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See A3 - A6 for candidate profiles

LIBERTY CHAMPION Today: P. Cloudy 63/46 Tomorrow: T-Storms 68/53

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Volume 29 • Issue 21

Mitt Romney to address graduates GOP presidential candidate, former Mass. gov. announced as commencement speaker

Ashley Bollinger

Liberty University announced April 19 that Mitt Romney will be addressing Liberty graduates at the 2012 Commencement, May 12. For 40 years Liberty has been training “Champions for Christ.” This commencement will mark the 39th send-off of graduates from the school. Romney is currently the frontrunning Republican candidate for the 2012 Presidential elections. “We are delighted that Governor Romney will join us to

celebrate Commencement with Liberty’s 2012 graduates,” Liberty University Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. said in an of- romney ficial press statement. “This will be a historic event for Liberty University reminiscent of the visits of Governor, and then presidential candidate, Ronald Reagan to Liberty’s campus in 1980 and of President George H.W. Bush who spoke at Liberty’s 1990 Commencement ceremony.”

According to his website, Romney was born in Detroit on March 12, 1947. Although Romney is now classified as a politician, he spent most of his life working in the private sector before he was elected Governor of Massachusetts in 2002, according to his website. Romney, like many, has encountered hardship in his life, according to his website. His wife Ann was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1998. She also recently “fought a battle with breast cancer,” according to his website. However, Romney has main-

tained strength in his hardship through his religion, as he advanced towards the 2012 Presidential elections, according to his website. Religion has played a role in Romney’s life and political career, according to his speech on Dec. 6, 2007, given at the George Bush Presidential Library. “Almost 50 years ago another candidate from Massachusetts explained that he was an American running for president, not a Catholic running for president. Like him, I am an American running for president...A person should not be elected because of his faith, nor should he be re-

Defeats many others

Kate Powley

Lindsey Birchfield

Liberty University’s Student Government Association (SGA) announced Chad Atchison as the new student body president and Joshua Warner as the new student body vice president, defeating Ross Cado and his running mate Claire Francisco. Students placed their votes for the SGA president and vice president Friday, April 20. Candidates campaigned in the back hall of DeMoss in the days prior to the election. Students were able to meet the candidates, hear their platform and voice their opinion. “I feel relieved that election week is over, but determined to fulfill this great responsibility entrusted to me by the students. God bless everyone who participated, supported and campaigned for me and the other candidates. We can all be proud of our accomplishments,” Atchison said. Atchison said he plans for the SGA to have an impact in the student body academically, socially and spiritually. Academically, Atchison seeks to find out what each individual department needs in order to instruct their students better. “I personally would seek to have

See SGA, A9

BOLLINGER is the editor in chief.

Luis Palau to speak

marriage conference

Atchinson wins SGA

jected because of his faith … I believe in my Mormon faith and I endeavor to live by it.” He continued, “My church’s beliefs about Christ may not all be the same as those of other faiths. Each religion has its own unique doctrines and history. ” Romney has yet to comment as to what it is he will be speaking about May 12. Commencement will be Romney’s first appearance at Liberty.

Alyssa Bockman | Liberty Champion

Real Marriage — Well-known pastor Mark Driscoll addresses a packed Vines Center about his book on marriage. Read about it at

World renowned evangelist Dr. Luis Palau will be the main speaker for Liberty University’s baccalaureate service in the Vines Center 6 p.m. on Friday, May 11. “It’s really exciting Palau that (Palau) is coming to Liberty,” junior Ismael Pineda said. “He’s somebody who is known around the world for being passionate about spreading the gospel. I’m really excited to hear him speak at the Baccalaureate Service since I’m going to be here for commencement.” According to Palau’s website biography, around 3,500 people listen to his radio broadcasts in both English and Spanish throughout 48 countries. He has shared the gospel with around 1 billion people, authored about 50 books and assisted other evangelists such as Billy Graham, whom he helped with Spanish translation. Along with his wife Pat, Palau has been a missionary since 1962 and now has a fulltime staff of over 100 people operating over four continents. “It’s encouraging to know that Liberty continues to open the door for a global perspective with Luis Palau,” senior LJ Grab said. “He’s not just some guy who

See PALAU, A10

Liberty Belles’ chili cook-off supports air race Omar Adams

The Liberty Belles, Liberty University School of Aeronautics’ two Air Race Classic teams, held a chili cook-off April 16 to raise money for the upcoming transcontinental race. A $5 donation earned each attendee access to all-you-caneat chili from 13 different entries. Vice Chancellor Dr. Ron Godwin, School of Aeronautics

Dean Gen. Dave Young and Associate Dean Capt. Ernie Rogers judged the contest. Prizes for the top three contestants included a free discovery flight in the school’s Piper Cub aircraft to a School of Aeronautics T-shirt and a Freedom Aviation hat and lanyard. “The Piper Cub is our tail wheel plane, so everybody’s pretty excited about that one,” Liberty Belles dispatcher, weatherwoman and logistics officer

Aly Boardman said. The Liberty Belles need a total of $20,000 to cover the costs of the race, and they are working to raise most of their funds through sponsors by selling the flight by legs or miles to various businesses, Boardman said. “Right now, just on fundraising, we have $700, but we are in the process of finding potential donors and sponsors,” she said. Pilots who have completed the race before help teams prepare

for this year’s contest. The Air Race Classic assigns “Mother Bird/Baby Bird” teams each year to mentor new racers. “They pair up a team that has raced in the past with a team for whom this is their first race,” coach and 2011 Air Race Classic winner Sarah Morris said. “The Mother Bird team is available to help the Baby Bird team with the countless questions they have, as well as to mentor them before and throughout the

race as needed. It is also a great networking tool for the Baby Bird teams — to help them get to know other pilots competing in the Air Race.” Morris and team member Naomi Satterfield said Young and the School of Aeronautics have been “a huge help,” particularly by helping to find sponsors and providing two free flights — one as a drawing

See RACE, A2



City Council

Candidates answer questions . A3-A6



Answers lead to more questions. B1

CSER Office announced possible outstanding citizens. B8-B9

Spring Football

CSER Nominees

News Opinion Sports Feature

A1 A4 B1 B10


A2/Liberty Champion

April 24, 2012

Liberty moot court team succeeds

The university’s School of Law traveled to Chicago to compete in national finals, emerged with 4-1 record Melanie Oelrich

The Liberty University School of Law moot court team recently returned from competing in the American Bar Association National Appellate Advocacy Competition national finals in Chicago, Ill. Liberty qualified for the national finals by winning its regional bracket at the Washington, D.C. regional in March. The team of Mark Hicks, Jeremy White and Phillip Marbury finished the D.C. regional with a record of four wins and one loss en route to its regional championship. The team posted wins over Regent University, the University of Richmond, George Mason University and the University of Arkansas. Liberty’s only loss came in an early preliminary round to Washington & Lee University. While in Chicago, Liberty won its first preliminary round against Lousianna State University before losing to returning powerhouse Texas Tech to finish the preliminary rounds with a 1-1 record. Based on its win/ loss record and narrow margin of loss, Liberty advanced into

Photo provided

Winners — From left to right, Jeremy White, Mark Hicks and Phillip Marbury won the D.C. Regional. the national octa-finals as one of the top 16 teams in the nation. However, the team lost to topranked California Hastings on a split judges’ ballot. This marks four consecutive years that Liberty has qualified

for the national finals and the third time that it has advanced to the 16th round before being eliminated. Director at the Center for Lawyering Skills Scott Thompson coached and accompanied

the team to Chicago. “Our team performed at an extremely high level. Mark and Jeremy argued on par with every team that they competed against, both at regionals and nationals,” Thompson said.

“Our loss in the elimination rounds at nationals was one of the best rounds that I have ever watched. We knew that it would be very close and it was.” Thompson mentioned how the team did not lose sight of the Lord at all throughout the competition. “Throughout the week, we prayed that each of us would glorify God through our arguments, attitude and demeanor. They did exactly that,” Thompson said. Liberty is recognized as a school that competes at the national level and is well-respected by its colleagues in the moot court arena. Hicks, White and Marbury have been preparing for the ABA competition since mid-December. Their hard work landed them in the sweet sixteen once again. Thompson conveyed his delight with the team for their hard work. “I could not be more pleased or satisfied with all that they have done and with what they accomplished,” Thompson said. OELRICH is a news reporter.

Colson dies at 80 Omar Adams

Famous evangelist and former special counsel to Richard Nixon, Charles “Chuck” Colson, died of a brain hemorrhage Saturday, April 21, at the age of 80. After battling the brain injury since his hospitalization on March 31, Colson died at Northern Virginia Hospital COLSON with his family by his side, according to a news release from his representatives. Colson is remembered for his prolific writing and speaking to establish what he felt to be a strong Christian worldview through his Colson Center. The Boston native is perhaps best remembered, however, for his tireless support of prisoners, ex-prisoners and their families through his Prison Fellowship ministry. “Prison Fellowship is the largest prison ministry in the world,” personal friend Chaplain Dan Croce said. “Nobody comes close to Prison Fellowship — nobody.” The evangelist founded Prison Fellowship after serving time in federal prison for his role in the Watergate scandal. Colson became a Christian just before he went to jail and worked to help fellow inmates. Croce, a former Massachusetts inmate who became a Christian in the late 80s, serves as a chaplain with New Hope Correctional ministry and works “side-by-side” with Colson’s Prison Fellowship. Croce’s first contact with Prison Fellowship was while he was serving time in Plymouth County

Correctional Facility in 1985. An Angel Tree representative — part of Prison Fellowship in which volunteers buy and deliver Christmas presents to inmates’ children during the holidays — told the prisoners about the organization. “I said, ‘What? You’re gonna do what?’” Croce said. “I was shocked — I was almost ready to cry, and my eyes were watering up — I couldn’t believe somebody would do that.” Following his release from jail in 1989, Croce met Colson at church in Holbrook, Mass. while he was applying for the Charles Colson Scholarship to attend Wheaton College. Croce received the scholarship and graduated from Wheaton in 1995. Colson later used Croce’s testimony in his book “How Now Shall We Live?” “If he asked me to come speak at a banquet in Virginia or California or Arizona or Florida, the answer was always, ‘Yes,’” Croce said. “What could I do, the guy gave me an education — a very expensive education — and I was very grateful. If he asked, I was there. It was a privilege to be around him.” Croce said he was both heartbroken and glad when he heard that Colson had died Saturday. “I’m glad he’s with the Lord, but I’m going to miss him so much,” Croce said. “He was just such a good guy.” Colson was brilliant, Croce said. With his wit and directness, Colson could say “in two sentences what other people would have to write two pages on.” “I never met a smarter guy in my life — never,” Croce said. “Theologically, Chuck told me he wished he had a little more theological education. What he did, though, he did live. He was just the best.” ADAMS is the web editor.

Ben Lesley | Liberty Champion

Liberty Belles — The team (from left to right), Coach Sarah Morris, Esther Dii, Lindsey Gray, Mollie Melton and Naomi Satterfield, is trying to raise $20,000 by race time in June.

AIR RACE continued from A1 and the other for the chili cook-off winner. Besides fundraising, the teams have focused on training for the race. Practice will pick up this week, as the June race approaches. “Thus far, we have been primarily focused on fundraising and learning the rules,” Morris said. “We are currently learning flight planning tools and techniques that will help them during the race. Next week we will begin doing simulator flights to help them learn the decisionmaking process that comes into play during the race, and we will fly some mock race routes.” The pilots themselves are excited for the imminent contest, even though they “don’t know what to expect,” Satterfield said. “It’s very surreal — it’s a big thing, and I don’t think I realize just how big it is,” she said.

LIBERTY CHAMPION 1971 university blvd, Lynchburg, Virginia 24502

Ashley Bollinger Editor in chief


Deborah Huff Faculty Advisor

Ben Lesley

Advertising Director

Amanda Sullivan Graduate assistant

Dominique McKay Graduate Assistant


Shelanne Jennings

news editor

Betsy Abraham

Tabitha Cassidy Omar Adams asst. news editor

Andrew Gula Opinion editor

Nathan Brown Sports editor

Derrick Battle asst. sports editor

feature Editor

asst. feature editor

Devin Francis copy editor


Ruth Bibby

Photography Editor

Alyssa Bockman Asst. photography editor

letter to the editor policies & info

“I don’t think I’ll realize until I get to that last airport after flying twice across the country.” As for the cook-off, it helped to raise funds for the trip and increase awareness at Liberty of the Liberty Belles and the Air Race Classic itself. The winners of the cook-off were, from first to third place, Brian Dollanarte, Luke and Tracy Hamer and Joe Leonard. “The fundraiser went really well,” Morris said. “We raised $230, which pays for nearly 60 miles of the race. We still have a long way to go with fundraising, but we are confident we will meet our goal of $20,000.” Anyone interested in donating to the Liberty Belles or sponsoring part of the race can email them at ADAMS is the web editor.

