Tag Archives: Radford University

Change in Graduation Plans

There has recently been talk of changing the plans for Radford University’s graduation ceremony starting this year for the Spring 2018 graduation. The university wants to change the plan from an individual college graduation that gives recognition to each department to one single all-college ceremony. That is to say, Radford University would have a large graduation ceremony for every student, instead of each college receiving its own ceremony.

The biggest issues with this new plan is that it drastically increases the time for everyone involved and the ceremony becomes much more impersonal. This new ceremony plan forces students, and their family, to sit through several hours of graduation that has nothing to do with them. Individual departments will no longer receive recognition; departments like Geology, Geospatial, Anthropology, Women Studies, and others will be forgotten. Students will no longer have their moment of real recognition; instead they will be quickly cycled through for the sake of efficiency.

Our university has always advertised and prioritized small classes and personal connections among faculty and students. Students are able to develop close connections with their teachers, and on a day that celebrates a student’s personal work and achievements, this new plan suddenly strips them of that and makes them anonymous. Radford University prides itself on its close-knit community. This is a major selling point of the University. Yet, suddenly that key aspect of our community is being tossed aside.

There is currently a petition that is going around in opposition of the new graduation ceremony. The online petition is searching for 2,500 signatures. There is also a report available on the Radford webpage for the plans, factors, and decisions leading up to the new graduation ceremony.

SGA President working towards a number of Helpful Initiatives

Photo from Radford University Student Government Association’s facebook page

Radford University’s Student Government Association (SGA) has a number of helpful community building initiatives that it is working towards implementing to promote a closer and more productive student community. SGA and their President are working with the University and Radford City Administers to organize several safety walks. They also plan to contribute to President Hemphill’s community food drive. They also intend to improve sexual assault awareness on campus, promote diversity on campus, help students vote in the upcoming governor’s election, and make feminine hygiene products easily and more readily available across campus buildings. There are even plans to get involved with Radford’s various clubs, of which there are more than 270.

This is a great and encouraging use of the campus resources. While Radford is not a terribly big university, we still have a large number of students from a variety of backgrounds. Many of the students do not interact with each other or get very involved in campus life and while we cannot reasonably expect everyone to know each other and get along, SGA is making a great effort to get the residents of the university involved. SGA is also making the university a safer and more enjoyable place for everyone.

It is encouraging to see people get involved in their community this way. We often see a great deal of bad news and have to deal with the aftereffects of those sort of things happening. So it is nice to hear about how people are working towards improving one’s community. This will hopefully encourage more people to get involved and help promote a more enjoyable experience here at Radford University.

A Need for More Emergency Phones

If you have ever been on Radford University’s campus for any lengthy amount of time then you have probably seen the emergency telephones with the blue lights scattered around campus. These phones are there for any student to use if they are in need of police assistance or if they feel unsafe walking around campus. These phones are there to help people whenever they need it. However, there are relatively few around campus and given that the size of Radford’s campus is not insignificant, we could use more of them.

emergency phone
“Adding more of the emergency phones could help make people feel safer and even work as a deterrent for anyone planning to assault someone.” Photo from: http://www.luc.edu/media/lucedu/campussafety/images/bluelighttall-420×420.JPG

While Radford University’s campus is on the smaller size for a college campus, it can still take a fair bit of time to traverse and there are many places around campus where emergency phones are not nearby/easily accessible. Adding more of the emergency phones could help make people feel safer and even work as a deterrent for anyone planning to assault someone. The phones provide a large enough light source so it is easier to see (and therefore makes it harder to sneak up on someone). Also, if a phone is nearby then a potential victim has a better chance of contacting the police and getting help. The more difficult it is for a potential perpetrator to attack someone, the less likely they are to attempt it.

One of Radford University’s top priorities should be the safety of their students and the university should always be trying to find better ways to improve that safety. While an increase in emergency phones might not completely stop all assaults from happening, it could certainly result in a lower risk of assault or sexual assault. Students are given a lot of freedom while they are away at college. Part of that freedom is being able to go wherever they want whenever they want, and that comes with a lot of inherent risk, especially for people who are out alone.

