News

Black Alumni Weekend Gala 

Written by Alyssa Wilson ~ Editor-in-Chief 

Photo of speaker Deborah Edgefield, taken by Alyssa Wilson on Sept. 24, 2022 
Photo of Davion Washington, Jr. taken by Alyssa Wilson on Sept. 24, 2022

The University of Lynchburg held its first Black alumni weekend, which included many events from networking opportunities to a gala for all students and alumni. 

This historic weekend was achievable due to the Helen Mundy Witt Society, a society of Black alumni and current students that honors Witt, the first Black student to graduate from the University, then Lynchburg College at the time of her graduation. 

On Saturday night, Sept. 24 a gala was hosted with food, music, and a multitude of speakers who spoke on the weekend theme of ‘Accepting the Assignment’.

As this was the University’s first Black alumni weekend, there was a heavy emphasis at the gala about the importance of accepting the assignment and going further than just what was discussed during the weekend, but expanding discussion of what it’s like to be Black at Lynchburg beyond the event.

“Thank you to all of the alumni who put this weekend together,” says President Alison Morrison-Shetlar, “We need to be celebrating our diversity more on our campus and you all have left a legacy, a footprint, for millennia to come.”

President Morrison-Shetlar opened the event with a speech that challenged alumni and students to get to know each other and connect on the reasons why they chose to go to Lynchburg and have the Lynchburg experience. 

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Virginia 10 Miler Leaves Unsuspecting Residences Stuck at Home 

Photo of Road Closure signs At W Princeton Circle By: Em Maxey 

Assistant Editor ~ Em Maxey 

The Virginia 10 Miler was held this weekend in the neighborhoods surrounding Rivermont Avenue and some residents who were unaware of the event were left stuck at home. 

The Virginia 10 Miler went from Rivermont Avenue through the Langhorne Road intersection and ending at Riverside Park. 

Several residents were trapped in the apartment complexes and houses on North and West Princeton Circle, Randolph College and the neighboring roads. 

Communities like Princeton Circle West Apartments that have no alternative route except through Rivermont were more impacted than other communities. 

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Queer Talk: Snidow Lecture with Queer Theology

Rylee McDonal ~ Copy Editor

The creators of the podcast and website called Queer Theology visited the University of Lynchburg to present a lecture on queer theology and religious belief. 

The lecture was held on Monday, Sept. 26 in Snidow Chapel by creators Brian Murphy and Father Shay Kearns, whose podcast explores how queerness can enrich faith. 

Both Murphy and Father Kearns are queer men who grew up in religious families.

While growing up, they both faced their own individual challenges with their sexuality and identity. Through these challenges they both were able to not only come to terms with their identity, but also their own spirituality.

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Virginia 10 Miler 2022 

The Lynchburg Women’s Lacrosse team Volunteering at the Virginia 10 Miler. Photo by Julia Broughton ‘23

By: Reagan Bednar ~ Guest Writer

The 48th Moore & Giles Virginia 10 Miler brought athletes from across the globe to Lynchburg to kick start fall 2022.

More than 2,200 participants from 33 different states and five different countries all competed in  the 10 Mile Run, 4+Mile Run or 4+Mile Walk on Sept. 24.

There were also over 1,000 volunteers representing area nonprofits, colleges and universities, and civic organizations including a large number of University of Lynchburg student and faculty volunteers.

History was made this year when Monicah Ngige of Lansing, MI set the female 10 mile course record completing the race in 53 minutes and 16 seconds. According to http://www.virginiatenmiler.com, this year’s race boasted one of the most talented field’s in years.

This year’s overall champion was Melkamu Wube from Lansing, MI. He completed the race in 47 minutes and 18 seconds. 

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Covid-19 Vaccines and Parental Consent: Who Decides? Ethics Bowl Case Spotlight

Image from: https://www.parents.com/baby/health/vaccinations/how-to-handle-your-babys-first-shots/

By Dr. Laura Kicklighter

The case “A Minor Problem” asks when, if ever, teens should be able to access medical care without parental consent.

