Four swimmers compete at NCAA’s
“The Rivals” offers witty entertainment
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
Today: Rain/Snow 46/23 Tomorrow: Sunny 43/26
Volume 31 • Issue 18
Spring into ministry
‘13 Lynchburg, Va.
Students serve nations Gabriella Fuller email@example.com
Hundreds of Liberty University students called a foreign country home for the week as they spent spring break ministering to people around the globe. Liberty’s Center for Global Engagement (CGE) sent eight teams on trips around the world March 10-14, including destinations such as Bosnia, Ghana, Japan, the Philippines, Spain, Thailand, and undisclosed locations in the Arab World and the Pacific Rim. In addition to these short-term service trips, CGE also sent a study tour to Israel. The tour was co-led by Johnnie Moore, senior vice president for communications, and Dr. Ben Gutierrez, administrative dean for undergraduate programs. According to CGE, the nine teams provided students with the opportunity to engage with other cultures and to experience the world’s diversity first-hand. Brianna Nissen was one of 11 team members who spent her break serving in Ghana. While there, the team worked in local African churches and provided basic medical care in six villages. “Ghana was amazing, and I loved every single part of being there for a week,” Nissen said. “The people captured my heart, and I will never forget them.”
Courtney Russo | Liberty Champion
HEALING — The boxes contain toiletries, clothing, a teddy bear and a handwritten note for victims.
Fear 2 Freedom fights
See GLOBAL , A3
Students assemble 250 kits for abuse victims at Celebration Night Emily Brown firstname.lastname@example.org
Liberty helps businesses James Ebrahim email@example.com
Liberty University has a vast economic impact on the surrounding areas and continues to grow as the university gets larger, according to Dr. Barry Moore, vice president for Outreach and Strategic Partnerships at Liberty. “As Liberty continues to grow, we will continue to put more money into the local tax coffers in so many ways,” Moore said. “All of this is going to make Greater Lynchburg a better place to be.” Every two years, Moore said he meets with Richard Martin, vice president for Financial Research and Analysis, and Fletcher Mangum of Mangum Economic Consulting, LLC, to put together an analysis of the economic contribution Liberty makes to Lynchburg. Moore said as Liberty moves toward its goal of 20,000 residential students, it continues to pump up the local economy in the city of Lynchburg.
See ECONOMY, A8
As faint pinks and purples lingered in the sky Thursday night, an ambulance sat outside the Schilling Center, tightly filled with teal, orange and pur-
ple bags and boxes packed just minutes before by students as a part of Liberty University’s first Celebration Night March 20. During the event, which was the result of a partnership between Liberty and nonprofit orga-
nization Fear 2 Freedom (F2F), more than 200 Liberty students filled 250 of the colorful bags and boxes that will be given to victims of sexual assault, child abuse and domestic violence at Lynchburg General Hospital, F2F
Executive Director Emily Butler said. The number of kits assembled was determined by the number of victims helped last year at the facility.
See FREEDOM, A2
Student brings home top prize Sarah Corder is named PRWeek’s Student of the Year in New York City, March 20 Mark Tait firstname.lastname@example.org
Before 900 of some of the nation’s most distinguished public relations professionals, senior Sarah Corder was named the PRWeek Student of the Year at the PRWeek Awards 2014 gala at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York, March 21. In addition to a trophy, Corder received a cash prize as well as a paid summer internship at PRWeek. She became the second Liberty student to win the
competition in the past three years, according to Dr. Angela Widgeon, associate professor of Digital Media and Creative Arts. Among more than 100 students entering the competition each year, Keri Cook brought home the award in 2012, three other Liberty students placed in the top five over the past two years and Danielle Jacobs finished in the top two in 2010. “I am extremely proud of Sarah…”
See CORDER, A7
Courtney Russo | Liberty Champion
AWARD — Corder is the second Liberty student to win this title.
INSIDE THE CHAMPION News
Students participated in HeARTbeat, an art event, A2 March 22.
Baseball improves to 5-1 in Big South Conference play against High Point. B1
Simply to Go staff is recognized for their dedication to students. B8
News Opinion Sports Feature
A1 A4 B1 B8
MARCH 25, 2014
Artists collaborate at HeARTbeat
Revival Scene Community Church holds event created by Meredyth Mason to encourage creativity in church Brittany Jones email@example.com
Groups of experienced and beginning artists joined together to hear local musicians, talk with art vendors and paint at the Revival Scene Community Church’s event, HeARTbeat. Meredyth Mason, Liberty junior and the creator of the event, reached out to members of the church, Liberty students and artists all around Lynchburg to promote HeARTbeat, which took place Saturday, March 22. “The Lord gave me a vision to provide a place for creativity,” Mason said. “There are so many talented people around me, and I just wanted to bless them with a place of freedom.” Mason explained that, with the help of the Revival Scene Community Church, her vision became translated into the HeARTbeat event. The same event was hosted last semester, and Mason said she hopes that it can continue to occur once every semester and possibly during the summer. “We hope to find another venue in the future that would encourage more of an open turnout for anyone from town,” Mason said. “It (was) open to the public, and we advertised all over town, so we want to do that more.”
According to Mason, the purpose of the HeARTbeat event and those like it are to encourage Christians to grow in their skills and be encouraged that their artwork is not less important just because it is Christian. “We never have to feel like we are mediocre or second-best because we are Christian,” Mason said. “It’s kind of like a Jerry Falwell moment of, ‘If it’s Christian, it ought to be better.’” According to Mason, HeARTbeat was not just for the artists looking to grow in their skill and seek God with their art. She also wanted the event to provide experienced artists with the opportunity to show and sell their work to the public. Senior Ashley Dunne set up a table to feature some of her hand-drawn and stamped stationary that she was selling. “It’s really hard to break into the art field, so anytime I can get my stuff out there, it’s a blessing,” Dunne said. Danae Samms | Liberty Champion Dunne explained that she has been involved with HeARTbeat PAINTBRUSH — Participants were able to worship through creating artwork. since the beginning stages and is eager to watch it continue to church hopes to re-launch Col- Mason said. “We have a lot of the ministry formed through grow. lision Arts Dance Ministry. She those in the church, and they just the Revival Scene Community “If (Meredyth) keeps going said she discovered dance as a really want to worship with it Church can be found on the Colwith it, I think it will get bigger,” form of worship and hoped to and feel confident about it.” lision ARTS Facebook page. Dunne said. “I think it’s a good share it with others. According to Mason, the beginning.” “The dance ministry is if you dance group will be Saturday JONES is a news reporter. According to Mason, follow- want to be a dancer, but you’ve nights and is open to men and ing the HeARTbeat event, the never had dance experience,” women. More information about
Courtney Russo | Liberty Champion
CELEBRATION — Students assembled kits for victims of sexual abuse and took time to remember those impacted by the issue of rape in America.
FREEDOM continued from A1 According to F2F Founder and President Rosemary Trible, who shared her testimony of the hope she found in God after being raped, the kits are part of the way her organization works to bring hope and healing to abuse victims. “F2F kits are a tangible way to help victims of abuse as well as a way to meet the need within many hospitals and after-care homes,” the F2F website states. Each kit includes items such as basic toiletries and clothing. Trible said the women and children who are at the hospital as a result of assault often do not have toiletries needed to take showers or clothes to leave the hospital with, as theirs are often kept for evidence. Additionally, each kit has a personal, hand-written note and teddy bear in it. Throughout the night, students were personally responsible for packing their bags or boxes. To assemble their kits, attendees filled the colorful bags and boxes based on whether the kit was being made
1. THE NFL MAY IMPLEMENT A 15-YARD PENALTY FOR THE N-WORD.
for a woman or child. After checking off each item from the checklists they received, students also wrote notes of encouragement to include in the kits. As freshman Tim Chalmers wrote his note, he said he realized how big of an impact the kits can make on abuse victims. “I have a best friend who was sexually molested a few years ago, and … just her telling me her story and how she got through has kind of given me inspiration,” Chalmers said. “… (This event is) just showing (victims) that people actually care about them.” Freshman Kathleen Lopp also recognized the significance of Celebration Night and its potential effects. “I have a few friends that have gone through similar things, and I just really have a heart and a passion for women (and children) that have gone through this,” Lopp said. “… And for me, to be able to communicate the love of other people and even the love of God, (the event was) such a great opportunity to be able to come and do that just through
2. NEW YORK SCHOOL CROSSES LINE TEACHING SEX EDUCATION.
something as simple as a little bag and a teddy bear.” After all 250 kits were assembled, the bags and boxes were quickly loaded into the ambulance. Students then gathered around the full vehicle and held lit candles, observing two minutes of silence to symbolize the fact that someone is sexually abused every two minutes in America, according to Butler. Trible finished the night by praying over the kits and the victims that would be receiving them before stepping into the passenger seat to accompany the kits to Lynchburg General. Although this was only the first Celebration Night at Liberty, Trible expressed hope and confidence in the idea of it becoming an annual event. Trible said she believes college-aged people are the ones who can make a real difference. “I think this generation is more serviceoriented than any I know,” Trible said. “I feel like it’s the university students, if we can start changing the culture now, then we can stop this and begin to have more and more freedom.”
Trible and Butler both talked about generating interest in starting a F2F student club at Liberty in the next year as well. Lew Weider, the director of the Center for Christian/Community Service who helped to orchestrate Celebration Night, said he believed the event exceeded expectations and will make a lasting impact on the Lynchburg community. “Part of (Liberty’s) mission is obviously to meet the needs of those who are suffering, those who have gone through trauma, those who just need a sense of hope (and) encouragement,” Weider said. “… (W)e wanted to do (the event), because it’s a project for Lynchburg to help Lynchburg residents and the surrounding area, and we can meet a specific need in a person’s life. “ For more information about F2F, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit fear2freedom.org. BROWN is a copy editor.
