Christmas Coffeehouse Recap

by Stephanie Ward | December 11, 2014

written by Chris Misiano

And that’s a wrap! Wow, another Coffeehouse in the books. Christmas Coffeehouse always provides such a great way to end the semester, and this one was no exception. With a record crowd, the Vines Center had even more Christmas energy than normal. The theme this year, Christmas Coffeehouse: At the Movies, allowed for a lot of creativity. From bands to videos to dance acts (check out some here and here), this show had it all. Dylan Stine, our emcee for the last couple of shows, returned again to host and facilitate the game. For two straight hours, we all got to enjoy a great night of music and laughs. 

Here are some of the Coffeehouse stats:

  • 7,926 tickets sold
  • 13 musical acts
  • 3 dance acts
  • 7 videos 
  • 1 host
  • 4 game contestants 
  • 26 Student Activities event staff
  • 84 CSER volunteers 
  • 867 posts on Twitter containing the hashtag #SACoffeehouse
  • 225 posts on Instagram containing the hashtag #SACoffeehouse 
  • 1,798 boxes wrapped*
  • 8 actual cups of coffee sold*
  • 14,983 donuts consumed*
  • 152 suspects apprehended sneaking in backstage*
  • 22,347 Christmas lights replaced*
  • over 3,600 instances of someone screaming ‘Santa!!!’ in their best Buddy the Elf voice*

Thank you to everyone who participated in Coffeehouse. We really appreciate everyone who tried out, the acts who put so much time into rehearsal, and everyone who bought a ticket to come support the show. This is one of our favorite campus traditions. I am very proud of the whole Student Activities team who care a great deal about making Coffeehouse better every time, working hard for months leading up to this event. From tryouts, to decorations, and including the actual event itself, these folks pour themselves into producing a solid show. 

If you want to see some pictures and comments from the night, search the hashtag #SACoffeehouse on Twitter or Instagram. Keep checking back with us for information on our spring Coffeehouse. For now, enjoy your break and Merry Christmas! 

*fake statistic

Fall 2014: In Review

by Robert Johns | December 4, 2014

written by Steph Ward

Josh Yeoman and I, 2 of the Associate Directors of Student Activities, oversee 5 event supervisors and 21 student workers combined. We decided there would be no better way to summarize our semester than to have our event supervisors do the honors. All 5 of them (Ben, Drew, Kari, Mariah, and Ross) work 25+ hours a week in planning, promoting, executing and analyzing our events. Sounds like a lot, right? It is! We wouldn't be able to function without them, and the events you love couldn't happen without them either.

We asked several questions regarding the semester, because, of anyone, they're in the perfect position to weigh in - they’re students, they’re staff, they’re dedicated, and they care about getting the job right with our mission in the forefront. Here's what they had to say:

What was your favorite event of the semester and why?

D: I really liked Art Expo. It was a completely different event from anything we do – it was what we were going for: classy. The decorations and having everyone dressed up all played a part.

K: I’m deciding between Fall Festival and concerts in the LaHaye Event Space. I loved attending John Mark McMillan - it’s great having a more intimate atmosphere for concerts; it makes a huge different. Fall Festival is great because everyone has fun and brings their friends!! 

M: Mountain Bike Rides. I loved seeing the students who didn’t even know how to ride a mountain bike come out. It was awesome to see people coming back week after week!

In what ways did we accomplish our departmental mission?

D: One moment that sticks out to me was at a CFAW table in November in front of the Hancock Welcome Center. I met a few guys from different states and one of them didn’t know anyone that was going to be there. Through a game of corn hole, and the help of one of our staff (Cherish), they all met! After the game, the guys went and hung out together. It was really cool to get to see that.

M: For the outdoor events, we brought people together who have never done many of the outdoor events we offer. I got to experience this community we’ve built from the start that we’ve never had before.

R: For Back to School Bash, there were a couple instances where you see participants doing a certain activity or game; I got to meet people and help them form teams for games they’ve never played with people they’ve never met. It’s so fulfilling to see 50 people playing Catch Phrase by the end of the night and really seeing our staff foster relationships in practice. There are a lot of times we may not see that happen at a specific event, but later on we’ll see those people still hanging out with others they’ve been introduced to at our events.

What are you most looking forward to in the spring semester?

R: First things first, I’m hopeful to go into next semester with more experience under our belt. I’m hopeful that we will continue to give students the opportunities to express what artists they want here and to see people who may not be large enough for a Vines Center show, but to fill the LaHaye Event Space. Second, I’m excited to see new events that we haven’t done. I love the surprise factor for students or for us as employees - just planning, executing and promoting our entire events calendar.

K: I think Ross left nothing for the rest of us… I second what he said!

B: I am excited to introduce more learning experiences into our outdoor events.

What is something that most people don’t realize about Student Activities that you’d like them to know?

B: We want people to come to our events; we’re not here just to punch a time card! We care about the students. All we ask is that you come with a good attitude and we’ll take care of the rest.

K: Our planning is as detailed as possible, down to what candy we buy or what flavor cotton candy we get. We care about the people that are there. We’re excited about who we foresee coming, so in turn, we buy the best of what we get for them.

M: We’re as excited about the event as you are and how they turn out is important to us. For the Camping Trip, there was a lot of behind the scenes stuff, but it was cool during the event to see how all of that planning played out on the trip.

