Preview: Outdoor Rec Fest

February 22, 2018

Years ago, two directors imagined a new kind of event at Liberty University. There were not many festivals at Liberty at this point, especially one that focused so heavily on the arts and entertainment realm of the outdoor industry. Because of this, the directors of Student Activities and Outdoor Recreation created the first ever Outdoor Rec Fest. The festival includes a variety of recreational activities and workshops from a photo expo to art and outdoor skills workshops, to music, tasty food, and so much more!

Here is an interview about Outdoor Rec Fest with a Student Activities Supervisor (Kay Torres) and an Outdoor Recreation Manager (Jordan Tatro):


  1. What are some events that students can look forward to at Outdoor Rec Fest?

Kay – Student Activities is hosting an outdoor-themed Photo Expo, a Movie Night showing Jumanji, a painting workshop and a photography workshop.

Jordan – Outdoor Recreation is putting on a crash pad competition, wilderness survival skills workshop, bird watching and a backcountry cooking workshop.

  1. Tell me your personal favorite highlights of ORF.

K – I love the Photography Workshop because it attracts a specific crowd and the instructors are incredibly talented. The instructors are professionals at Liberty and can teach students of all skill levels.

– My favorite part of ORF is the Expo on Saturday afternoon. I genuinely enjoy observing the interaction between students and vendors. Students have the opportunity to speak with local professionals about specific outdoor skills and products.

  1. What is something new to ORF this year that you are really excited about?

K – Outdoor Yoga is a new event to ORF this year that will take place at Hydaway Outdoor Recreation Center. The yoga class will be led by one of Recreation Centers Group Exercise instructors.

J – This year, for the first time ever, we are hosting a Night Hike on Liberty Mountain with s’mores at the end. Also, new vendors will be at the Expo on Saturday afternoon, along with a Fly Casting Competition hosted by local fly shop: Angler’s Lane.

  1. What is the overall goal of Outdoor Rec Fest?

K – We love the opportunity to work with Outdoor Recreation because we can attract a different demographic of students that would not normally attend our events.

J – We hope that the students will become aware of the wide variety of activities, trips, and tools that Outdoor Recreation has to offer. We want students to feel welcome to interact with the Outdoor Recreation staff and freely ask questions about outdoor skills. There tends to be an “elitist” culture among outdoor recreationalists, but Outdoor Rec hopes to encourage students of all skill levels to try an activity that is offered this weekend.

  1. Why did Student Activities and Outdoor Recreation decide to create a joint festival?

J – SA and OR actually used to both fall under the “Student Activities” department. A few years ago, OR split into its own department, but we still find ways to continue to work together on events. Outdoor Recreation handles the knowledge of the outdoors and loves to share what they have experienced with the student body. Student Activities manages the logistical portion of ORF and adds artistic activities to the fest! We love collaborating on events and hope to attract students from both demographics.

Join us March 9-10 for a weekend filled with festivities – find out more info here!

Preview: Every Square Inch Conference

February 15, 2018

By: Erin Diaz


“There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry, Mine!” – Abraham Kuyper

When Abraham Kuyper, Dutch politician and theologian, spoke the words above at his inaugural address at the dedication of the Free University in 1880, he was not aware that his words would be foundational to a movement: Every Square Inch Conference.

Liberty University’s Center for Apologetics and Cultural Engagement, in partnership with Student Activities, is honored to host the second annual “ESI” Conference on March 1st and 2nd. The two-day event will be packed with riveting lectures and workshops led by intellectuals, highlighting Dr. Gregory Alan Thornbury, Chancellor of The King’s College and Professor of Philosophy. Thursday night’s lecture, entitled “Cain, Abel, & Kanye: The Gospel & Pop Culture”, will be led by Dr. Thornbury in the Grand Concert Hall. John Mark McMillan, American songwriter and musician, will be joining us Friday evening in the LaHaye Event Space, rounding out the event.

