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December 1, 2016





Shortage of laundry machines in Jefferson Hall inconveniences students

Jasmine Pineda / The Blue & Gray Press

UMW Archives

The University of Mary Washington seems to be dealing with an ongoing problem regarding the lack of washing machines and dryers in Jefferson Hall. The residence hall has only three washing machines and only three dryers, despite having about 170 students occupying the residence hall. In Eagle Landing, there are laundry machines on every floor, some floors even have more washers and dryers than Jefferson Hall has all together. In the past, Jefferson Hall was a freshmen residence hall and therefore offered doubles. It now houses upperclassmen and only offers singles instead. Jefferson residents have been dealing with this problem for quite some time. For a portion of this year and most of last year, one washing machine broken, which inconvenienced students even more. Many students were forced to come to terms with having only two working washing machines. Last year, the basement of Jefferson was renovated, cutting the laundry room in half to create a kitchen space for students. While many students found the kitchen to be useful, it also led to a shortage of laundry machine space. Sean Kinslow, senior business major, lives in Jefferson and has been for three out of his four years. “Machine No. 2 was broken for a



good portion of the year, it had standing water inside of it for months and smelt terrible,” Kinslow said. On occasion students’ clothes would still be damp after having put them in the dryer. If they wanted what they paid for they would have to spend more money for a second go-around. Some students would leave their clothes out to dry which took hours. On average, the total time needed to use both laundry machines, takes about an hour and a half. Abigail Whittington, junior English major, lives in Jefferson Hall and has a lot to say about the situation at hand.


“It’s extremely inconvenient and frustrating. Sometimes I avoid [doing] laundry until the last possible second because it’s such a hassle. if they added two more OR so, i wouldn’t complain.” -Abigail Whittington

Jasmine Pineda / The Blue & Gray Press

“It’s extremely inconvenient and frustrating. Sometimes I avoid [doing] laundry until the last possible second because it’s such a hassle,” Whittington said. “If they added two more or so I wouldn’t complain.” By visiting the website, umw., students can check the availability of laundry machines in residence halls. Whittington uses the website whenever she is about to put a load in. The website also notifies students about how much time is left on each machine. Whittington talked about how these resources are impractical if the core problem is coming from a lack of laundry

machines. Since the demand for the machines is so high due to this shortage, everyone is constantly checking the app. “I check the website to see if anything is available, but by that time someone already beat me to it,” Whittington said. On the website, Eagle Landing is broken into two sections, Eagle Landing North and Eagle Landing South. It says that all together, Eagle Landing has 40 washers and 40 dryers. Although Eagle Landing is heavily populated compared to Jefferson Hall, students can agree that some of those 40 washers and dryers in Eagle would be put to better use in Jefferson, which as of now houses only three of each. The website has every single residence hall from Alvey to Willard. There is a convenient option to sign up to get notified by entering your email, although it is unclear if the website emails you or sends a text message. The website is very simple and easy to use. If a person is unsure how exactly the website works, there is a FAQ button on the top right corner that explains everything and makes the process easier. Courtland Lyle, senior geology and biology double major, has lived in Jefferson Hall for two years and she says, “I do agree that there is a shortage, I just don’t know where we would put more... perhaps on the fourth floor.”



PAC’s annual Big Show proves to be another success

Men’s reactions to the side effects of male birthcontrol

Q’doba’s famous employee is UMW’s No. 1 fan

LIFE | 7





Editors: Ester Salguero & Izzy Briones |



MISSION The Blue & Gray Press is published every Thursday in the University Apartments Clubhouse for our university community. The goal of The Blue & Gray Press is to produce high quality and accurate news in a manner compliant with the Society of Professional Journalists ethics code. In its coverage, The Blue & Gray Press strives to highlight the community of the University of Mary Washington, as well as deliver fair and accurate coverage on the issues important to our students.




SECTION EDITORS NEWS Ester Salguero Izzy Briones


LIFE Kelly Emmrich

SPORTS Mikey Barnes

ONLINE Ethan Tobin

PHOTO Alex Sakes

Business Team Linda Fitzpatrick Janelle Behm

Finnley Goff / The Blue & Gray Press

Res Life unable to provide students with straight answer ISABEL FAUST Staff Writer

Recently, Resident Assistants at the University of Mary Washington have become reluctant to speak with student writers when it comes to the subject of policies and procedures. RAs have been told that they cannot speak directly with The Blue & Gray Press and the reasons why are unclear. Emily Ainsworth, a junior communication and digital studies major, experienced difficulty when talking to her RA about the recent shot glass ban that was lifted earlier in the semester. Ainsworth attempted several times to talk with different RAs and was told to speak with one of the directors of ResLife. However, the director then told Ainsworth to talk with the media director of ResLife stating, “RAs are not allowed to talk to The Blue & Gray Press.” Ainsworth just wanted to find out what the new policy on shot glasses was all about so she decided to talk to her friend’s roommate, who she knew was

an Resident Assistant. At first, the RA responded in an email saying she would be happy to answer Ainsworth’s questions, however, in her email she CCed one of the directors of Res Life. The director of Res Life then responded to Ainsworth’s email saying RAs are not allowed to talk with student writers for the BGP and that instead, Ainsworth w o u l d need to get in contact with the media director of Res Life. Ainsworth tried to get in contact with the media director several times, by email, phone and in person, but Emily never received a response. Ainsworth then tried to get in contact with the media director by emailing her, calling her and asking to see her in person, but there was no response. “It was

“I think [RAs] are afraid to give me information because one of the RAs got in trouble for releasing something to The Blue & Gray Press, so now they are extra cautious.” -Emily Ainsworth

FACULTY ADVISOR Sushma Subramanian


very frustrating, it is a school newspaper, we aren’t professional journalists, but we still need to report the truth and [I needed] information from the RAs to back up my story,” Ainsworth said. Ainsworth added, “I think [RAs] are afraid to give me information because one of the RAs got in trouble for releasing something to The Blue & Gray Press, so now they are extra cautious.” Many RAs want to talk to students but they end up responding with, “I was told by my boss that I cannot comment on the policy at all.” The most troubling part about this resistance towards talking with student writers, according to Ainsworth, is that the shot glass policy has now become taboo. An RA said, “Anyone in ResLife is always happy to answer your questions, I can give you one of their emails.” However, when Ainsworth tried to get in contact with someone in ResLife who would talk with her, there was no response. This challenge of trying to communicate with RAs has turned into a sort of round-robin game for students. RAs are supposed to be reliable sources of contact for students at all times whether or not they are student writers. Even after being given the option of anonymity, RAs were still afraid to give their comments. Many of the RAs seemed to want to help and regretted not being able to help but felt they would get in trouble if they disclosed anything to The Blue & Gray Press.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