Is the Renovation Needed Now?

“Maybe the university should focus more on maintaining what is already here rather than advancing one area and leaving another lacking.” Photo from: http://i1.wp.com/www.andassoc.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/WhittHall.png?fit=476%2C305

Anyone who has been on Radford’s campus has seen the various renovations that have been happening across the campus. Whitt Hall has been under reconstruction for the entirety of this academic year, and the old apartments that used to be home to several humanities departments are long gone and are being replaced with a new parking lot. Just this year, the new College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences building, or CHuBS, opened up after several years of construction. Several of the dorms in Moffett Quad were reopened after renovations last academic year. In fact, it seems like as soon as one construction project is finished, a new one begins. All of these new improvements are very nice and provide great facilities for both students and staff, but is all of it really necessary right now?

There’s no arguing that many of the new renovations and additions to Radford campus are needed; many of these buildings are very old and are in desperate need of an upgrade. But the real question is whether or not these renovations are the best option right now. After all, there have been instances of various departments around campus lacking in funding and supplies. So far, none of these instances have been a real issue, but maybe the university should focus more on maintaining what is already here rather than advancing one area and leaving another lacking. This is not to be ungrateful for the new facilities that we have (they are very nice and very helpful) but more so for the idea of spreading the help around and making sure every department gets what they need first before we spend more money. Not to mention that sometimes all of the construction going on can cause a bit of trouble for students as it often closes off pathways people typically use.

Global Climate Change

Most people are probably enjoying the warm and sunny weather that Radford University has been having lately. Temperatures in 60’s and 70’s, a nice bright sun to keep you warm, a cool breeze every now and again; it’s great weather for sitting on Heth lawn and relaxing. In fact, that’s what many people have been doing. We’ve had quite a few people in shorts and t-shirts (or even just shorts) outside enjoying the weather and playing games; they’ve been all over campus. The only problem is that it’s the middle of February, and the weather should be freezing with ice and snow, not warm like it’s the middle of spring. The unusual weather is due to the effects of global climate change, which is becoming a bigger and bigger problem.

climate change
“The unusual weather is due to the effects of global climate change, which is becoming a bigger and bigger problem.” Photo from: https://www.cdc.gov

Some people do not believe that this drastic change in climate is even real, despite the amount of evidence for it (1). Firstly, we need to get rid of a common misconception and frequently made argument against climate change. There is a difference between climate and weather. The weather is whether or not it is sunny or rainy outside, or warm or cold, on that specific day, while climate is part of the specific environment of an area. If you are in a desert then you have very hot temperatures, and if you are in the Artic then you have very cold temperatures. The issue is that these temperatures are steadily increasing to the point that these environments are becoming uninhabitable.

A particularly cold day or cold season does not mean that climate change is a hoax; some of the gasses that we have added to the atmosphere have created an ozone hole over the South Pole, causing that part of the stratosphere to become colder. This colder stratosphere causes faster winds that reach as far as the equator which then affect tropical circulation and rainfall (2).

Global climate change is due to the increasing emissions of greenhouse gasses in our atmosphere. These gasses absorb and hold onto the heat that we receive from the sun, so the more we put into the atmosphere, the warmer our planet gets. This is a real problem; glacial ice is melting and subsequently causing sea levels to rise. This means landmasses that are close to the sea level will be wiped out. Environments are getting destroyed due to the increasing climates and sea levels. We are hurting ourselves by ignoring this issue, and something needs to be done soon before it is too late.

  1. https://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/
  2. https://climate.nasa.gov/faq/

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.

Hazel Eyes

The touch, the feel,

The heat, the sweat.

A hand running along the hip,

Feeling of rose petal lips against the heart.


Dark, spiraled hair of ebony,

The golden-green hazel eyes framed so well.

The soft, pale pink lips,

Often mistaken for a cloud.

