October 17, 2019
The Lion King is a classic Disney movie that almost all of us grew up watching as a child. Its heart-wrenching plot and irresistible soundtrack must leave us thinking ‘How could The Lion King get any better?’ Well, it can! The new 2019 version of The Lion King is ranked #11 overall of all-time box-office hits domestically, while the original version ranked #26. So, one might ask, “Why is the new version of The Lion King ranked higher than the old one [in these statistics]?”
This year’s movie does a fantastic job of keeping a lot of the original ideas of the 1994 version present; it seems like that was important to everyone working on this version. The live-action version’s nostalgic feel is undeniably a draw for adults that grew up in the original Lion King era. Even though this year’s Lion King kept a lot of the animated film’s essentials, it did add a lot, starting with the graphics. The graphics this year changed the animated movie to being one of many newly computer-generated movies, which is similar to game technology. This makes everything in the movie not only pop, but also feel realistic. In addition to this, the creators also used “…a range of live-action filmmaking tools and techniques — from lighting to camera movement to set dressing — that have been around for more than a century, as well as a few that are entirely new”. Many have commented about how beautiful the animals and scenery are, making it look like a real-life nature documentary. Another change in the new Lion King is the popular casting among the characters. Some big names that were casted in this movie include: Beyoncé, Seth Rogan, and Donald Glover. The publicity from having these actors be a part of this year’s movie has caused a lot of success.
The basic plot of The Lion King (2019) is about Simba’s journey from a young lion to a powerful leader that takes after his father Mufasa. Scar, Mufasa’s brother, tries to kill Mufasa and his son Simba in order to take over the kingdom’s reign. However, he does not succeed with killing Simba. Simba runs away from home after the unimaginable scene that happened in front of him, and it was not until he met Timon and Pumbaa that he returned home. Once he returns home, he is approached by his childhood friend, Nala, who tells him about Scar’s reign throughout the kingdom and how Simba needs to stop it. After he is informed, Simba does everything he can to fulfill his destiny as king and overtake Scar. The audience gave this film an 88% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 7.1/10 from IMDB reviews.
Join us Saturday, October 26th at 8 P.M. in the Vines Center for a fantastic night of nostalgia with The Lion King (2019)!
Written by: Kaitlyn Skarstein
Kaitlyn loves being able to write for the SA blog because she thinks it is important to share her voice. She loves being able to express her own opinions on important subjects that are relevant for students, faculty, and many others.
October 3, 2019
Homecoming weekend is a really exciting time for students, faculty, and alumni to come together and enjoy Liberty for all it has to offer. Homecoming weekend this year is going to be on October 18-20 and will be a packed weekend full of exciting activities, from a home game against Maine to two of Student Activities’ favorite fall semester events.
‘And what might those events be?’ you may ask. Of course SA will be hosting the annual Homecoming Bonfire at the East Campus Satellite Parking Lot, on Friday, October 18 at 9:00 p.m.! The Homecoming Bonfire will have live music from alumnus Sydni Alexander, a seven foot bonfire, s’mores, games, giveaways, and free Nomad Coffee and Kettle Corn to the first 100 attendees. It is going to be an eventful night that you do not want to miss out on!
To wrap up our Homecoming events, on Saturday, October 19 at 2:30 p.m. Student Activities is hosting the Homecoming Parade on University Blvd. The parade is a perfect way to spend your Saturday before attending tailgates and the football game. The parade will feature university dignitaries, the Spirit of the Mountain marching band, Flamettes, Lynchburg Fire and Police departments, the GLTC trolley, Athletics and Club Sports teams, departments and clubs, and more! Float registration is now opened until October 11, and any SGA clubs have the opportunity to compete for first, second, or third place cash prizes. Be sure to come check out the
Homecoming Parade to see some incredible floats. We look forward to spending Homecoming weekend with you!
Written by: Gabi Cormier
Gabi is a Junior majoring in Business: Project Management. She loves being a part of the SA blog and having the opportunity to discuss crucial topics that she is passionate about with the students of Liberty.
September 19, 2019
As Christians, it is important to be in the world, but not of the world. This means that it is important to be educated about what is going on around us, but not to let the patterns of society control us. As Christians it is also important to see what God says about important world issues, and Q Ideas gives us the opportunity to do just that.
