Priority Week is Not a Priority

Izzie Kirkwood ~ Intern

Priority week at the University of Lynchburg is off to a slow start despite administration’s Lynchburg Cares incentives. 

The Priority Survey originally sent out on February 24th is meant to compile data from students that will help the university improve both student life and academic success.

According to an email by President Alison Morrison-Schetlar, this survey is a key component for the university’s upcoming accreditation review for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Some of the main topics of this survey include questions relating to financial needs, campus security, academic advisors and the knowledgeability of the faculty and staff.

While the results of the survey could greatly improve campus life, students have indicated that it has not been advertised in a way that is accessible. 

There is also a time commitment of about 15-20 minutes to complete the survey, which could be inconvenient for the majority of students, especially those who are studying for midterms and finals.

Abigail Lawrence, a CA for the university, said, “It would take time that I don’t have.”

When interviewing students about their knowledge of this survey, 4 of 5 admitted that they had never heard of the survey before, let alone filled it out. 

An intern for the research center, Emily Brown, added, “It is not a priority, even though it’s called priority week.”

For each survey completed, there was also supposed to be a $1 donation sent to the Lynchburg Cares Fund, which offers financial aid for students in times of need.

The last day for students to complete the survey is Sunday, March 5th. 

To complete the survey, students can visit

News and Brief for the Week of March 20th

Trump Waits out Grand Jury as New York Braces for Protests

NEW YORK (AP) — Facing the possibility of criminal charges, Donald Trump waited it out in Florida on Tuesday as New York braced for disruptions that could follow an indictment. Republican contenders in the 2024 race sized up the impact a prosecution could have on a campaign in which the former president is a leading contender.

Trump over the weekend claimed without evidence that he would be arrested on Tuesday, but there was no indication that prediction would come true. A Manhattan grand jury did appear to take an important step forward on Monday by hearing from a witness favorable to Trump, presumably so prosecutors could ensure the panel had a chance to consider any testimony supporting his version of events.

Credit to Eric Tucker and Micheal R. Sisak 


Nerd Factor: The Night Gwen Stacy Died

Dr Mike ~ UL Communication Studies Professor

Fifty years ago, on March 13, 1973, Amazing Spider-Man #121 hit the newsstands and comic book spinner racks. After “The Night Gwen Stacy Died,” nothing would ever quite be the same for superheroes again.

The cover of ASM #121 pitches this story as crucial. Comic book covers were then, and will certainly always be, devices of pure hype. Designed to encourage the potential buyer to pluck the comic off the shelf, the promotional images and blurbs on the cover pit a fan’s wide-eyed wonder against that fan’s weary cynicism. Aware that comic covers of the past had tricked readers into believing all sorts of things, this cover reassures us that this story is “Not a trick! Not an imaginary tale—but the most startlingly unexpected turning point in this web slinger’s entire life!” 

We view Spider-Man from behind as he swings towards a series of headshots of his supporting cast. “Someone close to me is about to die!” he shouts. Spidey had the best developed supporting cast in comics and they narratively spun through his life like a finely tuned soap opera engine. So naturally a reader would worry who was about to go. Could it be kindly Aunt May, who was always near death anyway? Or Peter Parker’s aggressive boss, J. Jonah Jameson? By the end of the story, readers would know that Peter Parker’s girlfriend Gwen Stacy was the victim. 

The story began melodramatically enough with Peter’s best friend Harry Osborn relapsing into drug addiction, moved along with Harry’s father Norman Osborn becoming the Green Goblin in a reaction to that (and other stressors), and concluded with one of the most harrowing splash pages of all time. The final image of Spider-Man swearing revenge upon the Goblin seared its way into popular culture. 


Westover on the Quest for Jane Austen 

Ali Morrison ~ Assistant News Editor

Spring break 2023 saw  14  Westover Honors students travel to London in search of in-depth information about Jane Austen.

