Category Archives: Editor’s Picks

Stress Levels and Mental Health in College Students

College students usually get stressed when they have major tests in their classes. And it seems that stress levels spike when midterms and finals are approaching. However, most students feel stressed almost all of the time. It is said that one out of five students say they feel stressed most of the time (1). Stress can cause other mental health issues like anxiety disorders and depression. Stress, along with these other mental health disorders, has major effects on students’ day to day lives, and even their future.

It is said that stress is a precursor to anxiety or depression disorders. According to the National Alliance on Mental Health Illness, almost two-thirds of students drop out of school due to mental health reasons (1). Suicidal thoughts may be involved with these disorders. And 95 percent of suicides committed by students are related to anxiety and depression (1).

stressed student
“Stress, along with these other mental health disorders, has major effects on students’ day to day lives, and even their future.” Photo from: http://www.autismafter16.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/article_large/article-images/iStock_000010063963Small_0.jpg

Stress, anxiety and depression levels in students have risen dramatically since the 1980s (2). This means that there is also an increase in those going to their university’s mental health centers, if they are provided. According to Boston University statistics, in the 2014-2015 school year, students seeking psychiatric evaluation went from 120 students to 134, and those coming in because of a crisis increased from 647 students to 906 students (3). It’s happening all over the country. The Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors found that 73.1 percent of counseling center directors reported an increase in the severity of student mental health concerns (3).

Radford University has a Student Counseling Services office located in the basement of Tyler Hall. They offer individual, couple and group psychotherapy, medication evaluations and management, professional consultations and other services (4). Their offices are open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and their phone number is (540)-831-5226.

Mental health is one of the things that college students should take care of, especially in times of great stress. So, if you or someone you know is going through a rough patch, definitely try to make an appointment with the Counseling services; it could help you before things get too bad.

1 – http://stress.lovetoknow.com/Statistics_on_College_Student_Stress 2 – https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/theory-knowledge/201402/the-college-student-mental-health-crisis  3 – http://www.bu.edu/today/2016/mental-health-college-students/  4 – http://www.radford.edu/content/student-counseling/home.html

Boys can Wear Skirts and Look Cute as Fuck

My boyfriend wears skirts. Not tunics, not man-skirts, and for sure not kilts. He wears skirts and he looks damn good doing it. Unfortunately, it took years for him to build up the courage to wear skirts as much as he wanted to. He suffered because of the male standards in our culture. I want to challenge these male standards and claim that continuing to follow them will be a detriment to our society as a whole.

Since around the 1920’s, it has become increasingly culturally acceptable for women to dress in pants. Today, women have access to blazers and suits that look great. Women have the choice to dress in a feminine or masculine way because they fought and earned that choice. Men have no choices at all. They must either dress in a masculine way or face ridicule. In our broader culture it is acceptable for women to want to be more like men, but for a man to give up his masculine power is a disgrace.

man skirt
“I want to challenge these male standards and claim that continuing to follow them will be a detriment to our society as a whole.” Photo from: https://i.ytimg.com

Men are culturally trained to reject feminine clothing in our society. This is because if a man wears feminine clothes, it implies the clothing and the people wearing it are as good as men. My boyfriend has been called sissy, fag, and other terrible names for wearing skirts. All these names come from other men. The idea of another man being happy and comfortable in a skirt is such a shock to them they feel the urge to tear down what they no longer consider a real man to preserve their own masculinity and their power.

Men need feminism just as much as women do. The core idea of feminism is that men and women are equal in society. True acceptance of this elevates women to the power of men, but it also unlocks the full breadth of the human experience to men. Feminist culture invites men to feel beautiful and powerful through makeup and clothing forbidden to them in a patriarchal culture. Feminism gives men a choice to be as masculine or as feminine as they wish, and it is not a mandate to become more feminine.

Even worse, modern masculinity standards are a parody of authentic manhood. We tell our boys to restrict their emotional expression, power through their pain, and never act like a girl. In order to preserve some idealized masculine fantasy, men are encouraging themselves to be less than full human beings. This unrealizable standard that men hold themselves to leads to corrupt and toxic masculinity characterized by external violence, hate, and internal self-loathing. Men, if you consider yourself a real man, call out your male friends when you hear them talking negatively about others in any form. A simple, “Hey man, that’s not cool,” is sufficient self-policing and is a start to changing minds. This is important if we want to work towards making our culture a more just and verdant society.