SPORTS Club Sport Spotlight: Freshman gets involved in softball team MEAGHAN MCINTYRE Staff Writer

This past summer as an incoming freshman, I had a few thoughts about my college ambitions. I was determined to succeed academically, get involved around campus socially and find a way to continue playing softball. Keeping in mind that my academics had to come first, and that I wanted to get involved with multiple organizations on campus, I evaluated my different options for how I could continue softball while still achieving my other goals. When looking at my choices over the summer, I came across the web page for the club softball team. Wanting to learn more about the team, I sent an email to the club president Maggie McMaken. Not only did she respond to me quickly, but right from the start she was welcoming and willing to answer all my questions.

After talking with her, and meeting more of the team at club carnival, I knew that the club softball team would be the perfect environment for me. It gave me the chance to focus on my academics and still play the sport I love. The experiences both on and off the field that I had with my teammates this past semester has me excited for the spring season games and a tournament already on the schedule. I am ready for more enjoyable memories to be made. While we may have to wait until next semester to resume our time together on the field, as a team we are still working together to continue improving the program. One way for us to do that is through a Winter Fundraiser called Snowballs for Softball. The fundraiser will be taking place at the University Center from Dec. 5 to Dec. 9. Sophomore English major Alex Riker, and current club president senior Maggie McMaken created the idea for the

fundraiser. “Softball does an annual Spring Candy gram fundraiser, so I got the bases for the idea based on that,” Riker said. “Maggie and I brainstormed on what might be a fun idea to do. I thought of snowballs, she thought of ornaments, so we decided to combine our ideas into one.” As a team we will come together for this fundraiser to complete a variety of tasks that will result in UMW snap-open ornaments filled with winter treats such as Christmas trinkets and candy. The final product will cost $3. All of the teammates I have spoken with seem excited to bond while putting the ornaments together. “I’m looking forward to getting together with the whole team to assemble the snowballs for the fundraiser,” Riker said. “It’s always a great bonding experience when the team gets together, and I love arts and crafts. Painting, assembling and filling these snowballs is one giant craft,

so I look forward to spending time with my team making these snowballs that I just know will brighten up someone’s day when they buy one.” Along with the great opportunity for us to bond as a team, this fundraiser is important in helping us raise money to continue improving the program and allowing to have opportunities such as playing in tournaments. Another opportunity that members of the team have is to travel to Florida over spring break this upcoming semester to be a part of Habitat for Humanity. “As we are planning a spring break trip to do Habitat for Humanity in Orlando Florida, we are heavily considering using part of the funds we make from the fundraiser to help pay for the cost of the trip, as it is for a good cause,” Riker said. Using money from this fundraiser to help pay for the trip is being carefully analyzed by the executive board.

Dak Prescott; superstar or super lucky? RYAN BRAUCH Staff Writer

The Dallas Cowboys’ 2016 draft class may very well be one of the best draft classes in team history. Despite the fact that a majority of their 2016 picks were spent on defensive players, the team may reap more benefits from their offensive picks. Dallas selected Ezekiel Elliott with the fourth overall pick, which was expected of them as their run game struggled after the departure of Demarco Murray. As the season nears its end, Elliott has surely proven himself a star and has even put up NFL record-breaking numbers. Although Elliott was a fantastic pickup for the Cowboys, the team is more prideful that they were able to get quarterback Dak Prescott as a steal in the fourth round. Along with Elliot, Prescott has put up historical numbers and has measured up quite nicely to Tom Brady’s rookie statistics giving Dallas high hopes for their signal caller’s future. But how did the Mississippi State alum go from being a fourth round backup quarterback, to an offensive superstar leading his team to a league best 10-1 start? There are plenty of factors that fell into place for the rookie and he has taken full advantage of it. Prescott played his four-year college at Mississippi State University and was a two-time member of the All-SEC First Team (‘14,’15). The quarterback started out as a redshirt backup signal caller but quickly took the place of his predecessor in his second season in 2013 and led MSU until the end of his college career. Prescott

threw for 3,793 yards and 29 touchdowns during his senior year at Mississippi State and only threw five interceptions. Alongside these impressive passing statistics, Prescott also ran for 588 yards and 10 touchdowns. There is no doubt Prescott was ready to make a big leap into the NFL, but scouts struggled to assess how well the quarterback’s skills would translate over into the league. After getting arrested for a DUI before the 2016 draft, Prescott fell from a projected third round pick all the way down to the fourth round. Teams were now skeptical to draft the 22-year-old quarterback after discovering his off-field issues. Falling in the draft may have been the best thing that has ever happened to Dak Prescott. The Cowboys drafted the young quarterback so he could back up and eventually replace the old and injury-prone star Tony Romo. It only took a week or so into the preseason for what many experts anticipated, Romo’s significant injury. After scrambling on a play and running towards the first down marker, Romo suffered a back injury, which would sideline him till at least Week 8. Little did Romo or the Cowboys know, he was going to have a harder time getting his starting role back than he originally thought. Starting in the preseason, Prescott was a star with his powerful and accurate passing ability alongside his jaw-dropping speed and athleticism. Prescott definitely benefitted from getting drafted by Dallas, as he

