The Stormy Petrel
Volume LXXXIV, Issue VIII
In this issue...
January 30, 2009
Oglethorpe University JEO weekend ’09, p. 3
Alt. Winter Break in New Orleans, p. 5 Campus vandalism, p. 7
OU students travel to D.C. for the Inauguration MATT CLAIBORNE STAFF WRITER On January 20, 2009, Barack Obama promised to “faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States” as he was sworn in on the steps of the United States Capitol in front of more than two million people sprinkled across the lawn of the National Mall. People were crowded side by side starting from the Capitol and stretching a span of nearly two miles to the Lincoln Memorial to witness the historic event of the inauguration of the first AfricanAmerican President of the United States. Among the host of spectators were a few Oglethorpe students, myself included. It was a beautiful day. The sun was out, the sky was clear but it was freezing cold. I was surrounded by so many people from all walks of life. I spent much of the time listening to the stories of others. There was an elderly black woman standing next to me on the Mall. After Obama’s speech, she began to cry. I asked her what was wrong, and she told me stories about when she was turned away from stores and restaurants while growing in Tennessee because of the color of her skin. At that moment my entire perspective on the significance of the election had changed. I was able to look at this historic moment through the eyes of someone else. It was not like anything I had ever experi-
PHOTO BY MATT CLAIBORNE
Witnesses gather outside Capitol Hill to view the inaguration of PresidentObama. enced before. Another OU student who missed Tuesday classes for the inauguration was Ashley Blake. She drove nine hours to Washington, D.C. with fellow OU student Alexis Bryant. They found a spot in the middle of the Mall where they could see two jumbotrons displaying the ceremony. “The most remarkable moment for me was when everyone stopped and
prayed together. It was truly the most incredible feeling that I’ve had. Considering the amount of people, it was amazing that I did not see any fighting. It was beautiful,” said Blake. Blake and Bryant also met people from all over the world who had stories of their own to share at the inauguration. “Everyone I met was there promoting peace, unity and love. I met an eld-
erly man who kept shouting, ‘I was here! I’ve seen it! I’m a witness!’” said Blake. Though the sky was blue and the sun was shining, it was very cold, but that did not stop the enormous crowd of people from showing up. “It was cold, so cold. We lost feeling in our toes, and I was actually nervous that we were going to develop frostbite. It was crowded too. We were packed like sardines on the Mall, but despite all the elements, people were mostly friendly to one another and so excited. It was the energy of the moment that kept us warm. You could feel the pride running through the crowd,” said Bryant. “It was cold but incredible. Long but worth it. Hard but I’m glad I did it. I now have a story to tell my children and their children. I truly was a part of a great moment. I was a first time voter for the first African-American President of the United States,” said Blake. As President Obama made his first official presidential speech, the city became eerily quiet, and as he touched on some of the high points of his speech, the city roared with cheers that echoed for minutes. “You could have literally heard a pin drop. It was that quiet. I thought that was amazing in itself given a crowd of that size. Not even a cell phone went off. When Obama See Inauguration, P. 2
Oglethorpe placed on warning status by SACS AMANDA SERFOZO NEWS EDITOR Oglethorpe University has recently been placed on a warning list by the Southern Association for Colleges and Schools, otherwise known as SACS. For the second time since its first accreditation review in 2007, the academic and budgeting oversight agency has deemed the institution deficient in financial and business planning and a few academic assessment areas, as well. The announcement, which was made in late December 2008, sites previously unbalanced budgets, excessive spending, a developing business model, and assessment problems as the main causes of concern for the second consecutive year. SACS is allotting another year, until December 2009, for the school to improve its operating procedures. Should
Oglethorpe University be denied accreditation renewal again, more drastic and determinative measures may be taken by the agency, such as probation status – the next level following a warning. According to the United States Department of Education’s overview of accreditation, the “goal of [accreditation] is to ensure that education provided by institutions of higher education meet acceptable levels of quality.” Thus, the federal government hands down responsibility to regional agencies, like SACS, to determine a set of requisites for colleges and universities to be reviewed upon based on responsible finances and academics. Oglethorpe University President Lawrence Schall held a student-intensive meeting January 14 th in Lupton Auditorium to discuss matters of importance and quell fears of
accreditation loss. According to Schall, Oglethorpe University was denied relief from the SACS warning list due to six outstanding areas of concern, three of which were of assessment related matters. Since the latest review, we have been cleared on one of these points. He explained that, since OU’s liberal arts education makes it difficult to assess “before” and “after” results of student performance, the institution and its administration have had to develop new ways of measuring these levels. The Core program, since it is a nationally unique curriculum, is also coming under scrutiny in terms of assessment, as are several majors that are difficult to assess. “It’s tough, considering the curriculum of an Oglethorpe education, to measure how students progress over a period of time,”
Schall said. “We are working closely with SACS to understand a better method for evaluating our own academics. As you and I know, our academics have always been and will continue to be superior.” In addition to education, Oglethorpe failed to meet several other standards in its 2007 review concerning the financial aid of the institution, its business office, general financial health, and overall business model. Since then, in its 2008 audit, those financial aid and business office problems have been cleared, and Oglethorpe is running efficiently in these areas. “We have been successful in the past year in providing the transparency that SACS is looking for,” Schall said. “Oglethorpe has been working closely with independent auditors and clean reviews.” SEE SACS, P. 2
2 News FROM SACS, P. 1 The last, and most pressing issue for next year’s review, is the future business model of the school. “We’re working hard to create a model that is sustainable and efficient for the next decade and beyond,” Schall said. He proceeded to present several graphs, all of which illustrate the overall business model of the institution over the past four years, and the projections for the next few fiscal years. The first slide represented the net income and revenue of the school versus its current and past expenses, colored in red, purple, and blue. The revenue that Oglethorpe gained, and continues to produce, comes from tuition, grants, fundraising, and endowments. Expenses include basic and daily operating costs, construction, and other projects. By each fiscal year, the amount of intake had decreased, while spending increased – however, in the past two fiscal years that Schall has been active in the Oglethorpe community, those trends are reversing, and at this point in 2009, they are nearly equal. “In the upcoming fiscal years, we foresee our spending reducing drastically, and our income in terms of gifts and revenue increasing steadily,” he said. “If we continue to do that over a period of time, SACS will see that our budget is balanced, and we will hopefully be removed from the warning lists they see fit to review us on.” Another slide showed the assets, including Oglethorpe’s overall worth, and net assessments, or outstanding debts and loans. Two colors also signified the trends of both. Schall says that the recent construction on campus, including the two latest residence halls, contribute immensely to the school’s overall worth. Since we did not use loans to build these projects, and instead used our surplus from the past few fiscal years, we are steadily decreasing our amount of debt and adding to the worth and valuable assets of the school itself. The last graph shown by Schall depicted the endowment spending rate, or money in Oglethorpe’s “account.” All colleges typically take a percent of that endowment and spend it on institution-wide restructuring. During the previous Oglethorpe administration, we had been spending at an inflated 23% level. Since Schall has taken office, that percentage has diminished to 5%. According to Schall, university spending from the overall endow-
