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2017 A Year in Review

With a new year approacing, take at look the most impactful news that hit the Wesleyan campus this past year.

3 years into the 10-year plan Nearly one year ago to the day, the Marlin Chronicle reported on President Miller’s 10-year Master Plan, wherein he “gave students a glimpse into the future of Virginia Wesleyan College.” It is now three years into Miller’s time at Wesleyan, and the recently-turned university is well on its way to fulfilling his dream. Several of the projects he initially discussed in the article are complete, or nearing completion. The YMCA Partnership building, decorative black

perimeter fencing, Greer Environmental Sciences Center and outdoor track have all been finished. The Susan S. Goode Fine and Performing Arts Center, Oxford village and additional parking are all under construction or soon will be. There are also plans for a new fitness center, an expansion to the caf for outdoor seating and an additional walking path to Lake Taylor.

Swim team makes a splash On Oct. 21, 2017, Virginia Wesleyan University made history when the first ever swim team competed. The women’s swim team won its first meet against Randolph College with a final score of 105-47. The men’s team was bested by Randolph’s respective male team, but later won with a score of 77-76 in a dual meet in November. “For 15 years, we have allowed local high schools, clubs and organizations

to use our outstanding natatorium. Now we are putting it to full use in [our] community,” President Miller said in a previous edition of the paper. To show their support, students participated in a poster contest as part of a “Pack the Pool” event. Senior Roby Solano won the event with an artfullydepicted sign sporting supportive phrases and a depiction of Dory from ‘Finding Nemo.’ The next swim meet is Dec. 8

New year, new VWU Change came early this year as Wesleyan made some preemptive New Year resolutions to improve the campus. Though President Miller’s 10-year Master Plan entailed plenty of exciting developments, numerous other improvements have taken the school by storm. The switch in address, from Norfolk to Virginia Beach, was only the first. It was shortly followed by a series of new names for offices, including the Admissions Office (now titled Enrollment Services),

the Business Office (now the Office of Finance and Administration) and the Community Service Office (now called Wesleyan Engaged). Environmentally-friendly and recyclable green takeout boxes also replaced the Styrofoam containers in the caf, along with some new and healthier menu choices thanks to the Culinary Council. A marching band has also arrived on campus, though they have not yet officially performed.

Athletes continue to amaze Last May, the Wesleyan softball team won its first Division III ODAC National Championship. An article released by the university states that “the championship is the first team championship for Virginia Wesleyan as an institution since the men’s basketball team claimed the crown in the 2005-06 season. Evan Cox of men’s golf won an individual national championship last year to round out school championships.”

The track team similarly made history that month when junior Marissa Coombs became the first female in school history to earn outdoor track and field AllAmerican honors at the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championship for her 1,500-meter performance. Coombs also earned two indoor AllAmerican honors for a single meter run earlier in 2017 and 2016. Her three-time All-American is the only multiple AllAmerican in program history.


Education program expands with new master’s in education BY MEGAN SHERMAN

A Master of Arts in Education is now being offered at Virginia Wesleyan after being approved by the Virginia Board of Education. This will be the second graduate program to come to Wesleyan, after the Master of Business Administration. Students who are getting their bachelor’s degree in education now have the ability to continue their education studies at the university. In President Miller’s nota bene from Oct. 30, he stated that “the program will offer graduate-level endorsement in biology, chemistry, earth science, English, French, Pre K-12, Spanish Pre K-12, Latin Pre K-12, history and social sciences, mathematics, instrumental/vocal PreK-12, theater arts PreK-12, and visual arts PreK-12.” According to the VWU website, additional sections of the program include cognition and human development, exceptional student populations to include special needs, as well as gifted and talented individuals, and collaborating with families and communities. Betty Michels, an elementary education major, intends on capitalizing on the opportunity to participate in the new master’s program. “Instead of having to apply and go to a whole other two-year or longer master’s program this was just an easy option. I live in Virginia Beach and I know that by the time I’m finishing my undergrad it will make sense to do one more year to get my master’s,” Michels said. Interested in teaching lower elementary level classes or pre-K, Michels would be able to acquire the skills she needs for that specific job through classes in the master’s program. “I just really like younger kids and I thought about teaching high school English but I feel like I’d rather teach multiple things,” Michels added.

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A key component of the new graduate program is the 2-semester internship in secondary education settings that will begin in the fall and will conclude with a 10-12 week student teaching experience in the spring semester. Through this internship, future teachers will prepare for the everchanging education landscape that the twenty-first century brings, and also gain insight through face-to-face classroom experiences. Through the education major at Virginia Wesleyan thus far, Michels has enjoyed getting a taste of the teaching experience. “I like that there is the Tidewater Collegiate Academy right next to campus, so I can easily go over there in between my classes and observe the kids and hang out with them,” Michels said.

Wesleyan campus observes World AIDS Day COMMUNITY Page 3

Weigh in on Trump’s “racist” Pocahontas comments OPINIONS Page 6

Marissa Coombs wins ODAC title SPORTS Page 7

Join the Weekender for an extra special, holiday edition Val Miller|Marlin Chronicle

WEEKENDER Page 10 12/6/2017 1:46:39 PM

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Shack-A-Thon becomes hit on campus

Allaina Boggs & Ashlei Gates| Marlin Chronicle Chi Beta Psi constructs their shack for the first ever Shack-A-Thon event. The fundraiser was held to help raise awareness for hunger and homelessness in our area. BY MEGAN SHERMAN

Virginia Wesleyan students commended the ShackA-Thon event that was held on Batten lawn Tuesday, Nov. 14, through Thursday, Nov. 16. The event sought to raise awareness of homelessness by having students build shacks from scratch and sleep in them for a couple of nights. The campus shelter managers expressed their excitement that the event was successful. “It was more than I expected. I expected at least four [shacks], but I think there were at least up to 10, so it was a good turnout,” senior and shelter manager Michelle Yates said. They also acknowledged the great bonding opportunity. Yates, who is a thrower on the track and field team, got the chance to get to know her teammates a little better. She said getting the freshmen involved gave her a chance to learn about their preferences. Senior Cassetty Howerin also commented on the bonding she got to do through Shack-A-Thon. “I got closer to people who stayed in my shack. I mean I say ‘hi’ to them on an everyday basis, but I’ve never had a full on conversation, but with it [the event] I got hours’ worth of good conversations with people I normally just say ‘hi’ to,” Howerin said. The construction of the shacks had many students embracing their inner creativity and inner resourcefulness. Riley Pitchford, who participated in Shack-A-Thon with his fraternity, Sigma Nu, discussed how he and his fraternity brothers had to scavenge for materials. “We didn’t 100 percent know how we were going to do it until the

last minute, so we had to quickly rush and gather supplies from local contractors and construction companies. We just kind of thought we had to be resourceful, which was part of the idea,” Pitchford said. He attested to the fact that being resourceful is how the homeless must survive. Howerin agreed. “Making the shack was kind of difficult because we had ideas but obviously we couldn’t just go get plywood and buy it or anything because that defeats the purpose,” Howerin said.

“I definitely think it is something the school should continue to do” Riley Pitchford

Another aspect of the event that tested students was having to sleep in the shacks, especially taking into consideration the weather, which on each day had a low in the 40s. “The first night was extremely cold. We had about three brothers sleeping in it the first night. I slept in it with about five other people the next night, and it was kind of cramped and it was a little cold but we toughed it out and survived,” Pitchford said. “Staying in the shack was kind of cool, it was kind of



Improvements come to the caf In the Mar. 2017 issue, the Marin Chronicle featured a story on the “Caf behind the counter”. There were photos released depicting the appliances found within the caf. Tim Lockett assured the Marlin Chronicle staff that the university’s kitchen has passed health inspections with minimal violations. A week later the SGA held an open meeting to discuss new directions for Sodexo to improve dining services on campus. Lockett announced that the campus would see improved dining services on campus including the hiring of new staff members and management. In the Apr. 2017 issue, the Marlin Chronicle reported that the Culinary Council met for the first

time to discuss recent concerns about the food quality in the caf. Questions regarding the quality of food, menus, services, and overall dining experience were raised. Dining services released plans for the following fall including a reusable container. Students and faculty were encouraged to contact Mike Greenfield, District Manager of Sodexo with any questions or suggestions. Currently, the caf has improved on the variety of foods they are offering for students such as the new gluten free option. Reusable containers were also made available beginning the fall of 2017.