The goal of Q Ideas is “To see the Christian faith become increasingly attractive, credible and influential in the church, our communities and the next generation.” Q Ideas lives out this goal by educating and empowering Christian influencers to restore Christian credibility in Western society. One of the greatest tools Q Ideas utilizes to achieve their goal is their well-known Q Union conferences, which is being hosted right here at Liberty by Student Activities!
The purpose of the Q Union conference is to “Empower students to engage in cultural tensions by providing them the opportunity to address complicated issues, ask helpful questions, and present hopeful solutions.” Students at Liberty University have the opportunity to partake in what Q Ideas is doing in a very special way. For the third year, Student Activities has the pleasure of hosting the annual Q Union conference. Students all around the globe will get to hear from three global speakers discussing important conversations. The 2019 Q Union speakers are: author and journalist Malcolm Gladwell, author and speaker Rebekah Lyons, and pastor and author Francis Chan. We will also have the opportunity to learn from three student speakers that will be discussing relevant issues in their field of study. This night is going to be filled with difficult conversations that will grow us culturally, educationally and spiritually.
Be sure to join us for Q Union on October 24, 2019 at 7:00pm. This is a free event!
Written by: Gabi Cormier
Gabi is a Sophomore majoring in Business: Project Management. She loves being a part of the SA blog and having the opportunity to discuss crucial topics that she is passionate about with the students of Liberty.
September 11, 2019
Student Activities is so excited to announce our first ever Binge & Banter! If you’re confused by the title, we’ll break it down a bit for you.
The first part of this event doesn’t actually happen at the event, which is the “binge” part. In order to be a part of this event, you’ll probably want to binge the show we’ll be bantering about. This time, we’ll be discussing everyone’s favorite show of the summer – Stranger Things, season 3, specifically. So if you want to join in the fun, make sure you’ve watched that season before you come. We don’t want to spoil it for you!
The second part, which will take place at the event, is “banter”. Led by one of our staff members, we’ll be discussing many aspects of the show. We’ll even share some fan theories, because we know you all like that! We’ll have a panel of SA professionals who are Stranger Things fans just as much as you are, and they’ll weigh in about the topics that are discussed.
We’ll also provide refreshments and beverages, so all you have to provide is yourself and your opinion. What type of event could be better than that?!
We’ll see you in the LaHaye Event Space on September 24 at 7 p.m. for an awesome time!
Written by: Erin Diaz
Erin is an Assistant Director of Student Activities. She has a B.A. in English. Erin plans and oversees the execution of mid-scale events and concerts on the Student Activities calendar. She is the direct report for the event supervisors and event staff. Erin approves all content that is published and promoted from social media to the SA blog.
September 6, 2019
After almost a decade since Toy Story 3 came out, Toy Story 4 made its way to the box offices and has not disappointed. According to Insider, Toy Story 4 has the highest rating on Rotten Tomatoes than the other three Toy Story movies. This movie adds more of a mature theme of self-realization through the events in the toys’ lives. Through the story, we meet new characters like Forky and Gabby Gabby, and we’re reacquainted with the classics, Woody and Buzz Lightyear, as they learn their roles as toys, in leadership positions, and facing their insecurities. Ironically, the toys in Toy Story 4 face many of the same challenges college students face during seasons of change and experiences. In my opinion, Toy Story 4 is comical, nostalgic, beautiful, and educational. The life lessons through the character progression are really strong and the producers did an incredible job of having the struggles be relatable, but also not lose the context of the toys’ storyline.
I really enjoyed the process of the character of Forky because I feel like I can relate to him. Forky is a make-shift toy who was made by kindergartener, Bonnie, at her first day of school using items out of the trash can. To all of the toys’ disbelief, Forky came alive and became Bonnie’s favorite toy. Forky refuses to believe that he could be a toy and attempts to throw himself away because that is where he feels he belongs. I think a lot of people can relate to the way that Forky feels. He is completely blinded by his past and feels invaluable and unworthy. From what I’ve observed personally, almost everyone in their life has felt the way Forky did, defined by our pasts and avoiding positions of worth because we feel unqualified. Biblically, there is truth in this situation that Forky faces throughout the plot of Toy Story 4. Often times we think we are unworthy, but because we are children of God, we are loved and valued. Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” The way Jesus loves us is the reason that we can walk in our purpose and do incredible things for the kingdom even if our pasts look similar to the trash that Forky retreats to. We are His creations and should live in the confidence that we are His precious possessions.
