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Sports and analytics combine for sound Stat Crew at RC


Article by Robert Mangum

Roanoke College’s Stat Crew is making a name for itself as one of the college’s go-to sources for sports analytics. On Sept. 12, several members of the crew explained what they do and why it’s important during a talk sponsored b Roanoke’s Mathematics, Computer Science, and Physics department.

Dr. Roland Minton, professor of Mathematics, and Stat Crew members, Lexi Denning and David Moreau, spoke during the evening event, called MCSP Conversation, held in Massengill Auditorium.

Minton specifically discussed the history of sports analytics, with its origin in baseball in the late 1800s, and successful expansions into basketball and soccer, as well as unsuccessful expansion into the NFL. Minton spoke in further depth on Billy Beane, a pioneer of baseball analytics and the author of “Moneyball,” which served as the inspiration for the college’s Stat Crew.

Denning explained the crew’s soccer analytics. She specifically focused on the notation used when doing analytics of a soccer game. She also discussed the inherent difficulty in keeping track of passes while the game is in play, and how the issue is rectified through the use of multiple observers.

According to Denning, two Stat Crew members are present at each game. One observes the game and dictates the passes to the other student, who records the information using a program specially designed by Dr. Adam Childers, an associate professor in Roanoke’s Mathematics, Computer Science, and Physics department.

Moreau provided similar commentary on lacrosse analytics, pointing out that lacrosse analytics are a rare find.

The Stat Crew shares its analytics with each sport’s coach so that they can sue the information to improve the teams’ performance.

Minton encouraged students who have an interest in both sports and statistics to fill out an application for the Stat Crew. Students can obtain an application by contacting Minton at minton@roanoke.edu.

Which iPhone Model Are You?


Are you from the stone ages? Or are you always up to date?

Find out here: https://www.playbuzz.com/madalync12/what-iphone-model-are-you

Quantico Marine Corps Band Returns to Roanoke


Article by Sarah Joseph

As the Quantico Marine Corps band walked into the Cregger Center gymnasium those who served were apparent. They sat a little taller, more alert, and their overall demeanor transported them back into their unit.

“Once a marine, always a marine,” a veteran present at the performance proudly said. It was clear from the onset of this performance (and this school year) that this was going to be special.

This year, Roanoke College celebrates its 175th anniversary.

As students who are returning know, RC has been celebrating this anniversary since 2016 turned into 2017. The spring semester began the celebration with various events, such as the joint Roanoke College-Hollins student film displays and the Alumni Weekend fireworks and festivities.

This fall semester, RC is wrapping up its celebrations with a strong opener of the Marine Corps. The last time the Marine Corps band graced these hallowed halls with their presence, it was RC’s 25th anniversary 150 years ago.

According to President Maxey, the last time they were here, “this Yankee band was protested.” Because this was right after the Civil War and since Roanoke is in Virginia which is a former Confederate state, this would make sense. Planning went into getting the band to come back about two years prior as the band is a highly selective and elite performance to book, especially in the summer.

The band frequently performs within the boundaries of D.C. and every year they go on a National Tour in September, with strict limitations in which they will play.

Tradition and brotherhood are huge to the Marine Corps. These core values extend into almost everything they do. As previously stated, there are restrictions for the events the band will play at. According to their website, “Fundraising activities or other collections in connection with Marine Band tour appearances are prohibited.”

They refuse to partake in any event that benefits or seems to benefit “any private individual, commercial venture, sect, political or fraternal group.” The concerts must be free of admission, as they are reflecting the ideals of the nation: for the people.

In much the same way the Marines are viewed as sticklers to tradition, this band did not veer from the script. Each note was clear and crisp. There were no hesitant starts, no missteps, no awkward pauses, and no hanging notes. It was as close to perfect as one can get.

The conductor stood with a straight back and used controlled, stern movements to conduct. Before every song, there was a short historical story connected to each song, spoken in the quick, clipped tones of a military man. The highlights from

The highlights from this performances were the contemporary songs played. When the Star Wars theme song began to play, one could tell this was a crowd pleaser as the freshman seated on the floor snapped their heads to the front, with their mouth open in joy. Then, when one of the marines came down from their stage to the floor and grabbed the mic, the whole atmosphere changed.

The once-controlled atmosphere surrounding the marines seemed to change. The discipline was still there but with a more relaxed feel. This man broke out to sing “You Make Me Want to Shout” and “Superstition”. He even broke out some dance moves. The singing seemed to pull the freshmen out of their trance and a few even stood up to dance in the middle isle. One student even swing-danced with president Maxey

Editorial: Shrubbery as an Act of Rebellion


Article by Joe Krzyston

For a brief, uncharacteristic moment, I’d like to give voice to a belief that I do not hold myself. I’d like to air publicly a couple of grievances concerning the new Rooney topiary, which some might say rises like a Phoenix out of the ashes of good taste.

I’d like to act as a mouthpiece for those holding the opinion, impolite though it may be, that the thing looks a little scary.

I’d like to acknowledge that a few of us might have found the dedication ceremony a little bizarre, with so much ado about a bird made of a tree from up north. Indeed, like much of the student body, the bird might be considered little more than an odd looking Yankee interloper.

I give voice to these opinions because they were mine until I spoke with Matt Larkin and Joanne Cassullo at the dedication ceremony.

My conversation with these two, however brief, made me realize how poorly informed the above critiques are. Matt Larkin is a topiary artist, and quite a good one. Mr. Larkin brings twenty years of experience with topiary sculpture to our college.

