Lynchburg College

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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Unity 

Written By Faith McCray ~ Copy Desk Chief 

Photo of Waterfall in Doswell, Virginia By Faith McCray 

Psalm 133 is a song of ascents, and a Psalm of David. 

1 How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity! 2 It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron’s beard, down on the collar of his robe. 3 It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the Lord bestows his blessing, even life forevermore.

This Psalm focuses on unity and the joy it brings. It expresses the blessings of Israel’s tribes living together in harmony. 

Before David’s coronation was held in Israel, the tribes were determined to pursue their own interests and beliefs. There were even some who opposed him and all that he believed in. 

However, 1 Chronicles 12:38-40 informs us that they eventually made peace, and that they were finally able to come together and stand as a united kingdom. 

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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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Nerd Factor: Men’s and Women’s Sexy Costume Catalog Superhero Holiday Article for Men and for Women

Image From: https://shilpaahuja.com/top-female-superhero-costumes/

Dr. Mike ~ UL Communication Studies Professor

Halloween has been slowly changing over the past few decades from a holiday largely for children into an event celebrated by the entire family. There was always money to be had in costume manufacturing, but as adults have begun to participate more, new products have arrived to meet their needs.

At the same time, the superhero genre has exploded from nerd culture into the mainstream. No one should be surprised that a genre that thrives on costumed identities would be a source of Halloween fun. Every year though, I find myself amused by the lengths some costume makers will go to avoid paying licensing fees. 

On one popular website, shoppers can filter their choices into male and female superhero costumes. There are 197 of the former and 190 of the latter. So, congratulations to the females for achieving some kind of equality. 

Each of those categories are subdivided into “sexy.” There are 79 sexy costumes for women. There are 2 for men. One is Wolverine and the other we’ll discuss in a moment. Perhaps that disparity is a marketing consideration. Maybe men do not search for costumes looking to be “sexy.” It’s probably old-fashioned sexism though.

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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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Nerd Factor: Build High for Heroism

Dr. Mike ~ UL Communication Studies Professor

Image from: https://www.christiesrealestate.com/sales/detail/170-l-83612-f1605878495/217-west-57th-street-114-midtown-west-new-york-ny-10019

I like to look at really expensive residence ads. Like everyone, I guess I’m a bit of a lottery-win dreamer. I also like to do this from time to time because it really confuses the heck out of my advertising algorithms. 

Recently I was looking at an ad for 217 W. 57th St. Penthouse, a new $250 million residence in New York City. To some seriously epic sounding music, the video ad for this place argues that this is the “highest residence in the world.” As one might expect for a quarter-billion bucks, the domicile has a number of bedrooms, all sorts of amenities, and its own ballroom. 

Do you know what’s missing? A place to put your flying car, supercomputer, and space jet. As an old school comics fan, I can’t help myself. I see every skyscraper as a potential superhero headquarters. 

Back in the day, there were basically two terrestrial choices for an urban super team looking to centralize. Superheroes built up or superheroes built down. Earth’s Mightiest Heroes had Avengers Mansion, a swanky residence donated to the team by gazillionaire Tony Stark (back when people did not know he was Iron Man). There was something undeniably cool about the fact that a person could just be walking down the sidewalk, turn through a gate and go up to the Avenger’s front door (after being secretly scanned by security devices, of course). In order to make all of this work, the Avengers dug down into the solid bedrock of Manhattan Island to store all of their equipment and vehicles.

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Censorship and Why Opinion Pieces Are “Newsworthy”: OPINION

By Caroline Gilmore ~ Marketing Manager

A couple of weeks ago, The Critograph’s Instagram posted a photo reminding readers to check out the latest issue which contained a segment in it entitled “Faith’s Faith: David’s Trust and the Afterlife,” written by Faith Mccray, Copy Desk Chief.

The post was met with mixed responses, from people supporting the column to those condemning it.

One commenter wrote “The irony of this being right after your post about pride (joy emoji),” which prompted alumni Peter Lynch to ask “This is journalism?”.

The harsh reactions to this post were confusing for a multitude of reasons. 

First, the Psalm in question, Psalm 16, has nothing to do with pride, LGBTQ+ relationships, or anything remotely related to those values.

Rather, Psalm 16 talks about David’s relationship with God and how he has learned to trust in him and rejoice in his salvation and protection even when things seem like they will never improve.

If anything, this Psalm could be applied to the struggles that many LGBTQ+ people face, of feeling disconnected from their families, or even society as a whole, but still having hope that things will get better, the same way that David trusted in God.

The idea that LGBTQ+ pride and religion do not belong together is a false argument built on the belief that the two communities do not intermingle, however it would be over-generalizing and stereotyping to assume that all LGBTQ+ people are not religious, or that all religious people do not support the LGBTQ+ community.

Believing either of those assumptions creates more division among a community that is already so marginalized and can only continue cycles of harm.

