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To Horror Fans: The Babysitter is Worth the Watch!


Article by Harrison Squire Mines

I must admit, when I heard Netflix was putting out a babysitting comedy, my gut reaction was they can do better. The babysitter trope has been stretched in so many directions the narrative has become stale by 2017.

Netflix isn’t one to miss the mark, so I wondered how they would deliver with such a dated premise. Much to my surprise– disbelief, honestly– The Babysitter was sick, ridiculous, irreverent fun.

With a Friday the 13th release date, the odds were stacked in favor of Happy Death Day in theaters; even the Friday the 13th franchise had more promotion on streaming services than this Netflix underdog.

After watching, though, the Friday the 13th (of October, no less) premiere of The Babysitter fit like a glove. McG’s electric slasher comedy emulated all the Halloween slumber party feelings I never knew I missed. I say this fondly: The Babysitter makes no sense at all, and the slapstick bloodbath is eager to celebrate immaturity and gore.

The screenplay could have easily been directed to a dry wit comedic effort, but the satanic twist on the classic girl-next-door tale called for a more epic, nonsensical endeavor. Everything from virgin sacrifice spin-the-bottle to egg yolk asphyxiation; The Babysitter is irrational and flaunts it.

Bella Thorne is this generation’s Lindsay Lohan and is likely the biggest star cast in The Babysitter. The film’s horror conventions are met with equal parts teen comedy, chiding football jock intellect and popular girl cattiness. I am forever rooting for a pretty villain and Thorne is the exact one I love to hate.

If you want your work to be successful in 2017, take a hint from Stranger Things and the newest IT movie and refer to beloved films from the 80’s.

The Babysitter wasn’t marketed as a throwback in any capacity but undoubtedly borrows from 80’s classics both inside and outside of the horror genre.

Mimicking the spirit of coveted 80’s films is a nostalgic way to put a smile on any viewer’s face.

To reiterate: I had low expectations for this film.

Even after I learned more about the film’s scary twist on classic babysitting stories, I doubted that I could relate to The Babysitter beyond mere curiosity as a horror fan. Despite the routine character elements and outrageous slasher sequences, The Babysitter is surprisingly sweet, and essentially a hero’s journey with an anti-bullying theme.

As we root for timid and intelligent Cole, the underdog of his character slowly dissipates and results in a full-fledged powerhouse. In babysitter stories of the past, the boy gets the dream girl. In 2017’s The Babysitter, the boy also rushes the dream girl with an airborne sports car.

This film hardly touches the iconography of Scream or Halloween but was an uncovered gem in my Recommended queue the night of Friday the 13th. Especially if you least expect it, watch this film for an underrated merry bloodbath.

The Babysitter may surprise you.

Tinder: Here There Be Monsters


Article by Emma Grosskopf

In the spirit of Halloween, I’ll tell you: nothing is scarier to me than Tinder and its overwhelming number of creepy characters. You’ve got several different types of monsters swiping, as we speak, ready to attack.

Zombies: The zombies are the lifeless, boring bodies on the prowl for fresh meat. They always message first, right away, while starting all of their conversations with the same thing: “Hey”. No punctuation, no introduction. Dead. Lifeless. And they just. Keep. Coming.

Vampires: Everyone has come across a Vampire at least once. You know the type: dirty jokes, winking emojis and an incessant barrage of requests for nudes. Watch out for these people. Their thirst is unquenchable.

Werewolves: These folks seem sweet at first, with their sappy “good morning” messages and their acting like they care about your day. However, if you don’t message them back within a couple hours, they morph into angry beasts, showing you the true monster within.

Clown: Clowns are the users who have clever bios. Funny profile pictures. They might message you with a clever pickup line that will make you chuckle. Remember: whether they’re silly rodeo clowns or a regular Pennywise, remember: they’re still a clown.

Ghost: Easy: a ghost ghosts you. You message them first because why not? You only live once! You ask them out and…nothing. No response. Are they just jerks? Are they scared of commitment? Did they just get tired of all of the tired Tinder nonsense and delete the app? Guess you’ll never know since THEY NEVER RESPONDED TO YOU.

