Why Should I Care?

by Robert Johns | June 22, 2015

written by Josh Yeoman

As you may have noticed in the news this week, Pope Francis addressed the subject of the environment head on with his encyclical on climate change. I highly encourage anyone to read the transcript. I am not going to attempt to tackle the issues Pope Francis raises in his encyclical. However, I would like to address one theme that seems to run throughout his address. The common issue that permeates his writing is a lack of care by people in regards to nature and the environment, which I believe is an important issue regardless of your position on the Pope’s other diagnoses.

It is truly difficult to care for something that we do not first know. This is true of many things, but I believe we can apply this notion specifically to the subject of our natural environment. Think of it this way: how well do you know your environment? Can you identify the species of birds outside your window? Do you know which vegetables are in season? What is the difference between a cirrus and a cirrocumulus cloud? These should be simple answers, but you would be surprised how many people would struggle to answer them today. I would bet these are easy answers for our grandparents (most definitely for our great grandparents).

It can be difficult to stay in contact with our natural environment in a society so used to the conveniences of modern technologies. I am not talking about viewing Instagram pictures of sunsets. I am talking about actually going outside and watching a sunset. Experiencing God’s beautiful creation WITHOUT the urge to constantly take pictures and share them with your friends is a wonderful thing. We spend a lot of time in virtual environments, and it is a challenge to disconnect from our own devices and re-connect with God’s creation. God did declare it good after all. So why do we not enjoy it more?

Student Activities Outdoor Recreation is one way you can connect to your natural environment at Liberty. Anyone who has been to Camp Hydaway or participated in any of our river trips can attest to the solace and pleasure there is in being outside. I invite you to participate with us as we seek to engage God’s beautiful creation!

Summer In Lynchburg

by Stephanie Ward | June 3, 2015

written by Haley Hicks

You may not know this, but Lynchburg is actually a pretty cool place to live, even when the population decreases by 60% and the latest Liberty Campus Band album is no longer blaring through the speakers in the middle of campus. Contrary to popular belief, life still goes on from May to August in central Virginia. If you’re still living in Lynchburg this summer, this is a handy guide to surviving summer in the Burg. And if you’re (un)lucky enough to be miles away from the Hill City, this is a detailed account of what life is like minus 14,000 rowdy kids.

So go ahead, take a look at these 10 great places to explore and things to appreciate about Lynchburg during the summer months.

1. Panera During the school year, you’ll never know the exhilarating feeling of waltzing into Panera only to discover that there is no line to receive your morning cup of coffee, and then being able to choose from a plethora of comfy booths.

2. LOVE Sign Now’s your chance to get the perfect picture to post on Instagram! There are no lines of Liberty girls trying to figure out the best angle or the cleverest caption for their photos at the LOVE sign downtown. So don’t worry, you have no competition on social media in the summer months.

3. Convocation Frustrated with seating arrangements at convo? Be frustrated no more! On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday during the summer, you will have your choice of over 7,000 seats in the Vines Center. 

4. Cookout According to the wise words of Liberty students, “Hunger has no curfew”. On midnight Cookout runs during the school year, you may find yourself wasting away before you can even read the cluttered menu. But take heart: throughout the summer you can walk in and out of Cookout with your prized Chocolate, Cherry, Mint, Bubblegum heart attack in under 3 minutes. 

5. Wards Road Your car hates you during the school year. It guzzles gas due to the constant stop and go traffic that can turn your small trek from Target to the tunnel into a full-fledged 3-hour road trip. But don’t worry, your beat up old Chevy will thank you for driving in Lynchburg when there are 14,000 less crazy kids hitting the road, blaring Trip Lee and Lecrae everywhere they go.

Don’t think these first summer tips are legit? Well, now that we’re done bashing how Liberty has engulfed/swallowed/overtaken/choked Lynchburg culture, here are a few more realistic and exciting ways to enjoy your summer break in the Burg.

6. Historic Home Ever been downtown by the historic Lynchburg homes? You should take a look at the fantastic architecture and history in the city (Hint: this place has awesome photo ops for Instagram). You may think that this is something only your grandma would do, but don’t knock it until you try it.

