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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

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Volume 31 • Issue 20

Students compete

th ‘13 Lynchburg, Va.

The Paint Race

“SCCA Goes Pro” Video Contest begins Greg Leasure

Students from Liberty University’s School of Communication & Creative Arts (SCCA) will soon be creatively showcasing some of their best work from their undergraduate education in the “SCCA Goes Pro” Video Contest, according to SCCA Dean Norman Mintle. The competition, which will run from April 7 until 12 p.m. April 21, encourages undergraduate SCCA students to select a project they have completed for one of their classes and create a 1-to-2-minute video showcasing their work in the most creative and quality-focused way possible, Mintle said. The video must demonstrate exceptional work as well as skills they have learned that will help them in their chosen field. The winner will receive a GoPro Hero3+ Silver Edition camera.


Center proposal

Falwell announces possible civic center Sophia Hahn

President Jerry Falwell announced at a faculty meeting Wednesday, April 2, that Liberty University has presented a draft proposal to Lynchburg officials for a civic center. According to the press release, the proposal could serve as an outline for an agreement between the city and Liberty. “The proposal calls for the university to pay for its use of and to finance the construction of a new regional civic center on Candlers Mountain Road near its juncture with the U.S.460/U.S. 29 bypass,” according to the release. Liberty would provide the land for the structure, but the city would own and maintain the facility, the proposal reports. Liberty would also be under a long-term lease for 40 - 45 events per year, which include men’s basketball and hockey as well as concerts and special events, but the Vines Center would continue to hold Convocation and smaller events. “For Liberty, (it’s) a question of whether to invest in upgrading the Vines Center — adding seats, an upper deck, connecting Vines to the new parking deck with sheltered pedestrian walkways and adding ice for hockey games — or contributing to the new civic center in return for the rights to use it,” Falwell said.


Leah Stauffer | Liberty Champion

SPLATTER — Students participated in a 5k sponsored by Life4U for the Children’s Miracle Network April 5.

Cruz crusades for freedom Texas U.S. senator encourages students to take a stand for their religious rights Mark Tait

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, expressed concern for attacks on American religious liberty and encouraged students to take a stand for their freedom in his Convocation address April 2. “We are here today to talk about something a lot more important than politics,” Cruz said. “I’m here today to encourage you — to encourage you in your faith, to encourage you in freedom, to encourage you in standing up for the principles that define you.” The senator and Republican presidential primary candidate, who once filibustered the senate floor for more than 21 hours in protest of the Affordable Care Act, noted threats to religious liberty resulting from the ObamaCare plan. Cruz specifically discussed the Supreme Court case involving Hobby Lobby’s suit

regarding the Affordable Care Act’s requirement for employers to provide contraceptives when the action violates their religious beliefs. “For a nation that was founded by pilgrims fleeing religious oppression, how (far have) we gone that the federal government is now litigating against our citizens, trying to force us to violate our faith?” Cruz said. “Religious liberty has never been more under assault.” Along with the Hobby Lobby case, Cruz said he opposed the Obama Administration’s attempt to collect millions of dollars in fines from the Little Sisters of the Poor, a group of nuns committed to reaching the poor, for neglecting to provide contraceptives. While Cruz mentioned a number of attacks on religious freedom, he encouraged students to respond by taking action to protect their freedom. “If you believe in religious

Leah Stauffer | Liberty Champion

MOTIVE — Cruz emphasized the need for students to act. liberty, if you believe in standing for your faith, if you believe in the liberties that are protected in our Constitution, then I




Liberty hosted its 18th annual Civil War Seminar A3 April 3-4.

Students should participate in the upcoming City Council election May 6. A4

Liberty’s Human Resources team won the Southeastern Competition. B8

News Opinion Sports Feature

would encourage and call you to act,” Cruz said.

See CRUZ, A3 A1 A4 B1 B8


A2/Liberty Champion

APRIL 8, 2014

Runway goes green FACS students prepare for their annual fashion show Evelyn Hylton

Danae Samms | Liberty Champion

DISCUSSION — Softball Coach Dot Richardson and players Kelby Allen and Katie Zavodny talked about their season.

Flames Club holds luncheon Athletic teams share about their accomplishments from the last semester Shae Leitz

The Liberty Flames Club held its last luncheon of the semester Thursday, April 3, at 12 p.m. for its dedicated members to enjoy a meal and learn about how Liberty University sports teams performed this semester. Director of Athletics Development and Flames Club Bob Good introduced the event with prayer requests and recognition of all the people who helped make the event special, including Aaron Thomson, Flames Club associate, and Megan Robinson, director of Donor Relations for the Flames Club. Members had the opportunity to listen in on a question and answer time

between Alan York, Flames Sports Desk host, and both the softball and baseball teams. They had an opportunity to ask their own questions at the end. Head Softball Coach Dot Richardson told a story about how two future players at Liberty had a realization that changed the entire sport of softball for them. “It’s not about playing the sport and winning the games, it’s about showing the gifts you have been given to give glory to the Lord,” Richardson said. When asked how their team has improved, the catcher for Liberty’s softball team, Kelby Allen, explained how they have taken a step forward as a team. “Our defense has improved,” Allen said. “Our

offense has improved. We’re feeling pretty good.” Members of the Flames Club are typically parents of Liberty students, alumni, donors and anyone with a connection through the university and range in all ages, Thompson said. According to Good, there are eight different ticket levels that members can choose from, starting with $60 at level one and ending with $12,000 at level eight. “Members can enjoy preferred seating, parking and hospitality privileges based on their ticket level,” Good said. Another part of the Flames Club is the annual fund, according to Good. “It is an organization where you are asking everybody who cares about

Liberty athletics to make an annual gift to the athletics program by joining the Flames Club,” Good said. Flames Club members who are interested in football can purchase one of the 18 luxury suites that are available, and they sell at $25,000 each, according to Good. “We have had a 97 percent occupancy rate over the last four years … with the 18 luxury suites, because we have sold them out every year except one,” Good said. For more information about becoming a member or where to buy season pass tickets, visit flames. LEITZ is a news reporter.

Military spouses fellowship

Women gather at the Hancock Welcome Center for games and a bit of fun

Tiffany Samuels

The Liberty University Office of Military Affairs hosted its third Military Spouse Brunch at the Hancock Welcome Center Saturday, April 5. The event provided fellowship and food to approximately 20 women whose husbands are in the military. As the spouses enjoyed brunch, keynote speaker Soledad Moore provided advice for the wives. Ashley Eskridge, the Office of Military Affairs outreach coordinator, said the event has grown since its start. “It is awesome to see how each time we host this event, it just continues to grow,” Eskridge said. “We started off with having it once a year, and now we have it twice a year.” As the morning began, the wives played an ice-breaker game, and then they went around to each table

in order to match characteristics they had with other spouses. The first one to match five characteristics with another spouse received a prize. Among the guests at the brunch were women who were recognized for their marriages of 64 and 66 years. Eskridge acknowledged these women before introducing Moore, as the rest of the spouses applauded. As the spouses got to know one another, Moore went around and talked to women at each table. Moore, the wife of retired U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Dr. Barry Moore, shared a little of her story with different wives. Moore, whose husband is also the vice president for Outreach and Strategic Partnerships at Liberty, encouraged the wives to remain strong as they support their husbands as she spoke to them as

a whole. “I know what it is like, and I am sure the rest of you know the exact same thing,” Moore said. “The husbands are gone. We have the house to deal with and everything at home. It can be overwhelming, but we have a choice.” Moore said being the wife of a U.S. Marine Corps officer helped her experience different parts of the world. “One thing I was excited to see in the United States was the Statue of Liberty,” Moore said. “So (my husband) took me.” As a military wife, Moore said she and her family moved often. “I made up in my mind that I was going to keep myself busy and keep moving in spite of everything,” Moore said. According to Moore, she and her husband joined the U.S. Marine Corps scholarship foundation, which provides

Courtney Russo | Liberty Champion

SUPPORT —Military wives had the opportunity to fellowship with each other. scholarships to children with parents in the military. “You have probably been to events like these and joined foundations such as these,” Moore said. “These helped me build relationships and get connections.” Moore and her husband have three children, one of whom is a current U.S. naval officer. She said that being a mother developed strength. “One thing I had to have was courage,”

Moore said. “A mental strength was definitely needed, especially with kids. All and all, I learned that you have to grow where you are planted, and be happy where you are at. Self-motivation brought me a lot of happiness.” According to the Office of Military Affairs, another brunch will be hosted during the fall semester.

As the semester comes to a close, students have the opportunity to watch as more than 40 models walk the runway in handmade works of art, which make their debut in the Family and Consumer Science (FACS) Department’s “Go Green, Go Glam” fashion show April. 12. According to Fashion Show Advisor and FACS professor Matalie Howard, this year’s “Go Green, Go Glam” theme requires designers to use at least 60 percent organic, recycled and upcycled materials in their runway pieces. “The show starts in the fall with a launch party,” Howard said. “We share the theme of the show, get students excited, give rules. Every year is different regarding fabrics.” Howard explained that the show originated at the request of a student within the FACS Department eight years ago. Although Liberty’s first fashion show featured less than 10 designers and sold roughly 100 tickets to the event, this year’s show will feature 21 designers and 42 models with an expected turnout of more than 1000 attendees in the audience. “It gives our students an opportunity to show their designs,” Howard said. “Our goal through the show is to give students experience. It’s not a fly-by-night thing. It’s a whole lot more. My goal is for the students to fine tune their skills and talents. … In the end, they will be respected in the industry.” According to Howard, all designers are required to attend numerous meetings and a model selection throughout the year to determine who will wear their handmade outfits the runway. Each apparel piece will be judged by a range of fashion experts from local businesses to major names such as J. Crew, and various prizes will be awarded to designers who excel in creativity and innovation, Howard said. Afterward, audience members are welcomed to meet the designers and learn about their personal experiences throughout the process, from first sketches to the finished product. In order to keep progress continuing throughout the production phase, Fashion Show Director Kristin Goodrich, with the help of Assistant Director JaNique Cameron, has the responsibility of organizing and managing the show as well as coordinating meetings and minor events from start to finish. According to Goodrich, planning for the show starts at the beginning of the fall semester. “I basically put everything together … ” he said. “(I) pick the themes, coordinate the launch party and figure out deadlines.” According to Goodrich, designers for the show typically work on their apparel pieces for at least six months, and they are expected to turn in their finished work just shy of two weeks before the big event. Goodrich said, in addition to supporting the hard work of the young designers, a portion of every ticket will go to the Channel Initiative, a non-profit organization that is currently working on constructing and maintaining a healthcare facility. Liberty has been working with the Channel Initiative for nearly one year. “Every year, we pick a charity to donate some of the proceeds to,” Goodrich said. “The goal is to help women and families over there.” Goodrich also mentioned that the FACS Department has been donating disposal sanitary wipes to the impoverished people of the Congo in an effort to improve the overall quality of life for women and children. The fashion show will be held 8 p.m. in the Schilling Center and is scheduled to last for approximately one hour. HYLTON is a news reporter.