He told me that it would take about four years for the topiary to fill out, cover the supportive wire, and look altogether like a free-standing shrub. This means that the topiary will grow to maturity alongside this year’s incoming class. If you fail to understand the significance of this, you might be well advised to keep your artistic commentary to yourself.

Joanne Cassullo is a trustee of the college (and a great friend of the Brackety-Ack). She’s also a trustee of the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City. (I’ll reiterate, for the Philistines among us, that this is a massive honor and a testament to Ms. Cassullo’s knowledge and expertise.) Ms. Cassullo had the idea for the topiary, and contacted Mr. Larkin to make this a reality.

As a form of artistic expression, the topiary is something of a left-field choice. In this era of class/ privilege consciousness, the topiary is more reminiscent of Victorian England than whatever classless epoch is meant to follow ‘late-Capitalism’ (which in and of itself is a silly term, Capitalism being less an economic system than the behavioral manifestation of our worst evolutionary traits, and therefore probably as resilient (and as pleasant) as a cockroach).

The obvious choice might have been some postmodern abstraction of a bird that bore a vague, symbolic resemblance to our mascot, but Ms. Cassullo demonstrated a willingness to step outside the confines of the avant-garde that has hijacked so much of our high culture.

She gave us something traditional, more evocative of a pastoral past than a post-industrial future. Also commendable, she gave us something that we couldn’t immediately appreciate. In an era of immediate gratification, a piece of art that takes four years post-installation to mature is almost an act of rebellion.

Though she gave no indication of such a sentiment, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if the short-sighted critiques of the topiary sounded like music to Ms. Cassullo’s ears. I don’t mean to malign anybody’s interpretation of the topiary. I can’t tell you that a piece of art is making you feel the wrong way.

That’s the beauty of it.

But I will ask you to remember that though the work has been done, that statue isn’t finished yet. We’re now waiting on a tree, which I understand runs contrary to our tendency to bend nature to our will, but it’s the decadently slow situation.

The Fishwick Column


Article by Ben Vester

I often find myself paralyzed in intellectual discussion, unable to enhance the conversation with an insightful comment or a reasonable critique. Despite my desire to offer a unique understanding of the issue, I feel sluggish and incompetent in my attempts to do so, even when I address topics of which I possess a strong interest – in my case, politics and economics.

This inability is a major source of concern for me. The state of the world today intensifies my concern. We live in a time of significant challenges. These problems are multifaceted and complex. They demand that we perform careful analysis and consider every aspect and residual effect. And, more than ever before, they demand that we apply the knowledge we have acquired over millennia of problem-solving. Successfully resolving them will symbolize a triumph of wisdom, skill and nuance.

Unfortunately, this need for wisdom and nuance finds itself received by a generation unprepared to meet its requirements. Our attention spans have been degraded by our smartphones, with all its intentional hooks and the constant connection to our social networks. The ability to choose your source of news and its delivery as notifications on our smartphones, a new and unprecedented means of attaining information, leaves us incapable of synthesizing the information we receive critically.

This failure prevents us from developing an understanding or approach to critical issues. Rather, we accept the position that society assigns us, unable to devote the time or energy of thought to the disseminate important elements of an issue.

I am no exception.

My attendance at a liberal arts college is the first step towards addressing this crucial shortcoming. In fact, it is a primary component of the mission of Roanoke College to facilitate a transformation within ourselves in this regard.

Our experience of higher education at the College is meant to help us develop the tools necessary to understand the complexity of a given issue, cultivate an opinion on it, and allow that opinion to inform our approach to it.

Nevertheless, I want to supplement my classwork by honing the skills I gain in environments of open discourse.

For students possessing a similar desire to improve, I recommend the Fishwick Literary and Debate Society at Roanoke College.

Our constitution professes a commitment to the intellectual empowerment of the students of the College. In Fishwick, members find a community of their peers who seek to employ the skills they are learning. This community and the opportunities provided through it will serve as a complement to our college careers, offering the perfect practice before we begin our careers as the decision makers in a world in desperate need of guidance.

Steve Keene Brings Truckload of Art


Article by Emma Grosskopf

On Friday, Sept. 8 at 6 p.m., the Olin Gallery was bustling with over 200 people who were there to admire the work of artists Steve Keene and Steve West in the gallery’s first big opening of the fall semester. Keene, originally from Virginia but currently residing in Brooklyn, was a featured artist at RC ten years ago, and this was the “Ten Years After!” showcase.

Called the “Assembly-Line Picasso” by Times magazine, Keene focuses on a simple yet colorful approach to his art, which currently covers almost every inch of the Olin Gallery.

“Steve Keene succeeded in turning the entire gallery into his work of art,” said Talia Logan, Olin Gallery director.

When over 200 people attend an opening, there are going to be over 200 reactions.

“Before a show starts, I’m always panicked and thinking that I’m stupid and that people see through my game, but then when I’m here, people are happy to be a part of the situation,” Keene said.

Keene’s artistic process involves replicating his painted images, most of which were painted on plywood panels. Keene called his work “indoor graffiti”, and his works are selling for $5 to $10 depending on the piece.

“I came to this opening specifically because it’s a little different. You can actually buy these pieces. Olin doesn’t usually do stuff like that, so that is pretty cool,” said senior Renee Spaar, who is an art and art history double major.

The artist featured alongside Keene was Steve West, former ‘90s indie-rock drummer from the band Pavement. His exhibition, Chickpea Power, was showcased in the Smoyer Gallery. West lives in Lexington currently, and this was his first time being featured at RC.

