Breaking the Stereotypes

Doug Hardman

You have emptied your lockers, you have packed up your room, and you are about to say goodbye to your parents and friends. You find yourself sitting on another campus surrounded by strangers and a sense of unfamiliarity. You are in college now.
One of the biggest things about college, especially Virginia Wesleyan, is feeling like you are part of something bigger. There is definitely a community and familial sense here and it is very welcoming. But what I have seen freshmen do is try too hard to fit into a community that is already offering its welcoming hand.
Freshmen, I think, come into college with their high­school mentality still intact: we need to be popular and get in with the “cool” kids. I hate to break it to you so early, but there is no such thing as “cool” in college. At least, it doesn’t mean the same thing that is meant in high school.
I’m not trying to be rude; I’m just trying to make a point. Incoming freshmen are just out of high school, so I can understand how they might think the same way when they begin their transition into college life. But, within the first month, maybe even the first week, it is obvious that no one cares what kind of car you drive or how many Twitter and Instagram followers you have. None of that matters anymore.
Instead of trying to be popular, why not just be yourself? The minute you continue your high­school routine of trying to be popular is the minute you become a stereotype.
I came into Virginia Wesleyan thinking I knew who I was and who I was going to be. I found a group of people with similar personalities and senses of humor and I clung to them. I have always had a small group of friends that I stuck with, and I never needed more. I knew I did not need to alter who I was to fit in because the only person I have to fit in with is myself.
I pride myself in breaking stereotypes and societal norms. People look at me and when I tell them about myself, they get surprised. The most common phrase I hear out of people’s mouths about me is, “Wow, I would have never guessed that about you!” When you actually show people your real self, they will always be surprised by you. When you show the fake, popularity­seeking side of yourself, it becomes expected of you to maintain that stereotype and you’re reduced to a label. Reality is, that’s just how it goes.
In no way am I trying to be discouraging. I want you to come into Wesleyan open­minded, ready to learn, ready to grow, and ready to live. But, you are not going to have a quality college experience if you stick to your stereotypes. You are going to have to learn to be more than just who you were in high school.
If you are a nice person, know how to take a joke, and know how to balance maturity with hilarity, then you will have no problem making friends here at Virginia Wesleyan. Life is not a popularity contest, and if it was, that ended with your high­school career. Just be yourself and know that you don’t have to fit into someone’s mold to feel at home. Being a stereotype only gets you so far. Once you start breaking the stereotypes, you are as free as the minute you walked through these doors.

Fall Preview – I Believe That We Will Win

DJ Woodmore

Sweaty palms, the feeling of butterflies in the pit of your stomach, and the roars of the student section can only mean one thing: fall season is here. The 2013 fall season was filled with excitement from start to finish, capped off with an Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) championship by the men’s soccer team. But 2014 appears to be even more filled with confidence, experience, and fresh talent.
“Usually after a team wins a championship, they say next year is ‘Championship or Bust.’ Well, in our case, it really is,” said senior men’s soccer forward and two-time all-conference honoree Isaac Arrington. “We are returning a team that is far above any other team in our conference in attack, and with our coaching staff, there is no reason why we can’t repeat as champions.”
Arrington played a big role in the success of the team this past season, making six goals and six assists and contributing 18 total points to the team’s offense, which finished with an overall record of 16-5-1 (9-2 in conference play), the best season since 2007.
On the women’s soccer team, the expectations are just as high, and with a solid returning core and a talented incoming freshmen class, the Marlins plan to be at right at the top of the ODAC once again.
“We need to raise our standards as a team next season,” said Jasmine Dao, junior forward. “We didn’t quite reach our goals last season, but I fully expect us to be playing for an ODAC championship and reach the NCAA tournament next year.”
Women’s soccer finished with an overall record of 12-5-2, marking its 15th consecutive winning season, including the last 14 under head coach Jeff Bowers. VWC also posted a 9-3 mark in the ODAC competition, marking its 16th straight winning mark in the conference.
Volleyball looks to bring in lots of new talent, as this year’s freshman class will play a vital role in the success of the team. A leadership-driven returning class, with the accompaniment of a young talented group, will look to place their stamp on the conference next season.
“Next year is going to be huge for us!” said Kirstin Sessoms, junior setter and captain. “Our incoming class is going to double our team in size, which will bring great talent and competition to our gym.”
Sessoms led last year’s team in assists per set and helped the Marlins finish the 2013 season with a 16-14 record, which marked the 10th winning season in the program’s 11-year history.
Field hockey looks to “break-in” the newly added turf field with a “breakout” season in 2014. With a solid and experienced returning class, and hopeful an incoming freshmen group, the Marlins plan to make some more noise in the ODAC this season.
“We have been working hard since the end of last season in preparation for big things to happen next year,” said senior Danielle Pellerin. “I am excited the team will be going in as underdogs. The other teams will have no idea what to expect.”The team will begin its 2014 campaign under second-year head coach Christina Restivo. It finished last year’s season only one game under .500 and plans to make a deep run in the tournament next season.
Nothing kicks off a school year right like a trip to the first home game of the year, and this season looks to be one full of expectations and thrills. Last season proved to be one of the most successful fall seasons in Virginia Wesleyan history, with our teams winning 60% of all matches, games, and meets. In 2013, the Marlins of fall sports produced a total of 20 All-ODAC honorees and expect to increase that number in 2014. Virginia Wesleyan takes pride in its student-athletes, and nothing shows more pride than winning.