ended up getting plenty of experience and playing time backing up the often injured Romo. Although, despite being extremely talented, Elliott and Prescott cannot take all of the credit for their success. The Dallas Cowboys currently have one of the best offensive lines in the league and have created a lot of opportunities for their offensive unit this season. Their young and talented linemen have shown incredible blocking thus far, which has provided Prescott and Elliott time to make those outstanding highlight plays. Even after Romo’s return, the Cowboys’ coaching staff still chose to keep Prescott as their starter. At first there were questions surrounding the team on whether Prescott or Romo would lead the team for the remainder of the season. Earlier in the season Dez Bryant, the team’s best receiver, weighed in on the situation saying, “It’s still Tony’s team.” Even the Cowboy’s owner Jerry Jones deemed Romo the starter but as Dak continued to play, the team quickly changed their mind. Recently, Tony Romo even stated that Prescott was more suitable for the job than he was and continued to say that he had no problem with accepting the role as the team’s backup quarterback. Through the first 11 games of his rookie season, Dak Prescott has thrown 2,835 yards and 18 touchdowns with a 67.9 completion percentage. As expected, Prescott has also made a significant impact with the run game, as he has already

rushed for 180 yards and five touchdowns. Not only does Prescott impress with his elite athleticism, he also rarely turns the ball over. The rookie has only thrown two picks and fumbled the ball twice in his first 11 games in the league. But the rookie continues to amaze analysts with his historical numbers, as of right now, Prescott is ranked fourth overall in league history in average yards per attempt for rookie quarterbacks. Prescott stands at an impressive 9.2 yards per attempt, putting him ahead of stars like Ben Roethlisberger, Robert Griffin III, Cam Newton, Matt Ryan, Russell Wilson and Marcus Mariota in their rookie seasons. With that in mind, the Cowboys’ young quarterback is definitely in the running for Offensive Rookie of the Year award, with his only real competition being his teammate Ezekiel Elliott. Dak Prescott has without a doubt proven himself to be a definite starting quarterback, but has also embarrassed all the other quarterbacks in his draft class and the other 31 NFL teams that passed up on him and let him fall to the fourth round. Given the numbers he has already recorded, experts can only expect Prescott to improve and continue to provide elite offensive plays for his team as he moves forward in his young NFL career. As for right now he is focused on taking his team to the playoffs and possibly a trip to the Super Bowl. Prescott is undoubtedly going to become an NFL great.

Weekly Scoreboard women's basketball:

Nov. 22 vs. Lynchburg (W-OT) UMW: 69 Lynchburg: 59 Nov. 30 vs. Frostburg St. (W) UMW: 65 Frostburg St. 43

men's Basketball

Nov. 22 @ N.C. Wesleyan (W) UMW: 88 N.C. Wesleyan: 81 Nov. 30 vs. Frostburg St. (W) UMW: 75 Frostburg St. 55

women's basketball:

Dec. 3 @ York (Pa.) 1:00 P.M. Dec. 7 @ St. Mary’s (Md.) 6:00 P.M.


Dec. 3 @ York (Pa.)

3:00 P.M. Dec. 7 @ St. Mary’s (Md.) 8:00 P.M.



Medicine’s dark secret

Stress in medical field causes suicide rates to soar among medical students and physicians ANAHI VIDOVICH Staff Writer

At the age of six, I started asking my mother and father to buy me anatomy picture books, which I would then lean over and devour in a matter of days. From middle school onward I knew I wanted to become a physician, and from high school onward I knew I wanted to become a surgeon. As a junior in college I decided to specialize in trauma surgery. Now, as a senior biology major graduating in December and taking up a clinical experience opportunity overseas in February, I have started to think more in depth about medical school. I have done the coursework, the volunteer hours and the intense studying. I am excited about creating a career for myself that has taken years to plan out. However, in the midst of all this excitement and anticipation, I was recently confronted with fear and shock after learning about the drastic increase in suicides of medical students and physicians. Recent reports show that there is an increasing amount of suicides recorded for individuals in the medical field, including: medical students, interns, residents and even attendings. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among medical students and there happen to be many common contributing factors to these deaths. In the medical profession, each individual faces an average of $180,000 in debt, the responsibility of watching over dying patients day in and day out, an intense workload, elevated stress levels, access to lethal drugs, superior anatomy knowledge and a culture of stigma surrounding mental illness. Due to the stigma, students are often looked down

upon for seeking counseling, so it is no wonder the suicide rates are so high. A recent article written by medical student Nathaniel Morris and published in the Washington Post reads, “In surveys roughly 10 percent of medical students have reported having thoughts of killing

are supposed to masquerade as a strong, untroubled professional even in your darkest hours. The hierarchical system in the medical field is obvious, but not often talked about. In a recording from a TEDMED talk, a retired surgeon recalled how her anatomy professor stood

Flickr / Cygnus78

themselves within the past year.” According to the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention, medical students are 15 to 30 percent more likely to commit suicide compared to the general population, and physicians are twice as likely to commit suicide than the general population. The stigma surrounding mental illness in the medical field is deeply troubling. The underlying trend in reports show that there is “no support, but rather humiliation from senior clinicians” because you

before an auditorium filled with 125 eager, would-be healers and said, “If you decide to commit suicide do it right so you don’t become a burden to society.” I am fully aware that being a physician requires you to be on top of your game. The huge responsibility of caring for people’s lives should come with years of practice, discipline and challenging moments to mold a confident, knowledgeable physician. In medical school, professors teach their students to put

their own emotions aside, even as they attend to tragedy. In general, it is a profession that will shun you if you show weakness or suffering in any way. I will admit that even as an undergraduate student in the sciences, I have learned to block out my emotions when talking about sensitive subjects so as not to become overwhelmed in situations, yet still feel compassion for others. However, the pressure on interns and medical students to conceal signs of sadness in a culture that condemns them for asking for help has enabled an epidemic of suicides nationwide. The sad truth is that physicians are good at committing suicide. With 400 doctors committing suicide every year, according to the New York Times, suicide prevention and awareness programs desperately need to be more readily available to students, and the dialogue surrounding medical field suicides needs to be kept open. I would undoubtedly argue that a physician who knows their own limits, asks for help and allows themselves to get invested in their patients, makes for a more well-rounded, compassionate physician and human being. I love medicine. I love the applicable knowledge, the growing technology that enables physicians to provide care in needing areas, and I love that I can dedicate my life to serving others and cheating death even for just a day. Medical students and physicians devote their lifetime learning to help others, so I think it is time the medical community learns to care for them too.

