Matthew Gillett, current Vice External Affairs, will serve as the Student Government Association president for the 2021-2022 school year at the University of Lynchburg.
Gillett was born and raised in Oklahoma City, Okla. Being born in OKC gave him his love of sports, especially the NBA team Oklahoma City Thunder.
Although it has been a strange year, due to COVID-19, it has not stopped Gillett from doing the things he loves. “I love to hang out with my friends. It has been weird this year due to COVID, but I love going to sporting events and being outside, which is one of the reasons I chose the University of Lynchburg, and I fell in love with the Blue Ridge Mountains,” said Gillett.
Last week, the jury found former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of all three counts that he faced over the death of George Floyd.
The University of Lynchburg notified students and faculty prior to the decision that they would have support systems in place following the results of the trial.
Dr. Alison Morrison-Shetlar, the president of the University, emailed members of the Lynchburg community on Monday, April 19, she said, “I want you to know that I am equally cognizant of how the outcome may impact our students, faculty, and staff here on campus and our extended community of alumni, friends, and neighbors.”
At a 25-11 overall record and a 15-4 record in ODAC play, the University of Lynchburg Men’s Baseball Team is turning a 2-6 start into a home run season that could feature an ODAC title.
Brandon Pond, a junior pitcher and infielder, illustrated that the 2-6 record was indicative of the team’s rustiness. Pond said, “After starting off with a 2-6 record, we realized we had some work to do. We had our previous season canceled due to the coronavirus, so we were rusty. We always knew we had the talent and potential to be great. We started working more efficiently and executing in practice to make things easier in the games.”
Pond continued, “My teammates, coaches, and I did our part to ensure we can recover from a disappointing start and be in the position we are in now. We are now in position to win an ODAC championship, a dream that will be truly special for us if it comes to fruition.”
Head Coach Lucas Jones is grateful that the disappointing start allowed him to address his team’s weaknesses. “Looking back, the 2-6 start was actually a blessing,” he stated. “It created some questions that we needed to answer and answer quickly. Our mindset was off, so that slow start allowed us to take a step back and process what adjustments needed to be made. We were able to put some players in different positions and take a different offensive approach that has vastly improved over the season. Our pitching staff has tremendous depth. During this season, the opportunities to get on the mound and continue to log game time were important. We knew they would succeed, but it was just going to take some repetition and competition.”
CDC says many Americans can now go outside without a mask
By MIKE STOBBE
NEW YORK (AP) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention eased its guidelines Tuesday on the wearing of masks outdoors, saying fully vaccinated Americans don’t need to cover their faces anymore unless they are in a big crowd of strangers.
And those who are unvaccinated can go outside without masks in some situations, too.
The new guidance represents another carefully calibrated step on the road back to normal from the coronavirus outbreak that has killed over 570,000 people in U.S.
Ex-cop guilty of murder and manslaughter in Floyd case
By AMY FORLITI, STEPHEN GROVES and TAMMY WEBBER
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin has been convicted of murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd, the explosive case that triggered worldwide protests, violence and a furious reexamination of racism and policing in the U.S.
The jury reached its verdict Tuesday after deliberating about 10 hours over two days in a city on edge against another outbreak of unrest.
COVID-19 continues to impact the world and that includes the University of Lynchburg. In the effort of keeping the virus at bay on campus, the University has partnered with the Virginia Department of Health to give the students the opportunity to be vaccinated.
The University of Lynchburg has made the vaccine available to all students, faculty, and staff at the Health Center and at the regional vaccination center located in Candlers Station Shopping Center at 3700 Candlers Mountain Road. The University announced to the student body through email that they “have received a supply of vaccines from the health department and are making the vaccine available to students who qualify.”
The University is working towards giving students, faculty, and staff the opportunity to have access to the vaccine because they want everyone who wants to be able to get vaccinated to be able to do so.