Second, this segment, where Mccray writes an exegesis on a piece of scripture, has been published in The Critograph four times before.

However, this is the first time that The Critograph’s Instagram account has ever posted about the segment.

The only conclusion that can be made is that the added publicity for the article also drew more scrutiny.

Third, The Critograph has published articles about the Wiccan religion, opinion articles, poetry, horoscopes and other topics that are not traditionally considered “newsworthy” or “journalism”, but we still believe are valued perspectives and artistic contributions of our campus community.

Fourth, Lynch asked if there was interest in Christian-based content on campus.

The University of Lynchburg is associated with the Christian church. There are several religious groups on campus, including CRU Ministry, which seeks to involve college students in Christianity. There are also organizations representing other religions, including the Hinduism club and the Buddhist society.

The Critograph allows for the publication of religious texts from any group or author on campus, regardless of their religion. Simply put, if anyone wants to write articles on texts of other faiths, they are more than welcome to do so and submit at critograph@lynchburg.edu.

Lastly, I would like to remind the Critograph’s readers that we do welcome your criticism. In fact, we would like you to write to us if you ever have an issue with the content published. 

We welcome you to write a letter to our Editor-in-Chief, Alyssa Wilson, and we will publish it in the next edition of the Critograph, with her reply.

Thank you for supporting our collective Hornet voice.

Response to the Letter to the Editor

Dear Megan, 

Thank you for reading The Critograph and for reaching out to the staff with your concerns. Without expression from the student body, we as a newspaper are unable to continue growing forward and set a precedent and reputation of what the Critograph represents. Here at the Critograph we believe that all students – regardless of their faith or lack thereof – should be able to express what they believe in and share those beliefs freely with the student body. 

Throughout its existence, the Critograph has been a space for any and all students to write about their faith. This includes a Wiccan column that has been active with the Critograph for several years. We work to make sure that articles are still inclusive and never work to harm the lives or wellbeing of others. In fact, we open the newspaper and welcome students of other faith practices to write about what they believe in as well. 

Before being posted, articles of all kinds go through multiple people to be edited and approved. Just like you, the editors of articles have varying views on religion and are all diverse in their own ways as well. This editing process includes the weekly Faith’s Faith article that you mentioned in your letter. Faith did not allude to harming any marginalized individuals through her article or use any harmful, aggressive language. Even after rereading the article after receiving your letter, we still found no harmful or offensive language within the article. 

However, we do agree that the University of Lynchburg should be a champion for diversity and inclusion, and as a paper we strive to uphold President Alison’s pillar of diversity by including articles about the Christian faith because that is what a student wanted to express. We understand that there are many other faith practices outside of Christianity and if students would like to write about those, they are more than welcome to. 

The Critograph is an inclusive space for all students and everyone is welcome here. We strive to promote equality and we will continue to put forth our best effort to minimize the promotion of hate on campus. We would implore you to please reread the article, and our email is always open for you to point out specifics that you found hateful in the article. 

Thank you once again for sharing your voice and your opinion with the Critograph. We welcome free speech and are open to hearing what our fellow Hornets have to say.

Thank you, 

The Critograph Editorial Team 

Letter To Editor from Megan Pickett

Dear Editor,

I am writing today to discuss my displeasure with the Critograph’s handling of recent articles.  I am specifically referring to the article titled “Faith’s Faith: David’s Trust and The Afterlife”. I am currently a student and student leader to several Spiritual Life Center student groups on campus as well as being employed full-time at the University of Lynchburg. This article is part of a group of several other articles that have been posted by the Critograph in the past year. The Spiritual Life Center staff has reached out on multiple occasions about the harm that articles like this cause to students on our campus of different faith practices yet it appears that the Critograph has done little in response. There is nothing wrong with wanting to share your faith and how you find your spiritual practice to be beautiful and comforting but when your words 1) represent the University of Lynchburg as an institution and 2) promote harmful narratives towards marginalized communities then you need to rethink how you are sharing your message. I could potentially understand if the article had an overarching theme that could be understood and related to by students regardless of their faith practice but even that is not the case here. I have a question for the Critograph, I get that you are a newspaper, but how would you feel if someone thought that you were less of a person because of your religion and then the university that is supposed to be a champion for diversity and inclusion in Lynchburg allows for it to be sent to all students.  This is something I would expect out of Liberty University and I am so disappointed that UofL is allowing it. One of President Alison’s 3 pillars of the university is Diversity and Inclusion and this includes individuals who are not Christian. I know personally that I am not the only student who found great issues with this article, many of the students in my own Spiritual Life Groups and others that I am in communication with have also expressed their disgust with the recent article. 

I want to make it clear that my issue is not that the University is posting articles about the Christian faith, my issue is with the offensive and disrespectful language used in the article and with the apparent disregard that the Critograph editors have when it comes to the inclusion of all students.

So Critograph, please do better in vetting your articles. This is not the institution for the promotion of hate.

Respectfully,

Megan Pickett

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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