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Palin speaks at Convocation Nov. 4

Book signing for a cure

Men’s basketball wins tournament





Today: Mostly Sunny 58/41 Tomorrow: A.M. Clouds/P.M. Sun 60/51


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Liberty University


Volume 31 • Issue 11

Lynchburg, Va.

Falwell gets fit


President loses 75 pounds Melanie Oelrich

chocolate, apple cider and Christmas cookies were available for students as they sang carols and waited for the lighting of the tree. Several students were chosen to participate in a Christmas costume contest where audience applause determined the winner.

Just 48 hours before the 2012 Commencement, President Jerry Falwell, Jr. experienced symptoms of what he later found out to be a Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA) — a miniature stroke. “There was numbness in my hand, my face started to droop, and Becki noticed that I was drooling,” Falwell said. “I told her I didn’t have any feeling in my hand, and I could barely speak. It only lasted a couple of minutes, but it was very strange.” Falwell was then rushed to the hospital where he stayed overnight as doctors ran tests to determine what was happening. What he originally thought was a symptom of his occasional migraines turned out to be TIA. “I initially didn’t tell my family, and the interview with WSET on Nov. 7 was the first time that I talked about it publicly,” Falwell said. “Lots of people my age contacted me after seeing the WSET interview and told me their similar stories, but most of them have had the bigger stroke that usually follows the ministroke.” Falwell said he was “blessed by God” that he was able to catch the symptoms in time and turn his habits around into a healthier lifestyle before they became deadly. “The doctors said that if I could keep my blood pressure low for six to eight months and leave it there, the blood vessels that were damaged would grow back,” Falwell said. Although Falwell’s stroke did not originally initiate the weight loss, not having to worry about any surprise health problems is definitely a benefit to losing the weight, Falwell said. “I had been on blood pressure medication for 15 years, and the doctor wanted to put me on cholesterol medicine as well, but I declined that,” Falwell said. “Instead, I started changing my eating habits, and I progressively lost the weight.” Falwell, who is now medication-free, turned 50 last year, and at that point, he said he began to care more about his weight and personal health. The first month of his new weight loss plan, Falwell cut out sweet tea, soft drinks and any other kind of sweet drinks, he said. The second month, he cut out burgers, and during the third month, he started eating fruit to go along with his chicken sandwich. Over a span of 18 months, Falwell dropped from 240 to 165 pounds, total of 75 pounds in weight loss.

See TREE, A7


Ruth Bibby | Liberty Champion

TWINKLE — Students came to see the fourth-annual Christmas In Lights Monday, Nov. 18.

Trees light up campus Students gather to celebrate the beginning of the Christmas season Sophia Hahn

Gabriella Fuller

Students packed the front steps of DeMoss Hall to watch the fourth-annual Christmas In Lights hosted by Student Activities Monday, Nov. 18.

The festivities began at 7 p.m. with the brass ensemble and the university choirs performing “Carol of the Bells.” Dylan Stine, senior and Student Activities staff member, then welcomed the students to the event. According to Stine, the early Christmas celebration brought out more than 1,000 students. Free hot

Winterfest to provide new opportunities Starting this year, students will become involved with the concert by filling production and hosting positions Sophia Hahn

Liberty University is planning to have its largest Winterfest yet, with more than 8,000 people packing the campus, and some students will have the opportunity of a lifetime, according to John Rost, director of campus productions. Matthew Hockensmith, special events coordinator under national recruitment, explained that Winterfest is a fun way for

juniors in high school and early collegeage students to bring in the New Year. “Winterfest is two action-packed days of high-energy activities and entertainment, and life-changing spiritual growth,” said. Liberty is now using students as well as professionals to help produce Winterfest, Rost said. Students will be taking on production roles as well as the four hosting positions. “As we develop the program in the

School of Communication & Creative Arts, we are trying to look for opportunities where students can get involved in a professional status,” Rost said. “The goal is to pair production students with professionals in a mentoring relationship so that they are learning from skilled people that have many years of experience.” According to Rost, more than 40 students showed up to try out for the hosting position Wednesday, Nov. 6, which can help students get hands-on experience.




Students submit commercials in Doritos Super Bowl competition. A8

Field hockey and women’s soccer make it to first round of NCAA championships. B1

Thomas Road Baptist Church prepares for the Virginia Spectacular. B10

“We have at Liberty many people that are looking toward careers in front of the camera, and there is only so much that can happen in a classroom environment,” Rost said. “This is an opportunity to put future TV hosts in front of a real camera, in front of a real audience with real pressure.”

News Opinion Sports Feature



DECEMBER 3, 2013

Liberty Champion/A2

Carson wins grant VAS funds medical research Tobi Walsh

Photo Provided

WINDOWS — Microsoft employees answered questions from upper-level business students looking to find a job.

Microsoft visits campus Computer company employees speak at School of Business, provide insight

Greg Leasure

Students from the Liberty University School of Business heard from representatives from the Microsoft Corporation Wednesday, Nov. 13 about how to get ahead in the world of information technology. According to School of Business Dean Scott Hicks, the Liberty Information Technology Operations department partners with Microsoft in certain areas of its daily operations. Six Microsoft employees were working at Liberty Nov. 13, and while on campus, they shared some of their business experience with students in the classroom. Microsoft engineer Goldwyn Vaz, along with five other Microsoft employees who work in various aspects of the company, communicated with students about what working for Microsoft is like before the six visitors took questions from students about everything from Microsoft’s corporate structure to the importance of being

WINTERFEST continued from A1 Rost sent out the results of the auditions Nov. 20, announcing that Liberty students Lauren Creekmore, Tory Abrahamsen, Tucson Vanloo and Julie Guy will be hosting this year’s Winterfest, he said. According to Guy, a junior in the communication program, when she found out she was selected as one of the hosts, she was shocked. She thought she had a good audition but was not sure if she would actually get the position. “This opportunity is huge,” Guy said. “The fact that I get the chance to get on a national broadcast is definitely a great résumé builder. It’s something that you don’t get the chance to do too often, so when it’s here, you got to make the best of it.” According to Rost, although the student hosts will not be left without people to help guide them, they

certified in programs like Microsoft Excel. “Hopefully there are some folks in the room (who) are aspiring IT professionals,” Vaz said. “Hopefully one of us has spoken to them and inspired them to help in carrying on Microsoft by using the culture and skills they gained from Liberty.” According to Hicks, the opportunity for students to learn from Microsoft employees about exactly what is required of them when it comes time to apply for the jobs they want was valuable and all part of his philosophy of “applied, practical and experiential learning.” Hicks also said that the Christian/ Community Service hours that all Liberty students complete every semester can play a big part in allowing students to set themselves apart from their competition. “It’s very interesting that our students are already being trained to be a very good fit for small companies or large companies like Microsoft who are focused on giving back and adding

value, and that is what Liberty University is all about,” Hicks said. Hicks estimated that the Liberty School of Business hosts approximately 40-60 guest speakers each semester through School of Business Convocations, classroom visits and events held by clubs. According to Hicks, whether Liberty School of Business students choose to pursue a career in information technology or something else, Microsoft’s visit further emphasized what Liberty graduates have to offer. “I could go for the next few hours naming the companies that, when they get our students, they love them,” Hicks said. “Once that brand is established, we have no problem with our students competing. They’re competing because they come in with confident humility, a great education, critical thinking skills, communication skills and a work ethic that’s unparalleled. The business will work to teach you the rest.” LEASURE is the editor-in-chief.

It’s something that you don’t get the chance to do too often, so when it’s here, you got to make the best of it. — JULIE GUY

will have the privilege of performing all the tasks that a normal host would have. “Two of (the hosts) will be on a set, and the other two will be running around the auditorium with a camera doing interviews with fans and other celebrities,” Rost said. “We are hoping to do interviews with each one of the musical acts prior to the event that we will then air during the event.” Hosts will get to interview such acts as Skillet, Third Day and some of the Robertsons from the hit reality show Duck Dynasty, Hockensmith said. According to Hockensmith, Winterfest will be broadcasted live on JC-TV, Tri-State Christian Television and several local stations with a potential au-

dience of more than 100 million households in the United States and more than two million viewers from 15 countries in Europe and Asia. “It gets (students) experience with a large upscale production that is going into millions of homes, but also we know that our students here are the best,” Hockensmith said. “It really shows the type of talent we have here on campus by having students get involved with the production.” Students also have the opportunity to work other positions as well — running cameras, floor and technical directing, assisting with lighting and audio, stage managing and any other active production positions that are available, accord-

ing to Rost. “This year’s broadcast is far above anything that has been done in the past, from the standpoint of we have a much larger audience that is watching, and we are trying to hit the quality of a major awards show or a major concert,” Rost said. “We want to elevate students into primary roles as quickly as they are ready to accept them.” For more information about Winterfest, visit

Liberty student Michael Carson recently won a grant from the Virginia Academy of Science (VAS) for his research on Alzheimer’s disease, adding $500 to Liberty’s research fund. Carson presented in front of a panel of judges Oct. 26 from the VAS, competing against not only other Liberty students, but also students from schools such as Virginia Tech and George Mason University. Carson said he is one of six students to work with assistant professor of biology Gary Isaacs, who has acquired more than $90,000 to fund research on the disease. “Dr. Isaacs has provided me the unique opportunity to participate in research as an undergraduate student,” Carson said. “It is definitely a team effort. In an undergraduate environment, it is more common to have a number of students working on projects.” Carson said he knew that as a premed student, working on research like Alzheimer’s would only be beneficial to him in the long run. “Many people have seen the effects of Alzheimer’s disease firsthand and are extremely interested in research that seeks to explain the epigenetic nature of the disease,” Carson said. Isaacs said he asked Carson to be on his research team after he performed well in his genetics course here at Liberty. “Michael has great promise as a scientist,” Isaacs said. “He is very bright, hard-working and can communicate ideas well to others. These attributes clearly aided his preparation and presentation at the VAS meeting.” Isaacs said he also started researching Alzheimer’s while he was a student at Liberty. “I started studying Alzheimer’s back in 1998,” Isaacs said. “It was for my senior honors thesis, which I submitted with the help of my thesis chair, David DeWitt.” Carson said he feels that it is important to research Alzheimer’s. Several students at Liberty have seen the impact of the disease on their own family members. Jenn Timmerman was only five years old when her great-grandmother was first diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. “My great-grandmother was a big part of my life,” Timmerman said. “I didn’t understand it at first, because she still came and spent time at my house during Christmastime.” Timmerman said it was not until she was 10 that the effects started to become more noticeable. “It was really sad, because she was a doll collector (and) a girl scout troop leader,” Timmerman said. “She held a pottery class in her basement and (was) a huge force in the community, but the disease took away her ability to do any of that.” Timmerman said it is great to see Liberty students working on research for the disease. “Alzheimer’s runs in my family. and my whole family is praying that someone is able to find a cure before the disease affects anyone else in my family,” Timmerman said. “If Liberty can help this person find a cure, I think that’s really awesome.” WALSH is a news reporter.

HAHN is the news editor. Kyle Erickson | Liberty Champion

FUNDED — Carson researched Alzheimer’s because the disease runs in his family.





DECEMBER 3, 2013

Liberty Champion/A3

Professor promotes Christmas joy Tom Donovan invites guests to tour his home filled with more than 80 trees and thousands of decorations Kristen Hines

The spirit of Christmas comes early to the Donovan home every year. Starting in September, Liberty University Online assistant professor Tom Donovan, husband of assistant professor of Psychology Sundi Donovan, breaks out the decorations and puts up more than 80 trees and thousands of decorations to cover every wall, shelf and room of their home, according Tom Donovan. More than 200 people tour their home during their invitation-only open house events, which begin right after Thanksgiving break, Tom Donovan said. “It’s not for the people to come over, it’s not for the lights and it’s not for the trees,” Tom Donovan said. “It’s because it is the birth of our savior. I get very excited about the fact that God loved us so much to send his son to this earth to become one of us.” According to Tom Donovan, his love for Christmas began at a very young age. At three years old, he brought in a dead tree branch from the backyard and set it up in his room as his own personal Christmas tree. As an adult, his office is the most decorated room in the house, Tom Donovan said, and is usually themed as Santa’s workshop, including everything from animated elves to train sets. Last year, there were 40 trees in his office alone. Nathan Norman, a 5-year-old boy with brain cancer, toured the Donovan’s home with his fam-

ily last year, Tom Donovan said. At the end of the tour, they asked Norman what his favorite room was. “He took us all the way up to our guest room, which was odd because it is a very formal room,” Tom Donovan said. “His mom asked him, ‘Nathan, why is this your favorite room?’ and he said, ‘Because there is a lot of gold in here, and gold is the color of the angels I see.’” According to Tom Donovan, Norman’s mom said that, as the cancer was getting worse, Norman began to see angels. Now, whenever Tom Donovan takes a group to the guest room, he tells them Norman’s story and asks them to pray for Norman and his family. The Donovans opened up their home for its first tour seven years ago. Some of the decorations are decades old, although Tom Donovan adds more to the collection every year. “I decorate every aspect of my home as an illustration of me celebrating the birth of my savior with every part of my being and having our savior fill every part of my heart,” Tom Donovan said. “Just like baptism is an outward expression of an inward decision, my outward celebration is an expression, a very limited expression as exuberant as this display is, of the joy that I have in my heart for the birth of our savior.” On Christmas Day last year, an article on the Donovan’s home was printed on the front page of The News & Advance. “The reporter asked me point blank, ‘Why do you do it? It’s so much work,’”

Courtney Russo | Liberty Champion

DECORATE — Tom Donovan and Sundi Donovan start decorating their house for Christmas in September. Tom Donovan said. “And it is, but that is why. Without Christ, there is no reason to do it ... there are certain opportunities that have been opened to me to share the gospel, simply because I have 80 trees in my home.” Although it is plenty of work, Tom Donovan alone assembles and dissembles the decorations. According to Tom Donovan, his passion for Christmas and joy over the birth of his savior has created a platform to spread the true meaning of Christmas.