SAMUELS is a news reporter.



In the story last week about Keith Anderson’s run for city council seat, the article reported that there are five candidates for the Lynchburg City Council and two are incumbents. However, there are six candidates running for the council, and three of them are incumbents. The deadline to register to vote for the May 6 election is April 14.


Liberty Champion/A3

Civil War commemorated Liberty holds seminar to emphasize the importance of remembering American history Jesse Spradlin

Liberty University held the 18th Annual Civil War Seminar April 4-5, featuring prominent speakers such as the “nation’s leading authority on America’s Civil War” Dr. James “Bud” Robertson, according to the Danville Museum of Fine Arts and History website. The seminar also featured Virginia Military Institute graduate and former U.S. Army soldier Dr. Kyle Sinisi, Lt. Col. David J. White, who has earned four master’s degrees in relation to U.S. history and military and Executive Director at Sandusky Historic Foundation, Greg Starbuck. The speakers commemorated the Civil War, emphasizing the importance of remembering how the war influenced and helped create modern-day America. “Modern America was born in 1865,” Robertson said. “The nation can now proclaim we have liberty, but that liberty came from the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments, which were direct results of the Civil War itself.” Robertson said that no matter how you look at it, the way in which the United States currently operates is because of the “terrible, awful war.” White said the Civil War changed the nature of society and the union. “There’s no single event in American history that had the same impact on (America), the lasting impact, that those four years did,” White said. White also said that, in order to know where America is heading, it is essential to know what happened in the past. “You can have a good feel for

Marybeth Dinges | Liberty Champion

FREEDOM — Attendees learned about how the Civil War changed society. where we are in society today, but if you don’t know where you came from, it’s hard to tell where you’re going in the future,” White said. Sinisi commented on why he thinks it is crucial for the upcoming generation to be aware of Civil War history and the sacrifices made by American soldiers during the war. “The war provides us with tens of thousands, literally hundreds of thousands, of people who were willing to think beyond themselves,” Sinisi said. “We live largely in a narcissistic age. One need only think of the word ‘selfie’ to understand that. But, here were people who thought much beyond their own existence and thought about values and … a cause that was willing to be sacrificed for.” In his lecture “How the Civil

War Still Lives,” Robertson mentioned legislation, organizations, inventions, songs and more that were sparked during the Civil War. According to Robertson, American paper money was invented during the Civil War along with the commode, clothing sizes labeled “S,” “M,” “L” and “XL” canned goods, and Salisbury steak, to mention a few. Robertson also mentioned that federal delivery of mail first started during the Civil War. According to Robertson, because people were receiving letters informing them their loved ones had died in the war, local post offices became a “wailing wall.” In turn, the government decided to issue home delivery of mail. “You cannot escape the Civil War in daily life,” Robertson

said. “It’s everywhere around you. It governs your life, your activities, your very existence.” Junior history major Joshua Simatupang is originally from Indonesia and said it is interesting to hear about the Civil War from an inside, American perspective. “Seeing all the small things the Civil War produced that everybody takes for granted … I think it’s (really an) enlightening experience,” Simatupang said. To learn more about the Civil War, contact the National Civil War Chaplains Museum on campus at Liberty University or call 434-582-2087.

SPRADLIN is a news reporter.

APRIL 8, 2014 CRUZ continued from A1 Cruz mentioned the sacrifice of Saeed Abedini, an American pastor who has led approximately 30 prisoners and guards to Christ after being arrested for sharing his Christian beliefs in Iran, and encouraged students to be willing to make sacrifices in the battle for religious liberty. “As believers, we are called to actions, not to sitting quietly and hiding our faith under a bushel, but to stand and speak no matter what the consequence,” Cruz said. According to Cruz, students can take action by protesting attacks on religious freedom through both social media and word of mouth. “You can speak out, and every one of you has the ability to connect with your family, with your friends, with your neighbors in a way that resonates a thousand times more than some politician from Washington ever can,” Cruz said. Senior Caleb Bliesner said Cruz’s speech inspired him to speak out in defense of his liberty. “I am more motivated than ever to be active in my defense of my religious freedom,” Bliesner said. “I will not tolerate any tyranny aimed at religious freedoms, and I will also encourage fellow Americans around me to do the same.” Cruz expressed hope for the future of America and said he was inspired by the number of young people willing to take a stand for religious freedom. “The 10,000 people gathered here today and the thousands more that are online watching, you have the ability to change the state of Virginia,” Cruz said. “You have the ability to change the United States of America. The 10,000 people here, you have the ability to change the world.” TAIT is the asst. news editor.

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APRIL 8, 2014

Make a difference, cast a vote Liberty University administrators voice opinions about the importance of student participation at the polls David Van Dyk

As I observe the students around me, I notice little things that say a lot. One of these little things is the attitudes displayed in Convocation when President Jerry Falwell urges students to vote, or when a politician speaks at Convocation. And I am not talking about a warm, welcoming attitude. It is more like a sneering, critical attitude. It is something that sets my generation apart. Unfortunately, my generation has grown tired of politics. We have been made promises of change and been told our problems would get better with little to no results. Do some simple addition: Politicians’ broken promises plus young people’s entitled attitude equals an uneasy relationship between the two. What the majority of Liberty students fail to realize, however, is just how influential their votes can be in shaping major city decisions. Following the 2008 election when students were first permitted to vote on city issues, conditional use permits were no longer required for

campus construction. Additionally, without pro-student representation on city council local food, entertainment and hotel taxes risk continued increase. Most of Liberty’s major projects — such as the Walmart Bridge and the road improvements for the new vehicular tunnel — were constructed because of student votes and Liberty’s collaboration with Lynchburg City. I do not blame my fellow students for their derisive attitude toward politics in general. But we must care about the city council elections for the implications that they have to us as students personally. According to Charles Murphy, professor of Liberty University’s Helms School of Government, the problem is a problem of overall student apathy. “I am certain that it is that students do not understand the importance of this, or any election,” Murphy said. “I think it is both a lack of information and a lack of concern.” I agree with Murphy that there is certainly a lack of concern amongst the student body. Sometimes I wonder what would happen if students were as excited

about being involved in the government as they were about Flappy Bird. Not even President Barack Obama would be able to handle, or promise, that much change. So how can we effect change and get the student body to be concerned about elections, especially the upcoming Lynchburg City Council election? Associate Dean Ron Miller of the Helms School of Government has some ideas. “I haven’t witnessed a lot of city council candidates on campus wooing the student vote, and that leaves the impression that they’re indifferent to them,” Miller said. “I think students would be more enthusiastic about local elections if there were candidate forums hosted on campus so they could hear from the candidates and ask them questions directly.” I know many students feel less than ecstatic to take part in elections where they do not live, but most have lived or will be living here for four years, if not staying here after graduation. “The university could use the various methods of communication at its disposal, like Convocation, to remind students to get out and vote and to tell them why it’s

important to them,” Miller said. “Even though they’re here only temporarily, for most of them it will be a four-year tour, and that’s long enough for them to be invested in what happens here during that time.” I believe that my generation is capable of some very great and wonderful things. I know we are. We have technology never thought possible, and it is advancing at a rate faster than ever before. We just need discipline, focus and a desire to effect change where it matters. Never mind Flappy Bird or Angry Birds or Angry Flapping Birds. We should be excited about what really matters. It starts by showing up at the polls.


VAN DYK is an opinion writer.

World Vision’s theological question World’s largest Christian humanitarian organization fights to resolve its internal struggle on gay marriage Dylan Friberg

[Editor’s Note: All references of World Vision only apply to the U.S. branch.] Last week, the U.S. branch of major Christian charity organization World Vision announced that it would recognize practicing Christians in same-sex marriages for employment opportunities. As you might have guessed, that decision did not go over too well. A mere two days after the announcement was made, World Vision reversed the policy, citing intense negative feedback and criticism from major Christian leaders and the worldwide Christian community. This reversal is a gigantic success for the Christian community, and World Vision deserves a nod of respect for listening to their supporters and reacting accordingly. The problem with World Vision’s original decision is that it was based on accommodating the views of a number of small denominations that recognize same-sex marriage as morally acceptable. World Vision President Richard Stearns said the issue of gay marriage has been a divisive force in churches around the world. “Changing the employee conduct policy to allow someone in a same-sex marriage who is a

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CONTROVERSY — World Vision reversed stance on gay marriage two days after initial desicion. professed believer in Jesus Christ to work for us makes our policy more consistent with our practice on other divisive issues,” Stearn said in an interview with Christianity Today. “It also allows us to treat all of our employees the same way: abstinence outside of marriage and fidelity within marriage.” Stearn’s explanation concerning World Vision’s decision does not comply with what most evangelical Christians believe. To most, the practicing of homosexual acts is wrong. Same-sex marriage clearly exists under the umbrella of practicing homo-

by Greg Leasure In a resignation that sparked uproar, Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich recently stepped down from his position at the company less than two weeks after assuming the role. Shortly after his appointment as CEO, Eich and Mozilla began taking criticism tied to a $1,000 con- LEASURE tribution made by Eich in support of California’s Proposition 8 in 2008. The measure, which was ultimately declared unconstitutional, was intended to keep same-sex couples from marrying. “I have decided to resign as CEO effective April 3, and leave Mozilla,” Eich

sexual acts. There are many different views on the minutiae of that idea, but most evangelical Christians generally agree with that disposition. Christians are people who have accepted the gospel and by grace attempt to live according to the precepts set forth by the Bible and Jesus Christ. I say attempt, because no single person — other than Jesus — has lived a perfectly moral and righteous life. I say grace, because when we try and fail to be more like Jesus, he forgives us and reminds us that he has already taken the load. Support of same-sex marriage

said in a statement. “Our mission is bigger than any one of us, and under the present circumstances, I cannot be an effective leader.” After the resignation of its leader, Mozilla executive chairwoman Mitchell Baker was quick to admit that the situation was handled poorly. “We have employees with a wide diversity of views,” Baker said. “Our culture of openness extends to encouraging staff and community to share their beliefs and opinions in public. This is meant to distinguish Mozilla from most organizations and hold us to a higher standard. But this time, we failed to listen, to engage and to be guided by our community.” Mozilla emphasized in a company blog post that Eich chose to resign without any pressure from the board, going so far as to ask him to “stay at Mozilla in another role or to stay actively involved … as a volunteer contributor,” an offer that Eich declined. Despite the company’s best efforts at making peace, the entire situation has become a public relations nightmare.

is an all-encompassing embrace of an issue Scripture defines as sin. A person in a same-sex marriage who is a “practicing Christian” is living in constant defiance with every part of his or her being. People do not want to support an organization that stamps that defiance as “OK.” It is not about hating homosexuals or telling them they are not valuable people. Very few Christians believe that, and those who do are wrong, because as Christians, we hate the sin, not the sinner. People want to support causes they believe in and relate to.

