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Southern Virginia University

Posts with the tag: Activities

  1. Phi Alpha Theta Spring Induction

    March 2, 2016

    For the Alpha Mu Sigma chapter of Phi Alpha Theta (that’s us), this has been an exciting year! In addition to the seven new members that were inducted last semester, four were inducted this semester. Normally there is only one induction ceremony per academic year, scheduled for the fall term. However, the increased eligibility and interest of students prompted a second wave of inductions this spring.

    Phi Alpha Theta is the national history honor society, but you don’t have to be a history major to join. Prerequisites to membership are a minimum GPA of 3.1 in at least 12 history credits, and an overall GPA of at least 3.0.

    Professor Jeff Benedict was invited to address inductees, chapter members and friends at this semester’s induction ceremony. Benedict is not only a professor at Southern Virginia University, but also a New York Times bestselling author, a special features writer for Sports Illustrated, and a television and film producer. His investigative work has increased public understanding on a variety of contemporary issues (interestingly, “Contemporary Issues” is one of the courses he teaches at Southern Virginia), ranging from athletes and violence against women to eminent domain to food safety to American Indians and casinos. His command of controversial socio-political issues makes him a modern-day muckraker, in the best sense of the term. Particularly interesting to Phi Alpha Theta members is that Benedict’s career started after a Bachelor of Arts in History. His address was followed by a question and answer session, during which we learned who in history he would choose to shadow for a day (Alexander Hamilton or Benjamin Franklin, both of whom started out with a means and status far lower than that which they ultimately achieved), what it’s like to rewrite lines for a movie between shooting scenes (intense … and fun!), and the importance of being trustworthy as a journalist (and, well, as a human being).

    Members of Phi Alpha Theta are now looking forward to presenting papers at a conference next month. Practice presentations will be in Durham 203 at 3:30 on Thursday, March 3, and at the same time on Tuesday, March 16. Come support members of Phi Alpha Theta and learn about espionage during WWII, Japanese Internment, and other really interesting things!

    (Post by Lauren Hafen ’16. Photos by Sarah Bench ’17.)

  2. Valentine’s Day Dance

    February 23, 2016

    It took me at least an hour to decide to go to this year’s Valentine’s Day dance. Dancing isn’t really a thing I do beyond the realm of my living room, and definitely not something I do in front of anyone but my roommate. So, when I say that I had a great time at a dance, the statement ought to be received with the appropriate amount of gravity.

    Of course, the decorations were cute and those chocolate-covered pretzel things were bomb (my friend and I may have eaten more than our fair share), but what really made the dance great  what makes any event at Southern Virginia great, when I actually get up the courage to stop being a hermit and attend them  was the people. One of the many advantages of attending a school as small as this one is that you can’t go anywhere without finding friends. And those friends helped turn what would generally be an episode of Madeleine’s Adventures in Awkwardness into a night that was fun and adventurous in all the right ways (though probably still a little awkward. What can I say? I have a gift for it).

    You didn’t need to have a date this Valentine’s Day to feel the love. You just had to show up and remember that pals are everywhere. In my experience, honestly, they won’t let you forget it. Or get away with skipping a slow dance.

    And that, my friends, is a Southern Virginia Valentine’s Day.

    (Post by Madeleine Gail Rex ’16. Photos by Eva Sorensen Smith ’17.)

  3. SVU Idol 2016

    February 18, 2016

    Given a campus teeming with musical talent and impromptu bands, it’s no surprise that SVU Idol has become a Southern Virginia tradition.

    About 20 students auditioned, 10 of whom competed at Friday night’s event. Each was introduced to the packed audience by a short video clip, hyping the audience with a few bars of their audition piece, superimposed over what motivated their audition (“My mom thinks I’m talented”), and whether they think they’ll win. For some, it was their debut performance. Patrick Hutchinson’s voice and blond ‘do made the crowd feel as if Justin Bieber himself had graced us with both his presence and his vocal chords, while Alexandra Watson’s petite frame had the audience totally unprepared for the deep, resonating notes of Etta James’ “At Last.” Alyssa Isom challenged The Jackson 5 and inspired audience participation with her own rendition of the classic “Want You Back,” and Sarah Boyer transfixed us with smooth crooning of Leon Bridge’s “The River.”

    Our judges, Professor Rachel Wilcox, Student Life Coordinator and Spirit Squad Head Coach April Harris, and Executive Director of Campus Operations Art Furler, had only good things to say about each contestant.

    A student band, Intimate Ricochet, entertained students with a combination of original and popular songs while the judges deliberated. Popular demand brought Joel Bergman to the stage, who gave an impromptu performance that added a good measure of otherwise absent country twang to the evening (and to think we, situated in the Southern states, almost went without!).

    Patrick Hutchinson, Alexandra Watson, Wyatt Karnes, Taegan Hutchinson, and Julia Jones advanced to the next round on Saturday night, where Watson, Hutchinson and Jones then made it through the next round of eliminations.

    Last year’s idols, the “Sparkly Girls” (alias Clairanne Moncur and Abby Akins) took the stage to perform while students sent in their votes. Taegan Hutchinson was announced the 2016 SVU Idol, with Alexandra Watson as runner-up.

    “Never in a million years did I ever expect [this],” Taegan said. “I exceeded my own expectations. … There is serious talent and amazing voices at this school. … More than winning, it was nice because I’d done something very uncomfortable for me — and I succeeded.”

    Performing at SVU Idol was only Taegan’s second public solo, the first occurring on her LDS mission, when her duet partner and mission companion moved to another city only days before their planned musical number. The students in attendance were definitely grateful that Taegan was willing to step out of her comfort zone. After all, the results were music to our ears!

