Daily Archives: October 3, 2013

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The Rolling Dough

Food Columnist

Most of us have heard this grave tale; some of us have even lived it. You are beyond excited to finally be away from your parents, able to do whatever you want, whenever you want. You eat the food you have been told to stay away from, and you eat it all the time. Of course, the gym is there, but you will go tomorrow. You never even consider that your weight is changing until you head home for Thanksgiving or Christmas and you hear those words, “Have you gained the Freshman 15?” It is easily a college student’s worst nightmare when it comes to their body image. But do we really have any cause to worry? Do the Freshman 15 actually exist or is it something made up by parents, health officials, and magazine editors to have us look exactly the way they want us to? To answer this question and ask some of my own I took to the streets, or the tables in this case, to ask students if this weighty subject really is that “heavy.”

As I rolled into the cafeteria, I saw the same things I have always seen: a huge buffet of somewhat questionable meal choices and not enough options for the health conscious. Could this be the reason we are getting heavier? I headed over to the nearest table to find out if they thought it was.

“Can I ask you a question? Do you think the Freshman 15 really exists?” There was absolutely no hesitation in answering. “Yes. Definitely. No doubt.” I moved on to the next table. Same question, same answers. The same thing happened at the next four tables I asked. Then I got a surprise. Going up to senior Kenny Belgrave, I posed the same question. “Do you think the Freshman 15 exists?” He thought for a minute, then replied, “Depends. I mean if you’re drinking every weekend then sure. You’re gonna gain beer weight.”

More people started giving me the “depends” point of view as I went around. Freshman Jackie Holmes took it even further.

“I think if you maintain the lifestyle you had before such as a sort out a strict schedule you’ll most likely stay the same,” said Holmes. “But if you radically change, like stay sleeping in till 12 or stop eating full meals, you will lose or gain weight dependent upon who you become while in college and what schedules you set for yourself.”

In the end, I asked one hundred people the Freshman 15 question. 40 said definitely. 7 said it is 100% myth and 43 said it all depends on the lifestyle choices you make once you get here. However, this answer did not seem to satisfy my curiosity, so I took my question to some of the major news outlets to see what they were writing as colleges around the globe start their fall semesters.

According to The Huffington Post, the Freshman 15 “is a lie,” while The Michigan Times reports that “one in four freshmen gain 5% or more of their body fat, averaging about 10 pounds.” Shocker? Not to everyone. Papers such as Central Florida Future and Iowa State Daily acknowledge that it exists but say its super easy to avoid by eating right and going to the gym.

When it comes down to the heart of the issue, it’s about self-discipline and staying active. Sophomore Ashley Williams said, “I don’t have a car so I walk everywhere, which helps me stay healthy.” However junior Sydney Covey laughed it off. “You see that right there?” she said. “That’s a gym. It’s free. So what’s your excuse?”

Fall into style

Staff Writer

Summer has quietly faded away, making way for the return of autumn. As the golden crisp leaves fall to the ground around campus and Starbucks’ pumpkin spice latte re-enters your daily routine, the fashion trends of fall debut.
For fall 2013, the trends take inspiration from signature looks of classic eras to create the perfect look for today. Inspiration comes from the menswear iconized by Coco Chanel, the feminine waist coats Jackie O flaunted outside the White House, and even the punk plaid rocked by the virgin Madonna. But it would not be fashion if it did not include new additions from today’s generation, including leather in all forms, graphic sweatshirts and the much-loved knit beanie. So there is a little something for everyone, even broke college students. Let me show you how to ball on a budget.
As college students, it can often be difficult to stay “on trend.” However, staying fashion forward does not require clearing out your closet of all your purchases within the last year. Most students, let alone professionals, cannot afford the designers whose designs grace the runway (no, Kanye, none of my fellow classmates will be purchasing a plain white T for $120, unless it does free Boosie or help us find bikini bottom). But instead, this time of the year teaches us how to fall back in love with our closet…with the help of a few additional pieces.
One of the most popular looks of this season is streetwear mixed with a taste of the ‘90s. This is a look each of us can cleverly pull off simply by raiding our many local thrift stores. Find an old flannel that can wrap around your waist to finish off a look. And you know all of those retro pullovers you see on reruns of “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” that we wish we could have lived through the early ‘90s to wear? Well, now is your chance! Half-off Wednesdays at Salvation Army will be your new favorite day of the week.
Push those washed-out sweatpants you have grown a little too comfortable in to the side and instead grab a pair of slouchy pants. Whether they are harem pants, loose menswear or even a dressier “sweat” pant, wear them in place of your usual joggers. They can be found in a variety of materials from cotton, to linen or a coated leather look. Dress them up with a collared shirt and jacket or dress them down with a pair of sneakers and a phrased t-shirt.
Rihanna…Miley…Ciara. Probably the easiest craze this fall is the graphic beanie. With catchy phrases such as “Thug Life,” “Haters Gonna Hate,” and “Ballin,” this headwear will be sure to grab everyone’s attention. If you are a little more modest, feel free to opt for a knitted, studded or slouched beanie. Whichever you prefer, a hat can complement any outfit and most of all, make a statement.
So try pairing a vintage pullover with slouchy pants, throw on a beanie and wrap a flannel around your waist and you are set for the season. And if you don’t want to explore these trends through clothing, try accents of leather or plaid on a bag or pair of shoes. Or even simply a couple on-trend colors like gray or orange. Either way, know that you have options this fall when strolling around campus. Fashion is essentially what you make it.