The Stormy Petrel
January 30, 2009 requisites so that students are eligible to apply for federal financial aid. Should an institution lose its accreditation, or viability, students would not be able to receive financial aid, federal grants, and limited scholarships. In a statement released by President Schall on January 12 th , and
ment comes in two ways. First, there are certain endowment funds that are restricted for a particular purpose. We have received gifts to the endowment [pool] over time that are to be used only to support scholarships and that is the sole purpose that gift can be used for. Annually, a certain percent of the endowment fund would be used to fund certain scholarships. The Board sets that rate, which is typically about 5%. Second, Schall said that there are also unrestricted funds in the endowment and the draw every year from those funds (also set at 5%) will support general operating expenses, for things such as faculty salaries or unfunded scholarships. For example, a one million dollar fund, spent at 5% a year, would produce $50,000 for the operating budget. Because these endowment funds are invested, they produce (in most years) a return, and over time its value would increase. The problem therein, lies with overspending beyond the 5% means. If one exceeds the rate, the extra balance would support the operating budget. The reason one might do this is because there are not enough other revenues to support the budget at the level it is set at. Basically, the school is funding the deficit through the endowment, which is not good practice. When asked if the outgoing administration were responsible for the irresponsible spending fluctuations, Schall declined to divulge further, but simply said, that he has been devoted to slashing those high rates. “In terms of attribution, all I will say is that the high rates that you saw taking place, happened before I came here,” he said. “The type of fis-
cal conservatism I am practicing is hopefully what SACS is looking for in reviewing our business model and projections,” Schall reiterated. “I feel that they aren’t concerned with our economic or budgeting status anymore, but that they would feel more comfortable if we exhibit the same type of responsible spending over the course of another year.” Oglethorpe will be asked to submit another financially based update to SACS in mid-September 2009. Students in attendance at the January 14 th meeting asked questions regarding the consequences of lost accreditation in terms of postgraduate plans, national reputation, and future arrangements to notify and keep students abreast of the situation. “Every credit you earn here at Oglethorpe, while fully accredited, is a viable credit,” he said. “No one needs to panic.” Should Oglethorpe University be denied for a third time, the institution itself is in danger of losing accreditation over the course of a few more years, however, Schall is adamant that accreditation will not be “lost instantly”. In terms of academics, loss of accreditation means that credits that students have acquired may be deemed null and void, or incompatible with the credits of another university, meaning that option to transfer would be difficult as coursework would not be recognized. Obstacles like these would also come to fruition should students apply for post-graduate endeavors, such as graduate, law, or medical school. In addition, accreditation ensures that a college meets a set of
in his meeting the same week, Schall stated that “an [Oglethorpe] degree is not impacted at all [by review of accreditation],” and, that students will be earning a degree from an “accredited university with all the rights and privileges pertaining to the degree [students] are awarded.” Despite the latest SACS concerns, Oglethorpe admissions have continued to rise, Schall said. “We have been steadily receiving gifts to our school, and our number of applicants have been increasing over the past few years from 1,200 applicants to well over 4,500,” he said. “The number of students attending our JEO Scholarship weekend has also risen from about 85 to over 200.” Oglethorpe sophomore Jasenka Besic, who learned of the accreditation situation over winter break on the news, said she was stressed at first but took matters into her own hands to reassure herself, and fellow Oglethorpe peers, that the conflict would be resolved soon. “I was hoping that Oglethorpe would’ve sent out a warning e-mail of some sort, so we as students who are investing our time, money, and energy into this wonderful university would be aware of the media and SACS situation,” Besic said. “I was panicking that I would have to transfer immediately, and was unsure if my credits would transfer to another school.” Besic, who tried to reach the SACS President Belle Wheelan several times, finally proved successful. “[Ms. Wheelan] said the only reason why we are still on warning is because of financial issues that shouldn’t be a problem to resolve, since we’re well on our way with President Schall,” she said. The most reassuring news that Besic gained put her at ease, and as a result, convinced her to stay though the accreditation struggles. “[Ms. Wheelan] also mentioned something that really stood out to me on a more personal aspect. She said that she would send her children to Oglethorpe University without any worries,” Besic said. “That made me feel better about the situation, and I hope students can meet together in the future for a student-led discussion and be reassured that the situation will continue to get better.”
FROM INAuGURATION, P. 1 made his post-inauguration speech, you could hear it echo throughout the city. Some were c r y i n g t e a r s o f j o y, a n d o t h e r s – i n c l u d i n g myself–were just silent and looking on in awe. It was an experience of a lifetime, and even though it was freezing and crowded, I would not have traded it for anything,” said Bryant. Other OU students who made the drive t o Wa s h i n g t o n , D . C . w e r e A s h i a N n o r o m , Reketta Peterson and Stephanie Smith. They managed to find a place on the Mall that was centered between two jumbotron screens. “Walking, with a group of thousands down a city highway, the roads around us barren of the traffic of cars, was the moment I realized I was in a piece of history. The atmosphere was charged with the breathless anticipation of a million as we made our way to the Mall. On every corner a merchant was selling Obama merchandise of every imaginable kind and building the eagerness of throngs around
them. The Mall was even more crowded and the sense of anticipation reached fever pitch,” said Smith. A spirit of pride and patriotism flowed throughout the crowd. Many people were wearing red, white and blue, and they waived tiny American flags as they waited for the inauguration ceremony to begin. “When the inauguration finally started I waited impatiently for the announcement of the various government members until the moment when Obama stepped forward to be sworn in. As Obama was sworn in, some sort of mistake was made causing him to stumble on his oaths. Strangely enough this was one of my favorite inaugural moments, it loosened the solemn atmosphere and made Obama seem more fragile, reminding us he too was human,” said Smith. “The feeling of being so in tune with emotion and spirit of the crowd around me
made me more aware of how big the moment truly was. So while I was shuffling in the cold as I watched with countless others a moment of history, I admit it didn’t seem very impressive. But when I was once again warm and content I realized it hadn’t been so bad having numb ears and lips and frozen toes during those hours we stood. I had been standing witness to a moment that would be a talked about historical moment for years to come,” said Smith. Many people including OU students have high hopes that President Barack Obama will help the United States through one of its most difficult times. The hope that people have in him is part of the reason that so many traveled so far to just get a glimpse of his face on a jumbotron in fifteen degree weather. It may be another four years until OU students find it permissible to miss a day of scheduled classes again.