The Champion encourages community members to submit letters to the editor on any subject. Letters should not exceed 400 words and must be typed and signed. The deadline is 5 p.m. Friday. Letters and columns that appear are the opinion of the author solely, not the Champion editorial board or Liberty University. All material submitted becomes property of the Champion. The Champion reserves the right to accept, reject or edit any letter received — according to the Champion stylebook, taste and the Liberty University mission statement.


Elliot Mosher Graphic Design

Omar Adams Web Designer

Send letters to: Liberty Champion Liberty University, Box 2000, Lynchburg, VA 24502 or drop off in DeMoss Hall 1035.



April 24, 2012

Liberty Champion/A3

City Council elections held May 1 Students can voice their opinions on important issues affecting Lynchburg Tabitha Cassidy


ity Council elections are next week — Tuesday, May 1. Many students who are already pressed with decisions of which finals to study for and how they are getting home for summer plans may find themselves asking why they should vote in a local Lynchburg election. “Voting locally will employ a dynamic role in changing the makeup of your city,” Liberty senior and Political Director for Senator Steve Newman Zach Martin said. The city council members, according to the City of Lynchburg’s website, are elected to four-year terms of office and make decisions that adhere to the City Char-

ter, make any additions or amendments to the Lynchburg City Code and create Council-appointed Boards and Commissions. “When you’re voting in local elections, you’re voting for things such as meals taxes, water usage, power rates — things of that nature,” Martin said. The current city council has recently voted down the proposed City Budget meals tax increase. This current council will vote on every aspect of the proposed budget for following years. In the past, city council has also made the decision to add a Wards III polling place from Heritage High School to Liberty University. The council has also imposed Conditional Use Permits (CUP) on Liberty to require



the college to build an estimated $8 million worth of roads, ramps and tunnels in previous years. This increase of building requirements caused tuition to raise $667 for the 2011 academic year, according to a previous Liberty Champion article. According to the 2009 City of Lynchburg Financial Services’ comprehensive financial report, the second largest employer in Lynchburg is Jerry Falwell Ministries (JFM), Inc., which includes Thomas Road Baptist Church, Liberty Uni-

versity and Liberty Christian Academy. Employing 3,422 people, JFM is behind only Centra Health with the number of jobs that it brings to the community. A 2009 report released by Mangum Economic Consulting, LLC, an organization specializing in economic and quantitative research, found that Liberty accounts for one out of every 10 local Lynchburg jobs. Liberty students also contributed to $217 million in local direct spending, the report said. The Magnum report also revealed that every dollar Liberty spends generates $1.48 in local economic activity. In the past, Liberty students have helped swing the election for the House of Delegates between Shannon Valentine and Delegate Scott

Garrett, Martin said. “Liberty students can play a dynamic role in the election because of the voting block they make up,” Martin said. Those students that are already registered to vote for city council members will be able to have their voices heard through the ballot box May 1. “(Liberty students can) leave a mark and a legacy in Lynchburg by voting conservatives into office,” Martin said. On-campus students will be voting in the Ward III district. Off campus students should vote in the precinct where they are registered. CASSIDY is the news editor.

Alex Towers

Editor’s Note



I-2 I-5

II - 1 IV - 4 II - 2 I-1 IV - 3

III - 1

II - 4

II - 3

IV - 2 III - 3 IV - 1

III - 5

Elliot Mosher



City Council elections will be held May 1, and the Liberty Champion news staff has decided to give each candidate a platform to discuss his opinions about issues relevant to Liberty University students. Each candidate was given the same amount of time to respond to the Champion’s questions, and the only criterion was keep the answers to roughly 700 words. Their responses and short biographies can be found on A4-A6 in this edition of the Liberty Champion. The order in which the candidates appear was decided by putting the Wards in order, determining who was running against whom. We then placed the candidate that responded first on the top of the page, and the one that responded second on the bottom. Two candidates are running unopposed for their Wards. With this information, we hope that our readers will be able to make an informed decision and get out and vote on May 1 for city council members. To determine which Ward you are eligible to vote in, please refer to our graphic to the left. For complete details, visit

A4/Liberty Champion


April 24, 2012

Michael Gillette, Ward I

Question One: What do you see as an important aspect of the relationship between the city and the local colleges?



ichael Gillette graduated from Brandeis University at the top of his class as magna-cum laude with degrees in Philosophy and Classical Greek. He furthered his education at Brown University, where Gillette obtained his Master’s degree and Ph.D in Philosophy, writing his dissertation on clinical ethics, according to Gillette, originally from Connecticut, moved to Virginia in 1990 for a teaching position at the then-Randolph Macon Women’s College. After receiving tenure, Gillette resigned to pursue his own business, Bioethical Services of Virginia, Inc. According to his website, Gillette has spent more than 20 years in Lynchburg with his wife Jodi. The couple has been married for 26 years and have raised two children, Rachel and Rebecca. Gillette’s time in Lynchburg has created a “vested interest” in the community, according to the website. “As citizens of Lynchburg, we all appreciate our high quality of life, reasonable cost of living and excellent environment in which to raise our families,” Gillette said on “With your vote I will do my best to protect these things, even as we face difficult economic times.”

The local colleges and universities are an extremely important part of our local character. Not only do they contribute to our economic base, but they bring a vitality and intellectual vigor to our community that we should all cherish. Local government must recognize the central role that our institutions of higher education play and support collaborative efforts to enhance the relationship whenever possible. Question Two: What key city projects do you plan to focus on if elected? During the past year, I chaired the Task Force on Heritage High School and the Future of Secondary Education in Lynchburg. I would very much like to see the planning for a new Heritage High School continue and to assist in the implementation of the Task Force’s recommendations. I also foresee the need to deal with recruitment and retention issues in public safety. We must develop a multi-year strategy for working toward a resolution of the stresses that impact our fire, police and emergency services workers. Question Three: Would you agree to City Manager Kimball Payne’s recommended tax hikes? Why or why not? I do not believe that it will be nec-

“I encourage all students to get engaged and to cast a vote in the location in which they are legal residents.”

— michael gillette essary to enact the full array of tax increases contained in the proposed budget, but I also see no way to maintain core city services without generating some new revenues. The answer to this question, therefore, is not a simple yes or no. I disagree that we should raise the meals tax by one percent and the real estate tax by 10 cents. I do agree, however, that new revenues must be raised, and I will work to find the fairest way to make the minimum necessary increases. In doing so, I have already opposed any increase in the meals tax and I believe that we will be able to find sufficient savings to keep the real estate tax rate increase to something less than 10 cents. Question Four: Tell a college student why they should or should not vote in Lynchburg. The continued health of the American democratic tradition depends upon the engagement of its citizens. Every eligible American should cast a vote in local, state and federal elections. I encourage all students to get engaged and to cast a vote in the location in which they are legal residents.

Question Five: Today’s economy requires families to budget tightly. How can the city handle projects such as Heritage High School and the cross town connector in its budget? Over the past several years, Lynchburg City Council has shrunk the size of city government. The general fund budget for 2012 is actually $1 million smaller than the general fund budget was in 2009, and the overall budget was cut by $7 million from 2011 to 2012. The currently proposed overall budget is another $10 million smaller than that. These spending reductions have taken place in an environment where we have been forced to absorb multiple unfunded mandates from the state, increased operating costs related to things like higher fuel prices, and a flat or declining revenue stream due to decreases in property values. While facing these economic challenges, we also managed to lower the real estate tax rate from $1.11 to $1.05 and eliminate the common goods fee. We accomplished these reductions by scouring every department for efficiencies and reducing the workforce by over 60 full-time equivalent jobs since 2009. The current budget proposal includes an additional reduction in force of 31 positions. We must continue to look for additional cuts and efficiencies and manage our debt service carefully. Even with these efforts, however, there comes a point where the retention of high quality services requires a willingness to pay for what we get. I will avoid every unnecessary tax increase, but some tax increase is likely to be necessary if we want to protect our high quality community.

John Richards Jr., Ward I Question One: What do you see as an important aspect of the relationship between the city and the local colleges?



andidate John Richards is a Lynchburg native who attended E.C. Glass High School. Richards received a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the University of Virginia and a Master’s of Science in Aerospace Dynamics. Richards joined the Air Force in 1985 as a logistics plans officer. He served for 24 years, retiring as a Lt. Col. in 2009. It was during his time in the Air Force that he first met his wife, Nancy. John and Nancy have been married for 17 years. He and his wife have three daughters: Jessica, Maegan and Rebecca. Richards feels his acquired skills have equipped him to effectively serve his community, he said. “John has acquired the financial and leadership skills necessary to be an effective leader in his community,” according to his campaign website. “His love for the people of his hometown drives him to seek opportunities to make their lives more fulfilling. His dedication to the citizens of Lynchburg and moral values ensure that he will serve with honesty and integrity.”

An important aspect of the relationship between the city and local colleges is a mutual respect for another and the willingness to work together. In order to work together, there must be an appreciation for one another, a willingness to listen and a common goal to work towards. I believe that our local colleges and universities make a valuable contribution to our city and working with them is vital for the success of Lynchburg.

“While here, college students are a part of the Lynchburg community and are impacted by local government and should make their voices heard.” — John richards

Question Two: What key city projects do you plan to focus on if elected? Key projects I would focus on if elected would be consolidating duplicated services, implementing new ways of providing quality services at more economical costs and recruiting businesses to Lynchburg. Question Three: Would you agree to City Manager Kimball Payne’s recommended tax hikes? Why or why not? I do not agree with the city manager’s proposed tax hikes. I oppose the meals tax increase because it unfairly burdens one segment of our business community with generating the rev-

enue to unnecessarily accelerate the fix to a Heritage High School problem that was decades in the making. Raising the meals tax would have the adverse affect of driving businesses and customers to the counties, potentially reducing tax revenue. I would oppose the 10 cent real estate tax at this point because I believe the city has potential savings within the current budget that need to be explored before a tax increase can be justified, such as consolidating duplicate support services between the city and our schools and looking at potential outsourcing opportunities within our current service processes.

Question Four: Tell a college student why they should or should not vote in Lynchburg. Regardless of whether or not college students decide to vote in their hometowns or in Lynchburg, they should exercise their right to vote. While here, college students are a part of the Lynchburg community and are impacted by local government and should make their voices heard. Question Five: Today’s economy requires families to budget tightly. How can the city handle projects such as Heritage High School and the cross town connector in its budget? As with many families during these economic times, the city needs to find specific ways in which to save money in order to generate the necessary funds for these projects. Careful planning must be implemented in order to minimize cost and ensure these projects are completed on schedule.

April 24, 2012


Liberty Champion/A5

Larry Taylor, Ward II Question One: What do you see as an important aspect of the relationship between the city and the local colleges?



lthough a native of Charlottesville, Va., Larry Taylor has lived in Lynchburg for more than two decades. He came to Lynchburg on a construction job and met his wife Ruth, Taylor said. The couple has three children together. Taylor also has three kids from a previous marriage. His children range in age from 17 to 37. Taylor started his own business in 1994 called Larry Taylor Restorations. He has performed work throughout the city, according to his Facebook page. Taylor decided to run for Lynchburg City Council when several people asked him to represent Ward II, he said. “The felt their voices weren’t being heard downtown,” Taylor said. “Their concern downtown wasn’t the politics of downtown. They wanted a representative they can talk to.” Taylor has mentioned that he intends on spending time getting to know the community. “I will go out and meet with the people at least once every two months,” Taylor said. “I will go out and meet the people so they can voice their concerns to me.”

The colleges are separate entities, but they act in cooperation with the city. The students use the resources of the city, but they also add value to it. Many are employed by local businesses, while also utilizing their goods and services. Students are a great resource for businesses seeking educated or technically-trained interns or employees through traditional schools like Liberty, Lynchburg College and Randolph, or a more vocational school like CVCC. They are also a wonderful source of volunteers for community programs through churches and other nonprofits. The success of the local colleges contributes to the success of the city. Question Two: What key city projects do you plan to focus on if elected? I am in favor of the comprehensive city plan for growth, but private investment is the way to truly make it happen. I am running for Ward II where residents have been hit hardest during this economy and the years preceding it. It is the only one of the four wards which lost population (-2.88 percent) between 2000 and 2010. The other wards increased 13.78 percent (Ward I), 15.62 percent (Ward IV), and 35.72 percent (Ward III). Because of this, I want to cooperate with the Chamber of Commerce to recruit businesses into the city and increase tourism for the city as a whole. This will help jump start our economy from its current zero net job growth.