Staff and faculty changes During the summer issue of the Marlin Chronicle, Diane Hotaling, former Director of Community Service now Wesleyan Engaged announced her retirement after 32 years of employment with Virginia Wesleyan University. Hotaling was a dedicated member of the Virginia Wesleyan Community and valued the connections made among her students and colleagues. Not far behind in the October issue, reigning DIII assistant of the year, Andrea Thurston, decided to pursue other opportunities and step away from the basketball sideline. Thurston was noted as the heart of the program and dedicated over 12 years

to Virginia Wesleyan as both a player and coach. Ralph Chittams, Director of Residence Life, left Wesleyan in aspiration to join his family in Stuarts Draft. While it was not covered by the Marlin Chronicle staff, Jerry Mance announced his retirement from the college after 10 years of service to the University. This concluded our list of changes for the Summer and Fall of 2017. The university has also hired a new Director for Wesleyan Engaged, Dr. Brian Kurisky, and a new Director of Campus Security, Victor Dorsey.

Residential conditions cause concerns In the September, October and November issues of the Marlin Chronicle, the conditions of the dorms were addressed. Students complained about problems regarding small pests, build-ups of condensation and overall comfort. The problems were not limited to the dorms, students within the hotels complained about overcrowding and inconvenient carpooling to and from school. Transitioning into the Oct. 26 issue, complaints about rats arose from residents primarily in Bray Village. Ralph Chittams, former Director of Residence Life,

noted that this was not the first time the university had encountered rats. Chittams emphasized that ResLife and other offices were working to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. The Marlin Chronicle just recently released a story on mold in the dorms. This was not the first account of mold in the dorms; it has been prevalent in housing on campus in the past and was addressed in the Oct. 2016 issue. Reviews composed BY MICKELLA RAST


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cold, our shack kept the cold out a little bit, but it was cool we got to experience what it would actually be like to be homeless for a night. Kind of modified because obviously we’re on campus so we have access to some of the stuff we need,” Howerin said. Shack-A-thon succeeded at its purpose of raising awareness of homelessness. The participants of the event remarked on how the event opened their eyes on the issue. “If you’re just walking around anywhere you could see a homeless person; they don’t have anything. So this taught me to open my eyes, and even if you just have an extra blanket or an extra coat you’re not using, give it to someone who can use it,” Yates said. “It definitely changed a little bit, I always viewed it as a struggling part of our community. Now when I pass someone on the streets and I see that they’re homeless I’m always willing to offer to buy them food,” Howerin said. The event yielded positive reactions from those who participated. Many students hope that the university continues on with raising awareness for homelessness and holds the event again next year. “I definitely think it is something the school should continue to do because it does raise awareness for homelessness but it also, for the organizations, brings them all together with the bonding opportunity. It’s a big thing happening on campus that you’re going to want to participate in. I think everyone involved had fun,” Pitchford said.

Greer breaks out of retirement BY AMANDA ARCHER

The chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges, Dr. Glenn DuBois, announced on Nov. 29 that Dr. Billy Greer would serve as interim president for Eastern Shore Community College following the retirement of its current president. Greer is the former president of Virginia Wesleyan College, now known as Virginia Wesleyan University. Greer first came to Virginia Wesleyan in 1992 after serving as president of Brevard College and Andrew College. While serving the college for over 22 years, Greer led the college to expanded enrollment, a new curriculum and construction and renovation of facilities such as the Batten Student Center and Brock Village. “Good for him, I know he lives and has a place out there so, I think it’s a great place for him to be able to get involved, and I know he loved it. I know his name connects with us just because of the amount of years he spent here. I am excited for him to get the opportunity; his name is on my diploma” said, William Harrell, associate director of the Batten Center. Greer retired as president of Virginia Wesleyan in 2015. Eastern Shore Community College is a two-year institution and a member of the Virginia Community College System since 1971. The College serves the residents of Accomack and Northampton counties. The college became accredited in 1973. Greer will begin serving as president of the college on January 22, 2018.


11/16/17, News, page 1, “Mold moves in (again)”: It was stated that Vice President of Student Affairs Keith Moore suggested mold was a result from the hurricane season. Moore never made that claim. Wesleyan’s service provider, Aramark, does not use bleach in cleaning.

12/6/2017 1:48:11 PM

Community The


3 Thursday December 7, 2017 The Marlin Chronicle

Commemorating World AIDS Day on campus

Editor-in-Chief Justin Smith Managing Editor Hayley Heath News Editors

Mickella Rast

Amanda Archer Community Editors Cynthia Griffin Brianna Kidwell Opinions Editor Ashley Kline Sports Editors Corey King Luke Chiasson The Weekender Editor Julie Ainsley Photo Editor Ashlei Gates Illustrations Editor Valerie Miller Online Editor

Nel Hart

Ashlei Gates|Marlin Chronicle Two panels from the The NAMES Project/AIDS Memorial Quilt. The quilts depict images that honor those who have died from AIDS. BY CYNTHIA GRIFFIN

This past week, Virginia Wesleyan joined together to recognize World AIDS Day. World AIDS Day started in 1988 and it is observed every Dec 1. Starting Nov. 29, the SOC 251: Epidemics and Society class and the Lighthouse On Deck Series put on various World AIDS Day events across campus. There were panels of the AIDS Memorial Quilt displayed in Batten as well as the opportunity to paint a block on the AIDS Memorial wall in Allen Village. As part of Virginia Wesleyan’s events to commemorate World AIDS Day, Navy veteran and HIV/AIDS Activist Lorraine Reichert came to to speak to students and faculty about her experience as an AIDS survivor. Reichert talked about living with the disease and how she works to help the disease from spreading. Reichert first contracted the disease when she was pregnant with her second daughter. She now works as a senior community health navigator at the LGBT Life Center. While sharing some of her life story and work as an activist, Reichert also shared information about the disease itself, including how it’s changed since it was first discovered. In her speech Reichert mentioned AIDS has changed since it was first discovered in the 1980s. “Since the 1980s, scientists have created a therapy treatment to help treat AIDS and pharmaceutical companies have come up with a more sophisticated way to find potential exposure to HIV and find the infection much earlier,” Reichert said. Both are very beneficial, because now with early

detection, people can get medicine to attack the virus before it attacts to that person’s cells. Following her speech, Reichert answered questions from the audience, which varied from personal opinions on how the stigma of AIDS has changed over time to questions as how she started her journey as an activist. Reichert shared with the audience how she became HIV/AIDS activist. She first became an activist after she got out of the military in small clinics. After working in smaller clinics, she started working in jails, educating inmates about the disease. Another thing that Reichert mentioned in her speech was the The NAMES Project/AIDS Memorial Quilt. As part of the World AIDS Day commencement on campus, panels of the quilt were put on display in the Batten Center. The AIDS Memorial Quilt was first created in 1985 by The NAMES Project founder Cleve Jones. Cleve Jones created the project to honor the memory of those who had died from the disease. At that time, AIDS was newly discovered and there was a lot of stigma around the disease and how it was contracted. When the panels were first created, they only contained the first name of the person who had died, but now more recently made panels contains the victims full name, something that Reichert believes that shows how far the understanding of the virus and the perspective of people living with the virus has changed.