HINES is a news reporter.

Courtney Russo | Liberty Champion

SPIRIT — Tom Donovan and Sundi Donovan pose in front of one of their 80 trees.


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Merry Christmas!



DECEMBER 3, 2013

Oh SNAP: Program slims down

Providing food stamps is not a government responsibility, and cuts will save Americans billions of dollars

Tyler Beaston

November saw a cut to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly called food stamps, which will reduce benefits for nearly 47 million Americans, according to a USA Today article by Tom Brook. Unsurprisingly, people are upset, if the comment sections of news websites are anything to go by. The plan to cut food stamps by $39 billion during the next decade was approved by the House in a 217-210 vote in September. According to Brook’s article, the only reason benefits have shrunk is that President Barack Obama’s stimulus bill from 2009 is expiring. The government can provide a measure of assistance for basic needs, I suppose, but that is hardly its main purpose for existing. I believe the government should only be involved when people truly do not have the ability to provide for themselves. More simply, I think the threshold for SNAP eligibility should be higher. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, in order to be qualified for SNAP, a household’s income for a family of three must be at or below $25,400 a year. I will come right out and say that I have mostly conservative beliefs, so I am a fan of that timeless, heartless conservative practice — slashing budgets. But William Galston, in his Wall Street Journal article, makes an important point. “Over the past two decades, the program’s overpayment rate has been cut by more than half to three percent, according to the U.S. Food and Nutrition Service,” Galston wrote. “The large increase in the program’s cost over the past decade mostly reflects worsening economic conditions rather than looser eligibility standards, increased benefits, or more waste, fraud and abuse. As the economy improves over the next decade, the number of beneficiaries will fall sharply.” There clearly are positive changes with SNAP. But when I am home on break, I work in a grocery store, and I see firsthand how people use food stamps. I become particularly frustrated when someone pays for a large grocery order with food stamps after I see multiple $20 bills in his or her wallet. This is not a rare occurrence. Perhaps the individual has a completely legitimate reason for carrying so much cash, but it still raises a red flag in my mind.

Google Images

VINTAGE — Food stamps have evolved from traditional paper stamps to electronic banking cards. Years ago, I knew a man who said when he was younger, he made $300 per year over the limit to be eligible for some sort of welfare. To my horror, the man said he went to his boss to ask for a pay reduction so he could apply for government assistance. Fortunately, the boss did not comply. However, the story made it clear that people will go to great lengths to receive some sort of welfare. If there is to be any sort of turnaround for the American economy, something has to be cut. There is simply no way to avoid it. People become caught up in complaining about the small cuts that happen now, and they forget that without those cuts, the future reductions would be even more painful. I often wonder what would happen if the government ceased funding many of its aid programs. I do not advocate the idea, but it would force people to be wiser and more responsible with finances. Families and individuals would have to turn to different outlets for survival. The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) is a better assistance

program. From my experience, I found that it restricts consumers to certain types of food, which are almost always healthy. Also, the value of the WIC check is low and possibly prevents the consumer from overspending. Granted, WIC only covers children until they are five years old, according to the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) website. But if the methodology behind WIC were applied to SNAP, the resulting program would be quite effective. “WIC is not an entitlement program, as Congress does not set aside funds to allow every eligible individual to participate in the program,” the FNS website states. “WIC is a Federal grant program for which Congress authorizes a specific amount of funds each year for the program.” In addition to providing access to healthy food, the program provides nutritional education and referrals to other social services, according to the website. And what happened to the man I knew who wanted a pay cut? He and his family got along just fine.

BEASTON is an opinion writer.

Social media is harming our relationships

Technology has influenced the way individuals communicate, often times leading to isolation and depression David Van Dyk

Social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have taken the world by storm. Social networks have not only connected the world in ways never thought possible, but they have also divided friends.

No doubt social networks have done great things, and I have seen firsthand how these amazing feats of technology have transformed lives. Social media has shaped society in ways that we could never have imagined 15 years ago. I have often said to others that anything can be misused. The Bible,

Ruth Bibby | Liberty Champion

HYPER-SOCIAL — Today’s generation stays constantly connected via interactive sites.

by Greg Leasure At least six people in my home state of Illinois were killed by an EF-4 tornado Sunday, Nov. 17. According to ABC News, 170190 mph winds tore through central Illinois, injuring about 120 people, destroying between 250 and 500 buildings and prompting Gov. Pat

Quinn to declare seven counties in his state disaster areas. Although I did not personally know any of the people affected by the storm, I know how it feels to hide in the basement because of a tornado warning, a familiar feeling for many residents of the Midwest. I cannot imagine having LEASURE to hide in my basement, only to find that the rest of my house had been shredded to pieces.

the infallible word of God, was misused by Satan to tempt Jesus to stumble. Facebook is no exception. According to Brian Jung of the Houston Chronicle, many have found Facebook to be a place of bullying. “The immediacy provided by social media is available to predators as well as friends,” Jung said. “Kids especially are vulnerable to the practice of cyberbullying in which the perpetrators, anonymously or even posing as people their victims trust, terrorize individuals in front of their peers. The devastation of these online attacks can leave deep mental scars.” Throughout the news, we see perpetual cases of young teens being bullied and verbally assaulted on Facebook. Or take the opposite extreme, where a teenage girl commits suicide. According to Michael Walsh of New York Daily News, this was the case of 17-year-old Aishwarya Dahiwal. “An Indian college student reportedly hanged herself ... after her parents forbid her from using Facebook,” Walsh wrote. “The dead body of Aishwarya S. Dahiwal, 17, of Parbhani in West India, was found in her bedroom the next morning

Unfortunately, that scenario became a reality for many families Nov. 17. I am always amazed at how fast relief efforts are organized when tragedy strikes, especially after natural disasters. Since the advent of the Internet, people halfway across the world can not only find out about a natural disaster within minutes of it happening, but they can also give money online to organizations that have the resources to contribute to recovery efforts. But for all the positives that come along with increased awareness of tragedies, it does seem easier to forget

with a suicide note, India Real Time reported.” Her note read, “Is Facebook so bad? I cannot stay in a home with such restrictions as I can’t live without Facebook.” Facebook has contributed much to our society, opening opportunities of communication that were otherwise impossible, but more and more people are finding that the costs of having a Facebook profile are surprisingly expensive. My solution to this seemingly endless epidemic? Do not delete your profile or throw technology out the window. Like my parents said as I grew up, everything in moderation. Balance out those Facebook rants that you think people read and grow some solid relationships with people around you. Technology is an ever-expanding journey of human invention, discovering how far we can explore into the complexities of our own biology and the depths of our universe. Yet let us remember that, along with technologies like social media, we must remember who we are: Humans created by God with a desire to grow and nurture deep and meaningful relationships. VAN DYK is an opinion writer.

how life-changing these events are. When things like this happen, rarely does it sink in that these people are not just temporarily inconvenienced. This is an event from which it will take years to recover both financially and emotionally. The Internet has changed many things about modern society, but one thing I hope never changes is our ability to empathize with those who have been affected by tragedy.


DECEMBER 3, 2013

Liberty Champion/A5

Christmas controversy and cheer From shopping habits to greetings, writers discuss the very best and the very worst of the holiday season Tom Foote

One of the most popular and beloved holiday competitions in the past few years surrounds an old tradition — Christmas. Gone are the days when Christmas was a fun time to spend with family. Rather, Christmas season has become a stressful season for millions across the world. Christmas now consists of activities such as racing the lovely old lady, who you have been camping next to in a parking lot for the past two days, through the narrow aisles of Wal-Mart to buy the brand new Xbox One at a slightly discounted price. This race usually occurs on the unofficial start of the Christmas season —Black Friday. While Black Friday is a nice concept, it has also turned into one of the most violent days of the year. Nearly every year, stories and Breann Black | Liberty Champion videos emerge of people being seriously injured or dying as they

Zachary Pinkston

Though generally considered to be a time of peace and good tidings, the rhetoric wars surrounding the holiday season have made Christmas controversy all too customary. Now that Christmas is fast approaching, the conflict arises yet again. Should we settle for using the generic “Happy Holidays” or is there an obligation to use the Christmas-specific greeting “Merry Christmas?” Many Christians would say that “Merry Christmas” is the appropriate greeting, but there are some who would disagree. Should we as Christians be offended when someone wishes us “Season’s Greetings” rather than “Merry Christmas?” According to a 2010 poll from the Public Religion Research Institute, Americans are split between whether retailers ought to use generic holiday greetings. The findings revealed that 44 percent of those polled were in favor of nonspecific greetings while 49 percent were opposed. The research reveals that Christmas has become less of a Christian-centric holiday and more of a generic cultural holiday. Yet just because religious connotations are lost on some does not mean that Christians

attempt to navigate their path through K-Marts, Wal-Marts and a variety of additional stores. Grandma may never be run over by a reindeer, but she may be run over by a rabid Black Friday shopper in search of the ultimate gift. That search for the ultimate gift is a disturbing trend across America. Millions of people have become so obsessed with finding the perfect gift for their spouse, child or loved one that they would do nearly anything to secure it. Giving is a wonderful concept, but the giving that occurs during the Christmas season has become a forced necessity. Rather than giving out of kindness, people feel an obligation to buy the biggest and best gift they can find merely as a form to impress, not as a way to say thank you. The obligation to buy the best gifts at the lowest prices creates stress as millions of people search for gifts for not only immediate family members, but also distant relatives. During this frantic search, the true meaning of Christmas is often lost. Although everyone enjoys receiving and giving gifts, that should only be a small part of the Christmas season, not the whole part. While playing bumper carts through Wal-Mart may sound like a fun idea, this should not be anyone’s concept of an ideal

cannot still celebrate what they believe. I, as a Christmas-celebrating Christian, say that no, we should not be upset that most people are now using the phrase “Happy Holidays.” While Christmas is the traditional celebration for this time of year, and while it is ultimately the celebration of the birth of Jesus, the United States is a melting pot of cultures, and Christmas is not the only holiday celebrated this time of year. There is Hanukkah, Rosh Hashanah and Diwali, among others. These are all celebrated around the month of December. A generic greeting, then, means treating everyone equally amidst a more religiously and culturally diverse America. As Christians, we are called to love our neighbors, and living in the United States, our neighbors could be from any culture or background. The probability that they celebrate something other than Christmas is high. Christmas is a time of giving. God gave Jesus Christ so we may have redemption. Christmas is not the time for us to start feuds or arguments about the titles or greetings we hear. For that matter, why does anyone care? If she says “Happy Holidays,” and he says “Merry Christmas,” so what? If we put aside our differences, and the

Gabriella Fuller

Seven hundred years before Jesus would enter a manger, a prophet was declaring the mysterious truth of salvation through the birth of a child. So immersed in the presence of God was the prophet that, though centuries before fulfillment, he spoke the future as if he had already seen it — as if he had already stood in adoration before the manger of Jesus. “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Though we now recognize the passage of Isaiah 9:6-7 as a staple of the holiday season, Isaiah first wrote these words while livBreann Black | Liberty Champion ing in the midst

of a distressed Israelite people. Filled with anguish and cast into exile by the Babylonians, Isaiah desperately pleaded with the Lord for salvation from the punishment of Israel’s oppressors. Little did Isaiah know that God’s plan was not only for the salvation of Isaiah’s generation, but also for the salvation of all generations on earth. We are quick to forget just how meaningful and monumental Christmas truly is. Christmas is a day incapable of human explanation. Only God, who encompasses the beginning and end of the world, could reveal to a chosen person the mystery of the future and deliver salvation to his creation through the mystery of the manger. Author and theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer spoke of the mystery of Christmas in his work “God Is in the Manger: Reflections on Advent and Christmas.” In this passage, he describes how truly compelling the image of the manger should be for all Christians. “For the great and powerful of this world, there are only two places in which their courage fails them, of which they are afraid deep down in their souls, from which they shy away,” Bonhoeffer wrote. “These are the manger and the cross of Jesus Christ. No powerful person dares to approach the manger, and this

Greg Leasure

Mark Tait

Emily Webster

Meighan Thompson






Gabriella Fuller


Melanie Oelrich



Derrick Battle


Omar Adams


Courtney Russo


Tom Foote


Ashley McAlpin


Leah Stauffer


Sara Warrender


Shelanne Jennings




Nicole Steenburgh





Ruth Bibby



FOOTE is the asst. sports editor.

greetings, we may even get a chance to tell our neighbors why we truly celebrate Christmas. As the holiday season becomes more secularized and interreligious, we have a growing opportunity to spread truth and light. If we as Christians get offended when someone says “Happy Holidays,” we are essentially shutting ourselves down from ever being able to witness to them about the gospel. Saying that we are against “Happy Holidays” tells others that we do not respect their culture. Telling someone “Happy Holidays” shows that person, whether they are Christian or Islamic, we respect their background. Once they realize that you respect their culture, you can develop a sense of mutual respect and, in turn, tell them about Jesus. But no one wants to listen to the opinion of someone who has declared a “war on Christmas.” This year, do not get frustrated or aggravated when someone says “Happy Holidays.” Realize there are many different cultures in the United States, and by only saying “Merry Christmas,” we are essentially saying their religion or culture is not recognized. Instead, take the occasion that has been


Deborah Huff

Christmas season. Instead of dedicating your Christmas season to searching for the perfect gifts, think about if you are buying those gifts for the right reasons. Are you buying a gift to show your appreciation for others, or are you buying that gift to satisfy your own personal ego in an attempt to impress that person? Christmas does not have to be a competition to see who buys the cheapest or best gift. Christmas should be much more than that. In today’s culture, forgetting the true reasons for Christmas can be quite easy. While giving gifts may be done with good intention, gift giving and receiving is not the true meaning of Christmas. Christmas season is supposed to be about spending time with friends and family and, most importantly, remembering the origin of the holiday — the birth of Jesus Christ. So, this Christmas season, instead of waiting outside of Wal-Mart in freezing temperatures, ready to clash carts with thousands of angry shoppers, spend time with family and friends and show your appreciation for them, not the gift you buy them.