Parental decision-making is an example of “justified paternalism” – a legitimate exercise of parental authority. In this model, parents are assumed to be acting in their children’s best interests and are empowered to make medical decisions that reflect their own values.

Although paternalism may be justified for young children, it becomes ambiguous when applied to teenagers, who may be able to make informed decisions on their own. In bioethics, a person’s “decisional capacity” is determined by assessing their ability to make an informed choice; an adolescent could possess the ability to make informed choices even though they are a minor.

What happens when a parent and a teenager disagree about the child’s best interests? Teenagers sometimes know their interests better than their parents do, and parents’ decisions aren’t always in the child’s best interests. Adolescents also can have different values than their parents’.

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Lynchburg’s First Black Alumni Weekend 

Alyssa Wilson ~ Editor-in-Chief

The Helen Mundy Witt Society will be hosting the first ever Black Alumni Weekend at the University of Lynchburg this coming weekend. 

The weekend kicks off on Sept. 23 to Sept. 25 and will include many different opportunities and activities for Black alumni and all students to network and engage with each other. 

Tracy Epps and Rachel Gibson are two of the people from the Helen Mundy Witt Society who have been working since January to ensure that the event goes smoothly.

The Society was established by Epps and several of her Alpha Kappa Alpha sisters in the early 2000s after a previous student was turned down by the Alumni Board when presenting the idea of a Black affinity group. 

Epps attended James Madison University for graduate school and was motivated to establish the Society after discovering JMU’s dedication to their Black alumni. 

“My inspiration were the connections made around its Black alumni around homecoming. The institution supported its Black alumni and efforts to fundraise for scholarships, create meaningful programs and opportunities to connect at homecoming and other times throughout the year,” Epps said. 

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Hispanic Heritage Month at the University of Lynchburg 

Caroline Gilmore – Marketing Manager 

https://www.nea.org/professional-excellence/student-engagement/tools-tips/hispanic-heritage-month

Hispanic Heritage Month is September 15 to October 15 and marks anniversaries of independence for several Latin American countries including Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico, and Chile (per the Office of Equity and Inclusion Instagram).

As part of the recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month, the Knight-Capron library has created a pop-up book display in front of the Center for Equity and Inclusion with books related to Hispanic history and culture.

On Saturday, September 17, the Hispanic Student Society hosted “Celebrar mi bandera,” an event to kick off  Hispanic Heritage Month and celebrate the independence of various countries, complete with music, food, and traditions.

To celebrate the many dance styles of Hispanic culture, the society will be hosting dance classes on September 22 at 6:30 in the West Room in Drysdale for bachata, cumbia, and salsa.

The Hispanic Student Society’s mission statement is as follows:

“The purpose of this organization is to recognize the Hispanic and Latin American culture at the University of Lynchburg campus as well as in the greater Lynchburg community. The organization will promote Hispanic/Latino awareness and community service in order to establish cultural awareness and educational outreach. It will further enhance the appreciation and contributions of Hispanic/Latin American history. We, the students of the University of Lynchburg, will establish and ordain the constitution for the right and just governance of the Hispanic/Latino Society.” 

According to their Instagram, the Hispanic Student Society plans to host more events throughout Hispanic Heritage Month and encourages you to keep an eye out for their flyers.

Can an Elephant Be a Person? Ethics Bowl Case Spotlight

By Dr. Laura Kicklighter

https://nypost.com/2021/05/05/new-yorks-highest-court-will-hear-happy-the-elephants-case/

The case “Happy to Be Alone?” describes the dilemma of “Happy”, a 51 year old elephant at the Bronx Zoo. Although elephants are social animals, Happy has lived alone in her enclosure for the last 16 years. 

A Change.org petition has garnered over 1.4 million signatures calling for the end of Happy’s “solitary confinement”, yet Happy remains isolated. A recent lawsuit by the Nonhuman Rights Project failed to have her declared a “person” under the law (which would have granted her the right not to be wrongfully imprisoned).

This case explores the moral status of Happy and other animals like her: if her basic needs are cared for, is Happy being wronged?

