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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.

Anxious prepping for finals? Here are some tips


Article Written by Sophie Bookheimer


Tips to Improve Your Performance During Finals Week

With final exams around the corner and the last assignments underway, it is undoubtedly a necessary time for some tips to maximize productivity:

  1. Apples – if you are looking for something to help your brain function, CNN says to try an apple. You have probably heard many reasons why apples are healthy. In the article “10 foods to help boost your brain power,” CNN suggests that the fruit can also keep “brain juices flowing” because of an antioxidant called quercetin.
  2. Concord grape juice – While you are grabbing a cup of coffee, grab a bottle of grape juice, too. The polyphenols in grape juice “improve communication between brain cells,” CNN writes.
  3. Water – Hydration helps brain cells function. LifeHack writes, in the article “5 Tips to Improve Your Study Habits”, that consistently drinking water “is known to combat anxiety and increase short-term and long-term memory function.”


In addition to these tips, students find that timed study breaks help while reviewing material.

Sarah Raines, sophomore, has a particular routine that she has found successful throughout her academic career. “I get up and walk around after it’s been 30 minutes or so then jump back into it after like 5-10 minutes,” says Raines.

Lauren Furlow, sophomore, also plans similar breaks to help her study. “I’ll work for 30 minutes and then take a 5 min break and walk around,” says Furlow.

Keep in mind that motivation is key to any academic pursuit and is unique for each student. “I just tell myself that I can get through it and just think about how happy I’ll be when I walk across the stage the day I graduate,” says Raines.

“It helps me to make a list of what I want to accomplish in the time that I have and only focusing on one assignment at a time,” Furlow adds.

Roanoke College offers a multitude of opportunities to help with assignments, exams, presentations, studying, and many other academic requirements. From Subject Tutoring to the Writing Center, students have support during these last few weeks of the school year.

May these tips and personal stories inspire students to finish the year on a strong note.

Five Roanoke women win Fulbright scholarship


Photo Courtesy of PR

Article Written by Sarah Joseph


The nearing graduation date for many seniors looms increasingly over their heads. While these soon to be alumni reflect back on their time at Roanoke, they are also looking ahead. Some are mixed with sadness, others with great excitement, and additional ones with stress in anticipation of the student loan debt awaiting them.

In one special case however, five students will be able to postpone such stress for one more year, as they are filled with the disbelief and excitement of embarking on a one year journey outside of the United States.

Kristen Wicander, Brieanah Gouveia, Edyth Cisneros, Stephanie Shields, and Savannah Scott have all made history by receiving five Fulbright awards to Spain, Scotland, Mexico, Germany, and Austria, respectively.

Like all seniors, they are experiencing the typical excitement and nerves, just with the added bonus of earning a prestigious scholarship. As Wicander put it, “I still can’t quite believe this is real.”

I caught up with each of the five Fulbrighters to hear them reflect on their time at Roanoke and discuss what has led them to where they are now.

I met Edyth Cisneros first, talking over the drink of choice of many college students – coffee. My first impression of Cisneros was that she was outgoing, funny, and loved to tell stories, a far cry from her freshman self that she described to me. “I was a shy freshman who avoided eating in front of people – that’s how self-conscious I was,” Cisneros said. She credits the sorority Alpha Sigma Alpha (ASA) for the person that she is today.

“Before joining ASA, I would go home right after class – I was a commuter – or hide out in the library by myself. I didn’t try to talk to anyone outside of class. But then the seniors in ASA dragged me to events and even pushed me towards my major in Spanish.” Interestingly enough, Cisneros is going to Mexico to teach middle schoolers, in Spanish.

Since her involvement in Greek life, Cisneros has grown outside of her bubble, building an impressive resume from interning at the Blue Ridge Literacy Center, traveling to Spain for May Term, working as a Resident Advisor, and participating in multiple Honor Societies: Phi Beta Kappa, Order of Omega, Alpha Lambda Delta, and Sigma Delta Psi, to name a few.

As evidenced from her heavy involvement, she advises current students and incoming freshman to “not be afraid to put yourself into situations that may not interest you at the moment. Because who you are now is not who you are going to be. So live in the moment and allow yourself to live.”