Breann Black | Liberty Champion

presented to you and use it to begin a conversation. Show interest in the person’s differences, and let the Holy Spirit guide you in presenting the truth of Jesus’ birth and work in your life. The best way to get someone to listen to your opinion is to first respect his or her culture and opinion.

PINKSTON is an opinion writer.

even includes King Herod. For this is where thrones shake, the mighty fall, the prominent perish, because God is with the lowly. Here the rich come to nothing, because God is with the poor and hungry, but the rich and satisfied he sends away empty. Before Mary, the maid, before the manger of Christ, before God in lowliness, the powerful come to naught.” There were no priests or theologians who stood at the manger in Bethlehem, yet this single event in history now defines the whole of Christian theology and faith. Who we are as sons and daughters of Christ has its defining point in this wonder of all wonders: God became human. Bonhoeffer states it best when he writes “we ought to remember the holiday season with knees bent before the mystery of the divine child in the stable.” I challenge you to become captured and compelled by the wonder of the manger this Christmas. Take time to reverently reflect on the mysteries of God and allow his presence to reignite a passion and desire for him this season. Let us never forget the power of the message “to us a son is given.” FULLER is the opinion editor.

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



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



Liberty Champion/A6

DECEMBER 3, 2013

Letter to the Editor: Liberty then and now

Alumna Julleanna Seely reflects on her time at Liberty and gives recommendations to current students I was just you. Dreaming big, studying hard and experiencing the daily joys and trials of college life – all with the full potential of what life could offer right in front of me. Now, I want to caution you. Do not take these precious years for granted. Soak in the wisdom from your professors and countless speakers, and appreciate the fellowship of friends. You will miss that. There is so much more to do at Liberty. Ten years ago, there was no Campus East or Campus North, and the Hancock Welcome Center was readily overlooked. You have an ice rink, skiing, pools and impeccable sports fields all around you to keep you active. These are all wonderful things, most of which are new to me, but they are just things. People are what matter. I encourage you to invest your college years into building relationships with people who can be a support and friend to you for years to come. You have the best opportunity for that right now. I only had the chance to

Julleanna Seely

Be warned, Liberty student. Ten years will pass quickly. You will be in your 30s, standing in front of DeMoss thinking, “Has a decade really passed since I was here?” At least, that is how I felt after returning to the Liberty campus for only the second time since I graduated 10 years ago. It is truly shocking and quite impressive how much a place can change in that amount SEELY of time. Returning “home” to Liberty during Homecoming was a bit like time travel. Suddenly, everything I have done and all the places I have been faded to the background as my mind’s eye relived my experiences from those four years I spent at Liberty.

see a few people I knew during my visit, but that was the best part by far. The familiar faces will be welcome as LU continues to grow and change. It was almost difficult to find places that were familiar to me 10 years ago, hidden amidst the grandeur of what this campus has become. But I found those familiar places. The Circle Dorms 26, 27 and 28 are where I stayed all four years. Those long halls and cinder block walls became home to me. Shout out to those of you living there now! The Champion office looked much the same when I stopped in to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the paper as it did when I served as editor-in-chief my senior year. This year’s staff seemed great, and Deborah Huff continues to be an exceptional advisor. The Vines Center is mostly as I remember. Though it is sad to think that Dr. Jerry Falwell, Sr. no longer takes the stage. I can still hear him detailing his

dreams for Liberty and his vision of training hundreds of thousands of champions for Christ. Though he is no longer with us, his dream seems more alive than ever. The Prayer Chapel was the final and most familiar place. It sits on that hill so unassuming in its refreshing simplicity. The dark interior still holds the same wooden pews and humble stage with a piano tucked in the corner. This was the place where I felt most at home. It is a place that is easily overlooked, but you should go there sometime. Alone. And pray. It can quiet your spirit in the midst of any storm. It is in those quiet moments alone in his presence where you are truly given the strength to become a champion. You are here for a reason, Liberty student. Make the most of your next 10 years.

SEELY is a former editor-in-chief of the Liberty Champion.

Staff Goodbyes

Editors share some of their most memorable experiences with the Champion

Sara Warrender Hey guys! I will be stepping down, back to the position of a writer. The only change you will notice from me is my title. By stepping down, it will give me the opportunity to work as a writer and continue being involved with the paper. I remember walking down the sidewalk my first day at Liberty, my unopened books falling to the bottom of my backpack, the crisp pages begging for attention. I told God as I was walking that if he would open the doors for me to write at Liberty, then I would gladly walk through those doors. That week I wrote a story about Mark Simpson. The story made the front page, and I was ecstatic that a freshman made the paper, let alone the front page. Since then, God has allowed me to write, and I promised him he would always be the driving force behind my writing.

What a journey from feature writer, to assistant feature editor, to feature editor and now back to a writer. I am in my sophomore year, and I hope to have many other writing opportunities coming my way. Hopefully you will see my name again. In the future, I hope to continue to write for the Champion while being involved in broadcast at Liberty and writing for local magazines. After graduation, I would like to write for a local paper for a while, then a magazine where I could settle down with a family while continuing to write. If I were somehow able to be involved with the military, then that would also be a welcomed opportunity. I do not know where God will take me, but the journey has been great so far. I love all the friends I made at the Champion. We have had lots of laughs, and a few of them have also gotten me through some very hard times. I will always cherish those long talks in the office with the friends I know will last a lifetime. I love you guys! Feature will always be ahead.

Ruth Bibby A picture says a thousand words. I have printed thousands of words in reds and blues, darks and lights and in little square boxes scattered across the Liberty Champion. But I guess it is time to focus on these black and white characters to say my goodbye. I have held an odd position as photography editor where strangers are familiar, and athletes are family. Every time the lens focused and the shutter closed, we grew closer. The symbiotic relationship of action and capturing moments forever made me love my job. Late Saturday nights in the office meant a vibrantly charged football game took place just hours earlier. The life of the game seemed to surge through the lens all the way back to me editing at the computer. One of my favorite memories is chatting backstage with Ben Stein after he delivered a message in Convocation. With a retractable backscratcher in his coat pocket, his quirky personality came through

as we talked as if we were already friends. Being the photo editor can only be described as being an invisible celebrity. You go where the real ones do, but the crowds do not pay attention to you. It is a job that welcomes battle wounds. Football players who ran me over on the sidelines, dodging players and pucks at hockey games and of course a severe kick to the face by the captain of the basketball team. Every bruise brought a smile as a reminder that I was where I was supposed to be—right in the action. Adrenaline is the language that I silently spoke with the athletes on the sidelines as the clock counted down to victory or defeat. While most are strangers to me, their seconds of victory are forever captured by the camera. Last minute phone calls for press conferences and breaking news are woven into the fabric of faded memories over the past three years.

Abigail Bock My life as a student for the past few years has been very full—full of great times and great people. I am thankful and have been blessed with friends and acquaintances who have taught me more about myself, God and the world. I am sad to say goodbye. But at the same time, I am exited for what is ahead. As an artist/graphic designer, I want to create beautiful and meaningful things. In my time here at Liberty I have been blessed by knowing people who share that same desire and who have inspired and challenged me to live life to the fullest and to

create art that reflects that. I want to thank those who I have worked with here at the Liberty Champion. It has been a blast. You are an incredibly talented bunch, and I look forward to seeing where God places you in the future.

But some moments will never be forgotten. Thank you, Mrs. Huff, for trusting a sophomore. Thank you, President Jerry Falwell, Jr. and Becki Falwell, for taking your time to get to know me. Thank you, students, for your crazy college energy and unbelievable antics. If it were not for you, my job would not exist. In the end, it is all about people. Your lives are what make me love my job. I would much rather leave a photo in this space to say goodbye, because nothing less than a thousand words can summarize my emotions for leaving. So I will not say goodbye. “Never say goodbye because goodbye means going away, and going away means forgetting,” J.M. Barrie said. As the author of Peter Pan and eternal youth, Barrie understands. I love you, Liberty University. Love always, your camera girl.


DECEMBER 3, 2013

Liberty Champion/A7

Ruth Bibby | Liberty Champion

SING — Festivities started off with Christmas carols.

1. It stands 35 feet tall.

Ruth Bibby | Liberty Champion

SMILE — The Falwells posed with Emma Eagle and D-Trex, a Liberty dance team, after Eagle lit the tree.

TREE continued from A1 President Jerry Falwell, Jr. took the stage to commence the lighting of the tree. According to Falwell, the Student Government Association (SGA) asked to hold the ceremony before Thanksgiving break. “We usually do this after Thanksgiving, but your (SGA) members came and met with me the other day and said, ‘It’s terrible. We get back from Thanksgiving and only have a week or so to enjoy the lights, then we have to study for exams,’” Falwell said. “So we moved it up (to) November.” Falwell explained that Liberty began the tree lighting tradition four years ago after noticing a lack of Christmas spirit on campus. “We felt like the largest Christian university in the world should have the most lights of any university,” Falwell said. “We try to create a family atmosphere here. We try to make

it as much like home as we possibly can for all of you.” According to Falwell, the tree lighting always reminds him of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” which prompted him to find a Cindy Lou Who look alike. Lynchburg resident Emma Eagle filled this role and was invited to have the honor of illuminating the campus. “We are so excited about Christmas,” Falwell said. “We appreciate every one of you. At least now you’ll be able to enjoy Christmas a little bit before you get under the stress of exams. We hope you all have a wonderful holiday.” According to Stine, he thinks the Christmas tree looks great and makes the campus have a more homey feeling for the last weeks of the semester. “I think (Christmas in Lights) really sets up the whole Christmas spirit on campus,” Stine said. “When you drive down the whole (University) Boulevard, and you see the tree





2. It weighs 3,737

at night, it really gives that sense of Christmas cheer.” Christmas in Lights was just the first event for the holidays, according to Stine. Students can look forward to Student Activities’ annual Christmas Coffeehouse Dec. 6 at 11:30 p.m. “These last couple weeks are our favorite of the whole semester,” Stine said. “They are all leading up to one big event, which is Christmas Coffeehouse. If you haven’t gotten a ticket yet, make sure you get one because they will sell out.” For more information on Christmas Coffeehouse and to purchase tickets, visit studentactivities.

pounds. 3. It came from Christmas Lights Etc. 4. It cost between $27,099 and $30,299. 5. There are approximately 21 miles of lights on University

HAHN is the news editor.


FULLER is the opinion editor.







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DECEMBER 3, 2013

Liberty Champion/A8

Students compete in Doritos contest

Two groups from Miller’s Advanced Video Production class have been contacted about their Doritos commercials Nathan Skaggs

Students in the Department of Digital Media and Communication Arts (DMCA) have accepted the challenge to compete in the Doritos Crash the Super Bowl VIII contest. According to professor Pamela Miller, there were three groups in her COMS 483 Advanced Video Production class that chose to make a Doritos commercial in hopes of winning the contest. Doritos’ official rules state that the grand prize winners will receive $1 million, the chance to work on the crew of Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” movie, a trip to Super Bowl XLVIII and their commercial shown during Super Bowl XLVIII. “There were three groups and three options,” Miller said. “They all chose the same option. All three of the groups had creative ideas similar in theme – Doritos changes things.” Of the three group’s, two submitted their final spot into the contest. Lily Smith, the commercial’s director and writer, said her groups commercial, entitled “Doritos Brings Out the Fun in Everyone,” was submitted about three weeks ago. Smith said the idea came to her the day she was to submit her idea to Miller. “I was thinking about a party and what I had to take,” Smith said. “Then I got to thinking ‘What makes a party good? What if we made a commercial where the good stuff was actually Doritos instead of drugs or alcohol?’” From there, her group developed the idea in preproduction. This process took

about two weeks, Smith said. Tyrone Neal, the commercial’s producer, said he believes “Doritos Brings Out the Fun in Everyone” was more original than the other submissions. “If you notice, on other entries, everyone wants to sell the product by sex appeal, children, the nerdy guys, the office guys,” Neal said. “We went for kind of edgy, but yet still appropriate and has humor to it as well, with great product placement.” The story line follows a boring college party that is energized by Doritos. An angry father, played by Liberty professor Dr. Carey Martin, returns home to find that his son is having an outrageous party. He quickly realizes the cause for all of the ruckus is Doritos, and he joins in on the fun. According to Smith, the commercial once had enough votes to be ranked in the top 20 in the world, but has since lost ground. However, “Doritos Brings Out the Fun in Everyone” is currently among the entries that are most viewed and most rated, according to the Doritos website. Bryan Croson, videographer, Dylan Sheldon, editor, and Gabe Henderson, creative assistant, worked with the technical aspect of the production, Smith said. Greg Coleman, editor, said his group submitted a commercial entitled “The Struggle.” “It’s a classic underdog tale,” Coleman said. “An underdog comes in eating Doritos. Doritos give him the confidence to beat (the arm wrestler). He beats him and walks away with two ladies on his side.” Brain Shulda, director of “The Struggle,” said the idea was a group effort. “(The idea) changed multiple times

Photo Provided

PARTY — Students pose after filming their Doritos party commercial. throughout,” Shulda said. “Even on the set we changed some ideas around.” Shulda said production was completed all in one night at a warehouse in downtown Lynchburg. Video shooting lasted about eight hours, according to Shulda. Coleman said as of last week, “The Struggle” had been viewed more than 500 times. Both groups of students who submitted a commercial into the competition said they learned valuable lessons from this project. Smith and Coleman said they learned how to lead effectively and work well with others.