Copy Editor Tara Truax Business Manager

Groundbreaking for new Fine Arts Center

Justin Smith Advertising Manager Jasmine Demir Podcast Manager Brenna Will Adviser

Dr. Lisa Lyon Payne

The Marlin Chronicle is the official student newspaper of Virginia Wesleyan University. Staff meetings are held every Tuesday at 5:40 p.m. in Batten 217. Signed submissions are welcome, but subject to the discretion of the editor. Letters are not edited for content, but may be edited for length and mechanics. The views and opinions expressed in this newspaper may not necessarily reflect the views of the entire staff of The Marlin Chronicle or Virginia Wesleyan University. The Marlin Chronicle Virginia Wesleyan University 5817 Wesleyan Drive Virginia Beach, VA 23455 757.455.3311

“As a former collegiate student newspaper editor, professional journalist and long-time advisor for the Society of Collegiate Journalists, I understand the role and value of student media at a liberal arts institution. Virginia Wesleyan University proudly supports the editorial independence and press freedom of student-edited publications. We believe that student editors have the authority to make all content decisions and consequently, assume full responsibility for decisions they make.” --Scott D. Miller, Ph.D President

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Allaina Boggs|Marlin Chronicle President Miller, Susan Goode, Chris Brandt, Jon Pruden and Professor Travis Malone at the groundbreaking ceremony . BY BRIANNA KIDWELL

Students can prepare to welcome the new Susan S. Goode Fine and Performing Arts Center within the next year as groundbreaking for the new facility began Dec. 1, The faculty and student body of Virginia Wesleyan University are excited about the groundbreaking of the new $11 million, 23,200 sq. ft. building that will bring a new performing auditorium and numerous classrooms and offices for faculty. “I think all the new things coming to VWU are great! I’ve been here three years now and I’ve seen Birdsong Field, Greer Environmental Center, and the new track all be built and now the new art building coming in 2019. The art building is going to be amazing with the glass enclosed grand lobby and theater that seats 300 people. Yes, it’s a lot of changes quickly to a campus but it has and will continue to provide great opportunities for students and enhance our overall experience here at Virginia Wesleyan,” junior Amanda Germi said. Susan S. and David Goode are to be thanked as they have made the groundbreaking for the new center possible, being the building’s leading donors. “The Goodes are lead donors for this project and we thank them, and their tremendous generosity. Their philanthropic philosophy has impact far beyond the capital areas of their giving, and they care deeply about cultivating the arts in Virginia and ensuring the future of the arts in America,” President Miller said. The Goodes and other Virginia Wesleyan University board members have put a lot of hard work and donations into the production of this building. “We thank all of our Board members for their wisdom and guidance in making this center a reality,” Miller said. The groundbreaking is just the beginning of the Susan S. Goode Fine and Performing Arts Center though; the construction is predicted to take 11 months making it accessible to student to use in the spring of 2019.

The current fine arts building will continue to be used for classes, but there are plans for the building to go under multiple renovations while the new arts and performing arts center is under construction. The construction of the new arts center plus the updating of the current fine arts building will bring a new outlook for the art program for Virginia Wesleyan University, and create new ways to display the talent of the student body at Virginia Wesleyan. “The building is going to affect all VWU students. The Joan and Macon Brock Theatre will host artistic performances, community/campus lectures, and many types of events on campus. The 300+ seating will allow for both large and intimate size events. The size is also a size that you don’t see a lot in the community. There are a lot of 800+ auditoriums, even 1200+, but to have medium sized events, they look empty in those large spaces,” Dr. Travis Malone said. Other great features that the new fine and performing arts center will bring to the student body is a new front lobby where dinners and special functions will be held and a new student parking lot that will include 160 additional parking spaces for students. Great things have happened and are continuing to happen at Virginia Wesleyan University which the student body and faculty are extremely excited about. “All the new buildings are so exciting for Virginia Wesleyan and the pictures of the new building look so great! I know a lot of students are excited about it being finished as well as myself,” Gerni said. “VWU is well positioned for elevating the unbelievably fine work of our students, faculty, and staff. The addition of the Goode Fine and Performing Arts Center is just part of a brilliant future that is becoming brighter each day,” Malone said.

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4 The Marlin Chronicle |

CAMPUS countdown Dec. 5 Santa 5K

Time: 2:30 p.m. Location: Virginia Wesleyan Campus

Thursday, December 7, 2017

First hand encounter at NATO conference

Santa 5K is a holiday-themed fundraiser open to runners of all skill levels to come out and enjoy the beautiful campus of Virginia Wesleyan, live music, fun and prizes! The event is open to VWU students, staff, faculty and the public. For information contact

Selected VWU students attend a real NATO conference BY HENRY TASKER

Dec. 10 December Graduate Ceremony Time: 2 p.m.- 3:30 p.m. Location: Convocation Center

All students that will be graduating in December will be recognized following a reception as well. For more information contact the Lighthouse.

Val Miller|Marlin Chronicle

Jan.3-25 Winter Session

Time: Times Vary Location: Across Campus A 3 week credit-bearing term students have opportunities to: focus on a single academic subject without distraction from other courses or commitments, plus much more opportunities. For more information contact the Registrar office.

AIDS CONTINUED FROM PAGE 3 The AIDS Memorial Quilt/NAMES Project is the world’s largest public art project and was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in 1989. Decades later the AIDS Memorial Quilt has more than 48,000 individual 3-by-6 foot memorial panels, weighs 54 tons and contains more than 96,000 names. With all of the information and the stories that she shared, Reichert reaffirmed the message that she shared throughout her speech, “It is important to be educated and get tested, we’ve come a long way the fear and stigma is still there”

Alex Powers|Marlin Chronicle

On Dec. 13 and 14, Virginia Wesleyan University will send a group of ten students to Norfolk for the annual NATO Chiefs of Transformation conference (COTC). The conference is an assembly of high-ranking NATO officials from every NATO member state, including the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Belgium, France, Spain, and Germany. The officials and participants will discuss the future of global challenges and threats, and the appropriate steps that must be taken in order to deal with them. New this year, COTC17 will hold roundtable discussions on five different topics, each led by a different nation. Future Capability Development will be held by the officer from France. Leadership, Professional Development and Talent Management is going to be held by USA. The United Kingdom will hold the discussion on More Effective Decision Making. More improved and agile Joint Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (JISR) for future operations is the officer from Spain’s topic, and Future Sustainment will be the discussion led by Germany. The Wesleyan student team will be tasked with observing panel discussions to get a real impression of the depth and scope of NATO’s work with the issues the world is facing. After observing, the students will communicate their findings with short articles, social media posts, and the like. These pieces of writing will in turn be shared throughout the conference and through NATO’s media outlets. With such uncertainty in the political world of today, an insight into the types of discussions in which the organization takes part will be incredibly valuable.

Jan. 20 Athletic Hall of Fame Induction Time: 11:30 a.m. Location: Jane P. Batten Center

The tenth class of the Virginia Wesleyan Athletic Hall of Fame will be inducted during the annual luncheon. For more information, please contact Suzanne Savage at or 757.233.8736.


Courtesy|Thinkstock December 3 11:55 p.m. |Vandalism Library Graffiti December 3 7:36 p.m.|Vandalism Allen Village Exit sign Vandalized December 4 3:35 p.m. |Sex Offense Hotel/Motel No description. December 4 3:52 p.m. |Vandalism Allen Village Vehicle Keyed

Alumni give VWU new Christmas tree New Christmas tree donated to VWU for annual Christmas tree lighting BY BRIANNA KIDWELL The holidays, especially Christmas, are the majority of people’s favorite part of the winter season. As Thanksgiving just ended, the community, especially Virginia Wesleyan University’s student body, are thrilled that Christmas is just around the corner. Final exams, basketball seasoning beginning, and Christmas break are just a few of the things that remind Virginia Wesleyan students that Christmas is approaching. One of the favorite traditions at Virginia Wesleyan University is the annual Christmas tree lighting on Godwin lawn. “To me, the tree lighting is one of my favorite VWU traditions. I reflect back to my days as a student here and the fun we had at that event. It is a wonderful time for our community to gather together and celebrate the end of a very successful semester,” Jason Seward, assistant vice president for student affairs said. It seems that as the school has gone through many positive changes this 2016-2017 school year, such as, becoming a University, adding a new student track, starting the groundbreaking of a new Fine Arts center and much more, which had given the idea to alumni that implementing a new Christmas tree for the annual Christmas Tree Lighting was in order. “Myself and several other alums were talking about the tree lighting earlier this semester. The current tree has encountered some issues in its growth due to wind damage and shouldn’t be used. I suggested to these alums that we donate a new tree. Given their fond memories of the event as well as their love VWU, they jumped at the opportunity. The new tree is a Nellie Stevens Holly. It grows well in Coastal Virginia and produces bright red berries (associated with the winter/Christmas look). It will eventually grow to 15”-25’,” Seward said when describing how the idea of the new tree came into play. Yes, this year at the annual tree lighting, students and faculty will be witnessing the first lighting of a brand-new Christmas tree, the first Christmas Tree Lighting as Virginia University with a brand-new tree. Students are encouraged to come and watch the Christmas tree lighting,the lighting will be followed by a Christmas meal will be provided by VWU cafe for students. “Gathering as a whole community is my favorite. When we all come together, it is a very powerful thing!” Seward said about the annual lighting.

Val Miller|Marlin Chronicle


GA happenings this quarter

Planning new changes for general education requirements for the 2018-2019 school year.