January 30, 2009
The Stormy Petrel
Scholarship Weekend brings fresh faces to campus
Photos Courtesy of the OU Public Relations Office
GO GREEN, ATLANTA JESSICA DANIEL GREEN PIECE COLUMNIST When you think of Atlanta, the first things that come to mind might be music, Coke, or the Braves. Or if you’re like me, air pollution, traffic, or sprawling suburbs may be more prevalent. Whether you have a positive or negative opinion of our fair city, while living here I have uncovered a few interesting places in Atlanta that have made me appreciate our bustling metro a bit more. Atlanta is home to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s headquarters, over 10 Chattahoochee River National Park units, and the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. Working as a fellow at the CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health has shown me that there is more to the CDC than a stockpile of disease containing vials, and that a lot goes into evaluating human health in relation to the environment. Both CHAT and the Atlanta Botanical Gardens provide welcome green space in the midst of the urban landscape. These places are Atlanta’s more widely known gems, but there are some places in Atlanta that people have yet to discover. While working at the Sweetwater 420 Festival last year, dancing around in my bee costume, I ran into (not literally) a staff member who worked at Tree Sound Studios, a unique recording studio in Norcross, GA. Now we all know that Atlanta is well known for its music scene,
but this is one place I never would have expected to find here. Tree Sound Studios is the largest recording facility in Atlanta, and boasts producing albums for a number of well known recording artists, such as Outkast, the Beastie Boys, Gwen Stefani, Nelly Furtado, and Usher. While this alone makes it noteworthy, Tree Sound Studios implements many green aspects into the music industry. The Studio has partnered with Green Mountain Energy to calculate and offset all carbon dioxide associated with their business. This means that the Studio donates money to an agency that participates in projects like reforestation and investigating alternative energy in order to offset the amount of carbon emitted into the atmosphere by their electricity and natural gas use, corporate air travel and car use, and employee commuting. On top of this, the Studio has also created an on-site organic garden, fertilized with organic waste and watered with rainwater from a catchment system, to help educate and feed their staff and clients. They also do much, much more. The point is: Tree Sound Studios is an awesome place that does its part to reduce its potential impact on the environment and it can be found right down Peachtree Industrial Boulevard. Sometimes it is easy to get deterred from exploring Atlanta because of the relentless traffic, but there are a lot of eco-friendly and interesting places in the metro area to experience and explore. And if you want to avoid traffic, just take MARTA, it’s smarta, you know.
January 30, 2009
The Stormy Petrel
Life in the Bubble Editors: Blaik Paris & Amanda Rowell
CCE pleased with Alternative Winter Break 2009 Megan VanDoran Contributing Writer Blaik Paris Bubble Editor While many students might have spent their winter break catching up on sleep or lounging around, a luxury not often afforded during the frenetic pace of the semester, a group of Oglethorpe University students and staff members actually chose to work harder than they normally do. Four Oglethorpe University staff members and 26 students traveled to St. Bernard, Louisiana to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity on the Center for Civic Engagement’s Alternative Winter Break 2009. These students and staff worked hard on two build sites in the Orleans, Jefferson and St. Bernard Parishes, from 7:45 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. January 3-10. On the build sites they worked on tasks ranging from building the foundations of houses to the roofs and everything in between. The Center for Civic Engagement says their goal for the alternative winter break is for each participant to end the trip with a different perspective of the city, their classmates, the structure of nonprofits, volunteering and, most of all, themselves. The Center hopes that students learn how a committed group of individuals, even if it is small, can contribute to the community around them. “Every trip is designed to provide participants with a quality service experience and team building exercises with students they may never come in contact with in the classroom,” said Assistant Director of the Center for Civic Engagement Heather Staniszewski. The Center for Civic engagement, along with Dr. Schall and students,
photo by jen Riley
Jimmy Turner unleashes his inner lumberjack on an unsuspecting 2 x 4 to build siding. organized alternative breaks at the earlier trips, the groups removed furThese trips consist of four to five Oglethorpe University starting in March niture, personal belongings, and molded work days and two days for travel and and May of 2006. Alternative breaks ceilings, floors and walls from houses orientation. Each individual trip brings a have been organized informally; however, destroyed by the hurricanes that hit the different schedule and work opportunities. for many years at the university by stugulf coast region in 2005. Each of these Participants volunteer all day, share comdent affairs, different student organizatrips allows students to work with differmunal meals and living, and have free tions, and students. ent New Orleans area volunteer organiza- time in the evenings to explore the city This is the fourth alternative tions, while staying in accommodations based on their interests. There are volunbreak to Louisiana. There have been ranging from churches to schools which teers with all different skill levels and three trips to New Orleans: in January have been converted to housing for volthey learn many new skills throughout the and March 2007 and January 2008. In unteers. week. Participants come back from the trips deeply affected by the experiences. Oglethorpe sophomore Rebecca McAlister and Grace Boolukos went on their first alternative winter break trip together in January 2008. “I had so much fun, even though it was so exhausting I wanted to just sleep for days when I got back,” McAlister said. “We worked hard but also played hard in one of the most awesome cities I have ever gotten to visit.” Boolukos said the best part was feeling like the group was really making a difference. “Even though it was a very short time span, we got so much accomplished. I was so proud of all the work we did.” Students who participated this year had similar feelings about the trip. Evelyn Reisenwitz, a freshman, recalls her experience: “I was prepared to experience less hospitable housing, but Camp Hope was really nice. Building (houses) was actually enjoyable, and I got to learn some new things. The Habitat volunteers were very nice and helpful. On the whole, the group was willing to work and help out.” Katie Odell, also a freshman, had all of the Oglethorpe students and staff over for gumbo and jambalaya at her house. After dinner, her mother showed some students her artwork while others filtered upstairs to Katie’s father’s music room, photo Courtesy of Alexandra Ducksworth
The entire New Orleans crew decided that carpentry was better than video games back home.
