classroom. Given that many jobs, particularly those in the business world, are so high pressure, students can use their university exams as a way to prepare for the inevitably stressful work environment many of them will enter after graduation.
Essay-based exams also present an opportunity for students to hone their writing skills. The quick and concise answers required for many short-answer questions on final examinations are similar to the short pieces of writing required in the workplace. Additionally, writing-based examinations are beneficial because they prepare students to execute high-quality pieces of writing in stressful situations, often with time restrictions. Many employers value writing skills when hiring students out of college. In a 2011 Washington Post article, Joyce E.A. Russell, of the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business, explained that writing skills help differentiate between candidates on job applications and argued that the age of the internet has caused a deficit of writing skills in the job market. Though final exams and midterms only occur a few times a semester, they represent a key way for students to practice writing under pressure.
Examinations also help prepare students for the time management skills required for success in the post-collegiate working environment. The exam schedule at many universities is fairly similar to the type of work schedule that students could see in any number of fields. Budgeting time in order to create the best product possible is a skill that must be learned in order to achieve success in the workplace. Final exams and midterms help students practice organizing their tasks and prepare them to manage their time wisely. Exams also prepare students to deliver a large product under a strict deadline. While one could argue that students learn this skill from other assignments throughout the semester, the weight and importance associated with final exams and midterms give students an added incentive to do well. Though the exam schedule in college can seem grueling, it is an ideal way for students to prepare to manage their time in a professional environment, where mistakes result in larger consequences than a lower grade.
Though traditional final exams are not as practical as an internship or externship, they help students leave college with skills necessary for the workforce. One cannot underestimate the value of the stress and time management skills that students develop throughout their four years in college. The importance of the writing skills that students gain as a result of essay-based examinations should also not be understated. While final exams and midterms are often only discussed through the lens of the content knowledge they test, university examinations are a learning experience for students in other areas as well. Final exams help students develop important skills and, therefore, should not be eliminated from university curricula.
Carly Mulvihill is an Opinion columnist for The Cavalier Daily. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our lives are hard — at least, right now, our lives are hard. It’s hard to be a student nowadays, especially at the University. It’s hard to juggle 15-plus credits at a time, along with social events and personal emergencies and extracurricular obligations. We’ve got a lot on our plate — late nights, non-stop days, etc. We’ve all been in the position of having 48 hours to complete 80 pages of reading, a response paper, prepare a short presentation and even study for that exam we knew was coming. I definitely am not in the business of pity; in fact, college students deserve no pity. After all, we have the great opportunity to attend college — the University, no less — and receive a degree. We have the opportunity and privilege to lead a busy, rollercoaster-esque kind of life right now.
In the face of this current reality, it is important for us to keep self-care in mind. Everyone knows all the big ones — exercise, good nutrition, eight hours of regular, soundless, uninterrupted sleep. It sounds simple, but it can be hard to follow through. I’ve recognized this. In response, I have a brand-new self-care tip — movies.
Now, I must admit that this self-care tactic was not my idea. No, it came from a couple of my girls, my residents — first years who wanted to de-stress with a movie night. Their choice of flick? High School Musical — the Disney movie that stole the hearts of countless tweens in 2006. Let me tell you, it was exactly what I needed at the end of a long week — a perfect mixture of simplicity, bouts of comedic relief and the beauty that is Zac Efron. Sure, I’ll admit that the movie was cheesy and trite, but it had just enough storyline to keep me captivated and just enough songs to keep my vocal folds occupied.
Not only this, but it also emphasized a flood of nostalgia. It brought back memories of my tween years — being back home, having sleepovers with my other middle school friends and listening to the soundtrack on repeat on my MP3 player. By watching this movie, I was brought back to my awkward middle school years. I felt an unexplainable amount of nostalgia and comfort, which actually served to reinvigorate me. Somehow, it was a reminder of how far I’ve come as a person — from an awkward teen at Cooper Middle School to the semi-adult-like University student that I am today. At the very least, I’m no longer a young tween that drools over Zac Efron. Nope. Now, I’m a young adult that drools over Zac Efron.
Now, I don’t necessarily mean to say that the best self-care movies star only Zac Efron. He’s an added perk, of course, but there are plenty of other movies that are just as easy to watch. You know, the ones that involve princesses and princes, talking animals and a whole lot of singing. Sure — this an epic generalization, but the stereotype typically holds up. These movies are easy to watch, stress-relieving and offer a restful break for your brain.
For me, animated movies best fulfill this standard. This includes anything from Disney princesses to Pixar adventures — honestly, anything with a musical soundtrack is my movie of choice. Throughout this last month, I fell into the habit of putting on cute, animated movies whenever my brain was overworked and melting into a pile of jelly. I’d open Netflix and pick the first animated movie I could find. It was something easy and something mindless. Admittedly, this may not be as healthy as exercising, eating well and sleeping regularly, but it is more fun. After all the work we do, we could use some simple, comedic, animated fun.
1. The résumé builder
Updating your résumé can be an intimidating task — especially if your free time is predominated by activities such as watching videos of puffins on YouTube and avoiding the prospect of applying for internships. Becoming a member of Student Council can be a simple way to add an embellishment to your résumé. It’s like the gold star your teacher used to give you, or, if you’re like me, the gold stars you continued to give yourself throughout high school.
2. The highly motivated individual
Speaking of gold stars, Leslie Knope definitely ran for Student Council and if the University is lucky, a Leslie Knope adjacent candidate exists. Hopefully, she has an amazing campaign manager like Ben Wyatt, but if not, she is capable of accomplishing just about anything on her own, including bettering our school and consuming mass amounts of waffles.
3. The entitled one
If there’s a Leslie Knope, odds are there is also a Bobby Newport running for office. A slightly entitled individual that probably rolled in from a private school and summers in the Cape. In order to climb the social ladder, one must also have a prestigious title to use in casual conversation in addition to one’s usual anecdote about some skiing mishap.
4. The actual future president
This one is potentially far-fetched, but if the founder of this school was president, I’m sure his pupils could become president as well. Or if not president, at least some major part of the political game. I don’t know if you’ve seen the “West Wing,” but if you haven’t, I highly recommend it. Second, if you watch it, you’ll immediately want a high-power political career — even if you only watch the news when your brother steals the remote and changes the channel from “Gossip Girl.” If such an individual is running for office, odds are they’ll have a very dramatic political speech in store for us.
5. The “I didn’t realize what I signed up for”
Everyone gets lots of emails about getting involved. I think I might be a member of at least four clubs I know nothing about. I don’t know what the process of signing up for a student election is like, but if it’s anything like signing up for other things at the University, it would be easy for someone to unknowingly put their name on the ballot. If that has happened to anyone, I would be delighted for them to be elected. It would certainly be prime entertainment.
6. The “I just wanted to make posters”
The desire to craft is a strong driving force for most of the things I have done — like making a tri-fold presentation for a relatively small assignment. Candidates also get to write fun chalk messages on the sidewalk. This election, though, has been shockingly light on advertisements, seeing as I didn’t realize elections were going on until I was assigned this article. Now that I know, I’ll be on the lookout for fun chalk messages!
7. The doubtful
It seems like every single person here is involved in something extremely impressive. It can be enough for a person to harbor some serious self-doubt about their extra-curricular prowess. Desperate for validation, it seems like turning to student elections is a perfectly reasonable thing to do. Next time someone casually mentions their whatever-society or fancy institution, you can kindly remind them that though that may be nice, you are the president of them.
8. The person who likes to win
People here tend to be a little competitive with well, everything. It might be good to put those competitive energies into something that won’t cause your personal relationships to deteriorate. And bonus — you won’t have to argue over ties and points.
9. The bored one
When I’m bored, I turn to activities such as jigsaw puzzles, reading or knitting — lame, I know. But I can understand if someone might want something a little more interesting with which to fill their time. Though obviously, knitting is super interesting, and you get a fun scarf when you’re done. If a candidate wins, chances are they might miss that free-time they resented, or they might enjoy the responsibilities of office — we’ll see.