Oh, How I Love You Broccoli Man

Dark earth piles up in neat rows–

Vegetables grow

In tall palatial columns–

A tantalizing treat

For the hungry young boy alone.

 

Over the fence and up the path,

Until he stealthily grips his prize–

A verdant head of broccoli.

Starved from days unfed,

He scarfs it down, collapsing

To hardened earth below.

 

Frost chills him to the bone

And an ominous wind moans

A witch’s curses from afar:

Ye dared partake o’ me produce

And ye shall be cursed to poison broccoli

Forevermore!

Whoever loves ye shall partake of the broccoli

Purged from your stomach

And will not die.

 

The lonely boy searches

For fifty years to find his love.

Youth is his until

A day when the sky is grey

And the sun is hidden

And the wind blows fierce–

He sees her!

A quiet girl with golden hair

And eyes of sea waves.

mirror
“We will meet again In the other dream.” ‘And she fell through The rippling mirror.” Photo from: www.vignette3.wikia.nocookie.net

He vomits and retches out

A head of verdant broccoli.

He fears the maiden

Will not accept his bouquet.

 

He catches her by her shirt tail

Pulling her into

An antique dwelling and in

A dark cavern hallway

Asks her,

“Do you care for broccoli?”

 

She replies to his timid inquiry,

“Of course I do! Why shouldn’t I?”

And gobbles it down in haste.

The boy watches in anticipation–

Lo and behold

She does not die!

 

A soft breeze whispers past

As he solemnly attests,

“You are my destined one!”

He pulls her close to him

And as he kisses her

A foul taste fills her mouth

As he falls apart like brittle clay.

 

“We will meet again

In the other dream.”

And she fell through

The rippling mirror.

 

The Life of a College Dog

With the beautiful weather and abundance of homework, Iris loves Radford’s campus almost as much as any hiking trail. What dog doesn’t love a puppuccino and endless belly rubs?

Here, we see a pupper in its natural habitat.
Here, we see a pupper in its natural habitat.

Normally, I’d say let sleeping dogs lie. However, we’ve got an entire day planned. She’s secretly lazy though.

Look at her, dude.
Look at her, dude.

Peering majestically, in search for a treat nowhere in sight, Iris kinda likes it here.

Because who doesn't love a gorgeous day and a good novel?
Because who doesn’t love a gorgeous day and a good novel?

Starbucks is usually her hang-out spot. Sorry if she begs you for some food – she’s kind of a dog.

Watching us Zipline

After hours of reading, Iris hits the RU Able facility to watch us zipline and run around to her heart’s content.

She curls up beneath my piano, signaling a say well spent.
She curls up beneath my piano, signaling a day well spent.

A snoring puppy is always a success. Go team!

Wanna see more of Iris? Happy Birthday; here’s last week. http://www.ruwhim.com/?p=52028

The Life of A College Dog

Iris, an Austrailian Shepherd/Catahoula Cur mix, just turned into a one-year-old pupper on January 25th, 2017. I adopted her at four weeks old. Since then, she has grown into a stunning, albeit sometimes vexing, addition to my family. Alongside her three kitten siblings, Iris is ready for anything. This is the journey of a college dog, week by week.

Iris lets me know she's ready to go.
Good morning!

Iris wakes me before the alarm, shoving her leash in my face, demanding to start the day. The screech of a whiny dog isn’t the most comforting thing to be woken up by, but it’s better than poop on the floor. Always stay positive!

Iris poses perfectly for a candid shot in front of Young Hall.
Iris poses perfectly for a shot in front of Young Hall.

Following her wait for mom, Iris goes for a walk around campus. The sun is shining, the breeze is careful, and Iris is feeling fresh. She runs around Moffett quad and then rests in front of Young Hall, which makes for a great candid shot.

Iris showing her love for pork at Due South BBQ
Iris showing her love for pork at Due South BBQ

If you don’t like barbecue, leave now. Iris doesn’t need that negativity in her life.

Iris's best friend accompanies us on our journey for quality BBQ.
Iris’s best friend accompanied us on our journey for quality BBQ.

After begging for a taste of our food, Iris and her BFF pose for a photo with a giant pig BBQ pit.

