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LU Journalism 220

Christmas Coffeehouse

Students Relieve Stress and Get in the Christmas Spirit

A long-running tradition at Liberty University continued late Friday night, as students and alumni filled the Vines Center for a night of fun and Christmas cheer.

Excitement was in the air as students lined up outside the Vines Center hours before the show was set to start, singing songs, playing games and talking with friends to pass the time.

Even before the line started, students were getting excited about the event. Junior Hannah Wright said she was most excited to see the videos, primarily because one of her quad-mates was featured in one. She was also excited to see what Christams-themed outfits others would be wearing. “I think it’s cool, it makes you get in the Christmas spirit more,” Wright said.

Finally, the doors opened and students began rushing off to claim seats, rows and sections for friends who were further back in line, taping off and guarding the seats they needed.

There were also students wandering the concourse, admiring displays based off of different Christmas songs, going along with this year’s Coffeehouse theme of “Fa-La-La-La-La.” They’d take selfies in front of the displays with friends or get someone from the event staff or another student passing by to help.

Finally, the show began, opening with “The First Noel.” As the band played, students sang along and watched.

The night continued on, more bands playing their versions of Christmas songs, videos, both student-made and clips taken from favorite Christmas movies and dance numbers crossed the stage and video screens.

All night long, in the background of every act, different images were displayed on LCD screens at the back of the stage, stacked on top of each other to form the shape of a Christmas tree.

This year, Liberty Student Activities added in a new contest segment, Lip Syncing Battles, which would be voted on by the students via texting. There were two rounds, which took place at different points in the night.

The biggest crowd reactions came to the acapella group, Shine, who performed “Mary Did You Know,” the dance group D-Trex, who based the nights dance off the story of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and to a student made video called “Jerry Dubs.”

In “Jerry Dubs” they had taken words from speeches and television appearances by President Falwell and strung them together in order to go along with Christmas songs and other popular songs from this past year.

The night closed with the band Rolling Coals playing “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.” Students across the rooom pulled out their phones and turned on the flashlights, waving them back and forth as the song played. Towards the end of the song, the rest of the acts who had played previously walked back on stage and sang with Rolling Coals.

Everyone was buzzing as they walked out of the Vine Center, despite the late hour. “I preferred this year’s Coffeehouse to last years, I left more energized and ready for Christmas than I did last year,” sophomore Hayley Heuiser said. Heuiser’s favorite act of the night was Shine, because even though they were a big group, they worked really well together.

Sitting in the room you could see why the Christmas Coffeehouse was something that Liberty students look forward to every year, even returning as alums later on.

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Web Story

Students filled the seats at the Vine Center Friday night, ready for a night of Christmas cheer after, what was for many, the first day of final exams.

The Christmas Coffeehouse provided that, with various acts throughout the night. There were:

  • 12 Music Acts
  • 9 Videos
    • 6 Student-Made
    • 3 Clips from popular Christmas movies
  • 2 Dance Acts
  • Lip Sync Battles

And, of course, there were students dressed in Christmas-themed outfits, from onesies to ugly Christmas sweaters to the bunny suit from “The Christmas Story.” Among those however, sophomore Hayley Heuiser’s favorite were two boys who had dressed as the burgulars from “Home Alone,” after running into Kevin’s traps. “I’ve never seen it done before, and it probably took a lot of time to glue all the feathers on,” Heuiser said.

This year’s Coffeehouse contest was Lip Sync Battles. The contestants pretended to sing along to Christmas songs by their favorite artists and the audience voted. Round One went to Kallie with her performance of “Little Drummer Boy” by Justin Bieber and round two went to Molly who performed “Rockin Around the Christmas Tree” by Miley Cyrus.

One of the student-made videos, a parody of Adele’s Hello, featured a distraught Santa wondering why he no longer seemed to be hearing from kids at this time of year.

Another video that played was the scene from “Elf” where the people in Central Park unknowingly help Santa get his sleigh off the ground by singing “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.” Students in the audience added their voices to the cause, singing along as the video played.

Another student-made video, “Baby it’s Curfew Time,” elicited laughter and smiles from the crowd, both with its lyrics and the acting scenes in between the lines of song, as a Liberty couple tried to have a date night while avoiding trouble.

The night showed how much talent is hidden in students at Liberty, whether that be singing, dancing, video production or just looking like they were singing.

Word Count: 333

Broadcast Script:

Christmas Coffeehouse has been a Liberty tradition for over 25 years// This year’s theme/ Fa-La-La-La-La/ focuses on the many Christmas songs that people have been singing for years/ like White Christmas and Frosty the Snowman///

Word Count: 36

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Finals Week Activities

Finals Week At Liberty University

by Elizabeth Dean

Christmas is such a widely celebrated holiday but at universities, the Christmas season is filled with much more than candy canes, hot chocolate, and presents.

At universities, the Christmas season marks the beginning of final exams. For many students, finals means that sanity and motivation runs low. However, Liberty University offers a variety of activities that are meant to relieve stress. Starting on December 10 the Jerry Falwell Library offers a variety of activities such as:

  • Coloring books
  • Cotton candy
  • Kettle corn
  • Therapy dogs
  • Massage chairs

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One of the favorite stress relieving activities is the therapy dogs in the Jerry Falwell Library. “It’s so awesome!” said student Mandi Oppman. The students will stand in line all around the library just to pet a dog for a few minutes as a slight distraction. Also in the library, there are massages which students also highly enjoy.

Christmas Convo is also a big deal in the study break realm. “Christmas Convo is pretty awesome. It was really funny and it was great to relax for a bit,” said Peter James, freshman. Christmas convo is optional for students but many students do not want to miss it. Students sing Christmas songs, watch funny Christmas videos and sketches done by students.