10. The person that has one thing to change
I would run for student office if I thought I could get filtered water in my dorm or get the shower to start draining again. If whoever ends up getting elected is reading this, Woody needs help. If someone is running with specific problems in mind — ethical, economical or purely motivated by personal needs — life could get better at the University for at least that one person.
In what has been a season of inconsistency, the Virginia team couldn’t right the ship in its last ACC dual of the season against Pittsburgh Friday night, coming up empty on wins in conference play.
Coming off an inspiring performance against a ranked Virginia Tech team, Virginia (4-10, 0-5 ACC) carried some momentum into their final ACC matchup, hungry for their first victory.
Pittsburgh (4-11, 2-3 ACC) achieved the Cavaliers’ hopes of picking up a conference win, however, with a dominant showing at home. The Panthers won 28-9, victorious in all but three bouts.
The Cavaliers picked up wins in the match from their consistently strong wrestlers. Redshirt freshman Louie Hayes, ranked No. 15 nationally, won at 125 pounds, and junior Will Schany and senior Andrew Atkinson won back-to-back to bring the score to 21-9.
Lineup changes made things more difficult for Virginia on Friday, putting more inexperienced wrestlers into the mix. However, young wrestlers like freshmen Jake Keating and Sam Book will definitely benefit from the experience of ACC play.
Despite having a tough end to conference play, Virginia can take pride in the solid individual performances of several wrestlers, some of whom will be competing individually at the National Collegiate Open next Sunday.
The Cavaliers won’t compete again until the ACC championships start on March 3, giving the team plenty of time to heal up and recuperate before the most important events of the year.
Valentine’s Day — a holiday filled with romance, roses and overused pink and red decorations. Though some look forward to the mush surrounding Valentine’s Day, for others, a month of red wines and overrated teddy bears leaves a lot to be desired. Regardless of which camp you’re in, after the fateful day of Feb. 14, singles and couples alike need to recover from all the hype surrounding the celebration of romantic love. Bank accounts need to be refilled, stresses need to be assuaged and the singles hiding out on Netflix can finally emerge into the outside world without fearing an assault of overly-gushy couples. But how does one begin the long recovery from too many sweets and too much… sweets?
Step 1: Invest in some savory (or even healthy) food
Odds are, even if “The One” wasn’t in the picture this year, there is an abundance of chocolate and other candies floating around the apartment or dorm room. While it is nice to fuel up on sugar-filled comfort food to help with all the boring class assignments and essays, it can be easy to make yourself sick from eating too much candied goodness. Having a tall glass of water and some veggies nearby can help with the stomach aches and headaches from excessive sugar consumption.
Step 2: Finally create that budget
Valentine's Day is expensive with a capital “E,” especially if your lover has high expectations for gift-giving. Between all the chocolate, roses, dates, lingerie, teddy bears, heart candies and cards, it’s a wonder there’s anything left in the bank account, let alone enough for the weekend Ubers and grocery shopping. Create a budget. Budgets are good to have anyway, and now is the perfect time to begin one. A budget — even a temporary one — is a fantastic way to get some cash money back in your account and recover from all the recent expenses.
Step 3: Get rid of those unrealistic expectations
Give your significant other a break. Valentine’s Day creates a lot of unrealistic and unhealthy requirements for what dating should be. It’s okay if your person doesn't get you the biggest stuffed animal or most expensive bouquet of roses in the store. Who needs that stuff anyway? Celebrating V-Day is a great way to let someone know you care about them, but make sure you don’t get caught up in the expectation of monetary gifts — they don’t mean as much as society would have you believe. Spending a night in can be just as lovely as going out to a fancy dinner, so try not to hold it against them if your significant other neglects to supply the correct amount of bejeweled bracelets or processed sugar.
Step 4: Chat with some singles
The single life is rough during February. There are rom-coms on 24/7 and even the most mundane of TV shows seem to dredge up some romance for the occasion. It is hard to look around without red and pink lace jumping out from shadows and storefront windows. All in all, Valentine’s Day can make for a frustrating time for singles. So, if you are a person who is looking for a new romance, or a couple happily in a relationship, make sure to chat it up with some local singles. Those that are taken will feel better about themselves by spreading the love around with some single friends, and those that aren’t will feel better by chatting with a friend or flirting it up. It is easy to isolate yourself during the holiday. Couples tend to hole up together while singles tend to take a more solitary approach, but recovering from all the confetti and flowers is best done with others.
Step 5: Give it a rest
Now that V-Day has passed, there is no need for overly dramatic public displays of affection. No more kissing on the Rotunda steps or Instagram photos with sultry glances at someone half out of the frame. Try not to anxiously await that incoming Snapchat from your boo, and — out of consideration for all the singles out there — try to keep your leftover angst to yourself.
Celebrating Valentine’s Day is a great way to let your loved ones know they are cared for, but the holiday can be a bit much sometimes and — no matter who you are — some recovery time is usually needed. So go gorge yourself on sugary sweetness and continue watching Netflix, but do it with some self-care and these helpful guidelines.
Apply to Love Connection and get out of the single funk!
The Cavalier Daily Editorial Board has endorsed a total of 24 candidates for this spring’s student elections. Comprised of the executive editor, editor-in-chief and three members-at-large, the Editorial Board offers commentary on local and national issues as they relate to the University community. In line with its mission, the board conducted endorsement interviews for candidates seeking election to Student Council, the Honor Committee and the University Judiciary Committee. To qualify for an endorsement, candidates were required to be running in a contested election. In addition, candidates were required to commit to a campaign spending cap as part of a campaign finance petition signed by the Editorial Board and several other student organizations.
The board will be withholding its endorsement for Student Council President and Vice President for Administration until after the Cavalier Daily’s Student Council presidential candidates forum on Monday, Feb. 19.
A total of 13 candidates from contested Honor Committee elections came to The Cavalier Daily Editorial Board seeking endorsements for the 2018 student election cycle. Out of these candidates, eight were from the College of Arts and Sciences, three were from the Engineering School and two were from the McIntire School of Commerce. From this pool of candidates, the board elected to endorse Levi Moneyhun, Derrick Wang, Stearns Swetnam, Mariana Brazao and Ankita Satpathy from the College, Jesse Alloy and Julia Batts from the Engineering School and William Donnell and Caitlin Knowles from McIntire. The board was impressed by these candidates’ depth of knowledge with the issues pertaining to Honor and their ability to project a concrete plan for the future of the organization.
From the College, Moneyhun elaborated to the board his vision for recontextualizing Honor beyond “lying, cheating, and stealing,” hoping to embrace a higher bar of moral conduct and community standards. Wang pressed the importance of educating international students on Honor. As Honor’s first international education advisor, he highlighted the gaps in serving this important community on Grounds, pointing to the lack of translated materials available for international students. Swetnam gave an honest appraisal of Honor, critiquing the organization’s current lack of community buy-in. Brazao emphasized her competency in marketing Honor’s relevance and importance to the student body. Having served as a support officer since her first year, she spearheaded Honor’s public relations initiative and hopes to continue revamping Honor’s arm of community relations. Lastly, Satpathy supported the development of multiple multi-sanction options for Honor. Satpathy holds three years’ worth of experience as a support officer, and promotes policies of better demographic data collection and implicit bias training for faculty.
From the Engineering School, Alloy pushed for demographic data collection, proposing research on spotlight reporting and its connection to minority communities as a component of his platform. Alloy was counsel to multiple cases that went to trial, and hopes to bridge cultural miscommunication that impacts the international student community. Securing the other endorsement for the Engineering School, Batts pressed the Engineering School’s underrepresentation in regards to representatives per student, with Engineering School ratio greatly imbalanced. Batts underscored that her number one priority was engaging Honor’s connection with student wellbeing and providing students with the necessary resources during the Honor process.
Having both served as support officers, Donnell and Knowles demonstrated a clear understanding of their goals for Honor. Knowles plans to combat student apathy toward Honor by bolstering education and outreach efforts. Donnell also stressed the importance of boosting Honor’s education efforts. He suggested an Honor component in the April orientation to McIntire, where students would receive an in-person presentation from a representative.