Next, I spoke with Kristen Wicander, who like Cisneros is going to a Spanish speaking country, Spain, to teach middle schoolers the English language. Wicander comes from a small town in Connecticut. She said her small town way of seeing the world expanded while at Roanoke. She credits her growth through her four years here to Dr. Lynn Talbot and her core group of friends that she has maintained over the ears.

“I have a support system here. I was once a reserved freshman but now I am more sure of and comfortable with myself.” Since day one, Dr. Talbot has been with her through everything as she was her INQ professor and later Spanish advisor. “She would tell me ‘This is what you’re going to do’ and would connect me with contacts and events that have boosted my experience,” Wicander said.

Wicander advises future and current students to jump into every opportunity they are given, because the unplanned and unexpected can lead you down great paths.

I next met with Savannah Scott. Scott knows exactly what she wants and takes the necessary steps to get there. To explain, she said she wrote her first Fulbright draft her junior year while studying abroad. “I was sitting in a cafe in Paris,” said Scott. She is also a French minor who learned German independently to prepare herself for the possibility of Vienna.

“When I got the email from Fulbright, it was over spring break and I was by myself lounging on my couch. It was surreal and absolutely surprising,” said Scott. Scott will be going  to Vienna for research in microbiology and afterwards will fulfill her plan to become a doctor – but not the type she originally planned.

Since her sophomore year of high school, Scott said she knew she was going to go to Roanoke College and that one day she would be a doctor. It was as a freshman that she found her passion in bacteria and microbiology studies.

From Long Island, Scott said Salem provided her with a new perspective. She found that the emphasis on an interdisciplinary education here at Roanoke has been essential. It has helped her approach scientific research in a way that takes into consideration social and economic questions.

Offering her advice to current students, she said: “My one piece of advice is that you should try everything, even if it doesn’t seem to fit, you never know what something might lead you to.”

The next senior I met with had a different vision for her future than the course she is set on now. Brieanah Gouveia came to Roanoke interested in pursuing a career in photojournalism. However, this soon changed after taking Dr. Jane Long’s art history survey course her first semester. According to Gouveia, this change laid the building blocks for the rest of her academic and professional pursuits at Roanoke.

“I had dreams of being part of an art crime police force, like the Monuments Men. But in the U.S., where no such group exists anymore, it’s not that easy,” said Gouveia. The moment she became certain that she was going to do whatever it took to fulfill this dream, was after meeting the creator and head of the FBI’s Art Crime Team, Robert Wittman, at the end of her freshman year.

Since that time, she has pieced together different opportunities to build up experience in this field, from holding two internships as part of the Washington Semester Program, pursuing independent research, and securing a Fulbright summer award to England. Gouveia found that her goals were attainable because she put the time and work in, and now she’ll be pursuing her master’s at the University of Glasgow.

Gouveia said that by having already applied to a Fulbright in the past, the second time around was still hard, but nowhere near as daunting. “I was able to get over the awkwardness of analyzing myself,” adding that “Your story is so important and if you can communicate it well, doors will open,” said Gouveia. Her advice to current students is to always ask for help:

“Faculty here are so willing to help. If it weren’t for professors like Dr. [Jason] Hawke, Long, and [Jenny] Rosti, I would not have achieved half of what I have today. So, you have to remind yourself that you can’t succeed at many things in life by going at them alone. If you have the courage to ask for help, you’d be surprised at how many people are willing to help you get where you want to go.”

Last, but not least, on my list was Stephanie Shields. The professors Shields credits the most in her success of being awarded a Fulbright to Germany, where she will be studying the neuroscience of bats, are Dr. James Ogier (German professor) and Dr. David Nichols (research advisor).

Shields has had eight classes with Dr. Ogier and said he motivated her greatly throughout her time here. “He told me I had to apply sophomore year,” said Shields. Dr. Nichols supported and led her towards her love of bats and birds.

