‘The 1619 Project’ Creator Discusses Importance of Uncomfortable Conversation

Hannah-Jones at the University of Lynchburg. Photo by John McCormick

Alyssa Wilson ~ Assistant News Editor

Author of The 1619 Project, Nikole Hannah-Jones visited the University of Lynchburg as the Rosel Schewel Lecture award winner nearly a year ago, and while much has changed since her visit many things are still the same. 

Hannah-Jones’ 1619 Project, has upended conversations on race and racism nationally. It was recently developed into a docuseries put out by Hulu refreshing many minds on the importance of the project which was originally developed as a New York Times Magazine, then a book, and  a podcast. 

Topics like those broached in the docuseries are still relevant today, while some people have proven to be sensitive to those topics others welcome them with open arms – unafraid of uncomfortable conversations. 

Hannah-Jones’ project begs the question of how educators can create an environment within their classrooms that cultivates open and honest discussions around topics like racism and how it touches so many parts of American life. 

The importance of teaching multiculturalism and being real with students is Hannah-Jones’ answer to this question. 

“So it’s the obligation of professors, to teach them about the world that they will actually go in, because you can’t help what community you were born into, you can’t help if you went to schools that weren’t diverse, or you live in a community that’s not diverse,” said Hannah-Jones. 

The University of Lynchburg is a predominantly white institution, attended by students who, for the majority, have grown up in predominantly white areas and attended mostly white K-12 schools. 


LPD Updates for March 1st

[UPDATE] Shooting incident – 1400-block Monroe Street 

LYNCHBURG, Va. — The shooting incident that occurred in the 1400-block of Monroe Street is now a death investigation.  

Overnight, the victim, a juvenile female succumbed to injuries sustained from a single gun-shot wound.    

[UPDATE 2] Shooting incident – 1400-block Monroe Street 

LYNCHBURG, Va. — The Lynchburg Police Department (LPD) offers our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the child who passed away over the weekend.  

This shooting incident occurred inside a home in the 1400-block of Monroe Street and remains an active and ongoing investigation.  The victim has been identified as a 12-year-old female who died from a non-self-inflicted gunshot wound to the abdomen.  

LPD has identified and interviewed those who were in the home at the time of this incident and are not seeking any additional individuals. LPD continues to communicate with the Lynchburg Commonwealth’s Attorney to determine if charges are appropriate.  

News and Brief For March 1st

From battered California to New England, snow bookends US

AP – Beleaguered Californians got hit again Tuesday as a new winter storm moved into the already drenched and snow-plastered state, with blizzard warnings blanketing the Sierra Nevada and forecasters warning residents that any travel was dangerous.

Bookending the country, a winter storm in the Northeast closed or delayed the opening for hundreds of schools as the most significant snowfall of what has been a mild winter hit overnight.

And Michigan again fought a battle with ice after a new storm that hit Monday left thousands of customers without power in the central part of the state. To the southeast, around Detroit, some customers still lacked power for a sixth day after a previous ice storm.

 Credit to Amy Taxin and Mark Pratt 

Conservative justices question student loan forgiveness plan 

WASHINGTON (AP) — Conservative justices holding the Supreme Court’s majority are skeptically questioning President Joe Biden’s plan to wipe away or reduce student loans held by millions of Americans.

In arguments on Tuesday stretching well beyond the allotted two hours, Chief Justice John Roberts led his conservative colleagues in questioning the administration’s authority to broadly cancel federal student loans because of the COVID-19 emergency.

The plan has so far been blocked by Republican-appointed judges on lower courts.

It was not clear that any of the six justices appointed by Republican presidents would approve of the debt relief program, although Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett appeared most open to the administration’s arguments.

Credit to Mark Sherman and Jessica Gresko 

Putin signs bill to suspend last nuclear arms pact with US

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday signed a bill formally suspending the last remaining nuclear arms treaty with the United States, amid soaring tensions with Washington over Moscow’s action in Ukraine.

Putin had declared a week ago in his state-of-the-nation address that Moscow was suspending its participation in the 2010 New START treaty. He had charged that Russia can’t accept U.S. inspections of its nuclear sites under the pact at a time when Washington and its NATO allies have openly declared Russia’s defeat in Ukraine as their goal.

Both houses of parliament quickly ratified Putin’s bill on the pact’s suspension last week. On Tuesday, Putin signed it into law, effective immediately. The document says that it’s up to the president to decide whether Moscow could return to the pact.

Credit to Vladimir Isachenkov

Kappa Delta Golf Tournament

For the second year in a row, the University of Lynchburg’s sorority Zeta Nu chapter of Kappa Delta will be hosting their annual golf tournament at Poplar Forest Golf Course on March 26th. 

This tournament is a very important to the sorority’s philanthropy, Prevent Child Abuse America as all of the proceeds will be going to supporting the organization. 