The main stress-relieving event at Liberty University during finals week is Christmas Coffeehouse. Christmas Coffeehouse is a show of different Christmas themed acts and videos done completely by students. It is a time where students can gather, laugh and forget about having to study for finals. Christmas Coffeehouse start at 11:30 p.m. and usually goes until 2 a.m. It is considered one of Liberty’s approved late night events. 

However, several students were conflicted about all the activities to de-stress. Many of them agreed that, even though they wanted to participate in Christmas Coffeehouse and other various activities, they have not been able to. “Coffeehouse and Christmas Convo are big deals so if you don’t go, you feel like you miss a lot. It’s hard to choose between going to those or studying,” said Austin Minuto.

Jerry Falwell and the Provost of Liberty University work hard to make sure that students do not get overwhelmed and overstressed. President Falwell even pays for students to get free kettle corn from venders that come in and set up around campus.

The professors and staff of Liberty genuinely care for the complete wellbeing of students and it truly shows during finals week. Professors will pray with students individually if the student wants and will often have students over to their houses.

Many students take these opportunities that Liberty presents and use them to take a study break. “It really helps take some of the stress off when we get to relax, even if it’s for a few minutes,” said student, Emily Tuzi. These study breaks are proven to help students retain the information that they are studying and help to remember the information longer. Liberty has done their research about the best way to remember information and the best way is to have study breaks in between shorter study sessions. (511)

Liberty University Finals

by Elizabeth Dean

Christmas is such a widely celebrated holiday but at universities, the Christmas season is filled with much more than candy canes, hot chocolate, and presents.

At universities, the Christmas season marks the beginning of final exams. For many students, finals means that sanity and motivation runs low. However, Liberty University offers a variety of activities that are meant to relieve stress. Starting on December 10 the Jerry Falwell Library offers board games, coloring books, cotton candy, therapy dogs and more.

Many students take these opportunities that Liberty presents and use them to take a study break. “It really helps take some of the stress off when we get to relax, even if it’s for a few minutes,” said student, Emily Tuzi.

The main stress-relieving event at Liberty University during finals week is Christmas Coffeehouse. Christmas Coffeehouse is a show of different Christmas themed acts and videos done completely by students. It is a time where students can gather, laugh and forget about having to study for finals. Christmas Coffeehouse start at 11:30 p.m. and usually goes until 2 a.m. It is considered one of Liberty’s approved late night events.

The professors and staff of Liberty genuinely care for the complete wellbeing of students and it truly shows during finals week. Professors will pray with students individually if the student wants and will often have students over to their houses.

Many students take these opportunities that Liberty presents and use them to take a study break. “It really helps take some of the stress off when we get to relax, even if it’s for a few minutes,” said student, Emily Tuzi. These study breaks are proven to help students retain the information that they are studying and help to remember the information longer. Liberty has done their research about the best way to remember information and the best way is to have study breaks in between shorter study sessions. (318)

 

Broadcast Script:

Finals week is an increasingly stressful time for students. Liberty University offers many activities that are to help the students relieve some stress. Christmas convo, Christmas coffeehouse, therapy dogs, cotton candy, and kettle corn are just a few of the things that Liberty offers during this time of stress. Here is one student’s view on these opportunities.

“It’s amazing that Liberty University offers so many things for the students during finals week. It shows that they truly care about the wellbeing of students.”

Liberty University is a unique university that want the best for its students.

 

Virginia Christmas Spectacular By: Katie McGann

Print Story:

December 4-6, Thomas Road Baptist Church will be hosting its annual Virginia Christmas Spectacular and with over 500 participants it will be an event to remember.

For the past 39-years the Virginia Christmas Spectacular has evolved from a single tree which could hold only 50 singers and a few dozen entertainers to a massive tree which can now hold 125 singers and hundreds of performers on stage.

Thomas Road Baptist Church’s worship pastor Charles Billingsley has been over-seeing VCS for the past six years ever since he returned from his church the Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, CA.

Thanks to the new location on Candler’s Mountain Road in Lynchburg, VA. TRBC has been able to expand the church in size, allowing for a much more spacious stage and plenty of room for VCS to grow.

“The biggest difference here is that we have a higher ceiling and a way bigger stage, so it just increased our flexibility,” Billingsley said.

Each year, new elements are added to the show in order to keep the crowds coming back, yet keeping it original, however this year Billingsley and director Lorie Marsh instituted a major change from start to finish, creating a brand new plot, brand new characters, songs and setting.

“One thing I wanted to do when I came back was make it an original thing from the very first step. We’ve worked very hard the last few years to create these shows from scratch,” Billingsley said.

Many people from the surrounding area of Lynchburg and Virginia come to attend VCS, some even attend annually to see the beautiful live performance and to hear the message of the Gospel through the birth of Jesus.

Since September 12, VCS cast a crew members worked tirelessly around the clock every week to prepare for the opening night performance on December 4 with a total of 253 new people auditioning for a part in the show.

“I feel that my role is to direct traffic. I think in all the shows I’ve ever done, I don’t think we’ve ever worked with a better team. Each of these people in these roles is just really top-rate. Lynchburg is very fortunate to have this team.” Marsh said.

Billingsley states however that even though the Gospel is presented in the show, it is more about entertainment and bringing the community and families together during Christmas time.

In an interview with one observer of the Virginia Christmas spectacular it was stated, “In past years, I took away more of a Christmas spirit, I believe the story of the Birth of Jesus was more of an importance than just entertainment.” Mollie Baity, who attended VCS on December 4, said.

However even without emphasis on the Gospel, VCS manages to draw in thousands of people each year without any problem while managing to still involve the birth of Christ so that those who might have never heard the story of Jesus might have a chance to learn about him.