First government shutdown in almost 18 years


Staff Writers

Failure of the House of Representatives to pass an official budget means that the government is being “shut down.” Why did this happen?
Indecision and failure to pass a budget is largely due to partisan division over the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). This act was signed into law in March 2010 by President Barack Obama and was found to be constitutionally sound by the US Supreme Court in 2012. The goal of the ACA, commonly referred to as “Obamacare,” is to ensure that preventative health care is “more accessible and affordable” for Americans who do not receive health insurance through work or school.
On Sept. 30, the Republican-led House of Representatives passed a proposal which would postpone implementation of the ACA’s “individual mandate,” requiring every American to purchase health insurance. The Democrat-led Senate then turned down the plan, imploring the House to pass a budget that did not contain provisions to undermine the ACA. The stalemate over passing a budget for the 2014 fiscal year (Oct. 1 through Sept. 30) has caused suspension of many functions of government, from NASA to processing paperwork.
The government shutdown does not affect all aspects of government in the same way. The US Postal Service will continue operations, and Social Security will continue to function. The members of the House and Senate will continue to be paid; legislation was passed on Monday to continue paying working troops.
However, any federal employees who do not work in critical services are on furlough or a leave of absence, and many governmental organizations have been suspended due to lack of funding.
“My aunt works for NASA and due to the shutdown one of the ways I’m affected is that I have a much more difficult time getting in touch with her,” said freshman Anthony Dellamura. “Her phone number was transferred onto a work cell that was taken during the shutdown, so now it’s much more difficult to keep in contact.”
Junior Brian Drake’s father’s job requires constant travel, but “with the government shutdown, the funding is no longer available, leaving him with a job but no paycheck.” Since the House failed to pass funding for Veterans Affairs Oct. 1, veterans like Drake’s father will not be receiving their benefits. However, Veterans Affairs medical centers and clinics will remain in operation.
Other students are struggling to make ends meet as well. Junior Rachael Mays works as a grocery bagger at the Little Creek Amphibious Base Commissary, which will be closing until the government is opened again.
“[The shutdown] won’t affect me as much as it will the older workers, because I’m just a student and I work weekends, but I’m not going to be able to pay for certain things,” said Mays. “But the older workers might have to find other jobs or rely on their spouses for income.”
Meanwhile, the Health Insurance Marketplace opened on Oct. 1, allowing people who may not have been able to obtain insurance through work or school a chance to compare coverage from different companies.
As a college student there are a lot of questions about ACA, what it means and how it affects students. Under ACA, most Americans are required to have health insurance or will be penalized with fees each year. That being said, there are many options for students to comply with the law.
Under ACA, students can stay on their parents’ health insurance plans until they are 26. If this is not a feasible option for students, Virginia Wesleyan offers a health insurance plan through the health care company Hulse/QM.
The law makes it illegal for insurance companies to deny coverage or raise your premiums due to pre-existing conditions, in addition to eliminating all insurance caps. But because of the prohibition of capping insurance, many insurance plans will have to raise their premiums. The argument is between those who say that limited benefit insurance plans do not adequately cover health expenses and those who say that over-coverage equals overspending.
While the ACA barrels full-steam ahead with the opening of the Health Insurance Marketplace, all eyes will be on the House and Senate, awaiting a budget and decisive bipartisan action.

