Outside the Comfort Zone

by Stephanie Ward | October 7, 2015

Outside the Comfort Zone: Landmark Music Festival 2015

written by Drew Snavely

On September 26th and 27th I had the opportunity to attend the first annual Landmark Music Festival in Washington D.C. The mission of the music festival was to raise over 750 million dollars for repairs of the monuments and landscaping at the National Mall. The festival featured a smorgasbord of artists including Drake, The Strokes, alt-J, Ben Howard and many others. Despite Landmark being put on for a great cause and the awesome selection of bands that were playing, I was still a little hesitant to make the journey to the nation’s capital. I know what you are probably thinking: “You were hesitant on the opportunity to see Drake perform Hotline Bling live?!” and the answer to that is yes. I was hesitant to go because I was uncomfortable. 

I had never been to an actual music festival before, so I had no idea what to expect going into it. All I knew was that there was going to be thousands of people there and many of those people would probably be doing many things that would be considered socially acceptable in the real world but not here at Liberty. I was right, and in that instance, I was fine with being right. A memorable quote from the weekend was “everything that I struggle with is within these walls”. I love that quote because that is one of the main reasons why some people would say why I should not have gone to the music festival, but that quote is one of the main reasons why I went to Landmark. It is easy to uphold your values and beliefs when everybody around you is in agreement and doing the same thing, but as soon as you are all alone in a crowd of people with opposite values and beliefs, that is when you will be tested. I want to be tested because I won’t be at Liberty for the rest of my life and I want to be prepared for the real world. So if I have the opportunity to go to a Drake concert where every other person is drunk or smoking something a little stronger than tobacco, I will take that opportunity for the learning experience, because that is a real life situation I may have to deal with further down the road. 

At Student Activities we highly encourage students to engage in culture and we try to incorporate that into every event that we put on. We want you to ask tough questions. We want you to think for yourself. We want you to believe in your values because you have thought through them, not because your Biblical Worldview professor told you what to believe in. We understand that it is easy to stay inside the “Liberty bubble” where it is safe, which is why we try so hard to push the importance of cultural engagement through the events that we provide. There is a fallen world out there that you and I are going into and we need to be prepared for it. 

I was uncomfortable at Landmark Music Festival and I loved (almost) every second of it. I saw enough acts of PDA to last a lifetime and there are definitely some images from the festival that I won’t be able to un-see, but honestly, I would do it all again in a heartbeat. It was an eye-opening experience that I was able to take so many lessons from and it is a memory that I will be able to share with my friends for a very long time. So if you are deciding whether or not to do something that you wouldn’t normally do, something that would challenge your beliefs and your values, something that would take you out of your comfort zone, I encourage you to take the advice of the wise Shia Labeouf and “just do it”.

Movie Night Preview - October 3

by Robert Johns | October 1, 2015

written by Brian Shesko

On Saturday, October 3, Student Activities brings you yet another action-packed, Double Feature Movie Night featuring two of this year’s biggest movies: Ant-Man and Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation.

First up will be Ant-Man, #12 on the ever-growing list of movies from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, and Michael Douglas are your heroes for the night, starring as Scott Lang/Ant-Man, Hope Van Dyne, and Hank Pym, respectively. As usual, Paul Rudd’s funny, endearing, everyman acting quality transitions easily to the superhero genre. He plays Scott Lang, a reforming crook who, because of his various “skills” in that regard, gets invited by scientist Hank Pym to become Ant-Man, and gets training and assistance from Hank’s daughter, Hope Van Dyne. His mission: to retrieve the mysterious “Pym particle”, which, like many movies’ mysterious “particles”, has tremendous powers and is being used for corrupt means, this time by a bad, bad man named Darren Cross (played by actor Corey Stoll). Cross becomes “Yellowjacket”, Ant-Man must stop him, and battles ensue. Tiny, tiny battles. As some reviewers have noted, the smaller scale of Ant-Man isn’t just in the size of the hero. As you may have seen in the movie or its previews, since fights take place in ant-size measure, whole cities, or even the whole world, are not at risk of destruction, but the toys in a little girls room are. (It’s tough to choose whose minor role is better in the movie: TI’s, or Thomas the Tank Engine’s.) Beyond the unique action of the movie, there are themes of redemption/second chances as well as commitment and love from father to daughter. Like its protagonist, Ant-Man is fun, a tad unassuming, and just self-deprecating enough, but still manages to pack a big punch.

Second, hang on to your hats, your seats, your wallets, and maybe even the folks next to you, because Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation will knock your hat off, knock you out of your seat, steal your wallet, AND sit next to you on both sides without asking. It’s not the only reason to see the movie, but you may already know that Tom Cruise did his own stunts, which included hanging on the side of a giant, military-sized airplane as it took off. The incredible part is, even after hanging onto a real airplane, all of his other stunts are still so impressive. (He had to hold his breath underwater for six minutes.) Another thing you have to like about the J.J. Abrams phase of Mission: Impossible is the increased appearance of Simon Pegg. In fact, the supporting cast of Rogue Nation, especially relative-newcomer Rebecca Ferguson, is exceptional, and certainly one of the reasons the movie has been so well received. Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation is proof that “spy vs. spy vs. spy vs. spy agency vs. international governing bodies, etc.” is a movie concept that will likely never grow old, at least as long as compelling storylines and unbelievable stunts are the hallmark of such movies.