Correction: This article previously misstated that Jesse Alloy had conducted research on spotlight reporting. Alloy actually proposed the research as a component of his platform.
Correction: This article previously named Caitlin Knowles as "Caitlyn Knowles." The article has been corrected to reflect her correct name.
Coming off a dramatic double overtime win, the No. 11 Virginia men’s lacrosse team travels to Philadelphia Saturday to take on the Drexel Dragons in their home opener, in what is sure to be a high-scoring contest.
Despite having a great start to the season with a resilient upset victory against Loyola, Virginia (1-0) was certainly not perfect in their home opener. The Cavaliers’ first half performance was shaky, with a porous defense and an impotent offense.
However, Virginia posted a barrage of goals to open the second half, going on a 7-0 run that would be critical in overcoming a five-goal deficit. While Virginia — with its athletic attackers and run-and-gun style — will certainly be able to come up with these scoring bursts, they cannot rely on them.
This is what Coach Lars Tiffany stressed about watching the film after an inspiring performance. Though the offense showed tremendous firepower, he wanted his team to have the humility to focus on the many flaws in their victorious outing.
“The film is always a great equalizer,” Tiffany said. “After a win, you see a lot of things you did wrong, which you forget after the euphoria of winning a close game. We need to clean up a lot of things… Loyola exposed a lot of things we’ve gotta do better.”
Tiffany was particularly focused on defensive problems, which his team struggled tremendously with last year.
“We have to play better on-ball defense, denying the initial dodge,” Tiffany said. “We’ve got a lot to do to improve the base six v. six man-to-man.”
Tiffany did, however, highlight the positive individual defensive performance from freshman midfielder John Fox, who he praised for his leadership and his talent on the field.
“He made some mistakes in the first quarter, but then he really settled in,” Tiffany said of Fox. “He’s shown a composure and voice that I’m not very adapted to from a first-year.”
Certainly, the Cavaliers plethora of young talent stepped up in their first game. In addition to the stellar play from Fox, freshman attacker Ian Laviano was outstanding, scoring five goals and earning ACC Offensive Player of the Week honors for his performance Saturday.
Drexel promises a different challenge for this Virginia team. The teams have played each other 17 times overall, with the Cavaliers coming out on top in all but one of those games — including victories in all contests played in Philadelphia.
Drexel will not be an easy matchup for Virginia, despite this history. The Dragons lost to the Cavaliers by one goal every time they played from 2012 to 2014. Last year’s game at Klöckner Stadium was a tough battle which the Cavaliers won 18-14, in which senior attacker Mike D’Amario led the way with seven goals.
Tiffany noted how Drexel’s strengths pose a challenge for Virginia’s marked weakness last year — namely, six-on-six play.
“I think they’re a smart team,” Tiffany said of the Dragons. “They’ve got a really good 6v6 technical offense and team defense… The challenge for us from year one to year two is to get better at 6v6. We can run-and-gun, and we showed that on Saturday against Loyola. But can we play a more technical team?”
To find success against the Dragons, the Cavaliers will have to be able to adjust their run-and-gun style at times to adapt to Drexel’s more patient offense. The Dragons return talented sophomore attacker Reid Bowering, who tallied 39 points in an excellent freshman campaign. Bowering makes up a key part of the Dragons attack, for which junior midfielder Ryan Conrad said Virginia must be prepared.
“I’d say they’re pretty much polar opposites from Loyola,” Conrad said. “Drexel has a lot of really great inside finishers… We had a tough battle with them last year, so we’re expecting them to come out with a lot of heavy pressure.”
But while Virginia acknowledges the unique threat posed by the Dragons’ more technical system, they plan to stay true to their style of play. Their preparation for Drexel this week was indicative of their belief in the effectiveness of Coach Tiffany’s system.
“It’s like any opponent,” junior defenseman Zach Ambrosino said. “Our preparation doesn’t change much… We treat every game like we’re 0-0 right now. We’re excited for the chance to improve and get another win.”
The Saturday matchup with Drexel is Virginia’s next step in its journey back to the postseason. Action begins at 1 p.m. from Vidas Field in Philadelphia.
Six months after the white nationalist rallies of Aug. 11 and 12, the University is considering policy changes that would limit the ability of individuals unaffiliated with the University to gather on Grounds. The Deans Working Group held a student feedback session Wednesday on the proposed policy changes.
The proposed amendment to U.Va.’s policy would regulate the use of outdoor University property by unaffiliated individuals — those who are not University students, faculty or staff, including alumni. The regulations would create a list of designated spaces where such unaffiliated persons can gather, limit the number of attendees and require advanced reservation of spaces during specific hours of the work week for set lengths of time.
Currently, unaffiliated groups are allowed to gather in any outdoor space on Grounds with minor regulations on the time, place and manner of the expression. These regulations include preserving the aesthetics of the University’s property, not creating safety issues and not disrupting University functions. The Supreme Court has historically ruled that governing authorities can put such reasonable limitations on the time, place and manner of individual expression.
Students raised a variety of concerns about the proposed changes at Wednesday’s session. Bryanna Miller, a fourth-year College student, the student member of the Board of Visitors and a member of the Deans Working Group, said she wasn’t surprised by the mixed reaction from the students, knowing the policy is complex and requires a lot of consideration.
“I think that this is a really complicated issue area and we’re trying to overlay a policy that is trying to be as simple and clear as possible but when you do that there is going to be inevitable questions and challenges,” Miller said. “I think what we’re looking for is that perfect balance and as perfect a solution as possible.”
University President Teresa Sullivan created the Deans Working Group following the events of Aug. 11 and 12, when white nationalists marched on the Lawn and held the deadly “United the Right” rally in downtown Charlottesville the following day. The group is tasked with evaluating the University’s response to the events and proposing changes to current policy structures.
Law School Dean Risa Goluboff, who chairs the Deans Working Group, gave an overview of the existing policy — adopted in August 2016 based on an earlier 1993 version — as well as an explanation of the proposed changes. Students then engaged in smaller, round-table dialogues before reconvening as a whole to share each groups’ thoughts on what they discussed.
The current policy sets guidelines for the use of University facilities and property. University facilities may be made available to students, faculty and staff on a first come first served basis. Unaffiliated persons or parties, on the other hand, are unable to reserve facilities unless invited by a student organization.
Affiliated persons are also allowed to use outdoor University property for any expressive activity, including peaceful demonstrations and protests, as long as they are “consistent with University policies” and event-specific security requirements and do not disrupt “normal operations” or obstruct access to buildings or pedestrian or vehicular traffic.
The proposed amendment would not affect existing policy for affiliated persons. It would instead address the use of outdoor University property by unaffiliated groups and individuals, such as by limiting their speaking or distribution of literature to “designated locations” on Grounds.
The proposed list of “designated locations” included the McIntire Amphitheater and North Rotunda Plaza, which is the area surrounding the Jefferson state and the lower area between the sidewalk and University Avenue. Other locations included Newcomb plaza between Newcomb Hall and the Bookstore, Nameless Field, Mad Bowl, the grass triangles down the hill from Brooks Hall, Brown Residential College grass field and the Observatory Hill grass field.
According to the proposed policy change, unaffiliated persons would be required to contact the Office of the Dean of Student to reserve a space at least seven days prior to their desired speaking date. Reservations would be limited to two-hour blocks of time between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Reservations would be limited to once per week and a group of up to 25 individuals.
Goluboff acknowledged how the amendment would create a significant change and the University community needs to evaluate its potential negative effects as well as benefits.
“If as a community we ultimately decide the cons of having a policy like this are too great and out number the pros, we don’t have to do it,” Goluboff said. “But there are ways to tweak the policy to make it more or less open.”
Students raised questions ranging from how the policy would apply to student groups with non-affiliated members to how the 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. reservation period Monday through Friday would burden unaffiliated people who work. Students also questioned the decision of a 25 person cap on gatherings, how space would limit spontaneous protests and counter-protests and how law enforcement would respond to individuals violating the policy.
