November 13, 2009 : Jane Marczewski
Have you ever spent a Friday night staring at your computer screen in your dorm room wondering what to do? I'm sure every college student has been there, wishing there was money to spend on a movie or a night out with friends! But here is some good news: You don't need money in order to enjoy a Friday night! Round up some fellow bored friends and enjoy one of these wacky group games!
Bigger or Better
In this silly trading game, the group will divide into at least 2 teams. (The best team size is about 4-5 people.) Each team begins with a small object such as a pen or a paper clip. The point of the game is to trade the beginning object with a stranger around campus for something bigger or better. The team will continue trading their objects for bigger things as the game goes on. For example, the last time I played, my team began with a pen, and traded that for two pieces of pizza. We traded the pizza for a hat and a pair of sunglasses. In only a half hour, we ended up with a pinata full of candy, a bag of homemade cookies and some instant oatmeal! When the game is over (after a decided time limit), the teams will meet up to divide the plunder!
Ultimate Challenge Scavenger Hunt
After a long, hard week, there is no better way to break out in laughter than this bizarre activity. After gathering a group of at least 8, divide into teams of 4-5 members. Each team creates a list of 15 embarrassing and hilarious tasks for the opposing team to complete. “Perform the last scene of Romeo and Juliet in the computer lab,” “Pose as dead animals in the Snowflex lodge for one minute” and “Army-crawl through a hallway of DeMoss” are a few examples. All of these challenges must be recorded on video or in photos. The winning team is the team that completes all of the tasks on the list and returns to the starting point first. The scavenger hunt itself is a blast, but the real fun comes when the game is over while watching the videos together!
Feel free to bend the rules and create your own versions of these games! With some good friends and a few hours to use up, you're bound to have fun!
- Jane Marczewski
November 13, 2009 : Phylicia Duran
I still remember the day I walked into the dining hall happily sporting my Liberty University Equestrian Team track jacket – with the LU Equestrian logo and name emblazoned across the back in brilliant red and blue. A young man standing behind me in the Southwestern line looked confused, and catching my eye, he asked, “So is ‘equestrian’ another term for the debate team?” Nevermind the picture of a horse imprinted on my back! Unfortunately, the general public is uninformed about equestrian sports; but here at LU, that is about to change.
At the beginning of the fall 2009 semester Liberty’s first equestrian team was added to campus club sports. It had been in the works for several years, but never had a facility and coach become available until this year. Crystal Rivers, owner of Serene Creek Run Riding Center, in Forest, Va., has donated her facility and her time to be Liberty’s first equestrian team coach.
Equestrian sports, while less publicized than the NCAA sports divisions, are very popular in Virginia and in the Lynchburg area specifically. Schools like Sweet Briar, Bridgewater, Hollins, Randolph and Lynchburg Colleges, as well as UVA and Washington and Lee, all participate in the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) competitions. It will be against these schools that Liberty will compete.
Equestrian sports are divided into classes within each show, either hunter flat classes (showing the horses’ paces and the ability of the rider) or hunter-jumper classes (showing equitation over fences). These classes in turn are divided according to the experience of the rider – advanced, intermediate and novice. Riders are judged on their form and their ability to manage the horse either on the rail or over fences.
LU’s equestrian team practices at Coach Rivers’ facility, Serene Creek, three times a week at least. Because the team is new to IHSA, it has not competed this semester but will begin competitions in February of 2010, beginning with Randolph College. Currently there are eleven active riders on the equestrian team roster. Rivers hopes to increase this number over time as more students try out.
The team also works in conjunction with Thomas Road Baptist Church for its community groups on Wednesday nights, when Rivers teaches free riding lessons from 6:30-7:30 pm. Equestrian team members assist with the lessons. Liberty students are welcome to attend Wednesday nights at Serene Creek. For more information, visit the website.
- Phylicia Duran
November 13, 2009 : Ana Brooks
Liberty University is all about giving back, and one of the major ways this is promoted is through Campus SERVE. Campus SERVE is a ministry directed by Liberty alumnus Kevin Mahan. The purpose of this ministry is to engage students in hands-on ministry in the city of Lynchburg. Every Saturday morning, several hundred students gather to be the hands and feet of Jesus in the surrounding community. Students meet in Demoss hall at 10 a.m., then disperse into several groups that go out to do various ministries. The largest ministry is in governmental housing neighborhoods where groups hang out with the children in the area. The students first enjoy some time with the children playing basketball, playing on the playground, or drawing with sidewalk chalk. After this, all of the children gather together for a snack and a short Bible story. Some students even bring the children back to campus for a meal at the dining hall or a sporting event. Another area of service includes visiting the elderly at nursing homes. The newest ministry to be implemented into Campus SERVE is the Helps Ministry. This ministry goes door-to-door and asks if they can do any type of home repairs, chores, or clean-up. They also ask if they can pray for the residents, and they normally get a large response. Campus SERVE, which was started seven years ago by Paul Atkinson, is living out exactly what the Lord commanded in Matthew 22:39 “love your neighbor as yourself.”
November 13, 2009 : Ana Brooks
Thanksgiving is known to most as a time to enjoy as much turkey, stuffing,and pumpkin pie as possible, play backyard footbal, and watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. And though we enjoy our time with family, sometimes we leave out the “Thanks” in Thanksgiving, so here are 5 ways you can express your thanks and give back this holiday season.