When They Knew

Kellie Lagoy

     For sophomore Madison Carroll, playing lacrosse began in fourth grade. However, she wasn’t thinking of playing a college sport at that young age.
     “I knew probably the summer after my freshman year of high school,” said Carroll. “My teammates were talking about looking at colleges, and I guess I decided I wanted to do that too.”
     Her decision to play college lacrosse brought her to Virginia Wesleyan for a few reasons.
     “I loved the school because it was at the beach, and they had small classes which worked better for me,” said Carroll.
     Sophomore Taylor Galvin knew softball would be a big part of her life from the very beginning.
     “I played softball ever since I could hold a bat,” said Galvin. As time went on, she realized she wanted more out of softball. “This was the highest level realistically that a softball player can go, so I think that’s when I knew I wanted to play in college,” said Galvin.
     She was led to Wesleyan’s softball program by the friendly recruiting of head coach Brandon Elliot and the welcoming attitude of the team. “The chemistry with me and Coach Elliot and the girls were the reasons I chose Virginia Wesleyan,” said Galvin.
     Junior Isaac Arrington, forward for Virginia Wesleyan’s men’s soccer team, said, “I picked VWC because of the coaches and soccer team. The coaches recruited me rather passionately out of Dallas, and when I came to visit, the continuity of the team was evident.”
     Arrington’s hometown is DeSoto, Texas. Before attending VWC, Arrington was looking into Missouri State and Florida Gulf Coast for soccer. If he had not attended VWC, Arrington would have stayed in Texas and continued to obtain his communications degree, and would have played soccer as a hobby. Arrington started playing soccer for fun at the age of three and at five on an official team. He is inspired by his parents.
     Arrington said, “They inspire me because they were two people that made a commitment to each other and themselves to be successful; needless to say, they have exceeded expectations.”
     Rising senior Brandon Mitchell, guard and forward for Virginia Wesleyan’s men’s basketball team, said, “I chose Virginia Wesleyan for several reasons; it started with the fact that my family lives here in Virginia Beach. Then when I visited the campus, the team and coaches made me feel like a member of the family from day one.”
     Mitchell was born and raised in Albany, GA. Before attending VWC, Mitchell was looking into attending Norfolk State Universtiy, Christopher Newport University and Virginia State. If Mitchell had not attended Virginia Wesleyan, he would have found a higher education elsewhere or continued to serve in the military. Mitchell began to play basketball at the age of 10, but did not take it seriously until high school. His biggest inspiration is his mother.
     He said, “She is my biggest supporter and I am astonished at some of her life accomplishments and hope to be as successful as her one day.”

What goes around comes around

Social Media Editor

I have noticed an issue that has branched out and affected more than just our cozy little Wesleyan family, touching visiting families and potential new students as well. I see it almost every time I go into Boyd, infecting my mood and frustrating me to no end. I am talking about the increasingly noticeable negative attitude coming from the Sodexo staff in Boyd. In asking the staff and the students what causes the stuffy, grumpy attitudes, I ended up with a triangle effect to the truth outcome. You know there are always three sides to a story.
When I talked to the staff, most said they really enjoyed working at the college. They like most of the students and have never really had problems. However, when asked what bothered them the most, the answer was almost universally the same: the rude treatment they receive from students. It seems that students have started taking advantage of hardworking staff, giving them attitude and even being outright mean. What’s up, students? Are we really being cruel? If so, let me be the first to say how disappointed I am. We are so much better than petty squabbles that act out because we do not agree with the portion size or the choice of cereal we have this week. Pull it together.
However, I have so much faith in the student body and I would like to assume that no one is in the dining hall having hissy fits and throwing plates of food, not that I have seen flying pasta anywhere. Though I admit, I would find that very entertaining. So, I posed the same question to the students: why do you think the Sodexo staff is always so grumpy? That got me quite a few varied responses. A large number of students say they have never seen any other students treat the staff with anything but respect. Now, that is an unabashed lie and if you believe it, you are excessively gullible. I have seen students demand more per portion from Mrs. Lena or get sassy at Russ when he asks what they want for breakfast. Stop. If you are the person that does that, you are being rude and it makes you look like a Neanderthal.
So, what it really comes down to, no matter which side of the story you believe, is common courtesy. It is a trait our generation seems to be lacking, and a quality we need to learn quickly. Otherwise, we will not get very far in life. I am not saying that it is all the fault of the student body. Trust me; I have seen a worker push a visiting family out of the way to wipe off the salad counter. However, if we, as students, grow up a bit and show that we can take the first steps toward being mature adults, then we show the workers that we are worthy of respect. And if we gain their respect, I guarantee we’ll stop seeing frowning faces and hearing rude remarks, but we’ve got to start the trend.