“This project mainly taught me about planning,” Coleman said. “Preproduction is definitely where the bulk of your time needs to be. If you don’t have it planned out, you won’t be able to do things effectively.” Coleman and Shulda worked alongside Jamie Vest and Sam Hanson to produce “The Struggle.” According to the Doritos commercial official rules, all entries must be submitted by Nov. 24, 2013. To view and vote for the submitted Doritos commercials, visit SKAGGS is a news reporter.

Sodexo recognized Liberty is ranked as the third healthiest college Melanie Oelrich





Photos Provided

BEFORE & AFTER — Falwell lost 75 pounds, and Bullman lost 180 pounds.

HEALTH continued from A1 “I was able to cut out everything, but I did it slowly,” Falwell said. “You can’t cut it out all at once or it’ll be a shock, and you won’t stick with it. Once I cut it out, I never missed any of it.” Now, Falwell said he only drinks black coffee, water and homemade protein shakes that he prepares himself. The protein shake, thanks to the recommendation of Ben Crosswhite of Crosswhite Fitness, is made with spinach, almond butter, almond milk, kale, raw egg, protein powder, olive oil, chia seeds, oat bran and fresh fruit. “I work out two hours a week at Crosswhite Fitness with Becki, and because I kept up with Crosswhite, I was able to lose all that weight, and I’m able to keep it off easily,” Falwell said. When the family eats at home, Falwell said their dinner plates are normally filled with grilled chicken or fish and vegetables. Since his healthy change, Falwell said he has run a 5K in 30 minutes and hiked Sharp Top with ease. In fact, other Liberty administration members have followed in Falwell’s footsteps. Liberty’s Chief Financial Officer Don Moon has lost 50 pounds, while Liberty’s Director of Ministry Teams Scott

Bullman has shed 180 pounds, according to a WSET broadcast from Nov. 7. For Bullman, the inspiration to lose the weight and get himself on a healthy track was spiritual. “I’ve been morbidly obese for most of my life and have lost a lot of weight during that time,” Bullman said. “Feeling better, looking better, being around for my kids is always a good motivation, and this time around is no exception.” However, according to Bullman, he believes God had been dealing with him regarding his influence. “With leadership comes influence, and with influence comes the responsibility to (use) that influence for the glory of God,” Bullman said. “I finally realized that my influence would never be all it could be until I conquered this weakness, which was on display for everyone to see. Therefore, I gave it to God, hired trainer Ben Crosswhite, and committed 100 percent. Fifteen months later, I’m down 182 pounds.” To date, the staff from Liberty has lost a combined 1,500 pounds—and that number continues to increase as each member continues on their path to health, according to Falwell. OELRICH is the social media editor.

According to The Daily Beast and College Prowler, Liberty ranks third among the healthiest colleges across the nation. Reasons for the rating include the low use of alcohol and drugs, and healthy dining options, courtesy of Sodexo food services. Robin Quay, Liberty’s registered dietician, and other Sodexo staff are the masterminds behind the new healthy dining options available all over campus. “Simple Servings, the allergen-free platform, is an offering that eliminates gluten as well as seven of the eight most common (Food and Drug Administration) specified allergens, which are wheat, soy, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish and eggs,” Quay said. According to Quay, the main purpose of Simple Servings is to provide a way for students to not feel singled out when they have to comply with food allergy or other dietary concerns. “These students don’t have to ask for special foods to be prepared, cook for themselves or go elsewhere to eat,” Quay said. “They can enjoy a tasty meal with their friends and take part in the social aspect of dining on a college campus.” Quay said the food at Simple Servings is “simply prepared, minimally processed and made from scratch using transparent ingredients.” According to the Mother Nature Network website, ingredient transparency is when a company names all of the ingredients that are in their products on the nutrition label without grouping

additives together creating vagueness. According to Quay, not only is the healthy line popular among students with specific allergies, but it also appeals to students who want healthy, plain-and-simple foods or to those who may have other health related dietary concerns, like Type I Diabetes. During lunch and dinner, the Simple Servings station offers an entrée, a hot vegetable and a starchy side — either a gluten free grain or a starchy vegetable — as well as two salads and a variety of greens that are served with a homemade salad dressing. “There were many inspirations for creating the Simple Servings line,” Quay said. “It was mainly to meet the needs of students with allergies. We wanted to be sure they could get a safe, healthy and delicious meal and not have to worry about having an allergic reaction.” According to Quay, Sodexo wants students to be able to focus on their academics and college life and not have to worry about their meals and special dietary needs, like allergies. “We also wanted to offer healthy, delicious, simple foods for students who were looking for a more nutrient-dense type of diet,” Quay said. The Reber-Thomas Dining Hall is not the only place on campus to offer healthy options. Doc’s Diner offers a homemade veggie burger, veggie pizzas with a whole grain crust and a variety of salads, while the Tilley Fresh Market Buffet offers a salad bar and a wide variety of cooked veggies every day. With the addition of

the Jamba Juice and convenience store at the new David’s Place on East Campus, students have the opportunity to purchase fresh fruit and veggie smoothies and meals-to-go that follow vegan, paleo and glutenfree diets. According to Quay, students have responded positively to the newest changes to dining services across campus. “We conducted a satisfaction survey that indicated that most people agreed or strongly agreed that Simple Servings made them feel safe, knowing that they wouldn’t be exposed to allergens that could make them sick,” Quay said. “We also have a lot of anecdotal evidence of students just telling us or emailing us about how much they like it.” Sodexo plans to continue to increase the number of healthy choices offered throughout the dining hall and at other residential and retail dining facilities on campus, Quay said. “We will also continue to offer nutrition education opportunities for students through individual sessions, workshops, events and classes,” Quay said. OELRICH is the social media editor.


According to Quay, the library will have a Starbucks, Tsunami Sushi, Pizza Hut Express and Brioche Doree.


DECEMBER 3, 2013

Liberty Champion/A9

Students spend a semester abroad Junior Charlie Scruggs prepares for his internship in Paraguay where he will live for nearly half a year

Dylan Friberg

As a global studies major, Liberty University student Charlie Scruggs is required to complete an internship overseas to get ministry experience before he can graduate. According to Scruggs, the compulsory overseas internship is an extremely helpful requirement for global studies majors at Liberty. Scruggs said that ministry has to go beyond book knowledge — it has to be experiential. “The best way for me to learn about global work is to be truly immersed in it,” Scruggs said. “I cannot experience culture shock or the life-giving power of ministry in another country by simply reading a book. I must experience it.” Although some may think the overseas requirement is excessive, Scruggs said it is a good ex-

perience for global study majors to have. “I see this requirement as a very positive thing,” Scruggs said. “In all honesty, it’s pretty amazing that my major gives me the opportunity to do what I love, which I may not have been able to do without the requirement.” According to Scruggs, he will be completing his internship in South America, going to the Hispanic country of Paraguay located on the Southwest border of Brazil. Scruggs’ assignment will be completed over the summer, but he said he might end up staying longer than required. “The minimal requirement is 18 weeks, but I will probably be staying a little longer,” Scruggs said. “I chose Paraguay because the Lord just led me through different contacts I had, and after prayer I knew that was where the Lord wanted me to go.”

Scruggs said that, for the duration of his internship, he will be assisting missionaries in various activities. His focus will be with a single local pastor, and he will primarily work with that pastor to do outreach to the surrounding area. “I will be assisting him in teaching, evangelizing and also helping with youth ministry in the area,” Scruggs said. “He also has a home there that houses about 17 to 20 children and teens, so I will be helping there as well.” According to Scruggs, global studies students are not left to their own devices when trying to find an internship. Scruggs said the Global Studies Department was more than helpful in assisting him with his search. “The Global Studies Department is very supportive and provides lots of counsel and direction,” Scruggs said. “The

The best way for me to learn about global work is to be truly immersed in it.

process for the internship is a series of meetings over time. The department is extremely helpful, and every student has the opportunity to pick an organization to go with.” Students were encouraged to attend Global Focus Week, Scruggs said, in order to meet with potential internship organizations. “Global Focus Week was a great time for the students to talk with organizations for this internship,” Scruggs said. “Liberty has a partnership with 10 major global organizations, such as Wycliffe Bible Translators, New Tribes Missions and others.”

— CHARLIE SCRUGGS Scruggs said along with the internship credit, students receive nine class credit hours during the trip. According to Scruggs, these hours come from special assignments while overseas, not from actual online classes. “I hope to pick up a lot more Spanish while I am there,” Scruggs said. “I also hope to learn more about work around the globe, and being in the culture will help me understand the need, and also help me get a feel for what it will be like to live in another culture long-term.” FRIBERG is a news reporter.

Exhibit showcases student artwork

Graduates celebrate gallery opening by displaying multiple works and discussing their pieces with guests

Creativity Carrie Doron displayed her quilling artwork on canvas and said she was the first student to choose quilling as the art form to showcase in a senior art exhibit. “I love this art form because you can do so much with it,” Doron said. “It is freeing because you can do anything. You start with a simple circle, and it can become a flower, an animal. The possibilities are really endless.” Joel Cockrell displayed a portrait, a series of pictures and a sculpture to bring his comic character, Benaiah, to life. Based off of the character in the Bible and inspired by author Cliff Graham’s book “Day of War,” Benaiah represented Cockrell’s vision of what a real man looks like and stands for. “When I was 13, I started out drawing cartoons,” Cockrell said. “My uncle loved comic books, so he would bring them for me … I fell in love with the art even more than the stories.”

Kristen Hines

Seniors in the Liberty University Department of Studio and Digital Arts (SADA) showcased their work in the fall 2013 senior exhibit, “Infuse,” in the University Gallery Thursday, Nov. 14. Artists discussed with viewers as students, faculty, staff and members of the community toured the gallery during the artist’s reception from 6:00-8:30 p.m. The artist’s reception marked the opening of the gallery, which will be open until Dec. 11, according to SADA Chair Todd Smith. There are 10 graduating seniors who displayed their style as an artist through painting, photography and various other works at “Infuse.” “The exhibit allows students to focus on their particular area,” Smith said. “Art is a form of expression, and it is also a medium for communication. So when they are doing both of those things, they are expressing who they are at this moment in their career and communicating something through the work they create.” According to Smith, the variety of work featured in the exhibit reflects well

Lauren Adriance | Liberty Champion

DISPLAY — Students look at one of the many pieces of artwork at the expo. upon the program itself. “When you have a body of work, not just by an individual student but by many students, it actually showcases the quality of the program because it shows the breadth and depth of the course offerings and skill sets that is offered within our department,” Smith said. As a department, Smith said, the professors encourage the artists to find their style and pursue and excel in it for the glory of God. “We have a strong belief that every student has

a calling that comes here, no matter what their area is, but particularly in the field of art … We feel like our students are called to go into the field of art and design to be salt and light and to bring glory to God through what they make, and reflect his creativity,” Smith said. The artists stood beside their work to discuss their pieces with the viewers. According to junior Katie Lamm, the photography pieces by Sarah Hogge caught her attention. “My favorite display was

the pictures printed on metal because they were all of water droplets, and that is not something that is usually captured, because it happens so quickly,” Lamm said. The gallery is open Monday - Friday, 8 a.m.-7 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m.7 p.m., located in DeMoss Hall 4069. The “Infuse” exhibit will be on display until Dec. 11. For more information, visit SADA at liberty. edu. HINES is a news reporter.


DECEMBER 3, 2013

Liberty Champion/A10






Ruth Bibby | Liberty Champion

1. The Jerry Falwell Library will be opening January 2014. 2. Construction of the medical school continues. 3. Liberty recently broke through the wall for the new two-way, underground vehicular tunnel. 4. Workers put the finishing touches on the Jerry Falwell Library atrium. 5. New on-campus housing is scheduled to open fall 2014.

Campus construction progresses

Building of the Jerry Falwell Library nears completion while the new medical school, other projects take shape Joshua Janney

Over the past few months, Liberty University’s campus has been undergoing numerous changes as various construction projects have been launched. The most advanced project is the construction of the Jerry Falwell Library, which will expand the library resources while also providing several food options for students. According to Charles Spence, director of Planning and Construction at Liberty, the library will be ready to open for the upcoming spring semester mid-January. “We received our Certificate of Occupancy (CO) for the library ... which means it’s on schedule,” Spence said. “That’s when we expected to get it, around this time in November.” Spence said workers are currently in the process of installing food service venues, computer related items, furniture and flooring as they complete the finishing touches on the new facility. According to Spence, another project on schedule is the construction of Liberty’s new medical school, which has cost $25 million to build. The school will fea-

ture new labs, classrooms, offices, simulation rooms and recording equipment. “It’s coming down to the end of construction,” Spence said. “We still have about three months. Completion date for the CO is in the middle of March.” Although the construction of the new dormitories is moving slower than anticipated, Spence said they are going full blast under construction. “It is a few weeks behind on its schedule,” Spence said. “We’re fighting to stay on schedule. The dorm has to be ready to move in and be lived in by the first of August, so we’re pushing really hard.” According to Spence, one of the primary difficulties the construction brings is the inconvenience it creates for some Liberty students. “I think the thing we struggle with the most is not the building, it’s to try to make sure (the construction) doesn’t impact the students in a negative way,” Spence said. “We have to keep the students positive during this whole construction phase, even though they are constantly being moved around.” One current obstacle is the removal of parking spaces near the Reber-Thomas Dining Hall in order to prepare for the

construction of a new parking garage, according to Spence. As with all of the campus construction, Spence said the lasting benefits will outweigh the temporary difficulties. “We had to take a couple hundred spaces away to do the construction, but when we get done, there will be 1,400 spaces available,” Spence said. “Everybody wants to park right at the door, and this parking garage will get you a lot closer to the door.” Alan Askew, construction coordinator for Liberty, said another challenge in the construction of the various buildings is the fact that they are all so unique. “We have a state of the art library, a baseball stadium, a parking garage and a medical school,” Askew said. “Each one is an individual project that requires its own attention and research and construction. It makes it challenging, but it also makes it exciting, too.” According to Dr. Todd Campo, the vice president of Student Leadership, the vast majority of student feedback to the construction has been very positive. “Those new residences are just going to be phenomenal,” Campo, said. “(It is a) perfect location. The driving problem

won’t be as large. Everything is going to be right there.” Campo noted that the largest concern of some students is that they will not be at the school long enough to see the changes to the campus. “I think a lot of people’s immediate concern is that they are not going to see a lot of (the changes),” Campo said. “I think if you build that community, which is what we try to do, there’s a sense that you are going to make this better for the future students, that you are actually being part of a legacy.” According to Campo, unlike schools that are trying to save money during this economic slump, Liberty is prospering and building up its campus. “This past year, it’s just been incredible,” Campo said. “So many schools are seeking to cut back and cut corners. It’s just been the opposite here.” JANNEY is a news reporter.