“As long as students are legally registered, they should participate in the local political process in every way available.” — larry taylor

But more needs to be done for Ward II. We desperately need a full service grocery store to provide lower prices for those who earn lower wages or rely on government assistance. Since the closing of the Food Lion on Bedford Avenue, only one major grocery store exists in the ward. It is another Food Lion on Florida Avenue which is not easy to get to for those who do not have access to a vehicle and must rely upon taxis or a long wait for GLTC. It will also attract more small businesses and add jobs within the ward itself. Question Three: Would you agree to City Manager Kimball Payne’s recommended tax hikes? Why or why not? I do not agree with the tax hikes. The proposed hikes are very difficult for the citizens of Ward II. A real estate tax hike will be more costly for owners and renters. I am glad to see that the meals tax has been rejected by City Council. The result of such an increase will probably still be debated, but I am sure that it would not have

brought more restaurants or customers into the city. Cutting back on budget is the route to go at this time. It is painful, but necessary. Question Four: Tell a college student why they should or should not vote in Lynchburg. Voting is a privilege that should not be taken for granted or wasted when the opportunity comes. Students should vote as long as Lynchburg’s ordinances allow students to vote as residents. As long as students are legally registered, they should participate in the local political process in every way available. That includes running for office. I encourage everyone to participate in any way the law allows. Question Five: Today’s economy requires families to budget tightly. How can the city handle projects such as Heritage High School and the cross town connector in its budget? I believe Heritage High School should be renovated, but we still need to wait on a proper engineering survey that will give us a better idea of cost. It is not wise to make estimates without the necessary information. The widening of Lakeside Drive (cross town connector) is overdue. But we should remember that much of that traffic is coming from and going into Bedford County—another reason we should not raise taxes and give residents more reasons to head over the county line. The key is to improve the economy while still planning for the projects. We must keep the vision, but we must focus on practical ways to fund it without creating burdens on the citizens.

Ceasor Johnson, Ward II Question One: What do you see as an important aspect of the relationship between the city and the local colleges?



easor Johnson, current representative of Ward II in Lynchburg, graduated from Alcon State University in Lorman, Miss. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture Economics in 1989, according to Johnson excelled academically, “as he was he was Senior Class President, a member of the Parade of Personalities and Historian of the Delta Kappa Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.,” according to the website. He was also on the dean’s list for three semesters. Johnson married his wife Rosie in 1988 and moved to Virginia shortly after. During his time in the state, Johnson worked with the U.S.D.A. Soil Conservation Service, where he has served in Warsaw, Staunton and Harrisonburg. In 1996, Johnson became a licensed pastor. He attended the former Virginia Seminary and College, holding a Master of Religious Education and a Master of Divinity from the institution. In 2008, he was elected to Lynchburg City Council, representing Ward II. He is currently the pastor of Spring Hill Baptist Church in Brookneal.

One of the greatest aspects of the relationship between the city and the local colleges is that all of our colleges in the city and beyond enhance the workforce of our community. The businesses, the educational system, the healthcare system and a myriad of other business functions all benefit from the products of our local colleges. The recently-instituted Town and Gown meetings between the city and college presidents should help bolster the relationship even further between the city and the local colleges. Question Two: What key city projects do you plan to focus on if elected? As the representative of Ward II, I will continue to encourage and support downtown revitalization and good, sound business development on my Ward. I will continue to support the development along Martin Luther King Boulevard and other areas of egress and ingress. I will also work to encourage another super market to be located in the inner city. Finally, I will continue to support our public education system, public safety system and a responsible tax base.

“Those who desire a better community should exercise their vote to help make the community better for all citizens.” — Ceasor Johnson

Question Three: Would you agree to City Manager Kimball Payne’s recommended tax hikes? Why or why not? Unlike the federal budget, localities must balance their budget each year. When the city manager presents a budget, City Council must sift through it to examine why it is presented in its present form and make whatever adjustments are necessary. With the stress on the city, it appears that a tax increase of some kind is going to be necessary. Citizens who took the time to attend the budget sessions agreed that something would have to be done. I will scrutinize the budget in order to keep the increase as low as possible.

Question Four: Tell a college student why they should or should not vote in Lynchburg. It is the right of any citizen 18 years and older to vote. I would therefore encourage college students to vote in the locality in which they live. State law has made it clear that college students who domicile in a particular locality may vote in that locality. Those who desire a better community should exercise their vote to help make the community better for all citizens. Question Five: Today’s economy requires families to budget tightly. How can the city handle projects such as Heritage High School and the cross town connector in its budget? Just as family budgets are tight, the city budget is tight as well. The citizens committee, which studied the Heritage High School situation, has recommended that a new structure be erected. However, this is not an overnight project, and the city must look at every aspect of cost savings. The city must not build a structure that will present the same problems down the road that are present today. The cross town connector has already been on the Council plate for a number of years. The city and the state are constantly looking at adjustments that are cost-effective.

A6/Liberty Champion


April 24, 2012

Jeff Helgeson, Ward III Question One: What do you see as an important aspect of the relationship between the city and the local colleges?



ouncilman Jeff Helgeson first came to Lynchburg, Va. in 1985 to attend Liberty University, graduating with a Bachelors of Science degree in finance. Helgeson also earned his MBA from Liberty in 1990. Later, Helgeson attended American College and earned a Master of Science in Financial Services. Since moving to Lynchburg, Helgeson has been a staple in the Lynchburg community through his volunteer and civic efforts. He has served in several capacities, including former president of the Lynchburg Jaycees, member of the Lynchburg Planning Commission, chairman of the President’s Advisory Council for the Lynchburg Regional Chamber of Commerce and volunteer with Big Brothers, Big Sisters, according to Helgeson has represented Ward III for Lynchburg City Council since 2004. He said his “philosophy of government” is “fiscally conservative.” “Fiscal responsibility is an important issue, and I believe we should be sure the city lives within its means,” Helgeson said on his website. Currently, Helgeson is the Chairman of City Council’s finance committee. He is also the treasurer of the Central Virginia Community Services Board.

Local government should recognize colleges attract students who bring resources with them to the area, without adding much in the way of burden on the tax payers. I came to Lynchburg in 1985 to attend Liberty University. Twenty-seven years later, I am still here providing resources as a business owner, a member of City Council and as a taxpayer. It is great to have an open dialogue and work to build a positive relationship between the city, the local colleges and their students and faculty. Question Two: What key city projects do you plan to focus on if elected? City Hall has lost its way over the years. Hard-earned taxpayer dollars are often spent on pet projects that benefit just a few people, while wasting millions of dollars by building unnecessary new school buildings that are only half-full. In my eight years on City Council, I have tried to get council to focus on the necessary aspects of government. I have pushed for a focused effort on dedicating our resources to the public safety and maintaining our infrastructures and roads. These are important to all citizens in the city, not just a few elite. Question Three: Would you agree to City Manager Kimball Payne’s recommended tax hikes? Why or why not? Absolutely not! The manager’s proposal “balances” the city’s budget by adding greater burdens on the backs of the taxpayers at a time when tax-

“Your vote will certainly impact your time at liberty university, but it may have an impact on your future in Lynchburg, too.” — Jeff helgeson payers need relief. That plan would increase taxes on cafeteria food and pizza by 15 percent, homes by 10 percent, and it would add a brand new multi-million dollar stormwater management fee. The entire burden would be transferred to our already overtaxed citizens. The city should reduce spending, just like the citizens and businesses are having to do during these tough economic times. Question Four: Tell a college student why they should or should not vote in Lynchburg. I am originally from Minnesota. I moved here to attend Liberty University in the 1980s, earning two business degrees (BS Finance and MBA). I fell in love with the Lynchburg area and decided to live here permanently. Over the last couple of decades, I have worked to make Lynchburg a better place to live, learn, do business and raise a family. During my eight years on City Council, I have worked hard to represent students at Liberty University. I helped defeat a 20 percent increase in the sales tax and pushed successfully to gain better pedestrian access on Wards Road, fought successfully to get a polling place at the Vines center and I have nominated several Liberty graduates and faculty to positions on various boards and agen-

cies at City Hall. Having your vote is a much-appreciated endorsement for all of the work I will continue to do on your behalf as a student at Liberty. Another reason to vote locally is it may have a long-term impact on your own future. When I first came to Liberty, I had no idea that the plans God had for my life involved me staying here in Lynchburg. Since none of us knows what the future holds, make the most of each day. Your vote will certainly impact your time at Liberty University, but it may have an impact on your future in Lynchburg, too. Question Five: Today’s economy requires families to budget tightly. How can the city handle projects such as Heritage High School and the cross town connector in its budget? The mid-town connector is a state road, and the funds are already set aside from the state to improve this transportation link. Regarding Heritage High School, the city taxpayers do not have the resources to build a newer high school. The problem is the School Board and City Council decided to build another school that wasn’t needed first, which demonstrated an inability to prioritize. For some reason, government likes to spend enormous sums of money on unnecessary things. Then, they justify tax increases by claiming there isn’t enough money left to pay for necessities. This repeated cycle squeezes the taxpayers more and more each year. I am grateful for the professors at Liberty who taught me about fiscal resourcefulness and responsibility. There are many leaders in all levels of government who would benefit from such wise instruction today.

Turner Perrow, Ward IV Question One: What do you see as an important aspect of the relationship between the city and the local colleges?



urner Perrow graduated from Virginia Military Institute in 1996 after attending E.C. Glass High School. Perrow and his wife Holly have one daughter, Caroline. He is currently the vice president at WW Associates of Forest, Va. Perrow is running for re-election to Lynchburg City Council to represent Ward IV. According to his website, Perrow’s record speaks for itself. Throughout his time serving on City Council, Perrow has “demonstrated a strong fiscal responsibility,” maintains a “balanced perspective” in the development of Lynchburg and has been a “protector of public education and safety.” Above all, he is an “advocate for practical, sustainable development,” according to the website. “(I) realize that Lynchburg’s future is also tied to both state and federal governments,” Turner said on his website. “As a result, (I) am frequently in Richmond working with our local delegation on our behalf and have testified in front of Congress.”

The most important aspect of the relationship between the city and its local colleges is the partnership between the two. The city needs to work with the colleges to help them grow and develop the way their Trustees desire. Our city’s colleges are a crucial part of our local economy. They are tremendous employers, their students are assets to our community, and our businesses thrive on the availability of their graduates. Question Two: What key city projects do you plan to focus on if elected? We need to assess the city’s most pressing needs in order to prioritize projects and see them through to completion. One example would be the intersection of Timberlake Road and Ward’s Ferry Road. This intersection functions very poorly and creates traffic congestion on both roads. I also tend to favor projects addressing the city’s water and sewer infrastructure. Clean, safe water is a fundamental service, and it is our duty to protect it. Replacing old, broken and clogged lines improves the water quality throughout our city, and I support those projects. Question Three: Would you agree to City Manager

“College students are vital to our community, and we want all members of our community to express themselves during local elections.” — Turner Perrow Kimball Payne’s recommended tax hikes? Why or why not? No. I do not support the City Manager’s proposed tax increases. As a sitting council member, I was able to gain unanimous support for a motion to strike down the proposed meals tax increase. Additionally, I proposed a motion to keep the tax rate flat, which would force the city to spend within its means. Unfortunately, this motion failed 3-4. Our citizens are struggling to make ends meet. The prices are increasing, but wages are not. The city has to make difficult decisions to curb spending and keep our tax rates low. Question Four: Tell a college student why they should or should not vote in Lynchburg. College students are vital to our community, and we want all members

of our community to express themselves during local elections. It is every citizen’s duty to vote where eligible. Our society is built on the principle of one person, one vote. I hope the students choose to cast their votes in the place where they have chosen to work, live and be educated. Question Five: Today’s economy requires families to budget tightly. How can the city handle projects such as Heritage High School and the cross town connector in its budget? These two projects are completely different. The cross town connector is funded entirely by the state and does not require any local dollars. On the other hand, the Heritage High School project will be funded exclusively with local tax dollars. I believe that this project, through proper financial management, can be completed without raising taxes. Last year, I successfully proposed that Council reserve funding for the future school project. This reserve fund can be built upon every year in order to reserve enough money to afford the loan payments on the new school. Simply put, it works the same way as a family setting aside money until they know they can afford to make the payment on the house or car that they want. It is simple, prudent financial planning, and we can complete the project without raising taxes to support it.


APRIL 24, 2012

Commencement commentary Google Images

Quagmire — Reliance on foreign oil has become a sticky issue for US.

America’s oil turmoil Troy Dauksys

From wood to coal and coal to gas and gas to electric, supply and demand has always been an issue ever since civilizations around the world first began to flourish. It is for that reason that the blame for ever-increasing gas prices goes to supply and demand. Ironically, President Obama and his administration are not the sole contributors to the unpleasant economic reality. All that to say the perhaps America, who consumes more than 20 percent of the oil supply worldwide, should consider easing up on the amount of wasted energy — in this case, fuel consumption. While Obama blames high costs of gasoline on market manipulation, hard-working individuals are paying around $4 per gallon on gas. I guess it’s time to invest in a Chevrolet Volt — assuming I had close to $40,000 to spend on one. “Gas would have to approach $8 per gallon before many fuel-efficient cars could be expected to be paid off in the six years that an average person owns a car,” Jesse Toprak, vice president for market intelligence at TrueCar, said, according to the NY Times. Analysts are saying that added cost of the new technologies is limiting the ability of fuel-efficient cars to gain acceptance. Hybrid sales only account for less than three percent of the total market, not to mention plug-in cars experiencing even lower sales than expected. “If they want these technologies to be mainstream, pricing still needs to come down,” Toprak said. Analysts say that many people don’t take into account how much they will actually save when purchasing a fuelefficient car. Car buyers likely overestimate how much the added miles-pergallon relates to actual savings. According to TrueCar, a buyer who chose the Leaf instead of a Nissan Versa would need to drive it for almost nine years at today’s gas prices or six years at $5 per gallon before the fuel savings outweighed the roughly


Editor’s Note: Unlike most universities, Liberty has two commencement speakers each year, one at the baccalaureate and one at the final ceremony on Saturday. Most universities no longer have a baccalaureate service as part of commencement, but Liberty has continued that practice so that one of its two speakers each year is always a strongly committed Christian. Over the past 25

years, many of Liberty’s speakers for the final ceremony on Saturday have been leaders from the worlds of entertainment, business and politics. Most of them did not share Liberty’s doctrinal beliefs, but Liberty has never held a commencement that did not include a strong gospel message from a Christian leader at the baccalaureate service.