1. Spend time as a family giving back to the community.
Communities often host soup kitchens, Thanksgiving dinners or fall festivals. Call up your local community center or Google your town to see if there are any opportunities to serve, then grab your family and head out with helping hands. If you cannot find something that your community puts together, make up something on your own. Try making little gift baskets for businesses or people in the hospital or nursing home and hand deliver them.
2. Invite someone to dinner.
Though most people enjoy Thanksgiving dinner with only family and close friends, this is an awesome opportunity to make a new friend! Invite someone who may not have a family dinner or maybe someone who just relocated to the area and does not know many people yet. Even check with local colleges to see if they have a list of international students you could invite over. Better yet, invite people from your dorm to go home with you for the week!
3. Take dinner to someone.
Do you know a widower who seldom can leave his house or a family who has fallen on hard times? Maybe inviting them to your house is not their thing, so take Thanksgiving dinner to them. Help your mother out in the kitchen and just make a double batch of everything. Pack up half of the meal and take it over to their house. Or pick up double the ingredients when shopping for a Thanksgiving dinner. If you are not sure what ingredients to buy, ask the Thanksgiving dinner cook in your house. Put it all in a nice basket and personally deliver it to someone in need.
4. Give thanks to your family.
It’s true, sometimes it’s harder to appreciate and love those closest to us; however they are often the ones who need our appreciation the most. This Thanksgiving write letters or make sure to verbally thank those who have had an impact on your life. Some families often go around the dinner table and name something they are thankful for. Or you can spice it up with an “encouragement box”. Take an old shoebox and write “encouragement and thanks box” on it and explain to family members that for the next few days they should write encouraging words or thanks to other family members. At dinner, pass the box around and have each person pull out a piece of paper and read it out loud. However you do it, make sure to appreciate your family this Thanksgiving.
5. Take time to thank God.
Though it is important to thank you family and appreciate people you may not even know, the one who should be receiving the most thanks this holiday season is God. Though you may be in a routine of thanking God everyday, take some extra time this Thanksgiving to thank him for who he is and what he has done in your life. Make a list of “Blessings in 2009” and write out all of the blessings you have received from God in the past year. Spend some time in prayer thanking him for each blessing. Start doing this every year so that you will always have a reminder of God’s goodness.
Well, there you have it - 5 ways you can five thanks this Thanksgiving. Pick one or all five to participate in and see what a blessing you can be to others this Thanksgiving!
- Ana Brooks
November 9, 2009 : Julie Celano
After attending Liberty's College For A Weekend (CFAW), many of you are trying to make the decision of whether or not to attend Liberty. It is important to evaluate your CFAW experience carefully to make sure you make the right decision.
The people: Do not base your decision to come to Liberty on a select few people you met at CFAW. Unfortunately, some of you might have had hosts that were not as friendly as they should have been. There are bound to be those types of people at any school, but there are just as surely welcoming and Christ-like people. Many people also take into account the new love of their life, also known as the cute boy or girl they met during CFAW. Many people do meet the person they will marry here at Liberty, but do not let someone you spent three days with influence you in making such an important decision.
The changes: Don't base your decision to come to Liberty on changing factors, such as: the food at the dining hall, the traffic or the hockey game you watched. Things like the dining hall menu and the sporting events are always changing. The exciting campus activities are a good reason to want to come to Liberty, but your decision to come here should not be based on one or two fun things you got to do during CFAW.
Academics: A huge reason to decide to come to Liberty is for academic purposes. There are many factors you should evaluate to make your decision, but ultimately, you are going to school to get an education, so it is vital that you like the academics provided at Liberty. A good way to judge your CFAW experience is to evaluate the experiences you had in the classes you attended and to find out information on the program you are interested in. If you have questions about the department you are interested in majoring in that you did not ask at CFAW, you can search www.liberty.edu to find phone numbers and email addresses of professors and department heads. Also, Liberty is rare in that it is a Christian university and has just about any major you can think of. If you want to go to a school that can provide you a Christian education without you having to choose a major like theology or missions, Liberty is likely to be a good choice for you.
Spiritual Life: Another reason to consider choosing Liberty is for the great spiritual life it provides. In addition to the obvious spiritual aspects like convocation and campus church, also think about the teachers that pray as they open class and genuinely care about their students, the RAs, spiritual life directors and prayer leaders who are constantly praying for you and helping you to grow in your walk with the Lord, and the Christian fellowship you will experience by attending a school with thousands of believers. Are those things important to you? Do you feel as if you should attend a Christian college to edify and strengthen your faith so that you do not fall into temptations that will be more evident at a college without Christian values? If your answer is yes to these questions, you should definitely consider choosing to attend Liberty or another Christian college. If you are interested in serving in the ministry, Liberty provides many opportunities to serve from missions trips to playing with unprivileged children in downtown Lynchburg.
Be sure to evaluate what you have seen here at Liberty thoroughly and intelligently. Do not make your decisions on changing and trivial aspects, but focus on the big picture. Of course the campus life and other factors will influence your decision, but remember that academics and spiritual life should be the most important factors in determining your decision about Liberty.
- Julie Celano