Memorial symbolizes marlin veteran spirit


Staff Writer

Virginia Wesleyan College will reveal its new Veterans Memorial in a public ceremony behind Godwin Hall on Nov. 11, Veteran’s Day, according to Veterans Affairs Certifying Official Melanie Monk.
Marguerite Vail, vice president for College Advancement, said that the $5,000 memorial “came out of a desire to honor those in the Virginia Wesleyan College family who served in the Armed Services of the United States and those who have lost their lives in service to this country.”
The coordinating committee for the project includes many different individuals, including Monk, David Garraty, professor of Management, Business and Economics, and David Buckingham, vice president for Student Affairs and dean of Enrollment Services. Also serving on the committee are Batten Professor of Art Philip Guilfoyle, Vice President of Operations Bruce Vaughan and 2012 VWC graduate Nicole Rust. Vail said the funding came from generous cash donations, while R. D. Lambert & Sons, Inc. donated time and materials to lay the foundation.
Rust, who is also a United States Navy veteran, first introduced the idea for the memorial after transferring from Palomar College in San Diego where a similar memorial stood to honor student veterans.
“While at Palomar, I met a group of veterans who quickly became paramount in helping me overcome obstacles with transitioning into the civilian world,” said Rust. “I credit those individuals for my strong drive to continue helping veterans overcome their individual obstacles, especially those enduring service connected injuries.”
Rust also established VWC’s veterans club and the Marlin Veterans Association in the spring of 2012, but there was not enough interest to keep the club active. This year, however, interest among Marlin veterans has increased.
Keith Mycek, a junior criminal justice major and transfer student from Tidewater Community College (TCC), was excited to learn about both the memorial and the club.
“I feel like other schools advertise directly to veterans,” said Mycek. “At TCC, there was a lot more awareness of other veterans on campus. There were activities and groups created around and for veterans. It makes for a better college experience.”
Mycek suffers from severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as well as a number of physical injuries including degenerative disk disorder, brachial plexopathy and scoliosis—all injuries sustained during his service as an infantryman in the United States Army.
“It’s ironic that I got injured,” said Mycek. “This is exactly why my parents didn’t want me to enlist. They discouraged me from enlisting, but I don’t regret it. I wouldn’t be able to pay for college without it.”
Although Mycek’s injuries occurred during his deployments to Iraq and Kuwait in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn, the doctors who treated him while he was enlisted assumed he received minor injuries during a draw down as troops were preparing to return home from deployment, and prescribed muscle relaxers.
“I continued working, wearing body armor and carrying weapons while my back was ignored,” said Mycek.
It wasn’t until he returned from deployment that he learned the severity of his injuries. Mycek said that despite taking strong pain medications that had been prescribed to him, he eventually became unable to walk or even get out of bed. Finally, a civilian doctor examined his injuries and explained that he had herniated disks and severe fractures to his spine.
“The army didn’t do anything to help me,” said Mycek. “I did everything they told me to do with a broken back. Still, I feel lucky because many veterans are a lot more injured than I am.”
Mycek is a perfect example of the type of student Rust had in mind when she voiced her idea for the memorial and veteran’s club. She said her own experiences with the lack of awareness of the issues facing student veterans at VWC strengthened her desire to reach out to other veterans like herself and Mycek.