Pro: Commencement speakers chosen to encourage graduates, not preach Two terms seem to be highly misconstrued with Liberty University’s recent announcement of Gov. Mitt Romney as the 2012 Commencement speaker: baccalaureate and commencement. Romney’s religious belief in a Mormon faith has left many of the Liberty community struggling to reconcile his worldview with the convictions of the school, claiming a breach in the foundational values of the university. Contrary to that belief, the commencement ceremony is not one final sermon to the graduating class — that role is reserved for the baccalaureate service. Rather, the commencement ceremony is one final challenge to the students. Traditionally, the ceremony may feature persons from the religious, entertainment, or political industries, all of which have been represented at Liberty in past years. Past commencement speakers have included those such as former Presidents George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan, Billy Graham, Newt Gingrich, Chuck Norris, Ben Stein and Glenn Beck. Liberty’s commencement speakers have represented almost every faith and have even in-

“Who better to challenge students to aspire to greatness than a potential president?” cluded some with no known religious affiliation at all. Who better to challenge students to aspire to greatness than a potential president? Students have the opportunity to hear from a man who may possibly be the next president of the United States. Although some of his beliefs may differ from those held by many in the university community, it’s important to remember that our political leaders are not our spiritual leaders. This university has always welcomed persons with differing ideals than Liberty. In spring 2006, 40 students from Nepal were admitted into the university. The late Chancellor Dr. Jerry Falwell Sr. received numerous complaints regarding the students’

faith, but he did not send the students from Nepal away. “I understand there are some folks who don’t agree with my decision to admit all these students,” Falwell said. “But let me tell you something: If 25,000 Christians can’t love 40 Buddhists in the name of Jesus, then we need to shut down this university.” Liberty’s motto is to “train Champions for Christ.” The university has offered students numerous opportunities to gain a Christ-centered education, as well as encouraged students in their spiritual growth through various organizations such as Student Leadership. By the students’ senior year, their faith should be solidified. That is Liberty’s desire. “Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching…” according to Ephesians 4:14. As Champions for Christ, our faith should not waver based on the person speaking at commencement. Our faith should be challenged and stretched by the speaker — whether he is of Christian or Mormon faith.

Con: Choosing Romney to speak continues a dangerous and unethical trend Liberty University has spent 40 years maintaining its motto of “Training Champion for Christ,” yet three of its past five commencement speakers have not claimed to hold the Christian faith. This seems to be a cause for concern. Mitt Romney was announced as Liberty’s 39th commencement speaker, great — but he is a Mormon. The ethical issue many students are facing has nothing to do with Romney as a person, but everything to do with the foundational values of Liberty as an institution and the apparent lack of concern over sending off the newest generation of graduates with a farewell from a different faith. Yes, Romney is the forerunning Republican Presidential candidate, but how does that qualify him as the main voice during the “largest Christian university’s” commencement ceremony? Commencement is, theoretically, supposed to be the last words from the university encouraging its graduates to go forth into the world, maintaining the values that the institution has

“If Liberty were a secular institution, this would not be a big deal — but it is not.” developed within them. If Liberty were a secular institution, this would not be a big deal — but it is not. If Liberty wants to wear the Christian T-shirt, so to speak, then it needs to follow through with the guides set forth in the Bible. Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Liberty is conforming to the pattern of the world. It is cool and progressively academic to have a potential future president speak at Commencement — but is it Christ-honoring? Everyone on the other side of the

fence is calling out for tolerance, including Romney himself — but biblically there is no such thing as tolerance. Yes, we are called to love those who are lost. That does not mean we are called to let them live in darkness. We are called to be shining lights —to show people the way, the truth and the life. “I believe that every faith I have encountered draws its adherents closer to God … It is important to recognize that while differences in theology exist between the churches in America, we share a common creed of moral convictions,” Romney said in his speech on religion back in 2007. Well, that is taking tolerance to a whole new level. Not every religion draws people to God. In fact, many religions pull people away from the one true God by sacrificing them to idols. How can one argue that we all worship the same God? That all religions hold the same convictions? This, my friends, sounds like a confused man, not a Christian qualified to send off our class of 2012.

See OIL, A8





H : AS




This is my last solo “from the desk.” Time has flown by. It seems like just

yesterday I was writing about my little SUV maneuvering through campus to find a far away parking spot. Now, I write from a different place. Parking is no longer our biggest dilemma. Politics, of course, have overshadowed that — by far. Commencement, local elections and wedding plans consume my time Bollinger and attention. Before I was just a college senior, but now I am approaching the unknown world of the college graduates.

With all I have learned during my time at Liberty, I thought it fitting to leave you with my most critical revelation. Some people say “life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you have until you take a bite,” but I think there is another way to look at it. Have you ever wondered why you are always disappointed when you take a bite out of that mysterious piece of chocolate? Well, maybe it is because you were already anticipating what flavor that chocolate was going t o be. That is my revelation. It took me four years to get there — but it happened. The way you look at life, and impending situations, will directly alter the way you perceive reality.

When we encounter situations, we automatically judge their outcome. We apply for jobs and anticipate failure or success — not taking a moment to simply see it as it is. Opportunity comes in different shapes and flavors. If we waste our lives only enjoying the chocolate-covered caramel, we will miss all there is to learn from the strawberry, raspberry and mystery flavors. What I am trying to say is this: Don’t waste your life living for one chocolate in the 50-count box —you just might be surprised by what the other 49 hold.


April 24, 2012

Liberty Champion/A8

Examining election economics With Santorum out of the running, the Romney money machine all but clinches GOP primary spot Isaac Eder

Rick Santorum never really stood a chance. Approximately two weeks ago by the time this piece runs, Santorum dropped out of the GOP primary race, crushed by the roaring juggernaut of money and establishment support upon which Mitt Romney rode into battle. Of course, Santorum insists that money wasn’t the main issue that led to the suspension of his campaign. According to NBC’s Andrew Rafferty, Santorum told supporters in a conference call that “I know there’s been a lot of articles written that somehow we dropped out because we ran out of money. That just is a little, very, very small piece of the story. The bottom line is we wanted to take this race as far as we could to the point where we felt that we could be successful.” While there were surely other strategic and personal considerations that went into this deci-

OIL continued from A7 $10,000 price difference. The Volt could take up to 27 years to pay off versus a Chevrolet Cruze, assuming it was driven beyond the battery-only range. However, the payback time could come down to about eight years if gas costs $5 a gallon if the driver remained exclusively on battery power. The Lundberg Survey said in March that gas prices would need to reach $12.50 a gallon for the Volt to make sense on financial terms. It said the Leaf would compete with gas at $8.53 a gallon. Ironically, in a recent survey by Consumer Reports, the most satisfied drivers own Volts and 93 percent of Volt owners would definitely buy the car again — though only 12,000 are on the road today. “If you provide consumers with what they want, they won’t mind paying a premium to get it,” Toprak

Google Images

Final four — The last men standing in the GOP primary race face off in a January debate. sion, as that same article reports, Santorum spent a large amount of the call soliciting donations to retire the massive debt he took on to finance his campaign. Romney has no such financial problems. Ignoring entirely his personal wealth, he has, according to the NY Times, raised $75.6 million in campaign contributions. While that’s less than

said, according to the NYTimes. Another point to consider is the fact that Obama has, so far, been unwilling to even consider drilling for more oil on our soil. At the moment, Obama seems more concerned with proposals of throwing money at enforcing oil prices than he is with finding ways to lower them. And the last thing America needs is more money going to federal authorities. Based off of these results, the adage “you get what you pay for” is misleading and outdated. I do believe, however, that reducing the cost of eco-friendly cars will allow consumers to afford them. Of course, that is if you are fortunate enough to be able to pay the premium for anything these days. For now, I will stick with my gasoline-powered car and continue to trudge through the rising gas prices. DAUKSYS is an opinion writer.

California Environmental Protection Agency

Quick fix — A shift to domestic drilling could solve America’s oil dilemma.

half of what President Obama has raised, it dwarfs Santorum’s meager means and his debt which, according to the Christian Science Monitor, sits around $1 million. This is definitely good for Romney, who has basically clinched the Republican nomination and has no serious competitors left.

Ron Paul’s campaign has a small, but extremely vocal, group of supporters still clinging to his libertarian platform. Gingrich says he’s still a contender. As of this writing, he hasn’t dropped out yet, but that can easily be attributed to two things. The first is the generous funding he is still receiving through his Super-PAC from bil-

lionaire casino tycoon Sheldon Adelson. Adelson has apparently all but given up hope, stating, according to the Huffington Post, that “It appears as though (Gingrich is) at the end of his line. Because mathematically he can’t get anywhere near the numbers (of delegates required to gain the nomination), and there’s unlikely to be a brokered convention.” Adelson’s point is astute and one of the only things keeping Gingrich in the race. The plain, simple fact is that elections are expensive and getting more so. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, in 2008 the total cost of a presidential election crossed the billion dollar mark for the first time in history. Santorum and the others just couldn’t keep up, and the Romney machine powers on.

EDER is an opinion writer.

Strange case raises odd question: What is a woman? Transgender Miss Universe pageant contestant sparks controversy about the definition of womanhood Clint Hayes

In a much-publicized move, the Miss Universe beauty pageant has tweaked its policies to allow transgender women to compete. The decision has sparked controversy and is being lauded by civil rights advocates as a major step forward for transgendered people. But ultimately, the hype amounts to little more than hyperbole. The rule change is more a symbolic gesture than a history-making event. Jenna Talackova, the 23-yearold transgender beauty queen in question, was initially blocked from competing in the 2012 Miss Universe Canada pageant. Pageant officials cited a rule stating that contestants must be “naturally born” women. Talackova responded by hiring a top civil rights lawyer and publicly criticizing Donald Trump, who coowns the Miss Universe pageant with NBC. The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) provided some of the impetus for the rule change, demanding that Talackova’s case be reviewed by the Miss Universe Organization, according to an article by the New York Daily News. Other civil rights organizations have voiced their support as well. “Everybody should be allowed to participate in every aspect of society,” Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, said, according to the article “Miss Universe Pageant Allowing Transgender Women” on

TALACKOVA “Absolutely it’s good news, it’s another pernicious structural discrimination barrier taken down.” Already, only a week after the announcement, the policy shift is referred to as if it was a grand harbinger of absolute tolerance. “At a time when transgender people are still routinely denied equal opportunities in housing, employment and medical care, today’s decision is in line with the growing levels of public support for transgender people across the country,” GLAAD spokesperson Herndon Graddick said, according to the article “Transgender Model WILL Compete for Miss Universe Crown…Then Wants to be a Mum” on Forgive the cynicism, but aren’t we talking about a beauty pageant here? It seems premature to generalize this rather trivial allowance to society’s larger ills. Some supporters address this topic with all the gravitas of Abraham Lincoln calling for emancipation of the slaves.

Beauty pageants have been criticized in the past for objectifying women, judging them purely on their external appearance while factors such as personality and talent fall by the wayside. In 1968, the first protest against the Miss America Pageant was staged in Atlantic City. Women from all over the country protested by crowning a live sheep Miss America and tossing “instruments of torture to women” (high heels, fashion magazines) into a “Freedom Trashcan,” according to “A History of Feminist Activism at Miami University, Oxford Campus” on The inclusion of a transgender individual in a national beauty pageant may represent a step backward rather than a step forward. Talackova’s Miss Universe Canada bid only encourages society to judge her (and by extension, other transgendered women) by her looks and not the content of her character. It pushes the question “is this transgendered person passable as a beautiful woman?” more than it does “why do we discriminate against people like her?” Perhaps the question we should be considering, then, is why can’t we move past beauty pageants and discuss issues that could actually have some relevant importance? HAYES is an opinion writer.

1. wildfires plague virginia 2. Real Marriage Conference hits Liberty 3. needtobreathe performs for students








April 24, 2012

Liberty Champion/A9

Photos provided

Afghanistan — Sgt. Larry Provost served in Afghanistan from mid-summer until just before Christmas. He worked with locals to rebuild the infrastructure.