According to the policy, “access shall be granted without regard to the content or viewpoint of speakers or their sponsors.” The University must be content neutral and cannot deny certain speakers with certain views, Goluboff said. This, however, raised concerns among some of the students.
Second-year College student Deborah Ayres-Brown asked whether the new policy would allow the gathering of white nationalists and similar groups on Grounds. As long as there is no imminent harm, they would be able to, Goluboff said.
“On August 11, it wasn’t purely expressive conduct,” Goluboff said. “There was all kind of violence that went along with it but if you took out just the speech part and then complied with all these rules and it was just speech, that speech would be protected and they would be able to come on Grounds.”
Fourth-year College student Maeve Curtin said she wasn’t sure yet if the new amendment should be implemented at all, especially in considering the mission of the University as a public, inclusive institution.
“Let’s think about whether or not any sort of limitation is really healthy to the pursuit of truth and knowledge that is the charge of the University,” Curtin said. “When you think about the University’s charge and obligation to the community, the state and sort of the world, too, a policy that is apparently exclusionary to any groups not University related seems sort of contradictory to our mission have.”
Miller said there is not set timeline for the review process of the proposed amendment to be considered by the Board of Visitors, though the next step will be to continue to receive input from the public and analyze data.
“I think we’re going to continue public engagement with students and faculty and staff members and continue to collect feedback,” Miller said. “The Deans Working Group will continue to review the policy for the remainder of the semester. We don’t really have a timeline for it, we’re still in the data collection phase.”
Miller will share the student feedback with the Deans Working Group, and said she was pleased with what came out of the conversations.
“I was really happy with the amount of thoughtful engagement,” Miller said. “I think everyone kind of took this policy and dissected it and the fact that we did it individually beforehand because I sent out the policy early but also in groups is really positive.”
Full text of the proposed policy
We’ve all been there — you just got into a new club, dorm or even a class, and they ask you to do a stupid icebreaker that makes you cringe with discomfort. It might be a classic like “name, year and hometown!” because that’s so revealing. Or maybe if it’s a more intimate group, you might branch out with “two truths and a lie.”
Since I arrived at the University as a first-year, I’ve heard some pretty awesome — and some pretty horrid — icebreaker suggestions. A personal favorite of mine is “What building on Grounds would you date and why?” My classic answer: The French House, because it’s structurally attractive and probably has an accent. Another guy’s answer? The Dells, because they’re twins.
Another fun, albeit non-University-themed one I’ve heard is, “People think I’m cool, but…” Honestly, no one thinks I’m cool — especially the kids I teach once a week at the local middle school. I tried this with them and in unison they cried, “Katie, you are not cool. None of us are cool. We are in debate club.” It was all very sad.
What’s the point of these icebreakers anyway? I posed the question to my roommate, who immediately replied, “To cause me physical pain by stirring up my social anxiety, of course.” The immediate answer is that we want to get to know each other better. But do I really know you if I manage to remember that you’ve been skydiving twice? That you lied about having an identical twin?
Maybe we should just ditch the icebreakers and make everyone come to their first Quidditch practice, hall meeting or ENWR discussion with 14 copies of their deepest-kept secrets to pass out. Better yet, save paper and create a Collab resources page to upload them. That way everyone can read them before said practice, hall meeting or ENWR discussion and be ready to match a name to the baggage every person carries with them.
Isn’t that the goal of icebreakers anyway? To get to know one another in substantial and memorable ways? Otherwise, we just have a weird “fun fact” labeled on each person’s forehead everytime we see them, but we can’t even remember their name. It’s Karen, right?
Maybe a better way to actually get to know the people on your team, on your hall or in the discussion section that only meets once a week is to actually get up and have a meaningful conversation with someone you might not get to engage with otherwise. Would it be awkward, shocking even, to go sit next to someone you don’t know and ask them their greatest fear? Probably. Could it result in your finding your new best friend? Could be. You never know if a mutual feeling of existential dread and a looming fear of eyelash curlers can be the glue that bonds a friendship. On the other hand, it could also make you that weird kid that has no concept of personal space or societal norms.
Another way to improve icebreakers might be to structure them to hit on a deeper level, to foster intelligent and meaningful conversation that brings together a group of strangers. Maybe a question like, “If you had a million dollars to give to a charity, which charity would you pick and why is it important to you?” If that’s too heavy, perhaps a slightly less personal question like, “What’s your favorite movie and why?” While we aren’t solving world hunger over here, coming up with more meaningful, relatable icebreakers is something our world could use.
All this being said, fun fact icebreakers aren’t all bad. I met a girl with a birthmark shaped like a sheep eating from a bush on her arm and a guy who owns 11 hermit crabs. Do I remember their names? No, but when I see hermit man at a table as I walk through Newcomb, I always remember his weird thing for hermit crabs. However, hermit crabs don’t make lasting connections. If we, as seasoned veterans of the icebreaker and future leaders of clubs and teams, begin to ask the deeper questions in order to foster bonding, maybe we can get to know each other better and form more substantial connections. You’ll find out about their weird thing for hermit crabs later.
“For Wideman, the process is the point … this writing is agility itself.”
There are many ways to describe the writing of John Edgar Wideman, but this quote from Master of Fine Arts student Piers Gelly — part of an introduction for the man himself — perhaps sums up his style most neatly. All one has to do is read a story by the author to realize that this is not average contemporary fiction — in some cases, it is hardly even recognizable as fiction. The prose jumps from place to place, with wildly different styles, voices and structures. Wideman’s writing is not just experimental — it is itself a continual experiment, a test to see how far the boundaries of prose can be pushed.
Wideman hosted a reading in the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Auditorium Wednesday evening, and the presentation was just as dense, unusual and powerful as the man’s most celebrated fiction.
The modest, almost cozy auditorium was treated to a full crowd of faculty and students, a notable emphasis on the latter.
“Wow — all these young faces!” Wideman said when he finally took the stage.
Wideman gave his reading an optimistic preface, an encouragement of sorts to many aspiring writers in the crowd.
“I have one wish for all of you … that each of you find something that makes you excited,” he said.
Wideman’s introduction soon took a more dissatisfied, bitter tone as he addressed what he knew about Virginia. It also gained a political air, one which would carry over into the reading itself.
“I know that all hell broke loose here,” he said, in reference to the rallies of Aug. 11 and 12. “I know that Thomas Jefferson built Monticello somewhere in Virginia.”
Wideman said that he was “outraged” by what he described as Jefferson’s “fine line” that set him apart from his slaves, citing different places in Monticello where he had seen evidence of such a distinction.
“I still dislike that place, whatever else it is,” he said.
He spoke a little more about Virginia, mentioning that his grandfather was born and raised in Culpeper, and then prepared to begin his reading.
There was an interesting dichotomy between Wideman’s nature when he was speaking off-book and when he was reading from his chosen passage. He seemed to embody two different personas. The former was quiet, mild-mannered, in keeping with the simple black shirt and reading glasses he wore — if not meek, then at least soberly humble.
This side of his personality was exemplified in what he said right before his reading began.
“When you get tired of listening, just duck your head and go,” Wideman said.
The second persona was explosive, and what he had just said was rendered irrelevant. Once he began reading, there was no chance of losing a single audience member. While before, students had been straining forward in their seats to catch all of Wideman’s words, during the reading it was impossible to miss a syllable. Wideman’s voice boomed forth, imbued with an angry passion.
He had a right to be angry. The chosen reading, described by Wideman as a “letter,” detailed injustice and violence of all sorts, much of it racial and much of it close to home for the author.
Cleveland was a main subject of the piece — particularly, the hateful and meaningless violence that plagued the city. Wideman name-dropped Kimberly Black, Ariel Castro and Anthony Sowell — the “Cleveland Strangler” — multiple times, describing in gruesome detail the various crimes they had committed.
He emphasized that it is “not only strangers dying on the news … but people that I believe I love.” He also described a “hovering cloud of god-awful stink,” an embodiment of the horrible acts he was depicting.