A consistent character within the Toy Story series is Woody, a toy cowboy sheriff who started off with being Andy’s toy. Since then, he has had to learn to share the spotlight with other toys, be able to lead them in their purpose, and often be a voice of reason. For the first time, Toy Story 4 shows Woody’s struggle to find his purpose and the insecurity of feeling unneeded. Throughout the movie, we see Andy work hard to maintain the happiness of their kid, Bonnie, even though he may not be the most desired toy anymore. The New York Times asks the question that is a theme throughout Toy Story 4 and particularly in Woody’s case, “What is a toy without the love of a child?” In the end, Woody realizes that his time as a toy to Bonnie was over. It was beautiful to see how he recognized that there is a season for everything and that this one in particular, was over. He recognized that he did his job well and it was time to rest. As college students, our seasons are constantly changing. It can be difficult sometimes to see a season end, or even in contrast, waiting for another one to come. Roles, scenery, and people change and go with seasons, it is all about being content in the season that you are in and trusting in what the Lord has for you in the next one.
Buzz Lightyear, another classic main character, had to find the leader within himself which was unfamiliar, and he felt unqualified. He was thrown into a position of leadership to help Woody, Buzz was able to rely on his “inner voice” which proved to himself he can be a leader and a hero, which he didn’t even know he was capable of. His confidence grew and it ended up being perfect timing as he began to take over the crew of toys now that Woody is gone. He was under Woody’s leadership for so long and it showed that he observed and learned and was ready to take it on himself. Leadership roles can often be intimidating, especially when you are not prepared to take it on. I thought the correlation of the theme of listening to your “inner voice” was really cool and made me think about the voice of God in our lives. I constantly confuse my own voice with God’s and vice versa. If we’re not careful, we can begin to take credit for the words that God puts in us for our own and take credit for it. Being able to ask God for wisdom and having the ability to hear from Him is incredible.
Another new addition to Toy Story is a baby doll named Gabby Gabby. This doll has been stuck in an antique store practically her whole life because from the time she was placed on the shelves, her voice box was broken so no one wanted to take her home. In response to her pain of being rejected, she was selfish by using Woody to take his voice box. Hurt people hurt people, am I right? Once she finally got what she thought would solve all of her problems, she was rejected once again and her pain for the past couple years slapped her in the face once again with no other solution in sight. She had to come to terms with her rejection. What Gabby Gabby did not know yet was if the little girl had taken her home, she wouldn’t have been able to be there for the lost little girl that she ended up getting to comfort and go home with. In this stage of life, when things do not play out how we think we will, we feel stuck. Often times it feels like every direction is hopeless and we want to turn around, but little do we know that if we take two more steps, we will reach the best thing yet! Timing is everything and that can either be a good or bad thing depending on the situation. Acts 1:7 states, “He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.” It is so comforting to be able to rest in the fact that God’s timing is perfect and if we wait, we will be able to experience the plan that God has for our lives.
Toy Story 4 has so many life lessons through new and old characters that are hidden within the entertainment of a fun and intriguing plot. The nostalgia of the toys that we all grew up loving is beautiful and ends in a way that all fans gain a resolution. It is the end to an era that people will never forget. A cool fact about the Toy Story movies that I learned from Insider is that Woody is always the last person to speak before the end credits and remained a common theme throughout the movie. Having Woody say the final words in the end of this movie meant more as it was his final departure of being a kid’s toy. Personally, the Toy Story series will always have a place in my childhood and will forever serve as a comfort and reminder of the beautiful ways of life and creativity.
Written by: Kallie Moore
Kallie is a Sophomore Digital Media Video Major and enjoys writing for the blog because of the amazing platform it is to have a voice and discuss topics that might not be commonly addressed.
August 14, 2019
This year, our Block Party has an awesome lineup of premier and elite vendors that are supporting our event! We wanted to give you a rundown of who they are and what they do, so here they are:
YES (Your Event Source) – based out of Charlotte, NC, YES has been a part of our SA events for many years now. They provide the attractions you love, like the Ferris wheel, the mechanical bull, Meltdown and more! We love working with them and having them be a part of our events, especially Block Party.