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MARCH 25, 2014
Snowstorms cause complications An excess of winter weather in Central Virginia creates difficulty through class cancellations and delays Joshua Janney
Although spring usually makes people think of blooming flowers and lively colors, Lynchburg is still experiencing random snowstorms and delayed classes. The cancellations and delays of Liberty University classes as a result of the snowy weather have been the source of much difficulty for Liberty professors, who have been scrambling to readjust the schedule and syllabus for the remainder of the year, according to Brian Yates, dean of the Center for Academic Support and Advising Services (CASAS). “When it comes to professors in the class, unlike a K12 school where teachers see their students every day, some classes meet once a week, some three days a week,” Yates said. “And so for professors, they are looking at, ‘How can I adapt, how can I get the content that is needed to be delivered to the students now that we have a shortened time frame?’ So it really varies, depending on the class.”
According to Yates, professors have been dealing with the cancellations in various ways, ranging from adding either a day or a class meeting to the schedule to adding online lectures for the students to pick up information. “Every situation is a little bit unique,” Yates said. “Some professors anticipate that they may lose a day in a semester, and in a sense they kind of build that into the way they have their class structure. Others, there is just so much content (in the classroom), that the cancellations will almost end up placing more responsibility on the student to make sure that they get the work done. Because they don’t have the opportunity for that direct face time, the student may need to meet with them after class or during office hours or things like that.” Both students and faculty may have been puzzled by the decision to cancel some days and not others. According to Jennifer Griffin, executive assistant to Provost and Vice Provost Offices, the decision to cancel classes is a joint effort from Chief Richard
Hinkley of the Liberty University Police Department, Human Resources and Dr. Ronald Godwin, senior vice presidents of Academic Affairs/Provost. Although there have been some late semester cancellations this year, Liberty has dealt with even worse weather in the past. In 2000, Liberty experienced a similar snow of 20 inches, which caused them to cancel classes. This was only the third time they had closed in 20 years, according to an article in the Liberty Champion. “This semester, it seems like the cancellations have been spread out,” Yates said. “A few years ago, around 2007 or 2008, it was like every Thursday we got freezing rain. It seemed like the entire month you could just count on the way the patterns were, that you are going to end up with that. This time it seems spread out a little bit more, so maybe we’ll have a Monday, Wednesday, Friday class canceled or maybe a Tuesday, Thursday.” According to Yates, CASAS has mainly been impacted by the
GLOBAL continued from A1
LOVE — Brianna Nissen spent time with a child in Ghana.
Nissen fondly described the Ghanian people she was able to work with as family. “One night on the trip, the team and I helped with an evangelistic outreach with the Ghanaian people,” Nissen said. “We were able to worship with them and pray with them that night. The most beautiful thing about it was that it was dark, and we couldn’t see much of anything but outlines of each other. I loved this,
Courtney Russo| Liberty Champion
COLD — Students face unseasonably low winter temperatures. way the cancellations have postponed advising appointments. “We’ve talked with the advising team if there is any kind of bad forecast to try to reach out with the students, and if the weather is bad, try to reschedule with the snow,” Yates said. “I think the key to surviving delays and cancellations, whether it’s classes or services you take advantage of, is just good com-
because we were not separated as ‘white people’ or ‘black people’ or ‘American’ and ‘African’ but as people and fellow believers.” In addition to medical work in Ghana, students also hosted literacy classes for immigrants in Spain, helped with disaster relief work in the Philippines and taught English to students in the war-torn nation of Bosnia. According to Brandon Pitzen, the study tour to Israel was “an indescribable trip that can only be
munication and making sure that students are in touch with faculty, and faculty are in touch with students, advisors and tutors, (and) that everyone is paying attention to emails.” JANNEY is a news reporter.
experienced in person.” While there, students visited historical sites and volunteered part of their time to serve in a home for disabled children. Students who participated in the various global teams were left with a sense of awe at the work that God is doing around the globe. “God taught me that the Holy Spirit is the same here as he is in Ghana, as he is anywhere,” Nissen said. “It was beautiful for me to see that even though there was a language barrier, ... the
people would often leave looking happier than when they came to us. For me, it taught me that love and Christ are universal and can be understood no matter where you’re from or what language you speak.” CGE will send eight global teams to serve around the world this summer. For more information on global teams, visit liberty.edu/ globalteams. FULLER is the opinion editor.
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MARCH 25, 2014
Why I am not celebrating Phelps’ death
Death of founder and former pastor of Westboro Baptist Church caused widespread controversial celebration
Gabriella Fuller email@example.com
One would expect to hear the statement “the monster has finally died” after the passing of historically evil figures such as Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin or Osama bin Laden. What one would not expect this statement to be referencing, however, is the passing of an American pastor. But in a tragic and ironic turn of events, these words were most recently used to describe the death of Fred Phelps, founder of Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan. Phelps, infamous for his “God hates” statements and his spiteful public protests, died Wednesday, March 19, much to the elation of a majority of the American population. While most were cheering as a result of his death, I could not help but feel saddened by the reactions circulating the Internet. Though I can hardly blame people for not being overwhelmed with grief, I am equally as disappointed by the hatred surrounding Phelps’ death. Though Phelps’ life and actions may indeed have born poor witnesses to what Christians proclaim to believe,
PROTEST — Westboro Baptist Church’s version of an angry, vengeful God does not represent the biblical definition of a God who loves and forgives. my conscience immediately reminds me of Jesus’ words in John 13:34 when he states, “A new command I give you: Love one another.” Despite how spectacularly unlovable Phelps may have
been, we as Christians do not get an exemption from this commandment. If we only love the lovable, what is the point? We are saying and proving very little if we are not actively seeking to show love to those who, from our
point of view, may least deserve it. Even beyond the argument of faith, the same argument can be made on the basis of humanity. There is something innately troubling to me in the idea that
people are so willing to become what they profess to abhor — that in protest to extremist hatred, we too adopt extreme hate. As Martin Luther King, Jr. famously proclaimed, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” Phelps was given a platform to proclaim love and truth, and he unfortunately wasted his life by twisting and corrupting the mission of the church and of followers of Christ. Though most of us are not sorry that he died, rejoicing in the death of someone who may have been lost is never permissible. Even his life — though despicable and utterly contradictory to everything that I believe — was still a life, and thus valuable and worth mourning. Rather than being consumed by hatred for Phelps, we should choose instead to learn from his mistakes and to live lives of love that will touch as many people with grace and hope as his did with animosity and hostility. FULLER is the opinion editor.
Obama: Better at pop-culture or politics?
Appearing on Galifianakis’ comedy show was an attempt by the president to boost Obamacare’s popularity Tyler Beaston firstname.lastname@example.org
President Barack Obama recently joined Zach Galifianakis for an interview on his popular Internet show “Between Two Ferns.” Obama’s participation in the six-minute comedy show elicited mixed opinions from viewers, according to a Fox News article by Howard Kurtz. “He wasn’t funny … I have to say, this video was a turkey,” Kurtz wrote. Others at Fox thought the video was “wildly inappropriate,” according to Kurtz’s article. I see nothing wrong with the president taking a little time for a comedic gig. I am certainly not a huge fan of Galifianakis’ painfully awkward interviews, but the video was worth a chuckle. On the show, the two men engaged in clever repartee, with Galifianakis notably saying to Obama, “It must kind of stink, though, that you can’t run, you know, three times.” Obama replied that not being able to run again is a good thing. “If I ran a third time, it’d be sort of like doing a third ‘Hangover’ movie. Didn’t really work out very well, did it?” Obama replied. Of course, Obama did have ulterior motives for the discussion. It appears that the president did the interview in order to put in a plug for his ever-newsworthy health care bill,
by Greg Leasure The phrase March Madness means many things to many people, but from the sports-illiterate to the baseketball-obsessed, madness is the perfect word to summarize the emotional state that the annual NCAA basketball tournament creates. Although I do enjoy filling out what in- LEASURE evitably turns out to be a painfully incorrect bracket or two every March, the type of madness to which
the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. The goal was to help the bill gain greater popularity with younger generations, and what a better way to achieve that end than through humor? “The president subjected himself to the awkwardness to reach, yes, younger people with a ‘plug’ for Obamacare,” Kurtz wrote. When Obama brought up health care, Galifianakis acted exasperated and bored for the duration of Obama’s selfpromotion. “Oh yeah, I heard about that. That’s the thing that doesn’t work,” Galifianakis said. Here we have an interesting situation. Some people might complain that presidents should avoid such public displays of frivolity, and perhaps they are right. But I cannot blame Obama for trying to garner greater support for his bill. It would be foolish of him to not market his own product. Do not get me wrong — I have no love for the health care law and no desire for its implementation. But Obama or his press agents have consistently done an exceptional job of using various media outlets to propagate his message to a receptive audience. Apparently, the video was somewhat successful. “White House officials say it was the number one source of referrals to the health care site Tuesday,” Kurtz’s article said.