Witch/Wizard: They put you under a spell with their pictures, and you are drooling after this person who is seemingly perfect. Then, they message you with the dreaded “DTF?” (which, in case you’re smart and stay off dating apps, means “down to frickfrack?”) And then, poof! The spell is broken.

RC Offers Its Own Unique Fall Candle Scents


Article by Shamira James

There are really so many things to love about fall: comfy sweaters, warm cider, pumpkin picking and everything in between, but nothing compares to those sweet fall smells. You can have your typical, boring, Yankee Candle “Crisp Fall Night” or your sickeningly sweet and, frankly, immensely overused pumpkin-inspired scents from Bath and Body Works, but this fall, be a trendsetter. Fill your dorm or your house with the classic scents of Roanoke College:

Alumni Ambience – Nothing soothes the soul more than the pungent smell of chlorine coupled with 1000°F heat. Get warm (very, very warm) and cozy up with this candle, and hopefully, the fumes won’t go to your head.

Monterey at Midnight – Have you ever walked into a room and thought “there’s definitely a haunted spirit here?” Now you can sense spirits from the beyond in every room with this sweet, ectoplasm-esque scent. You’ve been warned.

Nightfall in New Hall – There’s nothing like kettle corn as a late night snack, especially when you burn it and it sets off the fire alarm at 2 a.m. on a school night. Enjoy the glares you’ll get with this sharp, savory scent.

Lovely Laundry Day – It’s hard to beat the aroma of Tide Pods, dryer sheets, and OMG! SOMEONE TOOK MY STUFF OUT OF THE DRYER AND IT’S STILL WET! Ah, don’t you love laundry day?

Farmer’s Harvest in a Frat Basement – It’s finally possible to stay in while still experiencing the essence of a night out. While you snuggle up to binge-watch The Office, savor the fragrance of humid air, Natural Light, body odor and immediately regrettable decisions.

Eau de Unplugged Fridge – Nothing smells quite like home after coming back from winter break, cracking open the fridge and filling your nose with the unique smell of whatever unidentifiable item covered in mold you see.

Parking Lot Potpourri – Trekking back to your dorm from the New Hall parking lot is tiring, but light this candle when you get back to your room and the evergreen, herbal scent will help you relax and make it all better.

Veteran and Service Dog Bring Inspiring Message to Noke


Article by Bradley Bommarito

Distinguished veteran Mike Harris visited Roanoke College on Wednesday, Oct. 4 as the speaker for the college’s Lessons in Leadership event. Invited by the Pi Lambda Phi Fraternity in collaboration with the Center for Leadership and Entrepreneurial Innovation, Harris spoke about his career in the military, his position as a lieutenant in the Virginia State Police, and his time as a commercial airline pilot.

His main purpose, however, was to tell the heartwarming story of how his service dog, Rear Admiral Grace Hopper, changed his life for the better after Harris was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. “[Gracie] has actually given me a life that I thought was gone forever. I would refuse to leave the house without my wife. Gracie has allowed me to do things I thought I would never be able to do again,” said Harris.

Harris has become an advocate for Hero Dogs, Inc., a nonprofit organization that improves quality of life for the nation’s heroes by raising, training, and placing service dogs and other highly skilled canines with applicants who demonstrate the most need.

“We raise and train service dogs and place them with heroes, and we provide these dogs to veterans at no cost to them,” said Barbara Ramundo, deputy director of the organization.

Harris was blown away by the quality of the Hero Dogs training program. According to the Hero Dogs website, the veteran/hero dog team trains together under the supervision of a Hero Dogs staff trainer for a minimum of 120 hours (over the course of at least six months) in a variety of public and private settings, including a veteran’s home, school or workplace, community, stores, public transportation, etc.

The training program is customized to the individual veteran’s needs and abilities. “It was an absolutely eye-opening, fantastic experience. When you graduate from the program, you’re very prepared to work with your service dog. Even in public spaces like airports, I’ve never seen any service dogs that were trained as well as our Hero Dogs are,” said Harris.