Shields said her favorite thing about Roanoke is the fact that she can talk to her professors about not just the important stuff, but also movies and books. “I came from a small high school where I was friends with many of the teachers and being able to continue to have that at Roanoke is special to me,” said Shields.

I met Shields to talk to her about herself, but she couldn’t stop from expressing her love for the professors here: “The professors here are so amazingly gifted and smart and the fact that they choose to stay here, in this small school in a small town says something about Roanoke. The professors see something special at Roanoke.”

While reflecting, Shields said: “I now have the ability to do things I never knew I could do. My advice to you is welcome failure, because the things that disappoint you the most, are the things you will get the most out of.”


New art history professor to join Roanoke faculty in the fall


Article Written by Sarah Joseph


A new professor will be joining the Art History Department next fall. Professor James Hargrove, the current eighteenth through twentieth century European art and architecture specialist, will be leaving Roanoke at the end of this semester. Thus, the department has begun the process of hiring someone to fill his position.

Over the past few weeks, three final candidates have visited campus to meet with departmental faculty and art history students over lunch, as well as to conduct teaching simulations and research presentations.

Art history Professor Jane Long, although not allowed to disclose much information as the decision has not been made yet, hinted at the difficult choice ahead.

“All are wonderful candidates with impressive qualifications who all are excited to be part of a small community and actively working with students,” she said. Adding that, “We are looking for a new faculty member with an intense love of art history.”

The first candidate is Ms. Julia Sienkewicz who hails from Duquesne University. She specializes in American art from 1750-1850, which was the focus of her lecture.

Anika Holzer, a sophomore art history major, meet all three professors at each of their presentations. She agrees with Long in that they all would be good fits for Roanoke. Regarding Sienkewicz, Holzer said, “I think she would do a good job at integrating local art and architecture – localizing art history – especially American/Southern arts.”

The second candidate is Ms. Alexis Clark from Denison University. She presented on Cubism and World War I, even though she specializes in nineteenth century France. Holzer thought she was “really knowledgeable and nice…her research was very cool but at such a high level of research that I got a little bit lost at times.”

The third and final candidate is Ms. Angelica Lucento, from the National Research University. She specializes in twentieth century Russia and lived in the country for a substantial amount of time. Despite this she presented on the public art of the New Deal. Holzer seemed most impressed by Lucento, saying that she was “engaging with the classroom and [had] high standards, which will push art history majors to better their understanding of art history.”

Although Hargrove is not involved in this process, he had some encouraging thoughts. “I’m sure my colleagues have chosen somebody who will be a wonderful addition to the program.”

College gets craft beer namesake


Article Written by David Hall


The Brackety-Ack has discovered something brewing here at Roanoke College – no, literally.

Soaring Ridge Brewery, a Roanoke-based maker of all things ale, has made the college its very own beer. They are calling it the Kicking Post, in honor of the RC tradition of kicking the post between Admissions and Trout for good luck. It is also an amber ale, to match the maroon school colors.

All the owners of the brewery are Roanoke College alumni. According to the Operations and Sales Manager Claire Ainsworth, Alumni relations approached the brewery in the fall about making the beer in time for alumni weekend.

A tragedy among men, all the ale’s foamy goodness was consumed during alumni weekend, as it was a single release. 77 fluid barrels (bbls), about 220 gallons, were pumped into kegs and consumed.

SGA approves budget with cut from administration, passes new bill to set guidelines


Photo Courtesy of Roanoke College

Article Written by Paige Stewart


The Student Government Association proposed several changes to the budget request process for clubs yesterday afternoon.

At the top of the agenda for the meeting was discussion and voting on the budget requests filed by College clubs for the 2017-2018 school year. Each club that applied for funding was granted less money than it had requested.

SGA President Leah Weinstein explained to the Senate that the cuts were made at the request of Joe Boucher, Director of Student Activities, and Greg Hanlon, Assistant Director of Student Activities.

Weinstein and SGA Treasurer Yipeng (Shaw) Wang worked in collaboration to determine the amount of money that each club would receive. Then they cut either 11% or 12% from this figure to determine the final sums that would be allotted for the upcoming year.