DECEMBER 3, 2013

M. Basketball

Liberty S. H. State 58 62

W. Basketball Liberty


Sav. St. 79


Ryan Diehl 1st - 133 lb division


W. DI Hockey

U. Mass.




M. DII Hockey Liberty

N.C. St.



Against all odds

ball above all

Emily Frazier continues career despite injuries Tom Foote

Ruth Bibby| Liberty Champion

OUT OF REACH — Akil Atkins (25) and JR Coronado (32) stretch for the ball.

Bringing home the gold Liberty claimed four Big South conference championships in the fall sport season Derrick Battle

With another season of fall sports in the books, four Liberty University teams earned championships, with three coming in the Big South and one in the NorPac Conferences. Three of the four championship teams continued their season in NCAA Tournaments. Each team gained a trophy along with championship rings for their acomplishments. The men’s cross country team earned its ninth consecutive Big South Championship, narrowly defeating the High Point Panthers 40-48. The Flames had three top-10 finishes to set the pace for the rest of the competition. After defeating the No. 16 Charleston Southern Buccaneers 56-14 Saturday,

Nov. 23, the Flames football team earned a share of the Big South Championship with No. 7 Coastal Carolina. Liberty earned its sixth title in seven years. However, with an 8-4 (4-1, Big South) record, Liberty was unable to advance to the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) playoffs. Although they did not make the FCS playoffs, 16 players were named to the Big South All-Conference Team. In only its third year in existence as an NCAA Division I program, the Lady Flames field hockey team defeated Stanford, 2-1, in a rematch of last year’s NorPac Tournament title game. After going undefeated in conference play (8-0) and finishing with a 17-5 record, the Lady Flames made their first trip to the NCAA Field Hockey Championship, where they faced the No. 14 Delaware

Blue Hens in a play-in game. Although they lost to the Blue Hens, 1-0, Liberty brings back 25 of 28 players, next season. It was tough to score on the Lady Flames soccer team this season. With an overall record of 16-6-2, Liberty was led by redshirt freshman goalkeeper Holly Van Noord, who posted a record 14 shutouts this season. As the No. 2 seed during the Big South Championship, the Lady Flames knocked off the No. 1 seed Radford Highlanders 5-0 to capture their fourth Big South Title. Liberty made its first appearance in the NCAA tournament in eight years and fell to No. 1 seed North Carolina in the first round. As the fall semester closes, in the winter and spring seasons, 11 teams will look to defends six Big South titles.

Through triumph and heartbreak, basketball has always been a staple in Liberty point guard Emily Frazier’s life. “I’ve had a basketball in my hands since before I could remember,” Frazier said. “My brothers and my dad played basketball, and one day, they were out shooting, and I just FRAZIER went out there and started shooting layups, and the rest is history. I just fell in love with it.” Frazier was homeschooled during high school and played in the same homeschool basketball program as former Liberty University basketball players Jesse Sanders and Rachel McLeod, as well as current Flame John Caleb Sanders. While Liberty Head Coach Carey Green was on a recruiting visit for McCloud, he was able to meet Frazier for the first time. “When they were recruiting (McLeod), Coach Green met me when, I think, I was in eighth or ninth grade,” Frazier said.” (Green) stayed interested, stayed in contact, and things ended up that I’m at Liberty by the grace of God.” According to Frazier, her path to Liberty was a little more complicated than most, because she had torn her anterior cruciate ligament in the summer of 2009, forcing her miss her entire senior season of high school basketball. “Several schools had sort of dropped off (in recruiting), except Coach Green,” Frazier said. “He called me up, and I’ll never forget that phone call. He said, ‘I have a deal for you. You’re graduating early. Why don’t you just come here and get used to school a semester early … and just kind of get acquainted with the team and with the school,’ and that’s how it happened.” During the 2010-2011 season, Frazier was named to the Big South All-Freshman Team after starting 30 games and leading the Lady Flames with 2.8 assists per game and a 41 percent three-point field goal percentage.


BATTLE is a the sports editor.

Men’s b-ball wins Laguna Madre title Derrick Battle

The Liberty Flames men’s basketball team (3-5) competed in the Corpus Christi Challenge Nov. 23-30, claiming the Laguna Madre Division Championship after defeating the Sam Houston State Bearkats (5-3) 62-58 Saturday, Nov. 30.


The Flames held the Bearkats to 33 percent shooting from the field and outrebounded Sam Houston State, 41-32. Forward Antwan Burrus finished with a game-high 15 points and five rebounds. Guard John Caleb Sanders finished with 11 points. Burrus, who averaged 13.5 points, 5.8 rebounds per game and shot 53 percent

W. Basketball vs. Richmond Dec. 3 @ 7 p.m.

M. D2 Hockey vs. IUP Dec. 6 @ 8 p.m.

from the field during the tournament, was named to the All-Tournament Team. The Flames began the challenge losing their first two to the University of Virginia Cavaliers (7-1), 75-53, and Missouri State Bears (6-1), 54-52. In Liberty’s first game of the challenge, the Cavaliers showed why they were ranked No. 2 in the nation in scoring de-

W. Basketball vs. Radford Dec. 7 @ 2 p.m.

fense, allowing only 50.4 points per game. In the first half, Virginia forced 10 Liberty turnovers, but the Flames went into halftime down only 32-26. “If you watch college basketball, whenever you’re expected to win handily, you can’t,” Virginia Head Coach Tony Bennett said. “On paper, we were supposed to beat them, but all you have to do is look

M. D1 Hockey vs. V. Tech Dec. 7 @ 7 p.m.

M. Basketball vs. Greensboro Dec. 7 @

7 p.m.


DECEMBER 3, 2013

Liberty Champion/B2

Editorial: The effects of one-and-done

Let the athletes, not the NBA, decide their fate Derrick Battle

The last player to be drafted out of high school to the NBA was Toronto Raptors forward Amir Johnson in 2005. Since then, the NBA has said that players must be one year removed from high school or be at least 19 years old during the year of the draft. One of the projected “one-and-dones” of this season is current Kansas University freshman forward Andrew Wiggins, who is projected to be the first overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft. BATTLE Another is Duke University forward Jabari Parker, who is projected to be the second overall pick. They are just two of six freshmen who are projected by to be drafted in the top 10 next June. Although critics of amateur athletes coming out of high school and the oneand-done rule say that these athletes do not care about school and use it as a quick stepping-stone to play professionally and make money, but I beg to differ. I am a proponent of the rule that allows a player to make an early enterance into the NBA. If an NBA scout says to a player after one year of college ball, “You have the talent to play in the league,” he should take every chance to make that happen. Players that have made a name for themselves in the NBA after one year in college include New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis, Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving, Minnesota Timberwolves power forward Kevin Love and Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose. However, these players were out of work prior to the start of the 2011-12 season due to disagreements between players and owners.

LAGUNA continued from B1 Guard Davon Marshall kept Liberty close throughout the first half, scoring 11 of his 15 points in the first half off of 3-5 shooting from three. “They did a good job finding me more,” Marshall said. “They kinda ran me off the three point line. They also switched defenders a couple of times.” Virginia came into the game struggling to score from beyond the arc, but forward Justin Anderson knocked down two threes in the first half, which sparked the Cavaliers offense. “We solved their problems I guess,” Liberty Head Coach Dale Layer said. “We mixed it up (defensively). I thought in the first half, we got them on their heels a bit. In the second half, they went into a smaller lineup that could shoot the ball better. I thought Anderson’s threes

The NBA lockout during the 20112012 season was an eye-opener for many who did not finish school, because the risk of not having a season would have meant a season without pay. But what critics do not know is that these players still have a chance to go back to school and finish. No matter what sport athletes play, they are aware of “father time.” During the offseason, Irving finished his degree at Duke University. Davis, along with his former Kentucky Wildcat teammate and current Charlotte Bobcats forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist both tweeted that they are going back to school to work toward their degrees. According to an article by Marcus Spears of, several former UCLA players have returned to finish their degrees as well, including Love, Oklahoma City point guard Russell Westbrook, Washington Wizards forward Trevor Ariza and Sacramento Kings forward Luc Mbah a Mounte. “We have a whole lot of our lives after basketball,” Ariza said to yahoosport. com. “We have to understand what we want to do when (retirement) comes. A lot of us came out of college really young, and we have no idea what we want to do with our lives if basketball doesn’t work out.” Many basketball fans may be saying, “Well he should have stayed in school and finished so that he would not be in this predicament.” But I disagree. If you were given a chance to play professionally after a year of college and make guaranteed money, would you take that chance and still go to school? I bet many would pick the first idea instead of the latter. Many of these athletes know they cannot play forever, so they are being proactive on and off the court. High school athletes should have the right to make decisions that best fit their futures, not the NBA. BATTLE is the sports editor.

in the first (half) were the difference in us being right there at halftime.” The Cavaliers began to widen the gap in the second half, forcing nine more turnovers and holding the Flames to 34.8 percent shooting from the field. Forward Anthony Gill led Virginia in scoring, tallying 13 points off the bench. “They are a very good defensive team,” Layer said. “I thought we tried to jam it in (the post) a little bit too much in the second half. In the first half we did ok, but in the second half, we got out of character.” In the second game, the Flames faced Missouri State, losing in the waning seconds after Marshall missed a three as time expired. Marshall and Burrus were the only Flames in double figures, combining for 27 points. Liberty earned its first win of the tournament against Hampton University Friday, Nov. 29, de-

College prepares athletes for life after basketball Emily Brown

The sport of basketball has come a long way since James Naismith’s peach baskets in the late 1800s, and the passing years have brought not only a number of new rules, but also controversy. Issues such as instant replay, and especially the issue of the “one-anddone” rule, have been highly debated. The term “one-anddone” is used by basketball enthusiasts to describe players who have played in college for a year before making a quick exit to the BROWN NBA. “According to the NBA Players Association website, the “one-and-done” idea specifically refers to Article X of the 2005 Collective Bargaining Agreement, which states that players who plan to enter the NBA Draft must be or turn 19 years old during the year the draft is held, and players must be one year removed from high school. Basketball fans across the nation are pretty divided on the issue. Those opposed to the measure may first ask, “What about Kobe Bryant and Lebron James?” They are stars who did not even go to college. On the other hand, some strongly support Article X. Proponents cite players such as Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant, who both played in college for a year. They argue that because they played in college, their skill levels increased, which helped them to become the star players they are today. Although many think the issue can be answered with a simple “yes, I agree” or “no, I disagree,” there are many more complexities to the rule than may first be seen. I tend to believe that the rule should be modified. I do believe it is good for players to be

required to attend college for a year, if not more. In that year, players are able to hone their skills. Because there is a huge disparity in skill level and type of play, making the leap from the amateur to the professional level is probably not a smart decision for most. A year in college will bridge the gap, and during that time players can also learn to become more mature off the court. Furthermore, spending a year or more in college allows players to experience more than just basketball. By attending college, they can get an education and maybe even a degree, which will be especially useful in the event they do not make it big in the NBA. For example, although Brandan Wright, the eighth overall pick in the 2007 draft, did attend UNC for a year, he has been unable to perform at the high level expected of him due to injury. Or take Javaris Crittenton, who is also a “one-and-done.” The former Georgia Tech player got himself into trouble following a gun incident involving Gilbert Arenas and has only ever been considered a backup in the NBA. Perhaps with college degrees, Wright and Crittenton could do more than just sit on the bench. To address the Bryant and James issue, simply take a look at Durant and Anthony. The latter two spent a year in college and are still stars in the NBA. While it is obvious that Bryant and James are extremely talented, who is to say that they could not be even better with some college experience under their belts? In the end, I believe that the rule should be modified to require players to attend college for at least two years. This rule would provide players the chance to develop skills and become more mature as they recieve a quality education to use in the event the NBA does not work out. So while the rule may not be perfect, I think it is better than nothing. BROWN is a copy editor.

Ruth Bibby | Liberty Champion

PAINT PRESENCE — Antwan Burrus tips in a missed shot late in the second half against Virginia. feating the Pirates, 70-53, after shooting 60 percent from the field in the second half. Burrus recorded his first double-double of

the season with 17 points and tied his career high in rebounds with 13. Sanders complemented Burrus, with 15 points off of 6-9

shooting from the field. He also pulled down five rebounds and had seven assits. The Flames will host

Greensboro College Saturday, Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. BATTLE is the sports editor.