Love story between a waterfall and a pupper.
Love story between a waterfall and a pupper.

Fast forward past the disaster of having to tear her away from the smell of cooking food. We find ourselves at Falls Ridge nature preserve. I cannot stress to you the difficulties I faced while taking this photo. Picture yourself splashed by mud, almost trampled, and herded into the water to play. After running around for 20 minutes (no joke), she finally sat for a beautiful nature shot.

Falls Ridge features an 80-foot waterfall, varieties of plant and marine life, and great hammocking spots. So, you should visit. But wait, there’s more!

Iris enjoying her second hike at Ellett Valley Nature Trail in Christiansburg, VA.
Iris enjoying her second hike at Ellett Valley Nature Trail in Christiansburg, VA.

For the small price of one more minute of your day, you can see more cute pictures of my pupper!
Iris’s parents, being dumb college kids, forgot water and had to go to the gas station. We noticed Ellett Valley Nature Trail, secluded and small. Why the hell not, eh? Iris seemed to love the smells and environment.

BFF in hand, she's ready for dinner and a long nap.
BFF in hand, she’s ready for dinner and a long nap.

Perfect end to a perfect day. Let sleeping dogs lie!

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.”
—Josh Billings

Radford Partnering with a Chinese University

Radford University is giving serious consideration to partnering with Shandong Youth University of Political Science for student and faculty exchanges, joint degree programs, and international collaboration. On November 30, President Hemphill met with five representatives from Shandong, including their vice president Linshan Wang. He toured several of the academic buildings on campus and discussed a potential partnership.

A partnership with an international university would be a great thing for Radford University. It would be a wonderful opportunity for students from both universities to travel internationally and participate in new experiences. It would also help ease a lot of the tension and misconceptions that many people have about foreign countries and their people.

hemphill and chinese president
“On November 30, President Hemphill met with five representatives from Shandong, including their vice president Linshan Wang.” Photo from: www.radford.edu

It’s more possible and convenient than it has ever been for people to travel internationally, but people are also very worried and suspicious about other countries. Bringing in international students and having our students travel would help ease some of the tension. This gives the people of Radford University a chance to learn more about people from different places.

In order for Radford University to be more welcoming to foreign students, we must open our doors and welcome them into our lives and programs. Humanity as a whole often negatively judges people and things they don’t know well simply because that is our natural reaction to the unknown. But it is not the appropriate reaction to the unknown. You have to get to know people and learn about them and their way of life. You can’t say one way or the other what sort of person they are or what their culture is like without getting to know them. This partnership is a great way to foster new connections and broaden the horizons of Radford students.

A Need for More Diversity in Entertainment Media

Almost everyone watches TV, plays video games, reads books or does some combination thereof. All these options are great forms of entertainment and a great way to relax. Everyone loves them, but not everyone is represented in them, at least not fairly.

hands earth
“In today’s media, there is not much variety. There are very few characters that are African American, Latino, Asian, homosexual, bisexual, transgender, disabled, female, Muslim, Jewish or any combination thereof.” Photo from: https://makeitgentle.files.wordpress.com

Most of the characters in any form of entertainment media fit into a well-defined set of basic characteristics. That is to say, the vast majority of them are white, straight, cisgender, able-bodied, and male. This is not to say there is anything wrong with having characters like this. It’s perfectly fine, but the issue is that in today’s media, there is not much variety. There are very few characters that are African American, Latino, Asian, homosexual, bisexual, transgender, disabled, female, Muslim, Jewish or any combination thereof. There are very few characters with these traits, especially compared to the number of them that are white, straight, cisgender, able-bodied, and male. And when there are minorities present, it is usually only one token minority character, such as an African American in a group with five white people, for example.

This is not to say there should be less white characters or straight characters and so on, just that there should be more characters that are minorities. There should be more African-American female characters, more transgender characters who are gay, more bisexual and disabled Latinos characters, more asexual Muslim characters, more of any and all of them because these types of people exist and they deserve to be seen and heard. People want to see characters that they can connect with and feel good about. They want to see that an African-American woman can be a superhero so they can believe they can be a superhero, just like a white man can with Captain America. (Or almost any other superhero. Think about it, how many of them are white and male?) People want to watch sitcoms and dramas with diverse casts because the audiences are diverse. The simple fact of the matter is that representation matters.