“I think it’s important to paint or make music about things that are around you in your life, whether it be the outdoors, the topography of the land, or what you’re hearing, or what you’re listening to, all of your influences,” West said.

Logan said that her goal for this year is to spread awareness of all of the events that are going to be happening at Olin in the near future.

“I feel like people don’t really know we exist,” Logan said.

Spaar also believes that Olin is underappreciated on the RC campus. “A lot of people don’t pay much attention to the art program here because it’s all in one spot. There aren’t really any pieces of art in any other areas of campus,” Spaar said.

Logan is attempting to get the whole community engaged, and one of the ways in which she is doing this is through the Paper Blooms Project, a collaborative effort that showcases hand-made paper flowers by hundreds of volunteers from the Roanoke-Salem area.

Keene and West’s art will be in Olin until Oct. 8, and the gallery is open from 1-4 during the week if students still would like to view and/or purchase the art.

The next event in Olin is Legacy: Highlights from the Roanoke College Permanent Collection. This exhibition, which runs from Oct. 27 until Dec. 3, will showcase artists such as Salvador Dali, Andy Warhol and Andrew Zuckerman, while Willie Baronet’s exhibit We Are All Homeless will be featured in the Smoyer Gallery.

RC Dems Hosts VA Delegate Candidates


Article by Leilani Doneux

For Democrats all over the United States, the months since the 2016 presidential election have been an imperfect storm: branding, party goals and message, and “where to go from here” loom large in the minds and ideologies of candidates and party members alike.

It was nothing short of symbolic, then, that as the runoff from Hurricane Irma came to Roanoke College, so did Democratic candidates for Virginia’s House of Delegates, ready to weather the storm by working together. Hosted by the Roanoke College Democrats, and with support from both Roanoke’s Democratic Party and the Roanoke Young Democrats, the candidates got together for a roundtable discussion on the importance of youth in politics, and how to make politics on college campuses an impetus of academic life.

From scientists (Virginia’s 8th District candidate Steve McBride) to social workers (the 17th District candidate Djuna Osborne), the group aims to bring a diversified population of politicians to Richmond, representing the Roanoke Valley as the centerpiece of Southwestern Virginia’s potential for progress. For the Roanoke College Democrats, who look to emerge as an effective organization in pursuit of that progress, the insight from the candidates proved invaluable for the election season ahead. For these candidates, it is all about bringing back a sense of genuineness to politics that has long been lost to the Democrats.

“Having a genuine conversation about what issues [students and voters] care about is what is going to turn Virginia from a baby blue to a dark navy”, said Roanoke College alumna Sumi Yi, a former intern for the 11th District’s Sam Rasoul.

All of the delegates and staff members in attendance had advice for students about the role they can play in the turning of the tide.

“If they knew that that phone call could really flip somebody’s life […] they’re not going to stop at phone banking and canvassing,” Yi said.

9th District candidate Stephanie Cook also emphasized the importance that youth can play in the party, noting that when the demographic most likely to vote, age 65+, begins to shrink, the party will be left in the hands of the younger generation, which includes students at Roanoke College. “We are going to have to be bold, we’re going to have to put ourselves in that door,” Cook said. For Democrats on both the Roanoke College

“We are going to have to be bold, we’re going to have to put ourselves in that door,” Cook said. For Democrats on both the Roanoke College

For Democrats on both the Roanoke College campus and the candidates for the Virginia House of Delegates, this November election is important. It is a chance to make waves in a Red Sea, and show off the best of what Roanoke’s Democratic legislature can do.

As Rasoul emphasized, “It’s time to remake the American Left.” That ideological renaissance begins with the young people of Roanoke College and beyond. Some might call it an uphill battle; others, a perfect storm.

COVEY Launches at RC


Article by Emma Grosskopf

Kyle and Edwin Foster seem like your typical college grads, out in the real world, trying to make it on their own. And, boy, are they making it.

The Foster brothers co-founded the app COVEY, which is being introduced to the RC student body this semester. COVEY is a mobile communication app that is based on location and Wi-Fi. The Foster brothers created a sort of “geo-fence” around Roanoke College, and anyone that is within the geo-fence and connected to the Wi-Fi can “check-in”. This app allows students to create a profile, check into locations, and chat with people around them without the added pressure of exchanging phone numbers or becoming “friends” on a social media platform. “

The long-term vision is that people will walk across campus, and, instead of walking with their heads down, they can get to know each other because of the app,” Edwin said.

Kyle adds, “It’s essentially having the whole campus at your fingertips, connecting with the friendly faces in the crowd.” Here at Roanoke, the Foster brothers are focused on a soft launch for COVEY. “Going viral can actually be detrimental in some cases. Some social media companies get a lot of user growth but get shut down because of cyberbullying…so we want to make sure that we’re working with Roanoke to be as safe as possible and try to create the best possible product before we go nationwide,” Edwin said.

Any students that are interested in getting involved with the COVEY app should start by checking into the Roanoke Students pin, a private forum created for RC students only. COVEY has more draw than a social media outlet such as Facebook or Instagram because all posts disappear after 24 hours, a feature that allows students to express themselves without worrying about their posts coming back to haunt them.

“We want to make sure that no one gets in trouble for voicing their opinion. People are so easily offended nowadays, and we want to make sure that no one gets hurt,” Edwin said.

As a more student-based app, COVEY is a tool to help students connect with new people who might share their interests, as opposed to a social media outlet such as Facebook, which relies on adding “friends” and allowing the same people to view your profile all the time.