Be sure to take advantage of our FREE popcorn and inexpensive snacks and drinks. It’s yet another outstanding and action-packed Double Feature Movie Night, brought to you by your friends at Student Activities.


I Love... - Drew Snavely

by Robert Johns | October 1, 2015

How long have you been doing this?

I’ve been playing soccer for about 15 years now.

What initially interested you in trying this?

My mom was born and raised in Brazil so soccer has kind of always been around me and ever since I started playing at the age of 5 there has never been a time where I have not enjoyed playing soccer.

Where do you like doing this activity?

I prefer playing soccer outside on grass. Some people like turf but turf just isn’t the same. It’s not the way the game was intended to be played.

Fill in the blank- “My favorite/best achievement doing this is _______”

My favorite achievement through soccer is when I got to coach a youth boys’ team for a couple of years with my best friend.

Define success for you- what does it look like?

Success for me in soccer isn’t about winning games, sure winning is great and nobody likes to lose, but for me success is going out on the field playing with 11 best friends and knowing that you tried your hardest no matter what the outcome may be.

Who or what in this area inspires you?

There are so many greats that I’ve looked up to my whole life like Paul Scholes, Ronaldinho, Messi, but I think the player that inspires me the most is Andrea Pirlo. First of all he is one of the best passers in the game and when he is on the ball the ball is almost like an extension of his body and every touch or movement he makes is so fluid and beautiful. Pirlo is a class act on and off the field, a great role model for any youngster playing soccer.

What is the community aspect of this activity? How does it involve family or friends?

The community aspect of soccer is awesome. I’ve met so many people through different soccer camps, teams and even competitions. A lot of my best friends play soccer too. It is just such a beautiful game that it is easy to talk about all day with somebody or watch all day long.

How has this activity stretched, grown, or challenged you?

Soccer has taught me so many valuable things that have influenced the person I am today. Through soccer I’ve learned the importance of teamwork and being a good team player. I’ve learned important leadership skills through soccer and I’ve also learned that everything isn’t always going to go your way. That’s just how life is.

How does this activity make you feel (the process, the accomplishment)?

Soccer makes me feel alive. It’s so refreshing and energizing every time I go out to play. It’s almost like an escape from reality for me because when I’m out there playing I am not thinking of anything else that’s going on, it’s just me and the ball. Simply put soccer is a beautiful game to watch and to play. That’s the best way that I can describe it.

Staff Spotlight: Kay Torres

by Robert Johns | September 25, 2015

written by Kay Torres

“You will create a second family with them, a kind of tribe that makes you feel less vulnerable. Sometimes our families can’t love us all the time. Sometimes we’re born into families who don’t know how to love us properly. They do as much as they can but the rest is up to our friends. They can love you all the time, without judgment. At least the good ones can.” – Ryan O’Connell, from “The People You Will Fall in Love with In Your 20’s”

My friends at Student Activities are some of the people who embody what Ryan O’Connell says about the friends you make in your 20’s. As a group, they are some of the people I love the most: from the full time staff who work behind the scenes to plan and coordinate every event, to the supervisors who plan alongside the full time staff, to the event staff who will hopefully become some of my lifelong friends.

One of our values at Student Activities is loving others, and I don’t think we’d be able to successfully love the student body without loving each other as a staff first. I believe that we execute quality events because our service to the student body starts with our service to each other. We hear it in staff meetings time and time again - “it starts with the staff”, and I truly believe that my experience at Student Activities has been such an integral part of my college experience because of the relationships I’ve made here.

I think that fostering relationships with each other is what helps us focus on creating relationships through our events, whether it’s at College For a Weekend tables (which are my personal favorite), or Block Party, or Bingo Nights where there are hundreds of 20-something year olds playing bingo. What other college can offer that? I believe that our events are successful because there is a collective group of people planning, promoting, and executing these events week after week. My experience at Student Activities wouldn’t be what it is today without that group of people.

There’s something so special about working 18+ hour shifts and then still wanting to go to IHOP together at 2AM. Who knew that building decorations for Coffeehouse, in the middle of a snowstorm inside a storage cage for hours on end could create friendships? It’s only been two months, but I can confidently say that this is going to be one heck of a year. The way the full time staff always seem to hire the right people boggles my mind. Honestly, there are days where I ask myself “How in the world did I get this job?!” But don’t just take my word for it, check out an event for yourself and stop by our promo table because I promise that no matter who the staff member is you stop and talk to, he or she should be one of the nicest people you’ll meet on campus.

Meet the Staff - Jordan

by Robert Johns | September 22, 2015

Meet one of our staff members, Jordan!