Category: Community

Model United Nations negotiates with the world

Community Editor

An elite group of students live it up in New York City for five days while tackling issues that countries around the world deal with on a daily basis.
This is most notably known as Model United Nations, a conference in which college students worldwide represent a country or organization in a simulation session of the United Nations.
“Model UN is a study-abroad trip for a whole semester. For many weeks you study and write to represent a single country for a one week trip. In that one week you not only represent, you report. Model UN is the study-abroad trip without the cost; you meet and learn from almost every nation on this earth, from the developed West to the emerging East,” said senior Kyle Wimbrough.
Much preparation behind the scenes is required, and students devote their time to preparing for this unique, academic experience.
“In Model UN students research a country, learn about the UN, write position papers, learn about committee structure, become experts in important international issues, negotiate, write resolutions, debate, make international friends, write reports, make speeches, role play, tour NYC, amend documents, meet international dignitaries, learn about other cultures, walk in the shadows of greatness, achieve academic credit and have an amazing time doing it,” said Dr. Aubrey Westfall, assistant professor of political science.
The students’ motives for joining the team becomes what drives them to succeed on the trip to New York City.
“I wanted to participate in Model UN because it is an excellent opportunity to get a first-hand experience of the daily events of a UN delegate. A student is able to be put in the perspective of another country, and is determined to negotiate in favor of not only one country, but of the world. It is essential to maintain international awareness and to preserve the relevance of the United Nations as an important world body. Model UN puts students in the heart of peace negotiation,” said junior Joshua Beatty.
Throughout their journey, students apply their knowledge from the previous months to the simulation, meet new people and gain skills they can bring back to campus.
“I learned a lot from the trip. I learned that if you look at every situation from different lenses and see the world as others do, you can learn a lot that the classroom does not teach you. I met people from around the world and they taught me a lot and I’m better for it. I hope I get to meet them again and many more,” said junior Owen James.
Participants were able to take back not only valuable skills but heartwarming experiences and memories from the trip of a lifetime.
“Model UN teaches negotiation skills, interpersonal skills, cultural differences, public speaking skills, presentation skills, critical thinking, and so many more skills. I take all of these things from Model UN, and I also take away great memories and make some fantastic friends,” said sophomore Katie Stefano.
Members of the team have high hopes for the future of Model UN.
“I hope to see the Virginia Wesleyan team continue to attend the New York and DC conferences, and perhaps expand into smaller regional conferences as well, with a large and diverse enough team to sustain itself for many years to come,” said sophomore Maria Marinelli.
Overall, the experience is rewarding for the students; all of the hard work paid off once they received the Honorable Mention Delegation, given by the National Colligate College Association, while on this trip.
“Model UN energizes me as a teacher, because I can watch the students connect with the material and give it personal meaning. They become engaged global citizens before my eyes,” said Dr. Westfall.

Seniors, don’t forget about the price tag

Kaitlyn Dozier

Graduation signifies the culmination of years of hard work and is a time to celebrate. However, the overall costs surrounding this event might surprise graduates who are already overwhelmed with impending student loan payments. Though not all items are necessary, for graduates that want to take advantage of all of the offerings, graduation can become pricey:

Cap and Gown: mandatory from VWC, $150
Honor Cords: range from $10-$20 each,
students may wear up to 5
Senior Week ticket: four days of events, $30
Class Ring: averages $400
Diploma Frame: from Bookstore, around $150
Announcements: “Essential Package” from Balfour,
about $140
Official Photos: package from Candid Color, $39.50

Other costs to consider include travel expenses for family members attending the ceremony, the purchase of an outfit that complies with the commencement dress code, graduation party supplies, moving expenses if needed for clearing out dorm rooms, gifts for fellow graduates and other unforeseen expenses.
Though graduation is an event that students will remember for a lifetime, the related expenses might get overlooked in the excitement of the milestone.