For example, before Eich’s resignation, dating website OkCupid began asking its users not to access their website through Mozilla’s Firefox browser, further fueling the outrage over Eich’s six-year-old contribution. Now that Eich has stepped down and appeased gay marriage proponents, opposing sides have labeled Mozilla intolerant of Eich’s beliefs and Eich intolerant of same-sex couples. As Eich and Mozilla executives can attest to, making decisions in complicated situations like this can be incredibly difficult. Gay marriage proponents and opponents alike do not have to look far to find someone to blame for the controversy, yet I am not convinced that gay marriage is the issue here. Gay marriage is obviously an important issue to many people, or Eich’s business cards would still read “Mozilla CEO.” However, I believe that the real issue is whether or not people who promote diversity, inclusiveness and equality actually practice what they preach. Although Eich did resign and was not “forced out,” the pressure that led to his

They want to align themselves with organizations that hold the same moral convictions. Promoting the Christian values of family and faith while also affirming same-sex marriage as acceptable for practicing Christians is a precarious path to walk. It is a wonderful thing that World Vision has reversed their decision. No Christian desires to withdraw support that would have helped needy children and families. Thankfully, that difficult decision now does not have to be made. Core morals are what make Christians different from the rest of the world. That difference is how people see Jesus in us. World Vision announced its policy reversal March 26, explaining the organization never meant to undermine the authority of scripture. “While World Vision U.S. stands firmly on the biblical view of marriage, we strongly affirm that all people, regardless of their sexual orientation, are created by God and are to be loved and treated with dignity and respect.” Now that, Mr. Stearn, is a statement that I can fully support. FRIBERG is an opinion writer.

resignation points to a blatant double standard that has become commonplace nowadays — one that encourages diversity, unless, of course, your particular brand of diversity opposes gay marriage. Imagine if Eich had chosen to remain CEO and Mozilla stuck by their decision to hire him. It certainly would not have been the most popular move ever made in the corporate world, but if Mozilla hired Eich in the first place, they must have believed he was the right person for the job. After all, the whole point of diversity, inclusiveness and equality in the workplace is to be able to look past things like sexual orientation, skin color, economic status or political views and see what really matters — in this case, Eich’s ability to do his job. Society’s so-called standards of acceptance are failing. If we hope to truly uphold the ideals that we claim to believe in, businesses and corporations must learn the true definition of diversity, and individuals must be allowed to express their convictions freely, regardless of a difference of opinion.


APRIL 8, 2014

Liberty Champion/A5

Hobby Lobby clashes with Obamacare

Christian company takes the contraceptive debate to the Supreme Court, battling Affordable Care Act provisions Tyler Beaston

The First Amendment’s freedom of religion clause has found its way to the U.S. Supreme Court again in the case between the craft store chain Hobby Lobby and Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius. Hobby Lobby President Steve Green said he wants the company to follow Christian values, but President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act threatens the company’s morals, according to Kathleen Parker’s Washington Post article. Under Obama’s healthcare plan, Hobby Lobby would be required to provide insurance coverage for contraceptives and abortifacients for its employees. If the company refuses to use Obamacare’s four potentially life-terminating drugs, it will be charged nearly $1.3 million per day in penalties, according to a New York Times article by Adam Liptak. I think Hobby Lobby, as a privatelyowned company by four family members, must retain the right to determine whether or not it wants to use Obamacare. I do not believe it should be within the federal government’s power to force companies to provide certain types of healthcare, particularly if that “care” goes against the conscience of the company’s owners. “If the U.S. government can force the people running a corporation to use corporate resources to provide free abortion pills to employees … it is difficult to imagine the meaningful limits on government power in the marketplace,” Jay Sekulow wrote in a Fox News article. The case also addresses the question of the “humanness” of corporations. Skeptics of Hobby Lobby’s claims ask if an intangible business entity can even have moral standards, according to a Forbes

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LAWSUIT— Supreme Court presided over the Hobby Lobby contraceptive case. article by Daniel Fisher. And the answer seems to be no — it is individuals that have morals, not corporations. But as I said, private business owners should be permitted to run their operation however they prefer, within the confines of the law. If employees disagree with their bosses’ philosophy, they can express their dissatisfaction either verbally or by finding a job elsewhere. Further, according to Fisher’s article, corporations are able to sue over racial discrimination — a concept that appears could only apply to individuals. And another seemingly contradictory statement: “Corporations can be assumed to have a guilty state of mind,” Fisher wrote.

Paul Clement argued in support of Hobby Lobby, appealing to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (RFRA) to support his case. The act “requires the federal government to meet a demanding standard when it imposes burdens on religious beliefs,” Liptak wrote. In other words, the government needs to extensively support its argument before it can be allowed to go against a person’s religious convictions, a standard that I believe is vital to upholding the First Amendment. Solicitor Gen. Donald Verrilli defended Obamacare’s mandate before the Supreme Court for Sebelius. In a Washing-

ton Post article, Jaime Fuller predicted that Verrilli would argue that RFRA has never applied to for-profit corporations. Just because RFRA has not been applied does not mean it should not be applied now. From my understanding of the situation, RFRA suits this case well. “Even if RFRA does apply … the contraception mandate does not rise to the level of being a ‘substantial religious burden’ … because the companies are significantly removed from an employee’s decision to use contraception,” Fuller wrote, quoting Pew Research. The Supreme Court heard the case Tuesday, March 25, but is not expected to reach a decision until sometime in June, according to Parker’s article. Elizabeth Stoker, a writer for The Week Magazine, provides another unique perspective. She wrote that a woman who works for Hobby Lobby could easily purchase a contraceptive with her own money, which presumably came to her in the form of a paycheck from the company. The argument certainly is compelling and strong enough, I think, to pose a serious threat to Hobby Lobby’s defense. However, it must be understood that the company takes issue with using insurance companies that are mandated to provide contraceptives if asked. But what employees choose to do with their paychecks is quite out of the corporation’s jurisdiction. It is apparent that with the many nuances of this debate, an easy solution will be difficult to find. BEASTON is an opinion writer.

Review: “Jesus Is Better Than You Imagined”

Liberty University alumnus pens memoir-like book, opening up about how he met Jesus in unexpected places Tre Goins-Phillips

It was only about a month ago that I connected with Jonathan Merritt, a Liberty University alumnus. I began to read his work, as a journalist and author, and discovered deep conviction in his writing. It did not take long before I realized this is what Christian culture needs more of — unabashed honesty and a drive to see the world changed. When I started to read Merritt’s new book, “Jesus Is Better Than You Imagined,” that same passion filled its pages. Merritt, 31, was born a son of a Baptist preacher, making church a permanent fixture in his life starting at just nine days old, when he attended his first church service. “Jonathan is a child of the church, who speaks without the subcultural accent that so often keeps those of us who speak ‘church’ from sounding fully human, or perhaps from being fully human,” John Ortberg, a senior pastor and author, said in the book’s foreword. In “Jesus Is Better Than You Imagined,” you get a taste of Merritt’s knack for challenging tradition and countering the Christian cultural norms. Growing up, Merritt “became skilled at wearing a mask.” As he got older, he knew he could not stay that way. Instead of running from Christianity, Merritt’s dissatisfaction with the church’s representation of Christ gave him a hunger for an encounter with the real Jesus. In this memoir-like work, Merritt explores what happened when he asked God to “show up and surprise me.”

“I woke up one day and felt like my faith had become dry, predictable and rote,” Merritt said. “I wanted to know the surprising God of the Bible—the one who shows up in axe heads and talking donkeys and water from desert rocks.” During his year-and-a-half of searching, Merritt found God in three places: at a monastery while taking a vow of silence, in the aftermath of a friend’s death from an unrevealed flesh-eating disease and when he found himself staring down the barrel of a Haitian bandit’s gun. “I learned to find Jesus in the impossible,” Merritt said. In one of his beautiful moments of brute honesty, Merritt opened up about a topic that often leaves a bad taste in the mouths of evangelicals: homosexuality. It was in his searching that he began to come to terms with his childhood sexual abuse and his own discordant feelings of same-sex attraction. “One of the mantras of evangelicalism over the past quarter-century regarding gay men and lesbians has been ‘hate the sin, love the sinner,” Merritt said in a 2009 USA Today column. “If, however, you Google the public statements made by evangelicals regarding our gay neighbors, you’ll uncover a virtual how-to manual on hating sin and little, if anything, about loving sinners.” It was not until now that Merritt admitted he was not just talking about Christians needing to love their neighbors. He wanted to know that he was loved, too. Merritt’s USA Today column caught the attention of one gay blogger in particular who wanted to further discuss his

writing. Merritt grew comfortable with him through emails and text messages and was transparent about his sexual past when the two met. “As we were saying good-bye, we had physical contact that fell short of sex but went beyond the bounds of friendship,” Merritt said. It was only a matter of time before he was “outed.” One friend told him to “throw the gay community under the bus and save yourself,” Merritt said. However, he saw a greater opportunity: a chance for grace. “Rather than attack or defend, I opted for honesty,” Merritt said. Merritt’s words are sharp and poignant in an evangelical culture that is so often afraid to color outside the lines. Merritt boldly declares that life is not always black and white, but God’s grace erases the contrast. Though Merritt struggled with samesex attraction due to his abuse-permeated past, the author and writer now uses the personal history he was once ashamed of as an avenue to point to the goodness of God. Through honesty and vulnerability, Merritt has found that his story has touched hundreds who have either struggled in the past or who currently struggle with the same temptations he once faced. In “Jesus Is Better Than You Imagined,” you meet a Jesus “who gives grace to broken and burned-out people without disclaimers, qualifications or asterisks,” Tullian Tchividjian, former Convocation speaker at Liberty University and Florida pastor, said in his review of the book. Even though Merritt does not claim to





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Derrick Battle

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Courtney Russo



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Tom Foote

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INSPIRATIONAL — Merritt shared his testimony in a new book released April 1. always color in the lines or have a cookiecutter answer to all of life’s questions, he identifies himself as an evangelical. “Liberty planted my feet into the Christian worldview that still forms my faith’s foundation. It also taught me not to just accept whatever the dominant cultural narrative is but to always investigate and stay curious,” Merritt said, when asked how Liberty helped prepare him. Merritt does not present a theological argument for faith. Rather, he offers readers the opportunity to fall madly in love with the romance of God’s grace. I encourage everyone to pick up a copy of “Jesus Is Better Than You Imagined.” You might just meet God. GOINS-PHILLIPS is an opinion writer.

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.