Putting the pest to rest

Staff Writer

Spring is here! And with spring come the colorful flowers, the cleansing rain, the fresh green grass and all of the wonderful creatures that emerge from the ground, the skies and wherever else they come from.
I, for one, love the diverse wildlife that comes out during this time of year, and I am one of the first ones to stand up for their right to existence. But these sweet, furry critters and colorful crawlers can be a real annoyance on some occasions.
Here we have a diversity of wildlife, especially insects that seem to pop up where they do not belong. Sometimes it seems as if the ants and termites lose their way and wander the entrance halls of the dorms.
Their movement and numbers are enough to frighten and cause uneasiness to all those who glance at them. Still, I try my best not to step on them or cause them harm in any way, but that can be a real challenge.
Even the bees, which at least stay in their natural habitat of the great outdoors, wander from their hives and make homes of man-made objects.
Sometimes we can have close encounters with these striped insects at the trashcans, and when we throw away our trash we must do so quickly due to the fear of being stung. I am concerned for the people who have phobias of certain wildlife, as well as possible allergies.
I don’t like the word “pest” to describe animals, because I feel that it is disrespectful to nature.
However, it seems that some animals do need to go back to where they came from.
But the question is why? Why have they wandered from their natural habits? As I tried to figure out the answer to this question, I realized that we are on their turf and in their land. And by tearing down trees, and building our dorms and other buildings, WE have become the pests.
We have messed with a lot of animals’ habitats, and all they are trying to do is adapt to their changing world. So maybe we should do the same. Of course that is just a thought.
We could always just get rid of these “pests” using toxic chemicals that could rip the “flesh” off of these animals, kill them, and eliminate their species from the area for a certain period of time. But I don’t really like the idea of being a mass murderer either.
I know that sometimes insects could get in the way, and accidental eliminations can happen, but that is just life. To be honest, I feel that we should try to improve the environment of our school by creating a habitat where insects and people can live in peace.
Maybe we can just try different methods of preventing insects from sneaking into “our” territory, or try to create a new habitat for them with little to no human interaction in it. I know a lot of what happens between nature and humans is beyond our control, but I feel that maybe we could at least try.
The answer to the question on what to do is limitless, but surely it could be possible to come up with a reasonable and ethical solution to this dilemma.

The new age of news

Staff Writer

Internet news media is undeniably growing at a rapid pace. For this reason, I’m not surprised that this year’s “State of the News Media” report, by the Pew Research Center’s Journalism Project, told of the decline of the newspaper.
What I am surprised about is that newspaper websites like the Huffington Post aren’t our main source for news. Facebook has become the bulletin board of news stories, and getting information through status updates on Facebook has become the unfortunate norm.
I believe the move of news reporting to the Internet is to be expected eventually, just as the move of news reporting to television was expected. However, the system now in place blends news with the pool of fictions that the Internet has become.
The hard truth is we no longer look for news where news is supposed to be. I no longer see news stories in the objective environment that they used to be found in. Newspapers, like the Marlin Chronicle, have sections with expectations. Television networks have news shows with organized time slots and even all-news channels. But Internet news?
The Internet has web-like hyperlinks, which rely on the user to take the initiative of searching or clicking.
The “front page” doesn’t exist on the Internet since the front page is always Google or Facebook or Twitter. The age-old newspaper formula—prioritizing the front page, then the sections, then the articles—has changed into prioritizing the articles, then maybe the other articles that happen to be on the side labeled “Top News Stories,” then maybe the sections—if people even care, now, what section the story was written for.
In all honesty, I don’t think that this Internet formula is too bad of a thing. With the Internet, people who wouldn’t normally turn on the television or pick up a paper, now are able to view news stories effortlessly and sometimes even unwillingly with all the posts and links that pop up. However, there are large drawbacks to this formula, one of them being the attention game.
Why do silly viral videos seem to be so popular? They gain attention, and attention is prized within the world of the Internet, whether it is gained because of a strange photoshopped picture of a cat’s head on a human’s body, or a video parody on trailers or other entertainment. A satirical “news” website called The Onion is an example of how silly can get out of hand. The Onion is a website that parodies news stories, such as old magazines that told of alien landings and Britney Spears’s clone come to destroy us all. However, some misinformed people believe that these stories are real and post them on Facebook or other places in order to get reactions.
The goal of Facebook, of course, is allow people to socialize and discuss things in a forum with people they know—and to get reactions.
The Internet is a confusing environment where news can easily mix with fiction. People have to become active and critical in their thinking about things that they find on the Internet. However, that is too much to ask of everyone.
I don’t think being unconsciously informed by Facebook is very healthy in the long run, although the idea is marked with good intentions. People should stop relying on Facebook for news, just as people shouldn’t rely on Wikipedia for biographies.
It should be common sense not to idolize a single source anyway; people that only listen to what they want to hear become too sensitive to criticism of their own opinions. I believe that is the problem nowadays. News on the Internet is great for many people, but the Facebook “wall” does nothing but create a crutch for them to rely on.
Let’s hope that the news media can find a way to separate themselves from the entertainment media of the Internet.