I am referring is not positive. It is not the edge-of-your-seat sports entertainment that March Madness has come to describe. In fact, with each passing year, I have begun to notice a more literal madness. Actually, maybe rage might be a more accurate term for the emotion that seems to overtake everyone this time of year. For those who are emotionally invested in the success of their favorite collegiate basketball team, the rage is all too real. Teams that lose in the early rounds normally cause their fans mild frustration, with the exception of major upsets. As the tournament continues, the emotions associated with elimination seem to parallel the five stages of grief – all the way through denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. As the clock winds down, denial sets in as fans stare at the screen, waiting for an impossible comeback. As their team
BETWEEN TWO FERNS — Obama and Galifianakis discuss politics in a sixminute comedy sketch. While I take no issue with his appearance on “Between Two Ferns,” I think that Obama and any other president should be careful to avoid coming across as too facetious. There is a risk that he might seem lackadaisical toward the responsibilities of his office. “Obama often seems more comfortable as a pop-culture president than one who muscles legislation through the Hill,” Kurtz wrote. I partially agree. The president fits in well with Hollywood and other media
desperately scrambles to get back in the game, the fans’ anger begins to erupt, often at the expense of the nearest inanimate object. Bargaining comes next as the fans hope for a chance for their team to redeem itself in overtime. After the final buzzer sounds and takes away all hope, depression takes hold and leaves the grieving fans sitting on the couch, uninterested in the rest of the tournament. Finally, fans accept the loss. The rage of March does not end with sports fans, though. Although it might be shocking to some college basketball junkies, some people do not enjoy hearing about the NCAA tournament every two minutes. In fact, a significant amount of Americans downright despise the month of March simply because their social media feeds are constantly clogged with people complaining about their busted brackets. Personally, I enjoy the challenge of
moguls. They all seem to love him, and he benefits from their support. Yes, Obama does often balk when it comes to international issues — take Syria and Russia — but he irritatingly exerted muscle to force through his Affordable Care Act. Still, as Kurtz wryly concludes in his article, “It’s good for a president to show his lighter side. Maybe he’s eyeing his next career.” BEASTON is an opinion writer.
the pursuit of the impossible – the perfect bracket. But as someone who neither loves nor despises March Madness, I cannot help but wonder – why must we all be so mad? Can college basketball fans possibly watch one upset without immediately flocking to Facebook to lament the latest blow to their brackets? Can those who could care less possibly make it an entire tournament without aggressively expressing their complete indifference via social media toward their friends’ chances of winning Warren Buffet’s billion dollars? For the sake of everyone’s sanity, I hope the answer is yes. From the First Four to the final buzzer of the championship game, March is definitely the maddest of all the months. However, mad as it may be, the rage must be restrained. Maybe next March, we can all enjoy the Madness without so much madness.
MARCH 25, 2014
Air Force regulates language Religious liberty was threatened when a cadet was forced to remove scripture posted outside his dorm door Tré Goins-Phillips email@example.com
“I have been crucified with Christ therefore I no longer live, but Christ lives in me,” one Air Force cadet wrote on a small whiteboard pinned right outside his dorm room. And crucified he was. Little did the cadet know that quoting Galatians 2:20 would cause such widespread national controversy. “It massively poured fundamentalist Christian gasoline on an already raging out-of-control conflagration of fundamentalist Christian tyranny, exceptionalism and supremacy at the U.S. Air Force Academy,” Mikey Weinstein, director for the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, said. “Had it been in his room — no problem. It clearly elevated one religious faith over all others.” According to Todd Starnes, host of Fox News & Commentary, Weinstein was quick to file his complaint. Two hours and nine minutes after his critique was submitted, the verse had been erased from the cadet’s whiteboard. Weinstein claimed to have received 29 complaints from cadets and four from personnel before he contacted the Air Force Academy. Weinstein credited Lt. Col. Denise Cooper with resolving the issue. “She immediately said this is wrong and will use it as a teachable moment,” Weinstein said. His aggrandized statements get to the
SEPARATION — Air Force campus insists on refraining from religious statements. heart of the issue: polarization through sensationalism. By my account, Weinstein saw an opportunity to cash in on big controversy, so he did, attempting to knock Christianity down along the way. Unfortunately, Weinstein’s comments seem to be the stock answer from our “tolerance” addicted society. The unnamed cadet responsible for the scripture-clad whiteboard wields authority as a mentor and leader among his squadron. “The scripture was below the cadet’s name on a whiteboard and could cause subordinates to doubt the leader’s
religious impartiality,” Lt. Gen. Michelle D. Johnson, superintendent for the academy, said. At what point did confidence in your beliefs — any beliefs — become a negative? We do not silence or inhibit nonreligious beliefs for fear they may prevent impartiality. In fact, in most realms of our society, we praise individualism and celebrate diversity. In light of this, why are religious beliefs being silenced? “If the cadet didn’t violate any rules, then why was the quote removed?” Michael Berry, director of military affairs at the Liberty Institute, a conservative
Christian advocacy and legal defense organization, said. “It appears that the Air Force now believes Bible verses are a violation of the AFI 1-1.” Regarding religious freedom, the AFI 1-1 states, “(Airmen) should confidently practice your own beliefs while respecting others whose viewpoints differ from your own.” Furthermore, the academy’s actions violate Department of Defense instruction 1300.17, a new regulation established by the Pentagon to protect religious liberty. “Military Departments will accommodate individual expressions of sincerelyheld beliefs of service members in accordance with the policies and procedures in this instruction,” the regulation states. In both cases, under both the Air Force regulation and the Department of Defense regulation, the Christian cadet had every right to post scripture to his whiteboard. Since the posting of the Bible verse, and the subsequent erasing of it, many cadets have picked up their markers and posted quotes from the Bible, the Quran and other nonreligious texts. Berry plans to address the issue with the academy, and Weinstein plans to file a lawsuit against the Air Force Academy to ensure church-state separation is protected on the Air Force campus. GOINS-PHILLIPS is an opinion writer.
Russian sanctions still ineffective
Tensions rise as Russian troops take over Ukrainian military bases in Crimea with no hope of compromise David Van Dyk firstname.lastname@example.org
Two things have remained consistent with the current occupant of the Oval Office: red lines and “don’t go any further” warnings. This time, however, President Barack Obama followed through with his tough talk, slamming down sanctions on Russian financial leaders, which are expected to cripple Russia’s economy. Or will they? Thanks to Obama’s first round of sanctions against President Vladimir Putin, Moscow lumbered forward like a Serbian bear hit with pebbles, annexing Crimea from Ukraine and securing their Black Sea Fleet and key military installations found throughout the strategic peninsula. I sadly realized Putin had done all this while laughing at us, saying, “Whoever put these sanctions together is a joker,” according to a Forbes report on Ukraine. Though the former sanctions were weak and ineffective in stopping Putin from snagging Crimea, my hope is that these next sanctions will deal some more substantial damage. According to the Forbes report by Paul Gregory, this next round of sanctions will “bite where they hurt.” “Moreover, the U.S. Treasury has sent Vladimir Putin a chilling warning: We know where your money is, and we can expose you for what you are,” Gregory wrote. “The Treasury hinted at a ‘direct (financial) relationship’ between Putin and owner of a shadowy oil trading company chartered in Switzerland, who happens to be on the sanctions list.” However, in response to a question asking if these sanctions will cripple Putin and his administration, Associate Dean Ron Miller of the Helms School of Government said he believed they would not. “The sanctions are a small price to pay for Russia to reassert itself on the world stage as a nation with which to be reckoned,” Miller said. I can certainly see Miller’s point. With Russia gaining a valuable piece of land and keeping their strategic hold in the Black Sea, these sanctions seem to pale in comparison. However, I see these sanctions inflicting a deep wound in the Russian economy as well as having consequences over time. Economic leaders and friends of Putin will certainly feel the sting of financial instability work its way into their frozen assets and visas. As the economy dips and Russia’s
UNCERTAINTY — Russian President Vladimir Putin continues to capture land amidst international and diplomatic warnings of war and increased sanctions. mass propaganda begins to fade, the people, I hope, will begin to awaken and see the mess around them. As for Europe, there is speculation Ukraine will be given association status with the European Union (EU). I do not see any more measures against Russia being taken by Europe, as Russia has a firm grip on energy production within Europe. “Aside from sanctions, there is little Europe can do,” Miller wrote. “The EU and NATO may seek closer ties to those former Soviet republics, which now see the Russians as a threat to their sovereignty, but closer cooperation with the West could further aggravate tensions between those republics and Moscow.” The real interest lies within the nations bordering Russia, those who separated from the former Soviet-era policies. These past Soviet republics will be watching with a wary eye the events surrounding Ukraine and Crimea. One of these nations is Moldova, where its own little Crimea, known as Transnistria, is trying to seek Russian integration and admission into the Russian Federation. Countries including Latvia and Estonia have enjoyed
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their new NATO status, but they are dependent on Russian energy production. Scott Neuman of NPR said in his article that these Baltic countries are watching Russia with an uneasy discernment, no doubt wondering how much further this will go. As for a military conflict in the foreseeable future, Miller said he believes Putin will coordinate Russia’s moves carefully. “President Putin will be very deliberate in how he uses military force,” Miller said. “Unless provoked by Ukrainian forces, I don’t envision all-out war.” While war may be unlikely, the tensions felt throughout the Russian perimeter are having substantial effects on the citizens of bordering countries and their governments. The uneasy strain will only stretch further until it is snapped or satiated. VAN DYK is an opinion writer.
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Liberty Champion Liberty University, Box 2000, Lynchburg, VA 24515 or drop off in DeMoss Hall 1035.
VISIT THE CHAMPION’S WEBSITE AT LIBERTYCHAMPION.COM. CHECK US OUT ON FACEBOOK AND TWITTER.