Committee is working on proposals for allowing senior students to be allowed to decorate caps for graduation

*Students are encouraged to contact SGA president Nich Hipple for more info

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12/6/2017 1:54:35 PM



Thursday December 7, 2017 The Marlin Chronicle

Great debate: controverisal comma Does the Oxford comma (put before and at the end of a list) add finesse to writing, or simply take up unnecessary space? BY PATRICK BAUSONE

I’d like to dedicate this article to my parents, Ayn Rand and God. If you had to do a double take because you thought I said that my parents were Ayn Rand and God, then you just might be a proponent of the Oxford comma. The comma before “and” at the end of the list, the Oxford comma, was present in my original draft. However, the style used in editing news articles, the Associated Press, mandates that the Oxford comma be removed, under the pretense that its inclusion is unnecessary. Much debate circulates the use of the Oxford comma (although it should be noted that most major American editing styles, Associated Press excluded, are in favor of it). The primary argument I’ve heard against the Oxford comma is that it serves no useful grammatical function. I’d be willing to bet $10 million that this is false. A group of dairy truck drivers did just this when their company refused to pay them overtime. According to a law, employees were exempt from overtime if they served in particular capacities, including, “packing for shipment or distribution” of certain items. The company believed that this laws applied to the drivers, asserting that they were “packing for shipment.” Little did the company realize that, without a comma separating “shipment or distribution,” the two items were grouped together. Only those who are in “packing,” for the purpose of either “shipment or distribution,” were exempt from overtime. The court decided that the company had to pay their drivers overtime, awarding them $10 million dollars. Judge David J. Barron commented, “for want of a comma, we have this case.” The fact that the absence or presence of this somehow controversial comma can drastically change the meaning of a sentence is irrefutable. Journalists ignoring this basic grammatical function in the past has led to the humorous printings of phrases such as “Nelson Mandela, an 800-yearold demigod and a dildo collector” and “among those interviewed were his two ex-wives, Kris Kristofferson and Robert Duvall.” While it is true that instances of ambiguity can be re-written and worked around using the oft-debated comma, that isn’t exactly the point. You can do anything with your writing to avoid any kind of punctuation that you feel is inconvenient, but you would lose something special in the process: the artistry of the written word. A writer who has mastered linguistic tools can use something as subtle as a comma to illustrate an idea. The concept isn’t that the Oxford comma should always be used under any given circumstance. Rather, the Oxford comma is a clever and

creative way to group ideas. It’s a tool that skilled writers can have at their disposal to give life and flavor to their writing. There is a poetic elegance in shaping the meaning of a sentence not just with word arrangement, but also comma arrangement. It is a technique that no writer with an appreciation for literary craft should wantonly disregard. Alas, artistry is not typically a consideration in the opposition to the Oxford comma. Most opposition comes from journalists, who originally opposed the comma to save space and minimize printing costs. I find that modern journalists tend to use the word “obsolete” in regards to this comma; ironic, considering that the majority of news articles now are found online, where space and printing costs aren’t an issue. Another word I often hear is “clunky.” The mindset follows that words should be read at lightning speed, and that the presence of an added comma is jarring. From a modern perspective, in a society where patience is a waning resource, this is understandable. From a poetic standpoint, this flies in the face of the concept of cadence. Word flow should follow a certain rhythm, and commas help guide this rhythm. Think about it, don’t you usually pause before the “and” at the end of a list? Pausing creates a much more natural flow. Asking my father for his take on the subject, he said, “I utterly and completely hate when it’s left out -- even when it’s not needed. It looks odd.” Clearly there are those who find not its presence, but its absence to be jarring. I will never understand those who believe in cold-hearted efficiency over poetic finesse. Even where clarity is non-issue, there is an artistic cost to hacking literary form in the name of austere minimalism. Where clarity is an issue, I’d advise not inviting the strippers, JFK and Stalin.

Taylor’s new system for tickets BY FARAH HAIDARI


A story commonly told around the Marlin Chronicle newsroom is of a Wesleyan communications alumna dressing up as an Oxford, also known as the Harvard, comma for Halloween one year. For those who may not be aware, the Oxford comma refers to the comma placed before a conjunction at the end of a list, primarily and. Why would this communications student dress up as an Oxford comma for Halloween? Because the Oxford comma is scary to those in journalism and thought of as an added component to writing that takes up unnecessary space. The Oxford comma is not recognized in the Associated Press style of writing for this reason. Ultimately, I agree with the Associated Press and my fellow journalists that the Oxford comma is completely unnecessary in writing. It is popularly known that the reason journalists began omitting the Oxford comma was because it took up extra space when used throughout stories. Through the simple act of removing the Oxford comma, journalists were able to conserve precious space and better fit stories into their allotted room on a page in the days of newspapers and print publications. However, just because it’s tradition doesn’t necessarily make it right. Yet, removing the Oxford comma rarely causes issues of clarity as many proponents of the comma believe and we must not let a few cases where journalists have gotten themselves in trouble for not using the Oxford comma cloud our judgement. Batten Associate Professor of

Going all natural


Taylor Swift has always been one of my videos, referring friends and doing various favorite singers, but recently this position activities on social media. How many boosts has been reinforced. I love how all of her al- one earns will determine how early they’re bums are different, enjoy following her Insta- able to buy tickets for her upcoming tour and gram and like knowthe type of seats ing who most of her they’ll be eligible songs are about. She for. Each activity is very creative and is worth one boost isn’t afraid to show it and the type of acin her music. My sistivity determines ter and I always talk whether it’s a low, about her music and medium, or high we would always jam boost. out to it when togethWhen I first saw er. On Nov. 11, my that Taylor Swift friend Ashley Kline was making her and I went to Target fans work to go to to purchase Taylor her concert, I was Swift’s newest CD, annoyed. My inireleased earlier this tial thought was, month, Reputation. she is making her We were so excited fans work to go to that we asked an emher concert when Bing Images|Courtesy her fans are paying ployee to take a photo of us holding merto see her. I love chandise being sold for this new album. her but who does she think she is? Later, I However, we didn’t simply buy the CD be- thought the idea was pretty cool. She’s makcause we loved the new music, but because ing it a game. Then, I worked hard to earn Taylor Swift has partnered with Ticketmas- over 100 boosts and still didn’t reach top priter to create a program where fans have to ority. I was annoyed. earn points, called “boosts,” by purchasing albums, purchasing merchandise, watching

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Alex Powers|Marlin Chronicle

Communication and Chair of the Communication Department at Virginia Wesleyan, Dr. Lisa Lyon Payne, said “in my experience most of the time eliminating the Oxford comma, or the Harvard comma or serial comma, does not result in a lack of clarity.” Payne has 17 years of communication experience. Speaking not as a communication expert, but as an ordinary reader, Payne said, “when I see an Oxford comma, it jars me as a reader. It takes me just a nanosecond longer to think about the meaning. Elimination of that comma, in my opinion, makes material clearer and more concise.” While it may only be a nanosecond longer, in our day and age every fraction of a second counts tremendously with the hustle and bustle of the modern world. The Oxford comma is simply a construction that people incorporate into their writing because it’s what they were taught in English class growing up and they are unable to think for themselves or don’t want to put in the extra work to make a sentence understandable without an Oxford comma. An article from Business Insider titled, “The Oxford Comma is Extremely Overrated,” by Gus Lupin, states the prominent examples proponents of the Oxford comma use to illustrate its importance. This example is, “we invited the strippers, JFK, and Stalin” as opposed to “we invited the strippers, JFK and Stalin.” One could just as easily write, “We invited JFK, Stalin and the strippers. The simple reorganizing of words in this sentence causes the original meaning to be retained and proves the Oxford comma obsolete. In closing, I know my opponent is referencing a court case from earlier this year in which the Oxford comma led to a $10million labor dispute among a group of dairy drivers arguing they were eligible for overtime pay per company policy, while the defendant corporation disagreed based on the positioning of words and lack of an Oxford comma in the phrase, “shipping and or distribution.” They assumed only those packing for the purposes of either shipping or distribution were eligible for overtime. A change of conjunction at the end or a reorganizing of the sentence as a whole would have helped to retain the original meaning.