Life-Drawing

Behind a locked door,

I can only think about

Simple compass circles,

And I am forced to steady my mind.

 

Your forest eyes follow me –

Will she? Will she really do this?

Slowly, I pull off one sleeve and then another.

You take me at my word,

Settling on a pose.

“Are you sure you can stay still?”

Are you sure? Are you sure you want this?

I nod, lounging across your pillow.

 

Every curve and crease

Drifts onto blank paper.

It’s the first you’ve worked me out

In pencil lines and ebony charcoal –

I couldn’t draw as you do.

You’d laugh at my sloppy lines

And squiggled fingers.

Artists scrutinize every motion,

But it’s better to lie here, still,

Soaking in sun through the cracks in your blinds.

IMG_20170129_154933_processed
The Burial, Photo from http://alexandra-sophie.fr/the-burial

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You capture the feel of my skin,

The light that strikes my eyes,

And the thump of my heart.

I am merely lines and shadows

To a cross-hatched world in your mind.

 

Finally, work ceases.

You move to me

With shaking hands.

I grasp hold of each,

Pulling you to me,

And close my eyes to feeling.

Trump’s Racism and His Immigrant/Muslim Ban

Donald Trump has been in office for a little over a week and already he has created huge dissent with blatant xenophobia and Islamophobia. Trump has banned travel from seven countries that have majority Muslim populations, and he has temporarily suspended any refugees from entering the country, all in the name of preventing terrorism (1). This is blatant racism and frankly disgusting and disgraceful behavior from America’s new president.

Trump has, not so subtly, shown that he believes that anyone from an Islamic country is a terrorist or is at least affiliated with or supports them. This is racism; it cannot be said enough. He is making a derogatory, sweeping generalization about one of the largest groups in the world based on the actions of a few who claim to be Islamic, and he has abused his power in an attempt to enforce this belief. In comparison, this is like saying every white male is a mass shooter who will unavoidably kill just because people like Dylann Roof have committed racist mass shootings. Or the fact that the majority of mass shootings (which are themselves acts of terrorism) are committed by white males (2). Why isn’t President Trump issuing an executive order to ban all white men from owning a gun or preventing them from entering the country? It probably wouldn’t seem fair to do that based on the actions of a relative few, would it? Then why would it be okay to do the same exact thing to immigrants and Islamic people? It’s an avoidable fact that the majority of mass shooters in America are white males, and it is arguable that many of the stereotypical terrorists that people are worried about really are of the Islamic faith. However, they may not understand that Islam is a religion that promotes justice, kindness, and goodness, and forbids acts of violence (3).

airport protests
“Trump has banned travel from seven countries that have a population with a majority of Muslims and he has temporarily suspended any refugees from entering the country.” Photo from: newinfo.inquirer.net

What Trump is doing is petty fear-mongering. He is trying to make people look away from his own incompetency and place all of the blame for the many issues and troubles on immigrants and the Islamic people. This is blatant racism and ignorant hypocrisy, and it promotes blind hatred. We are a country of immigrants; we are supposed to be a country that welcomes everyone and allows a place for people to practice their religion and beliefs. America is a land of freedom where people are safe in the knowledge that they will be welcomed into the country and be who they are. We even have a national monument promoting exactly this: the Statue of Liberty. There is a plaque at the base of the Statue of Liberty bearing these famous words from the poem The New Colossus: “Give me your tired, your poor, / Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free …” (4). Trump’s actions are distinctly un-American; immigrants are real human beings, not some unknown other. We should be welcoming them in, not taking federal action to keep them out. America is better than this, and we should act like it and not spout ignorant, hate promoting propaganda.

  1. http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/28/politics/donald-trump-travel-ban/
  2. http://www.cnn.com/2015/06/27/us/mass-shootings/
  3. https://books.google.com/books?id=OZbyz_Hr-eIC&pg=PA216#v=onepage&q&f=false
  4. https://www.nps.gov/stli/learn/historyculture/colossus.htm

Contradictions and Contrasts on Inauguration Day

On January 20th, 2017, Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States. Trump’s inaugural speech focused largely on ideas of putting America first, uniting the nation, and making sure the country is controlled by the people. In his speech, he also talked about the government benefiting all Americans, not just the elite of Washington D.C. (1).