Students question effectiveness of final exams ELISE ADAMS Staff Writer

The clock ticks down the three hours as you sit in the lecture hall full of students frantically scribbling down essays and shading in the bubbles on their scantrons. Your professor stands in the front to make sure no one cheats and to have his eyes on everyone. Students have their caffeine in UMW mugs on one side of them, extra pencils and paper on the other. As you try to remember all the information for your biology final, you push to the back of your mind all the memorized flashcards for the history final you have two hours after biology. You wonder why your professors could be so cruel and assign you finals after they have suffered through them too. They say they know they suck. Well then why do they still assign them? I thought we were their favorite class. You wonder how you will ever finish in time and ask yourself, “should I have studied harder, or am I good?”


As the semester nears the end, professors are starting to bring up a topic no one is excited for, final exams. Along with that topic comes the fear and dread that you will ruin your grade point average if you mess up on an exam. While some professors assign projects or papers, the majority assigns tests. Though there are those lucky few who do not stress about finals because they are naturally good test takers, the majority of us spend days preparing for and dreading those three-hour tests. But are projects, papers and presentations preferred by students because they are a better representation of material learned during the semester? As a student who has never been very good at test-taking, final exams are not a very good way for me to prove that I know the material. I have always loved to write, so having a paper to write instead of a final to study for is preferred by me. I

have also always been more of a creative person, so projects are also a great way for me to demonstrate I know the material I have spent all semester learning. Also, exams are not always a good way to showcase what you have learned. Samantha Litchford, a senior majoring in political science, feels that “final exams, especially if they are multiple choice, don’t show what you know, they show what you remember and what you’ve memorized.” However, some professors do not feel that way or find giving a test easier than assigning a project. There is always going to be that class where you aren’t given a way out of taking a test by writing a paper or doing a project, so you always need to be prepared and ready to hit the books a little harder for that class. Learning good study techniques and knowing effective ways to remember

information is key, and can make taking your test easier. It will leave you feeling way more confident in yourself than if you went in without studying. Emily Ferguson, a senior majoring in biology, says that though she still stresses over finals, she almost always feels confident going into a test. “I’ve always been a good test taker,” she said. “And I know how to study effectively, so if I know how to get that done there’s not much to worry about.” For those of us that differ from Ferguson, it just means we have to study that much harder and learn effective studying techniques. With finals ahead of us, it is time to start breaking out the books, studying and going to those last-minute review sessions. Good luck on your finals, everyone, and remember, once finals are over, it is winter break.

Thursday,January December 2016 Thursday, 21,1, 2015


Editor: Tessa Cate |

Men are put to the test


Pregnancy can be a wonderful experience to share with someone, or it can be the exact opposite. You could be finically starved, overly dependent on others and barely scraping by. To the many people who are not prepared for children, I have a strong hunch that just hearing the word “pregnancy” would be scarier than most horror movies playing at the cinema. In an effort to cut down on unintentional pregnancies, a new concept has been introduced: male birth control. A recent experiment was designed to address this new concept. Sadly, the project was dropped due to side effects. Of the 320 healthy men taking male birth control, 20 men dropped out. The biggest push factor behind cutting the project and the men dropping out was the slight relationship between depression and the pill. Elisabeth Lloyd refers to a study of the relationship between birth control and the pill. The study had a

large sample size of over one million say why not? If you are a male, and understand the potential health risks, women, and it was determined that a such as the one outlier oddball case side effect of the pill could be depresof fertility sion. However, not returning the chances to normal of developing levels and the it are very small link for minimal, so it depression, is a calculated then why not? risk. If people If the pill beare aware of comes readily this risk then available and it should be becomes a up to them to decide what staple in every pharmacy, they want. And then I believe it seems that men should was the case, because 75 be expected to take it. Wompercent of the en already participants have it hard said that they enough. They would take have to carry this pill even babies around with the risk of flickr / Environmental Illness Network for nine whole depression. months and eventually deliver them. So now we ask the question: should men be expected to take the pill? I As if this isn’t bad enough, taking

Post-break dorm entry denied to students ANDREW ARENAS Staff Writer

After a relaxing Thanksgiving break, I knew on Sunday I would have to leave as early as possible from home to beat heavy traffic when heading back to school. The American Automobile Association stated that more travelers would be on the road than there had in the last nine years. After my parents heard that statistic, they decided to drop me off as early as they could. I arrived to my residence hall, Arrington, at 9 a.m. With my baggage in hand, I walked up to the door and pressed my Eagle One card to the reader. The reader flashed red and refused to unlock. It became apparent that my card wasn’t working I waited in desperation for someone to come out of the door to let me in, but after standing for 15 minutes I grew impatient. I sat on a bench nearby and listened to music while examining just how dead the campus was. As time went on I grew anxious and watched that second-floor entrance like a hawk. At 9:45 I watched from the bench as someone else was getting dropped off. I waited to see if somehow his card would magically unlock this door. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. He had the same dissatisfied look that I had upon learning we both couldn’t get into the building. His name was Ashton Ledbetter, a sophomore, psychology major. We both sat on the bench socializing, and waiting for anyone to exit Arrington. I learned that he lives on the

same floor as I do, and we decided to contact our RA Nancy Pham to see if she could get someone to open the door for us. Thirty minutes later we got a response letting us know we weren’t allowed in until 2 p.m. Since both Ledbetter and I had been waiting for so long, Pham contacted one of the RAs from Alvey to finally let us in. By the time I was situated in my room, I had to wait almost two and a half hours to get into Arrington. Beating the traffic to get back on campus didn’t seem to benefit me at all. It’s very strange that these two residence halls specifically aren’t open at a reasonable time. Eagle Landing allowed students to come back whenever they wanted with ease. I know they have a different set of rules, but it would be nice if Alvey and Arrington were both accessible at a reasonable time. Some of us do our best to beat the post-Thanksgiving traffic when we leave our homes from break. Leaving home to get locked out of my own residence hall wasn’t the reward I was looking for. Yes, the times to return are listed on the break housing section of UMW’s website, but I feel these times should be altered. I hope someday these buildings will be accessible at an earlier time on the day before classes. As an A-Town resident, it seems there is no benefit to getting here early on the last day of Thanksgiving break.

birth control is a hassle on top of it. Women must take the pill every single day at a set time. Men should take it for that reason alone – to take the stress off women and give them one less thing to worry about. Lastly, the most obvious reason why males should take the pill when it becomes more available is to avoid conceiving a baby. After all, that is the function the pill is designed to carry out. Safety and caution are never the wrong answers. It does not really matter if a female is on the pill as well. All that means is that you are about as safe as you can be regarding the risk of pregnancy. I cannot say for certain that I would be part of the 75 percent that would be willing to take the pill because I was not a participating member in the test. But I would like to think after going through the testing phase that I would make my decision based on what my morals tell me to do despite having no empirical data to go off of. I believe I would happily go on the pill.