    (Post by Lauren Hafen ’16. Photos by Sarah Bench ’17 and Sarah Foster ’19.)

  4. Q&A: Jerica Johnson, VP of Campus Programming

    JericaJohnson-mSpring Semester is well under way, and campaigns for the next Student Association Executive Council will have posters plastered about before you know it! (Are you thinking of campaigning?) We thought we’d take this opportunity to interview the members of this year’s Executive Council (EC) to follow up on their accomplishments and help you decide if you’re up to the job! (Campaigning is, after all, pretty in vogue this year.)

    We’ll start off with Vice President of Campus Programming Jerica Johnson.

    Q: What are your responsibilities as VP of campus programming?

    Jerica: I work under the Office of Student Life and I help plan all the Movie Knights. It’s really cool because I get to, along with Joe [Bouchelle, dean of student life], pick out all the movies we watch. I also plan the dances, as well as SVU Idol and other various activities throughout the semester.

    Q: Why you did you choose to run for EC?

    Jerica: I was talking with Esther Harsh [2011-2012 VP of Honor] and she thought I’d be able to make a good contribution to the school and the activities. I didn’t know very many students last year, so I wanted to get more involved, get to know the student body more, and create activities for students that they can enjoy.

    Q: Do you feel like you’ve accomplished your goals?

    Jerica: I wish I’d planned more and further in advance for each activity. I feel like anybody wanting to run for Executive Council should recognize that a lot of planning and time goes into creating good activities. Any activity can happen with limited work, but it’s the activities that the students enjoy that take a lot of work, and you walk away from them feeling great — like SVU Idol. I’m really proud of SVU Idol. For the most part I feel like I’ve accomplished my goals. I feel like I have a lot more friends now; I feel happier being at the school, and I feel good knowing that I know a lot of students. Remembering everyone’s name is a different story — I try!

    Q: How has your experience compared to your expectations?

    Jerica: I really appreciate my fellow Executive Council members helping with activities when they’ve been asked, because campus programming is a lot to do and it’s hard to try to do it with just yourself and your committee. Honestly, I expected it to be less work than it was.

    Q: What has been the best part of being on EC?

    Jerica: Getting to know the other members of the Executive Council. I really appreciate the friendships that I’ve created with people that I wasn’t friends with before, and I really appreciate the opportunity that I’ve had to feel like I’m a part of making this school better for future years and for the future EC.

    Q: What’s the most challenging thing for you about your role?

    Jerica: Taking your vision of what you want an activity to be and scaling it down to what is actually possible to do. It’s also kind of difficult to balance all the hours that are involved with schoolwork and Shenanigans and any other extracurricular activities.

    Q: What have you learned?

    Jerica: I’ve learned the most about myself. I feel like I’ve learned that I can truly do difficult tasks. I’ve learned that I’m a creative problem solver. I have definitely learned how to ask for help when help is needed, because I’m usually a do-it-myself person, and that’s impossible in campus programming.

    Q: What kind of student would be a good fit for your position?

    Jerica: A student who likes to be creative, but who’s also willing to listen — not only listen, but also incorporate the ideas of others into your plans. A student who is willing to work and who loves this school, because during the more difficult times it’s really the love of this school that makes everything worthwhile.

    Q: What do you hope to see your replacement accomplish?

    Jerica: I honestly hope that after their activities, people say, “That was so much better than last year.” I hope that they can take the relationships that I’ve made with faculty and staff, and use that and keep building on that for future Executive Council members. And I really hope they learn from my mistakes and give themselves more time to plan.

    Q: Why should students run for the Executive Council?

    Jerica: One thing I love about [Southern Virginia] is the fact that it really is student run, and if you want to get things done, if you want to see things happen, it’s us that do it — it’s the students who get it done. If they love [the university] and they want it to be better than it already is, then they should run for EC.It’s a wonderful opportunity to really learn and to grow and to serve your fellow students.

    Thank you for all of your work, Jerica! You sure make Southern Virginia a more happenin’ place to be!

    (Post by Lauren Hafen ’16. Photo by Jordan Wunderlich ’15.)

  5. Looking for a Summer Internship?

    February 13, 2016


    So am I! And, as it turns out, so are a lot of other college students. Cameron Crowther, director of Student Professional Development, and the Student Professional Development career coaches, hosted an event to teach students how to best use social media in the career search (they also provided pizza, a sure lure for students concerned about their financial futures).

    Facebook is the primary social media outlet of our generation, and as such many professionals will look up the Facebook profiles of potential employees. Even if your profile is set to private, we were reminded, a friend of a friend of a friend who commented on your post may be able to view some interactions. Similarly, a comment you make on a post of someone else, whose profile may not be private, can also come up in Facebook searches. A careless comment shown to an employer by a co-worker can also have adverse consequences. You’ve probably already heard it from your mother, but be careful what you post online so you don’t look contentious, ignorant or rude.

    Not only do employers use Facebook as a tool to screen potential employees, but it’s also used to advertise job and internship openings. Type your internship interests into the search box tool to find more opportunities.

    Internships and other employment openings are also posted on MySVU.  Click on “Employment and Internships” under the “Students” tab to find both local and national applications.

    Lastly, just as the Millennial generation uses Facebook, the generation of employers feels more tech savvy on LinkedIn, making it a good resource for connecting. The more active you are on your LinkedIn profile, the more views it will get.

    Make an appointment with Cameron Crowther on MySVU for more help capitalizing on your education and turning it into a career!

    (Post by Lauren Hafen ’16.)