MARCH 25, 2014
GLTC moves to improve safety Company officials expect the new Bradley Drive transfer center to be completed by the beginning of May Evelyn Hylton email@example.com
In an effort to improve and increase the safety of its bussing facilities, the Greater Lynchburg Transportation Company (GLTC) is relocating one of its major transfer centers and its main headquarters within the coming year, according to GLTC General Manager Karen Walton. She said that, after discussion in numerous GLTC board meetings over the past couple of years, her company has decided to move its current transfer station to a location on Bradley Street in Lynchburg, Va. “The new transfer center is going to be a place for the busses to get off the road to pull in,” Walton said. “It’s safer for the passengers. Right now, we’re using the Plaza, which has no amenities at this point. The new transfer center is going to be a place for the busses to get off the road to pull in. It’s safer for the passengers.” While GLTC may take more than a year to completely transfer its headquarters, the new transfer station is scheduled to be completed by the end of April or the beginning of May, according to Walton. She said the new transfer center will be a major improvement from the current center at the Plaza Shopping Center on Memorial Avenue and will include new accommodations for both commuters and GLTC staff such as an indoor waiting area, vending machines, restrooms and an indoor service clerk. “I think everybody is looking
Courtney Russo | Liberty Champion
BUS STOP — The Greater Lynchburg Transportation System’s new location is safer for passengers with indoor amenities. forward to the new transfer center,” Walton said in a recent interview with The News & Advance. “For me, what I’m looking forward to is how much easier it will be to get word out to the public. Right now, we can put signs and announcements up on the buses, but not everyone always sees those … Here, we’ll be able to put up big, old signs and take public comment. Communication will really lend itself well to the new transfer center compared to what we have now.” According to Walton, GLTC
is planning to relocate its headquarters from its current Lynchburg location on Kemper Street to an industrial location on Bradley Drive. Walton said the new location will be safer and more convenient for GLTC staff, especially during the night hours. “We’ve purchased the property on Bradley Drive,” Walton said. “Next year, we’re starting construction. Right now (the Kemper Street location) is really old and run down, falling apart. Busses are jammed in here at nights, which is a safety issue.” According to Walton, GLTC
is currently about 60 percent finished with the design phase for the new headquarters. In light of its relocation projects, GLTC will continue to serve as Liberty University’s primary public transportation service. According to GLTC Administrator Ted Sweet, GLTC busses have been running their current routes on Liberty’s campus for the past four years. “The students need to get moved around, so (Liberty) got GLTC,” Sweet said. GLTC began bussing students to and from local hotel locations
before many of the current dorms were built, according to Sweet. She also mentioned that the new transfer center location at the Plaza will be gated. “Only busses will be going in there,” Sweet said. “No cars outside the university will be coming in.” For more information about GLTC and its construction projects, visit gltconline.com. HYLTON is a news reporter.
Students travel to New York City
Four editors of the Liberty Champion learn valuable lessons at the Spring National College Media Convention Derrick Battle firstname.lastname@example.org
During spring break, four editors from the Liberty Champion, along with Digital Media & Communication Arts associate professor Deborah Huff, traveled to New York City and participated in the Spring National College Media Convention. At the convention, college professors and advisors from different universities shared ideas and gave advice to aspiring journalists on a variety of topics from using social outlets and what it takes to be a writer. Huff taught two sessions that discussed covering tragedy with objectivity and local news events that happen off college campuses. “I feel blessed to have the students that I have here at Liberty,” Huff said. “After talking with advisors from other universities, they said that they have trouble with their writers writing something other than blog content. However, here at Liberty, we have writers who want to write news and who understand what it is.” College professors and advisors also critiqued newspapers and magazines from different colleges. The Liberty Champion sent two newspapers from the
JOURNALISM — Professors from all over America came to speak at the convention. 2013 fall semester that were critiqued by Framingham State University advisor Desmond McCarthy. He gave positive feedback, complementing the professional level of photography and the variety of local stories the staff covers. However, McCarthy said he wanted the writers to challenge themselves and write stories on controversial topics that are affecting citizens today.
“Having the opportunity to sit down for a critique with Desmond McCarthy was my favorite part of the conference,” opinion editor of the Liberty Champion Gabriella Fuller said. “It was so encouraging to receive feedback and be recognized for our hard work by someone outside of Liberty.” CBS evening news anchor Scott Pelley also spoke with students, stressing the
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importance to give accurate information to the public. He also stated that journalists should be cautious of their bias. Other speakers from the Associated Press and Sports Illustrated also shared their personal stories and led discussions. “I think the speakers from the sports journalism industry were really interesting to me, because it allowed me to see what kinds of things I need to be doing in order to become a better sportswriter and get the type of job I want when I graduate,” editor-in-chief of the Liberty Champion Greg Leasure said. The convention ended with a committee handing out Apple awards to universities who had the best newspapers, magazines and social media sites ranging from community colleges to four-year institutions. “After seeing the competition and comparing our design and content to other schools, there is a strong possibility that we will enter the Liberty Champion into next year’s Apple Awards,” Emily Brown, a copy editor for the Liberty Champion, said. “I feel that our paper can win against any newspaper in the country.” BATTLE is the sports editor.
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MARCH 25, 2014
International enrollment grows
Students visiting America from other nations now make up 8 percent of the university’s residential population Courtney Sharp email@example.com
With Liberty University being the largest evangelical university in the world, it is little surprise that international enrollment is steadily increasing, according to Liberty Dean of International Student Program William Wegert. He explained that 8 percent of students are international and choose to come to Liberty because of the campus community, the academic programs and the overall Christian atmosphere. According to Wegert, billboards and television commercials for Liberty might not be as accessible around the world as they are in America, but the school is still promoted by other means. “I am amazed by the number of students that find out about Liberty by the Internet,” Wegert said. “Growing representation and branding abroad is contributing to our growing enrollment. International recruiters and faculty that travel abroad promoting the school do a fantastic job.” Ontario native Emily Kerk-
hof stated that she chose to come to Liberty because Christian universities are limited in Canada. “I first heard about Liberty University at a music festival that I attended in the states,” Kerkhof said. “My sister also went here, and I really liked it. I am a biblical studies major, and I plan on staying in America after graduation.” Anyone looking to meet international students just needs to step inside the International Students Center located on the second floor of DeMoss Hall. Inside awaits free coffee and fellowship opportunities with fellow students from around the world. “I chose to attend Liberty University because of what it represented, and because my sister came here and loved it,” senior Mitchell Ferguson from the Bahamas said. Dan Cooper, biblical studies major also from Canada, explained that, after receiving a Master’s of Arts in Religion degree online, he knew he would need more school and knew Liberty was the place for him. “Liberty is (affordable), and it’s
CORDER continued from A1 Widgeon, who requires students to enter the competition in her public relations writing course, said. “She told me that she was going to work hard, learn everything she could and apply what I said, because she believed she could win, and she did.” The PRWeek Student of the Year competition required each contestant to create a campaign for a fictional airline called Flight, according to PRWeek’s website. Each student wrote a five-page essay explaining how he or she planned to increase frequent flyer miles while sponsoring the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Corder said Widgeon required her students to go “above and beyond” by also submitting a 20-page plans book, a report that is a visual representation of the ideas for the campaign. Corder was recognized for sound research, professionalism and strategic use
Marybeth Dinges | Liberty Champion
FELLOWSHIP — The International Student Center helps students meet people from other nations. a great school with a phenomenal program,” Cooper said. Cooper explained how he knows at least 12 students that came to Liberty from his home church alone. He said the opportunities are endless to connect with fellow Canadians from the
East Coast. According to Wegert, Liberty’s program has attracted students from more than 70 nations. Korea is the most represented country on campus, and Canada is the second most represented. For more informa-
It’s going to be tough, but I think God put me here for a reason.
of social media, according to PRWeek’s website. Her idea to motivate customers through charitable contributions also won the approval of judges. “(Corder’s) concept of having the airline plant one tree in Brazil’s Atlantic Rainforest for every 100 miles flown in June and July 2016 was a noteworthy nod to the ‘doing good is good business’ philosophy so prevalent today,” PRWeek’s website reported. According to Corder, being named Student of the Year already gave her the opportunity to begin networking with leaders in the public relations field while at the award ceremony. “I ended up sitting at a table with peo-
— SARAH CORDER ple who work at companies we study in our classes and some of the people who had actually judged my project,” she said. According to Corder, she believes the award and her internship at PRWeek will continue to create opportunities for her in the future. Cook, who is now an account executive at SS+K, a marketing firm in New York, agrees. “Winning this award had a huge impact on my personal and professional life, as it essentially helped me to determine what city, industry and company in which I’d jump-start my career…” Cook said. “I think this is a great opportunity for Sarah in terms of opening doors and helping her choose what she wants to do with her
tion, visit the International Students Office page at liberty.edu. SHARP is a news reporter.
learning, experience and ambitions.” Corder said she is excited to begin her internship but is also aware that entering a secular environment will present new challenges. “People aren’t always acting the Christian way, and you have to stand your ground …” she said. “It’s going to be tough, but I think that God put me here for a reason.” According to Corder, her classmates and professors, such as Widgeon and Amy Bonebright, have helped her prepare both spiritually and professionally for the workplace. “Sarah put together a very smart campaign,” Widgeon said. “She paid attention to the client’s needs, conducted research to better help them understand their target audience and developed a creative strategy, which brought the two together.” TAIT is the asst. news editor.
MARCH 25, 2014
Center4ME celebrates prayer Event highlights global worship, emphasizes value of intercession worldwide Jesse Spradlin firstname.lastname@example.org
Liberty students accepted the Center for Multicultural Enrichment’s (Center4ME) dare to pray for the nations Thursday, March 20, at 7 p.m. in Green Hall. Students representing each continent were invited to worship in their native language and share prayer requests for different countries within their continent. “My experience here was that the Holy Spirit was just here, and he was living, he was around,” junior Micah Green said. “He was making a difference in our hearts. He has stirred some hearts here, and he’s stirring the hearts of the nations.” Students began the night by worshipping in English and praying for North America. Former U.S. soldier Thomas Gonzales shared about the importance of praying for the military. “How many countries are visited by the military before (being visited by) Christians?” Gonzales asked. “We also need to pray for the people whose countries we go to.” African student representative Nkechi Ilo shared that more than 50 percent of people in Nigeria are Muslim. “Even your enemies, it’s good for you to pray for them,” Ilo said. The Spanish praise team at Thomas Road Baptist Church led worship for the South American segment of prayer. “The worship really touched my heart tonight and all the different languages,” freshman Christy Gwartney said. “God, he knows what everyone’s saying. Although I might not understand it, it’s
Amber Lachniet | Liberty Champion
WORSHIP — Students from around the world accepted a challenge to pray. really cool.” Asia representative Grace Yasa Guo talked about the churches in the pubic eye as well as underground churches in China. She said the underground church is facing persecution, but the church is growing, and God is still moving. “God is doing amazing things through the difficulties,” Guo said. Joy Jefferson, associate director of the Center4ME, said Dare to Pray is a ministry run by Daveta Saunders that encourages people to pray for issues in the United States. “I am thankful that, like tonight, I can worship God in freedom,” Jefferson said. Saunders spoke to the students and emphasized that prayer changes things. She encouraged students saying, “God still speaks to his peo-
ple.” Saunders said she believes God moved in the other countries that night because of their prayers. Gwartney said she left the prayer meeting very inspired. “Praying is one way that any college student, even if you can’t afford to go to other nations … can impact the world,” Gwartney said. Green encouraged students to stand up for and share their beliefs with others. “You can make a difference with the gospel of Christ,” Green said. “This is something that cannot be taken lightly.” Green also said every Christian is called to be a missionary, whether it is to a foreign country or a neighbor. “We’re called to preach the gospel and make disciples,” Green said. “That’s one (of the) thing(s) us believers have
the command to do.” Jefferson said she thinks the prayer meeting was a success and that she would love to have more prayer meetings in the future. “I think it’s just awesome … I really enjoy praying with other students,” Jefferson said. “I would definitely encourage (them) to pray to God about their community as well as countries around the world.” The Center4ME strives to help students learn and understand different cultures through international events such as Dare to Pray, according to their Web page. For more information about events, visit liberty.edu/ center4me. SPRADLIN is a news reporter.