SEE new orleans P. 5
The Stormy Petrel
January 30, 2009
FROM new orleans, P. 4 where an impromptu jam session occurred. Katie says that “it meant a lot for students to be active in helping [her] city,” and that she “met a lot of people from Oglethorpe that she didn’t really know, and now [they] are friends.” Students also got to sightsee in New Orleans on a guided tour. They saw cathedrals, cemeteries, and historic buildings. This tour was a welcome break from the long days of adhering siding to homes and building windowsills. Sophomore Alexandria Ducksworth also had an excellent time on the trip, saying, “I was expecting to have a great time on this trip but nothing that would have a large imprint on my life. People wonder why someone would go down to a torn town
I was expecting to have a great time on this trip but nothing that would have an imprint on my life. People wonder why someone would go down to a torn town like New Orleans, but once I was there I was already planning to be there again. like New Orleans, but once I was there I was already planning to be there again. I would definitely encourage my classmates to go on this trip. There’s no reason why not!” When questioned, nearly all of the students who attended the Alternative Winter Break Trip gave similar answers. They gained useful skills, new friends,
and the knowledge that the homes they helped build will house displaced families. Adults who have participated in the alternate break trips relish the experience as well. “I have been fortunate enough to participate in four alternative breaks and I could write volumes on what I got out of each trip” said Staniszewski. “I received so much more than I ever gave.” Heather says every trip is unique but they all share the same characteristics of being physically and emotionally exhausting. She says she loves getting to learn more about the lives of others on the trips as well, and the best part is witnessing students grow together as friends and team members. Stansiszewski, an Oglethorpe alumna, first went on an alternative winter break trip as a student in 2001 to Fort Myers, Florida as a Habitat for Humanity volunteer. With only 15 student participants, they stayed with an alumna and took turns cleaning and cooking. The program has evolved over the years and now is so large that students must apply to be selected to go on the trips. That first experience with the alternative winter break as a student encouraged Stansiszewski to volunteer again in New Orleans in 2007 with Common Ground. This trip directly contributed to Stansiszewski changing her career from hospice to higher education. “I was not prepared for the emotional impact of volunteering in New Orleans. Living and working with Common Ground volunteers was one of the most humbling experiences of my life.” Alternative Breaks occur during the week before classes start in the spring and when there are no classes scheduled
Photo courtesy of Alexandra Ducksworth
After a hard day’s work, volunteers unwind with Scrabble (not to promote the stereotype of OU students as English nerds or anything). during spring break. All participants who go on the trips commit to being alcohol/drug free during the trip regardless of their age. The search for alternative break locations is done by considering three main factors, including the availability of efficiently structured volunteer projects, availability of cost effective housing for volunteers, and availability of cost effective meal preparation for volunteers. The Center for Civic Engagement researches location options, consulting with other service-learning professionals who organize similar trips for their students. The Center presents the three best options for each alternate break and then the selected location is chosen. Students, staff, and faculty are all invited and encouraged to apply. Applications
Full Name: Catherine Olivia Rocamora
What is your most prized possession? The letters people hand-write to me.
Position at Oglethorpe: Class of 2010 (Junior)
What is your favorite thing to do in your spare time? Take walks or sip on good coffee/wine while people tell me their stories.
How did you come to Oglethorpe? I officially fell in love with analyzing literature in 11th grade Language Arts. My teacher Mr. Rob Hutcheson (OU class of 1994) taught my peers and me with the intensity and curiosity of Dr. Brightman, with the contextual depth and sarcasm of Dr. McFarland, and with the attentiveness to detail of Dr. Taylor. I wanted to approach literature the way that he does, and I wanted to learn under these same professors...Here I am.
Whose face would you put on the $100 bill? MLK, Jr. What was the first part-time job you ever had? I worked at a concession stand at a local park. It was idyllic because I had access to unlimited Cheeseburgers, Slushies, and “Big League Chew.” What’s your dream job? Teaching literature to a classroom full of students who want to be there.
Where did you grow up? Lawrenceville, GA. What is your favorite thing about yourself? I cannot tell people enough about the incredible Cuban heritage that I come from and how my family’s stories inspire me every day to write, travel, and see. What was the first CD/tape/record you bought with your own money? A tape single of the “Macarena.”
are available in the Center for Civic Engagement office. The Oglethorpe community has been supporting the post-Katrina volunteer effort in New Orleans since 2006, and Dr. Schall and the Center staff would like to continue to offer Alternative Break opportunities to the New Orleans area as long as volunteer housing is present. As for the recent trip, the Center for Civic Engagement is pleased with what they hoped the students found to be a rewarding experience. Stansiszewski said, “We are excited to offer a chance for students to give back to the community, meet new people, see New Orleans, try new things, and work with Habitat for Humanity.”
Photo by Jen Riley
What’s the best thing you ever bought, stole, or borrowed? I helped my roomate Kate steal an awkwardly large “Wet Floor” sign from Phipps Plaza so she could learn to break the rules every once in a while.
If you won $1,000,000, what would you do with it? I would travel like a madwoman and pay my parents back for having such an expensive child.
If you could live during any historical event or era, which would you choose and why? As difficult as that time period was, I wish I could have attended MLK’s speeches because just reading them has changed me profoundly.
What was the last movie you saw that made you cry? Little Miss Sunshine.
What would you like to be remembered
for? For treating others with dignity. What is one item that you couldn’t live without? A passport. Name four things that you would take with you to a desert island. Besides the essentials...a photo album, a Bible, Robert Frost Poetry, and Daniel Brown. What is the best advice you ever received? Don’t confuse Jesus with man’s interpretation of religion.
When you pick up the latest edition of The Stormy Petrel, which section do you turn to first? Life in the Bubble For your “one answer,” you can make a single statement about anything you wish. It can be as long or as short as you want it to be and can address any advice you have to give regarding politics, Oglethorpe, students, etc. One Answer: “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” —Leo Tolstoy Let yourself be changed and moved by what you learn here at Oglethorpe.
January 30, 2009
The Stormy Petrel
Editor: Ramika Gourdine & Carly Stewart
Vandalism hurts living experience, campus image Laura Braddick Hindsight Editor I’d like to think that the majority of students enrolled in this institution are not hoodlums or criminals. If this is true, then why is it over the past four years I continue to see vandalism occur all across campus, from broken glass to smashed fruit and markings on walls to stolen furniture? Vandalism is inexcusable on all accounts, but I thought that as I moved up through the classes from living with freshmen to living with upperclassmen the occurrence of acts of disrespectful stupidity would decrease, though I can’t help but feel that it hasn’t. If one does not respect one’s own property and space, then that is one thing. But it is quite another thing to disrespect the property and spaces that we share. People tend to have less respect for the things that they do not personally own. Sometimes it looks to me like people have even less respect for things that are shared. Whether vandals realize it or not, they hurt themselves with their actions because they hurt the whole. And whether they accept it or not, they are part of the whole. Every year the school spends thousands of dollars repairing the senseless damages inflicted by disrespectful people. I hear a common myth among fellow stu-
Photo Courtesy of Ohio State University
Campus vandalism would decrease if campus culture would not tolerate it. dents that the school is ‘poor.’ This is not true; yet spending all that money on undoing vandalism certainly does not help the financial realm of the school. The first step to ending vandalism on this campus needs to be taken not by student affairs, or maintenance, or any other administrative office, but by us, the students. We must all adopt the attitude that vandalism is 110% unacceptable. This
is our campus so we should treat it with respect. We need to display to those who choose to disrespect it that we will not tolerate their blatant selfishness. Most students want a beautiful, clean, well-maintained and functional campus that we can be proud of, right? Then we should be active in keeping it so. If you see someone performing an act of vandalism, tell them it’s not cool. Even if it’s your friend, your
roommate, that hot guy/girl from a party, a non-student, or anyone else, do not be afraid to say, “I live here too and I don’t appreciate you destroying and degrading our communal space.” If we all become intolerant of vandalism and become proactive about stopping it before it happens, then vandalism will decrease greatly. Of course, saying something personally to stop someone from committing vandalism is the strongest way to confront it. Imagine how caught off guard you would be if you were about to vandalize something and some random person just came up to you and asked you to stop. But, if you’re not comfortable confronting someone or don’t feel safe, the absolute worst thing you could do would be to turn a blind eye. Ignoring vandalism as it occurs is practically the same as condoning it. You can always contact an RA or campus security. You can even call the campus security tip line if you witness vandalism but want to report it anonymously. As a student, a campus resident, and a soon-to-be alumna who cares about this school and wants it to remain in the best condition possible, I am tried of seeing vandalism. I urge all my fellow students to do their parts to stop the vandalism that hurts us all and degrades the beauty and quality of our campus.