“Facebook is a wonderful platform, but it was founded in 2004, and technology has outgrown it. So we tried to create a social platform from the ground up that really captures the power of the mobile phone,” Edwin said.

While COVEY is an app to facilitate student interaction, the Fosters are adamant that it is not a hookup app, though they acknowledge that it might be an inevitable by-product. “It’s not what we’re about. Our brand is bigger than that: temporary communication over a location,” Kyle said.

“We’ve bent over backwards not to be a hookup app.” Due to the soft launch of COVEY, not many students on campus are aware of the app or what it does, but the Foster brothers are excited to see how RC students respond to it.

“We plan on creating a sustainable community at Roanoke this semester. We are really going to focus on trying to make this work here. I think it’s a wonderful opportunity, and everyone here is really nice, and they’re accepting our idea, which is really cool,” Edwin said.

Forget IT: RC Proves Scary Enough Even Without the Clowns


Article by Emma Grosskopf

I might be the only person who hasn’t seen the new IT movie, and I might be the only person who has zero interest in it. Let’s be real, here. The life of a college student is weird enough; I have a front row seat to the scariest show in town, and I play the lead! I could name a couple hypothetical movies that would scare the pants off of RC students even more than IT did.

The Hills Have AIs—You think clowns are scary? Try listening to a professor warning you about academic integrity violations. If that doesn’t terrify you, you’re tougher than I thought!

The Day After— Nothing is quite as chilling as seeing someone who you (regrettably) hooked up with after last night’s party. Go ahead. Try to avoid them. You can’t run forever.

Brunch of the Living Dead—If you’ve ever been to weekend brunch, then you’ve seen them. The walkers. Makeup caked under dead-tired eyes, ragged, unwashed hair, slowly shuffling over to Jacob’s omelet station. They need to feed.

The Plague—The RC plague spreads like wildfire, starting with that guy who didn’t cover his mouth when he hacked up a lung in the library. It’s too late, you’ve already been infected. It’s everything you touch, the very air that you breathe. You can’t escape. The virus will take us all.

The Nightmare of Rush Week—You’ve heard them all say it. Rush. It was the best decision they ever made. Rush. It’ll change your life forever. Rush. They want to recruit you. They’re coming for you. Make sure you know whose side you’re on.

So you see what I mean? I could make about 15 more scary movies about my life right now. IT may have been a great movie, exciting and scary, but life at RC has the potential to be even scarier.

RC Wants These Shows Back!


Article by Maddy Campbell

If you’re a ‘90s kid, chances are you grew up watching shows like Hannah Montana and That’s So Raven. With Netflix’s recent announcement that they’re considering adding old kids’ shows to their lineup, I wanted to know what shows resonated with the RC crowd, the majority of which are ‘90s kids. Having been born in the year 2000, I can’t relate to a lot of the nostalgia that you all feel for these programs. Some students at RC brought me up to speed on what I missed. Junior Arianna Lewis said that she used to watch Kim Possible, That’s So Raven, Avatar: The Last Airbender and Lizzie McGuire. I’d heard of all of these, but I had only really watched Kim Possible and Avatar: The Last Airbender. I also knew that That’s So Raven had been a popular show, but I didn’t realize the effect it had on RC students. Senior Taylor Thompson said that she was “really into it” when she was a kid, and

Junior Arianna Lewis said that she used to watch Kim Possible, That’s So Raven, Avatar: The Last Airbender and Lizzie McGuire. I’d heard of all of these, but I had only really watched Kim Possible and Avatar: The Last Airbender. I also knew that That’s So Raven had been a popular show, but I didn’t realize the effect it had on RC students. Senior Taylor Thompson said that she was “really into it” when she was a kid, and

Senior Taylor Thompson said that she was “really into it” when she was a kid, and freshman Will Wiener described it as “an enjoyable show.” Thompson also remembered when The Suite Life of Zack and Cody did a crossover episode with That’s So Raven. “Everybody raved about that,” Thompson said. Apparently, Hannah Montana was also really big. Personally, I never really understood the show. I mean, come on. Miley Cyrus and Hannah Montana look exactly the same. Why did it take so long for people to figure out her secret?

“I remember we watched the Hannah Montana concert. We got 3D glasses and watched it on TV. That was huge,” Thompson said.

Freshmen Madeleine Youngman and Dylan Bandy remember different shows as being popular, such as Blue’s Clues, Bob The Builder and Clifford the Big Red Dog. I could relate to these because I watched them when I was a kid. When it comes to shows that are on Disney Channel and Nickelodeon nowadays, the general consensus seems to be that they can’t even begin to compare with what used to be on television.

Lewis said that today’s Disney shows are full of “random crap thrown in with these random plot holes that make no sense. Nothing adds up.” She also said that she feels that there was a lesson to be learned in the shows that she watched as a kid. “I feel like now it’s just random nonsense that’s not applicable to anyone or their life. It’s laugh tracks and bad acting and not funny scenarios,” Lewis said.

Almost everyone managed to mention a show that they had watched as a kid that I had never heard of, having been born in 2000. In any case, it doesn’t matter which shows Netflix adds, because it seems like they will all bring nostalgia to the Netflix-viewers at RC.

Youngman said that he watched The Fairly OddParents, and was quick to correct me when I called it Fairly God Parents, and then exclaimed, “And I thought my childhood was sad!” when I admitted that I’d never watched it. Feel free to poke fun, ‘90s kids, but one day, we millennials will rule the world with our avocado toast.