Staff Ed: faculty needs to be more understanding of mental illness during finals season In recent years, an increasing awareness of mental illnesses, particularly on college campuses, has become more prevalent. The significance of these illnesses, especially during the time a student is in college, is unmistakable and cannot be overlooked. For many students, college is the first time that they are on their own and for many others, there is an immense pressure to succeed from their parents, friends, mentors, etc. Last week, a member of The Blue & Gray Press staff made the decision to leave the University of Mary Washington because of mounting issues they faced with their mental illness and a reluctance of teaching faculty to help and understand. We find this to be unacceptable, as a new standard must be set across the board for all faculty, that if a student undergoing mental illness has the courage to explain their issues to a faculty member, than that faculty must be understanding and willing to work with the student to succeed in the class while keeping their mental health a priority. In the Oct. 6 issue of The Blue & Gray Press, a story on the front page highlighted issues regarding the Talley Center and a lack of staffing and resources they face. While this is an important resource for students experiencing mental illness to utilize, we understand that there is only so much that the Talley Center can do with the resources available. Because of this, it is important for faculty and staff to understand and work with the student to take pressure off of resources such as the Talley Center to be the only place

for students to turn to. With finals week approaching, many students are feeling the added pressure of their courseload and this time of year serves as a breaking point for many who feel they cannot accom-

plish all they set out to at the beginning of the year. Consequently, students either pull out of school, do poorly on finals, or study too hard by not sleeping, neglecting to eat, or using drugs such as Ritalin or Adderall to help focus. The pressure to resort to these methods only adds to a student’s declining mental health, and much of this pressure is put on them by professors. Seasonal affective disorder is also significant this time of year, where students experience negative mood changes as the weather gets cooler and the nights start earlier. All of these factors line up perfectly this time of year to create the perfect storm for students with mental illnesses to make rash or damaging decisions or feel the need to leave school, which neither the student or the University wants, but is often necessary for their health. So this finals season, to all students, faculty and staff, keep mental health a priority. Your GPA, in the grand scheme of things, is not that important.




Editor: Kelly Emmrich

A look at students’ favorite Thanksgiving and holiday traditions

ESTHER HETHCOX Contributing Writer

Whether it is cooking pies together for the Thanksgiving meal, hunting for the perfect Christmas tree or attending Christmas Eve service, holiday traditions are an integral part of everyone’s holiday season. Holiday traditions not only provide a festive atmosphere for people, but also build a community around them. One special aspect of holiday traditions is that they have an international presence. Families all over the world participate in many different kinds of traditions, whether they are personal or national. In Norway, the ringing of church bells welcomes in Christmas at exactly 5 p.m. on Christmas Eve. In Great Britain, the day after Christmas is known as Boxing Day, where people give a Christmas Box

filled with small gifts such as money or food to their delivery men or tradespeople who are regular callers. In the Czech Republic, Christmas is celebrated on Dec. 24, and Czech families fast all day in preparation for a meal full of holiday food. Once the family is done eating, they ring a bell to announce that Baby Jesus has left presents for everyone beneath the Christmas tree. Since holiday traditions are such a large focus for some families, I interviewed friends and family to see what some of their favorite traditions are. Thanksgiving traditions focus on everyone’s favorite pastime: delicious food. Many households in America provide the traditional family Thanksgiving meal, roasted turkey with stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and cornbread are only a few of the typical foods seen

Kevin Dooley/Flickr

Karol Franks/Flickr

on the table on Thanksgiving Day. Khayla McGowan, a history major at the University of Mary Washington, knows this all too well. Every Thanksgiving eve, McGowan and her family bake desserts throughout the day while watching the annual Thanksgiving Parade. This holiday tradition not only supplies the family with a bounty of delicious desserts, but also gives her family a chance to spend time together. Christmas traditions add to the festivity that surrounds the holiday, giving everyone something to look forward to. One tradition in my family is the importance of stockings. Some people look forward to the presents, but all my siblings turn their eyes to their stockings. Inside lay many little trinkets carefully chosen by our mother, each one containing a personal significance to each recipi-

ent. This is perhaps one of the favorite moments of Christmas Day in my family. Lizzie Mackercher, a communications major at George Mason University, still enjoys the simple comforts of childhood in her Christmas experience. “I like to enjoy the simple pleasures of my youth by setting milk and cookies out on my kitchen table, for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve,” Mackercher said. “Every Christmas morning when I wake up, the cookies and milk are completely devoured.” Holiday traditions, whether the theme is Thanksgiving or Christmas, hold a place in every individual’s life. The traditions that you, your family and close friends carry on might not seem very significant to others, but they are an important part to every person’s holiday season.

Student finds a new home in hipster nook, Greens and Grains TESS OSMER Mangaging Editor

Hwy across from the UMW campus. Their menu is full of variety boastWhile I’ve been home, I have been ing items such as Crab realizing how much time I have to Bisque, Beef Chili and accomplish tasks, read or listen to music Pasta Alfredo. I chose the and write, which took me awhile to Crab Bisque and I paired understand. it with sliced tortilla chips On Sunday, Nov. 27, I was on a walk and a smidgen of goat with some friends, May Payne, junior cheese. Spanish major at the University of Mary While there, I could Washington and her boyfriend, Drew, not help but feel like I a junior at the University of Virginia, was back in Brooklyn, it took us maybe five minutes to get to N.Y., my usual hideout Greens and Grains for a bowl of soup. with friends. The walls We walked from the Monticello of the small cafe were Apartments off Cowan Blvd to Eagle lined with artwork created Village through a back road littered by local artists Graciela with snacks of the past and even snacks Slyer and Van Anderson. associated with Thanksgiving, such as There was also a wooden pumpkin pie and wheat thins. cat hanging above a set of I had never been to Greens and Grains menus with sample items before, located at 1133 Jefferson Davis and specials written in chalk, which really emulated the hipster-esque feel of the place. “Salad Creations has turned a new leaf,” the take-out menus read, as it is in the same location as the old restaurant, “Salad Creations.” For me, a single 21-year-old, it was weird going to lunch with a couple. But when I walked through the doors of the cafe I noticed a very eccentric older married couple, well, very old, married couple. The husband was the one that really caught my eye. Not only was he wearing glasses, one of my favorite accessories on men, they were framed with leopard colors and cleanly cut Tess Osmer/ The Blue & Gray Press around his face. It didn't stop there


