Tag Archives: Education

You’re in charge!

There’s something in the back of your mind: “Wouldn’t it be nice if RU had a club like that?” You know, you don’t have to keep daydreaming about your ultimate club. You can make one at RU as long as you have a vision, but how can you make that happen? All you have to do is walk into the S.O.A.R. office to get started. When you ask how to start a club, they’ll give you a packet that includes all of the instructions you’ll need.

The first thing it’ll tell you to do is to meet with the Assistant Director for Student Involvement to file your application. The application is relatively short and only asks for your organizations name and description, along with a little bit of your own contact information to supply.

Shortly after that, you’re going to need to strategize and come up with an interest meeting to recruit new club members. Along with those key things, the directions go on to explain how to conduct the first meetings and when the best times for them are. For instance, there should be more than one interest meeting and they should be at various times.

After that, you need an advisor for the organization. This doesn’t mean that the advisor for your group will have authority over it though. It’s more to keep RU informed about your club. The advisor is meant to be your support system and ally. They can even help you come up with your organization’s constitution.

Your organization’s constitution is somewhat a club syllabus. It informs members what your purpose is in writing. It also includes some technical things to make what you’re running is legitimate. This document needs to be reviewed by a committee for approval to make sure that you plan on abiding by RU’s rules within your organization.

After that is approved, you will be asked to make a presentation for the COCO (Committee on Clubs and Organizations). There you will have to be very thorough and give details about all the activities and the nature of your club. The packet also gives you the checklist the COCO will be using to determine whether your club should precede in the application process.

Once the COCO recognizes you, you’re required to create a page on RUInvolved. That way you can communicate with members and show what your club is doing with its events, whether that’s with a bulletin or with pictures. This should be well thought out, since it’s basically your organization’s website and will have to provide quick things about it so that people can learn what it’s about. After all that, you’re finally done and your club can be introduced to the RU campus with the club fair!




Should I drop out?

Through the semester, many students question what they’re doing at college in the first place. Some are there simply because they didn’t feel that they had a choice. Throughout my personal school career, it was always hammered into my skull that right after high school, I’d have to go to college, and then I could get a job. For some reason, I was made to believe that without a college education, I was basically a bum; I’d go nowhere in life and be stuck with a telemarketing career.

“Through the semester, many students question what they’re doing at college in the first place.”

Although, college isn’t advertised the same way to every student, it makes you think. We are in fact allowed to question whether or not college is right for each of us, and our interests. We don’t have to just throw ourselves into it immediately, just because it seems to be the next logical course of action.

If the topic of “taking a year off” is ever brought up, people pounce. “If you take a whole year off, there’s no way you will go back to school,” some declare. It seems a bit unfair that you’ve been in school twelve or so years and then are looked down upon if you need a break. Whether it’s because of a financial reason or just needing time to adjust to new responsibilities, taking a year off isn’t going to hurt when you really need it.


Being in the same grade as your peers is also a motivator to keep taking courses at a certain rate, which are usually about five classes per semester. However, it may not always be best for you. Everyone has their own limit to how much they can multitask. If you need to only take three classes at a time, in order for you to get the A’s you want, fine. What’s the worst thing that could happen? Do what’s right for you!

The point is, do what’s best for you and your sanity. If you do some research your future career, find out every thing you can about it. In the end, if you find that you don’t need a degree to get this job and you hate school with a passion, then drop out. Don’t make yourself miserable just to please others. Find out how you can best serve you.

Feminism for dummies

While some students may consider college just a tedious run on a treadmill of homework and exams, I hope that students are happy to know they’ve received a well-balanced education along with their hard earned diploma when they graduate. You learn things in college that you will carry with you for the rest of your life (and some things you probably won’t: like calculus). That’s why I believe it’s important to take classes that are unfamiliar and challenging. For most people–that includes Women’s Studies. Continue reading Feminism for dummies

The dangers of hazing

Starting college, adjusting to a new living situation, peer group and advanced classes can be a stressful time. With a strong desire to “fit in,” students may opt to join Greek Life , an athletic team or a club at their school. However, the initiation process for many of these groups often only adds to the stress of navigating college. In recent years, disturbing news stories have highlighted the increasingly violent, aggressive, and even deadly hazing tactics some groups use. Continue reading The dangers of hazing

From our perspective: No more core?

The Whim staff, a rich and varied collection of majors, concentrations and class ranks (to name just a few), is already intimately familiar with many of the headaches that transfer credits, progress sheets and prerequisites can inflict on hapless Highlanders. It is not, by any means, a trial reserved exclusively for honors students, or those brave (and quite possibly ill-advised) souls who pursue multiple degrees. In fact, most members of Radford University’s student community probably have their own tale of academic advising woe: the mysteriously uncounted Advanced Placement credits that ought to have exempted you from a class (but failed to), the GPA requirements that were raised just before your freshman year, the introduction class that you apparently needed to pass in order to take something that is only offered this semester. Continue reading From our perspective: No more core?

