News

Earth Day Junk Drive

William Masselli ~ Editor-in-Chief

Photo retrieved from Jeana Burdge on April 23, 2022. Jeana Burdge, the President of Lynchburg’s Environmental Sustainability Society, is proud that her junk drive on Earth Day made a difference. 

On April 22, 2022, Earth Day, the University of Lynchburg’s Environmental Sustainability Society (LESS) held a junk drive to reduce the amount of waste on campus. 

President of LESS Jeana Burdge said, “The Junk Drive was very successful. We had both students and faculty bring in clothing, chargers, jewelry, school supplies, shoes, and a variety of other items. This was our first junk drive event and I believe that it was a success because we received various items that we could then donate to our community.” 

Burdge explained, “LESS holds recycling tables every other Thursday to limit the amount of recyclables that would have been thrown away. We will soon be having an event that shows students how much plastic they produce within our campus community. We hope to provide students with reusable water bottles to limit the use of harmful throw away bottles.” 

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New SGA Leaders

Rylee McDonal ~ Copy Editor

Claire King

Claire King, Caitlynn Freece, and Tanner Wynne were the successful candidates from the 2022-2023 Student Government Association elections. They will hold the positions of  SGA President, Vice President of Internal Affairs, and Vice President of External Affairs respectively.

These rising leaders have served the campus and their community in several ways before being elected to their positions in SGA. Both King and Freece have served on SGA and Tanner Wynne is currently the president of the Phi Kappa Tau fraternity. 

Wayne stated, “For me, I ran for this position in SGA because I feel as though student-led organizations have declined greatly after COVID and student’s are not getting the most out of campus by just going through the motions. I feel that students aren’t aware of the vast amount and variety of organizations that are present on campus that can give them great experiences and opportunities for personal, professional, and social growth. There truly is something at Lynchburg for everyone. As the next Vice President of External Affairs, I hope to get students more involved and enjoy their Lynchburg experience by creating the campus they want to be a part of.”

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Russian Offensive in Ukraine

William Hayeden Dietz ~ News Editor

Photo retrieved from NPR.org. by Hunter Epperson on April 26, 2022.

On April 19, 2022, Ukrainian and American sources have both reported the beginning

of a Russian offensive in Donbass against Ukraine.

The Ukrainian government has called this new stage of the war the Battle for the Donbas,

a hotly contested region between Russia and Ukraine where Russia has at the beginning of the war recognized the breakaway Donbass People’s Republic.

This new offensive has come after a lull in the fighting for the past few weeks, with a

Russian withdrawal from the countryside around Kyiv after a failure to encircle or capture it.

Ukrainian president Zelensky has noted that Russian airstrikes have begun once again,

even against Western Ukrainian cities closer to Poland than Russia live Lviv.

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How to win? Get on base!

Chris Jennings ~ Assistant Copy Editor

When thinking about the sport of softball most people would presume that in order to win a game the team must score runs. This statement itself is true but the question then becomes how to score runs? The answer to scoring runs is to get on base. The OBP, on-base percentage, statistic is one of the most valuable statistics in sports because it can be a direct causation to winning games. If you have a higher percentage of getting on base then your team has a higher chance of winning the game.

The University of Lynchburg’s Softball Team has experienced some very good games so far this year including multiple wins over ranked opponents as well as disappointing losses to conference foes. 

Freshman Pitcher Kailey Dorcsis says, “So far this year when we are the most successful is when we score lots of runs and our bats are making good contact.”

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Building a Better Greek Life

Rylee McDonal ~ Copy Editor

https://www.sporcle.com/blog/2019/08/why-are-college-fraternities-and-sororities-called-greek-life/

The Greek Life population at the University of Lynchburg has dwindled in numbers over the past two semesters. The decrease in recent numbers is posing a threat to Greek housing.

On Sunday, April 10, the fraternities Phi Kappa Tau, Sigma Phi Epsilon, and Sigma Nu congregated for a grand chapter of the Interfraternal Council in an attempt to find possible solutions..

“I’m really glad that the three fraternities were able to gather this weekend to talk about some of the issues that we’ve been facing. Though this meeting was long overdue, it shows the growth that we have made as an IFC. Four years ago, a meeting like this would’ve never happened. The mindset was completely different amongst the three fraternities on this campus, and it would’ve been next to impossible for everyone to come together under one common ground in order to address issues that we have been facing. I’m stoked at the amount of productivity and positive response that came from this meeting and I’m very excited to see how we follow through on the goals that we set in order to build IFC back up,” said Andrew Williams, president of Sigma Phi Epsilon at the university.