Wideman’s presentation had the feel of a political speech without any clear message, a fierce tirade that commanded attention but provided no solution for the problems described.
“I’m not going to read something to entertain you,” he had warned earlier, and this proved to be true. “Entertained” was not the right word to describe any of the audience members during this experience. “Entranced” or “captivated” would have come closer to doing it justice, though even these fall short.
From Cleveland, he moved on to several other subjects. A distinct feature of Wideman’s work is that a piece rarely tackles just one topic, and this was also true of Wednesday’s passage.
He described an email exchange between himself and a pizza shop owner, who had been subjected to violence at the hands of Wideman’s brother Oliver. He gave an account of his wife’s sleeping habits. He spoke of the files of his work archived at Harvard University.
The closing portion of this passage took on a different focus — Wideman’s reasons for writing. He admitted to using an unnatural and needlessly complex vocabulary in earlier works, explaining that he wanted to disguise his “colored voice.”
“As if by writing those words, I could bury my face — bury my people’s faces,” Wideman said.
After laying out multiple complicated ideas and social issues, Wideman finished by saying he did not have the words to sufficiently explain them. “Where are these words?” he asked. “Who owns them?”
The applause that followed the close of his speech was tremendous. Wideman stood silent, expressionless, through it all. When he spoke again, the former persona — that of the subdued, low-volume scholar — had returned.
“It’s not easy to read,” Wideman said — and indeed, the passage had seemed to take a physical toll on him. He was even quieter than before. “I think it was easier to write.”
Wideman had time to accept a few questions from the crowd. The first came from near the back of the auditorium, asking the author to explain the difference between himself and the criminal people about which he writes.
Wideman was quick in answering, though the response was a little startling.
“I think there is no difference,” he said. “I’m writing about … all of us — you.”
With this, he pointed to the person in the audience who had asked the question, and a little of the fiery passion shone through again.
Though the questions themselves were few, Wideman found many tangents to wander through — again, mirroring his adventurous, inexplicable writing style. He criticized the greediness he sees in the Trump administration, about the concept of race — a “totally useless word” — and even about his unusual punctuation.
From all this, Wideman had a few truly poignant moments. Perhaps the most moving was this summation of his goals as a writer, one of his last statements before leaving the stage.
“The one legacy I hope I’ve left behind is a sense of owning the language,” he said. “It isn’t just the language, it’s my language.”
Wideman certainly owned the language he used in his incredible reading Wednesday, just as he owned the attention of every member of the audience. The author’s words rang — and continue to ring — disturbingly true. Even as he was giving his passionate, furious speech, another “cloud of god-awful stink” had begun to descend on a Florida high school — just another example of the senseless violence that inundates Wideman’s writing.
“I’m trying to write about power,” Wideman said at one point during the presentation. Parse away the odd structures, the unorthodox punctuation and the interesting stylistic choices, and a basic, fundamental theme of power can be found — the ways in which it is distributed, how easily it can be abused and how often it seems that the wrong people wield all the power.
It works on a metafictional level, as well — Wideman’s prose itself has considerable power, and here is one man, at least, who deserves such a gift. He seems to be conscious of this power and knows exactly how to use it. Read any of his writing for proof.
“I think we have a uterus and a brain and they both work.” A young Gloria Allred made this statement on the talk show “Dinah!” in the year 1977, leaving the host and live audience speechless. This clip serves as the opening scene for the new Netflix documentary “Seeing Allred,” and for good reason. The image of an outspoken Allred standing confidently amid a sea of sexism-sympathizers and status quo acceptors is a powerful one, setting the tone for the film and symbolizing her career as a champion for equal rights.
Directors Roberta Grossman and Sophie Sartain start “Seeing Allred” with a whirlwind montage, spanning the controversy surrounding the revolutionary attorney. Newspaper clippings of the cases she’s represented swirl around the screen, from the O.J. Simpson murder trial to the recent allegations made against disgraced former Senate candidate Roy Moore. The montage is accompanied by a soundtrack comprised of people calling Allred desperate for attention, telling her to shut up or making fun of her aggressive nature, quoting dialogue from the Gloria Allred character spoofs put forth by shows like “The Simpsons.” Allred’s thoughts on the distaste she leaves in the mouths of her critics? “I don’t really care,” she says in the seconds-long interview before the title fades.
The documentary starts in 2014, at the height of one of the most infamous cases regarding accusations of sexual assault against a celebrity in modern history — the Bill Cosby case. Allred brings dozens of women into the conference rooms at her offices in Los Angeles, Calif., hosting numerous press conferences and sitting with the women as each and every one reads her testimony.
In Allred, the victims of Bill Cosby found more than sympathy. They found an advocate and, even more than that, an advocate with the influence to catapult their stories into the worldwide media circuit. Allred allows these women — dozens of whom have lost their chance to have their day in court due to the statute of limitations on rape — to testify against Cosby in the court of public opinion. Simultaneously, she harshly criticizes the existence of a statute of limitations for the crime of rape.
This is the true power of Gloria Allred. She is not just a lawyer, not just an activist. She is truly a transformational force committed to aiding women in their evolution from victims — victims of discrimination, domestic violence or sexual assault — to survivors and then finally, to advocates themselves.
In the documentary, Allred says that her commitment to women comes for her own experiences. She describes falling in love during her first year at the University of Pennsylvania, getting married and then pregnant at the young age of 19. After a few years, the marriage was rocked by her husband being diagnosed with bipolar disorder. From there, he grew increasingly unstable and increasingly violent towards Allred. She took her daughter and left the abusive marriage, later finding out that her husband eventually took his own life.
Allred also describes her personal connection with sexual violence, relating how while on vacation in her 20s, she was assaulted at gunpoint by a doctor she’d met on the beach. Later, Allred found she was pregnant by her attacker, and she immediately sought to abort — before Roe v. Wade. The underground abortion almost killed Allred. While recovering from a hemorrhage in the hospital, she remembers a nurse coming up to her and saying, “This will teach you a lesson.”
Allred’s intimate knowledge not only of violence against women but of the lack of support for women in society fueled her passion for justice. She got her start in advocacy while employed as an inner-city high school teacher by becoming a union organizer. Then, she went to law school and started a firm with her Loyola Law School classmates Michael Maroko and Nathan Goldberg.
Eventually, Allred became involved with the National Organization for Women, and this is where her media personality rooted itself. After successfully and publically lobbying California Jerry Brown to keep his promise of appointing more female judges, Allred became a household name in the news circuit.
Allred’s public image truly lies at the core of the documentary and of her career. She used her newfound fame to her advantage, taking on cases that pulled out latent societal sexism. She sued a grocery store that separated boys’ and girls’ toys, sued a department store for charging women more for alterations than men and sued a restaurant for only telling men the prices of the food. She represented the family of the late Nicole Brown Simpson as O.J. Simpson was on trial for her murder. Allred took on cases that examined the many heads of sexism. She didn’t wait for cases to come to her — she went and found them. And the media followed her.
Gloria Allred uses her fame as a tool to cast a spotlight on the issues plaguing American society. “Seeing Allred” turns the spotlight temporarily back on her, and rightly so. The documentary highlights Allred’s endurance and dedication to equality, an expository yet complimentary look into the feminist icon that stands out as a positive take on one of history’s most powerful and controversial women.
Gloria Allred symbolizes strength, fearlessness and dedication — and she is nowhere near done. Her final line in the documentary, spoken while she is staring out of her office window at an America wrapped up in the Trump administration and the #MeToo movement, crystallizes that sentiment.
“The fight has just begun.”
For decades, directors have been making horror movies about a group of friends meeting their demise while camping in supernaturally-infested woods. From “Friday the 13th” to “The Cabin in the Woods,” one would think that every inch of the thematic haunted forest has been trampled on. David Bruckner’s new Netflix horror flick proves that wrong.
“The Ritual” is technically an on-screen adaptation of Adam Nevill’s 2011 horror novel of the same name, but Bruckner and screenwriter Joe Barton made significant changes to the plot of the film. In fact, the story is entirely different aside from the fact that four friends go on a camping trip in spooky woods.