To say that Student Activities is a part of Every Square Inch Conference is nothing short of an honor. Our department has been working tirelessly for years to arrive at the point of hosting an event such as this one. We strive to actively analyze pop culture and its relevance to Christianity, and this conference is the epitome of the cultural engagement we aim for and seek to discuss. To hear from a speaker such as Dr. Thornbury is exciting in itself, but to have the opportunity to also learn from speakers such as Dr. Taylor Worley, Dr. Karen Swallow Prior, Dr. Joshua Chatraw and Christopher Misiano is a highlight of the Student Activities spring calendar and the department’s journey thus far.

We look forward to seeing you March 1st and 2nd for a stimulating conference that will challenge your perspective and freely give insight to the pop culture/Christianity crossroads we often find ourselves in. For more information about Every Square Inch, visit the event’s website at*


*All events are free of charge for the conference, with the exception of the John Mark McMillan show. Workshops/lectures do require registration and a valid flames pass.

What we've been listening to

February 14, 2018

The SA staff put together the perfect Valentine's Day playlist for you regardless of whether you're single, in love or confused. Enjoy!

Preview: Coco

February 9, 2018

By: Kate Dolan

For decades, Pixar has been the gold standard for quality animated films, and rightfully so. They have released some of the most important, original, and challenging films of the last 20 years. Their most recent and highly anticipated release, Coco, catalogues yet another triumph for Pixar as it manages to give a very familiar story a fresh perspective.

Coco tells a story of a young boy, Miguel, whose passions of becoming a musician are stunted by his family-long tradition against music. In order to prove to everyone he is destined to be a great musician, he travels to the land of the dead to visit his idol and world famous musical genius, Ernesto de la Cruz.

One thing that sets this film apart is the terrific and authentic voice acting, which brings to life this already immensely bright and expansive world of Coco. Lee Unkirch, the film’s director, chose to forego traditional means of casting A-list movie stars to voice the characters. The story is based in Mexico, and as a result, Unkirch decided to select predominantly Latino voice actors. This decision was made to ensure the story would properly reflect its setting and give authenticity to its narrative.     

One of the first things I took away from the film after watching it was the endless vibrant landscapes. In my opinion, it may be Pixar’s most visually beautiful film to date. The landscapes not only serve as visual feast, but also complement Miguel’s lively journey towards the expansive world of music. Along the trip, the overarching theme of family tradition is particularly powerful.

However, I would contend that it is in Coco’s softer, quieter moments which lie some of the most emotionally moving scenes of the film. The moments that emphasize the value of family, no matter how broken it is, were especially touching. It is nothing new for Pixar to explore such adult themes in their children’s movies, but to continue to deliver again and again with the utmost quality and respect is something to appreciate.

In closing, Coco is a genuine pleasure to watch. Miguel guides the audience through his unique and crazy world delightfully. The joyful moments are endlessly fun and its tender moments are sincere and lasting. Coco is able to provide the audience with a perspective they may not have experienced without engaging in the film. It is quite a journey and it is worth celebrating this immensely valuable film.

Join us here at Student Activities on Saturday February 17 at 8 and 10 pm in the LaHaye Event Space, and enjoy this colorful, exciting, and moving film. You won’t regret it.

Preview: Chris Tomlin

February 1, 2018

By: Naomi Bower

Liberty students can’t get enough of Chris Tomlin’s music. From walks down University Boulevard to nights of worship in campus community, Tomlin’s songs continue to leave a mark on the student body. TIME magazine said it best when they stated that he is “likely the most often sung artist anywhere.”

While most of us are probably familiar with some of his most popular hits like “Good Good Father” and “Our God”, Tomlin has continued to create more inspiring music, such as his latest release “Resurrection Power”.  Much like his other music, “Resurrection Power” encourages listeners and reminds them of the hope that comes to those who follow Jesus. This idea is common among Tomlin’s music as he uses his platform as a ministry to his listeners.

In a time where all the music we can imagine is available at our fingertips, artists are oftentimes challenged to create something that will last. Nevertheless, Tomlin has repeatedly defeated the odds with music that the church has continued to sing throughout the years. As a result, his hard work has earned one platinum album and a GRAMMY followed by many more nominations.

Student Activities is excited to bring Chris Tomlin back to Liberty for a show in the Vines Center on February 23rd! There is so much to look forward to as he leads us once again in some of our favorite worship songs.