Five Trends to Bring to the Campus This Fall


Article by Shamira James

I know at some point or another we’ve all looked up what was trending in the fashion world and been stunned or even left in awe of what some of the hottest designers were putting out. While I think high fashion is under-appreciated, I think we have the ability to pick and choose pieces from those out-there ensembles and create an outfit that is fashionable yet college appropriate. Here are my top five trends to try to incorporate into your wardrobe this fall:

Cozy Knits – The theme going into this colder season is “comfort” and you will feel nothing but that in your favorite oversized sweater. Whether it’s a thrift store find or fresh off the rack at your favorite department store, you can’t go wrong. Grab a pair of leggings or your favorite jeans and strut into your 9:40 class (late) in style.

Embroidery – Patchwork. It’s so simple, but it’s back and making an impact. It’s great because it adds flair to a piece you already own, but after you add it? You’ll wonder why it was never there in the first place.

Graphic Tees – This is a trend that, like most others, falls in and out of favor with people, but this time around, it’s here to stay. Graphic tees are very favorable among those who follow street style – a more relaxed and urban approach to fashion, but who says your average preppy RC guy can’t rock a vintage NASA shirt?

Flared Pants – Before you sigh and roll your eyes to the back of your skull, hear me out. While I, too, am an avid fan of the skinny jean, flare offers so many benefits. If you’re on the curvier end of the spectrum, flare jeans slim down the thighs and flatter your body. You can look your best while you strut up to the dessert table and grab those cookies!

Tracksuits –Velour tracksuits are making a comeback and in the best way. They are the perfect combination between relaxed, sporty and trendy. Some of your favorite brands are revamping the early 2000s look for a more fashion-forward appeal – check out FILA, Nike and Adidas for some velvety flair.

What I love about fashion is that it’s completely up to you, and you don’t have to listen to anything anyone says. If it’s comfy and you like it, I say strut it and stunt in it. I hope to see you in Commons WORKIN’ IT!

New Taylor Swift Sound Divides Fans


Article by Jordan Hanson

Taylor Swift has risen from the grave with news of a new album and two new songs, and if you haven’t at least heard of them, you’ve probably been living under a rock. Swift’s new sound is like another costume change, but for many, it’s a welcome one.

Swift is well known for her many personas, both in her music and in the media. She started off in 2006 as a sweet, young country singer, with her signature sparkles, blonde ringlets, and guitar in hand. There are classics from Swift’s earlier albums that we all still know the words to, like “Teardrops On My Guitar”, “Love Story” and “You Belong With Me”. You can’t deny that you jam out and think about your middle school crushes when you hear them.

Swift started to move toward pop in her later albums, with songs like “I Knew You Were Trouble” and “22.” She finally had an all-pop album in 2014 with the release of 1989 and tracks like “Shake it Off” and “Blank Space”. Throughout all of this, Swift was winning awards and, at the 2009 VMAs, started her on-and-off feud with Kanye West. Swift, no stranger to feuds, got into several spats on social media with other stars and ex-boyfriends.

Swift has also gained a reputation from the media for being a serial dater. Now, she’s taking her issue with the media’s portrayal of her a step further. Swift finally broke her social media hiatus and posted about her new single on Aug. 23, including the album cover and release date (Nov. 10). The song “Look What You Made Me Do” dropped on YouTube on Aug. 24. According to Forbes, the lyric video received 19 million views on the first day, crushing the previous record for most first-day lyric video views of 9 million. When the music video came out, millions watched it break the record for most-viewed video on YouTube in 24 hours. It seemed the whole world was watching as Swift mercilessly tore down her previous selves and took control of her own narrative. This week, according to the Billboard, “Look” climbed to the top of the Top 100, and “…Ready For It?” made it to the fourth spot. Plenty of students are excited about Swift’s new releases, including freshman Jessica White, “I’m in love with ‘Look’. I walk to my 8:30 with it blaring in my ears every single I walk to my 8:30 with it blaring in my ears every single morning because it’s the only thing that gets me ready for class, ready to dominate the world.” White said. Freshman Donovan Hill prefers “Ready For It” over “Look”. “I get the vibe that the underlying message is to hype up her next album,” Hill said. Both students said that they were looking forward to Reputation. There are, of course, people who dislike Swift or just don’t really care. “I think that Taylor Swift’s new song kind of reminds me of an overplayed middle school feud. I feel like there’s a lot of redundancy in the themes…It’s hard for me to take the music seriously,” Kreutzer said. He does have a point. Even supporters such as White say that the ever-changing persona of Taylor Swift is not exactly genuine. “I know she’s fake, but I want her to embrace her fakeness,” White said. Some people don’t care as much about the image of Swift as they do about her music. “If people say she’s selling out, so be it, I guess. I just appreciate the vibe and sounds of her latest music,” said Hill. Rest in peace, old Taylor. The new Taylor’s album will be available on Nov. 10. Are you ready for it?

Freshman Donovan Hill prefers “Ready For It” over “Look”. “I get the vibe that the underlying message is to hype up her next album,” Hill said. Both students said that they were looking forward to Reputation. There are, of course, people who dislike Swift or just don’t really care. “I think that Taylor Swift’s new song kind of reminds me of an overplayed middle school feud. I feel like there’s a lot of redundancy in the themes…It’s hard for me to take the music seriously,” Kreutzer said. He does have a point. Even supporters such as White say that the ever-changing persona of Taylor Swift is not exactly genuine. “I know she’s fake, but I want her to embrace her fakeness,” White said. Some people don’t care as much about the image of Swift as they do about her music. “If people say she’s selling out, so be it, I guess. I just appreciate the vibe and sounds of her latest music,” said Hill. Rest in peace, old Taylor. The new Taylor’s album will be available on Nov. 10. Are you ready for it?