One way to think about our relationship with animals is to ask what makes an animal like Happy meaningfully different from humans? We may point to “uniquely human” abilities like reason or emotion, but multiple studies show that many animals, including elephants, share these traits, while many humans, such as newborns, lack them.

Most ethicists acknowledge that one doesn’t need to be human to matter, morally. Just think about an animal you love, perhaps your pet. Can we treat Spot or Fluffy however we want, just because they are not human? Probably not; they have some morally relevant interests that we must consider, like avoiding pain.

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SGA President: Claire King 

Alyssa Wilson ~ Editor-in-Chief

Photo retrieved from Claire King on August 30th, 2022. 

The Student Government Association at the University of Lynchburg appointed its newest Student Body President for the 2022-2023 school year. 

Senior Claire King has been a part of SGA for her whole college career, starting out as a senator, Director of Development, and her most recent position as Vice President of Internal Affairs, which was her first ultimate goal before deciding to run for President. 

King was interested in leading a smaller group of people as VP in the previous school year, but after her peers started asking her if she was going to run for President she decided to put herself out of her comfort zone and take on leading a larger group. 

“I realized that I do feel like I have what it takes to step up and be that liaison between students, faculty and staff, so it was just really something that I felt passionate about and somewhere I felt like I could serve,” King says. 

Although it is only the start of the semester, King met with President Alison Morrison-Shetlar and Vice President for Student Development Eric Baldwin

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News in Brief for Sept. 14th

Image from: https://abcnews.go.com/International/video/russian-troops-forced-retreat-ukraines-counteroffensive-makes-gains-89837165

Ukrainian troops keep up pressure on fleeing Russian forces

KHARKIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukrainian troops piled pressure on retreating Russian forces Tuesday, pressing deeper into occupied territory and sending more Kremlin troops fleeing ahead of the counteroffensive that has inflicted a stunning blow on Moscow’s military prestige.

As the advance continued, Ukraine’s border guard services said the army took control of Vovchansk — a town just 3 kilometers (2 miles) from Russia seized on the first day of the war. Russia acknowledged that it has withdrawn troops from areas in the northeastern region of Kharkiv in recent days.

Credit to Elena Becatoros and Hanna Arhirova (AP)

Anger over past, indifference meet queen’s death in India

NEW DELHI (AP) — Just hours before news of Queen Elizabeth II’s death spread, Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivered a fiery speech urging India to shed its colonial ties in a ceremony to rename a boulevard that once honored King George V.

Rajpath, formerly called Kingsway, was a “symbol of slavery” under the British Raj, he said. Instead, under the newly named Kartavya Path that leads to the iconic India Gate, “a new history has been created,” Modi beamed.

His speech last Thursday was the latest in a concerted drive to purge India of its colonial relics. It was also a clear sign that the country, once the largest of Britain’s colonies that endured two centuries of imperial rule, has moved on.

Credit to Krutika Pathi and Bhumika Saraswati  (AP)

Panel advises removal of Confederate statue at Arlington

WASHINGTON (AP) — An independent commission is recommending that the Confederate Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery be dismantled and taken down, as part of its final report to Congress on the renaming of military bases and assets that commemorate the Confederacy.

Panel members on Tuesday rolled out the final list of ships, base roads, buildings and other items that they said should be renamed. 

But unlike the commission’s recommendations earlier this year laying out new names for nine Army bases, there were no suggested names for the roughly 1,100 assets across the military that bear Confederate names.

Credit to Lolita C. Baldor (AP)

Kayaking with OLP

Image: An overcast sky, but a cool calm river from one of the Outdoor Leadership Program’s kayaks.

Caroline Gilmore ~ Social Media Manager

Visual Media: https://www.instagram.com/reel/CiVuWvhsi2_/?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y= 

A reel posted on the OLP instagram account from Saturday’s kayaking trip^

On Saturday, Sept. 10th, the Outdoor Leadership Program (OLP) took a flatwater kayaking trip on the James River in Downtown Lynchburg.

Although it rained for most of the 6-mile trip, students enjoyed the fresh atmosphere and camaraderie.