Sgt. Larry Provost: Finally home

Omar Adams

Liberty University’s former Director of Commuter Affairs Sgt. Larry Provost recently returned from Afghanistan — his second time in the country and third deployment overall. Provost left Liberty in June to head overseas and returned from Afghanistan Christmas Eve, which his wife Lori called the “best Christmas gift ever.” “It’s definitely good to be home,” Provost said. After spending the holiday at home, he finished his active duty term at a base in Missouri through the end of February. Returning to the U.S. instilled mixed feelings for Provost. “When you’re over there, you

think about home a lot, but at the same time, it’s different being home than before because life goes on without you,” he said. “In a way, while that’s good, in some ways you feel like the country doesn’t realize we’re at war — that’s difficult.” The differences between Provost’s Afghanistan deployments — from 2002 to 2003 and again in 2011 — were fairly minor, he said. The biggest difference was the perception of people back in the United States. “The one thing that was different was the willingness of our elected officials to see the job through — that has changed,” Provost said. “In the early days of the war, you were very hardpressed to find someone who wasn’t in favor of us being in

Afghanistan, and now it’s very hard to find (someone who is in favor of it).” As part of the 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Provost worked closely with local Afghan officials, including the provincial governor, to rebuild infrastructure destroyed by decades of conflict. The American soldiers even provided supplies for the Afghan people to repair their mosques — something Provost was cautious about, but he said it meant a lot to them. “I think a lot of the people over there don’t want us to leave, to be honest,” he said. “I think they’ve seen war for 30 years, and they see America as a force for good.” Provost said that, “absolutely

Spoof video contest Students join in “Spoof! Insurance Fraud” competition Melissa Gibby

For students interested in filmmaking or broadcasting, the Virginia State Police Insurance Fraud Program is holding a “Spoof ! Insurance Fraud” video contest for Virginia college students, asking them to spoof a classic game show or cop show in a video spreading the word about the costly crime of insurance fraud. Video entries must be no longer than two minutes and must explain insurance fraud and how to report suspected cases, according to the Insurance Fraud Program’s website. The deadline for submissions is April 30. The grand prize for first place winners is $500 cash and a Kindle Fire tablet. Second place winners will receive a cash

prize of $300, according to the Insurance Fraud Program’s website. Entries should mention that citizens who suspect a case of insurance fraud should report it on or call 877-62FRAUD and can possibly earn a reward of up to $25,000. Public relations manager for the Insurance Fraud Program Pamela Jewell thinks that involving college students and utilizing video media is vital to the insurance fraud campaign. “We decided to have a video contest because almost everyone is shooting videos on their cell phones and video cameras and posting them to their YouTube page. In addition, with traditional advertising budgets being reduced, like other budgets in the common-

wealth, we are looking at non-traditional media as a cost effective way to have our anti-fraud message heard,” Jewell said. According to a press release, insurance fraud raises all Virginians’ and college students’ premiums as well as the cost of everyday goods and services. “Our main goal in sponsoring the video contest is to increase public awareness about the crime of insurance fraud as well as promote our reward,” Jewell said. Students who are interested in entering the contest can visit the Insurance Fraud Program’s website at videocontest/.

GIBBY is a news reporter.

without question,” many of the insurgents and problems the troops were dealing with came from outside Afghanistan and the local population in particular. “I think in many ways our enemies are just waiting us out, knowing that we’re leaving,” he said. “We’ve given them a real hand because now they know when we’re leaving, and that is just stupid to me.” After recently deciding to leave Liberty, Provost started working with the American Legion in Washington, D.C., where he helps veterans receive their benefits. Constant contact with veterans at his job keeps Afghanistan in the forefront of his mind. “To be honest, it’s on my mind

SGA continued from A1 a personal assurance of our support and involvement,” Atchison said. Atchison stated he seeks for SGA to support and partner more with other clubs, as well as have more of a presence at athletic events. Spiritually, Atchison said he desires to partner with the Office of Student Leadership to help with the problems student leaders face. “So often our student leaders become overwhelmed and frustrated and as student body president, I would seek to alleviate those stresses,” Atchison said. In order to achieve these goals, Atchison will need the help of Vice PresidentElect Warner. Warner’s belief in the student body and helping them be heard inspired him to run for vice president. “I have a desire and passion to serve the students of Liberty University by advocating for them to the administration. The student’s voice needs to be heard on campus and that is why I decided to run for the vice president position of the student body,” Warner said. Warner said he seeks to create unity in the student body through social media, clubs, networking and sharing the students’ voice with administration. Above all the agendas, Atchison stated honoring God was top priority. “In everything I do, I hold myself accountable first and foremost to God.

because now it’s a part of my job every day … but for me personally, I don’t think about my time over there, I think about the people I served with,” he said. “I think that’s just because it’s very hard for me to see that we initially made a commitment to these people, and now we might not see it through.” Provost will return to Liberty for commencement. He earned his master’s degree in 2011 right before he deployed and will be easy to spot in his service uniform when he receives his diploma May 12. Provost’s views are not necessarily those of the U.S. Government or Military. ADAMS is the web editor.

Through faith, we are going to impact this university. Through faith, we are going to revitalize the SGA. Through faith, we are going to advocate. Through faith, we are strong. I cannot wait to begin this next year,” Atchison said. Atchison and Warner shared their platforms and beliefs, like honoring God, with students during campaign week last week. They also used social media, spoke to classes and handed out coupons and treats to campaign. Both Atchison and Warner held SGA positions in previous years, so they understand how crucial the president and vice president positions are. Elections Committee Chair Thomas Turner stated the SGA president and vice president positions are very important to both the student body and SGA. “These positions are important because they act as the chief advocates to the student body, they serve as the head of government in SGA and they set the agenda for the year,” Turner said. According to Turner, the president is responsible for setting the agenda for the school year, which includes events and legislation. The president also appoints a cabinet and nominates an administrative branch. Atchison and Warner won against Presidential candidate Ross Cado and his running mate Claire Francisco. BIRCHFIELD is a news reporter.


A10/Liberty Champion

April 24, 2012

Faculty helps with Titanic research Ashley Addington

A tragedy at sea stole a nation’s heart 100 years ago, and for decades to come, curiosity filled conversations on the topic. When the 1997 film was introduced, even more people became captivated by the mystery of the “unsinkable” ship. Liberty University has its own connection to the tale with Executive Director of New Media Communications Bruce Braun. Braun was part of an excavation trip in 1996 to take a look at the Titanic’s sunken grave. “You are often surprised with what jobs you will get sent on and how it will end up influencing you. At the time, I saw it as another job, and got more interested as I went along. I’ve only been at sea on a cruise ship,” Braun said. “I was in a 250-foot vessel. The weather during the trip was incredibly hard to work with. We actually ended up getting caught in the end of a hurricane with huge 25-foot waves.” On the voyage, Braun worked solely with the computers and technology on the ship. Braun

PALAU continued from A1 Grab said. “He’s not just some guy who started a church in America, but he’s an international speaker who makes a difference on different continents. The kingdom of God is more than just America.” Liberty students will have the opportunity to hear from a speaker whose reputation as an evangelist


is known throughout the world. Palau is originally from Argentina but came to the United States to study at Multnomah Biblical Seminary before doing missions work throughout Latin America and Western Europe. The Luis Palau Association, which has headquarters in Portland, Oregon, was featured in Reader’s Digests’ article “10 Reasons to Love America”




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Titanic — Braun and his shipmates rejoice after a day of work on a 1996 excavation trip. In the 70s, Braun worked in Hollywood for several years as a producer and then moved to Florida. Later, Jerry Falwell Sr. called to offer Braun a position for TV operations, but he declined and went back to Florida. It was not until 1978 that Braun finally accepted Falwell’s second job offer and stayed with the organization until 1984. Three years ago, the

for doing city-wide service called the Season of Service, which targeted the homeless, the environment, public schools and community projects. The Luis Palau Association began a nontraditional way to spreading the gospel through an “open arms” approach of festival evangelism that has been their model since 1999. The Baccalaureate is not a graduate processional,




chancellor asked him to come back on again with Liberty to work with media. Many opportunities have been offered to Braun, and he has had many experiences during his filming career, but the Titanic voyage was one of the richest experiences of his life. “I’ve been astounded at how much interest has been on the accident that happened 100

and students should feel free to sit with their family and friends during the service. Faculty will be processing in for the service and early admittance is encouraged. A handicap parking lot will be available for those with handicap parking credentials in the Furnace lot across from the Vines Center. Childcare will also be available from 5 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. for no charge


ADDINGTON is a news reporter.

at Thomas Road Baptist Church. Signs will be posted around the church to direct anyone in need of the service to the Early Learning Center. For the Baccalaureate Service, students may wear their Commencement regalia or military uniform, but it is not a requirement. More information on the Baccalaureate Service or Commencement can be found on Liberty Univer-


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sity’s Registrar web page. According to Palau’s secretary Jane Stradley, he is currently in Argentina and will not be back in the States until May 1 but is very excited to be speaking at the Baccalaureate Service. Palau came to the university several years ago and is looking forward to returning to speak. POWLEY is a news reporter.

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years ago. It happened at the age of a technological boom with many famous passengers on board. There is still a lot of mystery to why it sunk even though it was claimed to be ‘unsinkable,’” Braun said.

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got the job opportunity while he was working with Classic World Wide Productions. He was sent to do the video content from the expedition. What Braun observed and worked on was featured in several documentaries that became broadcasted to cruise ships. Their footage showed the whole process of Titanic’s accident and what specifically went wrong. “In Cameron’s film, there is a huge dramatic scene of the ship completely breaking in half at a 45-degree angle. We learned that the ship actually only broke at 11 degrees. It sunk in two and a half hours. The ship was supposed to be able to have at least three or four cabins flood for the ship to still be stable. We ended up doing a study on the metal of the ship and discovered that when metal is in cool temperatures like the Atlantic was, it becomes incredibly brittle. It’s found that the alloys become more like a sponge material and make the metal more breakable. We did sonar under the ocean to see the floor and found that there were numerous little gashes throughout the haul of the ship,” Braun said.

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SPORTS Golf wins Big South

APRIL 24, 2012

earning ever y yard

Jonathan Pearson

Through bad weather and major adversity, the Liberty University golf team finished first for the second year in a row in this week’s Big South Championship Tournament at The Patriot Golf Club at Grand Harbor in Ninety Six, S.C. The number one seeded team set a few records, had golf fans on their feet throughkarlsson out the entire tournament, which ended with an exciting win from behind. Liberty was able to bring home the second straight league title and finished a record 20 under par. The competition between first and second was separated by a mere 10 strokes. Liberty’s Robert Karlsson claimed his second career Big South medalist honor. During his last day of the tournament, the senior was behind Gardner-Webb’s Daniel Kim by four strokes to start the day but ended up overtaking the runner-up for the win by two strokes. Karlsson had the second lowest individual score in Big South Conference history and is the third repeat medalist in the league championship history, after winning it in 2010. He is now in the multiple Conference champions club with lindstrom Winthrop’s Kevin Pendley (1997 and 1998) and Coastal Carolina’s Zack Byrd (2005 and 2009). Also finishing inside the top-six, Chase Marinell and Niklas Lindstrom captured Big South all-conference honors. Karlsson earned all-conference honors for his regular season accomplishments. Marinell finished in fifth place and four under par, and Lindstrom tied for sixth place at three under par. Ian McConnell got his second consecutive even par round to finish the event and tied for 12th place, finishing one over par. The Flames competed against eight teams, 40 men and Mother Nature throughout the last day of the tournament. Rain delayed the event for twoand-half hours during the morning. The scores suffered because of the wet weather. Only three golfers broke par. marinell Liberty finished first with a 36-hole lead over Costal Carolina who was runner up, with Charleston Southern in third. This was the first time in the history of the tournament that the top three teams finished under par. Campbell, who just returned to the Big South after 17 years in the Atlantic Sun, finished fourth at 866. The host, Winthrop, was fifth at 879.

See GOLF, B2

Ruth Bibby| Liberty Champion

defensive showing — The defense allowed 235 yards of offense, forced two turnovers and scored the only touchdown.

Defense “lights out” spring game Hanson, Lewellyn and Robinson take home annual awards Kyle Harvey


or any of the 2100 fans that turned out Saturday for the 2012 spring football game expecting offense, they were sorely disappointed. The two offensive units combined for a meager 235 yards in the short contest, which was won by the Blue team 7-3. The defense, however, put on a clinic, with both the red and blue defenses shutting down an offense that is still struggling to find an identity. Senior Tyler Brennan, considered by many to be the front-runner in the

three way quarterback race, threw two interceptions, one of which was returned 35 yards by Ryan Ayers for the only touchdown of the game. Redshirt freshman Josh Woodrum and redshirt junior Brian Hudson, the other players competing for the starting quarterback job, did not fair considerably better. All three quarterbacks took snaps for both Red and Blue offenses. Hudson did provide the lone offensive spark of the afternoon, connecting on a 30-yard pass to redshirt sophomore Gabe Henderson, to put the Red team in the red zone. “It was just a great play by Gabe. He made a move on the safety, it was pretty

much one-on-one when it got to that position so he made a great play and I had time, and just hit him in stride,” Hudson said. The drive stalled, however, when a third down pass intended for the end zone was batted down at the line of scrimmage. Redshirt sophomore kicker Alex Kacere’s subsequent 24-yard field goal put three points on the board for the Red team. Hudson finished the day completing 60 percent of his throws for 94 yards,


Men’s track attains sixth consecutive BSC title Paul Frazier

The Liberty University men’s and women’s track team took their talents to Myrtle Beach, S.C., to compete in the Big South Championships. The men’s team came into the weekend as the heavy favorites, seeking their sixth consecutive Outdoor Title and 17th title in 18 years. They achieved just that by running away with the competition, winning by 78 total team points. “The guys came out and performed well,” head coach Brant Tolsma said. “We expected to

win and we performed well in just about every event we wanted to.” Last year, the women were able to defeat rival Coastal Carolina in the Indoor Championships but could not complete the sweep, losing to the Chanticleers in the Outdoor Championships. They were looking to avoid that same fate this year after winning the Indoor Championship earlier this season. The two teams battled down to the very end, but after the dust settled, the Flames didn’t have enough, losing to Coastal Carolina by a very slim nineteen and a half point margin.