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Zipcar use declines Change of locations lessens publicity of campus’ short-term rental cars Sophia Hahn

Zipcars first became available to Liberty University students in the fall of 2011, according to Ted Sweet, transportation and transit manager. Since then, he said their location has changed three times, and students have started to forget about them. “I used to know where the Zipcars were, but then (Liberty) moved them and made the road two-way traffic,” senior Megan Warner said. Sweet stated that students’ usage of Zipcars on Liberty’s campus has decreased since 2011 due to the cars being out of sight and out of mind. “(Moving the Zipcars) from DeMoss (Hall) to Green Hall affected it to where (students used) it less, because it is not the core center of (Liberty),” Sweet said. “That is why we moved them again, because at Green Hall they are already at the bus areas, and everything (students) need to get to is already there.” At the beginning of March, the two Zipcars on Liberty’s campus were

moved yet again — one to the parking lot across from the Vines Center and the other to the parking lot at David’s Place on East Campus, Sweet said. According to Sweet, Zipcars are only used approximately a quarter of the time that they are available, because they are not promoted enough and because of the poor location on campus, but he anticipates that the new locations will change that. “I’m hoping it’ll increase drastically, because we have a lot of students on campus that aren’t driving,” he said. Zipcars are available on 350 colleges and universities around the United States, Sweet explained. On many campuses, freshmen are the most common users. “We have some (rental cars) through transit you can rent out, but you have to be over the age of 21,” he said. “Zipcar doesn’t have an age limit like rental car companies, so that gives them a car. If they want to go and do everything they want to do around town, they can take a zipcar.” Junior Cori Gary explained that she rented the Zipcars when she was a

Courtney Russo | Liberty Champion

RIDE — Liberty is one of 350 colleges with Zipcars. freshman and loved it. “When I was a freshman, I used it to get around, because my car was in Texas, but now, I have my car here, so I don’t use it as much,” Gary said. According to the Zipcar website, all one has to do to rent a car is become a member to get a Zipcard, reserve a car online or on a mobile device, use the Zipcard to unlock the car and then return the car to the same spot. Gas and insurance are included. Sweet explained that he believes Zipcars are a good alternative to bringing a car to school, because there is

always going to be a cost. “Whether you pay for a parking pass and drive on campus and worry about your gas … or whether you just rent a Zipcar, either way you are paying,” he said. Zipcars are available to students, faculty, staff and departments and can be taken anywhere as long as they are returned to the home locations by the end of their reservation period. For more information on Zipcars, visit

HAHN is the news editor.

before I die...

Courtney Russo | Liberty Champion

DREAMS — Students flocked to a chalkboard in front of the DeMoss Hall steps to write what they would like to do before they die. The event was organized by the School of Psychology and concluded with a lecture by Cheri Milton, a licensed grief counselor and educator for Agrace Hospic.

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APRIL 8, 2014 SCCA GOES PRO continued from A1 “We really want to encourage students to explore the limits of their knowledge, to explore their talents in the area of media and communications,” Liberty graduate student Emily Kendall, one of four contest organizers, said. “That’s why we chose the GoPro camera, to encourage them in their efforts with filmmaking and digital arts and stuff like that, to get a real incentive that they can actually use to further their professional life.” According to contest rules, only SCCA students may enter. This includes Digital Media & Communication Arts (DMCA), Studio & Digital Arts, Cinematic Arts and Theatre Arts students. Although cinematic arts students are allowed to enter the contest, graduate student Nate Jurgensen said the competition was designed to allow video submissions of all varieties and emphasize the creativity of those videos. This is intended to even the playing field among all SCCA students. “We want to encourage students, maybe inspire them, to believe that the work that they’re doing now in courses could be good enough to professionally give themselves a step up in the market,” Jurgensen said. At the beginning of the spring semester, Jurgensen and his classmates in Dr. Stuart Schwartz’s effective social media class (COMS 546) were each divided into six groups and tasked with managing a different SCCA social medium. Each group assumed control of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest or YouTube accounts, as well as an alumni-centered page. Anderson Santos, Jonathan Pfenninger, Jurgensen and Kendall took over the SCCA YouTube account with the goal of increasing the SCCA’s visibility and social media presence. Schwartz gave the class generalized goals for the project and each group came up with a creative solution to the challenge. For the YouTube group, that solution was the “SCCA Goes Pro” Video Contest. “The assignment was you’ve got to come up with something that promotes interaction,” Schwartz said. “That particular contest and the way they went about it, that was them, absolutely them.” According to Jurgensen and Kendall, the winner will be decided based 60 percent on the quality and creativity of the videos and 40 percent on the number of views on the SCCA Youtube Channel. Mintle, DMCA Chairman and assistant professor Bruce Kirk and Liberty professor Dr. Harry Sova will be the judges of this competition. After the April 21 deadline for the video submission, Jurgensen, Santos, Pfenninger and Kendall will brand the videos with the appropriate SCCA graphic at the beginning and end of the videos and post the submissions on the SCCA YouTube channel. Those who enter are encouraged to promote their video any way they would like, but only views of the video on the SCCA channel will help them win. According to Schwartz, the emphasis the video contest places on the work experience gained by students both inside and outside the classroom is consistent with the overall goals set for the SCCA department by Mintle. “Anything like this that we are able to provide our students with, either kind of a real-world competitive opportunity or real-world learning experiences, those are very important to me,” Mintle said. Although the focus of the video contest remains on SCCA students and their work, Schwartz noted that they are not the only ones reaping the benefits of the process. The graduate students are also getting real-world experience with growing an organization, such as the SCCA social media, which is a necessary skill after graduation. “The whole point is to add value to each individual student,” Schwartz said. “If we add value to them through a Liberty graduate education, then they’re going to go out and get themselves some pretty nice positions, and they’re better able to compete in the world.” Full rules and regulations for the contest, including how to enter, can be found at Facebook. com/libertyucoms. LEASURE is the editor-in-chief.

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APRIL 8, 2014

Liberty Champion/A7

Leadership Lynchburg unveils changes Community-based training program announces curriculum revisions, endeavours to further local business Joshua Janney

Leadership Lynchburg, a community-based leadership training program, unveiled a new set of programs Thursday, April 3, with the hope of reaching a wider range of people. The announcement was made at a press conference at the Craddock Terry Hotel, with various Leadership Lynchburg alumni and potential newcomers in attendance. The announcement came after a year-long hiatus in which the organization took time to re-evaluate and reshape their curriculum. “Our director Christine Kennedy reminded us that as business evolves in our community so should our programs,” Molly

CIVIC CENTER continued from A1 “The cost is about the same, so we decided to give the city an opportunity to create a shared civic center.” According to a survey taken by Regional Renaissance a couple years ago, building a civic center for Lynchburg is a top regional priority. “Many cities the size of Lynchburg — and even smaller cities — have built civic centers without the benefit of a major anchor tenant like Liberty University,” Falwell said in the report. “This project would greatly benefit both Liberty and the local community in my view.” In the future, the Liberty administration aspires to have its athletic teams make the jump to a larger athletic conference that is part of the NCAA’s Football Bowl

Cousins, chair of Leadership Lynchburg Council, said. “In the first quarter of 2013, our board, known as the Leadership Council, secured leadership consultant Ted Carroll of Leadership Greater Hartford who’s done some amazing things for that program and that community.” One of the differences in the new, relaunched Leadership Lynchburg is the introduction of two new programs. The first is One Days, which will bring the Leadership Lynchburg experience into Central Virginia organizations. The second is the Executive Forum, which will launch in the fall of 2015 and provide leadership training and progressive practices to seasoned leaders.

Subdivision, which would draw a larger audience to other sporting events, the report states. Because of this, a civic center would better serve as an athletic facility to accommodate the growing crowd for sports other than football. “Liberty has other options in its master plans to accommodate the projected growth in its athletic programs,” Falwell said in the report. “While the amount that Liberty is willing to pay for the construction and use of the new arena is limited to an amount that is roughly equal to what it would cost Liberty to build and renovate facilities on campus to meet its needs, the university wanted to give the local community the opportunity to create this shared facility. With the Roanoke area’s two civic centers aging, the timing may be right for Lynchburg

“Before, it was just one program,” Christine Kennedy, director of Leadership Lynchburg, said. “Our Flagship Program has been in the community since 1977. So last year, when we looked at strategic planning and some focus groups, the key was to find if the program still mattered and if it was still relevant and needed in this community. That was validated. Secondly, we wanted to look at where else do we need to be providing training.” According to Kennedy, by offering a more comprehensive list of programs, Leadership Lynchburg has been able to accept more people into leadership and assist companies in their need for succession planning. “When you have a seasoned

leader that’s been in the company for years announce retirement, who is going to fill that spot?” Kennedy said. “And are those individuals that possibly can do it, are they trained and equipped? This program enables that to happen.” In addition to creating two new programs, Leadership Lynchburg is enhancing its three existing programs — The Flagship Program, The Young Entrepreneurs Academy and Alumni Programming. Cousins described the revival of the program as a milestone for Leadership Lynchburg and said her experience with the program has helped her personal growth. “What began with an idea in 1975 and launched the first class in 1977 has become a nationally

award-winning leadership development program,” Cousins said. “We’ve undergone several transformations since its inception and today marks another.” Cousins explained how the leadership development program helped her. “(The program) provided lots of valuable growth opportunities for me, and it really made me pretty aware as a leader in this community that you never stop growing and learning and developing and meeting new people and expanding your horizons,” she said. “That is what this program is about.” For more information, visit JANNEY is a news reporter.

to bring home many cultural and entertainment events that local residents have historically had to drive out of town to attend.” The report explains that the civic center would be built on the fields in front of Thomas Road Baptist Church (TRBC) instead of the old Sears location in the River Ridge Mall. This was decided because traffic and road improvements at Sears would be much more expensive than at TRBC. According to the press release, if the project is accepted, TRBC and possibly Liberty Christian Academy would be relocated to the property owned by Liberty at the new Odd Fellows Road interchange or in Campbell County.

Photo Provided

HAHN is the news editor.

PLANNING — The proposed civic center would be built on the fields next to TRBC.




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APRIL 8, 2014

Dale Carty II | Liberty Champion

Students travel to D.C. for day BLOOM — At the festival, there were crafts for children, such as Japanese fishing flags, and several military bands played throughout the day.

Student Activities, along with a packed bus, spend a day in the Capitol celebrating the Cherry Blossom Festival Nicole Steenburgh

Washington, D.C. is in the midst of celebrating more than 100 years of friendship between Japan and the United States with the 2014 Cherry Blossom Festival. Activities began March 20 and will continue through April 13, according to the festival’s website. Starting on the first day of spring and continuing for the next 25 days, D.C. offers a wide variety of ways and specific celebrations for the 1.5 million visitors to enjoy the blossoms, including concerts, contests and craft fairs, according to Danielle Davis, communications manager of the National Cherry Blossom Festival. “We have four outstanding weekends across 25 days that celebrate spring across the country, and we welcome people from all over to step into spring with us,” Davis said.

One of the festivals that took place Saturday, April 5, was the Southwest Waterfront Fireworks Festival along the Potomac River. The Waterfront Arena allowed visitors the opportunity to browse through local arts and crafts including festival T-shirts, paintings and posters. The Water View Park was alive with the sounds of music and laughing children as they explored the activities set up just for them. Young festival-goers were able to test their sailing skills at the model boat-making and launch station before decorating and flying a traditional Japanese fishing flag in the waterfront breeze. Stages were set up throughout the festival for live performances from bands such as The United States Navy Band and Bach 2 Rock, according to the website. Liberty University’s Student Activities and Center for Multicultural Enrichment provided students with access to the festi-

val April 5. “I’m excited to see the cherry blossoms and D.C.,” Liberty student Elizabeth Loncar said. “It would be exciting to see what other things are offered. It’s fun to go explore.” Even though the cherry blossoms were not fully in bloom, students were able to enjoy the other attractions that were offered. “I liked looking at the other art and jewelry from the locals,” Liberty student Kimberly Higgins said. “I enjoyed the cool weather and the beautiful outdoors.” The festival has taken place annually since 1927, 15 years after the first cherry blossom trees arrived in Washington, D.C. According to the festival’s website, the first trees actually arrived in 1910 as a gift from Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo in celebration of the friendship between the countries, but the trees were diseased.