DECEMBER 3, 2013

Liberty Champion/B3

Shutting out the competition Liberty goalie Holly Van Noord set a Lady Flames record with 14 shutouts in her redshirt freshman season Jacob Tellers

When the Liberty University Lady Flames soccer team won the Big South Championship Sunday, Nov. 10, redshirt freshman goalkeeper Holly Van Noord was the target of the enthusiastic rush to storm the field by her teammates. Competitive and confident, she played a key role in leading the Lady Flames to victory. With a Liberty single-season record of 14 shutouts during the course of the 2013 season, it is no surprise that the 20-year-old has quickly become an integral part of a team poised to be at the top of the Big South Conference for the next few years. Born and raised in Hudsonville, Mich., Van Noord was a three-sport high school athlete before joining the Lady Flames soccer team in 2012. Besides soccer, Van Noord also played volleyball and basketball in high school, describing herself as someone who has had a competitive nature as far back as she could remember. “I hated playing soccer when I was a kid, because I wanted to play with the boys and I wanted better competition, instead of girls who (were) sitting there picking daisies,” Van Noord said. Unlike many soccer players who have played on the collegiate level, Van Noord did not play club sports, which consist of travel teams that help athletes to be recruited, before arriving at Liberty, with the exception of a short time during sixth grade. “I did not know what I was going to play in college,” Van Noord said. “I knew I wanted to play a sport. I didn’t know which

one yet, so I didn’t want to dedicate my life to club soccer.” Van Noord played at the forward position until high school when a goalkeeping position opened up. She decided to try it out on a whim and found that she both enjoyed and excelled in her new position, receiving awards and setting several records, including the Michigan record for high school shutouts in a single year with 24 as a junior. “All throughout high school, we had a very successful (soccer) team,” Van Noord said. In deciding what she wanted to play in college, Van Noord had to choose between playing soccer and being a single-sport athlete, or going to a smaller school and playing basketball in addition to soccer. While not playing club soccer allowed her to have a wider variety of high school experiences, it also made it more difficult for her to be recruited. Van Noord explained that most major colleges would choose to recruit from club soccer teams rather than high school teams. Although Van Noord received scholarship offers, they were mostly from smaller Naional Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) schools. In order to have a chance to play at an NCAA Division I school, she had to attend soccer camps at different colleges, including Liberty, to give coaches and scouts a chance to see her play. While Liberty had already made an offer to another goalkeeper, circumstances aligned to give Van Noord a chance to play for Liberty. “After everything, you kind of see God working in my life and (at Liberty), because that

goalkeeper didn’t go to Liberty, obviously, so then the position opened again,” Van Noord said. Van Noord saw Liberty as her best option, and she accepted the scholarship offer to play starting in the 2012 season. “After I visited Liberty … it was pretty obvious that I wanted to be here, because the biggest thing I wanted was a Christian school,” Van Noord said “I loved the campus, I loved the mission. I loved everything about (Liberty).” However, she did not get a chance to start, or even play in any games, in her first season. In 2012, Van Noord was given redshirt status to extend the length of her scholarship and to give her a chance to adjust to collegiate-level soccer. “It was hard at first, but during the season I accepted it,” Van Noord said. According to the NCAA, players who are redshirting cannot play any games, but they are still allowed to practice and train with the team. Van Noord made full use of the opportunity to improve her skillset, focusing on technique work, which had not been a large part of her high school experience. “Coming in, I didn’t have any goalkeeping techniques, which was my biggest flaw,” Van Noord said. “All last year, it was like learning a whole new sport for me.” After sitting out one season, Van Noord earned a spot as the starting goalkeeper and helped lead the Lady Flames to a 16-4-1 record and a Big South Championship while recording 14 shutouts and a .871 save percentage om 2013. “I’ve been really fortunate to

Photo Provided | Liberty Champion

ZILCH — Goalkeeper Holly Van Noord clears the ball out of Liberty territory. have the opportunity to play with this team,” Van Noord said. “I give them all the credit, because without them, who knows what this season would look like. My defense is so amazing, and I’m so confident in them. They deserve just as much credit as I do.” Van Noord was also named to the Second Team All-Conference as well as the All-Conference Freshman Team for her play during the regular season. Despite all of her success in the net, there is one part of goalkeeping she does not enjoy.

“I don’t like getting scored on,” Van Noord said. During her first season, it was an event she only had to experience 13 times in 21 games. But if this season was an indicator, she will continue to keep goals from reaching the back of her net as she continues her remaining three years of eligibility at Liberty.

TELLERS is a sports reporter.

Early success Tae kwon do trains with high-caliber talent

Tory Abrahamsen

Ruth Bibby | Liberty Champion

BARREN — Liberty fans have created a habit of leaving sporting events early.


Support needed

Courtney Tyree

Liberty University students have become familiar with the saying “Four Quarters of Fury,” but why is it so important that the student body stays for the entire game or, better yet, shows up at all? According to flames, the Flames have been known to have one of the best student sections in the Big South Conference, but lately, the student section has not been a good representation of that statement. “Student athletes play their best in front of big crowds,” Liberty Athletics Director Jeff Barber said. “This is the model of the best teams in the country, and that is certainly who we want to be as well.” The Liberty men’s basketball team’s season opener and 74-53 victory over Randolph college Friday, Nov. 8 was attended by 7,043 fans and students, but only 2,596 fans attended the 68-63 home loss against Western Carolina, Saturday Nov. 15. “It is crucial for our fans

to come to the games,” Barber said. “Fans give the team a great deal of energy, and when they don’t show up, it takes away the energy level for the team.” The Liberty University women’s volleyball team has won the Big South Championship for the past two years. Sophomore Caroline Douglas shared that having fans at the games helps her and her team gain momentum to want to perform well for the fans, which ultimately leads to victories. “It means so much for fans to come support us at our games,” Douglas said. “People talk about home-court advantage, and I think a huge part of home-court advantage is the fans’ support.” Liberty has been working a great deal to get students to attend games by giving out free thunder sticks, hand-clappers and even posters. They also give away free T-shirts to a certain number of fans who arrive early to the game, but what is the real reason behind Liberty Athletics trying to persuade students to stay for the

whole game? “The fourth quarter is the most important quarter of the game, since many games are decided at that time,” Barber said. “When fans leave early, it has a negative effect on the team. When they stay, not only does it energize the Flames team, but it makes it much harder for the opponent to be successful.” At the end of the day, we can all agree that we want our athletic teams to be successful, but in order for that to take place, fans have to be willing to support the athletes. “Some of our games this year have been barnburners,” redshirt sophomore football player Zach Schreiber said. “The support of the fans seriously makes a huge difference late in the second half because most teams are not used to playing in such a high-volume environment.” It is time for Liberty students to stop making excuses for why not to attend and help cheer the Flames to victory. TYREE is a sports


Tae kwon do is one of the newest sports at Liberty, starting approximately a year ago. It was created as a club sport in 2012 under the leadership of Head Coach Jesse Wilson, who received his black belt from the legendary ninth Dan Grandmaster Ju Hun Kim. The club began with only nine people in 2012, but quickly rose to 20 members earlier this season, according to the tae kwon do club page. Since then, the club has been expanding in size and reputation. “During this short period of time, we were able to compete in several local and regional tournaments and one national tournament, in which yellow belt Leah Deaton won a grand championship for women’s beginners division,” Wilson said. “We (also) aided in forming a group alliance called Atlantic Collegiate Alliance of tae kwon do (ACAT).” The program is very much competition based, which is slightly different from the normal way tae kwon do is taught. Martial arts are usually learned for self-defense and enjoyment. However, since it is a club sport at Liberty, the emphasis is on competition. The team has made its way into the Eastern Collegiate Tae Kwon Do Conference (ECTC), which means that the team competes against opponents such as Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, New York University and Princeton University. But the level of competition did not stop the women from placing fourth at a tournament last year at Cornell University. Aside from success in competition, Liberty has partnered with 1988 Olympic gold medalist

Arlene Limas, who helped to train the team before the season began. According to powerkixusa. com, Limas has also won several national championships and is currently the owner of Power Kix USA, a mixed martial arts program in Stafford, Va. Limas has already put on training clinics for the team, including a session that featured Britain’s Olympic tae kwon do team Head Coach Joseph Salim. “There are many advantages of having Arlene Limas support the Liberty tae kwon do team,” Wilson said. “Just being able to say that a gold medalist is backing your team is an honor that stands all on its own, but this also aids in recruitment. I have already received emails from high school students who are looking at colleges to enroll (in) next year, wanting more information about our program simply because of Arlene.” Wilson said he is excited about the future and believes his team is close to being one of the top teams in its conference. “I would say that with the instruction ... and training opportunities given to us by Arlene Limas, we are well on our way to becoming one of the top competitors in the ECTC,” Wilson said. “We have already accomplished that in ACAT in just a year and a half.” According to the Liberty Flames club sports website, the team meets every Monday from 8-9:30 p.m. and each Tuesday and Thursday from 8:15-9:45 p.m. “Generally speaking, anyone can join the team as long as they have heart and courage to stand in front of someone who is preparing to attempt to kick them in the head,” Wilson said. ABRAHAMSEN is a sports reporter.


DECEMBER 3, 2013

Liberty Champion/B4

From ball girl to assistant coach

Brittany Campbell accomplished her dream of playing Liberty basketball, overcoming adversity along the way Emily Brown

From the baseline to the sideline, Brittany Campbell has graced all parts of the Vines Center court at Liberty University. Campbell started her Liberty career on the baseline as a ball girl for the Liberty women’s basketball team when she was just a child. Over the course of more than 10 years, Campbell ascended through the ranks, spending five seasons on the court as a player before becoming an assistant coach. But Campbell’s basketball career extends beyond the Lynchburg, Va., campus. During her high school years on the varsity team at nearby Brookville High School, Campbell scored 1,202 points and led her team to a 98-11 record over four years, according to Following her high school years, Campbell made the short journey to Liberty, where she became a scholarship player for the women’s basketball team. “It was always my dream,” Campbell said. “I just didn’t know if it was gonna be possible.” As she began her college career in the 2008-2009 season, Campbell played four of the first five games. But it was during the fifth game, an away game at James Madison University (JMU), that Campbell began to face adversity. In the game, Campbell amassed nine points off three three-pointers heading into halftime. As she came out of the locker room to play second half, however, her game was cut short by a knee injury — a partially torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and a completely torn medial collateral ligament (MCL) — that happened when a JMU player ran into her. According to Campbell, she let her knee naturally heal and was back to practice after eight weeks, but because the Lady Flames only had a short amount of time left in their season, Head Coach Carey Green did not play Campbell for the rest of the year. “Yeah, it was hard because I had the mentality that I can play, I can play, I can play,” Campbell said. “… (But Green) just

knew best. I trusted him, and I knew that he knew what was best for me and the team.” But Campbell’s struggles did not end there. In the summer of 2009, Campbell was playing basketball in an open-gym setting when she felt her knee “tweak a little bit.” This time, Campbell had torn her entire ACL. According to Campbell, despite the injury, she actually ran on the treadmill the next day. Campbell said that because her knee was so strong from the rehabilitation she did for her previous injury, she was not originally affected. “I was fine,” Campbell said. “(My knee) just kept catching, so I knew something was wrong.” Campbell had surgery to repair the ligament and began practicing five months later. However, because she was ready to play so close to the end of the season, Green again chose to keep her on the sideline for the remainder of the year. Although Campbell said she was disappointed, she learned to make the best of the situation. “A lot of being on the sideline for me was learning to be a servant … remembering that it’s not about me,” Campbell said. “It’s not about what I’m going through, but how can I encourage others.” According to Green, Campbell also learned to focus on God’s will through the obstacles. “(S)he would not have grown if she hadn’t had these setbacks,” Green said. “… (They) made her slow down and stop and see where God was working in her life.” Campbell was finally able to return to play for the Lady Flames during the 2010-2011 season. Despite all her injuries, Campbell played in 64 games during her Liberty career. In her senior season in 2012-2013, she started all 34 games and led her team to a Big South Championship and NCAA tournament game, according to Although Campbell finished her career as a player at Liberty in 2013, her Lady

Ruth Bibby | Liberty Champion

MENTOR — Brittany Campbell (right) goes over a game plan. Flames career did not end when the season did. A few months after playing her last game, there was a vacancy on Liberty’s coaching staff, and Campbell was offered an opportunity to be an assistant coach. According to Campbell, she was offered the job in late May of 2013 and accepted only a few days later. “I just felt like it was totally the Lord and something he wanted me to do at the moment,” Campbell said. “And I was just honored … and blessed and so thankful, because who else could say that they coached where they played?” According to, Campbell is the first former Lady Flame to become a coach at her alma mater since before the turn of the century.

“(T)he whole coaching staff is excited because we’ve got a sister in Christ who’s our little sister, but she’s so much full of energy,” Green said. “… She brings so much to the table and to our program and to Liberty University because she is part of our program … part of our family.” Campbell said that, as she reflects on her career, she has learned to appreciate being a part of God’s story. “(I’ve learned) that my life, my story is not about me,” Campbell said. “It’s kinda like his journey, his story, you know. He’s just been leading me the whole time.” BROWN is a copy editor.