90.9FM The Light – the Contemporary Christian Music station based in Lynchburg that you probably listen to on your drive to and from work. They play the best of the Christian music charts right now and consistently support our events by advertising for us.
Speakertree – Lynchburg’s record shop is one of the best places downtown to stop in and look through your favorite music, while sipping on coffee from the store’s shop “Backline Coffee”. It’s a great place to go and spend time with friends, talking about music and just relaxing!
Lynchburg Community Market – if you haven’t been to the Market on Wednesday or Saturday mornings, you’re missing out! We love going to the Market and getting fresh, local produce, bread and meat weekly. The Market is one of the best places to bring your family in Lynchburg, and we’re pumped that they’re coming to Block Party!
Locked Up Lynchburg – our escape room of choice in Lynchburg. For the past four years, Locked Up has had a presence at Block Party, providing a mini taste of the “locked up” experience. They’re definitely one of our favorite attractions at the event.
Golf Park Coffee Co. – you know by now if you’ve been to any of our events that we partner with GPC often. Our friends are the owners, so we tend to work together whenever we can. They’ll be serving some of their great cold brew for Block Party!
Domino’s – who doesn’t love some consistently good pizza?! Domino’s is another business we work with often, especially at the beginning of the year. Bring your Flames cash – they’re one of the only food trucks that will accept it at BP.
So there you have it! See you August 24 for some good coffee, pizza, and amazing attractions!
August 7, 2019
For Block Party this year, our title sponsor is Coca-Cola! We are so grateful for our partnership with Coke for the past couple years at this event.
What many of you may not know when you crack open an ice cold Coke can is that the drink has been around since 1886. That’s 133 years ago! Coca-Cola didn’t begin to make its mark on the soft-drink market until the 20th century. It is now, and has been for many years, the number one soft drink. There are so many different kinds of Coke, you probably would be shocked to see a list.
Coca-Cola’s marketing strategies have been an inspiration to many corporations over the century. Even more recently, their “share a Coke with ____” campaign was one that rocked the world, as even non soda-drinkers began purchasing the drink just because the bottle had their name on it. Genius!
At SA, we appreciate companies that go above and beyond to change the way things have been done before, and we feel that Coca-Cola is one of the best examples of that. At Block Party, Coca-Cola has given us free Coke and Dasani to hand out, so don’t forget to pick yours up for free!
April 4, 2019
There are endless opportunities at Liberty University to try something new or find community, but what you might not know is a lot of the activities on campus are part of Campus Recreation. Campus Recreation started as Ultimate LU, which offered video game tournaments, intramural sports, and other various events. The department has grown tremendously from a humble beginning to having thousands of participants each year. Campus Recreation continues to push itself to offer the ever-changing student body of Liberty University exciting and interesting opportunities.
This is the first year that Campus Recreation includes popular and new departments like: SnowFlex, Liberty Mountain Gun Club, Liberty Skate Park and Liberty Equestrian. Student Activities, Outdoor Recreation, Intramurals and Rec Centers have been part of Campus Recreation for years and are so excited for all the new departments that joined. Campus Rec Fest will include activities put on by eight different departments with new competitions, artists, and tournaments for students. There will be opportunities for engaging workshops, a chance for students to show off their own talents, and a chance to make new memories with friends.
I asked one of the lead designers, Kari Moye, to offer insight on the creative process behind the overall aesthetic of Campus Rec Fest. She shared how multiple designers from various departments of Campus Recreation, all contributed ideas to the appearance of the festival. As she continued to share the process she said something that stuck out to me, which was that “the designers came together, as a group, to create an idea that reflected each diverse department”. Each department that is part of Campus Recreation is different than the other, which shows how CR is intentional about providing opportunities for every unique student. Kari mentioned how each photo that is part of the Campus Rec Fest design expresses a student participating in a physical activity. Campus Recreation provides connection between community and active interactions for the student body of Liberty University. All of us at Campus Rec understand that students sit at a desk or in the library a majority of their time, and we strive to offer each individual a physical activity and community they can enjoy.