Both students said that they were looking forward to Reputation. There are, of course, people who dislike Swift or just don’t really care. “I think that Taylor Swift’s new song kind of reminds me of an overplayed middle school feud. I feel like there’s a lot of redundancy in the themes…It’s hard for me to take the music seriously,” Kreutzer said. He does have a point. Even supporters such as White say that the ever-changing persona of Taylor Swift is not exactly genuine. “I know she’s fake, but I want her to embrace her fakeness,” White said. Some people don’t care as much about the image of Swift as they do about her music. “If people say she’s selling out, so be it, I guess. I just appreciate the vibe and sounds of her latest music,” said Hill. Rest in peace, old Taylor. The new Taylor’s album will be available on Nov. 10. Are you ready for it?

There are, of course, people who dislike Swift or just don’t really care. “I think that Taylor Swift’s new song kind of reminds me of an overplayed middle school feud. I feel like there’s a lot of redundancy in the themes…It’s hard for me to take the music seriously,” Kreutzer said. Even supporters such as White say that the ever-changing persona of Taylor Swift is not exactly genuine. “I know she’s fake, but I want her to embrace her fakeness,” White said. Some people don’t care as much about the image of Swift as they do about her music. “If people say she’s selling out, so be it, I guess. I just appreciate the vibe and sounds of her latest music,” said Hill. Rest in peace, old Taylor. The new Taylor’s album will be available on Nov. 10. Are you ready for it?

Res Life Makes Multiple Improvements


Article Written by Paige Stewart

Roanoke College students returned to campus this August to find many improvements to their residence halls, from new furniture and windows to brick paths, rather than sidewalks, leading to some buildings. These updates were coordinated by Roanoke’s Residence Life & Housing. Jimmy Whited, director of Residence Life, said the improvements were overdue. Also, renovations are more cost-efficient when done at the same time, he said. For this reason, Residence Life decided to address issues at many of the residence halls over the summer.

The Afton apartments were completely redone. The roofing and windows were replaced, and the sidewalk was removed and replaced with brick paths. All of the interior furniture, including dining rooms tables and bedroom study desks, is new.

The second and third floors of Crawford Hall were updated, complete with new painting and flooring in the dorm rooms and hallways. The kitchens were redone, and all of the toilets and sinks were replaced in the bathrooms.

In the fraternity houses, the bathroom stalls and doors were replaced and the bedrooms were painted. The carpets in Elizabeth Hall, located on Elizabeth campus, were also cleaned.

In Fox Hall, Yonce, and Wells, the couches in the common areas were replaced with new wraparound sofas that pull apart for individual seating. Residence Life selected durable furniture that would be less expensive to repair than it had been in the past, Whited said. These rooms also received fresh coats of paint and decorations, such as paintings and artificial potted plants.

New couches also were added to the common rooms in Blue Ridge Hall. Whited and his staff met with the business office to obtain the funds for these renovation projects. “Just like a presentation for school, I explained, ‘Here’s what we need to do, and here’s why’ and they were fantastic about helping us,” he said.

Getting Behind? Get Help.


Article Written by Emma Grosskopf

All of us, at one point or another, have looked at a professor like they’ve grown another head. All of us, at one point or another, have felt like if our professor DOESN’T STOP TALKING RIGHT NOW, our heads will explode.

And all of us, at one point or another, have tried to write an essay, but the only thing that you can think about is how Warner Bros. filmed Space Jam when half of the characters were cartoons, and how do cartoons even play basketball?!

So you’re lost. You don’t get it. Go see people who do. In the basement of the library is RC Subject Tutoring and the Writing Center.

Failing your classes is overrated. If you need help, get help. And that’s not just for the freshmen. Juniors and seniors can get lost in their classes too. Confusion knows no class level.

RC Subject Tutoring offers tutoring sessions in all kinds of courses, from languages to math to chemistry to whatever class is making you pull your hair out.

And the Writing Center? They can help you with any written assignment or oral presentation at any stage of your work. So, really, there’s no reason to NOT get help if you need it. You’re paying an arm, a leg and your firstborn child to go to this school already, so take advantage of the perks of being a student.

There’s no need to wallow in self-pity. Self-pity leads to stress, stress leads to eating, and next thing you know, you’ve gained 30 pounds (all of it mac and cheese) and then you’re wallowing again. Don’t wallow. You don’t need to. Make an appointment and go see a tutor.

They’re there for a reason.

RC Reckons with its own Confederate Monument


Article written by Paige Stewart

St. a Confederate soldier stands atop a stone pedestal. He faces due south, towards home, with a rifle at his side in a rest position. Commissioned in 1909 by the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC), the monument was placed on the front lawn of the then Roanoke County courthouse, now Francis T. West Hall of Roanoke College. Its existence has gone largely unnoticed by the student body, despite its prominence. However, questions over the statue’s origin and its belonging are now more relevant than ever after white supremacists incited violence in Charlottesville last month over a Confederate statue of their own, igniting a debate both in Virginia and elsewhere.

When Roanoke College purchased the courthouse in 1987, the monument, along with other objects on site, was included in the sale agreement. According to Roanoke College archivist Linda Miller, all of these objects were removed before the sale, but the Confederate statue had come into question because it was unable to be moved. Director of Public Relations Teresa Gereaux says that the Committee for Constitutional Law tried to protest the sale in court, but its efforts failed and the sale proceeded. However, one lasting effect from the objection was that the judge delegated rights to the statue to Roanoke County officials. Thus the College would own everything on courthouse property except for the statue.