Accreditation worries spark transfer considerations Ramika Gourdine Opinions Editor We've all heard more than our fair share of clichés about change, home, and finding your niche. Regardless of how you say it, though, the truth of the matter is that change is hard, and when you find somewhere you feel you belong, it takes serious circumstances to make you leave. When my eyes were opened to Oglethorpe's accreditation concerns a little over a year ago, I was scared. I, like many others, do not adjust well to new situations, new people, and a new way of life. Coming from high school, where I had been with the same friends since kindergarten, with teachers who I was comfortable with, and with a community that I had been a part of all my life, Oglethorpe was a foreign land. Four months later, however, I had been through the worst of it. I had thought about transferring and decided that this was my new home, at least for the next four years. I had new best friends and had professors who knew who I was, who could tell from looking at me when I was having a bad day, and who cared enough to try to make it better. There was nothing in the world I wanted less than having to start the college application and adjustment process all over again. In an attempt to put off the situation I gave myself a new deadline. When SACS reevaluated the University in December 2008, I would be forced to act. If accreditation was renewed I would stay, otherwise, it was time to find somewhere else to be. Now that Oglethorpe is still having problems, and the accreditation has not completely been renewed, it was time to find out about transferring and what direction to go in from here. The resistance
Despite the resources some other schools mayhave to offer, it’s not quite time to give up on Oglethorpe yet. which I had been filled with before did not Getting even a small amount of subside, however, and now also filled me information about the details of what is with doubt and uncertainty, so I made an going on and having someone I trust and appointment to have a meeting with a pro- respect look me in the eye and tell me that fessor I trust. It was his attitude and advice it was going to be okay is worth more than that really has helped me get a better grip I can say. In a world where information of the situation at hand. about the accreditation is hard to come by Thankfully, I now know that there and is being talked about around campus is little for me to be concerned about. in hushed whispers as if there were a secret Currently SACS wants the university to crisis going on only feeds this sense of not only balance the budget for a single need for blind and quick action. It is the year, but maintain a continuous pattern of lack of ability to make an informed decigood financial footing. As a small univer- sion that leaves people, especially myself, sity that operates based on tuition, previ- feeling like chickens with their heads cut ous presidents have balanced the funds by off. It is the difficulty to simply get an borrowing money from the already small answer to a question like "what is going on endowment. Dr. Schall has declared that is with the accreditation?" or "How sure are a practice that will not continue, and since we that I will graduate from Oglethorpe the initial concerns, we have made leaps with an accredited degree?" that sparks and bounds. panic and a fight-or-flight mentality.
In all honesty, I have never really been too big on the fight part of it. There has to be something I really love involved, like family or a very close friend. In this case it was my future at stake, and for a while it made far more sense to just run. There are plenty of other universities out there with communications, or philosophy, or gender studies programs. I was forced to once again look at what it was that made me want to come to Oglethorpe in the first place. I had to reevaluate why it was that I was so hesitant to leave. For the last semester, I have seen several newfound friends transfer to bigger, cheaper schools. It wasn't as if I hadn't applied to college once and gotten in. So, why here? Why this place in particular? It couldn't be all about the financial aid, other places offer scholarships, and some even specifically to transfer students. It couldn't have been only the lazy fear of not wanting to readjust to a new place, because that is inevitable; at some point I'm going to leave here and find a new home in graduate school, and then again in the big bad “real world.” After beginning my applications to schools acreoss the country, from Reed College in Portland, OR to Emory University here in Atlanta, I’ve realized that what I have here is a distinct feeling of home and community. I know that may sound stupid, but it’s the truth. Having a trusted professor tellme that there was nothing to worry about, that even in the worse case scenario I would graduate from an accredited university, and that it wouldn’t affect my future if the school lost accreditation after I was already gone showed me that there is hope left. I need not make rash decisions, and I hope others will not either.