Homeschooling: stupid or stupendous?

When I was younger and meeting someone for the first time, I always hated the question that always came up: “Where do you go to school?” I usually always got one of two reactions when I replied that I was homeschooled. The first responses involved the person becoming uncomfortable and ease their way out of the conversation. The second and more common response was to ask a lot of questions. Continue reading Homeschooling: stupid or stupendous?

No amusement over the “King’s Dominion Law” repeal

Every student appreciates their summers. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of delicious freedom that comes with sweltering temperatures and sunburns.

I used to take great pleasure in gloating to my less fortunate friends about Stafford County Public Schools’ comparatively late first day of school. “We don’t go back until the Tuesday after Labor Day!” I once boasted. “It’s like getting extra summer!”

Little did I know that my feelings would change in high school. Our late starting date pushed graduation into the middle of June and heaped on extra summer assignments in AP classes.

“We have to keep up with the other counties,” the teachers explained every year. “Remember, they go back two weeks before us — they’ll be way ahead of you when you take the exam in May.” Continue reading No amusement over the “King’s Dominion Law” repeal

Highlanders around the world

Study Abroad is an opportunity Radford University offers its students to expand their knowledge while living and learning in a new environment. Of the students surveyed who took advantage of the program, each wished they could do it again.

“It was a phenomenal experience,” said RU alumna Erin Foley. “I got to take my classes in Europe. Like, how many people get to say that? I explored Italy and Ireland and I got credit for it, and I learned so much more than I could have dreamed I would.”

Many other students question the experience as they consider studying abroad. They worry about being away from family, their finances, traveling alone and the difficulty of taking classes in a different environment, but the International Education Center at RU recently put on a series of programs to ease those worries.

Cook Hall flags. Photo by Brian Hollingsworth.

RU’s Study Abroad department, located in 108 Cook Hall, offers resources, counseling and information for almost every question a student may have. They also offer programs for a variety of majors at different times of the year. Students have the option of summer programs, semester-long programs, Maymester programs and programs that coincide with spring break. Many of the trips can cover general education requirements and/or major requirements and count anywhere from three to nine credits.

The programs are broken down into three categories: faculty-led programs, which occur over summer and spring break; RU affiliate programs, which offer opportunities that RU does not directly offer; and RU exchange programs, where students can live with foreign families, experiencing life in that country first hand and becoming immersed in the culture.

This year, the IEC put on five different events during Study Abroad Week, a study abroad fair, three program-specific information sessions and a session on funding study abroad. The first and largest was the Study Abroad Fair held on the Bonnie Plaza; this event was the most publicized and attended. Many students felt it was also the most helpful.

“I am either going on the communication trip to Southeast Asia or London,” said senior Courtney Russell. “[The Study Abroad Fair] helped me a lot because I knew about the trip to Southeast Asia, but I didn’t find out about the London trip until I attended the fair and was able to ask a bunch of questions.”

Summer abroad program table. Photo by Brian Hollingsworth.

Many students passed the fair this year regretfully, wishing they had taken advantage of the opportunity while they had the chance. Junior Whitley Rogers said she wished she had taken advantage of a summer trip to Spain before she moved off campus and had bills to pay. The sentiments are the same for many upperclassmen at RU.

“I wish I’d taken advantage because I would have gotten a chance to experience being out of the country, learn to speak the language more fluently, and get the nine credits that were given,” said senior Spanish minor Ray Willoughby. “I kept questioning if I wanted to go or not, and because I was indecisive I missed deadlines and missed the opportunity.”

Financial problems were the main concern of students surveyed. The price tag on these trips can get large, especially for students on a tight budget.

“It would be an issue money-wise for me to go,” said junior Jonathan Gautney. “There are scholarships out there to lower the price, but I don’t think it would help enough.”

The IEC offers various resources, which they shared with students at their “How Can I Fund Study Abroad” information session. The primary resource is RU’s financial aid department. Financial aid has special funds set aside for study abroad students whose programs are worth at least six credits.

“Some trips I looked at were over $8,000, so I’m definitely looking into financial aid,” Russell said. “I’m a good student, so I’m hoping for some grants, but I understand I may have to take out some loans, too.”

The IEC also offered alternatives in funding, like scholarships that aren’t necessarily offered by RU, which can be found online.

“It’s a program I recommend to every student out there,” Foley said. “No matter what hoops you have to jump through to go, it’s going to be completely worth it, I promise you that.”