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Web Story-

Thomas Road Baptist Church hosts its 39th annual Virginia Christmas Spectacular December 4-6; selling over ten-thousand tickets this year alone and with nearly 500 cast members it will be an event to remember.

  • Lights
  • Camera
  • Action

Since September 12, the TRBC community has been working tirelessly on preparing for its epic annual Christmas show, where talent from all over the state of Virginia is brought together to bring its audience pure talent.

TRBC worship pastor Charles Billingsley has over-seen VCS for the past six years, bringing with him talent and an insight into the entertainment business through his musical career in both California and Virginia.

In this year’s production of the Virginia Christmas Spectacular, Charles hired well-known Director Lorie Marsh and her husband, Don, a highly respected composer who brought with them 20 years of experience in the producing fields of Nashville, San Diego, Los Angeles and Denver.

Honing in on the entertainment aspect this year, Billingsley and Lorie Marsh hosted auditions for a total of 253 people this year, looking for pure talent in people and a wow factor that would stun the crowd and keep them coming back each year.

“We don’t make any bones about it, this show is about entertainment. We want to entertain audiences with a great storyline and great lights and great music.” Billingsley said.

On what was called “Choreography of lights” by Technical Director, Jon Daggett, he spoke on the importance of the lights flowing with the music; he did not want the lights to just flick on and off but for them to dance with the music.

“Choreograph is probably the best term you can use. Rather than just have the lights blinking on and off, we try to have them flow with the music. If you hear a cymbal crescendo, we want you to see that cymbal crescendo in lights,” Daggett said.

As the show went out with a blast of applause from the audience on opening night, all of the hard work from the entire staff and cast members paid-off and the Christmas spirit was awakened in the hearts of all who attended.

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Script-

“Here you can see what an emptied out building, a few workers remaining, cleaning out what was left of the Virginia Christmas Spectacular.

The crowds are gone, the lights are dimming down, and the decorations are being taken down.

In this building it’s pretty empty, but this nice it was crazy busy, it was fantastic. The crows went wile over the spectacular show and all the hard work that went into it.

It was a job well done for another Thomas Road Christmas Spectacular. ”

WC- 85

Final Project (Kaylee Dusang)

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Liberty University’s Department of Theater Performs “Meet Me in St. Louis” at Tower Theater

By: Kaylee Dusang

Liberty University’s Department of Theater had their first four performances of the classic Broadway musical “Meet Me in St. Louis” at the Tower Theater on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

meet me st louis
From: Liberty University News Service: The Cast of “Meet Me in St. Louis”

The holiday show is based on the book by Sally Benson and the 1944 MGM movie starring Judy Garland. The Broadway musical opened 40 years later in 1989.

“We were kind of looking for a show that would work well in the Christmas spot,” Chris Nelson, director and producer of the play said, “We liked the idea of doing a classic and we thought that ‘Meet Me is St. Louis’ was a good opportunity to bring that to the stage.”

The story is set during the holiday season, circa 1903, when the World’s Fair came to St. Louis. The musical incorporates romance, humor and everyday trials while following the Smith’s family life as they plan for a move to New York.

Director Nelson said the Broadway show has a few additional songs and character development that the movie does not center on.

The musical incorporated several Christmas themes, such as the classic songs “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” “Skip to My Lou” and “The Boy Next Door.”

“A lot of these songs people will recognize,” Director Nelson said, “I hope it will help them get into the holiday spirit and into putting family first, and I think that will be the best thing.”

Senior at Liberty University, Makenzie Pusey, who plays the role of main character, Esther Smith, told Liberty University News Service that it is a beautiful Christmas story that will get everyone in the holiday spirit.

“So much of the show is about preparing to leave behind somewhere you love,” she told LU News Service, “so it really connects to my life at the current moment as I prepare to graduate.”

Director Nelson said a music box was one of the main pieces of imagery that inspired the set. He liked the idea of a music box opening and turning to show the life within the family.

“It’s a simpler time, a very sentimental piece,” he said, “So I think people should expect to see a slice of life from 1903.”

Director Nelson added that there was 50 plus cast and crew involved in the production and rehearsal of “Meet Me in St. Louis.” There was a cast of 30 and over 20 crew members that were involved in choreography rehearsals, vocal rehearsals and blocking rehearsals.

“We have had a great rehearsal process,” he said, “We rehearsed for about 5 weeks, and we’re just real excited to finally be presenting it in front of an audience.”

An audience member at Friday’s performance said they really liked all the costumes and that the show got them into the holiday spirit, and overall wanting to be with family.

“Oh, it was absolutely fabulous,” an audience member at Saturday’s performance said, “every bit of it was wonderful.”

Liberty University’s Department of Theater’s performance of “Meet Me in St. Louis” runs for two weeks with a total of eight performances. The remaining dates are Dec. 11-13.

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WEB NEWS STORY:

“Meet Me in St. Louis” performed by Liberty University’s Department of Theater

By: Kaylee Dusang


The heart-warming Christmas musical and classic Broadway show was put on by Liberty University’s Department of Theater at the Tower Theater on Friday, Dec. 4.

The story is about the Smith family’s life during the time the World’s Fair came to St. Louis, circa 1903. The show provides comedy and romance, all while dealing with life’s everyday challenges.

“We were kind of looking for a show that would work well in the Christmas spot,” Chris Nelson, director and producer of the play said, “We liked the idea of doing a classic and we thought that ‘Meet Me is St. Louis’ was a good opportunity to bring that to the stage.”

The play is based off the book by Sally Benson and the 1944 MGM movie starring Judy Garland. The Broadway Musical opened 40 years later in 1989.

“Meet Me in St. Louis” incorporates several classic songs such as:

  • “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”
  • “Skip to My Lou”
  • “The Boy Next Door”

“It’s a beautiful Christmas story that will get everyone in the holiday spirit,” Makenzie Pusey, Senior at Liberty University who plays the main character, Esther Smith, told Liberty University News Service.