“Those hazel eyes see horror and pain.” Photo from: www.muscledudelife.com







Those hazel eyes see horror and pain.

Her pale lips are lowered.

These curls hide the face of a girl.


Those who passed her over,

Who didn’t bother to look beyond her skin,

Far too self-centered to see the damage,

Unable to see the women she would become.

When hazing is taken too far

Hazing is outdated and dangerous. Why do it? Graphic from theodysseyonline.com

I’m sure you’ve heard by now that a Radford University fraternity, Pi Kappa Phi, has been suspended under allegations of a member of the fraternity entering the hospital after a hazing incident. Although a specific name hasn’t been released, the university as well as the Radford police have been taking this incident very seriously and intend on discovering exactly what happened and how to prevent it from happening again.

Hazing has been a rite of passage into Greek life for many years now, although it has been made illegal. I’m not sure where the idea has originated from or why it was created in the first place, but I honestly don’t see the point. Why would abusing and pranking upcoming members of Greek life be a good idea? What’s the point? Is it suppose to prove that they’re worthy of joining the house? Or is it just for fun? Whatever the reason is, it’s not good enough to justify putting people in danger, so much that their life is at risk.

Some people justify hazing by saying that it’s tradition, that it’s been around for years and it’s simply part of greek culture. However, if that’s the logic you like to use than why don’t we bring back slavery or segregation? It’s a part of American history and was tradition for many years, but that, obviously, doesn’t make it morally correct. Hazing is outdated. People understand that hazing is dangerous and messed up. It takes advantage of people who want to desperately to fit in, to belong. It’s an experience that can truly scare someone for the rest of their life and they’re made to think that it’s normal, that it just a part of becoming a part of greek life. It can damage a person forever, and I don’t think people take it as seriously as they need to.

Some people might say that this event was a one time thing, that the boys just got carried away and it was an accident. However, this specific frat house has had a long record of hazing that has ended badly. In 1996 the chapter was suspended because of a death caused by a party gone too far. In 2010, they were once again suspended for reasons unknown. Pi Kappa Phi has a long history of irresponsible members and maybe even advisors. Something needs to be changed in order to ensure that all of Radford University students are safe and taken care of.

Radford University will eliminate tuition fees for the next three years

For the next three years, Radford University has decided to eliminate all tuition fees for all students! They realized the tuition was way too expensive, and students who want to attend here but can’t because of money issues should be able to, no matter what. They received enough complaints from students and parents, making it the easiest decision they’ve ever made. They’re also going make one day a week free food day, where all food on campus will be giving away free food to anyone and everyone!

Ever since Trump came to the campus, and the new president has been chosen, Radford has really tightened up on their beliefs and values, and how they want to affect their student population. The new president has come out, publically, as a Bernie Sanders supporter, and the first thing he wanted to do to prove that was to make college free, and food on campus somewhat free. The president of RU knows what it’s like to be a broke college student, to not be able to afford food everyday or even afford college at all. So that’s why he has made college free for three years, and he intends on continuing free college as long as students continue to apply and keep up their grades.

Ever since RU’s new president announces his support of Bernie Sanders, all of social media has been raging, in happiness of course. One student was so ecstatic, she tweeted Bernie Sanders and he tweeted back! He told her that he would love to come to Radford University and clean up what Donald Trump left behind. This was the best news I’ve heard all year, to hear Bernie Sanders speak to the Radford campus will be an even I never forget. I can’t wait to write an article on the rally and the amount of peace and happiness it will bring.

This last week has been the most exciting week of my life. To hear college will be free, one day a week on campus food will be free, and Bernie Sanders is coming to speak at RU, it’s literally the best news I could ever hear. I don’t know how this year will get any better!
April Fool’s bitches. This article is entirely satire.