While deviations from the original text are usually considered a major “no-no” when making film adaptations, Bruckner and Barton apparently made the right decision. One anonymous viewer reviewed the film on Netflix, calling it an “outstanding adaptation of a horrible book by a terrible writer.”
Despite the questionable quality of Nevill’s novel, the film truly is outstanding on all levels. The film opens in an English pub, where five college friends are trying to decide on their next “lads holiday.” Robert (Paul Reid) makes the suggestion that they go hiking on King’s Trail in the Swedish wilderness. All of the friends are on board with this plan — all but Luke (Rafe Spall), a borderline alcoholic who refuses to let go of the wild party days of his youth. Luke pulls Robert into a liquor store to restock on vodka and try to convince him to give up his hiking plan.
This is the last conversation the men will ever have together. The two unknowingly interrupt a burglary at the liquor store. Luke manages to hide behind a shelf before the thieves could spot him, but Robert isn’t so lucky. After refusing to turn over his wedding ring, he is struck by a machete and killed.
The four remaining friends decide to honor Robert’s memory by hiking the King’s Trail together. Despite the friends’ best efforts, the trip is tense. The men are all grieving, Luke is wrought with survivor’s guilt and one friend in particular — Dom (Sam Troughton) — makes it explicitly clear that he blames Luke for Robert’s death.
Things only get worse when the whiny Dom takes a fall and injures his knee. Not wanting to put up with Dom’s complaining for any longer than they have to, group leader Hutch (Robert James-Collier) and Luke decide to cut through the dense forest that lies in the valley between the mountains, supposedly a shortcut to the lodge they’re aiming to get to.
It goes without saying that this is a big mistake. The four friends are being stalked by some invisible force that carves Blair Witch-esque symbols into tree trunks and turns all their dreams to nightmares. While this is spooky in and of itself, the real suspense in this movie is built through ambiguity. Bruckner expertly disorients his audience alongside his characters, leaving every viewer with that unsettling feeling that someone is watching them.
He plays on the part of human nature that jumps to extreme conclusions. Was that animal carcass hung in the tree sacrificed or left by careless hunters? Was that a hand wrapped that branch or just a leaf? The disconcerting nature of the plot leaves viewers just doubtful enough that the reveal that the woods are indeed inhabited by a Norse god and his cult of followers comes as a complete surprise.
While the performances from the cast are stellar, what truly propels this movie past cliché is its directing. Bruckner expertly twists the psychological and supernatural, making dynamic cinematic choices that simultaneously ground and throw the viewer. The soundtrack of the film is the best example of this. Silence plays a critical role in this film. Long scenes are filmed with hardly any track backing the action at all, making something as mundane as the sound of a zipper pulling into a terrifying jumpscare. Bruckner makes nothing happening seem scary with audiences constantly asking wondering what could be coming next.
Additionally, Bruckner holds a firm grasp on the pacing of the story. He lets the story speed up and slow down as it pleases, never cutting anything off too soon. One of the slowest scenes of the movie is one of the most critically important. Luke is alone on top of a ridge thick with trees, when he sees the bark of one seem to come to life. A skeletal hand detached from any noticeable body unwraps itself from around the trunk and disappears. The scene is long, switching between looking at Luke’s face to zooming in on the tree and back again several times, accompanied by a hauntingly slow crescendo of violins. The effect of this is palpable on audiences, and it is unnerving.
“The Ritual” abandons all preconceptions regarding horror movies that are set in the woods. Relying on in-depth psychology over cheap jumpscares paid off for this flick, and Bruckner has officially revived a done-to-death, decades-long trope.
The University Board of Elections released its 2018 Candidate Interim Expenditure Report Wednesday, in preparation for student elections Feb. 21 to 23.
Projected total expenses amount to $4,091.49, above the $3,343.64 candidates actually spent last year.
In the Student Council presidential election, third-year College student Eddie Lin budgeted $250, $150 of which will come from a University Board of Elections campaign grant and the rest from personal expenses. Another candidate, first-year College student Jalon Daniels, wrote that he planned to spend $200 in the race, a mix of personal expenses and family donations.
Student Council President candidate Alex Cintron, Vice President for Administration candidate Sydney Bradley and Vice President for Organizations candidate Ty Zirkle are running on a ticket together and are thus sharing campaign materials. The third-year College students plan to split the cost three ways, with each paying $101.13.
Of the three students running for Student Council president, none reported they would spend more than $250 on the election. The push for spending less than $250 comes after 13 endorsing student organizations signed a petition to limit campaign finance spending in the elections.
Several groups, including the Black Student Alliance, University Democrats and College Republicans, pledged to not endorse a candidate if they exceed a predetermined spending limit over the seven-day campaigning period.
“In a system of student self-governance, the ability to campaign for office must be one shared by students from all walks of life,” the petition reads. “We reject any attempts to simply buy elections, especially with the help of outside political organizations.”
The pledge limits campaign spending amounts using a tier system based on the position a candidate pursues.
The first tier applies to students running for Student Council President and limits candidates campaign spending to $250. Other positions are assigned to the next three tiers based on the expenditure caps by UBE grants.
The second tier, a $200 cap, applies to Student Council vice presidential positions and College representatives. The third tier, a $150 cap, applies to class presidents and School of Engineering representatives, while council positions in the Architecture, Commerce, Nursing, Education, and Engineering Schools are capped at $100 in the fourth tier.
UBE requires candidates to report campaign spending and to abide by certain regulations, but does not impose any limit on campaign spending.
“[The University’s General Counsel] didn’t really want us to touch spending caps due to concerns about free speech, political expression, and that kind of thing,” said Casey Schmidt, a fourth-year College student and UBE chair. “They wanted us to focus on being more transparent with where sources of money were coming from and quantities as opposed to trying to limit roth expenditures in ways that could get the University sued and run into legal trouble with basically free speech concerns.”
Wes Gobar, a fourth-year College student, president of the Black Student Alliance and author of the petition, designed the agreement as a way of enforcing spending caps in UBE’s stead.
“Endorsing organizations ... have the power.” Gobar said. “This is a good example of how students can fix the problem if they all band together.”
Due to the lack of campaign finance limit by the UBE, CIOs vowed to rescind an endorsement if a candidate exceeds their designated spending cap.
The petition follows last spring’s Student Council presidential election, in which there was a wide difference in the amounts spent by the two candidates. Fourth-year Batten student Kelsey Kilgore spent $1,125, and fourth-year College student Sarah Kenny spent $337. Kenny won with 82.5 percent of the vote.
Many students, including almost all of those running for Architecture School Council, Batten Graduate Council, College Council and Nursing Student Council, project that they will spend zero total dollars in expenses at the end of their campaign.
First-year College student Amr Metwally is expected to spend the highest amount of money. Running for both Second Year Council President and Student Council Representative, Metwally plans to use $347 of his own money for both campaigns. The report indicates only $67 has actually been used thus far.
Aside from familial donations, UBE grants and joint ticket expenditure pooling, candidates reported no other funding.
The final candidate campaign expenditure reports are due on Feb. 26. This is after the election concludes and results are announced on Feb. 23.
Editor’s Note: The Cavalier Daily Editorial Board is one of the 13 endorsing student organizations that signed the campaign finance petition. The views of the Editorial Board reflect those of its five members and does not represent the opinions of all members of The Cavalier Daily, including those who are involved in news coverage. The Editorial Board is not involved in the objective, news-gathering operations of The Cavalier Daily.
Fourth-year College student David Birkenthal and fourth-year Curry student Madison Lewis kickstarted the pilot program for the University’s first toy service at Clemons Library Monday.
Parents and children can look through a catalogue to decide which toys they would like to check out. The toys can be checked out for two weeks at a time and are currently located behind the front desk of Clemons.
“It makes sense we would do it in Clemons because that’s where our children’s books are,” said Paula Archey, a teaching and learning librarian at Clemons. “We have our young adult collections. It would make sense to have all of that in one place.”