According to Ramundo, the partnership between Gracie and Harris was especially important to her and the organization. “The placement of Gracie with Harris was challenging but rewarding. It was highly impactful because they ended up being the perfect match,” said Ramundo.

Harris is extremely thankful to the Hero Dogs organization for all that they’ve done for him and for the important work that they do to help veterans cope with their PTSD. “Gracie has been nothing but a blessing. I will do anything and everything I can to promote Hero Dogs because they gave me my life back,” said Harris.

Gracie assists Harris with the onset of PTSD symptoms in several ways. She is trained to recognize physical signs that Harris is in distress, such as trembling and hand-wringing. Once she notices a sign, she nudges Harris to get him to focus on her.

“Each time Gracie performs a task, we reward her with a special treat. She knows that I carry special treats for her while we’re in public,” said Harris.

Harris follows a consistent grooming and exercise regimen for Gracie. “When I get up in the mornings, we go for a one to two-mile walk. I groom her once a day in the morning, and then we go about our day. I walk her in the evenings as well,” said Harris.

Though Gracie has been Harris’ saving grace, Harris said he is incredibly thankful for his wife, Lucy Harris, and the unwavering support that she has provided since his diagnosis. She has become an advocate for the wives of veterans afflicted with the disorder.

“PTSD is a process. You never fix it, but you learn to live with it. You can try medication, therapy, and service dogs, but it never completely goes away,” said Mrs. Harris.

She said the onset of PTSD can come decades after the events that triggered the disorder. Mr. Harris didn’t begin developing symptoms until close to retirement.

“Most of the people who get PTSD have been very high achievers in life. It’s only when you start to slow down that it hits you,” said Mrs. Harris.

Because of the incredible support of his wife and the Hero Dogs organization, Mr. Harris decided to share his story with the world.

“Once I came to grips with the fact that I have PTSD, I realized that I had to tell my story in hopes of inspiring veterans to seek help and treatment for PTSD,” he said.

Mr. Harris hopes that he can help reduce the veteran suicide rate by serving as aa PTSD advocate. He said that 22 veterans a day commit suicide.. “After my talk, several veterans came up to me and my wife to talk about their PTSD-like symptoms and receive information about how to get help,” he said.

The Harrises said they are grateful for the honor of being invited to this year’s Lessons in Leadership event.

“It’s important to educate people about service dogs and how they can help communities, and I thank Roanoke College for inviting us here,” said Ramundo.

Roanoke College professor and CLEI coordinator Steve Baker said he is proud of the Lessons in Leaders program, and he enjoys the process of selecting a new speaker each year.

This is the third year of the program.

In its first year, Roanoke hosted a representative from the Wounded Warriors Project. Last year, the college hosted a Hollywood director and producer.

“When we were selecting the guest speaker for this year, we were looking for individuals who demonstrated true leadership in the framework of appropriate ethics,” said Baker.

Next year’s guest speaker is legendary Virginia Tech football coach Frank Beamer, Baker said. The event will take place in the first week of October.

Hollins and Roanoke Students to Run 5K for Hurricane Victims


Article by David Hall

Community members will join students from Roanoke College and Hollins University to participate in a 5K this Saturday to benefit victims of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. Proceeds from the event will go to the American Red Cross, who says they’re working actively to provide aid to those affected by the multitude of storms.

Megan Rioux, a Hollins University senior and organizer of the race, said she had the idea for it after watching the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey. “I figured this was something good for student government to do and a great way to partner with Hollins (Roanoke?) because it’s their 175th anniversary, too,” she said. “It’s good to give back to those in dire straits right now. We have students from the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.”

The students chose Roanoke College as the venue because of its size and access to facilities. The race will take place at 10 a.m. at the Roanoke College Alumni Track. In addition to the cost of entry, organizers are also looking for participants to donate items, such as diapers, baby food, batteries, first-aid supplies, and feminine hygiene products to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, which includes the islands of St. Thomas, St. Croix, and St. John.