The study abroad trip was included in an Honors Colloquium taught by Dr. Beth Savage. In this class, students read some of Jane Austen’s famous novels and plays like Pride and Prejudice and Emma

According to the course description, the purpose of this class is to allow students to make connections between work and culture, especially for a well-known author like Jane Austen. 

The trip to see several of Austen’s famous haunts was key to the learning outcomes. 

For senior, Frederick Smallshaw, it was also nice to see famous moments. Smallshaw said his history major background really made it amazing for him.


Celebration & Support during Ramadan

Ali Morrison ~ Assistant News Editor

Ramadan begins Wednesday, March 22 and roughly 4-5% of the Lynchburg population practices Islam. 

Many of us may not know someone who is  Muslim but I think it is still important for us to learn about different cultures and understand what it means to support cultural differences. 

Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar and it is thought of as a time for reflection and introspection. For practicing Muslims, Ramadan celebrates the Prophet Muhammad received the first revelations of the Quran as he meditated in a cavern outside Mecca.

Typically, Ramadan is known as the month of fasting. Fasting lasts from sunrise to sunset and it includes not just no food, but no water as well. There is usually a large meal once the sun has fully set or starts to set, depending on their custom. Fasts can be broken with dates and water, but this is more of a snack or a way to get through the day. 


Changes to Priority Week at Lynchburg 

Alyssa Wilson ~ Editor-in-Chief 

An article was recently published on the Critograph’s website about Priority Week at Lynchburg, a week given to students to fill out a survey that will aid administration in the preparation for its SACS (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools) accreditation. 

This article, written by Izzie Kirkwood, outlines the way that students are feeling about Priority Week, which is not a priority for most students. 

The Critograph reached out to the Student Government Association to ask what their leadership thought about the survey. Due to this, SGA’s Student Body President, Claire King took the concerns of students to administration, resulting in several changes to Priority Week. 

“In my recent meetings with university leaders, the importance of student response to the survey has been stressed and defined as critical to its success. With this being said, I will reach out to them as soon as possible to communicate these concerns,” said King. 


News in Brief for the Week of March 6th

23 charged with terrorism in Atlanta ‘Cop City’ protest 

ATLANTA (AP) — More than 20 people from around the country faced domestic terrorism charges Monday after dozens in black masks attacked the site of a police training center under construction in a wooded area outside Atlanta where one protester was killed in January.

The site has become the flashpoint of ongoing conflict between authorities and left-leaning protesters who have been drawn together, joining forces to protest a variety of causes. Among them: People against the militarization of police; others who aim to protect the environment; and some who oppose corporations who they see as helping to fund the project through donations to a police foundation.

Flaming bottles and rocks were thrown at officers during a protest Sunday at “Cop City,” where 26-year-old environmental activist Manuel Esteban Paez Terán, or “Tortuguita,” was shot to death by officers during a raid at a protest camp in January. Police have said that Tortuguita attacked them, a version that other activists have questioned.

Credit to Jeff Amy and Jeff Martin 

A month after quake, survivors need shelter, sanitation

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — One month after a powerful quake devastated parts of Turkey and Syria, hundreds of thousands of people still need adequate shelter and sanitation, and an appeal for $1 billion to assist survivors is only 10% funded, hampering efforts to tackle the humanitarian crisis, a United Nations official said Monday.

The Feb. 6 earthquake and strong aftershocks have killed more than 46,000 people in Turkey, destroyed or damaged around 230,000 buildings and left hundreds of thousands of people homeless — making it the worst disaster in Turkey’s modern history. The U.N. estimates that the earthquake killed around 6,000 people in Syria, mainly in the rebel-held northwest.

Credit to Suzan Fraser

Cosby Woods Food Pantry: Feeding Hope in Lynchburg 

Jordan Abbott ~ Guest Writer

Photo of the pantry, taken by Ruth Harrison on March 2nd, 2023

Tucked away near Church of the Covenant and Camp Kum-Ba-Yah in Boonsboro sits Cosby Woods Food Pantry, a free, donation-based food pantry serving Lynchburg since July 2020. 

