Tag Archives: students

Spring in the Alumni Gardens

The below photos were taken by Radford’s own Patricia Forehand. Patricia collects a variety of plants and enjoys photography. Walking through the Alumni Gardens near McConnell library in the spring of 2016, Patricia noticed a variety of beautiful garden trees in bloom. She took the amazing following photos of the foliage around campus.

Muse Flowers

Muse-EU

Parking On and Around Campus

Any student at Radford University can have a car while they are away at college. Unlike most universities or colleges, Radford does not have a policy that doesn’t allow freshman students to bring their own car to college with them (provided they pay for their parking pass, of course). As such, Radford has a fairly high number of students who bring their cars with them, not to mention there are various commuter students. But as any student who drives and has a parking pass can tell you, the amount of convenient parking space for non-commuter students at Radford is almost non-existent.

parking lot
“The amount of convenient parking space for non-commuter students at Radford is almost non-existent.” Photo from: media.graytvinc.com

The most convenient space to park for students who live on campus is parking lot CC, located off campus, on the other side of a short bridge, and down a somewhat steep hill. For most students this is a fairly long walk, especially for students who live in Moffett quad. It would make the lives of many students much easier if they had closer, more convenient parking, particularly when you consider that parking lot CC does not have enough space for all of the student drivers and that the next closest parking area is parking lot Z. It is a small hike to get to and from parking lot Z, and this lot is often in danger of flooding when it rains.

However, it is also understandable that Radford University has not made more parking spaces, as there is limited space available in the area, much less space that would be convenient for on-campus students to park. It is also worth noting that students can park on campus during the weekend, something that can help ease the trouble with parking.

Nonetheless, I am sure if there was a reasonable and effective way to provide more convenient parking, then most students would encourage the university to make that happen. While this is admittedly not a top priority for the university, it would be interesting to see if Radford’s administration does anything to provide better parking in the near future.

Campus Safety Walk Sheds Light on Radford’s Darkest Places

On Wednesday, October 26th, the members of the Radford community, including the Student Government Association, Radford City and University police departments, university administrators, along with other students came together for the university’s bi-annual Campus Safety Walk. This event, taking place once each semester for the past four years, allows for these groups to meet together and identify safety concerns on campus and in the surrounding communities. Through their collaboration, this group identifies areas with improper lighting, emergency phones, and sidewalks that need updating in order to ensure that students are comfortable walking after sundown.

While it seems like a small effort, the impact of this event can be seen throughout the community. Over the last four years,

SONY DSC
“Through their collaboration, this group identifies areas with improper lighting, emergency phones, and sidewalks that need updating.”

Radford has seen an increase in the amount of safety measures taken, such as brighter, more numerous street lamps and the installation of new emergency phones on campus. Many of these improvements can be attributed to the Walk, which allows for direct communication between students and administrators and helps them find the greatest areas for concern.

This year, the team was able to identify several areas that needed to be addressed, however, the total number of unsafe areas has decreased because of the year-to-year improvements that are being made.

All in all, these walks are a great time for people to come together for the greater good of our community; the more frequent interactions students and leaders can have with one another, the safer Radford University and our city will be.

Increasing School Spirit

As a university without a football team it can be difficult to find school spirit.  We don’t have football games or a traditional homecoming weekend so the next biggest sport is basketball.  Unfortunately, the basketball courts are somewhat far from campus and student housing.  This prevents people from wanting to go support the team because they either don’t have cars or simply don’t want to travel or walk that far to go to the games.

Another problem is the advertising of our sports teams.  As a previous student athlete I remember our coaches handing us tiny flyers and asking us to hand them out to people on campus, in our dorms, and our classes.  We did so but most people ended up throwing them away or forgetting about them.  No one was really interested in women’s soccer either so that was the negative side of handing out flyers.

basketball
“As a previous student athlete I remember our coaches handing us tiny flyers and asking us to hand them out to people on campus, in our dorms, and our classes.”

The university also sends out emails about upcoming athletic events but they do it as a bulk email not individual emails for each game or sport.  Most students see that header and automatically delete it because they think it’s another basic email informing them about something that doesn’t necessarily pertain to them.  If individual emails were sent out and a little more effort put into them maybe it would motivate students to want to attend the games.

Basically, the one problem that can’t be fixed about our school spirit is having football games, which do generate the most school spirit.  However, if we put more effort into advertising the events and getting the information and option of attending athletic events out there to more students more frequently and efficiently, maybe we can increase attendance rates and hopefully that will increase school spirit.

Our student athletes put in a lot of time and effort into their sport including practices, rehab, and study hall hours so when they don’t get a good turn out for the games it can be a little discouraging and frustrating.  Nonetheless, they continue working hard for their university as a student and an athlete so hopefully there will be a rise in school spirit soon.