“We’re very disappointed we didn’t win. Winning the Big South is how we measure our program,” Tolsma said. Though he was disappointed they were not able to pull out the victory, Tolsma made it clear he is not dissatisfied with the teams’ effort. “Coastal Carolina is a very deserving champion,” Tolsma said. “We competed very well and it wasn’t a fluke they beat us. They were a better team in this event. We performed well and even over performed in a lot of events. We’re not disappointed in our performance, Nate Brown | Liberty Champion

See TRACK, B2 champs — Men’s track won their 17th Big South title.


B2/Liberty Champion

April 24, 2012

Men’s tennis completes season Mark Meyers

The Liberty Flames men’s tennis team’s season ended Thursday when they fell to Coastal Carolina in the first round of the Big South Conference tournament, 4-3. “We lost a heartbreaker,” senior Siim Tuus said. “We faced a good team, very close to our level, and one of us had to walk off the court with the loss and unfortunately, this time it was us.” The Flames rushed out to a lead by winning the doubles point. All-conference doubles partners Tuus and Gian Lemmi won their match 8-5, while Tristan Stayt and Shea Thomas upended their doubles opponent 8-5 as well. “(Earning all conference honors) means that all the work that Siim and I have put into the program has paid off,” Lemmi said. Seniors Lemmi and Mandeep Yadav each won their respective singles matches, but that was not enough to carry the Flames through to the next round. Tuus, who was named to the all-conference singles team for the third straight year, was shut down by Coastal Carolina senior Danny Heidecker 6-1, 7-5 in their No. 1 singles match. “It is definitely an honor to earn all-conference singles hon-

Ruth Bibby | Liberty Champion

ousted — The Flames posted their best record since 1993 but came up short against Coastal. ors three years in a row, and it shows that we are making the right choices and doing the right things,” Tuus said. Tuus became the first Liberty tennis player to earn both singles and doubles all-conference honors since 2001. Tuus finished the regular season with a 14-6 singles record and partnered with

Lemmi to garner an 11-4 record. “(Tuus) will be our lone senior next year,” head coach Chris Johnson said. “He had an outstanding record this year and will no doubt have a great senior year as well.” Coastal sophomore Leo Christofides upended sophomore Shea Thomas 6-4, 5-7, 6-4

in the No. 2 singles match. In the No. 4 singles match, freshman Dillon Segur took the first set 7-5, but could not hold the lead as he was defeated in the second and third sets 6-2, 6-1. Freshman Wayne Harrell and Azuero finished their first seasons with singles records of 10-3 and 9-1, respectively.

The Flames will work hard over the off-season to improve and fill spots left by seniors Lemmi, Stayt and Yadav. Johnson will be hard at work recruiting talent for next season. Tuus will be focusing on his fitness over the off-season and will continue to work on his overall game. “We are very proud to be graduating three seniors, and they will be hard to replace,” Johnson said. “This past year’s recruiting class was ranked No. 19 in the nation, and they are developing nicely. We will add to that with this year’s recruiting class and continue to build our program.” “It has been a blessing to be part of the Liberty community and serve God through athletics,” Lemmi said. Thomas teamed up with Stayt to finish the regular season with a stellar doubles record of 13-2. The Flames finished the season with a record of 15-7, the best record for any Liberty tennis team since moving to NCAA Division I in 1993. Freshman Jorge Azuero was the conference No. 5 singles flight winner, while senior Mandeep Yadav was the No. 6 singles flight winner. MEYERS is a sports reporter.

Paintball finishes third Tyler Eacho

The Liberty University paintball team spent the weekend of March 13-15 competing in the National Collegiate Paintball Association championships in Lakeland, Fla. Having finished fourth at the national championships for the past two years, the team was eager for victory after completing their season with an 8-0 record and a No. 1 national ranking. Todd Hoglund, Liberty’s head coach, believed that his team had a solid chance to win it all in Florida. “This is our year, this is our chance,” Hoglund said of his team before heading to nationals. “I just want the team to play the hard-nosed paintball that we know how to play.” Liberty is the only college in the NCPA with its own on-campus paintball fields, giving the team a distinct home field advantage and providing the opportunity to host events at the university throughout the season. On Friday, March 13, the team opened in a preliminary match against Florida Atlantic University (FAU). Despite some paint issues and a slow start, they were able to defeat FAU 5-3. Later that day, the team played in its second preliminary match against the West Point Black Knights. Having warmed up in the previous match, the team was able to play some of its most solid paintball to date, defeating the Black Knights 8-3. “That second preliminary game was a good demonstration of just how well Liberty can play paintball,” Hoglund said. “It helped us to get fired up and ready for the matchup the next day with our conference rivals, the University of Tennessee.” Coming off of an impressive day in preliminaries, Liberty continued its solid play. The team played aggressive out of the gate and smashed Tennessee 9-3. With the win, Liberty advanced to the semi-finals, where they were matched up with Cal State Long Beach. The 49ers, who have two professional players on their team, had finished second in the NCPA championships for the past two years. They were sure to provide a challenge for the Flames. The game swung back and forth for the entire first half and ended up tied at halftime. In the second half, a tired Liberty team continued to play strong but was unable to maintain the momentum and ended up losing 5-8. The loss secured a third place finish for the team at the championships. “As proud as I am for the third place finish, I am more proud of the team’s character both on and off the field,” Hoglund said. “They truly demonstrated what it means to be Champions for Christ.” EACHO is a sports reporter.

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history — Liberty is the first team to finish 20 under par, as they won their second straight Big South Championship. in the standings this years because of the and Cambell’s Mitch Grey was voted GOLF continued from B1 transition process to Division I. Scholar-Athlete of the year by the Big Cambell’s Vaita Gullaume was voted South Sports Information Directors. Gardner-Webb finished in sixth-place The Flames are now awaiting their with an 885, ahead of Radford’s 892. Golfer of the Year and is the fifth High Point ended up in eighthplace with Cambell player to earn this honor. Ben NCAA Regional assignment at one of its 896. Presbyterian College finished Wheeler was voted Freshman of the the six locations in the nation. The at 900 for the 54-hole event, but is not Year, making him the school’s first hon- Regionals will be held May 17-19. eligible for the Conference champion- oree since 2008 and the fourth overall. ship until next season, and its team and Charleston Southern head coach Mike individual results did not officially count Wilson was voted Coach of the Year PEARSON is a sports reporter.

Nate Brown | Liberty Champion

heartbreaker — Liberty women’s track team fell short, losing to Coastal. They have not won the BSC since 2010. the Indoor Championships and I shook formers will still be aboard competing in TRACK continued from B1 his today, and you even saw some of the various events starting with the ECAC/ we’re just disappointed in the outcome.” girls hugging and congratulating each ICAA Outdoor Championships starting Coach Tolsma went on to praise the other after events. They’re a great team May 11, ending in early June, with the Chanticleers program and acknowl- and a great program, and it’s a fantastic USA Olympic Team trials. edged that he loves the competitiveness competitive rivalry we have.” The end of the Big South and respect the two programs share for one another. “He (Coastal’s coach Jeff Championships marks the unofficial end FRAZIER is a sports reporter. Jacobs) shook my hand when we won to the Flames season, but the top per-


April 24, 2012

Liberty Champion/B3

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B4/Liberty Champion

April 24, 2012

Paul to compete in Dew Games Brent Washburn

Ryan Paul is one of the top athletes in snowboarding today. With a silver medal in X Games Street this past January, he continues to be on the up and coming list of the best riders in the country. Paul was one of the Snowboarders for Christ members who came to Liberty University last summer to help teach Liberty Mountain Snowflex Centre’s summer camps. SFC is a mission based out of Summit County, Col., that strives to reach the snow-sports industry with the message of Jesus Christ. Paul will be returning to Liberty University this week for the Dew Games at the Snowflex Centre and, as an X Games medalist, will be a huge contender in the rail jam portion of the competition. The new stair-set feature that will be opened for the rail jam will fit Paul’s style perfectly. It’s

been speculated that he will try a few of the tricks that won him a silver medal — tricks such as 50-50 to wildcat backfield out, or a ledge to a backside rodeo 540 out (backflip 180). The X Games Street silver medal marks the best finish of Paul’s career. Paul was narrowly beaten by gold medal winner Forest Bailey, who won with a combined score of 88. Paul boasted a combined score of 83, and bronze medalist Nick Visconti came in with a combined score of 76. Paul is famous for flipping out of rails. Flips out of rails are impressive because flips are usually only seen in big-air events, and when they are smaller scale they are much harder. The Dew Games will be hosted by the Snowflex Centre Saturday, April 28.

WASHBURN is a sports reporter.

Ruth Bibby| Liberty Champion

golden — The Dew Games will feature pros from all over the country.

Ruth Bibby | Liberty Champion

domination — Liberty’s new team was unveiled this past Saturday. With a new look on both sides of the ball, the offense struggled while the defense excelled.

FOOTBALL continued from B1 with no touchdowns or interceptions. Defensively, redshirt junior lineman Corey Freeman led the charge, tallying two and a half sacks. Freeman was one of eight defensive players with a sack in the scrimmage. Coach Gill was very enthusiastic about the play of his front seven. “The guys play with a passion on the defensive side of the ball. That’s what we wanted to do: play with passion and know how to finish, and I think you saw a good example of that today for some individual guys but also as a unit,” Gill said. “It feels very good to have defensive depth and talent. Good, bad or indifferent, this is probably the first situation that I’ve been in where we’ve probably been a little better on the defensive side when I come into a program…Defense is always a good thing. I’m an offensive minded guy, but we’re a team. And if you can stop them,

you’ll have a great chance to win some football games.” Players attribute the new 3-4 defensive scheme to their success thus far. “I feel free,” Freeman said. “I can just go out there and run wild. They really do a great job of making it simple and allow for the d-line to go out there and just play and play fast.” Ayers, whose interception return for a touchdown provided fans with the only touchdown to celebrate, shared Freeman’s feelings about the defense. “The transition is great,” Ayers said. “He’s (coach Wimberly) coming in coaching us up, getting everything right, basically explaining things. He’s trying to teach us. We still basically have the same reads, it’s still just going out there and playing football.” The brief halftime featured a farewell to last year’s senior class, as well as the presentation of the Luke 2:52 award and the Samkon Gado award.

Luke 2:52 reads, “And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.” (ESV) The award is given to a player from last year’s squad that most personified the football team’s goal of developing players athletically, academically, spiritually and socially. This year’s award went to senior defensive back Brandon Robinson. Robinson was one of three players that led the Gridiron Bible Study for players on Monday nights. The Samkon Gado award, named for former Liberty running back who went on to play for the Green Bay Packers and Houston Texans, goes to the most improved offensive and defensive player of the spring. Redshirt sophomore offensive tackle Mitch Hanson was the recipient on offense. Hanson will be competing for the starting job at left tackle. He redshirted last year, while earning his way on to the Big South Presidential Honor Roll. On defense, the award went to another

lineman, redshirt senior defensive tackle Bryant Lewellyn. “I think, according to him (Lewellyn), and according to our defensive staff, us coming to a 4-3 from a 3-4 has helped him as a player. It’s brought a lot more things that you didn’t see when he was playing in the odd front. He’s a strong kid, very aggressive, good first step, uses his hands well, so he’s a guy that has some skills.” In referring to the quarterback race, Gill said that a complete depth chart will be published within a couple of weeks, but that overall he was very pleased with the development of his team. “I just want to thank the fans for coming out, for their support, and we’re excited to be here as far as our staff,” Gill said. “I think it’s going to be a great year here in 2012.” HARVEY is a sports reporter.