Clothes for water

Staff Writer

Virginia Wesleyan College has its very own designer. Meet junior Joshua Beatty, a native of Virginia Beach who has taken his creative eye and applied it for the greater good through a brand known as Good Garments, United. I sat down one-on-one with Josh at Virginia Beach Starbucks to get a little more info on the backgrounds of him and the brand.
AT: What is Good Garments?
JB: Good Garments is a brand that I’m a part of. We create opportunities for people to change the world—in style. We produce items that represent quality and authenticity, among other things.
AT: How is Good Garments a movement?
JB: We want to raise awareness of the need for clean water in other countries. And we also just want to give the best-quality product possible, and make a statement. We are doing what we love. If Good Garments didn’t exist, I’m sure we’d all still be doing things to help people, as well as exploring our interests fashion-wise.
AT: How did you guys come about?
JB: Good Garments’ founder, Justin Tungol, used to play basketball overseas in the Philippines immediately after he graduated from high school. Over there, he found himself in good fortune and he had his own driver, a nice car, his own house. But he realized how little those things mattered when there are other people struggling. So he came back to the U.S. and founded Good Garments. Justin and I had met not long after he got back. I’ve always been into fashion personally, even when I was really young and couldn’t afford much. It wasn’t until high school that I could start expressing myself and I ended up getting voted “best dressed” which was pretty cool. I’ve always studied fashion in my free time. Materials, history, designers, influences, art, textures, patterns, fabrics, development, all sorts of things. I had been working closely with people from the Good Garments camp for a while, and eventually I decided to apply for a position formally. Everything just meshed well.
AT: Did you find it difficult starting up in Hampton Roads rather than a more urbanized area?
JB: I think people underestimate Hampton Roads, and Virginia as a whole. But I don’t really think we thought about the difficulty of starting in one particular area, though. From the start we’ve just been thinking larger than that. Our goal was pretty much to help people and change lives. Putting our focus on that, along with ensuring quality in our items, is what I think blessed us with the amount of success we’ve had. A lot of businesses don’t make it through their first year.
AT: Is there a reason you specifically chose clean water?
JB: Water is one of those things that gets overlooked. We see it everywhere, and assume it’s abundant everywhere. A lot of people don’t think about this much, but water is actually one of the most essential resources in the world right now. Within the next 30 years or so, people are going to be fighting wars over water if nothing is done to help these families. Right now, there are close to a billion individuals going without it, and water-related illnesses are extremely high right now. In the next 30 years, it’s said that water-related illnesses will kill more people than AIDS. And we as Americans sometimes take it for granted because we are removed from the epicenter of this crisis. So at Good Garments, we feel like it’s only right to raise awareness on the issue and help before it’s too late.
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Donation funds new arts building on campus

Community Editor

In the months ahead, there will be a new fine arts building striking up conversations across campus. Students, faculty, and staff will appreciate the generous gift of $5 million from the Goode family, which is helping to fund the construction of the building.
“This extraordinary gift from the Goode family has electrified the campus community about the possibilities for this building as a new center for learning and creative expression,” said Mita Vail, vice president of college advancement.
With this donation toward the fine arts building, our campus community will soon be prepared to display its talented individuals and attract new students, faculty and staff to the department.
“This donation allows for a new face that better reflects the work that our students, faculty and staff are already doing,” said Michael Trotta, assistant professor of music and director of choral music. “It will allow for the arts programs to continue to grow and will provide valuable classroom spaces and a new theater that will act as an artistic hub for the Hampton Roads.”
It is believed that the building, which will be in a prime location on campus, could be used in a multitude of ways in the near future.
“I see the new Creative Arts building as an epicenter for the very best that our campus has to offer. Not just in the arts, but as a center for gathering, learning, inspiring, and performing,” said Trotta.
The campus community cannot express their excitement or their appreciation to the Goode family for the new fine arts building.
“I felt enormous gratitude to the Goode family for their commitment to Virginia Wesleyan and the arts,” said Vail. “As Mrs. Goode said in announcing the gift, ‘We believe the arts are vital to a liberal arts education and for our nation’s future. We hope this building will support and energize Virginia Wesleyan’s commitment to the liberal arts. Our family is very pleased to be able to make this gift and challenge others to do the same.”
Students have been involved in the planning process for the upcoming construction of this building to ensure that any concerns or ideas students may have are made known to the administration and to the architect.
“The students are so excited; they have become part of the planning and creation process. The faculty and architects are working together with students to make sure that their vision is part of the final project,” said Trotta.
It is important for the students to have a voice on campus, and the fact that their involvement is welcomed is of great benefit to the campus community.
“Our architect, faculty, and college leadership are committed to ensuring that our students’ ideas are reflected in the work spaces and gathering spaces being planned. The excitement and energy with which they have approached this assignment has been great,” said Vail.
Our campus has an active student body, and their opinions of this addition to campus are all positive.
Some aspects unique to the building will further arts education as well as extracurricular involvement campus- wide, which makes the new fine arts building all the more valuable to students.
“This building is important, because it will bring our terrific theater, fine arts and music programs together in a new state-of-the art facility that will enhance our students’ educational experiences. For example, the building will include a 450-seat theater that can be used for lectures, films and a gathering space for larger groups and individual classes,” said Vail.
As of now, there is no specific date for breaking ground on this project, but in the near future our campus will be overjoyed to welcome the opening of the new fine arts building.
“The construction timetable for the building will be decided in the months ahead. The architects are still developing the design. The construction company is being hired and, of course, the funds will have to be raised. Stay tuned!” said Vail. “This new building will have a tremendous impact not only on the arts at VWC but on the vitality of the College for decades to come.”

Former Marlin Chronicle editor, ’97, revered after fatal accident

Editor in Chief

Supermom. Committed. Magnificent as a person, parent and student.

With so much admiration, Jennifer Bush Lawson, class of 1997, truly was the epitome of the type of graduate Virginia Wesleyan aspires to develop.

On Feb. 24, Lawson died in Arlington from injuries sustained in a traffic accident. The legacy she left on this college and her community will continue to positively influence the lives of so many people.