ECONOMY continued from A1 According to the latest Mangum report from the end of 2012, most of the numbers in the report have grown by 10-20 percent in the last two years. “Liberty University is a rapidly growing institution that has a significant economic and fiscal impact on ... the state of Virginia as a whole,” the Mangum Report states. The report shows that Liberty has a higher number of out-of-state students than the average of all other public and private colleges and universities in the state of Virginia. According to Moore, much of the tourism has to do with the fact that the Liberty Mountain Snowflex Centre as well as the LaHaye Ice Center are both open for public use as well as sporting events. “It’s not just Snowflex, or our paintball field, or our equestrian stables, or our tracks, or our trails that go through our properties. It’s all the people that come here to look into academics and student life,” Moore said. The report states that people who come to visit students at Liberty spend an average of more than $200 per visit, and 78 percent of students had visitors from outof-town. Out-of-town visitors to Liberty accounted for more than 82,000 overnight stays at hotels, generating more than $6.5 million in revenue for Lynchburg hotels. “If there wasn’t any Liberty … then most of the hotels you see in the greater Lynchburg area would not have been built or would have long since closed their doors,” Moore said. After Centra Health, Liberty is also the biggest employer in the Lynchburg Metropolitan Area, according to a Lynchburg city financial report. Liberty accounts for approximately 1 out of every 7 jobs within the city of Lynchburg. According to the Mangum Report, Liberty is providing 100 percent of the regional demand for graduates in 16 fields. The Magnum Report stated that for every $1 spent by Liberty locally, $3.19 was created within the economy of the region. Moore equated the economic impact of Liberty on Lynchburg with the University of Notre Dame on South Bend, Penn State on College Station and Virginia Tech on Blacksburg. “Most of our money stays in the area,” Moore said. “… It’s kind of like the ocean that raises all boats when the tide comes in.” EBRAHIM is a news reporter.
MARCH 25, 2014
W. Lacrosse R. Morris Liberty 10 9
T5th of 15 at Linger Longer Invitational
Mich. St. 15
M. D2 Hockey
Liberty High Point 4 1
hitting the turf
Reinhardt finished 10th in 100 meter butterfly Nate Haywood email@example.com
Liberty 8, High Point 1 The Flames defeated the Panthers Saturday, March 22 in the second game of the three-game series behind the strength of shutdown pitching from Carson Herndon and timely hitting from Grauer. Herndon allowed just one run on three hits in six innings of work against the Panthers, improving his record to 3-1 on the season. “The key was he only walked one guy, (and) pitched to contact,” Toman said. “He’s hard to hit. He pitches downhill, and he was really good today.”
The Liberty Lady Flames swimming and diving team (9-4, 4-0 CCSA) completed its season Saturday, March 22, placing 43rd at the NCAA Division I Women’s Swimming & Diving Championships at the Minnesota Aquatic Center in Minneapolis, Minn. Four of the Lady Flames, senior Emilie Kaufman, junior Megan Babcock, and sophomores Jess Reinhardt and Kendall Hough, swam in the meet. Head Coach Jake Shellenberger said this meet was a “tremendous success.” According to Shellenberger, Liberty brought the largest number of individual qualifiers to the meet in the history of the four-year program. The four Lady Flames swam in the 200-meter medley relay Friday, March 21 and became the first relay team out of the Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association (CCSA) to ever compete in the NCAA Championships. The team finished with a time of 1:38:95. Both Reinhardt and Kaufman found individual success as well. Reinhardt placed 40th in the 200-meter butterfly and 10th in the 100-meter butterfly, which is the highest individual placing in Liberty history. Her success earned her a spot on the AllAmerican team and made her the second All-American in school history. In her final collegiate 200-meter breaststroke race, Kaufman broke the CCSA record and her own school record. She also placed 24th in the 100-meter breaststroke. Kaufman now holds three Liberty records and was a part of two Liberty-record-breaking relays. “Emilie is the kind of student athlete that is irreplaceable,” Shellenberger said. “She had a tremendous career here in just two short years, and I wish we could have had her for longer. I will remember her incredible work ethic and her attitude. In two years, I do not recall her having
See SWEEP, B2
See SMASHED, B4
Courtney Russo | Liberty Champion
INTENSITY — Liberty’s Danny Grauer safely slides into third base with a triple in the Flames 6-4 victory Friday night.
Flame Train keeps rolling The Flames swept High Point, capturing their 12th win in their last 13 games Greg Leasure firstname.lastname@example.org
Tom Foote email@example.com
Liberty 6, High Point 4 Liberty Flames Head Coach Jim Toman normally occupies a spot on the top step of his team’s third- base dugout, always ready to make any necessary decisions or offer guidance to a player. During the Flames Friday night Big South Conference matchup against the High Point University Panthers March 21, Toman watched from his usual spot as his starting pitcher, senior Trey Lambert, struggled through a 30-pitch first inning. As two runs crossed the plate in the first, followed by two more in the second inning, Toman began to entertain thoughts of leaving the top step and removing his team’s ace from the game. “I thought about six times about taking him out, but I kept saying, ‘The guy is a captain, and he’s won a lot of games for us,’” Toman said. “So he deserves to be out there. If it was a younger guy who doesn’t have the credentials, then you get him out of there, but he’s earned that.” Toman’s decision to stick with his
best starter proved to be a good one as Lambert delivered a much-needed 1-2-3 inning in the top of the third. Although the Panthers racked up 13 hits in the game, they failed to score after their two runs in both the first and second innings and fell to Liberty by a score of 6-4. “He was just getting hit, I don’t know,” Toman said of Lambert’s early-game struggles. “It’s almost like they had our pitches or something.” The Flames entered the fourth inning facing a 4-1 deficit. After a Dalton Britt walk, three straight extra-base hits by Alex Close, Danny Grauer and Dylan Allen fueled a four-run rally that put the Flames up 5-4. Lambert’s seventh-inning exit was followed by scoreless appearances from Blake Fulghum and Matt Marsh. Ashton Perritt, battling back tightness after eight innings in center field, followed and made the ninth inning a little more interesting. Jake Kimble, who had just entered the game as Perritt’s replacement in center field, tracked down a fly ball in left-center field, but it tipped off his glove, allowing High Point leadoff hitter Josh Spano to reach second base. “Being a closer, you gotta just get used to the situations,” Perritt said. “Even if an error does happen, you
just gotta flush it and keep going.” After a quick strikeout, Spano had to stop at third on a single, and Perritt plunked the next batter to load the bases. The tension at the Liberty Baseball Stadium rose as quickly as the volume. A few pitches later, the crowd sudddenly erupted in celebration as Perritt nailed down the save with a strikeout and a groundout. The Flames improved to 3-1 in the Big South Conference and 16-7 overall after Friday night’s win.
Skating to the finish Flames fail to advance to the Final Four, losing to New Hampshire
Ryley Rush firstname.lastname@example.org
Liberty Men’s Division II (DII) hockey team’s 30-9 season came to end Sunday, March 23 after a 2-1 run in its first American Collegiate Hockey Association Nationals appearance in eight years. The Flames kicked off pool play by defeating top-seeded Grand Valley State University 3-2 in overtime Friday. Sophomore defenseman Nat
WE’LL SEE YOU AT THE GAME
Arbour, sophomore forward Paul Ingles and senior forward Brad Docksteader each found the back of the net with Brad Docksteader’s goal sealing the win in extra minutes. But it was junior goalie Cary Byron’s 41-save night that gave the Flames the upset. For fourth-seeded Liberty, the victory was as much mental as physical. Assistant Coach Mike Morrison cited his team’s underdog resilience as a major factor in both their
Baseball vs. Virginia Tech March 25 @ 6 p.m.
game-one win and morale moving forward. “It’s a big stepping stone for our guys knocking out the number one seed coming in as a four seed,” Morrison said. “I think the guys realize now that we’re supposed to be here. It’s a big step for our program, and I think they really benefited from the win for sure.” Not 24 hours later, the Flames rallied from a two-goal
See FINISH, B3
W. Tennis vs. UNC Ash. March 28 @ 1 p.m.
Courtney Russo | Liberty Champion
FROZEN — The Flames lost in the final game of the group stage.
M. Tennis vs. UNC Ash.
March 28 @ 1 p.m.