However, many made their opposition to Trump known as protests occurred in D.C., in major cities throughout the country, and across the globe (2). Protesters have made it clear that they wish to have no part in Donald Trump’s America and that they did not want any part of it to begin with. For all of Trump’s talk of uniting the country, he has made many feel hated and endangered.

trump
“On January 20th, 2017, Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States.” Photo from: www.static2.politico.com

Trump has been accused of racism, Islamophobia, homophobia, and threatening women’s rights, among many other things. He has said and done many things that support these accusations. For example, Trump has argued for reviving New York’s stop-and-frisk policy, which was infamous for being used in a discriminatory manner against African Americans and Latino Americans. The policy has often been used for racial profiling against these races (3).

Trump has also shown disregard for groups such as the LBGTQ+ communities, immigrants, and women by electing Mike Pence as his Vice President (VP), who is a known opponent of LGBTQ+ rights, immigration policies, and women’s rights. Mike Pence has advocated against enacting new laws and policies that would protect the rights of these groups. He has advocated for defunding Planned Parenthood and making abortions more difficult to obtain. He has also supported Gay Conversation Therapy, which is essentially torture. Despite Trump’s claims of wanting to unite the country, his VP decision is a strong and alienating statement to many people.

Trump’s inauguration speech was about uniting America and putting America first, but his actions (and the reactions of various protesters) say something very different. Either Trump has not realized the impact of his actions or he is blatantly lying about his intentions. Either way, the significant differences between his actions during his campaign and his recent inaugural speech have some very serious and concerning implications about what Donald Trump will be like as our next president.

 

 

 

  1. http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/20/politics/trump-inaugural-address/index.html
  2. http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/19/politics/trump-inauguration-protests-womens-march/
  3. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/true-crime/wp/2016/09/21/trump-calls-for-national-stop-and-frisk-policy-for-cops-does-it-work/?utm_term=.2ab19c7e2a6c

Waiting Room Blues

We’re all sitting in a makeshift waiting room.

A drug treatment facility masquerading as a fidcus emporium

The doctor is late

It’s as if having a medical degree comes with a broken watch

All of us are here for the same reason

Our brains flood us with that feel-good chemical

Get my heart racin’ baby

We shift uncomfortably

Unsure as to whether or not we’ll get our fix

waiting room
“The doctor is late. It’s as if having a medical degree comes with a broken watch.” Photo from: www.juiceforskin.com

 

 

 

 

 

They leave us in twos

Some cross the threshold and never come back

Gone into the zone of white lab coats and Zoloft

‘Not I’ said the bipolar

‘Not me’ said the schizophrenic

We shift and stare

Trying to find the drug addict among us

Only to find that we’re all addicts,

Getting high off serotonin.

Give Thanks

We made it to Thanksgiving Break! Fellow Radford students, I applaud you in making it through this hectic week with your sanity still intact. Enjoy your well-deserved break.

With Thanksgiving in just a few days, I have been thinking about how much of a difference it makes living with a thankful attitude. Even if you don’t feel like it, when you express your thanks, it will make people around you feel better and will most likely do the same for you. Here’s a few things you can do to be more thankful and stay positive.

Say thank you a lot (and you’re welcome)

This one may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised at the number of people who don’t even say thank you anymore. It’s just two words but it shows that you appreciate what someone else has done for you and everybody needs that. Whether you asked someone to hand you something and they did, or someone bought you lunch, when you say thank you, it will remind you of all you really have to be thankful for.

praying
“You’d be surprised at the number of people who don’t even say thank you anymore”….photo retrieved from: www.keepbelieving.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Focus on the good

Sure, your day (or week) may not be going the best but that doesn’t mean it’s all bad. If you’ve eaten today and woke up healthy in a bed under a roof, you’re doing pretty good. Try doing something for someone else that will make them smile,you’ll probably end up smiling too.

Be positive even when others aren’t

I have a bad habit of mirroring other people’s attitudes and moods. For example, if someone is being unfriendly with me or in a bad mood, I often think, “Well, if you’re not going to be friendly with me, then I don’t have to be friendly with you.” This kind of attitude just creates two people in a bad mood and gets us nowhere. Maybe that person with a scowl is having a bad day and you have a chance to make a difference by making their day a little brighter. Don’t hold back your happiness just because someone else is. Be friendly to them even if you don’t get anything in return. It might be just what they need.