Kappa Delta’s Vice President of Events and Programing, Lauren Mills said, “Our golf tournament is the last day of our shamrock week. Shamrock week is a long-standing nationwide Kappa Delta event to fundraise for PCAA. Last year, Jenna Marshall hosted an amazing golf tournament, and I wanted to continue that!”


Suiting Up in Schewel Hall

Izzie Kirkwood ~ Intern

On the third floor of Schewel Hall at the University of Lynchburg, sits a student’s dream closet.

The ‘Suit Yourself’ closet is a project dedicated to helping provide students with formal wear for interviews, ceremonies and many other events. 

Dr. James Roux, professor of Communication Studies, started this project to help the students in his Business and Professional Communication class when they did not have attire for their required mock interviews. 

“Over the years, increasingly, my students did not have appropriate interview clothing,” he explained. 

The demand soon grew beyond just the students enrolled in business classes. 

“After talking more, I realized that more people did not have etiquette clothing. It just grew the need for it,” Roux said. 

Allison Schroeder, senior administrative assistant for the Lynchburg College of Arts and Sciences, helps Roux in the upkeep and advertising of the closet. 


New Self Defense Class at Lynchburg

Ali Morrison ~ Assistant News Editor

Housing and Residence Life Partner with Wellness to Teach Self Defense 

A self defense course opened up for faculty, students and staff last Wednesday, led by Ricky Reiss and Jamie Smith. This course was started in response to some of the recent security concerns both on and off campus. 

The course was designed to educate participants on how to defend themselves from oncoming attacks,provide information on relevant issues like how to tell a bartender that you need help or how to seek assistance from Campus Security. 


Students Participate in Walk to Fight Homelessness 

Alyssa Wilson ~ Assisant News Editor

Photo of volunteers taken by Lorraine Upton. Volunteers from left to right (Olivia Upton, Claire King, Naomi Watkins, Hailey Jones, Bethany Tanner.) 

Volunteerism is at the center of the  University of Lynchburg’s Center for Community Engagement.

This past weekend, students volunteered and participated in The Coldest Night of the Year, a fundraiser for local nonprofit organization, Miriam’s House

Miriam’s House is an organization that helps to house homeless women and their children in an effort to eradicate homelessness in the Greater Lynchburg area and beyond. 

The Coldest Night of the Year is an annual 2K walk event up and down Rivermont Avenue.

The Bonner Leader Program volunteered at the event as cheerleaders for the walkers, holding up signs of encouragement, blowing bubbles and giving out high fives. 


Lynchburg Women’s Basketball Team Season Recap

Andrew Watson ~ Guest Writer

A discussion prior to the Hornet’s first-round game in the ODAC tournament. Photo courtesy of Lynchburg Sports

University of Lynchburg’s Women’s basketball team finished their season last Monday as they fell in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference tournament to Ferrum College. The Hornets finished the season with a final record of 7-19. 

Although the 2022-2023 season did not lead to a favorable record for the Hornets, the development of the young talent on the squad took precedence. 

According to the Lynchburg  athletics website, the Hornets had 11 first-year students on their team, accounting for the most in a single class since the records accounted for rosters, dating back to the 2010-2011 season. 

Second-year Head Coach Allison Nichols talked about how important development is. She stated, “The team that we were in November and early December is completely different than the team we are now, and that was our goal.” 

The Hornets were led by first-year Maddie Nimmo, who averaged 12.5 points per game. This earned the guard Third Team All ODAC Honors in her debut season with the Hornets.


Lynchburg Celebrates Ash Wednesday

Ali Morrison ~ Assistant News Editor

Photo of Sydney Lawrence ‘24 after getting ‘ashed’. 

The University of Lynchburg celebrated Ash Wednesday, the start of the Lenten season celebrated by many christian religions, with an ‘Ashes on the Go’ service.

The receiving of ashes kicks off Lent, the season leading up to Easter, and symbolizes becoming anew, signaling the hope that is about to come. Ash Wednesday is commemorated through a church service, which can sometimes be hard for people to attend.

This includes students and staff who tend to be busy this time of year, making the receiving of ashes more difficult. 

‘Ashes on the Go’, created about two years ago, to allow the campus community an opportunity to commune.


Lynchburg Softball’s Home Opener is a Sign of Things to Come

Andrew Watson ~ Guest Writer

The new elevated viewing area laid the framework for the total renovation of Moon Field Photo Courtesy of Lynchburg Sports

The University of Lynchburg’s Softball team began their season on the road with a win against William Peace University and continued that success in their home opener when they played host to the Mary Baldwin University Fighting Squirrels.

The Hornets improved to 4-0 on the season following the sweep of Mary Baldwin. Lynchburg took game one of the doubleheader by a score of 9-1 and won the second game with a final score of 14-6. 