either, he was wearing a blue and white striped shirt tucked into blue corduroy pants and held tight by blue suspenders. To top it off, he had Velcro-strapped tennis shoes on. This same couple bought the crab bisque too, and they called out to the General Manager, Kevin Raley, as they Tess Osmer/ The Blue & Gray Press left, that it was, “very good.” In fact, I thought it was delicious. As my friend May Payne put it, it tasted like “punchy [spicy] tomato chili.” Similarly, her boyfriend Drew described it as “really good; sort of like chili, but [he could] also taste the crab.” Raley makes all the soups and dressings in house for Greens and Grains and is also the locally owned franchise’s marketing coordinator. Greens and Grains just passed its first year anniversary in October. In addition, the cafe has a great working environment for young people, as Raley noted, “all team members are hired as supervisors…

[with] the opportunity to learn leadership skills.” Customers are allowed to create their own salad and choose from locally baked bread from Eileen’s Bakery, located in downtown Fredericksburg. “The chicken salad would have to be my favorite menu item,” Raley said, “as well as the soups.” Greens and Grains also offers fresh smoothies, tea and coffee. Greens and Grains is also looking forward to gaining its ABC license and will be offering local wines and beers. In addition, they want to be able to host Poetry and Open Mic Nights along with live music.

Tess Osmer/ The Blue & Gray Press

Thursday, December 1, 2016


How Performing Arts Club puts together the annual fall ‘Big Show’ ZACH WOHLEKING Staff Writer

The University of Mary Washington’s Performing Arts Club Big Show took place Saturday Nov. 19, and Sunday Nov. 20, in Dodd Auditorium. PAC performed 20 dance numbers with many memorable and notable performances. The dancers kept the crowd engaged the entire time as they performed with energy, passion and enthusiasm throughout the entire show. The changing moods and tones from performance to performance also kept the crowd on the edge of their seat guessing what would happen next. Performance styles ranged from upbeat to jazzy to action-packed street parties and everything in between. There was definitely something for everyone that attended. It didn't matter whether you were looking for a slow contemporary dance that made you think about life, or a straight up dance party on stage, these girls and guys brought it all to the stage. The most notable performance was in the middle of the show, called “The iPod Shuffle.” This performance, cho-

reographed by Shanita Mitchell, was envisioned and executed very well. The dance involved what seemed like half of PAC at times all on stage at once. The performance had a multitude of songs, anywhere from Taylor Swift to Evanescence and everything in between. It really felt like a party up on stage and the crowd laughed along the whole time. To get a better idea of what it is like to be a member of PAC, I talked to longtime member and officer, Erynn Sendrick, to find out. Q: It looked like a lot of work went into this show. How much preparation went into this performance? A: “We prep for our Big Shows all semester. We have try outs the second weekend of the semester, and then we rehearse at least once a week, sometimes more per dance up until a week before the show. During that week, we are in Dodd everyday from about 6 p.m. until 10 at night working on spacing, lighting and just the overall look of the show. Besides the dancers enormous efforts that everyone sees pay off during the performance, there are choreographers, club officers and the Dodd tech crew who put in countless hours and tremendous heart into our show. Without each member of our 85 person club and all those who are apart of the Dodd staff, our show would not be the same at all.” Q: What was going through your mind as you performed In Front of a big crowd? A: “I'm sure anyone who performs in front of an audience would tell you that the nervous feeling you get right before you step out never quite goes away, but it's always a thrill to see all your hard work pay off.” Q: How do you guys prepare right before going on stage? A: “I think everyone has their own ritual to prepare to perform. As a club, we have a group stretch, a massage circle, and, I guess, what you could call a huddle where we all put our hands in and shout "5, 6, 7, 8, go PAC!" like an hour before the show.” Q: What is your favorite kind of dance to perform? A: “I personally really like to be in contemporary pieces, which I think are well represented in PAC because of how many dancers were have that come from a studio background. But I think, because PAC is open and accepting of anyone who wants to be a part of the dance community, we usually have a nice variety of pieces.” Q: What was your favorite piece throughout the entire show? A: “I don't know that I could pick a favorite from the

show. I think every piece is essential to the overall production.” Q: Tell us about PAC, what is the culture and attitude of this club when it tries to accomplish something? A: “Performing Arts Club is home to me. I seriously love PAC, and I think it is the best. We are an 85 person club, but everyone is involved, and to the degree to which they want to be. We are all here because we love to dance, and so we have that mutual understanding of each other and what our common goals are in relation to PAC. I think many people understand and embody PAC's mission of building an accepting and inclusive dance community meant to foster relationships to last - many would call PAC family. We do more than just dance. Everyone has friends in the club, and new people are always joining so you are always making more, and the alum are involved, and we have bondings and semi-annual events - it's really a lot, but it's the best club you could ever join.” Q: What does dance mean to you? How has it changed your life? A: “I honestly haven't been dancing that long in comparison to most people. I started in seventh grade, and I took time off in high school, but I think I've appreciated dance most since I have joined PAC. It's that sense of community and belonging that everyone is looking for and just finds in different places. Dance is about expression and art and movement, and through that, we are all connected.” Q: What would you say to inspire more people to pursue dance, and to join PAC? A: “I guess I'd say what I say to everyone who walks by our at Club Carnival, "Do you like to dance?" It's really as simple as that. We have people in our club who have been dancing since they were two and other's who heard that question on the first Wednesday they were in college and were like sure, yeah. Everyone is coming from a different place, but we all come together because of dance and because of PAC.”