Keep calm and wait three minutes

I’m sitting in my 8 am class, anxiously waiting for my professor to finish her lecture. The clock strikes 8:47, when all of the sudden I hear rustling from all over the classroom, along with zippers being opened and books being slammed closed. I finally look around to investigate what’s happening and I realize everyone is packing up. My professor is still talking, yet here everyone is, putting all their things away while being extremely loud and rude.

There are only three minutes left, can’t you wait? People who enjoy the class or maybe respect their teacher can’t hear what she’s saying because you can’t wait three single solitary minutes.

Seriously. It's all gonna be okay. Just chill out and wait. Photo from keepcalmandposters
Seriously. It’s all gonna be okay. Just chill out and wait. Photo from keepcalmandposters

This has always been a pet peeve of mine. Not only because it’s annoying, but also because I feel bad for the professors who are still trying to get the material in with the small time they have left. It’s disrespectful not only to the professors, but also to the other students who crave to hear what’s being said in the last three minutes of class.

I understand that, maybe you hate this class and you can’t wait to leave it, you have a class right after this one and need to be quick, or that you simply don’t care about other people, but what’s the true difference between packing up three minutes before class ends or right when class ends? It takes you 15 seconds to put all of your things away. 15 seconds that could be spent after the teacher says we can go. I don’t care if you are dying to get out of class. It’s a matter of respect, to the other students as well as the professor, and if you want the professor to respect you and then you should show respect in return.

Bottom line friends, just wait until class is over. I promise, it won’t kill you or make you late. It’ll probably help you in the long run if you need help with an assignment or desperately need an extension. Respect goes a long way, in every endeavor you wish to achieve, so you might as well start now. You never know how many events you’ll have to suffer through in the future, so learning how to respectfully get through them now will only help you down the line.

Now you get an “F”!

You crane your neck around to track the movements of the stack of papers. You wait anxiously until the sheet of paper lands on your desk, your fate scrawled across its top in red ink. Such is the life of a student; whether that ink is on paper or a neat script online, it stings the same when you see a low grade. For your whole career as a student, there’s nothing you can do except give your all to avoid a devastating blow like that.

 

Now the teacher gets the F. Graphic by Katie Gibson
Now the F is on you. Graphic by Katie Gibson

That’s what we all used to think, but there’s more that we can do now to save others from that cruelty– the internet. We use it everyday without realizing how much power we have at our fingertips. I don’t mean that we should be using the internet to cheat, but rather, to life-hack. A life hack is “a strategy or technique adopted in order to manage one’s time and daily activities in a more efficient way.” The adaptation is the key in this definition.

Now we are capable of communicating with our peers through ratemyprofessors.com. Most people have heard of this, but are you doing your part? Are you taking the time and effort to write a thoughtful review of your professors so that you can inform your peers of what’s to come? You’ve got a responsibility here. If you access ratemyprofessor, it’s your duty to write reviews of your professors too!

If you’re unfamiliar with ratemyprofessors, it’s a very easy to use website. The home page lets you chose either “Find a Professor,” “Find a School,” or “Rate a Professor.” Students use this website to give their opinions on a professor that they’ve had and see what others have also had to say about them.

They’re rated on overall quality, helpfulness, and clarity. Some of the categories don’t add to the total score of the professor, but give some additional helpful feedback on how a class with that professor would be. Those categories are: easiness, interest level, textbook use, average grade, and even professor hotness! The professor’s hotness is shown with a little chili pepper icon.

 

Students going global: It takes a crowd

The first question most study abroad candidates have is how to fund their overseas excursion. Most college students don’t have a bottomless pit of money to dig into when they want to pursue such grand and advantageous trips. However, thanks to the same technology that is making wealthy men out of making a potato salad, students are now raising money through crowdfunding.

Students should take advantage of global technology. Graphic by Jilletta Becker
Students should take advantage of global technology. Graphic by Jilletta Becker

Crowdfunding has been a known to help many businesses, individuals, and charities over the year by allowing contributors from all over the world to give funds to worthy investments via Kickstarter, Indiegogo, GoFundMe and other hosting sites. This in turn can be taken advantage of in many ways, which RU students have been discovering as they search for ways to enhance their college experience.

There are, of course, both advantages and risks to such an innovative way to raising money.

The benefits include the customization of a personal profile for the candidate, much like a more intimate application. Feedback, however, is more immediate than a scholarship application.

Risks involve the reputation of the user — such a public display does mean that everyone has access to your progress. And of course, there is always the risk of failure due to the public fear of abuse for such modes of fundraising. However, with a smaller goal and the marketing vehicle of friends and family, this shouldn’t be too much of a problem for students.