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DECEMBER 3, 2013


Liberty Champion/B5

Intramural players showcase talent Former NCAA Division I athletes John Brown and Solomon Tat continue playing basketball after graduation Alex Tichenor

Not too long ago, John Brown and Solomon Tat’s college basketball seasons would be in full swing around this time of year — Brown at Liberty University and Tat at the University of Virginia. In 2013, Brown and Tat are still playing basketball. The two former Division I athletes have taken their talents to intramural basketball at the LaHaye Student Union. The likelihood that Brown and Tat’s paths would ever cross seemed nearly impossible. An ocean separated their childhoods, Brown growing up in Savannah, Ga., and Tat in Nigeria. Both grew up craving sports, taking part in anything competitive that they could. According to Tat, basketball is not nearly as popular in Nigeria as it is in the U.S. At age 11, Tat said he had some friends that would play basketball, but he was more focused on soccer and track and field. However, one day when soccer practice was cancelled, Tat decided to join his friends in basketball practice and never looked back. Tat’s talents were recognized almost immediately, and he began playing with his junior national team within two years. “With the background of soccer and track and other sports, the athletic part (of playing basketball) came easily,” Tat said. “The mental and the knowledge part of the game was a struggle for me, because I had to learn the rules and how things worked.” Tat came to the U.S. after being noticed in international tournaments by an American coach named Linzy Davis, who would become his coach at Community Christian School outside of Atlanta. College coaches aggressively recruited Tat not too long after his arrival, and he ended up as the third-ranked player in Georgia in the 2006 high school class, according to the recruiting site Rivals. Tat committed to Virginia over a slew of other top Division I programs. Brown’s journey to play was much different than Tat’s. While Brown was a productive high school player, he was not the star that Tat was. He did not have college coaches watching his games. Brown’s only chance to play Division I basketball out of high school was to attend The Citadel as a walk-on. After redshirting his first year, Brown earned himself some playing time because of his hustle and defensive intensity.

He went on to start 22 games and average five points and 6.3 rebounds per game, according to The Washington Post. After his redshirt freshman season, Brown decided to transfer from The Citadel for personal reasons to attend junior college. Brown got his first taste of recruitment during that season, when he averaged a double-double at Roane State Community College in Tennessee. “My whole recruiting process (during the junior college year) was pretty fun, because I never went through that in high school,” Brown said. “I got the chance to fly to Portland, fly to New York and a lot of different places.” Brown chose Liberty over several other schools and immediately made an impact. Brown was a Second Team All-Big South performer during the 2010-11 season, averaging 10.8 rebounds per game, which was good for eighth in all of NCAA basketball. He started all 32 games for the Flames as they went 19-13, including a 13-5 conference mark. While Brown was thriving at Liberty, Tat was finishing up an injury-plagued career at Virginia, in which he was never able to reach his full potential. Tat said he was not able to make a full recovery from a few nagging injuries, which slowed him down in practice and during games. While he still gave full effort, his body did not allow him to be the player he could have been when completely healthy. Microfracture surgery on his knee before his senior year was the cherry on top of the injury sundae for Tat, as he received the least amount of playing time during his four years as a Cavalier. Brown’s successful first season came crashing down on a summer afternoon while he was playing in a scrimmage. Brown described himself as playing the best basketball of his life up until that Friday in August when he tore his anterior cruciate ligament and lateral collateral ligament, along with damaging other ligaments and muscles around the knee. “We had played five games before (the game of the injury), and this was like the last game. I was about to shut it down after (the game ended).” Brown said. “I jumped off my right leg (to try to steal the ball on a fast break attempt), and for some reason, I came back down on my right leg and all of a sudden, I just felt it buckle. At that point, I knew something was wrong. I got up, and I just collapsed to the ground. I was like, ‘I can’t walk. There’s something wrong.’” Having recovered from all their injuries,

Ruth Bibby | Liberty Champion

CONFIDENT — Emily Frazier has maintained a positive attitude despite injuries.

FRAZIER continued from B1 However, Frazier’s promising future came to an unforeseen halt when she injured her knee for the second time in her career during the 2011-2012 preseason and was forced to take a medical redshirt and sit out what would have been her redshirt sophomore year. Even with Frazier on the sideline during the 2011-12 season, the Lady Flames won the Big South Conference Championship and received an automatic bid to play in the NCAA tournament. Frazier returned for the 2012-13 season and was a key member of the Lady Flames team as a redshirt sophomore. According to the Liberty Flames website, Frazier led the team with 4.7 assists per game and also recorded 13 assists versus Longwood University, setting a career high and tying the Liberty record set by Kristi Mercer in 1989. But once again, Frazier’s season came

to an unfortunate halt when she suffered a third knee injury against Radford in February. For the second straight season, the Lady Flames won the Big South Conference Tournament and had the opportunity to play in the NCAA tournament without Frazier. Although missing out on two NCAA tournament appearances has been difficult for Frazier, her passion for the game of basketball has continued to grow, according to Frazier. “I’m sadly recovering from my third knee surgery, but I can honestly say its made me love this game even more,” Frazier said. “There’s so much more to this game than even the playing aspect. You can learn so much just from sitting on the bench and watching.” Through the injuries, Frazier has not been discouraged and continues to persevere to play the game that she loves. “I used to joke after I had my second surgery,” Frazier said. “I was like, ‘If I

Courtney Russo | Liberty Champion

BRACE YOURSELF — Once a starter for Liberty, John Brown now takes up his trade at the intramural level after graduating. Brown and Tat now have another chance to play by competing in intramurals. Brown still wears a bulky knee brace, which visibly annoys him during games, but both players still stand out on the court. “(Brown and Tat) don’t look at themselves higher than other people,” Intramural Sports Basketball Supervisor Sean Lally said. “They’re just trying to compete and raise each other’s and everybody else’s games. It’s good to have them both (playing intramurals).” In the quarterfinals of the intramural basketball playoffs, Tat and Brown met up in a rematch of last semester’s championship, in which Tat’s squad prevailed. This time, for the second time

in the 2013 season, Chaff — the name of Brown’s team, which consists of mostly fellow law school students — defeated Tat’s The Unit, 58-39. Brown outscored Tat 20-18 in a game that included a double-digit deficit for The more than half of the contest. “I love playing against John Brown, because he brings out the best in me,” Tat said. “I just don’t like losing to him.” With Brown and Tat planning on continuing to play intramurals as they finish their graduate degrees, in law for Brown and in human services for Tat, there will be many more opportunities for the two to meet on the court again.

have three surgeries I’m done. ‘There’s no way (I’m coming back).’ And sure enough, I get injured at the end of last season, and immediately there was obviously discouragement, but I just had fire and got ready to get back out there.” That fire to continue playing has paid off. Frazier returned for her redshirt junior season in 2013-14. Through the first seven games of the season, Frazier has averaged seven points, four rebounds and 3.7 assists per game. “It was really hard (recovering), but again, I was just like I’m going to do whatever it takes to get out there,” Frazier said. “Through the hardship, it’s really just the grace of God working through me to give me that passion and desire.” Not only has Frazier returned, but coaches and media members of the Big South also named her to the 2013-14 preseason All-Big South Team. “It is great that the conference has recognized her skill level,” Green said. “Yet from my perspective, I just want her healthy. I know what I would get if she continues to just get stronger and healthier every day.” With the loss of three starters from last season’s team and just four upperclassmen returning this season, Frazier is expected to be a team leader. “I have been able to be here longer than (the rest of the team),” Frazier said. “(I have) my experience in games and tight situations, so I hope to help them know it’s the same pressures as high school, and just don’t let the hype of college mess with you. So I feel a lot more pressure to be a leader, but we have a lot of leaders on this team.” Green said he also believes that Frazier will be a key member of this season’s squad, and that her injuries have helped her mature as a person and basketball player. “I think this is now her day to show her maturation,” Green said. “(It’s her time) to show she’s a spiritual, emotional leader on the court, as well as a physical leader in the point guard position. She has had the experience, and sometimes the bad experience of injuries, and that is all together fit into her development and

maturity.” Despite the accolades that Frazier has received, Green hopes more than anything else that she can be healthy so she can reach her full potential while at Liberty. “Come March, I want a good leader going into the Big South tournament,” Green said. “And she is very capable. I’m certainly glad to have her back.” Off the court, Frazier has already graduated with a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from Liberty and is now pursuing her master’s degree in elementary education. “I’ve always loved kids,” Frazier said. “But I never thought about teaching until coming to school. I was like, ‘I want to be an elementary school teacher.’ So that was my focus. Now it’s sort of changed. I just want to teach, and my heart is with younger kids.” Not only does Frazier want to become a teacher, but she also expressed a desire to pursue coaching. “I would love to coach one day,” Frazier said. “I just always want to stay plugged into this game, and that just kind of goes with the teaching. I used to want to teach little kids, but as time has gone on, I just love teaching. I love people, and I love helping people learn. Despite the injuries on the court during the past four years, Frazier could not be happier about her time at Liberty. “It’s been phenomenal,” Frazier said. “God just works so much. I didn’t really want to come here at first. I was sort of like, ‘Oh well maybe, maybe not.’ But this has just been the greatest school, the greatest opportunity on the basketball team and off the basketball team.”

TICHENOR is a sports reporter.

FOOTE is the asst. sports editor.


Emily Frazier is shooting 43.8 percent from three in seven games this season.

DECEMBER 3, 2013


Liberty Champion/B6


DECEMBER 3, 2013

Liberty Champion/B7


The Sanders Family Christmas, Dec. 5-8, 11-13, is a family-friendly musical that intertwines humorous stories and Southern, gospel-style Christmas songs.The performance is centered around Dennis Sanders, who is about to leave for war in December of the year 1941. The stories and songs are a fond send-off from his family and his pastor.

Liberty will come alive for a giant New Year’s Eve party Dec. 30-31 with the music of bands such as Skillet, The City Harmonic, Third Day and Building 429, as well as messages from Clayton King and John Luke, Sadie, Cole and Reed Robertson. For ticket information and the official lineup, visit

Student Activities will present the biannual campus-wide talent show Christmas Coffeehouse Dec. 6. Students are encouraged to join the “Winter Wonderland” fun and enjoy music, dances, skits and videos in this approved late-night event.




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DECEMBER 3, 2013

Liberty Champion/B8

Global outreach effect hits home Liberty student Natasha Ivanova experienced Operation Christmas Child’s impact as a little girl in Belarus Melissa Skinner

When the Christmas season arrives, many people can recall certain childhood memories that make the holiday so near and dear to their hearts. They often recall receiving a toy they really wanted all year, building snowmen outside in the cold, white snow and sledding with their siblings down steep hills. However, for one Liberty student, Christmas was a time when her entire life changed. Natasha Ivanova, a senior business major at Liberty University, grew up in Belarus, which is a tiny country on the outskirts of Russia. Her upbringing was much different than most individuals. When Ivanova was born, her parents learned immediately that there was something wrong with their newborn daughter. The disorder was not anything that would affect her mental capabilities, however. It was a physical disability. Ivanova was born with shorter neck, thus causing her to look different than the average person. Even though she had this disorder, Ivanova’s parents and two brothers accepted her into their family with open arms, choosing to ignore the fact that she had a disability. However, when Ivanova reached the first grade, her family was forced to realize that she was different than other children. The Russian government requires children who have disabilities to live in a state-run orphanage for school instead of attending regular pubic school. Because of this, Ivanova’s parents were forced to send her to the orphanage for school during the weekdays in order to provide their daughter with an education. Ivanova recalled the conditions of the orphanage and wondering why she had to live there just because she was different from other people. “I remember my father explaining to me that I would have to go live in an orphanage because of my disability,” Ivanova said. “When I first arrived at the school, I was sad and traumatized because I did not want to leave my family. It was my first time away from home.” During Ivanova’s second Christmas at the orphanage, she received an Operation Christmas Child shoe box from an American family. Operation Christmas Child is an organization that provides children in need all over the world with a shoebox as a present for them to open Christmas morning, according to According to Ivanova, this was the first Christmas present she had received in years. “In my country, children do not receive a bunch of gifts on Christmas morning like kids in America do because of the

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BLESSED —Natasha Ivanova (left) visited the U.S. six times before coming to live in America with Kathy Barrow (right).

The change in my life began when I received my shoe box. I realized that there was hope in the midst of my circumstances.

financial conditions of the families in Belarus,” Ivanova said. Ivanova recalls that her shoebox contained a can of beans, hygiene products, candy and little toys and games that she did not know how to play. However, the most important item in the box was a gospel tract at the bottom. At the time, she did not know how to read English, and she asked her teacher who did know how to read English what the paper said. “When I asked my teacher what the paper said, she told me it was not important for me to know that,” Ivanova said. “However, I knew that if it came in my box it was definitely important for me to save, so I kept it.” Ivanova had the opportunity to visit the U.S. the summer before she received her shoebox. She stayed with a woman named Kathy Barrow, who had met her five months before when she visited Ivanova in the orphanage. Barrow was traveling with the American

SERVING continued from B10 According to Grandstaff, an area of Main Street, the main lobby area at TRBC, will be decorated like a winter wonderland. In the winter wonderland, families can participate in the Christmas spirit with activities such as getting a picture with Santa and visiting Mrs. Claus’ sweetshop for cookies and hot chocolate. For more information and a list of other activities that TRBC is hosting, visit When it comes to a twist on holiday traditions, World Help is the place to look. According to Allyn Lyttle, director of communication at World Help, the organization’s outreach events are mostly online-driven, and one of the events that focuses on Christmastime is Gifts

—NATASHA IVANOVA Belarusian Relief Organization, which is a medical group that selects certain children with medical conditions to be able to come to the U.S. for six weeks in the summer to receive further medical care and experience life outside of their regular environment. According to Barrow, because Belarus has strict laws that do not allow any Christian material in the country, the purpose of the trip was to provide medical care for children, as well as to smuggle Christian literature into the country. “My organization’s purpose was to love kids and show them the love of Jesus under the Communist regime that they were forced to live in,” Barrow said. When Barrow first saw Ivanova at the orphanage, she knew she needed medical care. But she was also affected by more than Ivanova’s medical needs — she was impressed with her loving heart for the kids around her. “When I was observing the children at the orphanage, I saw these older boys tak-

of Hope. “We want to explain the value of voice and doing your part,” Lyttle said. Gifts of Hope is a program that allows participants to make purchases for those in impoverished countries in the name of a family member or friend. Gifts range from farm animals and seeds to homes and medical supplies. According to Lyttle, these gifts can make an impact, because they are something different from a regular Christmas gift, and they help those in need. For more information about Gifts of Hope and to view a gift catalog, visit gifts-hope-catalog.