April 24, 2012



Vols’ Pat reaches the Summitt

Andrew Woolfolk

Certain names are viewed as synonymous with their respective sports. Babe Ruth is baseball, Pele is soccer, Michael Jordan is basketball. In women’s basketball, one name comes to mind: Pat Summitt. After 38 years as the leader of the Tennessee Lady Volunteers, Summit decided to resign as head coach. Summit’s recent Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis in August of last year escorted her from the program she built. Summitt will now serve as head coach emeritus for the Vols, which means she no longer serves her position but is allowed to keep her title in a show of honor and appreciation. Summitt leaves behind a legacy that hardly any coach, man or woman, can compare to. Hired as head coach in 1974 as a 22-year-old, Summitt was the

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Liberty Champion/B5

major factor in the movement that brought the entire sport of women’s basketball out of obscurity. “We have grown the game of women’s basketball, each and every day along the way supported by the best fans in the country. No doubt,” Summitt said in her retirement press conference. Working on a starting salary of $250 a month, Summitt laid down the foundation of a dynasty. Year after year, you could bet that Summitt and her Lady Vols would be a force to be reckoned with come March. Excellence was an expectation for Summitt at Knoxville. She showed dominance by winning eight championships, more than anyone in women’s basketball, and 1,098 games, tops in men and women’s basketball. She showed consistency by never having a losing season. She showed leadership by making every one of her players earn

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greatness — Pat Summit ends her career as the winningest basketball coach in NCAA men’s and women’s history. a degree. Through it all, she did it with class, never suffering from allegations of violations of any sort that seem to shadow winning coaches today. Instead, Summitt used her coaching style to reach the top.

She had the wisdom and stoic intensity of John Wooden. She had the demanding determination of Bob Knight. As with Dean Smith, players looked to her as a second parent. She was the consummate matriarch figure for

her team. Now, Summitt embarks on her next endeavor, fighting off the detrimental effects of Alzheimer’s disease with the help of donations made to the Pat Summitt Foundation. Like the Jimmy V Foundation in men’s basketball, The Pat Summitt Foundation holds a yearly slate of games to raise money for research of the disease. “There’s not going to be any pity party, I’ll make sure of that,” Summitt said in an interview with She will undoubtedly fight the disease with the same intensity as she had on game day with her players. Through it all, Summitt can take solace in this fact. She has given fans memories that will never fade away.

WOOLFOLK is a sports reporter.

Gill’s defense outshines offense

Nate Brown

If the spring game may be used as any indication, we’ve learned a few things about Turner Gill’s 2012 football squad that takes its first snap against Wake Forest in less than 130 days. Big D The 2012 Flames looked like the Bears of the early 80s, the Steelers of the 70s or the modern day Baltimore Ravens — teams built to hit first, ask why later. Gill’s switch to the 4-3 front is a good move for the personnel he has available. In this front, redshirt junior former Samkon Gado award-winner Paco Varol and redshirt junior Corey Freeman are

unleashed to be the true quarterback-hunting defensive ends they can be. Varol and Freeman each got to the quarterback multiple times in Saturday’s intrasquad matchup. On the inBrown terior, 300-plus Jibrille Fewell, who played for Gill in Buffalo, and redshirt senior Greg Schuster stuffed runs up the middle. Ryan Ayer’s pick-6 is evidence of the immediate affect of defensive coordinator and safety coach Robert Wimberly. Add in returning junior linebackers Scott Hyland and Chase Griffiths, who have a penchant for big plays (circa Presby, double overtime, last season) and

look out, Mike Ditka. Question marks Offensively, the Flames still have questions that weren’t answered Saturday. Three different quarterbacks took reps with the 1’s and the 2’s and none had an impressive stat sheet. Redshirt senior Tyler Brennan threw two interceptions in limited attempts, and both Brian Hudson and freshman Josh Woodrum had trouble throwing accurate passes. Hudson took the most of the three. Hudson put together the only offensive drive of the day, but that ended short of the endzone, courtesy of Freeman’s defense. A host of backs ran the ball Saturday. Liberty Christian Academy product Des-

mond Rice got the start with the red-clad 1’s, sharing touches with Chase Barnett. Last year’s Aldreikis Allen and Sirchauncey Holloway duo shared snaps with the blue 2’s. Rice and Allen were consistent on the ground with Maurice Jones-Drew and Brandon Jacobs styles, respectively. Holloway and Barnett ran into Fewell, Schuster and the gang soon and often. Gill had pegged this team as a “playmaking” and “exciting” team upon his arrival. With Saturday’s game as a lens, I’m sure that will happen. Although, it might be much more Dick Butkis’ style of “exciting” than Gill had in mind. BROWN is the sports editor.


B6/Liberty Champion

April 24, 2012

David Horton inspires student runners

Surpassing 100,000 total miles is not uncommon for automobiles. But what about humans?

Daniel Garcia

If Dr. David Horton’s body had an odometer, his would read 113,000. And he did it without the help of four wheels. A professor of health sciences at Liberty University for 33 years, Horton’s prolific running career began in 1977 while pursuing his doctorate in physical education at the University of Arkansas. “The teacher was a marathon runner,” Horton said, “and he made fun of us students. He said, ‘How can you promote others to get into running and exercise if you don’t? A lot of you are out of shape and overweight.’ I thought, ‘He’s got a point there.’ Basically, I got into running to be an example for others.” Since 1977, Horton has ran approximately 160 ultra marathons (any race that exceeds the 26.2 mile marathon standard), 30 marathons coast to coast of the continental U.S. (1995) and holds the record for running both the Appalachian Trail (1991) and the Pacific Crest Trail (2005). Horton’s record-setting completion of the Appalachian

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miles and miles — Health Sciences professor David Horton began running in 1977 and hasn’t stopped since, leading an active lifestyle and participating in marathons such as the Tour Davide. Trail took 52 days and nine hours to complete – an average of approximately 41.7 miles per day.

Currently, Horton uses his experience and accomplishments in running to both help and inspire his students. He teaches a

running class (participating in a marathon is a course requirement) and has directed approximately 65 ultra marathons, in-

cluding annual races like the Mountain Masochist 50-mile trail run and the Holiday Lake 50K. Horton said he organizes the races “to get other people into doing what I’m doing.” “I think it motivates and inspires people to do it,” Horton said, “and if more and more people do it, and more and more average people do it, other people think ‘Well, I can do that.’ Basically, we have a whole community now of people who run long races.” Horton offered his advice for to-be runners: “Do it. Do it on a regular basis, and make it fun. Take your time, do it four, five, six days a week. Get with a group who’s doing it, good peer pressure.” “Take my running class. A lot of people take my class and their primary motivation is to like running, because in the past, running has been used as punishment. Run to run, just to run, and run long distances? How can that be fun? How can that be enjoyable? It can be.”

GARCIA is a feature reporter.

Intramural sports to hold late night event

Students to break in the new East Campus volleyball courts with a Beach Bash tournament Brittany Keeney

As a result of the popularity of the new beach volleyball facility on East Campus, Liberty University has decided to host its first Beach Bash Volleyball Tournament on Friday, April 27. The tournament is expected to last 12 hours, starting Friday at 6 p.m. and continuing on until 6 a.m. Saturday. The registered teams are scheduled to play three pool play games between 6 p.m. and midnight. The playoffs are single elimination and will not take place until 12:30 a.m. on Saturday. The final championship game is expected to occur around 4:30 that morning. According to the website, matches will consist of one game lasting to 25 points. Director of Intramural Sports Ed Barnhouse said, “The courts are being used heavily for pick-

up games and intramural sports. We decided to combine that popularity with the popularity of a late night event.” Registration filled up in less than a week. According to Barnhouse, the tournament only allows 32 co-ed teams consisting of 10 players per team to participate because of time restraints. The low price of $10 also enticed a lot of students to register. Barnhouse said prizes will be distributed at the end of the night to the top three teams. Some prizes teams can look forward to include beach volleyballs, T-shirts and gift cards to various local businesses. According to the website announcement, entertainment will be provided by D.J. Andrew Claudio from 90.9 The Light. Late night snacks are included for participants and others to refuel, some of which include cookies, brownies, assorted po-

UNDER THE LIGHTS— Students will get the chance to compete in a 12 hour volleyball competition at the newly constructed sand volleyball courts on East Campus. tato chips, fruit and ice cream tion is now closed, “anyone can Anyone wishing to obtain sandwiches. Barnhouse also said come watch some games, get a more information on the event the concessions stand will be up late night snack and hang out.” can contact intramuralsports@ and running. Also, for those students who Barnhouse encourages every- do not already know, the event is one to come share their support approved as a late night activity KEENEY is a feature at the event. Although registra- for players and spectators. reporter.

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April 24, 2012

Liberty Champion/B7

Fearlessly Chique enlightens students Fashion blog hosts ‘We Are The Light’ event to celebrate modesty in life, style Emily Bass

As the smell of hairspray, overheated curling irons and cupcakes fill the air, girls in oversize button up shirts file into Towns Auditorium for their last touch ups before the Fearlessly Chique fashion show. The show, hosted by the Fearlessly Chique website and blog, was emceed by the creator of Fearlessly Chique Sarah Joyner of Liberty University, who was assisted by her consumer sciences professor Ruth Gomes. Gomes and Joyner work together to promote what Gomes describes as “a modesty movement.” “Even the secular world is inspired by modesty,” Gomes said. “They call this a modesty movement, and I think they are right.” Gomes expresses that by dressing fashionably as a Christian, you increase your witnessing power by building credibility in the secular world. Both Gomes and Joyner are passionate about doing this in a modest format. “You don’t have to be a bag lady to be a Christian,” Gomes said. Joyner credits the final push to get the website off the ground to reading Jeremiah 29:11-14 in her devotional time one morning. “I had been praying about how God could use my passion for fashion to glorify Himself,” Joyner said. Joyner explained that in these key verses in Jeremiah, she felt the Lord impressing upon her heart that she was to use her passion for fashion to share with other women that they can be set free from the lies that the world

Ryan Perry| Liberty Champion

Fearless fashionistas — Students modeled examples of the latest summer styles that looked both well put together and modest. tells them about fashion and femininity. Joyner began Fearlessly Chique in spring 2011 and is continuously working with a

team of other women passionate about modesty to stay on top of the latest fashion trends. “I looked to the media, and my favorite celebrities dictated

who I was and how I saw myself rather than finding my identity in Christ,” Joyner said. “As I have developed in my relationship with the Lord, I have

grown to see the importance of modesty.” Allie Stollings, a senior at Liberty University, posts the fashion blogs for the website. Stollings’ passion is to show girls of all ages how to implement modesty into their lifestyle. “A lot of girls would like to be modest, but they just don’t know how,” Stollings said. “You can really use accessories to make new trends modest.” The website, which can be accessed at fearlesslychique., also contains devotional material written by Liberty junior Caitlin Bradt, modest fixes, a guys panel on modesty, events and resources galore. The fashion show displayed the newest trends for spring and summer 2012 in the most modest of fashions. “The trends for 2012 are either extremely long or extremely short,” Bradt said. “And here at Fearlessly Chique, we like to keep it extremely modest.” Joyner displayed models of all body types with the newest trends, some of which included color blocking, hi-lo skirts and dresses, chiffon, nautical stripes and oversize blazers. Shari Falwell of Thomas Road Baptist Church also addressed the women on the area of modesty and what it has meant to her over her lifetime. The contributors of Fearlessly Chique encourage women to stay connected by accessing their website in addition to following them on both Facebook and Twitter.

Bass is a feature reporter.

Bringing good health to Hill City Allison Cundiff

In February, mayor Joan Foster challenged citizens of Lynchburg to “lighten up” and lose 24,000 pounds (12 tons). Since then, 371 people have lost 565 pounds and logged 2189 exercise miles collectively with the Live Healthy Lynchburg program. Liberty’s Health Promotion department has been actively involved in this Live Healthy Lynchburg initiative. Its Program Planning and Evaluation in Health Education (Health 453) class has been participating in the pilot program by collaborating with the Lynchburg chapter of Action Communities for Health, Innovation and Environmental Change (ACHIEVE). ACHIEVE is sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and “identifies, promotes and shares evidence and practice-based strategies and provides technical assistance related to chronic disease prevention and health promotion” through its Healthy Communities Program, according to the organization’s website. The class helped brainstorm program plans and interventions that could be implemented in the community by college students, health educators and medical professionals. The class was divided into two groups for the project. The first group is working to raise

awareness about Live Healthy Lynchburg to the Liberty community and to get faculty, staff and students to sign up on the website. The second group is putting some of its intervention ideas into practice within the Liberty community. One of their goals is to increase awareness about the importance of physical activity by encouraging students to walk around campus rather than drive or take the bus. The group will determine the distances between locations and then make that information available to students, faculty, staff and visitors to campus (for example, they have counted the number of steps from DeMoss Hall to Green Hall and several staircases). The program was designed to educate the community about healthy lifestyles and encourage participants to make live-saving changes in their habits. The initiative is being supported by local medical professionals, businesses, health educators and churches. It is sponsored by Central Virginia Health District, Centra Foundation and the City of Lynchburg. “With truly alarming rising rates of obesity, diabetes and overweight children, interventions are definitely needed to change not only the health of adults but also set the stage for a healthier next generation,” Christine Anasco, a junior Liberty University

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A WAY OF LIFE — Live Healthy Lynchburg’s website promotes health to Lynchburg residents in various ways. Health Promotion student, said. “It’s not simply about people losing weight.” Participants can keep track of their progress by logging on to, where members can sign up confidentially and log miles they have walked, jogged, run, bicycled or swam. Members are also given the option to register under their workplace, university or the City of Lynchburg. So far, Liberty University has lost 29 pounds collectively under the Live Healthy Lynchburg program. Live Healthy Lynchburg also provides information on the medical risks related to being overweight and information on support group meetings. provides suggestions for healthy activities families can partake in locally and

tips on nutrition and healthy eating. “Interventions are being made to encourage the people of Lynchburg to become more ac-

tive, eat better and learn about the health risks associated with obesity and poor nutrition,” Anasco said. For more informa-

tion about Live Healthy Lynchburg, . CUNDIFF is a feature reporter.