According to the pantry’s caretaker, Ruth Harrison, the idea for the pantry came about when Camp Kum-Ba-Yah was looking to rehome a storage structure previously used during summer camp, where children could stash their shoes and belongings.

“I get a lot of messages, like, ‘How did you build that structure?’ But it’s an old structure. So, my husband just kept the structure of it, and then he added the doors and then the little roof. And we just put it there because of the need, you know, within the community, with food and just trying to help out a little bit,” Harrison states. 

The pantry is always open for dropoff or pickup of nonperishable items, free of charge and no questions asked. 

All donations are appreciated, but nonperishable items are encouraged, especially cans with pull tabs, since not everyone who utilizes the food pantry may have access to a can opener.

Harrison also stresses the importance of toiletry donations. “Toiletries are a huge necessity that I haven’t seen there for a while,” she says.


Lynchburg Alum Lives Out his Dream in the Premier Lacrosse League

Sam Graham ~ Guest Writer

Caption: Rogers (77) celebrates with teammates from Chrome Lacrosse Club after defeating Atlas Lacrosse Club 24-23 to claim the Premier Lacrosse League Championship. (Photo Credit: Lynchburg Sports Department)

Kevin Rogers, a 2020 graduate of University of Lynchburg became a professional lacrosse champion last week when Chrome Lacrosse Club defeated Atlas Lacrosse Club 24-23 to claim the 2023 Premier Lacrosse League championship on Feb. 26 in Washington, D.C.

Rogers, a former standout midfielder at Lynchburg and the 2020 Division III Men’s Lacrosse Player of the Year, was named to the club’s 12-man championship roster ahead of the 2023 PLL Championship series in his second season with the team.

“Less than a week out, I’m still going crazy over it,” Rogers said. “To cut that net down and to celebrate the way we did, it’s so crazy. It’s so much fun.”

Rogers won the 2018 Old Dominion Athletic Conference championship with Lynchburg, before transferring to High Point University for his fifth-year where he won a Southern Conference championship in his only season with the Panthers. Now he can add a professional championship to his resume.


Six Ways to Save on Spring Break

Ali Morrison ~ Assistant News Editor

(Photo of Myrtle Beach taken by Ali Morrison)

Spring Break is just next week, but we all know that money can be a little short during the middle of the semester. Whether you are going on a day trip or going to Florida for the full week, there are always tips to save some money along the way and still have a good time with friends. Check out this comprehensive list on small ways to save cash during your week off!


Lynchburg Looks to Make History at Indoor Track and Field Nationals

Sam Graham ~ Guest Writer 

Lynchburg will look to chase its first national championship in track in the men’s distance medley relay. The relay enters the race ranked third

The team will send six runners to the meet, highlighted by the third-ranked men’s distance medley relay

The University of Lynchburg indoor track and field team is preparing to travel to Birmingham, Ala. to compete in this weekend’s NCAA Division III National Championships.

While the team will send a total of six athletes to compete at the meet, many eyes will be focused on the men’s distance medley relay, composed of Frank Csorba, Jacob Hodnett, Tor Hotung-Davidsen and Sam Llaneza.

The relay enters the meet ranked third in Division III, setting up a legitimate opportunity for the team to chase the first track national title in school history.

“Our relay is so well-rounded,” said Hotung-Davidsen, who has already secured two All-American titles in the 800-meter run in his career. “The firepower is there, the chemistry is there, now we’re just waiting to toe the line.”

The distance medley relay is an event in which four runners compete in four different distances, laid out in the following order: the 1,200-meter, the 400, the 800 and the 1,600.

For Lynchburg, Csorba will lead off the event, followed by Hodnett, Hotung-Davidsen, and Llaneza.


Students Share Different Opinions towards New Payment System

Alyssa Wilson ~ Editor-in-Chief 

Photo of Paycom logo. Photo retrieved from

At the end of the fall semester, University of Lynchburg adopted a new payment system called Paycom, and let students and staff know that the new system would go into effect in the spring semester. 