Birkenthal and Lewis first tested their idea with the Gordon Avenue Library by reaching out to the library in the spring of 2016 and setting it up later that summer. They ordered and prepared the toys for the service, successfully opening Charlottesville’s first toy library and establishing it in all Jefferson-Madison regional libraries at the beginning of last fall.
Birkenthal said he gained inspiration for the idea from an introductory class he took with Architecture Prof. Timothy Beatley. Beatley described toy libraries in Australia and the lack of them in America to his students, and Birkenthal thought of the possibilities of introducing them in Charlottesville.
“It is an idea that is popular in the U.S, but it’s not everywhere,” Lewis said. “It’s like libraries are a norm, but toy libraries aren’t the norm.”
The students funded the toys for the new service through a grant from the Office of the Dean of Student’s Public Service Programming Board, an organization that grants money to small-scale service projects.
“We filled out an extensive grant application, and waited patiently and got about a little less than $2,500 from them back in fall of 2015,” Birkenthal said. “We worked off that until the end of last year, so, until the end of spring of 2017, in which we received another $2,000 to do this for the [Clemons] expansion.”
Birkenthal emailed his idea to Archey, who currently acts as a liaison between the students behind the program and staff in charge of circulation and collections. Archey had previously heard of the toy library program and its success in JMRL and decided to test it out in Clemons.
“Right now, I guess it’s sort of a pilot,” Archey said. “We have 21 toys, so we’re going to see — we just started circulating this week, and toys have already been checked out, so I’m kind of excited about that.”
The service targets graduate and doctoral students at the University who have young families and aims to provide them with resources to take care of their children.
“It’s hard to buy a bunch of toys, and kids get so interested and uninterested in toys so quickly,” Lewis said. “[Having] a way to get a toy for two weeks and come back without having to pay for a new toy every two weeks is really nice thing for families and for their kids.”
Since both Birkenthal and Lewis are in their final years at the University, their main focus is on an “effective transition” for the service into the next year. In order to ensure sustainability, they have teamed up with Madison House and established a program with a steady volunteer base to help clean the toys.
“It’s really useful to have a lot of professionals — both at JMRL and here — supporting the project,” Birkenthal said.
The service has been advertised in JMRL, but Archey said she wants to get the word out to the University community.
“I’m trying to figure out a way to advertise more towards faculty, staff and students who may have children,” Archey said. “I work with JMRL, and they have lists, so I might let them know they can refer people to us. But I’m hoping that it’s popular, and if it is, we’ll get more toys.”
A few days ago, I saw another student crying in Gilmer Hall. I was sitting on the bench outside my psychology lecture hall, going over the material I was supposed to have finished reading the night before. I arrived a few minutes earlier than I meant to, so the class before mine was still in session. A stranger slumped beside me, and his head pressed into his hands. When he lifted up his head to look at the clock, I realized he had been crying.
Without looking at me, his head fell back into his arms. Every breath was uneven and shaky. I watched his shoulders shake with grief, feeling nervous and unsure what to do. Only a moment ago, I was memorizing the definition of a diploid cell, and now, another student was sobbing five feet away from me. I didn’t know why he was crying. I didn’t know him at all, and he didn’t know me. In fact, I wasn’t even sure if he knew anyone else was watching him.
I had two choices, and no easy way of deciding which to act upon. I could intervene in the life of a stranger and try to comfort him, or I could leave him alone and respect his privacy. I didn’t know how serious his situation was or if he wanted to talk about it. I also didn’t know if someone to talk to was exactly what he needed right now. I didn’t know much of anything, but I still had to make a choice.
After a few minutes of wavering, the stranger sitting next to me started to breathe normally. Students from the class before started leaving the building, making no eye contact and moving fast. Drying his eyes, the stranger stood up and walked out of my life. Before I could decide to intervene, the choice was gone. I sat on the bench, unsure if I had done the right thing. He seemed like he had calmed down, but maybe I could have helped in some way. I didn’t want to make a decision, but by not offering him any comfort, I still ended up making one.
The University will always be a school of strangers. Even if you have a large circle of friends, the reality is it’s impossible to know even half of your classmates. As a result, we spend much of our time here amid students we’ve never met. Sometimes, that can be nice. As an introvert, I’ve always been fine not knowing everyone. That being said, I’m still happiest around my friends. College can be stressful, and at some point, we all need a shoulder to cry on.
So, what if the only shoulder around is a stranger’s?
I’m not sure I made the right decision. Breaking down the barrier between oneself and a stranger is harder than nonintervention. To insert yourself into the life of someone you don’t know is a difficult thing, and there are not guarantees in the realm of human interaction. If posed hypothetically, I think that most of us would agree that it is better to intervene than it is to stay removed from someone else’s problems. My experience outside of my psychology classroom, however, showed me just how difficult helping a stranger can be.
A few days ago, I saw someone eating alone. Their eyes were downcast, skimming the floor and occasionally looking at the space next to them where a person could be sitting. I watched them from afar, hoping that they were just waiting for a friend to arrive. After a while, I realized that nobody was coming.
Once again, I was at a crossroads. Apprehension gnawed at my stomach. Talking to a stranger was the last thing my introverted brain wanted to do. On top of that, I was tired from a long day of school work.
So, I sat down next to them.
In its first game ranked No.1 in the country, according to the AP poll, Virginia notched a 59-50 win over Miami.
"There were stretches of really nice basketball," Coach Tony Bennett said. "Then there were a couple stretches that drive coaches crazy — like, why all of the sudden are we losing our way? But for the most part [our players] responded."
The win for the Cavaliers (24-2, 13-1 ACC) came after they suffered their first conference loss of the season against in-state rival, Virginia Tech, on Saturday. That loss snapped Virginia’s 15-game winning-streak, and was the first loss the Cavaliers suffered at home this season.
However, on Tuesday night, Virginia bounced back from the loss with a convincing road win over the Hurricanes (18-7, 7-6).
Virginia’s defense proved to be an obstacle for Miami, which was especially highlighted by Miami’s season-low 16 first-half points, and its 7:21 scoreless stretch in the first half. The Hurricanes were a mere two of twelve from behind the arc at half-time, and became the twelfth Virginia opponent to be held to 50 or fewer points this season.
“We did a good job of making them earn," Bennett said. "They didn't get many clean looks."
Though Miami got some offense generated in the second half, sophomore forward Dewan Huell — who is the leading scorer for the Hurricanes this season — was held scoreless by the Cavaliers. Miami freshman guard Lonnie Walker IV, who entered the game averaging 11.3 points per game, also struggled, finishing with just six points on the night.
One player who had no trouble racking up points was Virginia redshirt freshman guard De’Andre Hunter. His 22 points were a game-high, and were the most points Hunter has scored in ACC play. Hunter went 3-6 from three-point range, and picked up a four-point play when he was fouled while burying a shot from behind the arc. Hunter’s 15 second-half points were more than any other Virginia player scored all night.
“To see that kind of effort ... I thought that ignited us," Bennett said.
Sophomore guard Kyle Guy, who is the leading scorer for the Cavaliers this season, had 13 points — marking the 23rd game that he has reached double figures.
With the win over Miami, Virginia clinched a double bye and top-four seed for the ACC Tournament.
“We're not a knockout-punch team,” Bennett said. “We're just going to have to chip away and keep being there defensively and offensively, and hopefully [that] takes its toll over the course of the game."
The Cavaliers will now get a long break from competition until they’re back in action against Georgia Tech in Charlottesville Feb. 21. When the two teams met earlier in the season, Virginia left Atlanta with a 64-48 win. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
The University sent offers to 47 rising fourth-year students Tuesday for Lawn rooms for the 2018-19 school year. Living in a Lawn room — the original dorms for the University — is an honor reserved for students with a record of “unselfish service to the University and Charlottesville/Albemarle County communities, and achievement in their respective fields of activity and academics,” the Office of the Dean of Students’ website reads.
There were a total of 282 applications. Of the 47 offers, 22 were extended to female University students and 25 were extended to male students.
Twenty-six of the applicants who received offers identify as caucasian, nine identify as African-American, eight identify as Asian or Asian-American, six identify as Hispanic and four did not specify their racial identity.