Growing up, I had long hair. It was almost to the small of my back, and my mom would take pictures to show her friends. They never believed her when she told them how long it was. I remember it seemed like it would take hours for my hair to get braided because of how thick and long it was. That all changed when I was around 10 years old. For some reason, I got a perm. I’m not sure if I begged for it, or what. But the smell was horrid and it burned before it was rinsed out of my hair. When I looked in the mirror, I was upset. My hair, usually frizzy, was bone straight and sleek. That’s not what bothered me, however. My hair that used to be so long was now a little past my shoulders in length. The perm had broken off my hair. I spent the next eight years perming my hair. I couldn’t stand when the perm started to stop working and I could feel my roots returning to coils and waves. I spent mornings before school straightening and curling what was left of my hair so that it was smooth. Then my senior year of high school I found out about

Senegalese twists, and decided to try those instead. I tried to wean off of the “creamy crack,” but about four months I caved. It was a vicious cycle of perm, twists, unbraid, repeat. Freshman year of college, I had this roommate. She would do hair for a lot of her friends, and for free. I decided to ask her to braid my hair when I was strapped for cash one day. It took her almost all day, when I had finally dropped her off on campus at 3 a.m. the next morning. I was exhausted. But my hair looked good, so I was happy. Over the next couple weeks, I thought nothing of how unusually tight the braids were. That was, until some of the braids fell out. Now, they fell out around the crown of my head, pulling out my edges, edges being the baby hair along the hairline. Now, in black culture, edges are extremely important. So, imagine how it felt to have them be patchy and thin. I was so embarrassed, and it didn’t help that people kept commenting on it. It was then and there that I decided to go natural.

SEE HAIR Pg. 6 12/6/2017 1:45:59 AM

6 The Marlin Chronicle |

More than a name

President Trump derogatorily calls senator “Pocahontas”

Bing Photos|Courtesy Pocahontas and John Smith as shown in DIsney’s version of the story. BY MARLYN SILVA

No matter how many years have passed, no matter how progressive society may get, we always seem to move a couple steps back. One of the many racially charged incidents that have happened in the past year involved President Donald Trump and Native Americans. Recently, there was a ceremony at the White House honoring three Navajo World War II veterans. It was at this ceremony that President Trump referred to Senator Elizabeth Warren as “Pocahontas.” This turned out to be a dig at the Senator as she has previously identified herself to have Native American roots. While the remark was supposed to be a joke, it didn’t help that it was told in front of a painting of President Andrew Jackson, who famously passed the Indian Removal Act of 1830. The act itself resulted in the forcible move of Native Americans to the west coast of the United States. Many died as they moved west, resulting in the journey’s infamous name: The Trail of Tears. Given all the history behind Trump’s remark, it’s not surprising that it quickly went south, attracting attention from people across the nation. It brings up the question, was it a poor joke with unfortunate circumstances, or bad taste in humor? Now, what’s important to take note of is the fact that there are many things wrong with this incident. To start, President Trump using “Pocahontas” in what can only be seen as a snide remark is insulting in many ways. Not only was it to tease Senator Warren, and we’ll get back to her, it’s using Pocahontas’ name as an insult. Just to refresh some memories, Pocahontas was not just your favorite Disney princess, in fact her name wasn’t Pocahontas. Pocahontas was born as Matoaka, while “Pocahontas” was just a nickname. Matoaka/Pocahontas was then married off at a young age, but eventually married an English man named John Rolfe, not John Smith, despite what Disney may have told us. The fact of the matter is, is that regardless of the way people know her, the President used her name not to be funny, but to be insulting. This is a woman that if people researched further, would know that she had gone through many hardships in her life. She isn’t someone that we, as a society, should cash into her name and heritage for a simple movie or joke. Maybe it’s time to recognize who she truly was. Not only was the joke insensitive, it wasn’t smart to have delivered it in front of three Native Americans. For years, Native Americans have gotten the short end of

the stick where their culture is constantly being disrespected. It doesn’t help that this was done all in front of a portrait depicting someone who had a big hand in causing many Native American deaths. As reported by various media outlets, the Native American community found this insulting and derogatory. On the other hand, Senator Warren isn’t off the hook either. The whole reason such a remark was made in the first place is because she had originally claimed to have Native American genes. While no proof has been presented, making such a statement is obviously going to be controversial. The general idea being if a person claims to be a part of the minority population without experiencing being a minority, then they shouldn’t have the right to claim to be one at all when it comes to actual experience. There have been way too many incidents in which people state that they are for example, African American, or maybe even of Latino descent when they are not. Most of the time such a statement attracts negative attention. Let’s look at Rachel Dolezal. She was the woman who made headlines a few years ago when it was revealed that while she was a civil rights activist and identified as African American, she was in fact white and of European descent. What made her lose credibility, even more than she could have, was the fact that she had created this lie and even lied about hate crimes she had been a victim of due to the color of her skin. As anyone could imagine, people were outraged. She eventually lost her job and her name became associated with negative reactions. At the end of the day, from what the people know, Senator Warren could be lying or stretching out the truth. The deeper issue and question from this situation being that if a person hadn’t experienced the hardships, trials and tribulations of a minority race, should they be able to claim it as their own even if they may have some of the genes? While this is a deep-rooted issue, the disrespectful way President Trump brought it to everyone’s attention was definitely unnecessary. The common argument being that “it was just a joke” doesn’t cut it at all. If the Native Americans have said that they feel insulted, then maybe there is something wrong with what was said. This is just another lesson to be learned, but when will it stop? When will society reach a point in which people become aware that race is not a joke?

HAIR CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5 Now, there are many different ways to go natural. There’s the big chop, cutting out all of the permed/relaxed parts of hair, usually resulting in an extreme change in length, or you can just grow out the hair until the permed sections are gone. Seeing as how I already hated my short hair, cutting it was not going to work for me. I decided to just grow out the perm and learn how to take care of my natural hair. I am now a senior, and over this past summer my hair has officially become all natural and healthy. That being said, I still run into obstacles. My hair hasn’t grown since that fateful day of the perm and is stuck at shoulder length. I’ve tried everything I have seen on YouTube or Google for hair growth, to no avail. At least the black castor oil helped bring back my edges. I see people online leave comments concerning natural hair, talking about how easy and cheap it supposedly is. News flash: they are liars. In no way is being natural cheap. When I first started going natural, I bought shampoo and conditioner, oils, gels and hair accessories to try and manage my transitional period. I spent about $50 and had to go back a month later to buy more shampoo and conditioner. There is definitely a lot of research that

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goes into maintaining healthy, natural hair as a person of color. You have to determine your hair type, which contains a lot of factors, but in the long run it helps you figure out what works and doesn’t with your hair. This includes products and styles among other things. I thought I had one type, but it took my friend, who is a part of the Naturalista club on campus, to lead me in the right direction. Transitioning involves the most extensive research in my opinion. You have to find styles that work for you and your lifestyle. It was hard and still is hard. There are days where I am so unsatisfied with my hair, the length, the texture, all of it. It makes me so mad that it gets to me so much. Plus, some of what is good for natural hair I happen to be allergic to: coconut oil and avocado oil. Some days, I feel that I don’t love my natural hair when I should be embracing it. Honestly, I wish I had never gotten that perm when I was younger. If my hair was still that long and I was still natural, maybe I’d love it a bit more. But there’s nothing good that comes of dwelling too much on the past. I’m looking forward to my natural hair journey and eventually embracing the power that are my curls.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