Midterms are now under way at the University and student workers harbor various opinions towards the platform and its different features. 

Previously, student workers clocked in and out using the TimeClock Plus app, which used student ID numbers as a form of logging in on computers or smartphones. 

Maxwell Garcia, a student worker at On Common Ground, does not see anything wrong with the way the old system works, and has had conversations with coworkers surrounding this thought. 

“There’s a good time for innovation that will be well received. I don’t think this switch to the new system took that into account with how many upset rants I’ve heard about it. No one I know was asking for a new pay system, it worked just fine before,” said Garcia. 


Lynchburg Beach Volleyball Team Splits Wins and Losses in North Carolina

Ali Morrison ~ Assistant News Editor

This school year, at the University of Lynchburg, a beach volleyball team debuted as the newest women’s sport on campus. 

This past weekend, the team traveled to Laurinburg, North Carolina to compete against Division III and Division II schools like Bob Jones University and St. Andrews University. 

With this being the team’s first ever season and only having freshman and sophomores on the team, it is a learning process for everyone involved. 

“I think that there is a little bit more pressure on us because we are a new sport this season but I think as a team we have handled it very well so far and have set good expectations for ourselves and the program itself,” said freshman, Kailey Keough who feels slightly under pressure as a member of the new team.

Another reason that the team is learning so much is due to travel. With only one home weekend in the season so far, many of the matches are on the road in various different states. This can be quite draining for players, but Coach Hannah Givens sees this as a great opportunity for her players. 


Volunteer Event of the Week: Students Volunteer for Beacon of Hope’s “HOPEx”

Alyssa Wilson ~ Editor in Chief

Photo of students at HOPEx event. Students from left to right (Lorraine Upton, Olivia Upton, Elizabeth Richards, Stacy Gallahan).

A new and beloved fundraising event in the Lynchburg Area has become Beacon of Hope’s “HOPEx” event. Some Lynchburg students got the opportunity to volunteer at the event, and were rewarded with a free entrance to the show. 

Beacon of Hope is a nonprofit organization that helps local high school students in going to college. In 2022 the organization had its first “HOPEx” fundraising event, Beacon’s personal twist on a Ted Talk. 

The event requires months of preparation from its staff, but on the day of large events like this one, organizations often need a few helping hands. 

Several University of Lynchburg Bonner Leader Program students elected to spend their Friday night volunteering at the event, first welcoming VIP guests to the pre-events mixer and then ushering guests to the Historic Theater at the Academy Center of the Arts, where the event was hosted. 

Olivia Upton, sophomore and Bonner Leader volunteered for the event after the Director of the Bonner Program, Tasha Gillum told her it seemed like something she would enjoy. “It was right up my alley, as I have an interest in education myself,” Upton said. 


Where Should You Be Grocery Shopping?

Jordan Abbott ~ Guest Writer

Collage by Jordan Abbott displaying cookie aisles at Walmart, Aldi, and Target

Determining which grocery stores have the best selection of products for the best value can be a daunting and time-consuming task.

A study conducted in 2022 revealed that the average college student spends $294.06 on groceries every month. 

With all aspects of the economy currently being impacted by inflation, knowing which stores can give you the best value for your dollar is crucial. 

According to a poll conducted via Instagram story, 53 percent of University of Lynchburg students prefer to shop at Walmart, while 41 percent prefer Target. 

Senior Emily Bray chooses to shop at Walmart because it has, “Lower prices than Target and more of a selection than Aldi.”

On the other hand, sophomore Courtney Newton prefers Target. 

“For me, it’s a place of convenience. It’s where I’m used to shopping,” says Newton. 

On Feb. 25, 2023, I visited Target, Walmart and Aldi to compare prices and the amount of in-store selection of four items frequently purchased by college students: laundry detergent, Oreo cookies, microwave macaroni and cheese cups and frozen pizza. 

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