By school, 36 of potential future Lawn residents are students in the College, three are in the Engineering School, three are in McIntire, two are in Batten and one each is in Curry, Nursing and Architecture.
These statistics were released by the Office of the Dean of Students, but according to Dean of Students Allen Groves, they don’t tell the whole story.
“This isn’t the full Lawn yet — this is 47 of the rooms, there are still seven rooms that haven’t been selected yet because they’re done through different processes, and someone who is selected might decide not to live on the Lawn,” Groves said. “It’s rare, but it happens.”
The process for Lawn selections is traditionally competitive and complex, said Malcolm Stewart, a fourth-year Batten student, outgoing Lawn Senior Resident and chair of the Lawn Selection Committee.
The applications were read by a committee of 54 students, composed of 27 randomly selected fourth years and 27 committee members from various organizations on Grounds. The members are selected from a wide range of backgrounds and organizations to ensure diversity among the communities and schools they represent. The group is split randomly into two groups, and each committee member is anonymously assigned to read and vote on a set number of applications.
The top applications are brought back and read by every committee member. Each member has again a number of “yes” votes to distribute among the applications remaining. The applications with the highest number of votes are sent to the ODOS for final approval, Stewart said.
“I would say that what makes the Lawn particularly special is that these are students who were selected by their fourth-year peers,” Groves said. “In other words, their peers looked at 282 outstanding applicants and concluded that these 47 should live on the Lawn.”
With one student having dropped out from the preliminary list of candidates, there will be five contenders running for Second Year Council president and three for vice president. The students may start campaigning Friday, and voting runs from Feb. 21 to 23.
Casey Schmidt, a fourth-year College student and chair of the University Board of Elections, said that five first-year students running to be second-year president follows the previous election pattern and comes as no surprise.
“There were 12 people [running] for the first-year president in the fall. Now, half that number runs for second-year [president] in the spring semester,” Schmidt said. “Half as many. It falls into the pattern of being less competitive as times goes on with fewer and fewer people challenging the race.”
All five candidates joined the race with some new platforms they hope will benefit the Class of 2021. First-year College student Omar Metwally, who currently serves as the social chair for the First Year Council, said he decided to run for second-year president with the intention of increasing council’s accountability.
“As an elected representative, you are supposed to be voting on things,” Metwally said. “There are very rare times that we vote on anything within the First Year Council ... I just think there are lots of things that can be fixed within the First Year Council.”
Metwally pointed to the importance of fundraising, citing his goal to raise money to host more meaningful social events.
“There are millions of different things, such as being more creative and doing things that surprise the second-year class,” Metwally said. “I believe I can do what is needed to be done to get us somewhere better and to make sure everybody is well-represented.”
First-year College student Jason Anderson, a presidential candidate who serves as the First Year Council academic wellness chair, said he is mostly concerned about the council’s communication gap.
“As for our class right now, the communication between the executive board, the council and to the class isn’t too effective,” Anderson said. “We currently have an Instagram page with 250 followers — for a class of 3,000 to 4,000 students there are definitely gaps. I would like to fill the gap.”
Anderson also said he hopes to ensure that minority groups are well-represented and expects the class council to increase diversity.
“I think we should really work on increasing the different kinds of people who come to our events,” Anderson said. “Inclusion is very important but is slightly overlooked.”
First-year College student Anna Yee, who currently serves as Kellogg dormitory’s Association Council president, said she joined the presidential race with three core values — voice, transparency and inclusivity.
“I am running because I want to create a class identity that is cohesive and everyone is unified under one name,” Yee said. “One thing I really want to work on is communication with the class.”
First Year president Tyler Windsor said he decided to run for second-year president to continue the work he has started in year one. Having created the Diversity and Outreach Committee, Windsor said he expects to make the Class of 2021 an open place for everybody.
“My main reason for running for the first time was to create an open and supportive environment for everyone at U.Va., especially after the event in August,” Windsor said. “I want to bring people close together from different backgrounds so they can know each other better.”
Mckenzie Fischer, who is the current Gooch dormitory’s Association Council president, said she expects to bring the feeling of home to everybody in the Class of 2021 if elected president.
“We will be living in apartments, and some will be living in houses,” Fischer said. “But I want to make sure that we can still come together and feel the sense of home that originally drew us here.”
The candidates indicated they consider the competitiveness of the election as a promising sign that students care and want to work as a team for the sake of their class.
“I think all [five] of us are running because we have a vision for our class and what we want our class to get as a second year,” Yee said. “We are working towards the same goal to have a successful second year.”
Daniel Wang, a first-year Engineering student and former presidential candidate, said in an email to The Cavalier Daily that he decided to drop out of the race due to anticipated time commitments in the upcoming semester.
Clifford Cleveland, first-year College student and candidate for second-year vice president, said he believes that this year’s competitiveness stems from students’ determination and passion to improve the council and better serve the class.
“I don’t think that people are running for office solely to oust each other from office,” Cleveland said, “but because each candidate is determined to make the council better.”
Taylor Thompson, first-year College student and candidate for second-year vice president, said he is delighted by the enthusiasm surrounding the election.
“Every council has its own personality, and it really isn’t a question of fixing something,” Thompson said. “Each year is a new year with new opportunities. We learn from what we try … I think it is fabulous to see this much energy surrounding the Second Year Council election.”
First-year College student Kristin Myers, co-chair of the Diversity and Outreach Committee and candidate for second-year vice president, said she wants to improve upon the communication within the council as well as between the class council and the Class of 2021.
“I want to make sure that members of the council don’t feel like they are behind closed doors, or feel like they are inadequately informed about what the council is doing,” Myers said. “I want to let everyone feel involved in the most productive way. I also want to make sure that important information is conveyed to the class in an appropriate and timely manner.”
Candidates have focused on conducting endorsement interviews and preparing for the final race. Following the voting period, UBE will announce the final result Feb. 23.
According to the preliminary list of candidates for the upcoming University-wide elections released by the University Board of Elections Feb. 7, there are 37 vacancies for student positions across the University.
The School of Architecture, undergraduate and graduate Schools of Continuing and Professional Studies, undergraduate and graduate Curry Schools of Education, undergraduate and graduate Schools of Nursing, undergraduate and graduate Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy, graduate School of Engineering and Applied Science and the undergraduate and graduate McIntire School of Commerce do not have candidates for their respective Student Council representative positions.
The Education Council, which is the representative body for students in both the undergraduate and graduate programs of the Curry School of Education, has 11 vacancies for 13 positions. The two non-vacancies are council president and graduate scholarship and professional development chair, which each has one candidate.
Curry graduate student and Education Council President Sarah Benson said in an email to The Cavalier Daily that seats without candidates are often filled with appointed students.
“Those diverse programs require many students to be off-grounds for practicum experiences and the unfilled seats allow our one-year Master's students to participate by filling any seats that do not have candidates,” Benson said. “Unfilled positions have traditionally been appointed by the Ed Council President after soliciting nominations or letters of interest from the incoming students.”
Additionally, there are no candidates for the Batten Undergraduate Council President or for the Batten Honor representative, which both had four candidates last year.
In an email to The Cavalier Daily, Robert McCarthy, Batten Undergraduate Council President and fourth-year College student, said he was unsure of the reason for the lack of candidates.
“Batten students tend to be pretty involved in other organizations around Grounds,” McCarthy said. “Since they've been in those organizations longer, there might be a larger desire to serve on those leadership boards.”
However, if no students decide to run for the positions on the Batten Undergraduate Council, McCarthy said the positions may be filled in an alternative election.
“We'll definitely fill the positions,” McCarthy said. “If all else fails, we'll run an internal election, which seems to be the fairest way to proceed.”
All candidates on the preliminary list have had to fulfill additional requirements in order to appear on the official ballot. Requirements included acquiring petition signatures, finishing questionnaires and submitting campaign expense reports. UBE has not released a verified final list of candidates by publication time.
Campaigning officially begins on Feb. 16 with voting starting on Feb. 21.