In 1912, 3000 healthy cherry blossom trees arrived in D.C., and the first two were planted by the Potomac River by the First Lady and the wife of the Japanese ambassador. The festival officially became a tradition in 1927 when a group of American children reenacted the first ceremony and other activities, according to the website. “Each year, we commemorate the gift and mark the start of spring across the country,” Davis said. “The festival is a community celebration, and the entire city gets involved …” For more information about the Cherry Blossom Festival and the remaining activities, visit nationalcherryblossom STEENBURGH is the feature editor.


APRIL 8, 2014


Coastal 11

Liberty 2

W. Lacrosse

Liberty 20

Presby. 10

Softball falters

M. Tennis

M. Volleyball

Liberty 2



Liberty 4

Radford 3



Men’s lacrosse wins its 10th straight home match

Nate Haywood

UNCG 8, LU 5 After winning the first game, Lady Flames fell 8-5 to the Spartans in extra innings in the second game of the doubleheader April 2. In the top of the eighth, the Spartans broke a 4-4 tie with right fielder Nicole Thomas hitting an RBI single bringing second baseman Dominique Madruga home giving UNCG the lead. With two on base, left fielder Kendall McKinney hit a three-run home run to give the Spartans an 8-4 lead. The Lady Flames attempted to

Liberty 4

Home fortress

nothing but aces

Lady Flames fall short in extras

LU 14, UNCG 10 The Liberty University Lady Flames softball team (6-31, 1-11 Big South) defeated the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) Spartans (15-20, 4-8 Southern) 1410 in the first game of a doubleheader Wednesday, April 2. After the Spartans took an early 1-0 lead, the Lady Flames responded by scoring four runs in the bottom of the second inning. UNCG errors and RBIs from second baseman Megan Robinson and catcher Kelby Allen gave Liberty the threerun lead. But then, UNCG took the lead back, scoring four runs of its own in the top of the third. After RBI singles from catcher Lindsay Thomas and third baseman Danielle Vega, Spartans designated player Nicole Thomas hit an RBI single to bring her teammates home. However, the Lady Flames withstood the rally from UNCG. In the top of the fourth inning, the Lady Flames had a seven-run outburst, which helped them secure their victory against the Spartans.

W. Tennis

Derrick Battle

small-ball type of team, that just puts an extra importance on getting the leadoff guy

Seconds after the George Washington Colonials (3-6, 1-2 SELC) scored, the Liberty Flames men’s lacrosse team (10-3, 3-0 SELC) won the faceoff and attacker Ryan Miller began to move toward the Colonials goal box. Miller found attacker Chris Armstrong cutting into the Colonials defense and slung the ball into the back of the net. This was the beginning of a five-goal onslaught, which started less than a minute into the third quarter and helped the Flames defeat the Colonials 19-6 Saturday, April 5. Faceoff specialist Charles Flanko also initiated the offense for the Flames, winning 13 of 23 faceoffs. “Our best type of offense is when we can score in bunches,” midfielder Michael Zumpano said. “It is huge for shifting momentum, and it really takes the other team out of the game. Charles (Flanko) did a good job facing off. That was huge for us, because it placed a lot of things in our favor offensively.” Liberty was successful in creating its offense from defense and moved the ball quickly upfield. After making saves, goalie Ethan Kamholtz easily found open teammates in transition. “(Moving in transition) is something we are always trying to do,” Head Coach Kyle McQuillan said. “Where that starts is with Ethan on that quick turnaround. When he gets that save, we get our mids turned around, and we start pressing in the opposite direction. If we can get that first pass and move the ball within a



Leah Stauffer| Liberty Champion

BLANKS — The Flames pitching staff has shut out Big South opponents in 60 straight innings.

Scoreless sweep Liberty held off the Keydets to win its sixth consecutive game Greg Leasure

Jacob Tellers

Tom Foote

Liberty 5, VMI 0 Liberty Flames (25-8, 11-1 Big South) senior starting pitcher Trey Lambert stood atop the mound at Liberty Baseball Stadium Friday night, April 4 and popped catcher Danny Grauer’s glove with a 90-mile-an-hour-plus fastball for his first pitch of the game. Two hours, 10 minutes and 117 pitches later, the postgame fireworks exploded in celebration of a 5-0 Flames win over the Virginia Military Institute Keydets (16-13, 6-6 Big South). Lambert, the leader of a Flames pitching staff that held

the Presbyterian Blue Hose completely scoreless in a threegame sweep last weekend, has more than likely forgotten what it feels like to watch the opposition cross home plate, and for good reason. It has not occurred in more than 22 innings. Lambert scattered six hits in his nine innings of work, getting quick outs by attacking the strike zone with fastballs early in the game and only walking one Keydet hitter. According to him, using fastballs to get ahead in the count has been a key to his success. “If it’s a good fastball day, I’ve got it on a downhill plane and have decent velocity, I can get a lot of ground balls with that pitch,” Lambert said. Lambert executed his gameplan to perfection, retiring the Keydets leadoff hitter in all nine innings of the game. “Knowing that they are a

Leah Stauffer| Liberty Champion

CONTACT — Will Shepard recorded six hits in the series against VMI.

Track and field captures nine victories

Junior Abigail Flower and redshirt sophomore Ansley Gebben notched two event titles apiece in the home meet Emily Brown

In their final tuneup before the Big South Outdoor Track and Field Championships, the host men’s and women’s track and field teams secured nine event victories at the Liberty Collegiate Invitational Friday and Saturday, April 4-5. On the women’s side, junior Abigail Flower led the Lady Flames with victories


in the 100 and 200-meter dashes. She finished the 100 in 11.88 seconds and the 200 in 24.51 seconds for her third straight 200-meter victory in this meet. After breaking the school record in the 400-meter hurdles March 27, redshirt sophomore Ansley Gebben brought home a victory after her 1:00.98 race. “I feel like I stuttered on (hurdles) I should have

Baseball vs. Richmond April 8 @ 6 p.m.

alternated on,” Gebben said. “… But I’m still happy with winning and getting the time and obviously giving the glory to God.” Gebben was joined by Mary Echols, Janae Jones and Corinn Bedell in the 4x400-meter relay for her second win on the weekend. The quartet won in 3:53.66. In the field, junior Melissa Rohwer leapt to 39-0.5 for a win in the

W. Tennis vs. Richmond April 11 @ 2:00 p.m.

triple jump. The Flames also found success in the meet with four event titles. The team of Stephen Hayes, Tarell Williams, Stephen Racanelli and ConRoy Smith ran the 4x100-meter relay in 40.86 seconds for a new season best. Also on the track, middle-distance specialist and junior John Sherret took Courtney Russo | Liberty Champion

See NINE, B3 RELAY — ConRoy Smith runs the final stretch.

Softball (DH) vs. G-Webb

April 11 @ 2 & 4 p.m.

W. Lacrosse vs. High Point April 11 @ 4 p.m.

Softball vs. G-Webb April 12 @ 2:00 p.m.


APRIL 8, 2014

Liberty Champion/B2

Freshman claims national title

Wrestler Ryan Diehl goes undefeated in the 133-pound division in the National Collegiate Wrestling Association Tom Foote

Freshman wrestler Ryan Diehl was never supposed be at Liberty University, let alone go 34-0 and be the National Collegiate Wrestling Association (NCWA) national champion. He was supposed to be a member of the NCAA top 20-ranked University of Maryland wrestling team. However, the four-time high school state champion in the states of West Virginia and Pennsylvania was prevented from attending the University of Maryland for academic reasons. “(It was) three weeks before school started, and I needed to hurry up and scramble to see where I was,” Diehl said. “(I was) calling all of these colleges and couldn’t get in because it was late. I found Liberty, and (I) knew they had a wrestling program and they were tough, and (I) finally got onto the online program here.” Although Diehl explained that Liberty was not his first choice for college, he expressed his gratitude for the opportunity he has received from Head Coach Jesse Castro and his teammates. “It was awesome,” Diehl said. “I didn’t think I was going to like (Liberty) at first. I sort of thought it was like a last resort. It was like, ‘I guess it can help me.’ But then I got here, met the team, (and) they welcomed me in with open (arms).” Despite the struggles Diehl faced finding a college he could attend and wrestle at, he never missed a beat on the mat. Diehl helped Liberty finish second at the

NCWA National Championships with his individual title in the 133-pound weight division. “(Winning the title) meant a lot, just how much time I’ve put in this season and how hard I’ve worked for it,” Diehl said. “I guess they always say hard work pays off.” Diehl said that his opponent in the finals was the returning national champion from MIT. He knew he would have his hands full, yet prevailed thanks to his goto move, a shin-whizzer or, as he likes to call it, the ‘Jonesy.’ Although Diehl entered the NCWA National Championships undefeated, the road to the title was not as easy as it might have sounded. All wrestlers cut weight to reach their respective weight classes, and by the end of the season, the toll on a wrestler’s body can be immense. “By the beginning of the year, you want to wrestle so bad, and you can’t wait to get on the mat,” Diehl said. “By the end of the year, you’re like, ‘Ah get me off this mat. I don’t want this anymore.’” In the tournaments leading up to the NCWA National Championships, Diehl moved up to the 141-pound weight division to physically and mentally prepare himself for the cut back down to 133 pounds. “It was horrible trying to cut down there (to 133),” Diehl said. “I’m not a good dieter. I’m always coming in at 145 or 146 pounds, so it’s like a 13 or 14-pound cut every week. And it just sucks doing that every week. That’s what emotionally

Leah Stauffer | Liberty Champion

PEDIGREE — Diehl hopes to continue his success in wrestling. drains you and physically drains you — doing that from November to March. So I think going to 141 just mentally prepared me for conference and nationals.” Although Diehl plans to eventually transfer to Maryland and make his mark in the Big Ten Conference against the likes of four-time defending national champion Penn State University, he has relished his chance to grow as not only a

FALTERS continued from B1

Leah Stauffer | Liberty Champion

BARRAGE — The Flames have outscored their opponents 37-10 in their last two games.

FORTRESS continued from B1 couple of seconds, we can be a dangerous team.” Attacker Charles Frattini and midfielder David Goscinak, the Colonials leading scorers, struggled against the Flames defense, scoring five goals combined. “Their whole offense runs through them two,” defenseman Tommy Rolewichz said. “They are both phenomenal players and they both have great shots. If we shut them out, the rest of their attack slows down with them.” Midway through the first quarter, Liberty held a 3-0 lead until a Goscinak goal put George Washington on the board. Moments later, midfielder Chad Moore won the faceoff and ran through the

heart of the Colonials defense to score his first goal of the game. After Moore’s goal, Liberty scored eight unanswered points. The Flames went into halftime with a 13-1 advantage. At the start of the third quarter, Frattini, who struggled in the first half, found his footing in the game, putting two goals on the board for the Colonials to reduce the gap to 10. “I think we did a good job against (Frattini and Goscinak),” McQuillan said. “We kept their chances and goals down.” Liberty then went on to score five more goals, increasing the margin to 15. The Flames chewed the clock in the fourth quarter and added another goal to the stat sheet.