The joy of volunteering BY JONATHAN JOYNER

With the fall semester coming to a close in the coming weeks and the thoughts of winter break rolling into our minds, I am sure some are wondering if they will be doing something to occupy their time during the upcoming winter session. Since taking a winter session class can be expensive for all of us on a college student budget, and getting a job for just a few weeks is highly unlikely, a good way to pass the time would be to do some volunteer work. Now, I am not going to give you some long-winded explanation of why volunteering is a good idea, but I would like to highlight some key reasons why it would be worth your time. First of all, volunteering is a great résumé builder as well as a time to create some worthwhile connections out in the real world. Volunteering can bring you into contact with some amazing people and can lead to some great opportunities. These opportunities can include, but are not limited to, finding possible future careers, a finding of one’s own self (you can discover new things about yourself such as what you enjoy doing) or meeting some really great new people who could become lifelong friends and possibly act as bridge to your future. The results of volunteering go far beyond what I just listed above. Second of all, if you are not taking a winter session, you have a six-week gap between the time the fall semester ends and the spring semester begins. During that time, I understand you want to relax, spend with family and catch up on all the sleep and Netflix that you have been missing out on because of your assignments. Trust me though, six weeks of nothing to do but rest will drive you crazy. It is not enough time to get a job, but it is too

much to spend just being lazy. You will get bored very quickly; I have learned this from personal experience. Instead of spending your time lounging around doing whatever, you could give back to the community. There are volunteer options literally everywhere you go, no matter where you are or where you are staying. Finally, giving back to the community is a great way to spread some cheer and happiness during these cold winter months. There are probably people in your community who are struggling to make through this winter season. Help is needed everywhere. It could be at your local church or even in your own neighborhood. You can help with donations to organizations that help people worldwide, help with all the recent flood relief chaos that has been ravaging this part of the country or you can even do something as simple as shoveling snow for people when, and if, we get snow this winter. Share the happiness you carry within you, and if you do not have happiness within you, then volunteer this winter because someone’s happiness may rub off on you. Honestly, volunteering is probably one of the best ways to spend one’s free time. Especially when that free time is six weeks of pure boredom when you cannot afford to do winter session. Whether it is for connection building, a new pass time or even just to spread some love and kindness, you should volunteer. Now, I could go on and on with more reasons why volunteering is important, but it is a choice that you as a person have to make. I cannot force you to volunteer, but if you are looking for something new and exciting to do, then volunteering may be for you.

Decorate your cap

Val Miller|Marlin Chronicle BY FARAH HAIDARI

In my lifetime, I have been to a few graduations. There are some people who always enjoy decorating their graduation caps because it makes the experience feel more personal. According to the Virginia Wesleyan University website, the Commencement Day instructions prohibit any personal, “adornments of any kind to be worn on the cap, gown, or hood. This includes badges, corsages, and lettering of any kind.” Tuition at this school is expensive, and students often communicate with one another about how stressed they are because they may not be able to get a meal or pay for their textbooks. If students want to decorate their caps, then they should be able to do that. I understand that the university has rules, but the reasoning for making this rule is beyond me. I love this school and am going to miss it. However, one thing that I will not

miss about it is how it can sometimes be overly controlling. Graduation is that one time where students should do whatever they want. If they want to decorate their caps, then they should do that. When I first started thinking about what school I wanted to attend, I thought about what location I wanted it to be in; how big the school should be and other factors as well. The main reason I decided to go to school though was to earn a diploma. Most everyone who goes to college goes because they want to earn a diploma. This school shouldn’t make it a rule that they want students to not decorate their caps when they have worked their hardest for the last four years to earn one. I already know that I am not going to be decorating my cap because it isn’t my sense of style to decorate it, but I can imagine that a lot of people would want to decorate their caps and they should be able to.

SWIFT CONTINUED FROM PAGE 6 Taylor Swift has always been a smart business woman with how she handles her fame, but I think what she’s doing is crazy. It makes me feel that she thinks she’s better than her fans. If I want to purchase a ticket now, then I should be able to do that. I shouldn’t have to earn it. Even though I am annoyed with having

to earn the tickets rather than just buying one, I still hope to earn it eventually. I’ve only been to one of Taylor Swift’s concerts when she went on tour for her album 1989, but I remember having the best time. Taylor Swift knows how to get her fans’ attention.

12/6/2017 1:52:05 AM



Thursday December 7, 2017 The Marlin Chronicle

Marissa Coombs runs to Nationals BY JOSHUA DAVIS

After only two years of cross country experience, Marissa Coombs adds another ODAC Championship, and Runner of the Year award to her illustrious career as a Marlin. The three-time Track and Field AllAmerican and two-time Track and Field ODAC Champion seems to always race her best in the most critical situations. “All three times she has been an AllAmerican, Marissa has far exceeded her ranking coming into the meet,” said Women’s Cross Country and Track and Field Head Coach Krista Littleton. Coombs’ success on both cross country and track and field’s biggest stages is no coincidence. Tremendous work ethic and discipline have helped her become one of the most decorated athletes that Virginia Wesleyan has ever seen, but Coombs plans to accomplish even more. “It’s hard sometimes, there’s days when I don’t want to get up and run or go to practice, but I just think about what the other girls are doing, who are winning the National Department of Sports Information| Courtesy Championship. That’s the level that I want Senior Marissa Coombs crosses the finish line for a first place finish. to be at,” Coombs said. “It’s the little things, like eating right, getting enough sleep, and my times have dropped, and I’ve gained so Everybody’s out there working hard to get going to the training room after practice. much more endurance, and it’s much easier to better.” These are the things that I think really push get through the races in track and field now.” “What I respect most about Marissa is that you over the top.” “The fact that she has been able to achieve she is such a team oriented person. Marissa is Coombs’ commitment and hard work was the tough accomplishments of being this the type of person who is motivated by doing put to the test earlier this year, when she year’s ODAC Champion, and Runner of her best to help the team be successful, and suffered an IT band injury. the Year, in addition to a two-time National her individual accolades are just an added “The way she approached her treatment Qualifier is a testament to her hard work and bonus,” Littleton said. and cross- training during that time is what passion for running,” Littleton said. Coombs will enter her Senior Track and helped her to make a huge comeback once As much as Coombs has accomplished, she Field season holding five of the top six times it healed. She did not let the injury hold her credits her teammates and coaches to much of in Virginia Wesleyan program history. She is back, or affect her confidence and drive,” her success. “ Coach Krista saw the potential the only multiple All-American in program Littleton said. that I had when I first came here. I really history, and the first female All-American Coombs’ ability to train at a championship only ran track and field my junior and senior in program history. She is one of the most level, even while injured is a tremendous year of high school, so I didn’t have a lot of accomplished athletes to wear a Marlin example of her love and passion for running. experience. I never thought I’d be able to uniform. “I love the sport, I love running, it’s fun. make it to a championship level, but she saw Marissa Coombs and the Marlins will open I love hanging out with my teammates, and my potential before I even saw it in myself, their season on December 9, 2017 at the CNU getting to do something I love everyday,” and really pushed me to get there,” Coombs Holiday Open in Newport News Virginia, Coombs said. “I didn’t see myself running said. “Our team is really close knit. Emily where she looks to continue her success and Cross Country when I first got here, but it has (Latimer) pushes me every day in practice. add to an already unprecedented career. helped me a lot with Track and Field. All of

Department of Sports Information| Courtesy Coombs credits her teammates and coaches for her success. She finished 11 seconds prior to the second place finisher.

Marlins finding their stroke BY LUKE CHIASSON

The first year Marlin swim teams took their talents to Lexington, VA for the Washington & Lee Invitational on Dec. 3 and 4. The men and women both finished 5th, but in the process, individuals on both teams shined and set new school records. Junior Hayley Heath shined in the 200 yard individual medley with a time of 2:48.38. Sophomore Patrick McKneely impressed in the 500 yard freestyle with a school record of 6:26.75. On day two of competition, freshman Kristian Rinkus broke his own school records in the 100 yard freestyle and 100 yard breaststroke with times of 51.66 and 1:10.15, respectively. Coach Mike Ginder changed up his line up in the 400 yard freestyle relay and it paid off as the team of Rinkus, Jake Morgan, Kyle Woolf, and McKneely demolished the school record by 26 seconds and set the new record at 3:52.13. The Marlins return home on Dec. 8 against Salisbury University at 5 p.m. Allaina Boggs| Marlin Chronicle Senior Morgan Lucas gets set to compete in their Marlins first home meet.