Director Nelson said that a music box was one of the main pieces of imagery that inspired the set. He liked the idea of a music box opening and turning to show the life within the family.

“It’s a simpler time, a very sentimental piece,” he said, “So I think people should expect to see a slice of life from 1903.”

“I really liked all the costumes,” an audience member at Friday’s performance said, “it really got me into the holiday spirit, and overall wanting to be with family.”

“Meet Me in St. Louis” has a total of eight performances and runs for two weeks, Dec. 4-13.

WORD COUNT: 300

BROADCAST NEWS STORY:

Liberty University’s Department of Theater is performing the Broadway musical “Meet Me in St. Louis” at the Tower Theater//The show’s remaining dates are December 11th through the 13th///

The story follows the Smith family’s life in St. Louis during the World’s Fair/circa 1903//Director Chris Nelson says they were looking for a show that would work well in the Christmas spot///

The musical has several Christmas themes/ such as the classic songs “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and “Skip to My Lou”///

An audience member at Saturday’s performance says it was fabulous and every bit of it was wonderful///

WORD COUNT: 99

 

By: Kelsi Holstein

Print Story-

Students at Liberty University stand behind President Jerry Falwell’s good intentions to make the campus safer, but a very small portion of the student body can actually heed his advice to conceal carry weapons.

Young Christian conservatives abound at Liberty University where students seemed excited to hear president of the university, Jerry Falwell Jr. call for more good citizens to carry guns. Applause carried throughout the student body at convocation Friday, December 4 after he encouraged students to take a conceal carry class being offered for free at the university. However given Virginia’s conceal carry laws only students over the age of 21 are eligible to receive their permits.

Liberty University Senior, Micha Spriggs, says that he doesn’t personally know many students who would meet the age requirement. The goal of offering the course and allowing students over the age of 21 to carry weapons is to make the campus safer in the event of an attack. Falwell announced in convocation on Wednesday, December 9 that 240 students had already signed up to take the course in addition to the 950 that already have their conceal carry permits.

“I’d be surprised if it reaches 30 percent of the student body. I don’t think it will be more than that,” Spriggs said.

Those students that are eligible to receive their conceal carry permits are mostly seniors and possibly a few juniors. This means that when the upcoming senior class turns 21 they will have to get their permits in order to keep the number of students who carry up.

Liberty’s policy of allowing guns on campus is very different from most other universities. Falwell said that the policy change occurred after the shooting at Virginia Tech in 2011, not in response to terror attacks. Sophomore April Henry says she believes it is a smart idea for good people on college campuses to carry guns.

“At least you know that it’s not person against barrel, its barrel against barrel,” Henry said.

Falwell also announced that guns will now be allowed in dorms. When the previous rules not allowing guns in dorms was put in place when parking lots were closer to dorms and students could easily leave their weapons in their cars. This change will accommodate more students; however, the age requirement still stands in the way of most students on campus. Henry said that she does not believe that the new rule will benefit that many students living on campus.

While most students agree with what Falwell said and the new changes he implemented, many students are still divided on if his comments were appropriate. Some students believe that the media took Falwell’s words out of context, while others think that he should have been more careful in his choice of words. Falwell has done several interviews since with local media, as well as appearing on Fox News in an interview on the “Hannity” show.

In all of his interviews Falwell has expressed that he did not mean to offend the muslim religion and was speaking specifically about terrorists when he referred to “those Muslims.” Spriggs doesn’t believe that his clarification did enough.

“I understand his context, and I support his context. But he definitely should’ve worded things different. And when he did it he should’ve come out and apologized for his poor choice of words,” Spriggs said.

Word Count- 557

Web Story-

Students at Liberty University stand behind President Jerry Falwell’s good intentions to make the campus safer, but a very small portion of the student body can actually heed his advice to conceal carry weapons.

Young Christian conservatives abound at Liberty University where students seemed excited to hear president of the university, Jerry Falwell Jr. call for more good citizens to carry guns. Applause carried throughout the student body at convocation Friday, December 4 after he encouraged students to take a conceal carry class being offered for free at the university. However given Virginia’s conceal carry laws only students over the age of 21 are eligible to receive their permits.

Liberty University Senior, Micha Spriggs, says that he doesn’t personally know many students who would meet the age requirement. The goal of offering the course and allowing students over the age of 21 to carry weapons is to make the campus safer in the event of an attack. Falwell announced in convocation on Wednesday, December 9 that 240 students had already signed up to take the course in addition to the 950 that already have their conceal carry permits.

“I’d be surprised if it reaches 30 percent of the student body. I don’t think it will be more than that,” Spriggs said.

Those students that are eligible to receive their conceal carry permits are mostly seniors and possibly a few juniors. This means that when the upcoming senior class turns 21 they will have to get their permits in order to keep the number of students who carry up.

Liberty’s policy of allowing guns on campus is very different from most other universities. Falwell said that the policy change occurred after the shooting at Virginia Tech in 2011, not in response to terror attacks. Sophomore April Henry says she believes it is a smart idea for good people on college campuses to carry guns.

“At least you know that it’s not person against barrel, its barrel against barrel,” Henry said.

Virginia is one of 23 states where the decision to ban or allow conceal carry weapons is up to the individual university. Those states include: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia.

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Final Project

Liberty University students move from the Residential Annex to the Residential Commons II

by Caroline Stimpson, Dec. 11, 2015

Liberty University’s Residential Annex will be shut down January, with students relocating to the Residential Commons II for the spring semester.

The roughly 600 to 700 students who live on the Annex are expected to make the move to the Commons Jan. 25 and Jan. 27 for the C and B Buildings, respectively. The move is in preparation for the closing of the Annex, which Liberty University will repurpose after the students move out.