“She was a beautiful person, very humble and never judgmental,” said alumni Kristen Winkler Cayton, also class of 1997. “She was genuinely kind to every person she met.”

Lawson, fondly known on campus as Jenn Bush, excelled as Editor in Chief of the Marlin Chronicle in the mid-1990s.

“We bonded while spending many hours in the old Marlin Chronicle office that was in Village I,” said Cayton, who also worked for the student-run newspaper. “We worked really hard to make the paper the very best it could be at that time, and we had fun doing it.”

A journalism major, Lawson graduated in 1997 with Summa Cum Laude honors. She began her career as a media relations specialist at the Association of American Medical Colleges. Lawson then worked for Edelman Public Relations before becoming a senior associate at Schmidt Public Affairs in Alexandria.

“Jenn was beyond an outstanding student,” said former Marlin Chronicle advisor and Professor of Journalism, Dr. William Ruehlmann. “She was an outstanding individual. She had a giving heart and a laughing spirit.”

Lawson, 39, is survived by her husband, Neal Lawson, and their three young children.

“Her examples of moral courage, unswerving citizenship, faithfulness to family and instinctive support of the underdog remain encouragements to all who knew her, and we will never, never forget her,” said Ruehlmann.

“She was a wonderful friend, more like a sister to me, and she was an incredible mom,” said Cayton. “I will cherish the time we had together, and it all started at Virginia Wesleyan.”

Rex-X experience the unexpected

Staff Writer

Everywhere around campus are colorful banners and painted window artwork that attempt to gain the attention of the campus community.
These efforts are for the Recreation Program at Virginia Wesleyan, known to students as RecX.
RecX offers a variety of activities ranging from relaxing pool movie nights to intramural sports; from camping in the surrounding forests to game tournaments.
“We had. . .a movie in the pool that we set up all day for. It was really good, we showed ‘Finding Nemo.’ I really liked it because it was something different,” said sophomore Erin Combs, a worker at the RecX office.
“It wasn’t like you sit in the Grille and watch a movie; it was relaxing. People swim around, all that stuff,” Kelly Keys, the supervisor of Recreational Sports and Activities, commented on the many activities that RecX puts on here at campus.
“Some of the biggest activities we do are intramural sports seasons, so things like flag football and volleyball are very big on campus with the student crowd. But specifically, event-wise, most recently we did Family Feud night which was a huge success. Everyone seemed to love it and they’re already asking for a round two so hopefully that will be coming up this April” said Keys.
Included in RecX’s popular venues are the fitness room, the pool, and places far from the campus’ physical view. However, there are some activities that are simply not getting enough attention.
Jason Seward, dean of freshman and director of the Jane P. Batten Student Center, explained: “I’ve tried for a number of years to get a kickball league going because I just thought that I would get no issues getting participation, but we don’t see a lot of participation in that league.”
He also said, “We would like to see a lot more use of the rock wall. The rock wall is sort of on a pendulum. When school first starts up a lot of people try it since they’ve never tried it before. They climb and after they’ve tried it once then it falls, but then it goes back up before graduation, so it’s up and down.”
On the lack of student participation, Kelly Keys also said, “Least popular, I would say, would be some of our power hours but that’s because we pick some things that people don’t know. We try to get people to play foosball because some people don’t realize we have a foosball team, or we try to get them to play Monopoly because we have all the board games in the back. We’re just like ‘Hey, just so you know, we have these things and you can use them.’”
When asked about how RecX advertises, Kelly Keys stated, “How do we not? We are trying to stay away from emails now because a lot of students just seem to immediately trash them. But we do all the posters you see, we have window paintings that we do on the first floor windows, and fliers.
The new T.V. that’s right outside the RecX office does running advertisements as well as a few of the whiteboard things that we do. And we try to do dorm raids where we go to all the dorms. We’re like ‘Hey, next week we’ve got such and such going on,’ and we try to tell students face to face ‘cause that’s when they’ll listen.”
She went on, saying that RecX can never have enough advertising. The more RecX advertises, the more obscure activities like foosball get popular. “I’m trying to push for the social media world. Trying to get more followers and more friends likes and all that, because students stay on their phones non-stop so it’s just probably the best way we can reach them. I don’t think there is ever enough advertising.”
“No, I don’t. I think a quality of standard keeps people coming back,” said Seward. “There has to be some sort of buzz built around an activity. You can’t just do what we call ‘spray and pray’ where you throw a banner up and hope somebody shows up. You gotta constantly circulate the word and be creative about the way that you advertise.”
Despite the small participation in some activities, RecX is seeing a gain in momentum for unexpected ones.
“I’m actually fine with everything we are doing now,” said Combs. “Kelly Keys is working on new stuff. We were going to have a Wii game night but that got changed. We had Family Feud this year and that was a huge success. We’ve never done that before. I feel like RecX is building up and RecX can always find new things to do especially with the staff that we have.”
“It’s just fun,” Kelly Keys says. “All of the things that we do is just to make sure that students are having a good time—it kind of brings out the kid in them. It’s nice to have a relaxing break after classes and play some football.”