Those of you who have been in search of just such a replacement or supplement to financial aid, scholarships, and loans can now look at websites specifically created to host such campaigns, like Fund My Travel. Already these attempts have had some success, such as RU’s own Jodie McKaughan who used crowdfunding to finance two study abroad internships this past summer.

With the use of global technology, it only makes sense that students should take advantage of the global advantages.

The dangers of anonymity in a small community

Radford isn’t the first university to incorporate a “crushes” page onto their online community. Much like the meme page and confessions page, universities seem to have their own special brand of Facebook fads that sweep through and keep people entertained for a few weeks before they lose interest and move on to the next fad. However, RU Crushes seems to have hit RU particularly hard, pulling in well over 2,200 fans in its first week. Continue reading The dangers of anonymity in a small community

Balanced body, balanced you: Tips to a happier and healthier lifestyle

Like many students at Radford University, I took a vow for the new year to improve my body. I decided instead of losing that gut or those thunder thighs, I would instead work on my thumbs. I don’t know how to explain this, but ever since I upgraded to a iPhone, my thumbs have also gained some extra pounds. I can no longer just hit the “b” key; I end up hitting the “lyuf” key. Whenever I text someone “want to hang out,” I always end up sending “eant yo hang oup?” These mistakes I blame upon my overweight thumbs.

A thumb that does not stay on just one button. Image from Creative Commons.
A thumb that does not stay on just one button. Image from Creative Commons.

In all seriousness, many students have started the trek of losing weight or trying to improve themselves. In my opinion, one must follow five easy rules in order to succeed into looking like a less-hot Megan Fox. Continue reading Balanced body, balanced you: Tips to a happier and healthier lifestyle

Mr. RU helps out local animal shelter

The Mr. Radford University pageant started the holiday season right by donating its proceeds to the local animal shelter. On Nov. 7 at 4:30 p.m., Robert Worley, Aaron Ciarrocchi, Chris Grigsby and Owen Wise all brought their best talents to the table to fight for the title of Mr. RU, and boy did they deliver. Continue reading Mr. RU helps out local animal shelter

Chris Jones hypnotizes parents weekend

Hypnotist Chris Jones had the audience in a trance as he closed up Radford University’s Family Weekend with an evening of “twisted mind magic.” In a show that was as much stand-up comedy as it was magic, he had moms, dads and students alike doing everything from dancing for a scholarship to hiding from the police. Continue reading Chris Jones hypnotizes parents weekend

Food banks for students help during tough times

Student-run food banks are on the rise on US college campuses. Many campuses that already have food banks have seen an increase in usage from between 25-50%. Quite a few other colleges are organizing the food banks to help a growing population of starving college students. A lot of people tend to forget how hard college students have been hit with this recession. Younger students in elementary, middle and high school often get discounted or free lunch if they’re from a struggling family. I think people assume that if we can afford to go to college then we can afford to eat.

Sometimes that isn’t true. Many people get to go to college solely on financial aid and student loans. More than 60% of RU students receive financial aid. What people don’t realize is the financial aid doesn’t cover any other bills a student might have — phone bill, car insurance, car payment or rent.

According to the US Census Bureau’s 2009 data, Southwest Virginia is statistically poorer than the rest of Virginia. Most of the surrounding counties have a higher poverty rate than Virginia as a whole, with 33% of Radford City and 19% of Montgomery County residents living under the poverty line. The state of Virginia has a 10.6% poverty rate.

I know a lot of students who attend RU are from the area, and with poverty rates like these I’m assuming some students need help. As a working student, I feel extremely grateful for all my family helps pay for, but I know what it feels like to be given the choice between food and bills. During the semester, I can work 30 hours a week at most; when you’re making little over minimum wage, sometimes that doesn’t cut it.

A full cart of food to be donated to a food bank. Photo from Creative Commons.

And many people have it worse than I do. Some students come from large families whose parents were laid off and their college funds drained. There are people who are completely on their own and are paying for college out of pocket, taking as many credits as they can afford. There are some college students with children or families who depend on them financially.

I believe RU should adopt a food bank for students so they can focus more on their education and less on how to pay for groceries. Food banks at universities work like regular food banks; they accept cash donations or non-perishable food items and are available to those that need them. The food bank would provide some nutrition and variety for students living off Ramen noodles and Red Bull. The food donated wouldn’t have to be expensive — a lot of times, anything helps.

Volunteers helping sort items at a food bank. Photo from Creative Commons.

With the economic climate the way it is, the recession hasn’t only drained students’ pockets, but their hopes as well. We came to college because that’s what we were supposed to do to get a good job, one that would at least put food on the table. Now, we have students who can barely feed themselves looking to possible unemployment.

I think all universities should have food banks. They’re a life support for many students. A main reason students drop out of college is financial turmoil, and I think a food bank would combat that. We’re a demographic forgotten by many, so I think if we helped each other, just a little bit, it would make the campus an easier place to be.