“First, we have to wait for the Commons to be done,” Alayna Johnson, a Resident Assistant on the Annex, said. “So they need to continue moving in furniture and finishing the building and making all of the finishing touches on that. And then here at the Annex, we’ll have to pack all of our stuff, and then they’re going to have University Assistance to move us next semester.”

image1
A view of the Annex

According to Johnson, each student will be provided with three boxes for packing, which University Assistance will have transported to the Commons.

The Commons rooms bear some similarities to those on the Annex, such as a personal bathroom, but they are smaller, with common areas and more people on each hall. Students will be provided with microwaves and refrigerators, with a restriction on personal appliances due to wattage control.

Though the details have yet to be confirmed, halls are expected to stay together, minus three halls that are being dissolved. Only eight Resident Assistants will be moving to the Commons as opposed to the Annex’s thirteen, with the remaining Resident Assistants either graduating or being relocated to other parts of campus.

“The halls that are being dissolved will be kind of dispersed on the other four halls,” Johnson said. “But the halls that are currently together, with the RAs who are staying, are going to be together as much as can be done.”

Boys will move to floors one through four, while girls will move to floors five through eight.

Due to the inconvenience of the move, Liberty University is charging students with the Annex price as opposed to the Commons price.

Holly Smith, a sophomore who will be making the move January, admitted that most people on the Annex are looking forward to the location of the Commons, but that they will miss the large, soundproof rooms, the community and the off-campus feel of the Annex.

image2
A view of the Annex

“Here, everybody pretty much knows each other,” Smith said. “We see the same faces every day. Also, we’re able to go to the Minirot together, travel as a hall, and we also talk to each other on the way to the rooms.”

Students first received official information about the move Dec. 9, about a week before the end of the first semester.

“It’s been very nerve-wracking,” Smith said. “Especially since we don’t know about roommates or what room we’re going to have, where we’ll be, if there’s a room. It’s nice to finally know where we’ll be living and when we’ll be moving.”

During their first week, students will remain in their rooms at the Annex.

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Liberty University students say goodbye to the Residential Annex

by Caroline Stimpson, Dec. 11, 2015

Liberty University plans to shut down the Residential Annex and relocate students to the Residential Commons II for the spring semester.

The move will take place Jan. 25 for the C Building and Jan. 27 for the B Building, with roughly 600 to 700 students making the move.

Though the Annex and the Commons share certain features, such as a personal bathroom, they differ in many ways:

• The Commons provides microwaves and refrigerators; the Annex does not.
• The Commons has common areas for each floor; the Annex does not.
• The Commons is located on-campus; the Annex is located off-campus.
• The Annex has a pool and a private dining hall; the Commons does not.
• The Annex has large, hotel-style rooms; the Commons does not.

According to Holly Smith, a sophomore who will be making the move January, students who live on the Annex are both excited and nervous about the move, as they are looking forward to being on-campus in the Commons, but they will miss the large, soundproof rooms and the off-campus feel of the Annex.

“I think we all pretty much feel the same,” Smith said. “We’re excited for not having to travel thirty minutes every single day, but we’re also upset because we’re going to lose this community vibe.”

Smith explained that the Annex feels like a community due to the fact that the students live together off-campus, with dorms opening to the outside.

“We see the same faces every day,” Smith said. “Also, we’re able to go to the Minirot together, travel as a hall, and we also talk to each other on the way to the rooms.”

Students received official news about the move Dec. 9, roughly one week before the end of the fall semester. They will remain on the Annex during the first week of the spring semester.

Word count: 304

This January/ Liberty University students say goodbye to their old dorms as the Residential Annex is shut down and students moved to the Residential Commons II// According to Resident Assistant Alayna Johnson/ the move will take place in late January// “We currently have information from housing that’s saying that we are going to move January twenty-fifth/ and that’s for C Building/ and then B Building is going to move the twenty-seventh//” This will be roughly one week after the start of the spring semester///

Word count: 84

All pictures and video were obtained by the author.

Final Project (Hannah Teramura)

 

7E762D54-3A0F-4AF9-8836-7961492F08DDB1F87E10-8F73-4A83-92DC-18366526C1DB
Signs posted reinforcing towing for parking violations

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Liberty University Parking: The Never-Ending Search

By Hannah S. Teramura

Liberty continues to oversell parking permits this year making parking increasingly competitive, affecting not only commuter students, but also the university’s residential students and resident assistants.

According to the Liberty Champion, parking was a large problem in 2012 when they changed the parking system and oversold lots at too high of a ratio for the inflow of students.

However, with a record number of students at Liberty this semester, the circumstances do not seem to have changed.

Katie Wortendyke, a junior commuter student, has struggled with parking more this semester than any other.

“I hate coming on campus because of parking. It is such a hassle to find a spot near what you need, especially when you’re running late,” Wortendyke said.

On average, it takes Wortendyke 25 minutes to walk from her designated parking lot to her classroom. This often makes her late for class affecting both her attendance records and grades.

“One morning I left an hour before class and it took me 30 minutes to find parking. I ended up being late to class, missing the chance to take an exam which drastically hurt my grade,” Wortendyke said.

Now in order to keep her grades and attendance up, Wortendyke pays for both her parking pass and the fees to park in the parking garage on the days she has classes.

The parking situation is surprisingly taking a toll on curfew as well. Many RAs must deal with students who miss curfew because they cannot find parking.

Anna Willis, a 22-year-old RA on floor 4 Commons I dorm, struggles with this regularly.

“I understand parking is an issue this semester. I have to deal with it too. But we have so many girls missing curfew because they cannot find a parking spot and it makes my job a lot harder. I don’t know where to draw the line,” Willis said.

Not only is parking a never-ending struggle for commuter students and RAs, it affects residential students as well.