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DUGOUT LUKE CHIASSON is a junior majoring in communication

The much anticipated College Football Playoff bracket was revealed on Dec. 3, and Clemson, Oklahoma, Georgia, and Alabama were selected as the top four teams amid controversy around the final spot being awarded to Alabama. The semi finals will be played on New Year’s Day and the Championship will be played on Jan 8, 2018, but there will be plenty of games in between to keep football fans entertained, 38 games to be exact, but what is the point of these games? In order to qualify for a bowl game, a team has to finish their season with a .500 record or above, but last season, not enough teams reached that threshold, so 20 teams were selected based on academic performance to participate in a bowl game. Bowl games are an advertiser’s dream, as every bowl game has a major sponsor that attempts to reap the benefits of hosting a neutral site college football game where two quality opponents square off, but with the games being at a neutral site, attendance sometimes lacks. These bowl games do not truly mean anything other than to be used as a boost for recruiting and money brought into the school, along with many coaches getting bonuses for getting their team to the bowl game, but what about the kids? Just a reminder that these student-athletes that millions of people devote their Saturdays to are just 1823 year old kids. When a team makes a bowl game, their season is extended roughly a month and through the holiday and finals season. It is truly amazing what a Division 1 football player does between class and football, but more importantly, they do not have time to work and with some teams, the coaches do not allow their players to get jobs. Being a Division 1 football player is a fulltime job and I believe that they should be paid for it. I understand that they are on full scholarship and receive certain benefits, but it is unfair that the universities get massive amounts of money based solely off of the performance of the student-athletes. How the players would get paid is a different discussion, as Alabama’s football program brings in more money than Old Dominion, but there should be some type of scale for player wages. The coaches get bonuses worth thousands of dollars when they make a bowl games, so why not give the players a bonus as well as they are the ones who executed throughout the season to get the team in the position it is in today. Another aspect of the bowl games now that the College Football Playoff is in place is that there is not a lot of motivation for teams to play in these games outside of the top four teams, who have a chance at the National Championship. In prior seasons, high- profile players like Christian McCaffrey and Leonard Fournette sat out of their team’s bowl game because they did not want to risk injury that would hurt their NFL draft stock. As a twenty-year-old kid, I know money is a huge motivating factor, so would McCaffrey and Fournette have sat out if they were getting paid to play in the game? It is unknown, but those games would have been better if two players who were drafted 4th and 8th overall in the 2017 NFL Draft. College football is a flawed system and I only hope it improves for the sake of the kids. Anyways, Boomer Sooner! For those unfamiliar, that is the rallying call for Oklahoma supporters. The Sooners, led by Heisman Trophy Finalist, Baker Mayfield, will take on the Georgia Bulldogs in their semi-final match up. Bulldog fans took an interesting approach to try and distract Mayfield by releasing his phone number for fans to send whatever they want to him. It’s an interesting approach that only time will tell to see how it works out.

12/6/2017 2:33:27 AM

8 The Marlin Chronicle |

AT A GLANCE Men’s Basketball Standing in ODAC 1. Randolph-Macon 2-0 2. Washingotn & Lee 2-0

Virginia Wesleyan(1-0)


4. Emory & Henry (1-0) 5. Guilford (1-1) 6. Hampden-Sydeny (1-1) 7. Bridgewater (1-1) 8. Roanoke (0-1) 9. Shenandoah (0-1) 10. Lynchburg (0-2) 11. Eastern Mennonite (0-1) 12. Randolph (0-1)

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Men’s basketball scorching start BY COREY KING

Marlins men’s basketball team continues their dominant start this season. Currently 7-0, the Marlins have answered a lot of questions that they had looming over them coming into the season. The Marlins had these questions because last year they were averaging 82 points per game as a team and they only returned 24 points per game. After this 7-0 start, the Marlins are averaging 86.3 points per game. “Everything is just working,” sophomore Percy Burt said. The Marlins are being led by sophomore phenom Lamont Steward. Corey King|Marlin Chronicle The 6’6 forward/guard combo Senior Corey White Jr. goes up for a second chance point after is averaging 17.3 points and securing a rebound in the game against Apprentice School. 8.7 rebounds per game. On

top of being named ODAC player of the week, this past weekend he and junior guard Keijon Honore were named to the All-Tournament team for the N.C. Wesleyan Tip-Off Classic. What looks to be working for the Marlins is the fact that everyone is a scoring option. It is early in the season, but the Marlin’s have three players scoring in double figures consistently. This allows them a better opportunity, game in and game out, because they are not relying on one guy to be hot every night. The Marlins look to continue their success this week playing Averett on Wednesday and Roanoke on Saturday.

Women’s basketball cutting it close

Women’s Basketball ODAC Rankings 1. Lynchburg (1-0) 2. Emory & Henry (1-0) 3. Randolph-Macon (1-0) 4.Guilford (1-0) 5.Eastern Mennonite(1-0) 6.Roanoke (1-0) 7. Shenandoah (1-1) 8. Washington & Lee (0-1) 9. Randolph (0-2) 10. VIRGINIA


11. Bridgewater (0-1) 12. Hollins (0-1)



The women’s basketball team is off to a decent start in the 2017-2018 season. They are currently 3-4 this year, and one of those losses coming against conference opponent Lynchburg. The Marlins are struggling with scoring. The Marlins, like last year, rely on the scoring of Jayla Harris, a junior from Fredericksburg, Virginia, who is averaging 18.1. The next closest average of points per game is Amanda Gerni with 7.1 points per game. The Marlins

at this point in the season, need to look at becoming more solid on defense as they are allowing their opponents to out-score them by a score of 63.1 to 58.9. If the Marlins can tighten up on the defensive end, that 58.9 points per game will allow them to win more games. The Marlins are set to face off against conference opponent Guilford College this coming Saturday, Dec. 9. Guilford comes in at 1-0 in the conference and 4-1 Ashlei Gates|Marlin Chronicle overall. VIrginia Wesleyan womens basketball team play Apprentice

Pick and Pop with Luke and Corey: Men’s Basketball

VWU vs Roanoke

Randolph Guilford vs Macon vs Methodist Misericordia

Washington & Lee vs. William Peace

Emory and Henry vs. Berry

RECORD: COREY: 2-3 LUKE: 2-3 8Sports.indd 1

12/6/2017 1:55:50 PM

December 7, 2017



STUDENT DIRECTORS TAKE OVER HOFHEIMER THEATER Theatre 412 students take on the challenge of directing their own plays for the annual fall One-Act Play Festival


The annual fall One-Act Festival was held Nov. 17 and 18 in the Hofheimer Theater. The two-night festival brought student directed plays that featured the room plenty of tears and laughter. This challenge for the students who choose to partake in it. According to senior, Emily Vial, it is a unique part to the liberal arts experience.“The One-Act Festival is a unique way that the entire theatre department comes together to support student directors. Every piece is unique from its inception. Student directors get their first chance to put on work that is truly their own artistic vision,” Vial said. Students have the opportunity to choose the statement they want to make with their

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one acts by picking the plays they want, to casting and artistic freedom when the playwright allows this. There was a lot of first-time directors this time around, including a lot of favorites that we are used to seeing on stage, rather than behind-the-scenes. Vial had the opportunity to try directing for a second time. “As a second-time director, I felt like I’d have an easier time, but in reality the directing process is just as difficult and all-consuming every time you go through it. I loved the experience and having the opportunity to direct Shakespeare was its own beast, but I had more fun than pain in the end, and I’m proud of the work my cast

put into their show,” Vial said. The one-acts also allow for students who have always wanted to try acting to finally get the chance to do so on a smaller level. Senior Jeannie Barnes got the chance to cross acting off of her bucket list by participating this year with one of her best friends as her director. “It was so much fun. I was so nervous the night of the show, but once I got on stage and started performing, I was fine. It was a lot of hard work but it was worth it,” Barnes said. The festival will take place again next fall. Dates are still to be determined, but it is a definite must-see.

SHOWBIZ OFFSPRING Columnist, Wynter Bond tries to get into the mindset of a celebrity’s child BY WYNTER BOND