Photos by: Alex Sakes





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Did the ‘Hamilton’ cast choose an appropriate venue to call out Pence? ANDREW ARENAS Staff Writer

On Nov. 18, 2016, Vice President-elect Mike Pence attended the Broadway Musical Hamilton in New York City. Upon entering the theatre, Pence was greeted with a mixture of cheers and boos from the audience. At the end of the show, Brandon Victor Dixon, who stars as Founding Father Aaron Burr, thanked the audience and Mr. Pence for attending. He also read aloud a statement directed towards Mr. Pence about diversity in America. "We, sir, we are the diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us, our planet, our children, our parents or defend us and uphold our inalienable rights, sir. But we truly hope this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and work on behalf of all of us. All of us," Dixon said. The audience gave a resounding applause to Dixon’s statement. Using the stage as a platform, he encouraged the audience to get this


message out there to as many people as possible. The morning after, President-elect


Trinkle Hall

Trump posted a series of tweets denouncing the cast of Hamilton for “being very rude to Mike Pence.” Trump also demanded an apology from the cast and stated, “the theatre must always be a safe and special place.” Talking with Chris Wallace on ‘Fox News Sunday,’ Vice President-elect Pence stated that he was not offended by the message, stressing that “Trump will be the president of all the people of the United States of America.” Mr. Pence did not ask for an apology, but raised the question of whether or not the stage was an appropriate venue to deliver that message. On Nov. 21, 2016, Dixon appeared on ‘CBS This Morning’ satisfied that Pence stood and listened to his message. He stated that, “there’s nothing to apologize for” and encouraged Trump to see Hamilton for its homage to contributions made by immigrants. Dixon delivered the message in the most civil way possible by asking the audience not to boo Pence. The mes-

sage that was put forth was respectful and came from good people that want nothing more than unity for our country. Even if the venue is large, Dixon did have the right to speak on behalf of the Hamilton cast. We live in a country that allows us to speak our minds and put forth our own opinions. Will everyone agree with those opinions? Absolutely not, but we must listen and work with one in order to find common ground. When Dixon was on CBS he said that any celebrity or political figure is welcome backstage to visit and talk with the cast. What would have been nice is an open invitation for Pence to come backstage and continue the conversation. Messages that are directed towards elected officials must always be thoughtful and respectful. I feel that the message of inclusion was respectful and was intended to be for all of us and not just one specific group.

Coloring Campus LAUREN TAYLOR Staff Writer

Jefferson Hall




Mary Washington celebrates her 308th birthday


Vandalism Sunday Nov. 27 around 7:30 p.m. vandalism of an exit sign occurred at Eagle Landing. The case is pending.

Petit Larceny Wednesday Nov. 16 between 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. petit larceny of a bicycle occurred at the sidewalk by George Washington Hall. The case is pending.

Sunday Nov. 20 at 3 a.m. vandalism of an exit sign occurred at Eagle Landing. The case is pending. Saturday Nov. 19 around 6 p.m. vandalism of an exit sign occurred at Eagle Landing. The case is pending.

Intoxication Thursday Nov. 17 around 2:30 p.m. underage intoxication occurred at Randolph Hall. An EMS was called and one administrative referral was given.


Top: UMW Archives

Bottom: UMW Facebook Page

Two women celebrating Mary Washington College’s 60th birthday with a cake.

Tuesday Nov. 15 between 9:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. vandalism of an exit signs occurred at Eagle Landing. The case is pending.

Tuesday Nov. 15 at 6:30 p.m. public intoxication occurred at Woodard Hall. On arrest was made and one administrative referral was given

Between Sunday Nov. 13 and Tuesday Nov. 15 vandalism of a vehicle tire occurred at the Thornton Street lot. The case is pending.


Between Tuesday Nov. 15 and Sunday Nov. 20 grand larceny occurred at Westmoreland Hall. The case is pending. Drawing from the 1938 Battlefield Yearbook. Happy 308th birthday to Mary Ball Washington, the mother of our country’s first president.

Possession Monday Nov. 21 around 4:30 p.m. possession of marijuana at Eagle Landing. One administrative referral was given. Saturday Nov. 19 around 7:30 p.m. possession of marijuana at Jefferson Hall. One administrative referral was given. Friday Nov. 18 around 6:30 p.m. possession of marijuana at Eagle Landing. One administrative referral was given.

The information was compiled with assistance from UMW Police Manager James DeLoatch and Fredericksburg Police Department Public Information Officer Sarah Kirkpatrick. Lauren Taylor / The Blue & Gray Press


The Blue & Gray Press will publish the names of students who are formally charged by the University of Mary Washington Campus Police or the Fredericksburg Police Department to have committed acts of extreme violence against members of the UMW community or pose a large threat to that community, when names are released to the public. The Blue & Gray Press will publish names and write articles about criminal acts on a case-bycase basis according to the aforementioned parameters.

•ANSWER KEY | 11 Thursday, December 1, 2016

NEWS EVENTS THIS WEEK Friday, Dec. 9 at 7:30 p.m. Legendary crooner Tony Bennett will join UMW’s Philharmonic for a Christmas concert hosted in the Dodd Auditorium in George Washington Hall. Thursday Dec. 2 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Lauren Taylor / The Blue & Gray Press


There will be the Monroe Christmas Open House hosted at the James Monroe Museum. The event will feature cider and cookies, plus seasonal music played on the harp and the Monroe family’s Astor pianoforte. Thursday Dec. 1 at 7:30 p.m.

Student Government Association Beat Wednesday, Nov. 16 A motion passed that the Dining Advisory Committee work with the Dining Services and Sodexo to offer the commuter meal plan as an option to student living in Eagle Landing of the UMW Apartments. A motion passed that the Buildings and Grounds Committee work with the Buildings and Grounds Department to install a light source at the staircase from Alvey to the Anderson Center. A motion was passed that that the Buildings and Grounds Committee work with the Campus Recreation and the Student Activities Department to open the Fitness Center at 6:30 a.m. Monday through Friday

The award-winning documentary “TESTED” will be screened in the Hurley Convergence Center’s Digital Auditorium. Filmmaker Curtis Chin will be on hand to screen the film and will hold a question-and-answer session afterward. Friday Dec. 2 at 6 p.m. Campus Recreation will host it’s annual Dive-In Movie. They will be showing “Pirates of the Caribbean” free of charge at the pool located in Goolrick Hall.