B8/Liberty Champion

April 24, 2012

CSER acknowledges exceptional students Christian/Community service supervisors nominate volunteers for quality work Desiree Wheeler

Kendra Alleyne

Courtney Wiest

Julie Gonzalez Each semester Liberty University students volunteer their freetime between exams, homework and living life in the ‘Burg to give back to the community and benefit those who are in need. Sophomore Julie Gonzalez was nominated for the Christian Community Service award for her outstanding commitment to excellence in volunteering for the Lovettsville Dolphins Swim Team this past summer. Gonzalez is a Communications major who is actively involved in the National Broadcast Society (NBS) on campus and is a prayer leader on East 41. Donating her time to the less fortunate is one of Gonzalez’s hobbies. She spends her time volunteering for organizations such as the International Justice Mission (IJM), the Boys and Girls Club of America and helping those in need at the Daily Bread in downtown Lynchburg. “I think CSER is important because it forces us to focus on somebody other than ourselves for at least 20 hours every semester. It provides a wonderful opportunity to truly live out 1 Corinthians 15:58. As Christians,

Ryan Perry | Liberty Champion

above and beyond — Students Yuchen Hu (left) and Julie Gonzalez (right) have shown extraordinary service to others around them. we are called to serve others and I think CSER just reaffirms that,” Gonzalez said. CSER supervisor Jacob Mason nominated Gonzalez because of her hard work and dedication during the course of her volunteering. “Miss Gonzalez consistently managed to teach, encourage and inspire. She spent the greater part of the summer devoting several hours a day, five times a week, without compensation to helping families and kids participate in a wholesome and character-building activity,” Mason said. Gonzalez is focused on her future goal of becoming an editor and chief at a magazine after the completion of her degree at Liberty. “I love the entire process of creating a magazine from the layout and design process to interviewing/writing stories and

“CSER is important because it forces us to focus on somebody other than ourselves.” — julie gonzalez editing them, to getting advertisers and publicizing the magazine to event planning and promotional events. I would like to use the medium of print in the form of a magazine as an outreach to non-believers,” Gonzalez said. “I cannot tell you how blessed I feel to attend Liberty University. The volunteer opportunities I have had at Liberty are beyond compare, and I wish that everybody had the incredible opportunity to attend such a wonderful institution. You can see God moving on this campus every day, and I am truly honored to say that I have been a part of it,” Gonzalez said.

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Yuchen Hu Yuchen Hu was nominated for the Christian Service Volunteer of the Year award because of his service in the International Office. Hu also acted as an ambassador for incoming international students. “My duties were to help international students move in (here) and help them adapt,” Hu said. “When I came here as an international student, I was eager for others to help me. So I am happy when I can help other students in trouble,” Hu said. Along with his work, Hu had great experiences while volun-

teering and met several new people. His supervisor, Kristina Venable, and several friends made his time in the International Office an unforgettable one. “I met new friends, many who came from the same city as me in China. My supervisor always smiles. She is a great supervisor,” Hu said. Volunteer hours for Hu were long and tiring, many times starting at 7 a.m. and ending at 8 p.m. This schedule made sure that he put in much more than 20 hours, however, he enjoyed his time volunteering and learned a lot. “It seems like a tired and hard job, but it is not like that. It is a job that makes people happy and excited. I was super tired, but I enjoyed it,” Hu said. Hu has volunteered with the International Office for two semesters and hopes to do it again next semester.

See CSER, B9


April 24, 2012

Liberty Champion/B9

Meet the rest of the nominees Each year, the Center for Christian/Community Service (CSER) recognizes students for their outstanding community service efforts. Through their supervisor’s nominations, students are considered for their commitment and character in working with the community. One student each year is awarded Liberty University’s Christian/Community Service Volunteer of the Year Award and given the title of Volunteer of the Year.

Ryan Perry | Liberty Champion

reaching out — Liberty students Anders Bengston (left) and Justine Middleton (right) are nominated for their superior service.

CSER continued from B8 Anders Bengston Senior Anders Bengtson has also been nominated for this award. He is in the Interdisciplinary Studies program and is able to design his own degree with the classes he wants. His areas of study are business, religion and Greek. Bengston has been an administrative assistant. According to Barbara Sherman, the Director, Associate Professor of Individualized Studies and Center for Professional and Continuing Education, Bengston has shown outstanding qualities including always being on time, being flexible with time, being attentive, having a cheerful spirit and being confidential with information. “I am honored to [have been] nominated,� Bengston said. “I have grown not only spiritually but as an individual by working

with Mrs. Sherman. She has guided me in huge decisions for the past two years. I am so privileged to be able to work with her throughout the week.� Bengston said that CSER is an opportunity for one to grow as an individual. “Never discredit that opportunity, but use it to motivate yourself to achieve your highest goals,� Bengston said. “We also have the opportunity to help, minister and advance the Gospel through our work ethic.� Bengston started a business called Anders Ink when he was in sixth grade. His goal is to make that into a sustainable business. “My goal is to be able to provide for my family first, then be able to give to organizations and develop ministries,� Bengston said. Justine Middleton Through her experience in doing community service, sophomore Justine Middleton has had the opportunity to be

involved in a plethora of things. The Individualized Studies major has been nominated for CSER Volunteer of the Year award. She is involved at Calvary Chapel in children’s ministry, and attends prayer group and an off-campus girl’s Bible study. According to Middleton, God has blessed her with the opportunity to hear many of Sherman’s life experiences with family, friends and strangers and how God has worked in her life and relationships. Barbara Sherman, The director and Associate Professor of Individualized studies and Center for Professional and Continuing Education, nominated Middleton after being amazed by her care and positive attitude. “She is a woman who gives so much love. She has been gracious to show me love through kind words of encouragement, appreciation, quality conversation and gifts throughout the year,� Middleton said. “I feel it is a gracious honor to be nominated by such a strong, smart,

godly woman.� Middleton encourages students to get involved in serving Christ on their halls, on campus, in class, at church and off campus through all of their relationships and tasks. “The hours do not need to be documented, but just be a part of loving your neighbor,� Middleton said. “This gives God glory.� Middleton’s goals in life include completing college having learned how to handle stress a little better. “I want to guard my heart from stress and to love God and love others,� Middleton said. “I want to go on to do whatever it is He is calling me to do and not let the stresses of life pull me down.� WHEELER is a feature reporter. ALLEYNE is a feature reporter. WIEST is a feature reporter.

This year’s nominees are: Mark Osborne Justine Middleton Liza Borders Kevin Tobias Lucas Wilson Meagen Law Anders Bengtson Gabriella Peguero Julie Gonzalez Katherine Moore Rebekah Mercer Melody Monroe Yuchen Hu Steven Sigmon Abby Retzlaff Rob Reaves Sabrina Hardy Rob Nitschke Cody Leeworthy Erik Steidl Kenny Hubbell Heather Thomas Stina Sanderson For information about the 2011-12 CSER Volunteer of the Year Award winner, and other outstanding students, look in next week’s issue of the Liberty Champion.


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APRIL 24, 2012

Geralds fulfills dream in Wyndhurst Daniel Garcia

Food and fellowship are often synonymous with Sunday afternoon lunches and Thanksgiving dinners, and Gerald’s owner and executive chef Michelle Hamrick has an exceptional understanding of this relationship. Geralds is located at 112 Tradewynd Drive in Lynchburg’s Wyndhurst community. The store recently entered its second year of business April 13, a milestone that Hamrick said she reached with the help of her family. “Gerald is my father. I named it after my dad, and I have a lot of family here,” she said. “I’ve got two sisters here that cook with me, and a brother, and my daughter works here. Even though it’s my restaurant, I’ve got a lot of family support and I employed a lot of them…and after two years they’re still with me, so it’s even better.” Prior to opening Geralds, her first restaurant, Hamrick said she spent more than 15 years in the food industry, working for Olive Garden, Holiday Inn, and managing a Applebee’s for 10 years. Opening Geralds was always a dream of hers, she said. “I started to look at different places. I didn’t think that (the current building) was a good option for me, meaning that I didn’t think I could handle it. I thought that it was too big, too quick, that kind of thing,” Hamrick said. “But (the owners of the building) approached me about it. They knew of me, and knew what I was trying to do. We talked, we negotiated and just made it happen. It’s been quite a blessing.” Geralds features a spacious dining area, furnished with wooden tables and chairs, topped with dark brown table cloths. Flat-screen televisions and contemporary music provide a relaxed dining atmosphere and outdoor seating and Wi-Fi are available. In addition to an inviting facility, Geralds offers a wide variety of menu choices.

Jody Johnston | Liberty Champion

Food and fun — After working in the food industry for 15 years, Michelle Hamrick opened her own restaurant, offering the Wyndhurst community a warm atmosphere to dine in. “We have a very diverse menu,” Hamrick said. “Someone could come in here and order an entrée for $8, or they could order an entrée for $30. (We have) all different types of food in different sizes, too.” According to Hamrick, dishes come in both small and large sizes. The restaurant’s online menu features an extensive list of dishes ranging from Grilled Eggplant Caprese and Shrimp and Grits (a best seller, according to Hamrick) to the Steakhouse Mushroom Burger and The Italian Job— an Italian sausage covered in peppers and mozzarella cheese. “We have a very gourmet (part of) the menu and then we have a very casual end too,” Hamrick said. “We sort of label it ‘gourmet comfort food.’ A lot of it is just your traditional items with a special twist on it.” “Another big pull here is we do a soup and salad bar at lunchtime and that is huge,” she said. “Probably half of our business is our lunch business.” Hamrick said the salad bar

is chef-inspired and changes daily, featuring chicken and egg salads, pasta, homemade soups and desserts. The salad bar is available weekdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., she said. In addition, Hamrick said that the restaurant also features additional non-menu items on a “feature board” that change daily. A menu featuring a wide array of items, combined with an inviting atmosphere, makes Geralds a dining option that appeals to anyone. “I would love to get more college kids out here,” Hamrick said. “Especially if you’re a foodie, or if you like just hanging out in a positive environment. It’s really nice.” A full dinner menu, contact information, hours of operation and more can be found at Geralds can also be found on Facebook at GARCIA is a feature reporter.

Auto skills lead to student business Kendra Alleyne

Greg Buscher never thought that as a junior in college he would own a successful auto repair service that caters to hundreds of Liberty University students and Lynchburg residents. Buscher, a Broadcast Communications student at Liberty University, came up with the idea for “Buscher’s Auto,” a mobile auto repair service that fixes cars where they sit, as a way to make some extra money. “I didn’t have a job, and I was living on my friend’s couch and eventually in the back of my car while I was looking for a job,” Buscher said. Having worked at auto repair shops in the past, Buscher began to fix his friends’ cars and soon, those friends told other friends. In a matter of months, his client list was too much for him to handle on his own. “Before long, I was fixing their friend’s cars, and I didn’t mind getting paid a little more for that, and I actually had to hire another guy to fix all the

Amy Marquez| Liberty Champion

Steering his future — Student entrepreneur Greg Buscher turned his hobby into a business, offering car care to students and residents around the Lynchburg area. cars that were coming in,” Buscher said. Buscher’s Auto now employs six individuals as the business continues to grow, experiencing a monthly doubling of clients in the first year. “We’re almost completely word of mouth, and we’re actually at a point where we can barely

handle the volume we have now. People find someone they trust at a price they can afford and they tell their friends about it,” Buscher said. Buscher stressed that his service can be used for all Liberty University students and faculty, as well as people in the Lynchburg area.

“We actually have taken on a lot of the Liberty staff and professors, as well as students. We deal with the college students, and we’re a lot more approachable and recognizable,” Buscher said. “Professors don’t have time to drive their cars to a shop and leave them overnight, so it helps them to

have their cars done that day, often while they’re at work,” Buscher said. Buscher and his staff are able to obtain car parts within 24 hours and can perform any service from changing a brake light to engine repair. “We have commercial accounts with all major parts suppliers, and we

also offer the opportunity to use parts from salvage yards, which not all shops will do,” Buscher said. In the future, Buscher plans to gather investors and draft a business plan to be presented to a national board. “Our hope is to go toe to toe with Meineke and those types of shops, and we have now grown to be five times our original size. We have done well,” Buscher said. Buscher had some words of advice for students who may want to open their own businesses. “Make all your decisions on your knees and stick to a straight path. Know your last move when you make your first, and when you make a decision know that God led you to it,” Buscher said. To find out more information about “Buscher Auto” or to make an appointment, visit their Facebook page at Buscher Auto LLC, email buscher at or call 434-987-3518.

ALLEYNE is a feature reporter.

Liberty Champion April 24, 2012  
Liberty Champion April 24, 2012  

Liberty Champion April 24, 2012