According to the fund’s website, the Red Cross is working to provide the islands with relief in the form of personal items, such as water, rice, beans, ready-to-eat meals, clean-up kits as well as satellite phones due to continued power outages and emergency centers on islands that saw horrific amounts of property damage.

Multiple hurricanes have ravaged the United States in the past few months causing an unprecedented level of damage. Much of Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory, remains without electricity.

Former Senator to Speak on Campus


Article by Emma Grosskopf

Kelly Ayotte, former U.S senator of New Hampshire, will speak in Roanoke’s Bast Center on Monday, Oct. 30 at an event sponsored by the Henry H. Fowler Program. Ayotte served as attorney general in New Hampshire prior to becoming a U.S. senator in 2011. Her work on foreign policy, tax reform and the issue of military readiness made her a driving force in the Senate, and she was discussed as a potential running mate for Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election. After leaving her Senate position in July, she became an advisor to Neil Gorsuch, an associate justice of the Supreme Court. This event, which will be held from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., is open to the public and free to RC students. Tickets are required. They are available online or at the Colket Center Information Desk. There is a limit of six tickets per person.

RC Pol. Polls Show Tight Gov Race


Article by David Hall

Virginia’s race for governor, which has received national attention for its usefulness as a barometer for national sentiment, is still close with Democrat Ralph Northam leading Republican Ed Gillespie by six percentage points (50% to 44%). These numbers are according to the Roanoke College Poll which routinely measures Virginian political sentiment during both election and off years.

Conducted by the Institute for Policy Opinion and research, the poll showed incredible partisan divides and a higher-than-average unfavorability for president trump at 58%. Favorability for the two candidates, whose race is to be decided Tuesday, November 7th, is tied at 38%. The closeness of the race has attracted national attention.

Virginia, a state that went for Clinton last November, is a prime swing state that’s often used to gauge public sentiment for the president. For this reason, Democrats are desperate to get a win after a devastating loss last November. That high stakes environment has led to some highly negative advertising, with both camps outright calling the other liars. Those claims originated after Gillespie ran ads seeming to link Northam with the violent gang MS-13.

Issues of illegal immigration, sanctuary cities, and Confederate monuments have dominated the airwaves. Nevertheless, according to the poll, Virginians are most concerned with the economy (18%) and healthcare (16%). Virginians seem to think that Gillespie is better for the economy (46%), but that Northam is better equipped to handle health care (48%).

The poll has a margin of plus or minus 4 percentage points and was conducted over 5 days in October. Questions were posed only to likely voters of which were numbered at 607 and delivered over the phone.

New support groups offered for students facing common challenges


Article by Paige Stewart

The student health and counseling services office at Roanoke College is launching a series of support group sessions to address a variety of issues that students commonly face.

Students can attend the Transitions Group, a support group geared towards people experiencing difficulty with transitions to college life. The program is designed for anyone, from freshmen who are getting acclimated to college life to upperclassmen adjusting after spending a term abroad.

The Transitions Group is held weekly on Wednesdays from noon-1 p.m. in the Wellness, Empowerment, and Learning Lounge (located in Alumni 216).

“We noticed a trend and wanted to connect people with others,” said Mollie Guzo, a counselor from the health services office. “People feel like they are the only ones without a friend group. Instead of waiting for an appointment, you can drop in and meet other people who are going through the same thing.”

Aside from the Transitions Group, health and counseling services offers several other support groups for students.

RC DRIVE (Diversity, Respect, Individuality, Vision, and Empowerment) is a group in which LGBTQQIA2P students are invited to openly discuss navigating their experiences within modern culture.

The group meets Fridays from 4-5 p.m. in the WELL.

Another option is the Choose to Lose program, which helps students lose weight with a healthy mindset. This support group will begin its weekly meetings on Thursday, Oct. 5 from 3-4 p.m. Meetings will continue throughout the fall semester.

“People think they are the only ones struggling,” said Guzo. “We want them to be able to find people who they can put a face to and say, ‘Me too.’”