The Stormy Petrel
January 30, 2009
Arts & Entertainment Editors: Adam Bailey & Daniel Suddes
2008: A year for comics and comic books in films Adam Bailey A&E Editor 2008 was a good year for movies, and as A&E Editor, it customarily falls to me to let you, the reader, know what the best movies of the year were. I had a hard time doing that last year, so I came up with a compromise when I noticed a trend in movies. In addition to being a good year for movies, 2008 was an especially good year for comedies and movies based on comic books. In light of that, I decided to recap the movies of these categories that were especially good. Please note that I am not saying that these were the only good films of the year; on the contrary, there were too many to choose from. Also don’t read too much into the way I ordered the movies because I loved them all equally and am just covering them in an arbitrary order. Any preferences I have will be stated in my summation of the movies. Comedies Tropic Thunder This film was a powerhouse of a comedy. Directed by and starring Ben Stiller, Tropic Thunder features Robert Downey Jr., Jack Black, Steve Coogan, Bill Hader, Nick Nolte, Matthew McConaughey, and Tom Cruise in what is probably my favorite role of his ever. Telling the story of a Vietnam War film shoot gone horribly arwy, the film features some of the funniest jabs at showbusiness in a while. Forgetting Sarah Marshall Even when he doesn’t direct, Judd Apatow can’t help but strike gold with comedies, as he proved by producing easily my favorite comedy of the year. For those of you who missed out on it so far, the film tells the story of Peter Bretter, played by Jason Segel, a musician who gets dumped by his television star
photo courtesy of flixray.com
The cast of Forgetting Sarah Marshall proves that few things are more awkarad than a double date with your ex. girlfriend, Sarah Marshall, played by Kristen Bell. Over the course of the movie, Peter attempts to get over his former relationship, eventually going to Hawaii, where he ends up at the same hotel as Sarah and her new boyfriend. This movie is hilarious. At one point or another, just about every character is likeable, which is always good for a comedy. My only real complaint is that I could’ve gone my entire life without seeing Jason Segel nude. I admit it was hilarious, but he just isn’t an attractive man. Stepbrothers I had very mixed feelings about this film, but overall found it really entertaining. The formula’s pretty simple; Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly are a pair of middle-aged men who never really grew up and are forced under the same roof when their parents get married. I’ll chalk it up to being at the point where I’m about to be moving out and having to make my own way in the world, but seeing these two men literally acting like they are 11 at a couple points in
the movie became painfully uncomfortable for me. But overall the movie is a riot as long as you are fans of Ferrell and Reilly’s other outings in films. Hamlet 2 I’m not sure how many people went to see this gem when it was in theaters, but I’m certain the number should’ve been higher. Following a failed actor turned drama teacher as he attempts to stage a play of his own writing that will save his school’s drama department, Hamlet 2 is both hilarious and twistedly inspiring at the same time. Oh, and did I mention the spectacular musical number, Rock Me Sexy Jesus? Comics The Dark Knight When comnig up with my list of movies to talk about, I knew I wouldn’t be able to avoid talking about this one. I feel like I’m beating a dead horse at this point because everybody has already been talking about it for half a year by now, but with
good reason. Even if you don’t like comic books, you’ll probably like this movie; in fact you’ve probably seen it at least once by the time you read this. So get out there and see it again, or better yet, buy the DVD and watch it whenever you get the urge. Iron Man Now that I’ve done my duty and covered The Dark Knight, I can tell everyone about the comic book film that was actually my favorite of the year. Iron Man is what I consider the first fully approachable comic book movie. Before this, it was very hit or miss on whether I could recommend a comic book movie to people who aren’t already comic book fans. True, Dark Knight did Iron Man one better on the whole universal appeal thing, but this movie was enough to make me a die hard Robert Downey Jr. fan, so if you missed it when it was new, check it out on DVD. The Spirit I saved this one for last for a reason. Of all the films I covered in here, this is the one that most embodies the spirit of what I’m writing about, no pun intended. The Spirit is another Frank Miller comic book movie, and has the exact same look as Sin City. A lot of people, myself in cluded, were a little anxious upon its release because there is no way it can achieve the gritty, raw feeling Sin City did with a PG-13 rating. I was quickly relieved to see that it didn’t try to. Even though it is a moody film noir set in a sprawlling metropolis, The Spirit nails a totally different feel than Sin City. Sure, both of them have comedy and action mixed together, but this one is just deliciously funny in places. That’s because this is a movie that doesn’t take itself too seriously. It deserves mention if for no other reason than it was the most fun I had at a comic book movie all year.
Need something to do? Check out these local bands!
January 30, 2009
The Stormy Petrel
Dan takes a look at the top ten albums of 2008 Daniel Suddes A&E Editor
ture. Vampire Weekend was the greatest surprise of 2008 and I can’t wait for more.
I think we can all agree that 2008 was a very sporadic year for music. Some classic rock bands reunited to try to relive their glory days. New artists tried to get their fifteen minutes of fame. Some succeeded, others failed. But no single band or artist dominated the year. Of course, today, no one is seeing the unity that the music industry once had. During the 1960s, it could rightfully be assumed that everyone owned Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. During the 1990s, everyone bought a copy of Nirvana’s Nevermind. But was about today? Who is the biggest band, the one that can reach the same mass audience without compromising their sound or their philosophy? So far, no one has managed to accomplish this feat. Not even Kanye West, despite his statements otherwise. For now, we have a giant void in the music world that everyone is trying their best to fill. One day, we will have a replacement for the Beatles. Until then, it will be amusing to watch the contest play out. So, without further ado, here are the best albums to be released in 2008.
7. Akon, Freedom It is no secret that I do not like rap. Most of the artists are even more egocentric than Axl Rose has ever been accused of being. If that isn’t enough, most can’t even perform music. Prince said it best in his song “Dead On It”: “See, the rappers problem stems from being tone deaf. Pack the house, try to sing, there won’t be no one left.” So, why do I like Akon? Maybe it’s because he sings on his album. Even better, he actually has some decent pop songs. This new album, despite being introduced with the somewhat weak single “Right Now (Na Na)” shows some maturity in Akon’s music, especially on the track “Sunny Day.” It manages to prove that Akon is not a one hit wonder and hopefully he manages to maintain his presence in the music world.
1. Guns N Roses, Chinese Democracy This album is the hardest to review from 2008. Some publications were content to just call it Axl Rose’s ego project and forget about it. There is some validity in such statements, however, dismissal was merely a way to comment on the album but not actually examine it. So far, the only other reviewer who understands this is Chuck Klosterman who wrote: “It’s more like reviewing a unicorn. Should I primarily be blown away that it exists at all? Am I supposed to compare it to conventional horses? To a rhinoceros? Does its pre-existing mythology impact its actual value, or must it be examined inside a cultural vacuum?” I found myself pondering these questions listening to the album. I had been waiting for this album for many years. How could I finally review the album once it was released? When I finally heard it, in full, I realized I was hearing an evolution of one of the most legendary rock bands of all time. I found myself forgetting the drama, forgetting the hype, forgetting my expectations, and enjoying some of the best rock music in quite some time. The album starts off well with the title track. When it was originally performed, it sounded like some weak poppunk style rock that certainly didn’t sound like it should carry an entire album. As it is, the song has evolved into a grunge style opener that would have Kurt Cobain envious. Many of the other songs are songs that people have come to know and love through bootlegs: “Better,” “IRS,” “Madagascar,” “Street of Dreams,” and many others. All the songs have minor differences, yet all still the tracks people have come to know. By far the biggest surprise was “This I Love,” a track that had never before been performed or leaked. It sounds the most like an older Guns N Roses song and certainly would not have been out of place on the Use Your Illusion albums. Additionally, it features the best vocals on the album. The most interesting item about the lyrics is how they often seem to be
photo courtesy of hbo.com
Flight of the Conchords stick it to the indie rock scene in 2008, and beyond. about the making of the album. Or rather, it is about the endless delay of the album. How else do you explain the endless about misunderstood intentions, wrongdoing, and lies? He seems to spend half the album apologizing. For what, I have no idea. Delivering new music and showing everyone who called you a joke to be 0incorrect is nothing to apologize for. Chinese Democracy is the most important release of 2008, and luckily, also contains the best music of 2008.