7. Farm Basket Because Liberty doesn’t have enough coffee shops and cafes, you should check out Farm Basket. Their food and drinks are great, and so is the WiFi, so you don’t even have to worry about not having enough bandwidth to keep up with Parks and Rec.

8. Ivy Lake Going to the beach isn’t a bad option, either. Ever heard of Ivy Lake? It might not be a tropical waterfront, but it’s still pretty good, not to mention that geographically, it’s much closer than a tropical waterfront.

9. Hollins Mill Park Although this view may lead you to believe that I traveled to Northern New York to fool you through this post, this gorgeous waterfall is actually located right in Lynchburg. You should definitely check out Hollins Mill Park if you get the chance. 

10. Food Truck Thursday If you haven’t savored the melt-in-your-mouth delicacies from Mama Crockett’s or the tantalizing and spicy tacos from Taco Shark, you need to plan your schedule better this summer. Food Truck Thursday is one of the most unhealthy and absolutely incredible options for summer fun.

So there you have it. 10 incredible and completely underrated things to do during the summer in Lynchburg. You now have no excuse for hanging out on the first floor of DeMoss or wandering around campus looking for friends. Get out there and enjoy your city!

I Love Spotify, I Hate Spotify

by Robert Johns | May 21, 2015

written by Robert Johns

Confused yet?

When I first heard that Spotify was coming to the U.S. in 2011, I was thrilled - finally, I can listen to music at no cost and it’s legal! It was a sigh of relief because I could finally put my Napster days behind me. Spotify is great - you get to listen to all your favorite music without paying a dime (or breaking any laws) and all you have to do is listen to the occasional advertisement.

Sounds like a win-win, right? I thought so, until I saw how little artists make from services like Spotify. Artists ARE ok with it in the sense that you aren’t stealing their product. But when it comes to the financials, Spotify pays fractions of pennies to most artists. In fact, Spotify pays so little that many artists are removing their music from the service - Taylor Swift being the most recent high-profile star to do so. In order to better illustrate what I mean, take a look at this infographic.

Crazy, right? In order to make minimum wage from Spotify plays, you need to have play counts with the likes of Justin Bieber.

So what’s the point? Spotify is generally not good for bands/artists/musicians. Personally, I’ve decided to use Spotify strictly as a music discovery tool. If friends tell me about a new artist or I hear something on the radio, I’ll check it out on Spotify. If I like it enough to keep listening, I’ll buy it. Why? Because I want to support the artists that I enjoy and give them resources to keep creating music. The music industry can seem like a lucrative business, and for a select few it is. But I’ve seen first-hand that for many artists, there’s just not a whole lot of money to be made, even for ones that are getting radio play and gigging regularly.

So consider using Spotify to discover new music and then help support the artists you like by purchasing their albums in stores or on iTunes (or even better, at their merch tables) - I’m sure they’d appreciate it!

How do you use Spotify or other streaming services? Do you pay for premium options? How do you discover new music? Let us know – hit us up on Facebook or Twitter!

Spring 2015 - Semester Review

by Robert Johns | April 30, 2015

written by Steph Ward

I don’t know about you, but I honestly can’t believe the year is over! It’s been unmatchable in many ways, and I want to take a moment to thank you. We owe it all to students like you who show up to our events religiously, have a good time, and especially those of you who had enough faith in us to come to our new events (some that rocked and some that we promise to never do again)... you guys are the reason we do what we do! Thank you for stopping to chat at our promo tables and for experiencing new things with us. We have loved getting to foster relationships with you at Movie Nights, Bingo, our races, countless trips, 90's Coffeehouse, and every event in between!

For those of you graduating, we wish you the best in all you do. Finish strong these next couple days – you’ve almost made it! For those of you returning, we can't wait to see you at Block Party on August 29. Next year has some big shoes to fill, but we’re up for the challenge! For now, have a great summer and thanks for an awesome year!

Meet the Staff - Casey

by Robert Johns | April 24, 2015

Meet one of our staff members, Casey!