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Juggling College Life in the Military

Kelsey Spickler ~ Guest Writer

Some students at the University of Lynchburg balance academics with military training responsibilities.

Students who are enrolled in the military have training once a month as well as a rigorous course load. They have learned how to prioritize their tasks and adjust when needed to keep up with their unpredictable lifestyle.

First year masters student Jaden Yoo has been in the United States Army Reserves as a medic since 2016. Yoo explained that for his monthly training, he is required to go to his base and catch up on the required medical courses, practice the skills he learned about, and work with other units on his base. 

While the military training allows these students to gain a more hands-on experience, they also have to be more flexible with their schedules in case they are called to serve.

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Expansions in the Criminology Department

Kelley Mccormick ~ Guest Writer

Professor Keith Smith helping his students during on a hands on project. 

University of Lynchburg’s Criminology department is expanding their staff, after the tragic loss of a beloved professor. 

Professor Keith Smith suddenly passed away last spring, leaving the Criminology department with large shoes to fill.

Dr. Kimberly McCabe, head of the Criminology Department at the University, said, “There is no one that could replace a man like Smith, he was really one of a kind.”

She also said, “We all are very protective of this program. We want to make sure we can bring someone in that can keep that passion”. 

Professor Smith had a passion for law enforcement and doing what was best for his students. 

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Student Activities Board Hosts Petting Zoo 

William Masselli ~ Editor-in-Chief

Photo retrieved from sab@lynchburg.edu and osborna593@lynchburg.edu on April 16, 2022. The University of Lynchburg Student Activities Board advertisement of the Petting Zoo

The University of Lynchburg Student Activities Board (SAB) hosteda petting zoo on April 13, 2022, on the Dell

Jessica Cochrane, public relations officer at SAB, said, “The Petting Zoo event is by far our most popular event on campus. It’s just one of those things that’s easy and fun to participate in.” 

Victoria Garay, a member of SAB, said, “At the petting zoo, there were chickens, bunnies, donkeys, a llama and alpaca, sheep, goats, and the sweetest Aussie Nala. I think everyone enjoyed feeding the llama and alpaca, but really enjoyed holding the fluffy bunnies.”

  Garay talked about the importance of having a petting zoo event on campus. She said, “The petting zoo is a great event for students to relieve their stress. Having this open from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm makes it easy for students to stop in between classes and squeeze in some well needed pets. Animals are a great way to relieve stress because it allows the worries and stresses of the day or week to be pushed away and focus on the cute animal at hand. Also, it is proven that fluffy animals help serotonin and oxytocin levels.” 

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Student Employment Appreciation Week

William Masselli ~ Editor in Chief

Photo retrieved from Seisha S. Cunningham at cunningham_s@lynchburg.edu on April 19, 2022. The University of Lynchburg ended its first annual SEAW with a carnival to champion student employees. 

On the week of April 11, 2022, through April 15, 2022, University of Lynchburg Student Employment Program Coordinator Seisha S. Cunningham held the first annual Student Employment Appreciation Week (SEAW). 

Cunningham said, “National Student Employment Appreciation Week (SEAW) is hosted by National Student Employment Association (NSEA) and is annually celebrated for the second full week in April. Student employees are vital because they provide invaluable service to the campus community and contribute to the overall student experience. All of their hard work should be celebrated and appreciated.” 

Cunningham noted, “This week, we had events such as the “Treat Your Students Day”, “Thank A Campus Supervisor”, “Be the Boss Matching Costume Contest, and  “Boss Baby Picture Contest” where campus supervisors donated their baby pictures and students will be guessing the correct supervisors for a prize. We end the week with a party.” 

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Women In Academia: Tasha Gillum

Alyssa Camejo ~ Assistant Editor 

As part of National Volunteer Month, The Critograph would like to honor some of the influential women who are focused on creating a community of service at the University of Lynchburg/

This week we will feature Tasha Gillum.

Photo Retrieved off the University of Lynchburg Website. 

Gillum is the Bonner Leader program coordinator in the Center for Community Engagement at the University of Lynchburg. She is in her third year in this position.

Gillum attended Sweet Briar College, and studied Environmental Science with an Emphasis in Geology. 

On her undergraduate experience, Gilllum said,  “That experience of being in space where I was highly supported and encouraged and believed in was my first experience in academia. At my school, I saw women in leadership positions and doing cool research. Early on, I saw that as a possibility for myself.”  

Exposure to women being in a higher education and leadership positions is vital for women to feel supported in their academic journey. 