“Liberty prides itself on letting our freshmen bring cars. Not too many big schools do that,” Jerry Falwell Jr. told the Liberty Champion.

However, it may not be as convenient as it sounds.

Residential students have estimated that at any given time they must drive around for 15 minutes to find a spot. Students must also frequently alter their plans in order to find a spot on campus when they return.

18-year-old freshman, Mariah Troyer, is just one of the students affected by this.

“I usually don’t stay out past 10 p.m. because I do not want to be forced to park in Zone 4 and have to wait out there for an unreliable bus or walk 20 minutes back alone in the dark,” Troyer said.

The competitiveness of parking this semester has actually been deterring student’s car use, causing parking to be worse.

Students admitted once they get a convenient parking spot, they are less willing to move it.

This is detrimental to the parking situation, making all the convenient parking spots taken with no healthy inflow and outflow of cars.

In the past, they have tried to fix the parking situation by overselling parking decals at a lower rate and creating more parking lots for residential students, commuters and employees.

However, it is obvious work still needs to be done.

While this may just be a natural consequence of our university rapidly growing in size, students desperately need more effective changes in the future.

(Word Count: 575)

WEB STORY:

Liberty’s Parking Predicament: A Student’s Worst Nightmare

By Hannah S. Teramura

Liberty’s highly competitive parking system this year has impacted many of the students either academically, socially or administratively, creating a frustrating dilemma.

With a record number of students studying at Liberty this semester, the search for parking seems never-ending and has affected many parts of the university.

Parking this semester has taken a toll on:

  • Grades and Class Attendance
  • RAs and Curfew
  • Student’s Social Plans

Grades and Class Attendance

Katie Wortendyke, a junior commuter student, says the parking has made this semester more of struggle than any other.

“One morning I left an hour before class and it took me 30 minutes to find parking. I ended up being late to class, missing the chance to take an exam which drastically hurt my grade,” Wortendyke said.

Wortendyke estimated that if she’s lucky it takes 25 minutes to walk from her designated commuter parking lot to her classroom.

Now in order to keep her grades and attendance up, Wortendyke pays for both her parking pass and the fees to park in the garage on the days she has classes.

Curfew Violations

The parking situation is surprisingly taking a toll on curfew as well. Many RAs must track down students who are not in their rooms by curfew because they cannot find parking.

Resident assistant, Anna Willis, understands that parking is an issue this semester. However, she struggles to figure out how to handle it as an RA.

“We have so many girls missing curfew because they cannot find a parking spot and it makes my job a lot harder. I don’t know where to draw the line,” Willis said.

Student’s Social Life

Residential students must also frequently alter their evening plans in order to find a spot on campus when they return.

“I usually don’t stay out past 10 p.m. because I do not want to be forced to park in Zone 4 and have to wait out there for an unreliable bus or walk 20 minutes back alone in the dark,” freshman student Mariah Troyer said.

The closer it gets to curfew the harder it is to find parking, therefore, many like Troyer must alter their plans for safety and convenience.

The competitiveness of Liberty’s parking system actually seems to deter students from using their cars.

Students readily admitted that once they get a convenient parking spot they are less willing to move it. This hinders a healthy inflow and outflow of cars, causing parking to be worse.

While this may just be a growing pain of Liberty, it is obvious work still needs to be done and students eagerly await a solution.

(Word Count: 419)

BROADCAST SCRIPT:

Liberty’s competitive parking system this semester is having an increasingly negative impact on students // With a record number of students on campus / the abundance of cars and lack of parking has taken its toll // Many commuters’ grades have drastically dropped by missing  exams // Resident assistants struggle to track down students who are not back by curfew // Students frequently must alter their plans in order to find a space when they return // This competitive nature of parking makes students disinclined to move their cars / making parking even worse // Students eagerly await solutions as changes obviously need to be made ///

(Word Count: 98)

 

*Photos, video filming and editing were compiled and gathered solely from my own doing. All parts of the Broadcast video were also done by myself.*

Final Project (Kirkland Gee)

PRINT STORY:

Liberty University President Encourages Students To Arm Themselves

By: Kirkland Gee

Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. stands behind remarks made to students Friday, Dec. 4 about getting concealed carry permits to”end those Muslims before they walked in.”

jerry-falwell-david-nasser-201512081321MBs
Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. and Senior Vice President of Spiritual Programs David Nasser address students at Convocation regarding Falwell’s comments (From: Liberty University News Service)

Falwell, son of the late Moral Majority leader Jerry Falwell Sr., said Friday that students should get their permits to concealed carry a firearm to protect their campus.

“If some of those people in that community center had what I have in my back pocket right now…,” Falwell said before being drowned out by applause.

“I’ve always thought that if more good people had concealed-carry permits, then we could end those Muslims before they walked in and killed,” Falwell said.

Falwell told The Washington Post that when he referred to “those Muslims” he was referring to Islamic Terrorists, specifically those who carried out the attacks in Paris and San Bernardino.

“That’s the only thing I would clarify. If I had to say what I said again, I’d say exactly the same thing,” Falwell said.

Falwell addressed students in Convocation Wednesday regarding his statements.

“As the president of this university community of nearly 15,000 students and 7,000 faculty and staff, I take very seriously my responsibility to keep you safe in an increasingly dangerous world,” Falwell said.

Falwell also went on Fox News’ “Hannity” Monday to defend his remarks.

“Sadly, at most universities, the students would have no option. They would not be allowed to protect themselves. They would not be allowed to have a permit, and we’ve got to change that in America,” Falwell said.

He reminded students that Liberty offers a free class for them to get their concealed carry permit.

“I just want to take this opportunity to encourage all of you to get your permit. We offer a free course,” Falwell said.

Falwell’s Twitter page has been littered with tweets of support, especially from students and alumni.