M. Lacrosse vs. N.C. State March 28 @ 11:59 p.m.
M. Lacrosse vs. Auburn March 30 @ 1:00 p.m.
MARCH 25, 2014
Softball takes two of three games Lady Flames set their sights on East Tennessee State after winning their first series of the season Robert Seagears email@example.com
Jacob Tellers firstname.lastname@example.org
Jeremy Jefferson email@example.com
Liberty University’s softball team won two of three games against the North Carolina Central University (NCCU) Lady Eagles March 21-22. LU 9, NCCU 0 In the first game, the Lady Flames used great play behind the plate and in the field to notch a 9-0 win Friday, March 21. The Lady Flames were able to capitalize and score runs when they had players in scoring position, and they were able to get productivity from the bottom of their lineup. In the first inning, Liberty had two players on base, and senior infielder Sammi Shivock hit her first home run of the season to give the Lady Flames a 3-0 lead. Later in the third inning, Liberty was able to combine hits and take advantage of poor infield play from the Lady Eagles to get in scoring position. First baseman Hanna Nichols then drove in both players to give the Lady Flames three more runs and bring the score to 6-0. In the fourth inning, Liberty third baseman Megan Robinson hit a three-run home run, increasing the Lady Flames lead to nine runs. Annah Jo Brittingham pitched a complete game shutout, allowing only two hits and three walks. “It was great to know that my team was behind me giving me run production, and that makes me feel so much more confident in the circle,” Brittingham said. Although Liberty has had a tough season so far, Head Coach Dot Richardson explained that the goal in every game is for the players to get better. “(I want the athletes to say), ‘I want to be exactly where I am. I’ve got a passion for this game. I want to show the gifts that God has given me. I’m removing all doubt, and I am just going for it,’” Richardson said. LU 4, NCCU 0 Liberty lost 4-0 in the second game of
SWEEP continued from B1 In the bottom of the second inning, the Flames got on the board first with a line-drive single through the right side of the infield by Perritt, driving home Close from second base. One inning later, the Flames managed to take advantage of a lack of control from High Point starting pitcher Mike Krumm and a blunder from right fielder
PRODUCTION — Liberty scored 16 runs in its three-game series against North Carolina Central University. the series. Although Brittingham was able to hold the Eagles to a shutout in the first game, she was not as lucky the second time around. While she recorded six strikeouts, she also gave up four runs off seven hits with only two team errors. “Being a pitcher, you have to be used to pitching a lot, being tired is not an excuse,” Brittingham said. “Some pitches did not work, and (NCCU) just started getting some hits.” Liberty had six hits in 27 at bats, while NCCU had seven hits in 28 at bats. While both teams had similar batting percentages, only NCCU was able to turn that production into runs. NCCU scored one run in both the second and third innings to take a 2-0 lead, which they held through the end of the fifth inning. Both scores came off Liberty errors, as NCCU took advantage of the Lady Flames early mistakes. A two-run home run at the top of the
sixth inning allowed NCCU to double its lead over the Lady Flames. After a single to center field by NCCU’s Emerie Germ, De’Onn Smith hit a home run past left field. With the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the sixth, first baseman Katie Han had a chance to cut into the Eagles lead. After a series of foul balls, she hit a grounder to third, resulting in a forced out to finish the inning. In the seventh inning, Liberty got runners to first and second with no outs, but three consecutive outs ended any hope at a come-from-behind Liberty victory.
Dane McDermott to score three more runs via a sacrifice fly from Close and a two-run double from Grauer. With one out in the sixth, Grauer hit a screamer toward the center-field wall, which was initially corralled by High Point centerfielder Josh Greene. However, Greene was injured as he dove face first into the center field wall, subsequently causing him to lose control of the baseball.
With Greene laying on the warning track, Grauer rounded the bases for an inside-the-park home run giving the Flames a 5-0 lead. “Rounding second, it was kind of tough to look out and see him kind of flat out as he was, but it was good to get around the bases at the same time, and I hope he gets healthy,” Grauer said. Greene was stretched off the field and taken away in an ambulance but was seen moving his arms and legs, giving the crowd a thumbs up while leaving the field. The Panthers had their best chance to cut into the Flames lead after loading the bases with no outs in the seventh, forcing Herndon out of the game and bringing in Fulghum. Fulghum was able to minimize the damage to just one run after forcing a double play then striking out the next batter. “(Fulghum) comes in, gets out of jams and just gets outs,” Toman said “… There was a momentum shift going on, and if he doesn’t get out of that, all of a sudden it becomes a close game.” The Flames capped off their scoring with three more runs in the bottom half of the seventh thanks to a two-run double from designated hitter Becker Sankey and a sacrifice fly from Close.
Courtney Russo | Liberty Champion
DEALING — The Flames held the Panthers to just six runs in the series.
LU 7, NCCU 5 In the third game, the Lady Flames got the bats going early and clinched a 7-5 victory. Liberty produced five runs in the first innings and jumped out to a 5-3 lead. Senior infielder Grace Nordan was a force on the mound for the Lady Flames,
as she struck out five and only gave up two hits and two runs. Nordan notched her second victory as starting pitcher for Liberty. The Lady Flames scored a run in both the second and third innings, stretching their margin to 7-3. The only hits and glimpse of hope for the Lady Eagles came in the seventh inning as they connected at the plate and scored two runs to end the drought. The strong focus of the Lady Flames allowed them to withstand a comeback attempt by NCCU. The Lady Flames will host a doubleheader against East Tennessee State Wednesday, March 26 at 2 and 4 p.m. SEAGEARS is a sports reporter. TELLERS is a sports reporter. JEFFERSON is a sports reporter. Liberty 4, High Point 1 The Flames completed the three-game sweep of the Panthers thanks to a dominant performance out of the pen from reliever Shawn Clowers. Clowers, who would later be named Big South Co-Pitcher of the Week, pitched 4 2/3 innings of shutout baseball, striking out six and improving his record to 3-0. Liberty wasted no time getting runs across with two in the first inning. Sankey drove home the first on a sacrifice fly, scoring Shepherd, who reached on an infield single. Seiz scored later in the inning, as he advanced home on a throw to second after Britt attempted to steal. The Panthers responded in the third, cutting the Flames lead in half with an RBI groundout from catcher Spencer Angelis. Liberty plated a lone run in the fifth and seventh innings to ensure its fourth straight victory. The Flames will stay in Lynchburg to take on the Virginia Tech Hokies Tuesday, March 25 at 6 p.m. LEASURE is the editor-in-chief. FOOTE is the asst. sports editor.
MARCH 25, 2014
Flames falter against Eagles Liberty men’s and women’s tennis teams experience setbacks, losing to Big South Conference foe Winthrop Alex Tichenor firstname.lastname@example.org
Courtney Russo | Liberty Champion
DEUCE — Egon Samaai has won two straight.
FINISH continued from B1 deficit to take out the second-seeded Northern Arizona University Lumberjacks 6-2 in a late scoring frenzy Saturday. “From the opening puck drop, we felt confident,” Head Coach Chris Lowes said. “… We controlled the pace of play and possession and had the better (scoring) chances, so the score was deceiving early in the game. Once we broke the seal, our guys really started firing and we … just kind of took control overall.” Lowes referenced Liberty’s bench contribution as the key to its second win. In postseason pool play when daily games mean extra wear and tear, the Flames
It was a warm and sunny day at the Hershey Tennis Courts at Liberty University, but the Flames and Lady Flames left with everything but a warm and sunny feeling after both squads dropped their contests to Winthrop University Saturday, March 23. The Eagles handed the Lady Flames their first home loss of the year, defeating Liberty 6-1. The men’s team did not fare much better, as the Eagles handled the Flames comfortably by a 5-2 margin. The Lady Flames never recovered from losing their doubles point early on, with Winthrop’s pairing of Alice and Andressa Garcia defeating Liberty’s Rebekah Jenkins and Maria Khval, 8-7, and Ekin Gunaysu and Caitlin Cridland defeating Belen Rivera and Brittany Yang, 8-4. Liberty’s Cameron Richard and Valerie Thong
depth gave them an advantage. Their half dozen goals were spread amongst five skaters. Sophomore forward Josh King found the back of the net once, and senior forward Brad Docksteader notched goals twice in the second period while sophomore defenseman Parker McIntyre, freshman forward Devon Docksteader and junior defenseman Clinton Nigh each scored in the third. Despite their strength in numbers and morale, the Flames Achilles’ heel proved to be penalty minutes. Liberty fell to the University of New Hampshire Wildcats 6-2 Sunday after amassing 31 penalty minutes. Freshman forward Ben Freymond and sophomore forward Josh King netted
TICHENOR is a sports reporter.
Junior Nicola Wellman has won four consecutive singles matches and is 10-4 overall this season.
RUSH is a sports reporter.
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three matches at Lynchburg’s Sports Racket earlier in the year. Their next three matches are at home, including March 28 and 30 matchups with University of North Carolina at Asheville (UNC-Asheville) and Gardner-Webb University. The Lady Flames will look to get their home record back on the right track next week as well with a home date with UNC-Asheville March 28, before traveling to Clinton, S.C. to take on Presbyterian March 30.
goals in the second period to avoid the shutout, but the Wildcats capitalized on power plays while the Flames special teams came up short. With both teams tied at 2-1 in tournament play, the victory sent New Hampshire to semifinals and the Flames back home, but with their heads held high. Coaches and players alike expressed their pride in the team’s exceptional regular and postseason success. They paid special homage to graduating seniors Bobby Cervone, Brad Docksteader and Greg White.