Miller had a game-high four goals and four assists. Kamholtz ended the game with 15 saves. The Flames will finish up their regular season against Virginia Tech Friday, April 18 at 8 p.m. “It’s important for us to win the rest of our games,” Zumpano said. “We want to go into the SELC playoffs as the No. 1 seed, and we know it is going to be through the next two teams that we play. With Virginia Tech being the last one, that is going to be a pretty big game for us. What is important for us is to take it one game at a time and not overlook anyone and continue to play our game.” BATTLE is the sports editor.

come back, scoring one run in the bottom frame, but fell short. “Everyone was moving in the right places, where they need to be,” Head Coach Dot Richardson said. “When the other team scored, we came back and battled. We didn’t give up. Even this last inning, you saw us fighting, and that is what makes a champion.” Annah Jo Brittingham started on the mound for Liberty. After a double from Madruga, first basemen Katelyn Bedwell hit an RBI single to bring her teammate home, giving UNCG a 1-0 lead. The Lady Flames responded with a tworun home run from Allen, putting them up 2-1 in the bottom of the first. In the bottom of the third, Liberty left fielder Blair Lawrence got on base after an error from the Spartan third baseman. She then stole second and, after the very next pitch, stole third. As Lawrence reached third base, UNCG catcher Ally Vergona threw the ball to an unsuspecting third baseman. The ball zipped past her and allowed Lawrence to steal home and increase the Lady Flames lead to two. Center fielder Katie Zavondy scored after a sacrifice fly from Allen, which added one more run in the third for Liberty. Brittingham and the Lady Flames kept the Spartans at one run through the first four innings, but in the top of the fifth, UNCG had two on base, both in scoring position. The Spartans capitalized, as third baseman Vega hit a home run to tie the game at four. They hit a single and a double, respectively. After Vega’s home run, Richardson made a pitching change, moving Brittingham to third and placing

wrestler, but as a person while at Liberty. “(I) realized if I’m gonna be here, I’m gonna make the best of (my opportunity),” Diehl said. “I’m not gonna be here just because I screwed my grades up. I’m gonna make the best of it while I’m here. It’s definitely a huge opportunity, and I need to capitalize on it.” FOOTE is the asst. sports editor. pitcher Alyssa DiMartino on the mound. DiMartino ended the inning for the Lady Flames and prevented UNCG from taking the lead. “I tried to do something unique,” Richardson said. “When you go through the normal rules of softball, you can only substitute once. And that’s kind of what I’ve been doing. And I realized that we have pitchers that can play other positions. So when you saw me move them from one defensive position to another, you can do that all game. … That was just a strategy I had. We knew which batter hit (Annah Jo) well and which one hit Alyssa well.” Richardson also used this strategy in the bottom of the fifth, as she replaced DiMartino with Brittingham for one Spartan batter. After that batter, Richardson made the switch back. Neither team scored in the sixth or seventh innings, which forced the matchup into extra innings. Despite the loss, the Lady Flames believe they are playing well. Richardson and Brittingham agreed that mental toughness and endurance were major areas they would like to see improvement. “I’d probably like to see us keeping the fundamentals, even when we get tired,” Brittingham said. “Even if you get tired, you just need to pick yourself up, always make that catch, use two hands, just always stay in there.” The Lady Flames were swept by the Coastal Carolina Lady Chanticleers April 5-6 in a three-game series. Liberty continues conference play against the Radford University Highlanders Tuesday, April 8 at 4 and 6 p.m. HAYWOOD is a sports reporter.

Champion corrections In an article about the Lynchburg Titans in the April 1 issue, there was an incorrect name. The correct name should have been Derek Polley instead of David Polley.


APRIL 8, 2014

Liberty Champion/B3

Field hockey reloads roster

Five new recruits and one transfer join the defending NorPac Conference champions for the 2014 season Alex Tichenor

A few new faces will take the field for Liberty field hockey next season, as five recruits have signed with the program for the upcoming 2014 season. The signees include forwards Summer Parker and Amy Wilson, along with midfielders Cassidy Bremner, Alynn Richardson and Rachel Suter. Goalkeeper Hannah Bard will also be transferring in from Ohio State University after spending a year in Columbus. “We’re really excited about this class,” Lady Flames Head Coach Jodi Murphy said. “It’s a class that has great depth and has a really strong hockey mind. I think they’re going to be a pretty potent group when it comes to continuing to build the program into national prominence.” The class does not come without pedigree — Parker scored 150 goals during her high school career, including 58 during her senior campaign, while Bremner is a member of the Canadian under-17 national team. Suter was an all-state selection in Pennsylvania her final two years of high school. Murphy and assistant coach Jacki Raithel split most of the recruiting duties, according to Murphy. During the infancy

of the program, Murphy said she took the bulk of the responsibilities, but Raithel has taken a more prominent role over the past few seasons. Murphy said that while recruiting can sometimes be tiring, it is worth it for the head coach to get out on the trail, because players like knowing what they are getting with the head coach more than anyone else. “The program is still growing,” Murphy said. “There are still a lot of girls who don’t know about Liberty, don’t know about our success, (and) don’t know about our facilities. We still have a ways to go in getting our brand out.” Because of the program’s relative infancy, Raithel finds the biggest obstacle in recruiting is getting the Liberty name out there. The Lady Flames 2014 season will be only their fourth while competing at the Division I level. “It’s still been a bit of a challenge trying to tell sophomores, juniors, seniors in high school that Liberty really is a program that is going to continue to be successful,” Raithel said. While freshmen have made momentous impacts right away the past few seasons for the Lady Flames — the top four scorers in 2012 were freshmen, along with two of the four in 2013 — Murphy expects veterans to carry more of the load this

Courtney Russo | Liberty Champion

CORE REMAINS — The Lady Flames added six new players to bolster their already veteran-laden roster. upcoming year. All but three players will return for the defending NorPac Tournament champion Lady Flames, who will have more upperclassmen than underclassmen for the first time in team history. “Over the past couple of years, we’ve had freshmen come in and take on really

NINE continued from B1

Courtney Russo | Liberty Champion

JUMP — Junior Kyle Wheeler finished fifth in the long jump.

the 800-meter run title in 1:53.49. Liberty’s men’s team found even more success in the field. The Flames swept the top three spots in both the decathlon and pole vault. Freshman Zach Davis led the way for the Flames in the multievent with 6,387 points. Freshmen Zach Gilroy and Blake Kohring followed in second and third places, respectively. “(I) look back and kinda wish some things went one way and some things went another, but I


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big roles that they’ll probably hold onto,” Murphy said. “But freshmen surprise you every year, and that’s the exciting part (of) bringing in a new group.” TICHENOR is a sports reporter.

did my best, and that’s all I can do,” Davis said. “It would be nice to hit 7,000 in the (decathlon), so that’s probably my goal right now.” In the pole vault, sophomore Ken Ritchey cleared 15-3 for the win. Redshirt senior Harrison Allen and sophomore Alexandru Barker added second and thirdplace finishes, respectively, for the Flames. Liberty’s teams will now head to Winthrop University for conference championships Thursday-Saturday, April 17-19.


After competing at the Stanford Invitational April 4-5, redshirt senior Meghan Burggraf currently ranks 14th nationally in the 800-meter run, and senior Josh MacDonald sits in the 13th spot in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.

BROWN is a copy editor.

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Liberty Champion/B4

APRIL 8, 2014

Siblings ‘Seiz’ the spotlight

Ryan and Holly Seiz show support for each other not only on the diamond, but beyond as fellow students Ryley Rush

On a bright March day at the Liberty Baseball Stadium, Flames second baseman Ryan Seiz was momentarily distracted from the game at hand by the sound of someone screaming in the stands. It was not your average cheering crowd, an emergency of some sort, or even an angry fan of the opposing team. Instead, Ryan Seiz looked up and found the source to be none other than his younger sister Holly Seiz, wielding embarrassingly large signs emblazoned with the words “GO SEIZ.” “Oh, yeah, those were awesome,” Holly Seiz said, she and Ryan Seiz laughing. “I love going to his games, making posters, putting stuff on social media. I love it. It’s so special.” The best part of all? Ryan Seiz gets to return the favor. Holly Seiz plays infield for the Flames softball team, and the two selfdeclared best friends cite each other’s support as one of their favorite parts of playing their sports. Growing up, Ryan Seiz was the first of the two on the diamond. “Holly was actually a total princess,” he said, turning to his sister. “She took, like, ballerina classes or whatever you call those and was always complaining about not wanting to play sports. She hated them.” Only at their father’s urging did Holly Seiz finally make her athletic debut. “It was T-ball, first,” she admitted, cringing slightly. Ryan Seiz’s eyes widened, as did his grin. “It was T-ball, wasn’t it?” he said. “Oh, man, with those sweet purple jerseys!” “Yep,” Holly said, rolling her eyes. “Yeah, that was bad.” It was the start of the siblings’ shared passion for their sport. “Our father pretty much taught us to play infield the same way,” Ryan Seiz said. “So if you look at our swings and everything, it’s like they’re mirrored. They’re the same, exactly.” They also played the same position, third base, for the same high school, where Ryan Seiz could watch Holly Seiz’s games from the baseball diamond. It was a unique experience, one the

SWEEP continued from B1 out,” Lambert said. “That was a big focus today.” As if Lambert’s streak of 22 and 1/3 scoreless innings was not impressive enough, Friday’s win over VMI meant that the Flames entire pitching staff had not given up a run against a Big South Conference opponent in more than 42 innings. “It’s always good when your Friday guy sets the tone,” Toman said about Lambert’s performance. “The other guys want to match it. The other guys

Dale Carty II | Liberty Champion

FAMILY MATTERS — After transferring from Louisville, Ryan followed his younger sister, Holly, to Liberty.

It’s a special bond we’ve always had together. We’re best friends.”— RYAN SEIZ

two did not expect to share again once Ryan Seiz graduated. “My sophomore year of high school, I came down here (to Liberty) for a visit and they offered me a scholarship, but I didn’t go here,” he said. “I went to Louisville instead, played two years there and then had to transfer out.” It was the same year that Holly Seiz — who, on the other hand, had dreamed of attending and playing softball for Liberty since middle school — arrived in Lynchburg for her freshman year and walked on with the team. “I did not want to go to Liberty at all, actually,” Ryan Seiz admitted. “But Holly was coming here and told me to just give it a shot. I said ‘No.’ I was so against it.” But a standing offer to play for Head Coach Jim Toman and continued encouragement from Holly Seiz, whom Ryan Seiz cited as a major spiritual influence in his life, slowly changed his mind. “She told me I needed to come here, that it was unbelievable, and I trusted her and came here,” Ryan Seiz said. “It’s been the best decision of my life.”

have been pitching well too.” In contrast to VMI’s leadoff struggles, Flames leadoff hitters got on base in five of their eight innings at the plate, led by a 4-4 day from freshman leadoff hitter Will Shepherd. Designated hitter Becker Sankey took advantage of the frequent Flames baserunners, going 2-4 with 3 RBIs. The Flames, a team that crushed three home runs against the Duke University Blue Devils just three days earlier, created offense in a very different way Friday night. Accord-

Leah Stauffer | Liberty Champion

RUNS — Liberty scored 26 runs in a three-game sweep.