The Magic Lota

How splendid would the world be if people, instead of holding one another’s faults over their heads, picked up and adopted the good in others? Allow me to introduce to you, The Lota.

The Magic Lota

I say introduce because to many, surprisingly, the lota is still a foreign concept. Technically, it’s a Muslim thing–introduced by them, evolved by them, carried on by others. “Cleanliness is half of your faith,” they believe. So if you’re a hygienic person, congratulations–you’re 50% Muslim.

What is this magic lota that you speak of? Do you mean to say it has magical powers and if I rub it, then a genie would appear to grant my wishes? 

Please. You’re your own genie.

And unless you’re Donald Trump, born with a silver spoon in your mouth (and perhaps even something sour because god knows how that man gets away with the things he says), then like any other, you have to work your bum off for the life you go around calling goals.

Speaking of bums, consider the lota your savior. It helps prevent or at least reduces the chances of one catching an infection or a disease that can potentially lead to death. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, a study done in 2008 goes to show that the urinary tract infection (UTI) is the second most common type of infection in the body, accounting for about 8.1 million visits to healthcare providers each year. An estimated 13,000 deaths are attributed to UTIs annually in the United States, states the Virginia Department of Health.

That’s that, but what exactly is the purpose of a lota? 

A lota is a vessel usually placed within reach next to toilets. It is filled with water that is then used to cleanse the anal area after one’s done with their business.

How is pouring water down your genitals suppose to efficiently clean you? 

Well, there’s really no other way to say this, but shove your hand down there and make sure to clean it good. Once you’re done, pour some more water over your hand, grab some toilet paper to pat yourself dry, wash your hands with soap, and then pull back your pants. And yes, after every time you urinate or poo.

But who would touch their own doo doo? 

The choice is yours. Just wash your hands at the end, it’s as simple as that. A content writer for VICE brought up a good point regarding this: “If a bird shat on your hand you wouldn’t just wipe it off with a tissue would you?” The point is: anal hygiene is important for so many reasons.

Where can I get a lota from? 

Really, from just about anywhere. If you’re not feeling up to hit the bazaar, there are plenty of online stores that sell lotas made out of brass, copper, and/or plastic.

Or you could use a cup that’s already lying somewhere in your kitchen.

 

 

 

Humans of Radford University

“Music is about the only thing that keeps me sane. Things like video games are fun to do, but you can’t zone out when you do it. When I play music, I can lose myself.”

 

 

“I play guitar and violin.  I played violin in the orchestra when I was younger. I haven’t played violin in about a year though ‘cause it’s at home and I’m here. But I have my guitar. If you don’t play an instrument, listen to music when you’re stressed and that will help you out. It’s different when you play music and listen to it though. It’s like if you work behind the scenes for a TV show, when you watch that show on TV, it’s going to be totally different, ‘cause you know how it’s made and what goes into making it.”

 

All Fun and Games till Someone Gets Hurt

As we all get ready for THE spooktacular time of the year, it is so important that we remain on top of our toes this Halloween. There’s no knowing what’s lurking out there, looking to make the most of the night of nights, in the worst of ways.

You can either hide your kids, hide your wife, and hide your husband because these clowns are out there raping everybody or you can have a good time without being dumb about it. For instance, don’t wear a clown costume. Don’t do it. Don’t do it.

Don’t do it.

suicide-squad
“It is so important that we remain on top of our toes this Halloween. “

We have this one saying in the Middle East, “Come bull, hit me.” Regardless of your intentions, clowning around this Halloween may mean asking for trouble. And yet, despite the warning, I’m going to see Harley Quinn and the Joker on every other block in town; I just know it.  But the real question is–do they even count into this whole coulrophobia thing going on? They’re not really all that creepy as the classical clowns with plastered smiles and red noses that go squeak-squeak.

I have two Evil Jester costumes lying around from 2013 that I was planning on selling this year, but I’ve been more indecisive about this than the usual Chick-fil-a line makes me: will it be chicken nuggets today or waffle fries? Three cheers if you can relate!

Call it paranoia, call it precaution, but one Mississippi town has put a ban on clown costumes till November 1. The county “has declared it illegal to dress like a clown, and is threatening to levy $150 fines against anyone” that is caught doing so. Costume shops around the nation are advising against “clowning around the wrong people.”