“I applaud @JerryJrFalwell for his comments in #LibertyConvo today. We don’t want another #SanBernadino,” Hannah Gabrielle tweeted.

Dan Howell, a professor at Liberty, voiced his support for Falwell in an article for Esquire.com. Howell said that Falwell’s theology was based in scripture.

“While Jesus was exceptionally mild and meek at his first coming, we are assured by Scripture that he will not be so at his second coming,” Howell said.

There have also been many who were offended by president Falwell’s comments.

Alex Medina, the creative director of Reach Records, a Christian record label that represents artists such as Lecrae and Andy Mineo, expressed his frustrations on twitter.

“I would have disenrolled from @LibertyU immediately after this convocation,” Alex Medina tweeted.

Baaba Otabil, a student at Liberty, said that she felt ashamed to be a Christian after Falwell’s comments.

“He is a public figure for Christianity. It’s disappointing to hear him say that. He doesn’t have that room for mistakes.” Otabil said.

Julia McCarl, also a Liberty Student, said that she was concerned with how what he said may affect others’ perception of the university and its students.

“I felt like it made him seem ignorant. What he does portrays his students view. Not every student at Liberty thinks it’s the best place on earth and that everything Jerry says is for the better,” McCarl said.

Falwell’s comments have sparked a tempest of debate and argument over whether carrying a concealed weapon is the “Christian” thing to do, with many on the right and left voicing their opinions.

In an article written for The Atlantic, Jonathan Merrit, a Liberty alumnus, called Falwell’s remarks “troubling.”

“Falwell’s comments are the latest in a string of proclamations by conservative Christians appealing to religious authority and yet apparently devoid of biblical reflection,” Merritt said.

Todd Starnes, a writer for Fox News, on the other hand, strongly voiced his support for Falwell.

“I stand with Jerry Falwell, Jr. And like the president of Liberty University, I am proud to call myself a gun-toting, Bible-clinging American patriot,” Starnes said.

You can find a video of Falwell’s full comments on our website.

Word count: 637

WEB STORY:

Liberty University President Encourages Students to Concealed Carry on Campus

By: Kirkland Gee

Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. made controversial comments Friday Dec. 4 to his students during their weekly Convocation service about gun control and terrorism.

The Liberty University president could not understand why people think more gun control is a way to stop acts of terrorism like

“It just blows my mind that the president of the United States [says] that the answer to circumstances like that is more gun control,” Falwell said.

Falwell went on Fox News’ “Hannity” Monday to defend his remarks.

“Sadly, at most universities, the students would have no option. They would not be allowed to protect themselves. They would not be allowed to have a permit, and we’ve got to change that in America,” Falwell said.

Falwell voiced his opinion that more responsible people with guns would be able to prevent terrorist attacks.

“I’ve always thought that if more good people had concealed-carry permits, then we could end those Muslims before they walked in and killed,” Falwell said.

Falwell clarified to The Washington Post that when he reffered to “those Muslims,” he specifically meant those who carried out the shooting in San Bernardino

Falwell’s twitter has been littered with tweets of support, especially from students and alumni.

Screen Shot 2015-12-08 at 7.04.29 PM
Hannah Gabrielle voicing her support for Falwell

Dan Howell, a professor at Liberty, voiced his support for Falwell in an article for Esquire.com. Howell said that Falwell’s theology was based in scripture.

“While Jesus was exceptionally mild and meek at his first coming, we are assured by Scripture that he will not be so at his second coming,” Howell said.

There have also been many who were offended by president Falwell’s comments.

The creative director of Reach Records, a Christian record label that represents artists such as Lecrae and Andy Mineo, expressed his frustrations on twitter.

Jerry Tweet 1
Alex Medina from Reach Records “would have disenrolled” after Falwell’s comments

 

Baaba Otabil, a student at Liberty, said that she felt ashamed to be a Christian after Falwell’s comments.

“He is a public figure for Christianity. It’s disappointing to hear him say that. He doesn’t have that room for mistakes,” Otabil said.

You can view Falwell’s full comments here.

Word count: 363

BROADCAST SCRIPT:

Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. is standing behind comments he made to his students Friday about their right to concealed carry///

SOT: “I’ve always thought that if more good people had concealed-carry permits, then we could end those Muslims before they walked in and killed///”

There has been a storm of debate since his comments, but Falwell is sticking to his guns///

Falwell went on Fox News’ Hannity Monday to defend his comments// He said that at most universities/ students would not be allowed to concealed carry and that has got to change///

Word count: 94

Liberty University Sponsors NASCAR Drivers

JOURNALISM220 FINAL PROJECT


Liberty University Sponsors Student’s NASCAR Career

By: Hannah Peters
IMG_3830.JPG
Stephen Berry’s Chevrolet stock-car with Liberty University’s logo

 

Rare among many universities, Liberty University sponsors a few of the student’s NASCAR careers.

Beginning in 2007, Jerry Fawell Sr., founder of Liberty University supported student, Stephen Berry’s NASCAR dream. Liberty’s support to Berry and his team’s career was crucial. An estimated $150,000 per year is required for a competitive team’s stock car support. For six years, Liberty was able to support Stephen Berry with a large portion of money to make his dream successful. Berry’s Liberty funded racecar is embellished and adorned with the University’s logo. The Chevrolet race car #82 is in fact, an advertisement for Liberty and allows publicity for the University.

Following Liberty’s lead in sponsoring Stephen Berry, several other universities such as Clemson University, began funding NASCAR-focused programs for their students.

“Liberty has sponsored me for six years, I have been very blessed and fortunate to have the University do that for me. We wouldn’t have been able to have a race team without Liberty. They got great exposure from it across the country, and I got great exposure from my driving career,” Stephen Berry said.