Brown Hen Shutters Its Doors


Article by Beth Janes

The Brown Hen, a polpular breakfast and lunch spot located on the corner of College Avenue and Main Street in downtown Salem, closed its doors over the summer.

In a post on the restaurant’s Facebook page on Aug. 9, owner Tom Sosnowski said a new building owner with an unwillingness to renew the restaurant’s lease was the reason for the Brown Hen’s closure.

Sosnowski and his wife opened the Brown Hen in December 2016 offering classic Southern breakfast and lunch fare with an emphasis on highlighting seasonal and local produce.

Though it was in operation for a mere nine months, replacing what is formerly Lucky’s Pizza, the small operation had grown increasingly popular among Roanoke faculty and students.

Junior Sabrina Utz described The Brown Hen as “the perfect place to get breakfast before a 9:40 class.” She called the closing “tragic.”

Sosnowski has assured concerned patrons that the Brown Hen will be back, but there isn’t a specific timeframe for reopening.

Jackson: ‘Every Vote Matters’


Article by David Hall

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-pro t 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 rst 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.

Luke Bryan Delivers Rousing Performance


Article by Ryan Hunt

One thing that Roanoke knows how to do is to host events that bring the community and those of the surrounding area together to enjoy a night of fun and great music. On Sept. 14, at the Berglund Center in Roanoke, Luke Bryan did just that.

The 41-year old country singer/songwriter knows how to have fun, deliver to an enthusiastic audience, and put on a stellar show. Performing a variety of songs, including early hits such as a medley of “All My Friends Say” and “Country Man”, career defining hits such as “Play It Again”, “That’s My Kind of Night”, and “Drunk On You”, and also 2017 single “Light It Up”, the “Huntin, Fishin’, Lovin’ Every Day” singer gave an almost two hour show filled with energy and vivacity, and a whole love of “lovin.'”

Although he thrives at rocking out with the more upbeat songs, fans thoroughly enjoyed the more mellow tunes, such as “Strip it Down” and “Drink A Beer,” which Bryan performed while sitting on the piano with his guitar.

Some highlights included an interaction with a fan who had a sign that read, “My divorce is almost final – marry me,” mid-show shots of tequila and a knee-slapping cover of Alabama’s “Mountain Music.”

Granger Smith and the band opened the show, followed by Brett Eldridge performing a set including hits “Drunk on Your Love” and “Lose My Mind.”

The next big musical event in the area will happen on our very own campus. Rapper Wale will be performing at 8p.m. on Sept. 30 in the Bast Gym, in a concert sponsored by the RC Campus Activities Board.

Students Await More Movie Remakes


Article by Madalyn Chapman

We live in an age where, in lieu of creating new content, Hollywood has chosen to reimagine old movies. That is, if they don’t take them and add sequels to them.

The general consensus is among RC students is that they would like to continue to see Disney recreate its old animated films in live-action form.

“A live action ‘Snow White’ would be really cool. Or maybe a movie from the perspective of the Evil Queen,: said freshman Liam Courtney.

Freshman Shannon Baker said she’s “looking forward to the ‘Mulan’ movie,” referencing Disney’s plans to make a live-action “Mulan,” following the original cartoon by nearly 20 years. Several Roanoke students also like the new “Jurassic World” movies, which deviate slightly from the original “Jurassic Park” movies.

“I feel like that plot was lacking but…it’s a movie about dinosaurs. I loved it,” said Baker.

Courtney agreed, saying that he thought the movies were “pretty good.”

Freshman Joseph Carrick said he’d like to see some older movies recreated. citing the film “Who Framed Roger Rabbit.”

“I feel with all the new CGI and technology, they could make that really good. Because with the original it’s pretty bad,” he said. “Some of the live-action scenes are really sketchy. I think it would be a lot of fun to see a new one.”

Carrick also brought up the “Star Wars” prequels, Episodes I, II, and III.

“I feel like those were just so bad, you need to leave them alone,” Courtney said. I’m super excised for “The Last Jedi” that’s coming out,” Baker said.

Courney shared a similar sentiment. “It’s coming out over winter break, so I’m definitely going with friends to see that.

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.