Game one was highlighted by a pair of home runs courtesy of first-year utility player, Sarah Watts. Watts went four for five on the day and added five runs batted in for the Hornets. 

Kailey Dorcsis was the starting pitcher for game one and picked up her second win of the season.


Lynchburg Men’s Swimming Wraps Up 2022-23 Season Second in the ODAC

Reagan Bednar ~ Guest Writer

On Feb. 11, the Lynchburg men’s swim team wrapped up their 2022-23 season by earning a runner-up trophy in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference Championship. 

For the first time in Lynchburg Swim Team history, graduate student Colton Schnars was awarded the ODAC Swimmer of the Meet Award.

Additionally, senior Matt Fields was awarded the ODAC/Virginia Farm Bureau Insurance Scholar-Athlete Award alongside his female teammate, Lindsey Hair. 

Records were also broken in this final meet as junior Will Kasemeyer broke the program record in the 100 freestyle race, and graduate student Chris Jennings shattered the 200 breaststroke program record.


Cocaine Bear: Too Much Cocaine, Not Enough Bear

Rylee McDonal ~ Copy Editor

The highly anticipated movie, Cocaine Bear, has recently been released, and is nothing to scoff at.

The movie is based on an event where park rangers found a dead bear in the woods, later learning that it overdosed on cocaine that had been dropped by former narcotics officer, Andrew Thornton. The bear was then stuffed and placed in a mall in Lexington, Kentucky.

While the movie may have been inspired by true events, the producers utilize their creative license by turning the bear into a drug fueled mass murderer searching for more cocaine.


Nerd Factor: The Remainder of Us  

Dr. Mike ~ UL Communication Studies Professor

Spoiler Warning: This article contains plot details for The Last of Us.

I’m having a lot of trouble with The Last of Us. The HBO Max series inspired by a popular video game franchise appears to be exciting for many viewers. It’s not doing much for me. 

I really wanted to like this show. While I have not played the game, I am a fan of post-apocalyptic scenarios in general and zombie stories in particular. There is a puzzle to the walking dead and their close kin that I enjoy. Most monsters are a tough problem to solve. As a good friend of mine once pointed out, in a zombie scenario, we would probably all be lunch. Still, it’s fun to think about how one might survive. 

Of course, the creatures in this series are not exactly zombies in the typical sense. The “infected” in this case are humans overrun with a particularly aggressive mutant strain of fungus. This infection drives its victims to attack humans, thus transmitting the contamination into a new host. Since the infected are fungal in nature, they exhibit blooms, creating interesting new visuals.  

One of the major problems with this series is that the monsters are hardly in it. After a powerful, compelling, and certainly expensive pilot episode, the infected have been few and far between. For long stretches of episodes, they simply do not show up. This tamps down the zombie action in this zombie show. This is why I’ve started referring to the program as The Slowest of Us, The Last Few Minutes of Us, and most recently, 48 Minutes Later

Now, zombie shows… sorry, I mean infected human shows… do not have to have non-stop zombie action. The Walking Dead found plenty of ways to occupy itself with human interaction at times too. There is a lot of interpersonal conflict inherent in survival scenarios. At times, the many characters on The Walking Dead seemed to be eating at each other more than zombies were trying to eat on them. 


Interning at the University of Lynchburg

Izzie Kirkwood ~ Intern

This past week, I had the opportunity of starting an internship with the Critograph here at the University of Lynchburg

I am lucky enough to attend the Central Virginia Governor’s School, and one of their primary pulls for incoming juniors is the fact that each person will complete a 10-week internship in the spring semester.

While most of my classmates decided to work at places like Centra Health or Framatome, I was sure that I wanted to work with journalists somewhere. 

Coming into this experience, I was unsure of what to expect. 

All of the reporting I have ever done has come from working for a high school magazine, interviewing my friends and peers who I have known since I was a kid.

However, despite only spending one day on campus, I already feel so immersed in student life here at the University of Lynchburg. 


Students Raise Mold Concerns

Ali Morrison ~ Assistant News Editor

Photo of mold growing in Fraley’s residence. Taken by Lilly Fraley. 

Mold has been an issue amongst residential students at the University of Lynchburg for some time, causing health concerns for some students. 

While Maintenance and the Housing and Residence Life Department are fighting to get this taken care of, the mold’s existence is still there. 

Courtney Kelsey, Director of Housing and Residence Life says there have been eight work orders filed this school year, some of which were actually dust mistaken as mold. 

“At this time, all rooms and residences that have been brought to the attention of our office have been addressed,” Kelsey said. Even though they are categorized as already being dealt with, this is not necessarily the case for many of the houses and apartments here on campus. 

Junior, Lilly Fraley is one of those that has mold concerns within her residence. “It’s been such an issue for our house. We put in a work order and for the past two and a half weeks nothing has been done,” said Fraley.

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