After all of the items were removed from the lawn and the sale was processed, Roanoke College converted the courthouse into the academic building now commonly known as West Hall. At the time the monument was built, Miller says, there was little reaction from the general public. Monuments of generic Confederate soldiers appeared frequently throughout the postwar South to memorialize those who served. In light of recent events in Charlottesville, however, this Confederate statue presents a new challenge for the Roanoke College community. “President Maxey is working to establish a group of faculty, staff, and students to look at how the College can use the monument for an educational purpose,” says Gereaux.

So, while the College can take advantage of the monument as a teaching tool, it does not have the power to remove it. Still, students express personal opinions on the matter. Junior Meghan Rudolf, for example, says, “To me, it means that even though those young men died fighting for the Confederacy, we do not forget their deaths. It’s a symbol of us as Americans coming back together and healing and recognizing on both sides.” No matter the position, the Confederate monument offers not only Roanoke College but the greater community the chance to confront these issues. “This is an educational opportunity to look at it from a variety of viewpoints,” said Gereaux.

“Every Vote Matters”

David Hall/Staff

Reverend Jesse Jackson, major civil rights leader and former presidential candidate, spoke at Roanoke College in a town hall event sponsored by Roanoke College Democrats to a collection of students and community members.

Jackson and Virginia Delegate Sam Rasoul, an alumnus of the college, led the discussion, which centered around topics of healthcare, inequality and religious and racial inclusivity. Senior and president of RC Democrats Myles Cooper introduced the pair and posed questions submitted by students in the crowd.

“This shows that we are open to all people with various ideologies. We had Ben Shapiro last year and now we’re having Jesse Jackson. This shows we have no real bias in terms of who we’re open to, regardless of whether we agree with them or not,” Cooper said.

Jackson, longtime civil rights leader, marched alongside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and founded the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, a non-profit focused on achieving civil rights. On a tour that touched several communities in Virginia including Lynchburg, The University of Virginia, and George Mason University, Jackson implored attendees to support single payer healthcare and automatic voter registration legislation in the commonwealth.


Also, given recent events in Charlottesville, Jackson gave swift condemnation to the very existence of confederate statues.


“They never should have been established in the first place,” Jackson said. “There are no Hitler statues in Germany. There are no swastika flags in Germany.”

But beyond specific policy proposals, Jackson relied on broad appeals to humanity that spanned across races, religions and gender. Sensing his surroundings, Jackson made several references to a common political theme of this region.

“The coal miner of the Blue Ridge and the cotton picker were of the same plight; both overworked and underpaid,” Jackson said.

After calling on students that aren’t registered to vote to stand up, Jackson and Rasoul brought those students to the front and actually registered them to vote right there, handing out pens and registration forms.

Junior Sabrina Utz expressed satisfaction in the event, but also confusion as to why such a large figure would visit a small college in a small town, in the less populated side of a state without any major cities.

“We’re a pretty white college and there’s not a ton of diversity here,” said Utz. “So, I really wonder why the [college] was interested in him coming.”

Jackson, when prompted about the nature of the area, pointed to the contentious elections in the commonwealth, both at the state and local level, pivoting back to his strong belief in the value of voting.

“People respond,” said Jackson with a chuckle. “Every vote counts, every vote matters and all the small schools have brilliant students who deserve attention. Sometimes they can’t afford to have a certain caliber of speakers, so we don’t charge to come here.”

Jackson seemed to center much of his rhetoric on connecting with all types of voters, something he’s been able to do since the 1980s when he came in third place in the Democratic primary. That success has been at least partly attributed to his religious appeal. Jackson, an ordained minister, has been consistently able to do something many Democrats struggle to do: connect with the religious. Jackson often uses references to religious teachings to justify his policy proposals.

“Those who don’t want health care for the poor, they have a problem with religion and the Bible,” Jackson said. “It’s our job to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to defend the poor. That’s the best of religion.”

Which Taylor Swift Are You?

Taylor Swift albums
Taylor Swift – 1989
Credit: Big Machine

Take this quiz, specific to Roanoke College, to find out which Taylor Swift you are! Thanks, Madalyn Chapman, for creating this for the Roanoke community!


Music Review: Father John Misty


Photo Courtesy of Father John Misty

Article Written by Hannah Vandgrift


If you have ever watched Aziz Ansari’s “Master of None” Netflix original series, you might have briefly seen a bearded white hipster musician appear in the third episode before brushing him off and going back to laughing at Ansari’s hilariously terrible date experience.