Hate breeds hate and we can make a change

As many of you may have noticed, Radford had a very vocal visitor this past week. This visitor has said a lot of hateful things to anyway unlucky enough to walk past him. He’s made students cry, he’s made them shout, he’s made some of them laugh, and made a few so angry they become incapable of moving, because the only move they’d make would be to run up and punch him. It’s true that the crowd formed around him may seem jovial, mostly because of the signs held by those who stand next to him, but if you look more closely you can see the tension his hurtful words cause.

Protesters preaching hate on Radford campus
Protesters preaching hate on Radford campus. Graphic from WN

Hate breeds hate, and from what I saw on Wednesday those rallies were one wrong word away from becoming full blown riots. But where does all that hate come from? What could possibly drive someone to shout out racial slurs and condemn whole groups of people to Hell because of the color of their skin? Or to insult a student’s deceased father? It’s not something that you decide to do overnight. Hate must be taught, and unfortunately it’s a very difficult thing to forget.

So what can we do? Not just at Radford, but in our lives and in our futures, what can we do? The answer is simple, we stop teaching hate. We can’t help the generations that came before us, but we can protect those that will follow. Instead of practicing hate we can practice love and compassion. Leave the hateful be, because they have nothing to say that’s worth listening to. When we react out of anger, the hatred only grows.

So next time you see someone preaching hate, do your best to ignore them and walk on by. It won’t be easy, but if you can let your anger go, that hatred will die. Eventually, and I mean in the very distant future, there may even come a time when the idea of someone spending five hours telling college students that their choice in clothing will send them to Hell will be nothing more than a weird story grandparents like to tell. Something on par with “I used to walk ten miles up a hill in the snow every day to get to class.”

So stand strong, and stand together, because we are a powerful generation, and we can end hatred.

A college tip to freshmen from a freshman

College is a whole new world of opportunities. But you don’t have to let the reputations of college define who YOU are. If you don’t like to party, and everyone else at college does, then that’s okay. Don’t participate in something that you don’t like. There are plenty of clubs and organizations that may fit what you like to do. College is all about “the experience,” but that experience is different for everyone. You shouldn’t have to experience it the same way as someone else. It’s okay to want to stay in and watch Netflix, or play video games. It’s also okay to participate in fraternities and sororities as well. Freshman, don’t start college thinking you have to join either of those, just because that’s what TV always portrays college life as. It’s okay to take a semester to figure out what you want.

Photo By: Danielle Johnson. Student (left to right): Chelsie Townsend, Jasmine Gallimore.

College can or can not be about finding the “one.” But don’t make that your priority, that’s not how it works. You won’t find someone by hooking up; you should be patient. Also, people who come to college already in relationships, if you’re happy where you are, then don’t let someone tell you that your relationship will prevent you from the college experience.  As I mentioned before, everyone’s experience is different.

A lot of people seem to feel like they have a hard time making friends, don’t worry. This is only the first semester and it’ll probably take a while to really get adapted to a new environment. Remember, we were confined to only a certain amount of people, who we saw every day for five days a week–it will be hard to figure out who you really click with. If you see someone you want to talk to, do it! Most everyone will be friendly, even if you’re shy.

Always remember to make this college experience for you, and not for someone else. Take baby steps, and have fun. Don’t be afraid to not do things that you are uncomfortable with, and also don’t be afraid to try new things. Always stay safe, and be yourself. That’s the only way you can truly experience college.

Advice for Rising Sophomores

Springtime at Radford University means a lot of things: studying on the grass instead of inside Young, the looming threat of final exams, and most importantly, the end of yet another fantastic school year. Many of you are part of the class of 2018, and as your freshman year comes to a rapid close, you may be blissfully unaware of the stress that comes with trading in your “freshie” status. The truth is, freshman year is a cakewalk compared to sophomore year. However, with the right group of friends and the right mindset, you can make it a terrific experience.

As a rising junior, I have a few tips that may make your year a little less overwhelming.

Your guide to being a Sophomore at Radford. Graphic by Katie Gibson
Your guide to being a Sophomore at Radford. Graphic by Katie Gibson

1) Never be afraid to change your major.