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LHSN: What is All the Buzz About?

Jackson Moore ~ Guest Writer

LHSN logo, photo by Jackson Moore

The Lynchburg Hornets Sports Network (LHSN) provides experiences to students at the University of Lynchburg who are interested in broadcasting, photography, or digital media. 

Students can utilize these opportunities to grow professionally, build a portfolio, and increase their competence in these disciplines. 

Erin Farina, a graduate student who manages LHSN’s photography and graphics, said that her time with the network has helped her make many connections in the athletic industry. She also said, “I’ve grown kind of a network that I really didn’t think that I would, especially this soon.” 

Beyond networking, however, students working with LHSN are encouraged to get as much hands-on experience as they can during their time at the university.

Timothy Wengert, LHSN’s new head of digital media, said that he believes that practical experience is the best way to learn. He said, “…I think there is just so much more value out of doing it yourself, getting hands-on, real-life experience…whether it’s just putting a camera in your hands, learning how to direct on the fly…I find that that’s the most tangible thing that employers are looking for…” 

Wengert also noted that students with practical experience could leave Lynchburg with a portfolio of work as well as industry knowledge.

LHSN is also nationally recognized as one of the top D3 broadcasting networks currently available for college athletics, further benefiting students involved. 

Sam Rice, a graduate assistant for LHSN, said “…LHSN has established itself as a pretty quality group…just my name being with that…does a lot for me.” Wengert further emphasized this sentiment, saying that “We are doing it better than the majority of the country…” He also said, “If you’re a student and you’re a part of that and your work looks good, you’re working with quality equipment – it’s not just this rinky-dink Christmas Panasonic camcorder – it’ll make your work look that much better, which makes it easier for you to get a job once you graduate.”

To learn more about LHSN, visit lynchburgsports.com. 

Preview of Historic Sandusky Exhibit in Drysdale

Ameliah Knopp ~ Social Media Manager

Photo of Historic Sandusky’s artifacts taken by Ameliah Knopp, March 9, 2022

The untold stories of the enslaved people who lived at Historic Sandusky will be revealed this spring through a new exhibit at the University of Lynchburg.

Junior Archeology minors at the school, Haley Sabolcik and Emma Coffey, are turning their poster for the Archeological Society of Virginia into a display to be shown in the Drysdale Student Center for the next year. 

“I love being able to see a story crafted and I am able to help preserve and tell stories which excites me,” said Coffey. “Stories are the core of who we are as people… People can speak through time from centuries ago to the modern era and have their stories felt.”

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The Campus Buzz

William Masselli ~ Editor-in-Chief

Photo: Photo retrieved from Brianna Lee on April 12, 2022. Tri Sigma will be one of many organizations hosting events throughout the next seven days. One of the events they will hold is the Plant Your Roots event, an event where students can socialize. 

As spring blooms, the University of Lynchburg is buzzing with activities and opportunities for students to get involved during the next seven days.

The Outdoor Leadership Program will host a free sunset hike April 13 at 5:00 p.m. In an email, Coordinator of Outdoor Leadership Programs Timothy Slusser stated, “Hornets Grab your Camera and Join the Outdoor Leadership Program as we hike to see the sunset at Humpback Rocks. We will leave campus at 5:00. There is no cost for this trip.”  Students can sign up: ​​https://linktr.ee/UofL_OLP.

In Greek Life, Tri Sigma is hosting a Plant Your Roots event. Membership Recruitment Director Brianna Lee campus-wide email said, “The sisters of Tri Sigma invite you to paint a flower pot and pick out a plant Friday, April 15, @ 6:00 p.m. on the Koudelka Family Balcony (third floor of Drysdale).”  Students are encouraged to  RSVP to ensure they have enough supplies! 

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Honoring Sean Williams

William Masselli ~ Editor in Chief

Photo: Photo retrieved from Tanner Wynne at wynnet599@lynchburg.edu on April 10, 2022. 

Phi Kappa Tau is celebrating the life of their brother, Sean Williams, by holding a volleyball tournament. They are selling shirts to raise money for his plaque. 

The Phi Kappa Tau chapter at the University of Lynchburg is raising money to commemorate the life of their brother, Sean Williams.

James Cardenas, a senior and member of Phi Kappa Tau reflected on this relationship with Williams. He said, “I met him when I was a freshman, and after I met him as a freshman, we became part of the same fraternity. I know him on a very personal level. He was a very strong, emotional speaker who was able to connect with others. He was always a helping hand to people, not just the fraternity itself, but to others as well.”

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