As reported by NBC4’s sister station WKRN-TV: Gary Broadrick with Performance Studios in Nashville, Tennessee said, ““I’d feel really bad if I found out that somebody bought a mask of any kind from us just to have some fun and got hurt.”

It doesn’t get any better with the creepy clown craze making its way overseas, but that’s just my opinion. Be safe! Be smart!

Radford’s Ready for the Election

With just a few short weeks to go, the presidential election of 2016 is almost here. This election has truly been one for the history books, and Radford University students are ready to take part in this important election year.

With efforts from the Voting Action Office, ran as a part of the Student Government Association, students this year have made a point to take the time and register to vote or apply for an absentee ballot if needed. As of SGA’s recent October 17th meeting, 533 students have taken the time to ensure their vote will be counted and voice will be heard on November 8th.

flag
“The number of students registering this year is far more than that of last year.”

The number of students registering this year is far more than that of last year, the first year the Voting Action Office was established. This can be understood in part by the national attention a presidential election receives, as well as the nature of this grueling 2016 election season.

While most students hear the usual buzz about Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, Radford goes beyond looking at the two major party candidates, with many students supporting third-party individuals such as the Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson, the Green Party’s Jill Stein, and even independent conservative Evan McMullin. For many here on campus, they believe it’s time to let go of the traditional two-party system and recognize the alternatives that may be a better choice for our nation.

Regardless of who you support this election season, it is critical for every student to be informed and go out to the polls on Election Day. The Millennial generation is the largest voting bloc for the very first time in America’s history this year, meaning we have the power to put who we want into the White House. Make sure to take part in this great civic duty of ours—if we don’t, who will?

Sad Rock

Hunchback of Whogivesadamn

In a room flooded with paper

Covered in dots, dashes, and scrawlings,

Perched on a crate, bent over his telegraph.

 

“Lunch plans, dinner plans, sex,

Woke up too late for breakfast, sex,

Does your back hurt? Mine does.

I bet they put something in the water.”

 

So the reams read as they roll

‘Round and ’round the room,

The cobra closing on another kill.

Hunch doesn’t notice or doesn’t care.

 

Just outside, the lane overgrown,

A crow lands on a wire, squawks unheard,

Looks down the street towards the edge of the world—

Only little houses and wires in a withering grassland.

 

He calls again, the air swallows the sound,

Like everywhere else on this sad rock.

Bristling, he snaps the wire; it sparks,

Writhes in false agony, drops to the ground—

 

And so does Hunch, like fresh lumber,

A brief thud as he strikes the floor.

He whimpers as he dies alone,

Never thinking to walk next door.

Where You’re Going, You Won’t Need Sunglasses

What if you got into your car,

Turned off the stereo,

And just kept driving—

Like the spark in your skull

That crawled into its neuron Studebaker years ago,

Hit the on-ramp, and never looked back?

 

The smooth, broad hiss of asphalt

Carries you over the road

As the sun rises in the rear-view,

Sets over the dash.

On an empty highway,

Buildings blossom ahead and vanish behind.

 

A playground bathed in pastel paints

Where a girl with a voice tries to teach a boy to sing.

A high school with a fault line in its wall

Where hollow kisses ride full lips.

A parking lot where the head—

Not the hand—finds love.

 

A cobbled walk melting

Under the Georgia sun and street jazz,

Where trembling fingers reach for a switch

To cut off glittering hazel eyes

Deserving, not wanting, an answer.

The switch takes out the lights.

 

The sun disappears,

The moon quits,

The stars leave without a proper goodbye

Or even a strained “Talk to you later.”

The horizon hides far beyond

The stunted reach of your headlights.

 

You count the stripes in the road,

Hear the dull roar of the asphalt again,

And barely see the edge of the grass

On either side of the road.

There might be buildings and people.

There might not be.

 

A corrugated shed ends the road.

Your brakes don’t squeal—

They only sigh when your head strikes the steering wheel.

The engine stutters through its last drop of gas,

The battery slips out with a whimper.

The slam of the door stops at your ears.

 

The empty air stands close,

Follows you inside.

Rusted bits sting your hands

And blood creeps down your wrists

As your aching fingers fret and fumble

For a light switch.