Soon, brother and sister were back in familiar, familial territory — playing nearly the same sport, for the same school and with the same name stitched on the back of red-and-blue jerseys. They joke that the similarities are even more apparent off the field. “Oh my gosh, people mistake us for twins all the time,” Holly Seiz said. “We’ve got the same face.” “Yeah, but we pretty much have the same personality, too,” Ryan Seiz said. He paused, staring at his sister, “Which, you know, is honestly kind of scary.” The two burst out laughing at the same time. Of all the things the siblings share, though, it is their mutual pride and love for each other that outshines the rest. “I love going to her games, and it’s just awesome knowing I have my sister here to support me,” Ryan Seiz said. He shrugged, smiling at Holly Seiz, and added, “It’s a special bond we’ve always had together. We’re best friends.” Dale Carty II | Liberty Champion

RUSH is a sports reporter.

ing to Toman, the team worked on bunting for an hour in practice, and the work paid off in their win over the Keydets. After a two-run third inning, the Flames used infield singles and conventional singles, sacrifice bunts and bunt singles, to tack on one run each in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings. Although the Keydets only threatened to score in the sixth and seventh innings, Lambert seemed to hit his stride near the end of the game. “The adrenaline starts kicking in,” Lambert said. “By the time you get to the late innings, you’re not thinking. You’re not saying, ‘Man, where did my legs go?’ It’s just, ‘Give me the ball and let me get back out there.’” Liberty 4, VMI 0 The Liberty Flames baseball team beat the Keydets 4-0 in the second matchup of a three-game weekend series Saturday, April 5. Excellent pitching from a trio of Flames pitchers held VMI scoreless, allowing only of five hits. Carson Herndon, Blake Fulghum and Matt Marsh combined for nine strikeouts and held VMI to a .151 batting average for the game.

BEST FRIENDS — The Seiz siblings support each other on and off the field. Ryan plays second base, while Holly covers third.

The Flames did not do much better offensively, but they took advantage of their scoring opportunities to turn six hits into four runs. Herndon started off the game by striking out three of the first four batters he faced. A single and two walks left VMI with the bases loaded with only one out in the top of the second inning. But Herndon struck out the next batter, and a VMI runner was picked off at second after a grounder. Herndon’s pitching, including his six strikeouts, held the Keydets to zero runs through the middle of the fifth inning. However, his game was cut short when he injured his throwing arm with one out left in the fifth. Toman said Herndon’s arm had tightened up, and he was scheduled to be evaluated Monday. “We are praying that it is nothing serious,” Toman said, noting that Herndon has had a history of issues with his arm. Fulghum came in to replace Herndon on a 2-2 count with one out remaining in the inning. He was able to close it out quickly, as VMI batter Cameron Walter fouled out to right field. “The pitching coach told me that if (Herndon)

got in trouble, I would be the first guy up,” Fulghum said. “So I had it in my mind (to) just be ready the whole time.” In the bottom of the fifth, a dropped fly ball by VMI allowed Danny Grauer to advance to second base. The Flames took advantage of the error two at bats later when Ashton Perritt singled to center field, allowing Grauer to score the first run of the game. Liberty’s next runs did not come until the bottom of the eighth when VMI swapped out its pitcher. Facing three separate pitchers that inning, the Flames scored three runs off three hits. Matt Marsh came in to close out the game, and he shut out the Keydets in the ninth to secure the Flames victory. Liberty 17, VMI 0 When Flames freshman Parker Bean took the mound in the first inning, he knew he was about to have a special outing. “I thought from the start of the game in the bullpen, its just one of those things sometimes where I say, ‘I’m going to try to do something special today,’” Bean said. “… I think right from the get-go I was just confident in my abilities.” Bean held the Keydets

hitless and struck out a career-high 16 in 8 and 1/3 innings before finally surrendering a hit. “I didn’t really feel the nerves today,” Bean said. “I just played the game I love out there, and every inning I was eager to get back on the mound. I was keeping it alive in the dugout, talking with the guys and not making a big deal out of anything.” The Flames also had what Toman described as their most complete game of the year, as they tied a season-high with 17 runs. “You can’t pitch much better, you can’t play much better defense and you can’t hit better, I don’t believe,” Toman said. With the victory, the Flames moved their record to 25-8 and 11-1 in the Big South and will return to action Tuesday, April 8 to take on the Richmond Spiders. LEASURE is the editor-in-chief. TELLERS is a sports reporter. FOOTE is the asst. sports editor.


APRIL 8, 2014

Liberty Champion/B5




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Liberty Champion/B6

APRIL 8, 2014

Excellence in honor and service Alpha Lambda Delta held its annual initiation ceremony to welcome freshmen to the honor society

Olivia Brown

Alpha Lambda Delta (ALD) Honor Society initiates as well as friends and family members were welcomed to Towns Auditorium for the annual freshman initiation and reception Saturday, April 4. Dr. Boyd Rist, Liberty University provost emeritus, was the guest speaker for the night and congratulated the students on their academic achievement. After Dr. Marilyn Gadomski, ALD Faculty Advisor, spoke about privilege and responsibility, the students were initiated and invited to attend the dessert reception in the hallway outside the room. “Membership is by invitation only,” Gadomski said. “We gather people who ... have qualified through the Registrar’s Office.” According to ALD Administrative Advisor Bessie Grayson, the eligibility requirements include a GPA of 3.5 with no repeated or failed classes, enrollment in a four-year undergraduate program and a full course load each semester. Emma Maurer, a freshman at Liberty and a new ALD member, said she worked hard in the fall in order to receive an invitation to become a member. “I just happened upon the ALD page on Liberty’s website one day and saw the requirements and was determined to meet them this semester so I could be offered an invitation,” Maurer said. “When I knew my GPA was high enough, you could say I was twiddling my thumbs waiting for the invitation email, and finally it came through, and I accepted right away.” ALD became a recognized society at Liberty in 1986. It is a national organization specifically for students who are in their first year of college. “Alpha Lambda Delta is called a freshman honors society,” Gadomski said. “It’s a cross-disciplinary honors society for people in their first year in college and those people must have earned a 3.5 GPA. They then remain lifetime members. We honor those members that retain the 3.5 GPA through their entire years of col-

COMPETE continued from B8 In addition to academic and professional benefits, team captain Christian Gravatt said he valued the opportunity to grow closer to his teammates over the months leading up to the competition. “When you spend so much time with a group of people, enduring some of the struggles we did, a deep sense of community is formed,” Gravatt said. “I’m positive (that) someday I’ll be sitting on my porch in a nice rocking chair, telling friends and grandchildren about this awesome experience and how God used our imperfections for his glory.” As team captain, Gravatt’s responsibilities included scheduling practices, acting as the liaison between the team and McLaughlin and ensuring they maintained focus during the competition. Gravatt said the team worked on a four-hour case study and gave practice presentations twice a week beginning in October to prepare for the competition. Through practices, the team worked together to overcome obstacles and

Dale Carty II | Liberty Champion

INVITED — Each new member of ALD was personally invited to be a part of the honor society. lege, but they remain members of ALD, whether or not they retain the 3.5 GPA.” Though members do not need to keep their GPA above 3.5, Maurer said her new membership encouraged her to keep striving for her goal. “(Being an ALD member) motivates me to always do my best and keep my grades up, even when things get really stressful and I feel like I want to give up,” Maurer said. “Also, it’s really nice to be able to have the recognition among your peers and to have somewhere to congregate with others who hold the same scholastic values as you (do).” ALD is not only meant to reward students

learn from each other’s strengths and weaknesses, according to Gravatt. “The most memorable part was looking back and seeing how each and every team member tackled his or her own individual weakness or struggle,” Gravatt said. “The opportunity for God to use our weaknesses and struggles to display his love and truth is utterly amazing, and then for it to actually happen is surreal.” Gravatt said the victory would not have been possible without each team member’s dedication, McLaughlin’s sacrifices and service along the way and God’s provision. According to McLaughlin, in order to participate in this event, Liberty students must major in human resource management and complete part of the program before team practices begin in October. For more information about the Society for Human Resource Management and the HR competition team, contact McLaughlin at

DEWITT is a feature reporter.

Photo Provided

OPPORTUNITY — Competing gave the team professional experience.

with above-average GPAs, it is also a service organization, according to Grayson. “I haven’t been a member of ALD for very long, but I think the best thing about being a member is the opportunity to be involved in this community, and the membership will make my college degrees more appealing to potential employers,” Liberty freshman and new ALD member Jaymee Wagner said. According to Grayson, ALD has held an initiation banquet almost every year since it came to Liberty, and they begin planning the next ceremony the day after one has concluded. “What we do is we tweak everything,”

Grayson said. “We find out what works and what does not work. We try to (finish the ceremony) by 8:30 p.m. We respect our students’ time. Some of their families come, and (the students) want to spend time with them, so we respect that as well. Yet, at the same time, we do want to give them something of distinction.” ALD holds a variety of events throughout the year that are open to the public. To find out more, visit the Center for Academic Support and Advising Services (CASAS) website at BROWN is a feature reporter.

Photo Provided

Fighting for justice PRINCIPLE — Howard is utilizing the media to promote CWA’s mission.

Alison Howard is a voice for women’s and family rights at Concerned Women for America Christine Brown

Liberty University alumna Alison Howard is rising for the cause of prolife and pro-family issues as she battles the “war on women” and stands for limited government in the interest of women and American families, according to Howard was inspired to join Concerned Women for America (CWA) after doing an internship with the organization through the Washington Fellowship during her senior year at Liberty. “I loved being a voice for young women in America through this organization,” Howard said. Howard said her internship experience developed her love for CWA, and she soon became heavily involved in the media. According to CWA’s web-

site, Howard has appeared on Fox News, The Blaze, The Christian Broadcasting Network and in World Magazine. “Educating others (on public policy issues) has shown me the reality of how you can protect life by promoting life-affirming principles,” Howard said. “I am on the side of truth. I am on the side of life.” Howard’s work for the organization now affords her the opportunity to serve as an executive assistant to Penny Nance, CEO of CWA, as well as to lead CWA’s Ronald Reagan Memorial Internship Program, according to CWA’s website. Howard is also responsible for all internal and external communication for projects promoting awareness and action within the organization. “There has been such a heavy moral decline in

our nation,” Howard said. “This is why it is so important to make our cause relevant.” There has not been a day where the organization’s endeavors were not covered by prayer, she said. And according to CWA’s website, the organization has prayer/action chapters to accomplish this goal. “Our prayer/action chapters are state level, and the name alone encompasses everything CWA is about,” Howard said. “We have weekly fast meetings that last for an hour.” According to Howard, CWA’s prayer is that the organization will be effective in impacting the world with biblical principles while focusing on seven specific policy issues — sanctity of life, defense of family, education, religious liberty, national sovereignty, sexual exploitation and support for Israel.