STEENBURGH is the feature editor.

ing the balls we brought for the kids away from the younger kids,” Barrow said. “Each time they would try and take a ball from them, Natasha would go and ask for it back. Her loving and compassionate heart for others, even under the circumstances she was living in, impressed me.” After Barrow met Ivanova, she never thought she would see her again, but God intervened. Upon Barrow’s return to the U.S., she pleaded with different churches to take these children in and provide them some relief, not knowing that her home church was actually working with the medical group to try and help Barrow receive her own child. When Ivanova arrived in the U.S. for the first time, she and Barrow were in awe of the fact that they had met previously. “When I first arrived in the U.S., I was overwhelmed and scared because I had never been to a different country,” Ivanova said. “When I saw Kathy though, I knew that I was going to be in good hands.” During Ivanova’s fourth summer in the U.S., she attended a vacation Bible school, where she heard the gospel message. “When I heard the salvation message that night, I knew that was what was in the tract that I had received in my shoe box a few years before that,” Ivanova said. According to Barrow, Ivanova came to the U.S. for six consecutive summers, and during her seventh summer, she was able to stay in the country on a student visa. She also had certain medical needs, such as needs for eye and dental care, because of the lack of health care she received in Belarus. Ivanova has lived in the U.S. for 10 years now, and she has been able to overcome many medical issues, learned how to speak English, spoken at many Operation Christmas Child conferences and will graduate in May. “The change in my life began when I received my shoe box,” Ivanova said. “I realized that there was hope in the midst of my circumstances. When I look back to those days, I can see that God was working on my behalf to provide me with a future that I had never dreamed of.” Ivanova has not seen her own family in more than 10 years. However, she considers Barrow to be her other mom who has sacrificed so much for her. “Life with Natasha has been an amazing journey,” Barrow said. “God has done amazing things in her life, and I am honored to have been a little part of it.” Many churches and individuals donate packed shoeboxes to Operation Christmas Child, and millions have been helped. For more information on this ministry, visit SKINNER is a feature reporter.

LIGHTS continued from B10 “We begin talking about the show in February,” Billingsley said. “By April, we usually have a good idea about what we want to do for it. Then by June, music and a script is picked out. “We begin rehearsals in August.” In addition to the Thomas Road staff who work to put on this event, Liberty students also give their time to make this show a success. Filling the two stage Christmas trees which have 250,000 total lights and multiple platforms that allow 250 choir singers to stand in the form of a tree, are some of Liberty’s School of Music students. Several musicians in the

band and orchestra are also students at Liberty, according to Billingsley. Students are invited to attend the show Wednesday, Dec. 4 with doors opening at 6 p.m. They will be able to see the show free of charge with a student ID. However, seating is limited, and students will be asked to sit in specified areas in the back of the auditorium or in the balcony. General admission begins Dec. 5 and runs through Dec. 8. Tickets are $8 or $12 based on seat location. For more information, showtimes or to buy tickets, visit or call 888-2442178. SHERLOCK is a news reporter.

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DECEMBER 3, 2013

Liberty Champion/B9

Personal perspective: Team feels like family Debate welcomes students from every major who are looking to work hard and take on a new challenge

Tyler Beaston

The glowing numbers of the digital clock read 2 a.m. That means four hours of sleep. But more work is waiting. This is an average tournament night for the Liberty University debate team — the most elite academic institution on campus. For people seeking an intellectual challenge, there is no greater opportunity a school can offer than to join a debate program. It provides access to knowledge and experience that other classes cannot offer. A policy debate emphasizes research, integration and assimilation of information, and speaking quickly, according to Liberty’s debate page, and in college, a policy debate is nothing like presidential debates seen on TV. Nor do debaters simply argue for ideas with which they agree. Unmotivated, and undisciplined students do not make good debaters. “If you’re thinking about debate, take everything that you’ve ever seen, read or heard about that wasn’t an actual debate round and throw it out the window because it is not what you expect,â€? Mary Bobbitt, a varsity debater, said. “It is difficult to understand from an outsider’s perspective.â€? Quick, critical thinking and being able to handle pressure are only a couple of the characteristics needed to achieve success in debates. “Two things it seems like all successful debaters have are ‌ a certain level of natural intelligence ‌ and a way of thinking,â€? Michael Hall, Liberty University director of debate, said. “(S) omeone who has a strong analytic intelligence ‌ tends to do well in debate. The second element is someone who’s a high achiever.â€? Debate is diverse. Students from numerous majors, ranging from government to elementary education, join the program. It paves the way for those wanting to attend law school or obtain other graduate degrees by teaching students to manage

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CHALLENGE — The debate team encourages one another during preparations and tournaments. time and juggle large workloads. “I don’t think there’s any relationship between a degree program that you choose and how well you can do with debate,� Hall said. Such diversity creates a place where the students become like a family. The nature of debate forces them to spend time with each other, and from that stems sibling-like relationships. Both Hall and Bobbitt see the family atmosphere as a positive aspect of the debate community. Yes, members sometimes argue or fail to see eye to eye, but that is part of family. Hall and Bobbitt also agree that they met some of their closest friends through debate. However, close friendships are not only formed among Liberty debaters. They build strong connections with students from other schools as well. Debaters are exposed to stress that comes from balancing classwork, debate work and travel. On top of the stress is piled a general lack of sleep, especially during tournaments. Tournaments typically consist of three 12-hour days,

which are both physically and mentally exhausting, Hall said. Switching back to regular classes, then, is not always easy. “The toughest part is definitely losing the weekends and the long nights and the work hours. We essentially work a 40-to-60-hourweek job with no weekends off,â€? Bobbitt said. “Sure, it’s difficult, but that difficulty pushes you ‌ in ways where you either crack, or you become a better person.â€? As a result, debate allows a person to “cut through the noise of an argument and quickly identify the central issue,â€? Hall said. Furthermore, research skills are developed, which bolsters learning in other academic areas, according to Hall. Debaters work in pairs and compete against other partnerships in front of one judge who determines the winner. “Some people ‌ really think we stand in auditoriums on podiums and (that) we talk to an audience,â€? Bobbitt said. “We’re in classrooms having literal Rubbermaid tubs (for lectures) that we’re speaking off of, speaking very quickly in front of one person. It is so much


harder than what’s expected.� A debate is very structured — from its speech organization to the individual arguments within each speech. “I love the structure of it and seeing how the arguments flow,� Emily McCarty, a novice debater, said. She discovered that flow of thought is also useful in her major, philosophy. McCarty found a niche on the team after asking God where he would have her fit. Being able to compare Christianity with competing worldviews is a practical application of critical thinking outside of debate, she said. “As a believer, I think critical thinking is so important in your relationship with the Lord,� McCarty said. Debate will leave its mark. As a previous debater, I know this to be true. When asked how she benefitted from debate, Bobbitt immediately said, “In every way. I would not be the person I am today without debate.�

BEASTON is an opinion writer.

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DECEMBER 3, 2013

TRBC musical


Christmas show switches focus Dillon Sherlock

Thomas Road Baptist Church, the lights are strung, the set is prepared and the vocal cords are warmed for the 44th annual Virginia Christmas Spectacular (VCS). Staff and volunteers have been tirelessly At working to make certain that this year’s event is a success. The Virginia Christmas Spectacular is Thomas Road’s way of giving back to the community by spreading Christmas cheer to Central Virginia and beyond. The event consists of joyful singing, dancing and acting. Beginning Wednesday, Dec. 4, thousands will flood into the worship center at Thomas Road to enjoy the work that nearly 500 people put in over the course of the year. However, the event will only run for one weekend this year, limiting the amount of options for times to see the show, according to the Virginia Christmas Spectacular website. According to Charles Billingsley, the event’s executive producer and worship leader at Thomas Road, this year’s spectacular is going to be a new experience for all who attend. “For the last five years or so, we have done a Broadwaytype show, but this year, we are changing it up, because we backed the show off to only one weekend instead of two,” Billingsley said. “This year, the VCS is a part of a bigger picture that Thomas Road is putting on during the Christmas season.” According to Billingsley, Thomas Road is hosting 150 service projects as part of the Christmas experience this year. “Our philosophy has changed,” Billingsley said. “It used to be that we were just about entertaining the people of Central Virginia with the story of Christmas. We are now trying to reach Central Virginia with the message. Instead of ‘Hey, come check us out here,’ it’s ‘Hey, let’s come to you.’” Billingsley, who has been a part of the VCS for ten years, explained some of the changes that will be seen in the 2013 production. “This year, VCS is heavier on the music, with less emphasis on an actual storyline,” Billingsley said. “If you like Christmas music, this show is for you.” Production for the huge Christmas show began this year in February, according to Billingsley. See LIGHTS, B8

Photo Provided

HOPE — Claire Parker’s journey shows God’s faithfulness through the good times in life as well as the rough patches that come along.

Christmas story of hope Family tradition inspires a book to benefit a little girl with leukemia

Nicole Steenburgh

What began as a story detailing a family’s hopes for the future has turned into a fundraising project to help Claire Parker, a little girl who is battling leukemia. Claire Parker is the niece of Jonathan Parker, a Liberty alumnus and author of the book “Claire and Anna: The Live Nativity.” The book tells a story of Anna Parker, who is Jonathan Parker’s daughter, and Claire Parker, and how the two families picture them a few years down the road, according to Jonathan Parker. In this book, Claire Parker and Anna Parker are pictured as elementary-age children participating in a family tradition that Jonathan Parker and his brother experienced as kids: a live nativity scene. “In the book, the girls are going to the live nativity scene,” Jonathan Parker said. “When they get there, they see no baby Jesus in the manger, and they are wondering how it will affect Christmas. In the end, they learn the lesson that Christ doesn’t live in a manger. He is alive and well in their lives. It focuses on the Christmas message, what it’s really about.” According to Jonathan Parker, the book started as a story that he wrote down and passed around to his family. After they read the story, his family came up with the idea of

turning it into a book and having it published. “It seemed far-fetched at the time to make it into a book,” Jonathan Parker said. “But Liberty Mountain Publishing agreed to take it on. It was ready to go in about six weeks.” Liberty Mountain Publishing paired him with Rachel Dugan, a graphic designer who works in the marketing department at Liberty. Jonathan Parker said that Dugan is “the talent behind the project,” as she illustrated the entire book. for every copy of the book that is sold, a portion of the money goes to support the chemotherapy treatment Claire Parker needs. According to Jonathan Parker, Claire Parker was diagnosed in July 2013 with a rare and aggressive form of cancer, which called for immediate treatment. She is in remission but must go through a treatment plan that calls for 104 weeks of chemotherapy. “The chemo makes her sick and makes her tired, but she keeps bouncing back,” Jonathan Parker said. “We are thankful for the doctors and medicine, but we are thankful for God’s work.” The main goal of selling this book and getting as many copies out as possible is to share Claire Parker’s story, according to Jonathan Parker. “We believe her story is a story of hope,” Jonathan Parker said. “God has shepherded

us through every close call. We have seen God’s grace (and that) even in chaos, tragedy and heartbreak, God is good.” According to Jonathan Parker, being able to do the book signing is a huge blessing, according to Parker. “We want to see a packed house,” Jonathan Parker said. “Not just for the book. We are talking about hope when we are talking about Claire. We want (students) to share that hope that our family has.” To follow Claire Parker’s story, visit her Facebook page, entitled “Claire Elliot Parker,” where Claire’s mother, Connie Parker, posts updates on Claire as well as devotions and scripture. STEENBURGH is the feature editor.


There will be a book signing at the Liberty University Bookstore at 3-5 p.m. Dec. 5,. “Claire and Anna: The Live Nativity” is available at the Liberty University Bookstore, TRBC, Lifeway, Farmbasket, and online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Christmas season inspires service Students have opportunities to reach out to the Lynchburg community through Liberty, TRBC, World Help Nicole Steenburgh

Throughout the year, students at Liberty University are encouraged to be active in serving the community and reaching out to those in need, according to Liberty’s Christian/Community Service Web page, and there are many opportunities in the coming Christmas season to show the community the love of Christ. One of Liberty’s opportunities to serve was found in the care package drive for members of the military. According to Ashley Eskridge, the military outreach coordinator at the office of Military Affairs, the package drive was a new event this year. “We had one night empty during Mili-

tary Emphasis Week,” Eskridge said. “It was nice to have a low-key night.” Students had the opportunity to drop by one of the classrooms in DeMoss Hall on the night of Nov. 8 and donate various items that would later be packaged and sent overseas. According to Eskridge, when they send the boxes, each member of the military that receives a package will receive a box of food items as well as a box of hygiene items. The way that soldiers receive these boxes is through family, friends and students at Liberty who give the soldiers’ contact information to the office of Military Affairs. According to Eskridge, there are more than 25,000 military members who make up the Liberty University Online

population, and they can send their own information if they wish to get a package. Information can be sent to the office at any time, but it usually picks up around the holidays. As Christmas draws closer, other opportunities are open to students and the community through organizations such as Thomas Road Baptist Church (TRBC) and World Help. According to Tim Gransdstaff, missions and outreach pastor at TRBC, there are multiple opportunities to be involved this year through the church’s ministry Christmas Cares, calling it the “biggest churchwide effort” for Christmas outreach. One part of this ministry is Christ Cares in the Community, which involves more

than 100 outreach events. These events include opportunities such as delivering food baskets to the fire department, police department and local schools. “We want to go in and say thanks for what you do to serve the community,” Grandstaff said. Another aspect of Christmas outreach through TRBC involves collecting food and gifts for children who are infants up to 12 years old. The collection will go on until Dec. 14, when 350 children and their parents will attend a Christmas party at TRBC.


Liberty champion dec 3 2013  

Liberty Champion Dec 3 2013

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