For now, we have a giant void in the music world that everyone is trying their best to fill. One day, we will have a replacement for the Beatles. Until then, it will be amusing to watch the contest play out. 2. Nine Inch Nails, Ghosts/The Slip Trent Reznor is finally free of the industry turmoil that had frustrated him since he started out. Many artists, after being dropped by their record labels, go into hiding and basically end their careers. Nine Inch Nails didn’t. They released not one, but two albums. Ghosts, an all instrumental album, sounds truly like the soundtrack to dreams. The Slip, another free download, combines the popular music sound of Pretty Hate Machine with the same experimentation as found in The Fragile. If this is Reznor separated from the record company, then the future will hold some truly great surprises. 3. Metallica, Death Magnetic Metallica had a lot to prove with this release. Their last album, St. Anger, nearly destroyed the band due to internal struggles and being an overall weak let-down compared to their blistering albums of the 1980s. Metallica had their work cut out for them. So, they deliver their best album since The Black Album. Even when it threatens to become pretentious (there is
an “Unforgiven III” on the album) it makes up for it with searing metal songs like “Cyanide” or even “My Apocolypse.” Metallica is back. And, luckily, it only took five years. 4. Repo! The Genetic Opera Soundtrack This album was probably the largest surprise of the year. I first heard of it when someone showed me a trailer for the film. The music sounded halfway decent and I couldn’t wait to hear the soundtrack. Surprisingly, it held up. Yet there is no real way to describe this material. Imagine, if you will, there was some alternate universe in which Pete Townshend, Marilyn Manson, and Richard O’Brien decided to write a musical. That is almost what this music sounds like. It is so bombastic, yet, like the best of the aforementioned The Who songwriter, manages to convey a wonderful sense of depth that requires a long time to find all the nuances. I have probably spent more time with this album than any other of 2008. It is the most approachable release, which makes me wonder why it is not more popular. 5. The Killers, Day & Age I just like The Killers. They are one of the best bands to come out this decade. Likely, The Killers will last long into the future. This album manages to outdo even Sam’s Town. The Killers stop with the Bruce Springsteen sound and go back to their amazing debut sound, seen in Hot Fuss. “Human” would not have been out of place on Hot Fuss. “Neon Tiger” sounds like ’80s Bowie. The Killers have done something few modern bands manage to do. They don’t keep remaking their same songs over and over, yet never betray their sound. 6. Vampire Weekend, Vampire Weekend Vampire Weekend is far and away the strongest new band of 2008. Essentially a modern version of The Police, Vampire Weekend specializes in a new wave sound with grunge style lyrics. “Oxford Comma” had some of the most rebellious lyrics of 2008, but you would never guess it based on the catchy sound. The others on the album hold up equally well. I particularly enjoyed “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa,” a song about a culture clash between British and Indian cul-
8. Motley Crue, Saints of Los Angeles This band had even more to prove than Metallica. During the 1990s, Motley Crue was completely splintered going through almost as many line-up changes as Guns N Roses. This album was their first with the original members in 11 years. Luckily, it pays off. Motley Crue still gives off the air of being as dangerous as they were back in 1980s Los Angeles. Axl Rose changed the sound of Guns N Roses with Chinese Democracy, yet Motley Crue reunited and did what they do best. The title track is their best single since “Dr. Feelgood” and will likely be played on classic rock stations years in the future.
9. Flight of the Conchords, Flight of the Conchords Sometimes, artists go too far in an attempt to seem edgy or retain their all important “indie cred.” Before Flight of the Conchords, no one really had commented on this. Luckily, Flight of the Conchords does what Spinal Tap did for hyper-serious hard rockers: takes them down a much needed peg. Also, like Spinal Tap, Brett and Jermaine are actually good musicians. “Robots” and “Inner City Pressure,” aside from being absolutely hilarious, contain wonderful synthesizer work and surprisingly effective lyrics. Additionally, “It’s Business Time” may be the best parody of Barry White in history. 10. Radiohead-In Rainbows Yes, this may be cheating. In Rainbows was released in 2007 on Radiohead’s website. However, the actual, physical release came in 2008. Luckily, Radiohead maintains the same quality we’ve all come to expect. Like Nine Inch Nails, Radiohead is no longer tied to a record company. Most of the songs are still distant from their triumphant Paranoid Android yet they aren’t as experimental (and subsequently inapproachable) as Kid A. This is simply pure vintage Radiohead and is a strong addition to their catalogue.
The Stormy Petrel
January 30, 2009
Sports Editors: Stephanie Jefcoat
OU Basketball finds huge success during winter games Stephanie Jefcoat Sports Editor While most students packed their bags to return home after finals, the dedicated and hard-working players of our basketball teams remained on campus during the winter break for daily practices and multiple games. Before the break, the teams were having great success already, with the men winning 6 of 8 games and the women 6 out of 7. No one could begin to imagine how successful the teams would continue to be as the season moved into 2009. Men’s Team Among the 9 games played from December 19th to January 25th, the OU Men went 6-3, with 4 of the wins against conference teams. Following a weekend of conference games in Texas from Jan. 2325th, the men rank 3rd in SCAC conference standings, close behind Centre and DePauw. But the wins earned during December and early January provided the men with an even greater accomplishment than their high standing in the SCAC East. The OU Men’s basketball team earned their best season start in over 15 years. “Right now, I’m really pleased with our success,” commented Men’s Head Coach Philip Ponder. “If we bring our A game, we could beat everyone on the schedule.” Coach Ponder plans to keep the players consistent and shoot for leading the conference and even winning the championship at the end of the season.
Photo taken by Stephanie Jefcoat
Photo courtesy of Chelsea MacDonald
Above: The men’s team drives the ball to the goal. Below: The Lady Petrels power around the court against Transylvania. As for the players, they have also found ing double points. The men hope to contintheir own individual success on the court. ue their success when they face Colorado All five of the starting players are averag- College on Friday, January 30th.
Women's Team As for the Lady Petrels, they have also shown impressive success on the courts at home and away. Currently holding 1st place in the SCAC standings, the women held an 11 game winning streak going into more conference play in Texas in late January. Head Coach Ron Sattele feels that great team effort, strong starting players, and new coaching staff have all been factors in the team's success this year. When talking about the hard work put forward by the players, Coach Sattele commented, "These girls sacrifice a lot to do this." Several players have displayed superior stats so far this season. Senior Katie Kulavic set the school's all-time assist record after completing 401st game assist. Senior Tina Grace recently became the 7th female player in OU basketball history to score over 1000 points. This 20082009 year appears to be one of continued record-setting for the women's team. As an Assistant Coach for the Lady Petrels, Theresa Gernatt adds a fresh dimension to the team. "I'm really honored to be part of such a special year," says Coach Gernatt. "These are awesome girls." As the team moves into the last third of the season, competing in games entirely against conference teams, life on and off the court becomes more structured. The women's team has thrived so far this season and looks to continue their dominance on the courts as championships grow closer.