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took their match over Tijana Uzelac and Beth Williamson, 8-5, but it was not enough to win the point. The Lady Flames only singles victory came from Nicola Wellman, who defeated Gunaysu in three sets. After starting the year 3-0, the Lady Flames have struggled, dropping six of their past seven contests. They are now 8-8 overall and 3-2 in the Big South. The men won their doubles point easily, with all three pairings defeating the Eagles pairings convincingly. However, the Flames dropped five of their six singles matches. Four of the Eagles five victories came in straight sets. Flames sophomore Egon Samaai was the only player to record a win, defeating Steven Patrick 6-4, 6-2. The Flames dropped to 0-2 in the Big South after the loss and 7-8 overall. The matches were the first of the year for the Flames at Hershey Courts after playing their first
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Courtney Russo | Liberty Champion
FINISH — Brad Docksteader (12) played his last game for Liberty March 23.
h Madness c r a M
NCAA tournament brings misery to 67 teams Alex Tichenor email@example.com
The NCAA tournament may be the most exciting event in all of sports. Until the March Sadness sets in. Every year, 68 teams enter the tournament, but only one is left standing. Second place counts for nothing. So while one team and its fan base gets to rock and roll all night and party every day for a year, the other 67 have to fight off the tears and wait until next March. The second round of this year’s tournament provided more than its fair share of March Sadness in itself. One round, yet so much sadness. When Texas’ Cameron Ridley picked up a loose ball under the basket and flicked up a lefty hook that left his fingertip with .01 seconds as time expired, it was madness. The shot of the Arizona State players on the bench, or rather off the bench, said it all — they slumped to the floor, face down in disbelief. It was sadness. When 14-seeded Mercer upset third-seeded Duke just 20 minutes from the Blue Devils’ campus at the RBC Center in Raleigh, it was madness. Duke fans probably watched their only season with future NBA stars Jabari Parker and Rodney Hood end earlier than anyone could have guessed. Parker could have made it back to Durham for his afternoon classes. It was sadness. When all-sport powerhouse Ohio State met cross-state foe Dayton in their “second-round” matchup and Dayton scored with less than four seconds remaining while Buckeyes star Aaron Craft missed a floater at the buzzer, it was madness. The senior Craft lay down under the basket, arms behind his head after his shot clanked off the rim. There was no emotion on his face, but you
SMASHED continued from B1 a bad practice or coming to the pool with a bad attitude. She was extremely focused and dedicated over the past two years, and it is amazing to see what the body can do when the mind is fully focused over that time span.” Kaufman, along with seniors Brye Ravettine, Sarah McCorkle, Bethany Kennon and Sarah Kendrick have all ended their collegiate careers as Liberty Lady Flames, and Shellenberger said he will definitely miss them all. “This is the first year that we will graduate women who have been with the program for four years, so it is a bittersweet moment,” Shellenberger said. “I love to see them grow and mature as they prepare for the next stage of life, but a part of me doesn’t want to lose them either. ... I could speak ad nauseam about this class and just how much they have meant to the early success of this program.”
could tell what was churning inside of him. It was sadness. When St. Louis came back from a 16-point, second-half deficit to beat North Carolina State University (N.C. State), it was madness. N.C. State went 20-37 from the free throw line to give the game away. ACC Player of the Year T.J. Warren dropped his head for most of the postgame interview session in shame. It was sadness. As a rabid fan of N.C. State basketball (and all things N.C. State), I can truly say the sadness I felt after that Saint Louis collapse was sadness I had rarely, if ever, felt. I was in shock. I did not want to talk to anybody. I saw people who were celebrating Saint Louis’ victory because it helped their bracket and wanted to punch them straight in the nose. It might have helped a little twig of their bracket, but it ruined my day. Which is more significant? I saw media personalities tweeting about how the madness was so great and saying stuff like, “If you don’t love this, you don’t love sports.” Well, when something crazy happens at the expense of your rooting interest, you wish that sports never were invented. It would be easier that way. March Madness is a very real thing. Crazy things happen in March. Grant Hill quarterbacked a perfect pass to Christian Laettner in ’92 to send Duke to the Final Four. Lorenzo Charles dunked in an air ball to give N.C. State a National Championship victory over the mighty Phi Slamma Jamma Houston Cougars. Names like Bryce Drew and Tyus Edney will endure for years because of their havocwreaking in the tournament. Unfortunately for everyone else, March Sadness is just as real. TICHENOR is a sports reporter.
MARCH 25, 2014
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Meighan Thompson | Liberty Champion
FINAL FOUR PICKS — Liberty Champion editors select their winners in the NCAA Tourney.
I could speak ad nauseam about this class and just how much they have mean to the early success of this program.— JAKE SHELLENBERGER Although Shellenberger is losing these athletes, he said he is confident in the team that he still has and is proud of the growth and development he has seen in it. He still has skilled athletes and record holders such as Reinhardt, freshman Heather McCorkel and sophomore Kristen VanDeventer. After witnessing the swimming and diving program’s constant, yearly progression, Shellenberger is optimistic and excited for the future. “Building this program over the past four years has been a challenging, but also very rewarding, process,” Shellenberger said. “We owe our success to the women who have sacrificed so much to build it and to our athletics ad-
Michigan St Arizona
ministration and executive leadership here at Liberty who have made the success possible.” “Our goal is simply Liberty’s mission with a twist, to train champions for Christ and use competitive swimming as a tool to facilitate that process,” Shellenburger said. “… I am a firm believer that sport teaches life lessons such as hard work, dedication, sacrifice and the idea that hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard. … I would like to think that we are teaching those values and virtues through competitive swimming and life coaching within our program.” HAYWOOD is a sports reporter.
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MARCH 25, 2014
Family Fun Day tradition continues The Office of Military Affairs hosted an activity-filled event to support and thank local military families for their commitment thoughtful words of gratitude to the troops and to encourage them as they continue in service. Representatives from the center were also at the event. The representative for this organization was U.S. Navy veteran Jerry Britain, who spoke about how the support center works. The Military Support Center currently shares a small pantry with Hyland Heights Baptist Church that helps support military families in the Lynchburg area. “Our support center recognizes that these families need help, especially when the government will not,” Britain said. “Our goal is to either build a national organization or to partner with Liberty University and have a Military Support Center built here.” Liberty is known as an institution that takes great pride in being military friendly, according to the Office of Military Affairs website. “An event like this allows us to meet our students and their families,” Eskridge said. “It’s a simple way for us to show our appreciation to them and their families.” As military families left the event, the
Christine Brown firstname.lastname@example.org
Lynchburg-area military families gathered on Liberty University’s campus to spend time with their loved ones during Military Family Fun Day, hosted by the Office of Military Affairs, at the Liberty Mountain Snowflex Centre Saturday, March 22. According to Ashley Eskridge, Liberty’s military outreach coordinator in the Office of Military Affairs, Liberty has hosted this event since the fall of 2011. The turnout for the event exceeded expectations then, so the Office of Military Affairs decided to make it an event that will take place each semester. The appreciation day for this semester had about 500 RSVPs, according to Eskridge. Apart from the fun and games, different organizations, such as the American Red Cross, were present to show their support and distribute information, Eskridge said. Inside the lodge, the American Red Cross had a table set up for attendees to write notes to service members. Many families took the opportunity to express
Dale Carty II | Liberty Champion
THANKS — Liberty continually supports military members in the Lynchburg area. words “thank you” were heard throughout the lodge. “Watching everyone have a great time is so rewarding,” Eskridge said. For more information on how to support U.S. troops, visit Liberty’s Office of Mili-
SUPPORT continued from B8
Meighan Thompson | Liberty Champion
RINGS — Fifty-six people voted in the Ring By Spring poll from February.
They also take trips to the veterans hospital to minister through conversation or playing games, which is the most rewarding part of the mission, according to Rose. “(I)t definitely shows when we go to the veterans’ hospital, because you get to see firsthand how much they appreciate us just spending time with them,” Rose said. “We do get thank-you letters back from the care packages that we send overseas, but to see that one-on-one (and) in person is so much more enlightening.” In the past few years, the opportunities to serve have increased as more students give their time as volunteers or for Christian/Communi-
tary Affairs web page, email the Military Support Center at email@example.com or contact the American Red Cross at 877272-7337. BROWN is a feature reporter.
You get to see firsthand how much they appreciate us just spending time with them.
ty Service (CSER). According to Rose, when she first started with the organization three years ago, there were about 10 students involved. Now, she and Smith are coordinating events to accommodate more than 40 volunteers. Becoming involved with this organization is one of the best ways for students to be support the troops, according to Military Outreach Coordinator Kathi Edinger. “Our service members who are deployed are encouraged and blessed knowing that the
— BRITTANI ROSE sacrifice that they make each day is noticed and appreciated by others,” Edinger said. “This builds morale, and that is important when you are deployed and away from your family. We call it rallying the troops, and SBS does a fantastic job of rallying the troops.” Donations for the packages are accepted at any time throughout the year. To volunteer or sign up for CSER, email firstname.lastname@example.org. STEENBURGH is the feature editor.
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MARCH 25, 2014
Turning tragedy into triumph
Matt Gage now uses his tough experiences as a child to encourage students encountering similar circumstances Emily Brown email@example.com
As 9-year-old Matt Gage dove into the pool in a small Iowa town, merely trying to escape the sweltering, 100-degree heat, he had no idea how much his life would change. After surfacing, Gage said he propelled himself forward with his right arm, but his left would not follow. He quickly realized he was unable to move the entire left side of his body. Within seconds, Gage’s cousin, who had accompanied Gage to the pool, pulled him out of the water and prevented him from drowning. But Gage’s battle was just beginning. Gage lost consciousness shortly after being pulled from the water, and he was immediately taken to a nearby hospital. According to Gage, the doctor told his parents he was suffering from a heat stroke, but the emergency medical technician who first treated him offered the theory that Gage had suffered a stroke. Later that day, Gage was transferred to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota and was immediately taken into emergency surgery after it was revealed that he had, in fact, suffered a stroke. The neurosurgeon told Gage’s parents there was a good chance Gage would not wake up, and that if he did wake up, he would be a vegetable for the rest of his life. Despite huge odds, Gage did wake up. But the neurosurgeon told him he still would not be able to move his left arm or leg. According to Gage, as a child, he dreamed of being the next Michael Jordan. When his dream was taken away, he felt defeated. In the days following the surgery, Gage’s father urged him to try moving his leg, but he quickly answered with “I can’t.” The conversation that ensued became a turning point for Gage.