Sonia Moore ’24 said, “I really love these kayaking trips, partly because I grew up on the water and I miss that being in the mountains for school. I enjoy the whitewater trips that OLP hosts a lot- but for some reason I’ve only ever fallen out on flatwater trips-  this time I got stuck on a rock.”

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Southside Safety & Security

Rylee McDonal ~ Copy Editor

An uptick in burglaries on the southside of the University of Lynchburg are causing concern among students.

On College Street, items have been stolen off of porches, Greek letters have been taken on Vernon Street, vehicles have been broken into on Lakewood Street.

There has also been a case of a residence being broken into.

Esteban Soto, chief of Campus Security said,“Our golf carts and cars have been custom wrapped to enhance visibility. Lighting has been enhanced throughout campus. We have added bicycle patrol to our repertoire. Two officers who have recently attended crime prevention training are willing to provide crime prevention presentations. And we have trimmed trees and shrubbery to enhance lighting and video surveillance.”

Chief Soto made it clear that all students have access to a campus escort from “sunset to sunrise.”

However, Campus Security would not comment on the numerous break-ins on the southside.

Tyler Flaherty, a recent graduate of the University of Lynchburg, and victim of an armed mugging last semester, said,  “It felt like the school was more concerned with making sure that I knew campus security couldn’t do anything to help than they were with assisting me.”

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Lynchburg Supports Hill City Pride


Photo of Lynchburg roommates Nasiyah Ivory (Left) and Jayla Bullock (Right) enjoy Hill City Pride 2022
Photo By: Em Maxey 

Em Maxey ~ Assistant Editor

University of Lynchburg was co-sponsored the third Hill City Pride held on Sept. 3rd, 2022 in Downtown Lynchburg at Riverfront Park

High temperatures and humidity did not stop the festivities, University of Lynchburg faculty, students, and alumni  showed their support for LGBTQ+ members in the community and on campus. 

Lynchburg almuna Maya Patterson said, “I expected it to be a very welcoming and accepting environment where everyone could belong regardless of gender or sexuality. Hill City Pride definitely met those expectations.” 

Trigg Anderson, a senior at the university said, “I think it’s cool that the university supports a community event that’s largely about people getting to be themselves and celebrating progress. I’m also glad it was so easy for me to attend.” 

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Mission House Coffee Grand Opening

Photograph of Mission House Worker by Em Maxey

By Caroline Gilmore ~ Marketing Manager and Em Maxey ~ Assistant Editor 

On Tuesday, September 6, 2022, Brewed by Mission House opened its doors in Schewel Hall. 

Mission House Coffee was founded in 2018 by Tommy and Amanda Clark, with its first location being in River Ridge Mall.

Since then they have added a location downtown on Commerce Street, and they have another location opening on September 10th in the Cornerstone neighborhood.

“Mission House Coffee has extremely delicious Hot chocolate,” sophomore Charlotte Gibbs states, “In my opinion it is on par with the Muse.” 

The company supports local nonprofits each month through its “Round-Up” Program, this month allowing customers to round up the amount of their purchase to support Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Brewed by Mission House their menu will soon be available online at the University Dining Services website.

Lynchburg Thrift: Making Southside Feel Like HOME

By Caroline Gilmore ~ Marketing Manager

Photo Credit: estatesandconsignments on Instagram

At the University of Lynchburg, the phrase “Here You’re Home” is central to the brand and identity of the campus.

However furnishing that home can be a challenge for some Southside residents, as quality furniture can be difficult to afford. 

Luckily, there are a few places in Lynchburg where students may be able to find a ‘diamond-in-the-rough’ deal.

Sydni Spradlin ’23, said she takes advantage of the nearby ReStore, a second hand furniture store from the Greater Lynchburg Habitat for Humanity

Lynchburg Treasure Hunt, a discount store located on Lakeside Drive, has modern furniture that is marked down as a result of overstocking or from defects that do not affect their structural integrity. 

Estates & Consignments, located downtown, is an antique store with a large variety of furniture, from tables and chairs to decorative plates, vases, and more. 

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