Considering each of you are in this role for the first time, how do your responsibilities line up with what you expected?

B: The job has been pretty much what I expected. I was talking to a friend who plays sports. Her college career has been completely focused on the sport she plays, whereas my job has been my college life. I thought it was interesting to see that I can compare myself to someone who is so dedicated to something like an athletics team and that I feel that way about this job.

D: When I came into this position, I had no clue how much extra work there was going to be. I had built in my mind that I’d hang out for office hours, we’d go to events, and then we’d make sure it worked smoothly. It’s much more than a “supervisor” position - I’m a supervisor and a planner.

R: I’ll say this: being with SA for 2.5 years prior to my Supervisor position, I had assumed I’d know what was coming. Once I stepped my foot into this role, it was a lot more than I expected. I would say that it completely humbled me in a way I haven’t been before - through it all, I come in and learn something different about myself and SA each day. I apply those learning experiences to being in the office, at events and in my life, but I’m passionate about the mission and that makes me willing to get SA to where they want to be. Will we ever get there? Hopefully one day!


The 2014-2015 school year is off to a great start and we're looking forward to another exciting semester of events!

Coffeehouse Preview

by Robert Johns | November 20, 2014

written by Stephanie Ward

We want to take you on a most magical, nostalgic, Christmas-y journey. Think about your favorite Christmas movie – you know, the one you used to watch on Christmas Eve with your family right before you set out cookies & milk for Santa. Okay, do you have it? Now… put yourself IN that movie! Are you there? Great, let’s begin…

I imagine some of you were taken here… To a big city as a giant adult elf…

Or to that time when you asked for this, but then Ralphie ruined it for everyone…

…and for some of you, this is as real as it gets when you think about your own family Christmas gatherings…

Which is why you wish you were this kid on Christmas Day…

As you enter the Vines Center, we hope to take you back to that same magical place. No one said it better than Kris Kringle himself in It’s a Wonderful Life, “Oh, Christmas isn’t just a day, it’s a frame of mind.” And we’ll do everything we can to help you get into that frame of mind.

You know that Coffeehouse is the event of the semester, every semester, unless you’ve been living under a rock. It’s the best of the best at Liberty: bands, dancers, actors, and everything in between. We’ve narrowed down nearly 40 tryouts to showcase the absolute best acts for 2 hours of late night entertainment. And if you haven’t noticed yet, our theme this year is Christmas Coffeehouse: At the Movies. You’ll experience the goodies of holiday films across decades with thousands of your closest friends. Because as you know, “the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear”… and we’ve taken that very literally.

And for all the Scrooges out there, even the Grinch loses his Grinchiness at the sight of Christmas Coffeehouse. So for only $3, there’s no good reason for you to miss this show on Friday, December 5, starting at 11:30 p.m. in the Vines Center. Don’t forget to come dressed as your favorite Christmas character for a chance at getting on stage to win prizes - and even if you don’t get on stage, why not just dress up for holiday fun!

We hope to see you all on December 5… and have a Merry Christmas, you filthy animal.

Info - Christmas Coffeehouse: At the Movies

Meet the Staff - Sawyer

by Stephanie Ward | November 19, 2014

Meet one of our staff members, Sawyer!

Challenge Course Introduction

by Robert Johns | November 13, 2014

written by Mike Ellsworth

SOAR Dunk, Sounds of Liberty, Women’s Swimming and Diving, Debate, Liberty Flames Sports Network, Student Leadership, Men’s Wrestling, and Crimson Flood: What do all of these groups have in common?  All of them have gone through team building with us this semester at the Camp Hydaway Challenge Course.  So far this fall, we have facilitated 352 people and spent over 70 hours working directly with students, faculty, and staff of the university.  We have thoroughly enjoyed working with such dynamic groups of people and have received so much great feedback from all of our participants.

Now in its second year of existence, the challenge course has allowed us to influence university teams, departments and clubs that were previously unreached by our department. If you are unfamiliar with the terminology, a challenge course is simply a series of climbing/traversing elements built using cables, ropes, and telephone poles.  Our course is annually inspected by third parties and we are excited to announce that as of August 2014, we are official members of the Association of Challenge Course Technology (ACCT)!  That may sound boring, but with these credentials, we are now able to create even more opportunities for students.

With the addition of our new course we are able to further fulfill our mission at Student Activities, especially in the realm of outdoor recreation.  Experiential education is often considered the highest level of learning, so by creating tangible and challenging learning experiences, we are able to foster relationships and help groups truly trust each other. While groups go through activities that push them out of their comfort zone, they are forced to rely on each other, helping to develop their listening, understanding, and communication skills.  Each session involves a progression from ground activities, to low elements, finishing with some fun on our high elements.  Some of the most popular elements are the 12 foot wall, Dangle Duo, Leap of Faith and the Flying Squirrel.  Personally, The Flying Squirrel is my favorite, and I would love for YOU to come on out and experience it.

The best part: we offer private sessions for any university club, department, or team free of charge!  We also facilitate open sessions on Saturdays from 12p-4p where students can climb around and have fun on our high elements without needing a group or reservation. If you have a team or club and would like more information about private sessions, or for more information about our open sessions, check out our website or contact me via email. We hope to see you there!