“At Palomar, the veteran community is very outspoken, well-known, respected and admired. The camaraderie is uncanny to what I experienced while on active duty,” said Rust. The memorial, she said, was an essential part of that camaraderie.
“I thought having our own space was essential to formulating camaraderie within the campus veteran community, to have a place where we could go, to talk or sit in silence with the comfort of knowing the man or woman to our left or right knew,” said Rust. “They understood what we were going through, because they were going through it too.”
“We’re readjusting to civilian life,” said Mycek. “We’re a good support group for each other. A lot of people are really insensitive to the issues we’re facing.”
Mycek said that although he has to take multiple medications to manage his PTSD and other injuries, he leaves class and takes them privately in order to avoid curiosity. He said some of the questions people ask him at school can be very hurtful.
“I use a cane now,” said Mycek. “But when I was in a wheelchair, people often said things like ‘What’s wrong with you?’, ‘Did you get blown up?’ and ‘How many people did you kill?’ It’s really hard to socialize and talk to people. I’m trying to actively contain PTSD, and people make it harder and don’t realize they’re being insensitive or rude.”
Rust had similar experiences during her time at VWC. She said that she once tried to contribute to a discussion in her anthropology class but was met with negative comments from some of the students around her. When she spoke of the injuries she had sustained during her service, which include seizures, autoimmune disorders and acute muscle weakness among others, one student said “That’s what you get for joining the f—ing army.”
She said she knew that the comment did not reflect the attitudes of all students, but that was when she realized how out of touch the military population is with the rest of the country. She decided then that something had to be done to provide a welcoming environment for veterans on campus.
“My motivation for establishing the Marlin Veteran’s Association was my need to serve,” said Rust. “[Veterans] need to be involved in some sort of service that benefits others and in return satisfies our need to see measurable results in something positive that we put effort into.”
Mycek said that his need to continue serving made it difficult to accept that he would no longer be able to deploy with his fellow soldiers.
“I feel responsible for their well-being and safety,” said Mycek. “I feel like I’m letting them down.”
Despite troubling experiences with some students, Mycek said his experience with VWC’s faculty and staff has been “stellar.”
“They bend over backward to help you,” he said. “Every person in every office has been able to accommodate me. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.”
Rust did ask for help in her mission to create a desirable environment for VWC veterans. She said that even though some of her experiences at VWC made her feel “isolated, misunderstood, outcast, anxious, and unwanted,” she is grateful to the staff members who helped her realize the Veteran’s Memorial and the Marlin Veteran’s Association.
“If it weren’t for Professor Dessouki, Professor Garraty, Dr. Ewell, Mrs. Pearson, and Mrs. Hill and their encouraging words, I very well may have left for a friendlier environment,” said Rust. “Melanie Monk and Teresa Rhyne, who are two very remarkable, strong and supportive women, helped me obtain informational assets to begin reaching out to fellow veterans and supporters on campus.”
The Veterans Benefit Office will hold a meet and greet for veterans interested in the Marlin Veteran’s Association on Oct. 3 from 11 a.m. to noon in the Schafer Room of the Boyd Dining Center.