For more information, contact the president of the association, Ethan Carter at All motions were originated and passed in the student senate, and then approved by the executive cabinet.

All information was found on the UMW calendar online.


Thursday, December 1, 2016



Editor: Mikey Barnes |

Amazing Grace

UMW basketball players Eric Shaw (left) and Brent Mahoney (right) pose with their No. 1 fan, Grace Braxton at Eagle Madness Nov. 8.

Alex Sakes / The Blue & Gray Press

Humble Olympic gold medalist, UMW’s No. 1 fan


Ever since she was 8-years-old, Grace Anne Braxton, has been a hard worker. At that age, she started training to be the tenacious athlete she is today. She holds the title as one of the top-ranked Special Olympics female golfers in the world. Harrison Braxton, her father, has been right by her side through the years, coaching her and molding her into the strong woman that she considers herself to be now. Before he retired in 2006, Grace’s dad was a judge on the fifteenth Judicial Circuit Court in Virginia. He was her very first coach but now, she also has Carl Koons, a professional coach from the Fredericksburg Country Club, who has stuck with her from the beginning. Born in Fredericksburg in 1971, Grace has remained a local resident for 45 years. She started as an athlete with track and field— “I started when I was 8-years-old because I have an intellectual disability,” she said softly, looking in another direction while she sat across the table in Qdoba, on the University of Mary Washington campus where she works. Grace really is a well-rounded athlete, with experience in track and field, swimming, basketball, field hockey, skiing, ice-skating and golf. It’s no wonder she looks so young. She graduated from James Monroe High School in 1990. Now, she spends her time making a point to never miss a UMW basketball game, ever since 2014 when Taylor Johnson, now an alumnus of Mary

Washington, asked her to come watch them play back when you could find her working at the Eagle’s Nest two years ago. She has been working at UMW for 24 years and has built long-lasting relationships with members on the basketball team. Usually, she would buy her own season tickets to the basketball games but this season the UMW team pulled their money together to buy the tickets for her. The basketball players always see Grace busily shuffling from table to table at Qdoba, where she stops to talk to them and give them napkins or eating utensils when needed. Many would describe her as humble and sweet, especially by members of the basketball team. But she keeps her identity as a well-renowned athlete a secret, unless you ask. At home she has a closet full of over 700 medals. They have been collected from years of competition in the Special Olympics World Summer Games starting from 1991, right out of high school. “I’m a big fan of the UMW basketball team and I love them, I love to be around watching these guys play sports,” Grace said, sitting across from me, fidgeting with her visor before her shift at work. Here at UMW, Grace says she loves the people she works with and she gets excited to meet new students all the time. “I like where I am at [and] I like who I am.” All the men on the basketball team agree that Grace is their No. 1 fan. At the first game of the season Eric Shaw, a

Sue Spencer / Perfect Shots

Thursday, December 1, 2016

junior on the basketball team, took time to jump across the seats lined up on the side of the court to give Grace a fist bump before going into the locker room with the team. In her seat, she tells the players to “man up” and encourages them to play the best game they can, giving them the support that her dad gives her on the golf course. “Every time we see her she gets so excited and it kind of just makes us excited,” said Brent Mahoney, one of the few seniors left on the basketball team. “She’s a day brightener.” Mahoney says that he wants to try to get Grace to play a few rounds with him on the golf course. He and Grace have their own handshake that they do whenever they see each other, a sign of the special bond they have together. At the game, anytime Mahoney would make a shot she would yell out “Yea! Mahoney” and turn to the person next to her to say a little something special about him. Shaw talked about how important Grace is to the team. “Grace is extremely important, as I said before, she just has that great spirit,” he said. “I call her Amazing Grace, that pretty much speaks for itself.” Anytime he sees her, his spirits are lifted and they talk about basketball or “which Jamba Juice tastes best.” “It was good to see that someone paid attention and cared and just to know that she went out of her way to see how good we were doing,” Shaw said. Many students don’t know exactly how many accomplishments Grace has made in playing golf and why she continues to work at UMW. She really loves talking to students and meeting new people. “I know she plays golf, better than I do, actually,” Mahoney said, after practice. “And I’ve been playing all my life.” He named Grace as one of his best friends on campus. In 2007 at the Tianma Country Club Golf Course in Shanghai, China, amongst 7,500 athletes from 160 countries around the world, Grace won gold in the championship for women’s golf. This is just one of the landmark accomplishments that Grace has made. She has been to Athens,

Greece for the World Summer Games and won another gold medal in 2011. “The greens were hard like a rock [in Athens],” Grace said, but she fell in love with the golf course like anytime that she steps out onto the field. Whenever she is about to step out on the field she listens to music to get herself ready. She works hard and trains hard, there isn’t much else to it, as she says. She gets excited for sports, but golf and swimming are her favorites. Golf wasn’t the only sport that she excelled in at the World Summer Games in 1991, she also won a gold medal in swimming. Other than training, winning and working at UMW, Grace spends her time playing solitaire or completing word search puzzles while she watches other sports like college football or baseball. She has had three different jobs over the course of her life. She has worked at the Central Rappahannock Regional Library, the hospital and UMW, which she says she wouldn’t trade for anything. “I just love it here, I don’t want to change it for anything,” Grace said, fixing her visor. “I like to work with kids, students, meet new students [and] learn about their lives.” As she was checking her calendar on her phone, showing me her training seasons she smiled at me and said, “You like the same stuff I do…coffee,” with a chuckle at the end. Her favorite is an iced chai tea latte. Grace’s caring nature has made an impression on both Shaw and Mahoney. They both referred to the event, Eagle Madness, when Grace won a musical chairs contest, in talking about one of the best memories they had with her. They saw the whole community cheering her on and standing behind her, it touched their hearts to see people loving her back as much as she loves them. She goes to great efforts to show the team and students that she cares, by complimenting them, giving them hugs, providing them with what they need or just taking time out of her schedule to spend time to talk to them and go watch the basketball games.


The Blue & Gray Press  

University of Mary Washington Volume 90, Issue 11

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