Wang proceeded to explain the two primary reasons for the budget cuts. The first stems from the fact that 60% of clubs only spend half of their allotment by the end of the academic year. Once money is designated to a club, it cannot be used for another cause, even if the club does not spend it. This leaves no room for special event funding requests. SGA leadership and the Student Activities Directors hope that the budget cuts will increase flexibility for such events and ensure that all sums clubs request are actually spent.

The second reason for the budget cut decision involved establishing a reserve fund for new clubs. When the entire budget was already pledged to existing clubs, no money remained for newly approved ones. All of the revised budget requests were discussed and approved by the Senate.

Senators Benjamin Cowgill and Benjamin Vester proceeded to introduce a bill intended to solidify the budget approval process for future SGA councils. The clauses in this bill encourage discussion about student participation in the budget request process, installing standard deliberation procedures among Senators, and changing the funding structure from an operating budget to a set of categorical grants.

“It’s important to have a set of guidelines we can point to so we can say, ‘This is why you weren’t approved,’” says Vester.

Vester adds that he hopes the bill will encourage clubs to spend all of the money they were given. Cowgill and Vester plan for the bill to go into effect when the new SGA begins session in January 2018.

After questions were taken, the bill was ratified.



Roanoke College joins UVA consortium, reconciles with history of slavery


Article Written by Beth James & Najee Fuller


In 2015, Roanoke College joined the consortium called “Virginia’s Colleges and Universities Studying Slavery,” a group of higher education institutions dedicated to reckoning and reconciling the often troubling pasts of southern colleges. It consists of over two dozen colleges and universities, including: UNC Chapel Hill, Georgetown, Columbia, and Washington & Lee universities.

Kelley Deetz is a former Assistant Professor of History at Roanoke who organized the group. Deetz currently conducts research at the University of Virginia for the President’s Commission on Slavery and the University.

History professors Whitney Leeson and Mark Miller attended a meeting of the Virginia coalition in April, where Miller spoke on what the next step is for Roanoke College on the path to reconcile its own past tied to slavery.

For Roanoke and many schools like it, that path is riddled with previous transgressions. For example, according to Miller, while Roanoke College and both of its pre-Civil War presidents never owned slaves, the Administration Building and Miller Hall were built by contracted slave labor. Additionally, seven of the sixteen members of the early Board of Trustees were slaveholders, with the Board President owning a total of 89 slaves, he said.

The college is also in the process of restoring and preserving the Monterrey Slave Quarters. Purchased by the school in 2002, the Monterrey estate was once home to at least 20 slaves who lived and worked in the quarters. During her professorship at Roanoke, Deetz taught “Archeology of Slavery”, a class that began to uncover some of the history of the slave quarters through archeological digs and research.

Next semester, Leeson and Miller will continue this hands-on experience in their INQ 300 course, which will focus on the historic preservation of the Monterey House Slave Quarters. The students will be assisting with refurbishing, staging the space, and preparing it for interpretation.

The projects of next semester will culminate in a weeklong residency with Joseph McGill, a black historian whose goal is to sleep in every former slave dwelling in the United States. His residency in November will include a focus on slave architecture, foodways, and the necessity of acknowledging these populations when discussing American history.

Trustees bring Tree of 40 Fruit to Roanoke


Photo Courtesy of Artist Rendering

Article Written by David Hall


A new tree (given as a gift for the 175th anniversary by the board of trustees) that will one day grow to contain dozens of fruit has been reserved its place outside of Olin Hall, following a small reception in March.

A work of art and conservation, artist Sam Van Aken began planting and grafting these trees as a way to save the shrinking varieties of stone fruit threatened by large monoculture farming techniques.

The beauty of these trees has caught the attention of many, including reporters from NPR, CBS, and trustee Joanne Cassullo, who is responsible for bringing Van Aken’s art to Roanoke.

“I heard about Sam Van Aken’s ‘Tree of 40 Fruit’ in a board meeting for a NYC-based public arts organization. From the minute I saw the image of the Tree, I knew we needed to have one on campus. In fact, I felt it was our destiny,” said Cassullo.