Stephen Berry started his career in profession go-karts at age 14, which go about 80 mph on dirt. During his go-kart racing he won the Virginia State Championship. Following, Berry moved up to race a half-scale sized stock car. Stephen exceeded the expectations of half-scale stock car racing, thus, he began to compete in the NASCAR All American series. Liberty then sponsored Berry’s racing for six years along with a full tuition scholarship and degree in business.

The support from Liberty University opened the doors for Berry’s success. Throughout the time Liberty sponsored Berry’s NASCAR career, he was able to accomplish the following:

  • Competed in an invitational NASCAR All-Star Showdown in Irwindale Speedway California
  • Holds 36 wins, 42 poles, 52 Top Five finalists spots
  • NASCAR Rookie of The Year in 2007
  • Holds track record at Southern National Speedway in Kenly, North Carolina

    FullSizeRender-1.jpg
    Stephen Berry with Liberty University founder Jerry Falwell Sr.

The Liberty University fund for student NASCAR drivers has become tradition. Beginning in 2014, Liberty sponsored NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Champion driver, William Byron. The 18-year-old, Byron, has received both a sponsorship and plans to pursue a business de
gree from Liberty.

“William Byron (is) a young man who possesses the skills and values of a champion, not only on the racetrack, but personally and professionally as well. William, like so many of Liberty’s students, applied the skills he developed and refined through virtual education technologies to achieve practical success,” Liberty President Jerry Falwell said.

At the young age of 18-years-old, William Bryon has achieved many accomplishments that include the following:

  • Turned Pro in Legends in January 2014
  • Won the Charlotte Winter Heat U.S. Pro championship
  • Crowned the Pro Legend champion at Winter Nationals in Florida
  • Competed in 69 Legend races across the U.S. in 2013
  • Registered 59 top five and 64 top 10 finishes
  • Captured the 2013 U.S. Legend Young Lions National championship

For many individuals, juggling a NASCAR career and balancing schoolwork does not come naturally. Byron explained that he must work around his racing schedule. Sometimes that means sacrificing time with friends and family and getting homework done early in the week or late after races.

Along with the funds Liberty is supporting Byron with, Liberty is also aiding the racecar driver with a business degree.

“Most drivers don’t pursue a degree, or have a back-up plan to fall back on if their dreams turn to dust. With the business degree, I will not only have a back-up plan, but will gain an understanding of the marketing and sponsor side of the sport,” William Byron said.

Print Story word count: 602

Meet Stephen Berry #82

Liberty University’s Alumni and NASCAR driver: Stephen Berry


Students’ NASCAR Career Sponsored by Liberty University

By: Hannah Peters
IMG_3864.JPG
William Byron’s Liberty University race car

Liberty University is building a tradition among sponsoring both students and NASCAR drivers. Within the previous eight years, founder Jerry Falwell Sr. and chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. have paved the way for two student’s NASCAR driving careers.

Beginning in 2007, business major Stephen Berry graciously received both a full tuition scholarship and sponsorship from Liberty University. On the tail end of his #82 Chevrolet full-scale stock car, Liberty University’s logo is found. Berry’s Liberty funded racecar is an advertisement and publicity catcher for the University.

“Liberty has sponsored me for six years, I have been very blessed and fortunate to have the University do that for me. We wouldn’t have been able to have a race team without Liberty,” Stephen Berry said.

Throughout Berry’s Liberty University sponsored NASCAR career, he was able to achieve many nationally ranked accomplishments. Stephen Berry has competed in an invitational NASCAR All-Star Showdown, received NASCAR Rookie of The Year in 2007 and also holds the track record at Southern National Speedway in Kenly, North Carolina.

Beginning in 2014 Liberty University has carried on its new founded tradition by sponsoring another student’s NASCAR career. Currently, 18-year-old William Byron of Charlotte, North Carolina, holds the University’s sponsorship for his full-scale stock car.

While racing full-time, William Byron also jumpstarted his college education, Byron is dual-enrolled in Liberty University Online Academy. Byron is currently pursuing a degree in business and marketing where he plans to learn and understand the sponsor side of NASCAR.

Dual-enrollment, traveling, full-time racing, and being an 18-year-old can be stressful and overwhelming; however, Byron prioritizes his school work by sacrificing time with friends and instead accomplishing homework early in the week or late after races.

William Byron is, “a young man who possesses the skills and values of a champion, not only on the racetrack, but personally and professionally as well,” quoted by President Jerry Falwell Jr.

Similar to Stephen Berry, Byron has achieved many accomplishments and awards with the help of Liberty’s sponsorship. William Byron is NASCAR’s K&N Pro Series East Champion driver. He also turned Pro in Legends in January 2014, won the Charlotte Winter Heat U.S. Pro championship, was crowned the Pro Legend champion at Winter Nationals in Florida and captured the 2013 U.S. Legend Young Lions National championship.

Web Story word count: 378


NASCAR Driver Receives Financial Support from Liberty University

By: Hannah Peters

A Newfound Tradition

Liberty University has paved the way for two student/s NASCAR dream career// Students Stephen Berry and William Byron have received support from Liberty// This newfound tradition of sponsorship has allowed both Berry and Byron to succeed in racing while earning countless awards/ titles and trophies///

Liberty began this tradition back in 2007/ where Stephen Berry first accepted a full tuition scholarship and sponsorship from the University// Berry/s racecar was funded by Liberty for six years// Today/ Liberty now supports 18/year/old/ William Byron/s NASCAR career and aids in completing his of a business degree///

Broadcast Story word count: 93


*Photo credit of Motor Mile Speedway, Facebook and photographer, Roger C Brehm. Video filming and editing of “Meet Stephen Berry #82” were compiled solely from my own doing. All parts of the Broadcast video were also done by myself.*

 

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