Well, that man is Father John Misty. Is he another bearded white hipster musician? Yes. Is he brilliant? Yes. In fact, he is the bearded white hipster musician. Unlike every other BWHM (easier to make it into an acronym), Father John Misty mixes satire, irony, and actual emotion into his lyrics, channeling deep depression as well as deep love into reflections on human nature and society.
Father John Misty, or, Joshua or J. Tillman, is a singer-songwriter, formerly in the indie rock bands “Fleet Foxes”, “Saxon Shore”, as well as many others. He recently released his third album under his moniker Father John Misty, entitled slightly ironically, “Pure Comedy”. Misty is taking a slower path in this new album, which is vastly different from his previous, more romantic album, “I Love You, Honeybear”.
The album begins as if it is starting to tell a story. Misty is satirical in his descriptions of humans, as if he is trying to imagine what aliens might think of our sad but comedic existence. The reality of his lines hit hard, “The only thing that seems to make them feel alive is the struggle to survive/But the only thing that they request is something to numb the pain with.” He ends with the slightly depressing but possibly uplifting, “I hate to say it, but each other’s all we got”.
And that’s just the first song. Misty continues with his critique of mankind, letting us know that he knows exactly what he is doing in “Ballad of the Dying Man”, which is most likely a song about himself. He sings: “So says the dying man once I’m in the box/Just think of all the overrated hacks running amok/And all of the pretentious, ignorant voices that will go unchecked/The homophobes, hipsters, and 1%/The false feminists he’d managed to detect/Oh, who will critique them once he’s left?”
The following song, “Birdie”, drops to a slower, sadder tune, imagining a utopia without violence, gender, or race, but as he sings, it makes you wonder if that would really be better than where we are right now?
The song, “Leaving L.A.”, is much more personal rather than existential, a 13-minute masterpiece in the middle of the album that one cannot begin to explain. It is part epic poem, part personal anecdote, and part deadpan humor, that ends in the middle of a sentence, trailing off into nothingness.
Some songs are subtly political, in “Two Wildly Different Perspectives”, which comments on how in politics or human nature, we fail to agree even if we’re sometimes saying the exact same thing, “One side says ‘Kill ’em all.’/The other says ‘Line those killers up against the wall.’/But either way some blood is shed.”
The album ends with the slow “In Twenty Years or So” which takes the existential view he’s been singing about the whole song, and puts it into perspective, letting us know things will be okay. “But I look at you/As our second drinks arrive/The piano player’s playing ‘This Must Be the Place’/And it’s a miracle to be alive.”
Some of his songs are so abstract that one most likely has to be on drugs in order to understand what he is saying, while others are so hard-hitting that they kind of make you want to jump off a roof. Then again, he also makes you desire life while we still can, because we’re all just ghosts in in cheap rental suits clinging to a rock hurtling through space.
If you find yourself feeling a mix of these emotions, that’s when you know you’re listening to Father John Misty.

Music Review: Lacquer


Photo Courtesy of Lacquer

Article Written by David Hall


Lacquer, a Tennessee based five-piece, displays a self-assured sound and a meticulous eye for sonic detail rare among new bands on their self-titled debut EP. “All Headlights” is the first song on the record and leaves no mystery about what kind of record this is. It’s a rock album, a heavy one in both sound and subject matter.

Quiet, clean electric guitar imposed with thoughtful lyrics just vague enough to leave some mystery gives way to loud, cathartic fuzz. It’s almost as if songwriter Micah Mathewson is relishing in sorrowful memories and experiencing that sweet sadness turn to anger and frustration in real time. This oscillation between these two moods continues on for most of the record, most prominently on “Green,” the lead single from the EP.

Lots of rock bands are trying too hard to sound like they don’t care. Sloppy, lo-fi rock still dominates the scene and too often it reveals a childish insecurity about their sound that can quickly ruin any record. Lacquer’s attention to detail, whether it be the cavernous backing vocals or atmospheric guitar tone, cues listeners in on the fact that they’re born try-hards. They simultaneously craft a sound that feels different from a lot of bands and takes a dig at the scene they occupy. Confidence, when backed by substance, tends to lend to success.

Whenever we talk about guitar-based music now, and especially indie rock, inevitably the conversation drifts to the current identity crisis within the genre. Indie rock has always leaned towards self reflective rather than political and the best of it usually tends to revolve around the ability to achieve intimacy between its makers and its audience. It’s also usually dominated by white men, as it is here. Perhaps that’s why indie rock struggles to find a place in the hyper-political and increasingly diverse era we inhabit. Either way, good tunes that are relatable still continue to find their niche, and Lacquer seems capable of carving out their own.

Editor gets Hosed in Prank


Article Written by Mackay Pierce


Area newspaper editor David Hall walked right into a sick nasty prank last weekend when he got totally hosed with a bunch of water guns.

According to unnamed sources within the Campus police department, the sequence of events occurred over a few hours on the evening of April 8. At 7:45 the conspirators gathered to discuss plans for the evening. After a somewhat depressing exchange, the group decided to lure one of their friends into a trap. Hall was among the group at that time though he was naïve to the cabal’s true goal: Hall himself was the target. Quickly after, the group departed to an area Dollar Tree to acquire their arsenal: 13 caliber Wet n’ Wild plastic based water pistols and one big ol’ wet noodle.

One area elementary school student named Len Hester joined the assailants prior to their attack: “Well, really I was just in town on a school field trip to the shrimp processing factory, but once I saw them gathering with the water guns I couldn’t resist! I’m always down for a good hosing!”

Around midnight, the true plan was realized. As Hall exited the bathroom he found himself flanked by multiple individuals armed to the teeth with their water weapons. “I knew what was coming” Hall said. After a brief and unspirited resistance, Hall succumbed to his fate. At this point, according to reports, the game was truly afoot as the group fired upon their hapless victim until not a drop of water remained in their supply.

Reah Finestine, one of the perpetrators, could be seen blasting away at the sad sack of an editor with an extra fervor. She only relented after he had collapsed to the ground, defenseless. “I really got into it, you know? Just something about how miserable he looked and how powerful I felt.”

Authorities were only alerted to the event after a brave citizen, Ben Butsmill, totally narced: “I don’t know what’s going on in there but some of those mean kids are making a real racket! I’ve got homework to do!”

In perhaps a perfect encapsulation of the evening, friend Joan Smidgton said in regards to the event “He [Hall] really had that shit coming. Maybe he can clean himself up with that rag of a newspaper he runs.