Upcoming Home Games
Hot off the press! Cast your VOTE now!
Men’s Basketball vs. Colorado College Friday, January 30, 6:00 p.m.
Oglethorpe’s mascot, the Stormy Petrel, has been featured in the Daily Top 10 column of The Daily Press newspaper located in Newport News, Virginia.
Women’s Basketball vs. Colorado College Friday, January 30, 6:00 p.m.
The Daily Press recently published their top 10 picks for strangest college nicknames. An online vote is being held to see which mascot readers think is truly the strangest. Our Stormy Petrel is up against some strong competition, including mascots such as the Fighting Artichokes and the Battling Bishops.
Men’s Basketball vs. Austin Sunday, February 1, 1:00 p.m. Women’s Basketball vs. Austin Sunday, February 1, 3:00 p.m.
Now it’s YOUR turn to vote on which mascot you believe is the strangest. To cast your vote, visit www.dailypress.com/news/dp-top10.collegenicknames.pg.1210,0,7764419.photogallery.
Men’s Tennis vs. Greensboro College Sunday, February 8, 11:00 a.m.
VOTE now to take the Stormy Petrel to the top!
SCORE BOX Jan. 10th vs. Sewanee
Jan. 16th vs. Hendrix
Jan. 18th vs. Millsaps
Jan. 23rd vs. Southwestern
Jan. 25th vs. Trinity
January 30, 2009
The Stormy Petrel
Editors: Laura Braddick & Mary Claire Gillis
Keeping the Christian faith through college Josh Means Contributing Senior Greetings and Salutations. Those were the first words I heard on this campus, from Dr. Herschler. As with every normal person who has ever been given the opportunity to write a Hindsight article, I come to this with some odd sense never known before, so let’s call it the kind-hearted love of an older brother about to move away. In part, it’s because this is one thing that I never thought I’d ever be called upon to do,and so, I come to you with hope that I may only inspire you with advice, my maturing peers, as one ready to move on into the world, beyond our precious little Bubble. In my time, I’ve felt the rush of a three-story flight on a mattress at o’ darkthirty in Traer, climbed on nearly every building on campus (I still haven’t figured out how to get on Goslin), the comfort of warm cigars and late-night conversations with both my freshman-year roommates (sorry, Aaron, for falling asleep), the ubiquitous 3AM-pothead of a suite-mate, rats in the wall of my room in Alumni, what I thought was long-lasting love (multiple times; and no, I’m not proud of that), and a variety of other things too numerous to mention--including a 6 hour stint in jail. That was interesting. And contrary to the norm, I actually didn’t commit the crime I was accused of. Oh, and the whole record was expunged. I was that innocent. But, I won’t lie. I have regrets. The things is, I don’t regret things I did -only attitudes that caused the worst of my mistakes here. I also regret attitudes from which God has had to protect the people around me. That said, there are a number of
College Blues 2 parts Gin 1 1/2 parts Roses Blue Raspberry Mix 5 parts Tonic Combine in shaker with ice, then strain into a cocktail glass while counting down the days til spring break.
things that I don’t regret, too. I’ll stick with these for this venture into feeling old. One thing I don’t regret is standing in what I believe, and continuing to seek my God in the tough times. I pray you can come to the same, young Christians. During my time here, I’ve been partly responsible for the founding of two Christian organizations. However small they’ve been (or perhaps may continue to be), these aren’t how I’ll remember my time at OU, and I can only hope to leave a legacy that forgets my name, remembering only Christ. A number of Christians before my time have told me this about our campus: “Josh, your time at Oglethorpe will either make or break you in your faith. Stay with it.” So that’s how I’ll remember it. To the best of my ability, I stayed with it. Was it hard? Yes. I’m pretty certain I helped a multi-national Christian organization leave our beautiful campus. Did staying with my faith hurt, especially in that circumstance? Yes. Was it worth it? Hell yes. You, young Christians, as all of us are young coming into this place (and some of us in leaving it), I’ll reiterate those words to you. Beloved, your time at Oglethorpe will either make or break your faith. Stay with it. The peace you will have at the end of your time here is alone well worth the
struggling. So find Christians around you and love one another. Find as many as possible, and cling to each other, only even slightly less than you cling to our Lord. And make certain that you follow what the Word says. Stay true to your First Love. Never back down from your First Love. The joy of being part of the transformation of even one life to faith in Christ is alone worth the struggling. When temptation comes, run headlong like Joseph did. When you need a break, separate yourself and pray to God your Father, like Jesus did. Always walk by faith in Christ alone, and try your hardest to never compromise it --even (and especially) with charity. Beloved, only let your charity issue from faith in Christ. Too much is made of humanitarianism and not enough is made of the basic preeminence of Christ in the Church. There really is no one better in whom you can put your trust. Christian, that is the best and most practical advice I can give you. Oh, lest I forget, Christian, never be afraid to respectfully buck authority. Here’s where I give you the other best advice I can give. Men, be gentle with a young
Beloved, your time at Oglethorpe will either make or break your faith. Stay with it. The peace you will have at the end of your time here is alone well worth the struggling.
woman’s heart. She may be, after all, the daughter of a former Marine. Find your “blue-eyed blonde” and stick with her. Be discerning in who you pick. A woman can break a heart. Women, Bro-Code be damned, most guys will say almost anything to get in your pants--and guys, especially, are notorious for breaking hearts. So be careful about who you pick. Do as I did, and drink in moderation. Drunk friends are funny friends--but only when you can appreciate the hilarity. Besides, everybody needs a friend to carry them upstairs every once in a while. Be that friend. Laugh. Love. Never let your schooling get in the way of your education. I wish I could take credit for that gem of a sentence, but Mark Twain is best known for it. Choose and finish your degree as quickly as possible. You won’t regret it. Besides, you can get a Master’s in anything you want. Learn to cut your own hair. Once mastered, it’s a valuable skill. If the opportunity presents itself, always participate in any movie you possibly can. You never know when you’ll get put into a newspaper--even if it is a fake paper. I hope you were able to bear with me. Summarizing four excellent years is, frankly, impossible. As is summarizing all the advice I would give. And since I’m healthily shameless, know that you’re always welcome to pray, sing, and read God’s Word with a small fellowship of believers every Tuesday Night in the Phase II 4th Floor Lounge.
The Stormy Petrel is in search of a few good writers,
and we want YOU! Meetings are Mondays at 8:00 p.m. in the Tower office across from the mailboxes in Emerson. No experience is necessary. Applications are available in the black box outside the Stormy Petrel Office. Please attach a non-fiction writing sample when you submit your application. Email the Editor-in-Chief, Chelcie Rowell, at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.