Seriously. If you’re not happy, change your major. Change your major three times, four times, five times, until you absolutely love where you are. Not everyone has the money to go back to school if they end up hating their career. Make the right decision for you. Pick a major that will get you excited to go to class everyday. Pick a career that will make you look forward to the work week. You only live once; do what makes you happy.

2) Don’t be afraid to let go of your friends from freshman year.

I hate to say it, because it’s always sad when someone you’re close to leaves your life, but some friends aren’t meant to be lifelong friends. Whether you realize it or not, many of your friends freshman year were probably only your friends out of convenience. After all, it’s way easier to keep toxic friendships with people that you met the first week of school in the dorms than it is to venture off  and make new friends. If you ever feel like you have to force a friendship, simply let it go. Life’s too short for drama. Always surround yourself with people that make you genuinely happy.

3) Say “no” to going out sometimes.

Almost everybody is a tad bit rebellious when they start college. Even I found myself out on Light Side the night before a test during freshman year. But freshman year is very different than sophomore year. The workload is lighter, the classes are easier, and the professors are a hell of a lot more understanding when you come down with a sudden case of “the flu” right before a test. IT’S OKAY to stay in on a Wednesday night to study when all of your friends are begging you to go out to a party. IT’S OKAY to choose your school work over your social life- that doesn’t make you a loser. Put school before everything, because school is first and foremost why you’re at Radford .

4) Go to class.

A wise person once told me that going to class is like going to the gym–you never want to go, but you feel so much better having gone than skipping. Once again, you’re here for school — so unless you’re skipping to study for an exam or something of that nature, just suck it up and get yourself to class.

5) Exercise.

Sophomore year is a lot of pressure. You’re expected to declare a major and, essentially, plan your whole life within a single year. On top of that, the workload is heavier, especially if you’re starting into your major classes. Take just an hour a day to go to the gorgeous new gym and sweat some of that stress out. If you don’t, then you’ll wind up eating your feelings.Trust me, if you think the infamous “Freshman Fifteen” was scary, then you don’t even want to know what you’ll look like after a semester of sobbing into cartons of ice cream because you don’t have your life figured out yet.

Like college in general, sophomore year is a weird combination of absolutely terrifying and extremely exciting experiences. You’ll make new friends, find new passions, and explore new things about yourself. Embrace it all, the good and the bad– because despite everything, these are the best four years of our lives.

RU Honorable?

You did a lot to make it this far in life. You kept your grades up, studied for that SAT, and you applied yourself and made it to Radford University. Take pride in that, you should be honored to be here. But what happens when an administrator decides to question your honor?

Everyone knows the honor pledge you have to agree to upon coming to Radford, it’s like a legal binding contract that you’ll be a good person while you’re here.

“I shall uphold the values and ideals of Radford University by engaging in responsible behavior and striving always to be accountable for my actions while holding myself and others to the highest moral and ethical standards of academic integrity and good citizenship as defined in the Standards of Student Conduct.”

You might see it at the top of an exam so you won’t cheat, or in the closing parts of a syllabus at the beginning of the year, and you probably pay it no mind. That is, until you’re accused of cheating, lying, or otherwise violating this code. Maybe your phone went off during an exam, maybe you were caught drinking on campus, or maybe someone else signed for you in an attendance sheet. You might’ve done something you had no idea was cheating, but your professor sure thinks it was.gavel

Guilty or not, you need to know what happens when you’re charged with an honor code violation, and what you can do to make sure you stay in good standing.

It starts out with an initial meeting with the administrator who accused you. The professor might call you in and have a stern talk with you about what they think you did. They’ll pass you a scary-looking form with your charge, and they’ll ask you to make a plea. Guilty, or not guilty. If you plead guilty, that’s the end of the road. Whatever sanctions they put on you are done and done.

Don’t plead guilty right away though. You’re given 24 hours to think about your decision. Take the time, talk to people, get advice on whether or not it would be worth it to fight it. Don’t be intimidated into making a hasty decision.