Courtney Russo | Liberty Champion
DETERMINATION — Matt Gage is training future professionals. “My dad … said, ‘Matt, what did “can’t” ever do for you? … If you say you can’t do it, you’re not gonna do it. If you don’t start believing in yourself and believing something can happen, that you can get better, then you’re gonna be in a wheelchair,’” Gage said. “… That day was the day that I decided I’m not going to let this stroke define me. I’m going to use this stroke to help me help others.” Contrary to the surgeon’s opinion, two weeks after his surgery, he lifted his left leg. Only a couple days later, he was able to move his left arm as well, according to Gage. With the help of a brace, Gage was walking before he left the hospital. Additionally, despite having somewhat limited range of motion in his left side, Gage continued playing basketball through junior high and high school. Since then, he has remained active by running a 5k and even learned to ski. “A lot of times, people look at me and think, ‘Oh, this guy’s handicapped.’ I don’t see that,” Gage said. “I feel that God has allowed me to do the things that I still wanted to do. They’re just in a different format.” Today, Gage said he tries to use his experience to help others — a goal he hopes to accom-
plish through his work in athletic training. Gage, who has bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees in athletic training areas, has previously worked as a professor and athletic trainer for the University of Northern Iowa, Brigham Young University and Indiana State University. In 2012, Gage joined Liberty University’s Health Professions Department as an associate professor and clinical coordinator in the Athletic Training Education Program. “When I have students in my class, I view them as future professionals,” Gage said. “And my hope is that I can help prepare them for what they desire to do. … The way I look at it, the exciting thing about being here is if we can produce around 20 successful athletic training students every year, in five years, we can have 100 more Christian athletic trainers in our profession, and I firmly believe that that will make an impact down the road.” In addition to his professional work in athletic training, Gage said he believes God has enabled him to encourage others as well. “I feel that God has used this stroke in many ways for me not only to hopefully impact others for
Courtney Russo | Liberty Champion
OVERCOME — Dr. Gage is a part of Liberty’s Health Professions Department and Athletic Training Education Program. him, but hopefully to give some of those people hope too,” he said. Gage said recently, he encountered a boy who also suffered a stroke and was feeling discouraged about what he would do in the future. According to Gage, he was able to offer encouragement by sending a video of him taping an injury one-handed. Through the video, Gage said he showed the boy that it is possible to do things that may seem impossible after suffering a stroke. The professor also told the story of an elementary school boy who suffered a stroke. Gage said that when the boy’s mother
had seen Gage and the fact that he has a wife, kids and a successful career, she was immediately encouraged that her son could recover and still have a good life. Gage said that although the stroke presented several challenges, God has used it for good. According to Gage, if he had to go back to the edge of that pool in Iowa, he would still jump in and face the moment that would forever change his life. “Now, today, I would tell you that I wouldn’t want it any different.” BROWN is a copy editor.
MARCH 25, 2014
Students send packages to troops stationed overseas Nicole Steenburgh firstname.lastname@example.org
Courtney Russo | Liberty Champion
EARLY — The women of Simply to Go begin the day before 7 a.m., long before students begin to arrive at DeMoss Hall for classes.
Changing lives through service Pat Nash and Karen Mooney have become like adoptive moms to Liberty students through serving them Emily Brown email@example.com
More than an hour before students and faculty file into DeMoss Hall for the earliest class at Liberty University, two women are already at work setting up the Simply to Go station that has become a mainstay for hundreds of people needing a quick snack or meal. These women are Pat Nash and Karen Mooney, who have worked at the a la carte food location for approximately four and seven years, respectively. Although the job may seem simple to those who pass by the retail food option, there is more to it than just swiping Flames passes as students, faculty and staff purchase their drinks and snacks. According to Mooney, the two begin setting up the station well before 7 a.m., when Simply to Go opens. In addition to stocking refrigerators with items such as sodas, sandwiches and parfaits, Nash
and Mooney must roll out all other carts containing chips and sweets as well. Between the rushes of students, Nash and Mooney make sure each of the refrigerators and cases are fully stocked to ensure those who pass through their line have a variety of options. “Our first, main responsibility is to keep the students happy,” Nash said. During the 20-minute breaks between classes, the line lengthens significantly, often extending into the back hallway of DeMoss. Although it would be easy for the two women to be overwhelmed by the long lines that form more than five times a day, Mooney said the two are still focused on calmly serving the students rather than just moving people quickly. “You’ve gotta focus on the person that’s in front of you first,” Mooney said. “… You’ve gotta take time for each student that’ll come through the line to you.”
Junior Anna Treese said she appreciates the way the women face the stressful times that students consider their break. “(A) lot of times, when places are really busy, employees can get frustrated and be kind of rude, but both of them are … always really nice and very professional,” Treese said. “They get people served as soon as possible. They’re really fast. I just think they’re really wonderful.” But according to Nash, the Simply to Go job extends well beyond just providing food. “I guess we’re like moms away from home,” Nash said. “You get to know them, like they’re your children.” Mooney also said she considers Liberty students to be her adopted children. “The students, they are my little babies,” Mooney said. “… I love my students. I have some of them call me Momma. So I say, ‘OK, I’ll be Momma Karen to y’all.’ I’m like, ‘I’ll be your momma
as long as you’re here.’” According to Nash, the mom title carries with it the responsibility of helping students in whatever way they need. “We do whatever we can to help them,” Nash said. “We tell them when they come through, ‘If you need us, you know where we’re at.’” And just as mothers do, Nash and Mooney are willing to provide students with even the smallest of necessities. “Sometimes they … just want somebody to show them that they care,” Mooney said. “… If they need a Band-Aid, I’ll be the first to give them a Band-Aid, or make sure they’re OK.” Other times, however, the adoptive mothers take the role of comforters or encouragers, offering uplifting words to students who may be hurting or sad and praying with others in the midst of both their struggles and happiness. Nash and Mooney both said they believe that
God has placed them and used them to minister to students. “I think this is where God wants me to be,” Nash said. “I’ve been out in the business part of the world, and this is a whole lot better. I guess this is God letting us witness this way. You never know which child you’re gonna have an impact on.” While both struggled to come up with a worst part of their job, with Nash citing only the long walk to and from her car and Mooney saying there is no bad part of her job, the two were quick to emphasize the best part of their positions. “The students are the best part of the job,” Mooney said, echoing Nash’s words almost exactly. “I just hope they realize that we really do work hard for them, and I love them. … I miss them when I’m not with them.”
“There is no greater need than to support and minister to those who risk their lives daily for our freedoms … Students Behind our Service members (SBS) is dedicated to doing much more by offering support and showing sincere gratitude for their sacrifice,” the SBS brochure states. SBS is a student-run organization on Liberty’s campus that began in 2007. The vision of Amanda Verlander, the founder, was to give back to soldiers both at home and overseas. This goal is seen in the hard work of students who volunteer their time for activities such as package drives and collection events, according to Brittani Rose, president of SBS. “I’d have to say one of my favorite things is when we go to Kroger,” Brittany Smith, event coordinator, said. “We set up a booth, and we’re able to collect goods … not just money, but food and stuff to send to the troops in the care packages.” The packages put together by SBS mostly go overseas and are delivered to troops. “(W)e send care packages overseas to both people affiliated with Liberty or student’s family members, or we adopt units over there,” Rose said. “We usually send 50 care packages at a time to one or two units so they can distribute.” SBS not only cares for the troops but for their families as well. “I know last year we lost two soldiers that were Liberty students, so we sent care packages to their wives and to each one of their children,” Rose said. “It’s just to say, ‘We were there for your husband. We’re here for you guys as well.” Along with the ministry of sending packages to the troops and their families, SBS is also involved in coordinating events for the troops and their families who are home or who are still students.
See SUPPORT, B6
BROWN is a copy editor.
Production unites humor and love Elizabeth Brownd
Comedy and “joyful exuberance” are the design of Alluvion Stage Company’s “The Rivals,” which ran through March 23 in the Tower Theater. Cast member John Thomas Filegar, who played the character of Captain Jack Absolute, described the play as “a comedy of manners” set in 18th century Bath, England. “The comedy is full of ridiculous characters who are thrown into the most amusing situations and rivalries,” Filegar said. The play is based on the experiences of Richard Brinsley Sheridan, the author of the play, and is a humorous retelling of when he courted his wife, according to Liberty University’s Theatre Arts Department. “(The play is) an absolute hoot,” actress Lindsey Register said. “Never have I seen and enjoyed so much witty humor in
Courtney Russo | Liberty Champion
FUN — “The Rivals” is a comedy based on the author’s efforts to court his wife. my life.” For Register and the rest of the cast, the process of preparing for “The Rivals” began long before opening night. Anderson Pusey, who played the character of Faulkland, said the play’s initial auditions required the hopeful actors to perform sixteen bars of a song and a 30-second monologue. Directors then decided who got a callback and had the
chosen actors perform a scene from “The Rivals” or a similarly structured play in front of a director. “There are hours upon hours of preparation that go into a show, especially a show like this,” Pusey said. “I spent the first few weeks before the show studying the language ... and my relationship with the other characters. Following that, we had four-hour
rehearsals every night and on weekends, and outside of rehearsal, I would spend at least an hour memorizing my lines.” Caleb Towns, who played the character of Sir Lucius O’Trigger, said actors had to work hard to learn how to speak the older English used in the play. They also had to learn to speak in a British accent, with the exception of Towns, who had to learn an Irish accent instead. “I love being an Irish character,” Towns said. “I have always loved accents and playing characters with them.” He added that some of the actors also had to learn a bit of swordplay, which he greatly enjoyed. Filegar said the show’s production members also put in a great deal of time to help prepare for the opening of the show. “Our crew has provided us with everything we need to succeed, but most importantly support,” Register said. “Our staff has construct-
ed the most lovely, detailed sets, elaborate costumes and a precise light and sound plot.” All four actors expressed enthusiasm for the wit and humor of the play, as well as a sincere hope that the audience would enjoy the show. “I think audiences will fall in love with the quirkiness of the characters, be amused by their antics and walk out of the theater being glad that they walked in,” Pusey said. Towns added that students should see the play not just for enjoyment but also to open their minds to classic pieces of art and theater. “Too often we get caught up with the newest and flashiest, but it is very worthwhile to broaden your mind and get a real look at a historical play,” Towns said. “Even a really goofy one like ‘The Rivals.’” BROWND is a feature reporter.