Matthew Gillett, a junior, was elected President of the Student Government Association for the 2021-2022 school year at the University of Lynchburg on April 16.
Gillett said, “The SGA election process was a whirlwind! Campaigning began April 1 and continued through election day, which was April 15. My campaign focused on reaching out to Hornets and meeting them where they are. I talked with students in the Burton Dining Hall, on the Dell, and in their residence halls, so that I might understand what they wanted for Lynchburg, and so they might understand the goals of my Presidency.”
Gillett reiterated, “Just as I stated so many times throughout the campaign, my goal as SGA President will be a simple one: make everyone proud to be a Hornet.”
Since COVID struck in March 2020, many Americans have been forced to find other forms of income due to losing their jobs because of the pandemic. As a result, some individuals resorted to alternative work such as creating an OnlyFans page to make a source of income.
Dr. Nichole Sanders is a history professor at the University of Lynchburg, specializing in women’s history. She says that this is not the first time in history women have done alternative work.
She explained that one example of women doing alternative work can be seen during World War II, when women were helping with the war cause.
The Academy Center of the Arts will be hosting Brett Thomas, a mobile Raku artist, for a pottery session in which attendees can create pieces in outdoor kilns. The class will take place in two sessions on April 23 and April 24.
Thomas has been coming to the Academy since Oct. of 2016 and this will be his ninth time teaching classes.
“I think people are really wowed by the process because of its immediate response,” said Ted Batt, the director of Visual arts who also oversees the Pottery Studio at the Academy. “You get these really cool metallic colors that you do not get from firing okay, and it’s got a long history it actually dates back to Japanese processes.”
On Apr. 18, 2021, the University of Lynchburg Women’s Field Hockey Team won its third ODAC championship in a row and won its 21st ODAC championship overall.
Head Coach Enza Steele expressed how happy she is that her players were rewarded for persevering through adversity, stating, “I think we were in a year that contained a lot of adversity. Hopes were shattered, plans were destroyed, and dreams were crushed. Then, there was a little bit of light when the ODAC conference allowed fall sports to be played in the spring. I was happy that we played some games. We had a total of 10 games while in a usual season we would have had 19. We had to be cautious during practice every day in order to play. I think our dedication to our favorite sport paid off. It would have been easy for so many girls to have an attitude of this season not being worth it. However, these girls showed their passion for their favorite sport.”
The University of Lynchburg Women’s Softball Team is currently enjoying a great season, but the team is looking to obtain key victories against Roanoke, Guilford, and Emory and Henry to increase the team’s chances of hosting the ODAC championship.
Head Coach Dawn Simmons expressed the immense amount of pride she has for all her players, stating, “I am immensely proud because I am impressed with how well this young team is playing. We have one graduate student who returned from last year, a couple of seniors, a couple of juniors, and the rest are freshmen and sophomores. I am extremely proud about how they are learning to play together. Everyone has grown throughout the season.”
The sudden resignation of Dr. Aaron Smith, the vice president and dean of students at the University of Lynchburg has shaken the campus community.
Constituents across the university were alerted of Smith’s resignation through an email from Lynchburg President, Dr. Alison Morrison-Sheltar on April 9. In the email she also named Associate Dean of Campus Life, Kristen Cooper as the Interim Dean of Students.
“Although his departure may be considered a great loss to our community, his work ethic and mentality resides within all of us that he mentored, including our new Interim Dean of Students, Kristen Cooper,” said Davion Washington, student government president at Lynchburg. “I would urge the campus community to shy away from rumors and falsehoods, as Dr. Smith deserves his privacy and respect.”
Campaign season is in full effect at the University of Lynchburg as students gear up for elections for the new Student Government Association president. Elections are set to take place on Thursday, April 15.
This year’s presidential candidates include current class of 2022 members Alejandra Bonilla and Matthew Gillett.
According to an email sent to current students, both candidates are current cabinet members of SGA and actively involved around campus.