If you choose to plead not guilty, it gets taken to the next step, where you and the administrator have to go into the conduct office and have your cases heard by a conduct officer. They’ll present their evidence, you’ll present yours, and you hash out your disagreements there.

You’re allowed to have a student adviser in the hearing with you. They can’t speak for you, but they’ve been to enough of these hearings to be able to help you get through it in one piece. They can pass you notes, highlight important information, or just be there so you don’t break down at the nervousness of this high-stress situation. Take the adviser. It can only help you in the long-run.

Here’s the thing about this part of the hearing though: It operates on a “more likely than not” basis, so if the officer is 51% certain you did what your accuser said you did, you’ll be found guilty and charged with sanctions of the officer’s choosing.

This was the issue I ran into during my hearing. I admitted to the transgression I was accused of, but I had a disagreement with my professor about whether it constitutes an honor code violation. I felt the odds were stacked against me after doing this, because then the officer was 100% certain I had committed it, and it became completely up to her whether or not to consider it a violation. In hindsight, I might’ve actually won my case had I simply said there was no evidence of any wrongdoing.

If you’re found guilty at this part of the hearing, you can appeal it one more time. Whether you believe there was a lack of evidence, or your officer may have been biased, you can take it to be heard by someone else for a last-ditch effort to save your honor.

If after all of that, you’re still found guilty, you’ll be given whatever appropriate sanctions apply, in addition to a decision making seminar, which lasts about an hour. If you can’t attend that or you’re too salty to, you’ll be made to write a four-page paper about decision making instead. Not the most glamorous of options, but it beats 40 lashes.

If you truly think you’re innocent, pull out all the stops to make sure you don’t get slapped with an academic probation. It won’t be something that comes up in your transcripts for the rest of your life, but you don’t want it there either way. Here’s hoping this helps to equip you with everything you need to know to fight for your honor. Good luck.

Heartbleed affects Radford

Earlier this month, a significant Open SSL security vulnerability called Heartbleed was uncovered. In response, 52 percent of RU students plan on changing their passwords. Open SSL is a free service that exchanges keys in order to encrypt website traffic. The majority of web servers implement this service. Continue reading Heartbleed affects Radford

Caffeine and your body

Anyone who has tried to grab a soy caramel macchiato with extra whip between classes knows that Radford University students like their morning, afternoon and even nighttime cups of coffee. The line for Starbucks at 9:15 a.m. on a Tuesday morning can take upward of 15 minutes and involve a lot of grouching. Some find it easier to just stock up on Monster cans from the bookstore. However, these practices have serious health risks. Continue reading Caffeine and your body

Lamour’s caters to college students

Lamour’s is a popular shop on Main Street that sells a variety of items: rings, clothing, purses and materials used for hemp knitting.

You have likely seen the owner selling merchandise outside the Bonnie. She brings her dogs, which often attract many people. She’s one of the sweetest people on the planet. Even though she’s not a local (she’s from California), she knows many of her customers by name and treats them with respect and compassion. Returns – even returns that happen because of silly mishaps or an unknown copper allergy – have a no-questions-asked policy unless the product itself is damaged. She gives you full store credit for everything you have to return, and if the problem is a lack of equipment – like, say, with the incense she sells – she’ll direct you to stores that sell the equipment. Continue reading Lamour’s caters to college students

Highlanders Anonymous: Men are confusing, and so are women

This guy I’m currently talking to is really confusing. He and I have been talking for about a month now, and he’s showing quite a bit of interest in me; however, I’m a little afraid he’s only doing it because I put out! What’s worse is that I really like him and could get really hurt if things progress. Help me?

Step one: calm your crazy.

This means you should quiet the voice in your head telling you this is too good to be true. It’s not. Sometimes you meet really nice guys who turn you on. Relationship progression isn’t set in stone; perhaps some guys will view you as being worthless than you are because you “put out,” but if he were like that, he would have probably stopped talking to you. Continue reading Highlanders Anonymous: Men are confusing, and so are women