To make the piece unique to the college, Van Aken will pull unique varieties of fruit from around the state.

“Each ‘Tree of 40 Fruit is different as they are all made specific to the site where they are located.” said Van Aken. “Leading up to the project I research the varieties historically grown in the area and identify local orchards where I can collect material to graft to the tree. For Roanoke I’m excited to learn about a new region of the country and [have] the opportunity to work with historical orchards in Virginia, including those at Monticello.”

In addition to being a professional artist, Van Aken is an associate professor of studio at Syracuse University whose pieces have been featured across the country. Cassullo can barely contain her excitement when describing the tree and what it means to both her and the college.

“For me, the ‘Tree of 40 Fruit’ visually symbolizes what it is like to live on a private, residential, liberal arts campus like Roanoke College.” said Cassullo. “Students come from all over the country, if not the the world, and live together for 4 years — and as a whole, blossom into one gorgeous student body by the time they graduate. It is almost a living portrait of our students.”

By the time the tree matures, in about 7-8 years, it will display a multitude of colors corresponding to the different fruit. This is accomplished through a process known as grafting, during which bits of one fruit tree are carefully cut and spliced onto another tree, so that the receiving tree can retain multiple types of fruits. Grafting has been around for millennia and is a very common practice, even taken up by President Maxey – another reason to bring the piece to campus according to Cassullo.

“One of the reasons Roanoke College is so special is because of President Maxey’s inspired leadership, and this tree will remind all of us of him when we see it,” Cassullo added.

Flashback Friday: President Fintel


Photo Courtesy of Roanoke College

Article Written by Sarah Joseph

Roanoke College mourns the loss of its eighth president who was responsible for so much of the current campus. The building of Olin Hall, Bast Gym and the former Sutton Student Center, along with the purchase of Elizabeth Campus, all happened while Norman Dale Fintel was president of Roanoke.

Linda Miller, Roanoke’s archivist, along with some old issues of The Brackety-Ack, offer insight into the college during Fintel’s tenure. Fintel’s 14-year presidency spanned a great deal of Brackety-Ack issues.

Fintel entered his position as president in 1975 during a time of economic instability. The job market was bad, especially for new graduates, as the baby boomer wave shocked the market. Roanoke students found it hard to find jobs. In a 1976 Brackety-Ack issue, this is specifically addressed in the article “Job prospects improve for ‘76 college grads.”

The first mention of Fintel was in an article on September 19, 1975, stating “New President Chosen.” The rest of the 1975-1976 academic year feature pieces on the Fintels’ adjustment, particularly Jo Fintel, Fintel’s wife, Fintel’s speedy enactment of his building program with refurbishments to the Student Center and the building of Olin Hall (“Roanoke College Elated – Fine Arts Center Begins”), and complaints of the rising tuitions rates –  a 6-7% increase to $3,780 for residents and $2,525 for commuters.

Olin Hall was completely funded by the Olin Foundation, based in New York City. The last article in that school year described Fintel’s acceptance speech, which outlines his plans for the future of Roanoke, to unite the “spiritual, practical, emotional, and intellectual dimensions” to further the liberal arts aspect of the college.

In their last three years at Roanoke, the Fintels moved from the current President’s House on Market Street to the Alumni House on High Street to be closer to the students and the campus. Fintel found it challenging to be well acquainted with the students as he is often away securing alum support and endowments, said Miller.

He also built Bast Gym in 1982, acquired the Elizabeth Campus and the courthouse, established the Fintel Scholars program, and held a huge fundraiser for the library. Fintel was described as the president involved in the “brick and mortar stuff,” according to Miller.

In 1989, the year of Fintel’s retirement, the April Fool’s Day issue of The Brackety-Ack satirized Admissions issues, announcing “The New Solution to Admissions Problems.”

The article stated that, “Dr. Fintel announced his solution to a declining environment: test tube matriculators!” This reflects the attitude of the times toward genetic engineering, particularly the extreme imagination of the media and public. In the article, they claimed that Fintel was going to make new undergraduates through the laboratory, showing how the ‘80s was a time of technological advancements.