I’ve always wondered what it would be like to be a famous person’s kid. I honestly would probably be on the spoiled side, always insisting on a shopping spree or renting out an amusement park or something. The offspring of celebrities seem to have it so good, but I feel as though some celebrikids don’t really have it as easy as some of us may choose to believe. First of all, the names they have must make it really hard to be taken seriously. I’m not talking about their surnames like Cruise or Timberlake, but their actual first names. Let’s take the name of rapper Chief Keef’s son, Sno FilmOn Dot Com. No that is not a typo, no I did not have a stroke and land on my keypad. I realize I have no room to really talk about unusual names seeing as how I’m named after a season (incorrectly, I may add), but come on. I understand wanting to be different, but don’t set up the kid to be teased. Or worse, don’t make it so that it will be hard for the kid to spell their own names. I remember when I was a kid and there was someone named Accaccia in my class. I kid you not, she was the last one to be able to print her name at the top of her paper. Some names are simple, albeit weird, like Apple or Blue Ivy. But others are too much. Nicole Richie and her husband named their son Sparrow James Midnight. Just why…? Of course, there are some names that just make for great sales and notoriety. Yeah, I’m talking about baby North West, daughter of famous-for-being-famous Kim Kardashian West and the volcano that is Kanye West. When I first heard that they were going to name the kid “North” I immediately thought, “They are going to sell SO much merchandise.” I’m not sure if it was a good thing that that was my initial thought. But it just seems as though this name was made just to profit off of. So far, there hasn’t been any North West Boutique or Nori make-up collection, but I wouldn’t count it out just yet. That family is full of promotional gimmicks. I feel like the lives of children aren’t easy, especially when they have famous parents. Every move is being watched and scrutinized to the very last minute detail. Children of the Fresh Prince, Will Smith, have been in the spotlight practically since they were born. Willow Smith, the youngest of the two, released the single “Whip My Hair” in 2010. While I mocked the song relentlessly, I have to admit the lyrics and music video were fairly catchy. While she went on to release more songs, skepticism arose when she popped up in 2011 with a completely shaved head. When I saw that I was like, “Isn’t your whole song about whipping your hair? Why would you do that?” Apparently, her father thought the same thing. In an interview, Will Smith said that “We came downstairs and she had shaved her head bald. She shaved her head bald in the middle of her ‘Whip My Hair’ tour.” According to him, he had been pushing her to complete the tour, even though she just wanted to go home. This was the only way she felt that he would listen. Being the child of a celebrity, it must be hard trying to forge your own identity. It seems like some kids grow up to be shadows of their parents. If the mom is a model, next thing you know their kid is opening up the runway for the next Alexander Wang collection. And don’t let the parents be musicians. As soon as you turn on the radio, their kid has released a new single that gets overplayed very quickly. Don’t get me wrong, some of these kids must get it from their parents because they’re good at shadowing their parents. But others should go pursue a career in dentistry or pottery instead. Just because celebri-kids seem on a different planet than us, maybe they aren’t all that different. They still have pressure from their parents. They still battle with selfesteem issues like how they look or how they come off to other people. It’s not unusual for the high and mighty to stumble upon these issues, even if they are on a bigger scale than our lowly problems. It’s just hard to grasp that these are actual people and not figments of my overstimulated imagination. Maybe the next time Justin Bieber or Jaden Smith have a breakdown I’ll try to be more compassionate instead of judgmental.

12/6/2017 2:40:58 AM



December 7, 2017

Val Miller| Marlin Chronicle

christmas movie countdown


The Marlin Chronicle ranks films that are sure to put you in the holiday spirit



As the holidays approach, it’s time to dust off your DVD players and put in your favorite Christmas movies. With the 24-hour Christmas movie marthons, Hallmark’s plethora of holiday movie releases, and FreeForm’s 25 Days of Christmas, it can be hard to decide what movies to watch this season. But fear not: the Marlin Chronicle and our readers have ranked our top three Christmas movies to give you a place to start. So pur some eggnog, cut a slice of fruitcake, and enjoy some holiday cheer with this list. #3: “A Charlie Brown Christmas” (1965) “A Charlie Brown Christmas” is a great Christmas movie. This movie is played every year, and it is purely a classic. Charlie Brown takes Lucy’s advice, and he directs his own Christmas play. The familiarity of the Peanuts gang creates a loving bond that audiences already have with the characters and the Christmas spirit only enhances it. It is example of how, during the holidays, everyone comes together and helps other people and how you should be grateful for what you have. #2: “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” (1966, 2000) “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” is a classic family tradition to watch around this time every year. Each year his heart becomes more filled with hatred. He gets the great idea of dressing up as Santa to stop Christmas. Though the character has been used as a metaphor for those that hate Christmas, both the live-action and the animated version show how the power of Christmas and kindness from others is enough to get everyone in the Christmas spirit.

#1: “Elf” (2003) “Elf” is the number one Christmas movie of all time. Any movie that Will Ferrell is in must-see. When Buddy, played by Will Ferrell, finds out that he is not actually an elf, he goes to search for biological family in New York City. This movie is a classic because of its cult following. Its classic lines and super-exaggerated moments create a bond among the fans of this film. The real fans love watching it over and over because it brings back memories of good times with family and friends.

Honorable Mention: “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” (1989) This is a perfect story to show how much of a struggle the holiday season can be. With family coming, financial struggles, and crazy antics, the Griswalds tell a true story of how the holiday season can break family apart. But in the end, they are still able to come together and enjoy the spirit of Christmas.

Ashlei Gates|Marlin Chronicle The following infographic portrays the results of a poll done on the Marlin Chronicle Twitter account asking people which christmas movies they prefer.

Allaina Boggs|Marlin Chronicle The choir performs music to get people in the holday spirit at their annual concert.

Virginia Wesleyan Choirs celebrate the holidays with their annual Christmas concert BY CAIMAYA ASHTON

Virginia Wesleyan University hosted its annual Wesleyan Christmas, where the Wesleyan Singers and Chorale, along with the Wesleyan Jazz and Orchestra, put on a show for Virginia Wesleyan students and guests. This year, the performing ensembles ushered in the holiday season with wellknown, festive songs. Choral Director Dr. Bryson Mortensen and Instrumental Director Dr. Jason Squinobal, along with the performers, deserve a standing ovation for their talents. The event was held Friday, Dec. 1 at 7:00 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 2 at 4:00 p.m. in the Hofheimer Theatre. All Wesleyan students were welcomed to the event for free. Off -campus guests were also welcomed for a $5 fee. Tickets were limited and sold out weeks in advance. Dr. Bryson Mortensen was asked what was the inspiration behind the performance. Mortensen said, “The Wesleyan Christmas is about bringing the Christmas Tradition and the warmth of Christmas. The real big goal is the opportunity that all the music groups can come together to perform as one for the Christmas tradition.” Mortensen referred to the genre of the music being performed, as, “Traditional holiday music, classical music, some jazz, it’s just a little bit of everything.” The students of Wesleyan that performed did a wonderful job. The event was a success, the theater became a closed house both Friday and Saturday night. Mortensen was also asked about the process to put the event together, he replied, “It’s a very intense process, so many moving pieces with the

techs and making sure everyone has a seat. You have to make sure everything is together. It’s fun but it’s complicated.” A Wesleyan Christmas was a great performance for those who missed out on it. The talents of the Wesleyan Choirs and instrumental ensembles were amazing. Junior Alexis Washington, who attended A Wesleyan Christmas on Friday, said, “It was very nice. I felt like I was at an actual Christmas concert, it felt like it could have been on Broadway.” When asked what her favorite part about the performance was, Washington said, “My favorite part was when the Jazz band played Charlie Brown Christmas. I really liked that part the best.” Junior Briana Brown attended the performance on Friday as well. “I felt like it was nicely programmed, I didn’t know it was going to be that many songs sung by the Chorus people because I thought it was an Orchestra concert, but overall it was nice. My favorite part of the performance was towards the end because the songs started to remind me of my mom,” Brown said. A Wesleyan Christmas was great way to kick off the start of December. The performance gave people a chance to truly get into the Christmas Spirit. Once again we should thank the Wesleyan Singers and Chorale, the Wesleyan Jazz and Orchestra, Dr. Bryson Mortensen, and Dr. Jason Squinobal for their amazing talents. Students can look forward to Virginia Wesleyan will hosting a number of other Christmas events.

THE SUNDAY READ Feature pieces, opinions, and stories by the editors of The Marlin Chronicle.





Dickens Christmas Towne:

Pitch Perfect 3:

Winter Break:

This annual event done at Nauticus features free games, activities and crafts for people of all ages. The event also introduced a new portion of the town that features a 120-footlong maze made entirely out of shipping pallets. Admission prices are perfectly set for college students at $5 per person. Dickens Christmas Towne is located at 1 Waterside Drive, Norfolk, VA.

10Weekender.indd 1

“Pitch Perfect” is the third and final installment of the popular saga of the Bellas. They reunite for one more competition at an overseas USO Tour, having to use the power of acapella to beat a group who uses instruments and voices. The stars of the film are saying that the end of this saga is very bittersweet. The film hits theaters on Dec. 22.

Whether you are coming back in three weeks for Winter Session or are waiting until spring semester, enoy your break and come back refreshed for the new year. Use this time to reflect and make goals so that you can finish the school year strong. Seniors: bask in the glory knowing that this is your last Christmas break.

12/6/2017 1:56:35 PM

December 7, 2017  

The Marlin Chronicle is the student run newspaper of Virginia Wesleyan University.

December 7, 2017  

The Marlin Chronicle is the student run newspaper of Virginia Wesleyan University.