Fertilization front-runner leads lecture



Dr. Howard W. Jones, Jr., professor emeritus of obstetrics and gynecology at the Eastern Virginia Medical School, spoke on campus last Thursday on the debate over personhood and reproductive technology. The event marked the inaugural presentation of the Justine L. Nusbaum Lectureship in VWC’s Center for the Study of Religious Freedom (CSRF).
“How often do you get to sit in the same room as someone as brilliant as Dr. Jones? Especially at the age of 102, it’s really incredible,” said senior biology major Brittany Popp. “I enjoyed listening to the personal story of his journey and learned a bit more about the struggles he had in practicing in vitro fertilization. The lecture made me even more excited to start my career.”
More than 60 students, faculty and visitors gathered in the Pearce Hospitality Suite on Sept. 26, leaving standing room only by the noon start time. CSRF Director Paul Rasor, J.D., Ph.D. introduced Jones and his lecture, “When Did You Become a Person?”
“We invited Dr. Jones at the suggestion of Bob Nusbaum, who was chair of the board of directors of the Jones Institute for Reproductive Technology for many years,” said Rasor in an interview. “Bob and his brother established the Justine L. Nusbaum Lecture series, and his close relationship with the Jones Institute made Dr. Jones the ideal speaker for the inaugural lecture.”
Sitting behind a table in a motorized wheelchair, the 102-year-old Jones interacted with the crowd in a conversational manner.
“I attended the lecture because I thought it would be an opportunity that I would not be presented with again,” said senior Nicolletta Cuthbert. “Knowing what he had accomplished in his life, I knew I would be in the presence of a brilliant man and felt that it was a great learning experience.”
Jones’ arrival at VWC came almost three decades after his late wife, Dr. Georgeanna Jones, gave the keynote speech at the 1984 Spring Convocation. The couple was the driving force behind establishing the EVMS program that produced the nation’s first in vitro fertilization (IVF) birth in 1981.
“All of the things we’re talking about today are of biological interest,” Jones said as he outlined the secular timelines of personhood, from fertilization to birth. “The point I’m trying to make is that this issue is alive and well.”
Jones supports the notion that life begins when survival is possible outside of the womb, after the development of a heartbeat and fetal brain waves. Anti-abortion legislation seeking to define personhood at conception and provide legal rights to embryos could directly hinder the progress of fertilization treatments.
The contentious issue has been an integral part of Jones’ work ever since he received his M.D. from the School of Medicine at Johns Hopkins University in 1935. Both Jones and his wife served at Johns Hopkins before coming to Norfolk in 1978.
Jones and his wife were drawn to this area to be with their good friend, physician Mason Andrews. The goal was to stay for three years to establish a vision for what is now called reproductive medicine. On the drive down, the couple learned that a caesarean section performed in England had resulted in the birth of the world’s first IVF baby.
Upon arriving to their new home in Norfolk, Jones was approached by a reporter from The Ledger Star who was sent at Andrews’ prompting. In between unpacking boxes, Jones and his wife yielded questions for a news story on the groundbreaking birth.
“At the end of the story, she [journalist Julia Wallace] wrote that doctors say this could be done in Norfolk if we had some money,” Jones said.
“We got a call the next day asking how much we needed.”
The donation sparked the planning for the nation’s first IVF clinic, just three days after the Jones’ arrival in Norfolk.
Three years later on Dec. 28, 1981, the United States’ first in vitro baby was born. And three years after that success, Jones and his wife received a letter from the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, inviting them to the Vatican to advise Pope John Paul II on whether IVF should be an option available to the Catholic community.
They were the only American gynecologists present at the three-day meeting that established the Roman Catholic Church’s current doctrine deeming IVF to be illicit, a decision not supported by Jones and his wife.
“Dr. Jones was a great speaker as he was captivating and his subject matter was interesting,” said Cuthbert. “I learned a lot about the ethical dilemmas and debates that occurred because of Dr. Jones’ plans to attempt in vitro fertilization. It was very interesting to see the challenges that he encountered because he was attempting something that would be against many religious beliefs.”
With his 103rd birthday approaching in three months, Jones maintains his enthusiastic passion for curbing personhood bills and educating others on reproductive issues. He has written 11 books, is in the process of finishing his twelfth, and still spends time working at the Howard and Georgeanna Jones Institute for Reproductive Medicine at EVMS.
“I believe IVF is not a mature topic and there are still things to do,” said Jones. “IVF is a developing subject and personhood is an issue of current interest because of efforts made to legalize it.”
“The presentation was wonderful,” said Rasor. “Dr. Jones was informative and entertaining, and the audience was very responsive. We were especially pleased by the size of the audience and by the mix of students, faculty and staff and community people. We expected it to be excellent, and it was even better than we expected.”

Culture clubs

Staff Writer

This semester has been underway for some time now, which means clubs are active and having meetings. There is a club out there for everyone. You can even turn one of your favorite hobbies into a club.
The Asian Culture and Entertainment Club is a special interest club that was started by a group of people who shared a common interest.
Sophomore Ashley Williams, who is currently the president for the Asian Culture and Entertainment club, joined last year because she was able to find people who shared a common interest in Asian anime with her.
“We accept anyone who comes to our meetings. We don’t judge at all,” said Williams.
Their meetings are every Friday in Batten 228 or Clarke 218 from 2-5 p.m. At their weekly meetings, they listen to music and watch anime television shows.
“As the president, I try to keep them on their toes by making each meeting interesting and different,” said Williams.
One interesting addition to their meetings is a “fact of the day.” The fact of the day is to educate members about the Asian culture. In the past, they have only focused on Japanese anime. However, this year they are embracing all Asian cultures, allowing the club to become more diverse.
Not only do they gain knowledge on campus, but they also find ways off campus. Nov. 1-3, members of the club will attend Nekocon, which is a convention focused around the Asian anime community.
“We put thought into our events, and try to get those from our community involved,” said Williams.
The club plans on having a Halloween party on Oct. 25 from 2-5 p.m. in Batten 228. Everyone is welcome.
Anyone interested in joining the Asian Culture and Entertainment Club should contact Ashley Williams at