“Public Policy affects everyone, not just women, and that’s the message CWA desires to get across,” Howard said. Due to Howard and CWA’s commitment to change, the organization is now the nation’s largest public policy women’s organization with 500,000 members. According to Howard, one of CWA’s recent campaigns took place March 25 in Washington, D.C., near the organization’s headquarters. CWA rallied in support of Hobby Lobby on the steps of the Supreme Court. To find out more information on how to get involved in the movement of change across the nation through CWA, visit or contact CWA at 202-488-7000. BROWN is a feature reporter.


APRIL 8, 2014

Liberty Champion/B7

Score composed in new program Bryan Tang’s composition, ‘Valor,’ is inspired by Colossians 3:23-24 and being triumphant and close to the Lord Lauren Glossner

Liberty University is allowing students to explore their passion for music in a new way starting in the fall of 2014 through the art of composing music for films. According to Dr. David Schmal, associate professor of commercial music, the new movie and scoring program will allow students to obtain a bachelor’s degree in commercial music with an emphasis in film scoring. Schmal explained that starting next fall, students with this major will study different styles of commercial music, film composition, television composition, media techniques and even study about video games. This year, the classes were introduced to the program as private lessons before the program becomes an official degree. Schmal said there are about 15 students participating this semester. One of these students is senior Bryan Tang. Tang has been writing musical cues this semester, which are typically short clips of music found in films. His piece, titled “Valor,” is an action cue that was

performed in early March by the Liberty Symphony Orchestra. Tang had to compose the music for every orchestral instrument. Tang and Schmal, Tang’s song writing professor, had to get “Valor” together in a very short time frame. According to Schmal, the quick turnaround is typical of the film business. Tang said the song was about being triumphant and having closeness with God, which shows valor and courage. For inspiration, he listened to other musicians and read scripture. Colossians 3:23-24 especially encouraged him, as this passage talks about working for the Lord and not for men. “You are to put your mind on things above, but in a sense you are still living here,” Tang said. “But because of your perspective, you want to do the best for the Lord, and that is my heart behind it.” According to Schmal, writing movie cues is leading the students into bigger things, such as being able to team up with the cinematic arts department to pair musical cues with visual clips. Tang is now teamed up with cinematic arts student Daniel Yee, who is directing a film called “Pacific

Dreams.” Tang and Yee are both from Malaysia and met each other at Liberty. Tang is working on writing approximately five cues for “Pacific Dreams.” “It’s a great way not just to study film music, but to have something practical and actually have the opportunity to do it, not just to talk about it,” Schmal said. According to Tang, he did not learn any theory or have any musical training before coming to Liberty. Everything he has done is the result of his theory and orchestration classes. “I think our program is unique,” Schmal said. “It is unique in most music schools throughout the United States because we put together a way of teaching theory that involves something called praxis, so when you learn something, you then practice it and you apply it.” Schmal noted that this method of teaching especially helps students like Tang, who have not had an extensive musical background, to learn and apply the material and give them the tools they need to succeed. GLOSSNER is a feature reporter.

Ana Campbell | Liberty Champion

MUSIC — Student have the opportunity to learn new styles of music through the new program.

Honor society hides eggs for charity Nicole Steenburgh

Jessica Jordan

Liberty University’s Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society (ALD) is hosting the Jubilee Center Easter Outreach, Wednesday, April 9 at 3-5:30 p.m. with an evening of activities and biblical teaching focused on reaching Lynchburg’s youth. According to its website,

the Jubilee Family Development Center was created to provide academic and social programs for at-risk youth in Lynchburg. Children and their families are offered development services that foster social growth and stability of families. The members of ALD serve the community throughout the year, and according to ALD’s Facebook page, the Easter outreach is one of its upcoming events. The day will include an Easter egg hunt, interactive gos-

pel presentation and a craft for the kids. “The Jubilee Center always leaves our officers encouraged,” Bessie Grayson, ALD administrative advisor, said. “They get the attention of the students with a craft and then get to share the story of Christ and Easter with them. ... It’s really great.” Current ALD member Kimberly Jamison has participated in ALD activities in the past and recognizes the importance of being a

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part of such an active club. “I love ALD, because they have events that involve the entire community happening throughout the year,” Jamison said. “… Reaching out to the youth of Lynchburg is so exciting, and being in ALD means I can be a part of that.” Along with the Jubilee Center Easter Outreach, ALD has also coordinated other events to get more involved with the youth of Lynchburg. ALD held its annual

Teddy Bear Drive, March 20, in which teddy bears and coloring books were collected from students and ALD members and were donated to the Pediatric Ward of Lynchburg General Hospital. “The vision behind the Teddy Bear Drive is to be a service and support to our community and sharing with the young ones and their families being cared for at the Pediatric Ward,” Grayson said. “… We have had a lot of feedback from

families sharing how the teddy bears helped their child.” Grayson said. For more information about ALD and future events, call 434-582-2080 or email

STEENBURGH is the feature editor. JORDAN is a news reporter.



APRIL 8, 2014

Set for nationals Liberty’s HR team won first place in a D.C. competition Kathleen DeWitt

Hannah Lipscomb | Liberty Champion

RESULTS — Jonathan Houck (left) joined fellow Liberty students and others from the surrounding area who competed in the race.

Freshman takes first

After being postponed due to snow, runners finally compete in Liberty Mt. 5k

Jeremy Beale

People from all over the Greater Lynchburg Area gathered at Camp Hydaway Thursday, April 3, to compete in the Liberty Mt. 5K Trail Race. “The event ran very well, and we had a great turnout, even with the postponement,” Associate Director of Student Activities (SA) Joshua Yeoman said. “The weather was terrific. Live results were a hit, and every-

thing went safe and smooth.” After opening ceremonies and prayer, more than 150 runners approached the start line bouncing up and down, stretching and warming up in anticipation of the starting horn. Only 22 minutes later, the first runner, 21-year-old Liberty freshman and Kristian Samaneigo crossed the finish line with his arms spread wide in celebration, finishing with a time of 22:05. “All I could hear was first place,

here comes first place, as I ran toward the finish line,” Samaneigo said. “Honestly, it was a surprise to me that I ran so fast and even more of a surprise to have taken first place.” Coming in a close second was Lynchburg College student Dakota Pellman with a time of 22:28, followed by Matthias Dailey, who finished in third place with 23:13. All times were recorded by Riverside Runners, a custom footwear shop located at

2480 Rivermont Avenue in Lynchburg. According to SA, all results can be found on the Riverside Runners website, Yeoman said he anticipates the system potentially being used in all upcoming SA races. The next SA race is the Bald Mountain 10k Trail Race, which will take place, April 26 at 8 a.m. at Camp Hydaway. BEALE is a feature reporter.

Following six months of practice and preparation, the Liberty University Human Resources (HR) competition team won first place in the 2014 Southeast Regional HR Competition in Washington, D.C., March 14-15. For placing first, the team received a $2,500 check to use as they travel to the National Society for Human Resource Management annual conference in Orlando, Fla., in June. According to HR competition team coach Dr. Colleen McLaughlin, the conference will give students exposure to approximately 15,000 business professionals, and they will have the opportunity to listen to various speakers including Laura Bush. During the competition, team members Jessica McIntyre, Johnna Ehlert, Adam Miller, Kimberly Higgins and Christian Gravatt were given four hours to analyze a business case, develop effective solutions to various issues, write an executive summary, including research, and create a PowerPoint presentation. After this time period, they gave a 15-minute presentation to a panel of judges and received scores based on the multiple aspects. The two teams with the highest scores presented before a new panel of judges and hundreds of audience members the following day. According to McLaughlin, participating in the competition gives students valuable professional experience. “The students benefit by increasing their individual knowledge of HR, analyzing strategic business issues, identifying alternatives to address identified business problems and ultimately developing effective and efficient solutions to provide the organization an increased opportunity to achieve sustainability,” McLaughlin said.


Recreating maps through time Jonathan Davis’ project was inspired by the time he spent with Native Americans during his childhood in Arizona

Kathleen DeWitt

Using cutting-edge technology, 2011 Liberty University alumnus Jonathan Davis combined his passion for history and knowledge of geographic information systems (GIS) to create visual stories that portray American history in a unique way. While working toward a master’s degree at Arizona State University, one of his projects gained attention from local radio station KTAR and Arizona State University News. His MapStory project, titled “American Indian Reservations 18th Century to Present,” paints a visual picture of the establishment and locations of these reservations over the past two centuries. Davis drew inspiration from his childhood experiences when choosing to research NativeAmerican reservation stories. After growing up in Arizona and competing with Native Americans in various sporting events, Davis became interested in Native American history. Later, he decided to use his educational platform to share their stories. “I have taken a particular interest in Native-American reservation stories, because I believe it is a sad story that needs to be

Photo Provided

HISTORY — Davis uses geographic information systems (GIS) to create the maps. told,” Davis said. “MapStory creates maps that are played in succession through time. With this tool and my experience in research and knowledge GIS, I believed it would be a great opportunity to tell this story.” His MapStory presentation includes a video tribute with music and pictures of Native Americans, as well as a brief historical background for each time period. According to Davis, his time at Liberty University provided an educational foundation that helped to prepare him for his project at

Arizona State University. “Liberty University gave me numerous opportunities to further my education and propelled me to seek to innovate and continuously learn new skills that would serve me in life and help me better serve the Lord,” Davis said. “I primarily learned my research methodologies from Liberty and to both think critically and be self-motivated in order to do my best work in any endeavor I undertake.” Davis said that GIS is beneficial not only for historical proj-

ects but also in other fields. “If a student has a desire to work in a similar field to mine, a knowledge of geographic information systems is a must. GIS is a rapidly growing field and would be an invaluable addition to any skillset,” Davis said. “Its ability to leverage big data into a spatial medium has created jobs in many industries, including advertising, environmental, housing, business, sports, politics and weather.” Liberty began offering an undergraduate course for students interested in learning about geo-

graphic information systems in the spring of 2014. The course, environmental science 370, gives students the opportunity to learn about this topic as it relates to environmental projects, according to the Liberty website. Biology and chemistry Department Chair Dr. David DeWitt said the course was developed by Liberty University Online instructor Dr. Stephen Underwood to aid students in their future career paths. “To be marketable in the growing environmental field, the student must possess mapping skills,” Underwood wrote in the course syllabus. “Most environmental decisions require the analysis of data portrayed on maps. This course will teach the student to utilize data to generate maps for the purpose of analysis.” According to Underwood, students will gain experience creating maps and reports on environmental projects to include in their resumes and portfolios. DeWitt said that the course is currently only offered online, but the department hopes to offer a residential course in the future.

DEWITT is a feature reporter.

Liberty Champion April 8th 2014