We (at Campus Recreation) are so thrilled to offer the first Campus Rec Fest at Liberty University and hope you all participate in the countless activities the weekend of April 26-27! Make sure you check out the Campus Rec Fest website for all information and schedules. We cannot wait to see you there!
Written by: Marissa Kusayanagi
Marissa is a Southern California girl that loves spending time in the sun and talking about the injustices in the world. Her passions include: fighting for women’s rights, serving people in underdeveloped countries and travelling the world. She hopes that the blogs she writes will teach you something new or open your mind to a world that you have never experienced.
March 28, 2019
Land of the free, home of the amazing multicultural cuisine – that’s Washington D.C. for you! You see, Washington D.C. isn’t just the home of historical monuments and museums (that are mostly free to enter, by the way). The city is also filled with streets that have up and coming restaurants, shops and experiences. It’s pretty impossible to go on our D.C. trip and hit every area that you probably want to see, so we want to help you out. We’ve made a guide for first-timers and D.C. patrons alike.
When you hop off the bus at Union Station, you’re already going to be amazed at the architectural detail of the building. Whether you’ve been to Union a hundred times or it’s your first, it never seems to lose its wonder. There are a plethora of restaurants and shops in the station, including Starbucks, Jamba Juice and Le Pain Quotidien, so if you need a quick snack before making your way into the city, you’ll be in luck.
If you’re going to D.C. with a group, you can always find that your collective hunger will be satisfied at Busboys & Poets. The restaurant has a great ambience, a full coffee/brunch/dinner menu, and best of all, it has historical roots; its name was created after Langston Hughes, a busboy at a nearby hotel in the 1920s before he became a renowned poet. Other recommended lunch options that are close by Union Station can be found on Pennsylvania Ave., an approximately 18 minute walk from where our bus will drop off. On the Pennsylvania Ave. strip, you’ll find great options like We the Pizza, Good Stuff Eatery (burgers), and District Taco. You really can’t go wrong there, and you’re still close to the Library of Congress, Supreme Court and the Capitol. Everyone wins!
After getting yourself a much-deserved brunch, you probably want to go one of two routes – shopping and snacking or monuments and museums. The best part about D.C. is that the city has it all! Fitting it into the amount of time you have is the tricky part, especially if you’re going on our D.C. Trip and you have roughly eight to nine hours to see everything.
Shopping, coffee/desserts, and Instagram-worthy walls all are located in one of my personal favorite spots: Georgetown! The only slightly difficult part about Georgetown is getting there – both of the nearest metro stops drop you off and you’ll still have about a 20 minute walk to the actual Main Street. If you’re happy to walk, that’s great – make sure to take the orange or blue lines for the metro and hop out at Rosslyn or Foggy Bottom. If you’re not too keen on walking, Uber is a great alternative.
While in Georgetown, make sure to check out Baked & Wired, a coffee and cupcake shop on a quaint side street. IMVHO (in my very honest opinion), Georgetown Cupcake is good, but Baked & Wired is on another level. Shops on Georgetown’s main strip include H&M, T.J. Maxx, Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters, lululemon, Madewell, and so much more. There are also benches to sit on right in front of Georgetown’s waterfront, giving you a great view of the city of Rosslyn.
If you’re more in the mood for a day of monuments and museums, take the yellow, green, orange or blue line to Archives-Navy Mem’l Penn Quarter. From that metro stop, you’re within five minutes of walking to the National Gallery of Art, the National Museum of Natural History, and the Newseum (which is well worth your time, especially all of you journalists out there). If you’re more interested in seeing The White House and the National Monument, take the metro to Federal Triangle (orange/blue line). You can find a complete list of museums here.
Spending your day touring the monuments and museums is a great way to make use of your time in D.C., especially because food trucks line up on the streets for whenever you need a snack. You could also stop by Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken or Milk Bar (ice cream). There are great dinner spots downtown, and if you need to grab coffee before heading back on the bus (if this trip is with SA), stop by Ebenezer’s Coffeehouse. It’s right next to Union Station, and the money you spend there goes towards National Community Church – win/win!
We hope you enjoy our Student Activities D.C. Trip and appreciate the beauty of the cherry blossoms and spring weather in our nation’s beautiful capital. We hope you like it so much that you plan a longer trip where you can see more!
February 7, 2019
Together with the Center for Apologetics and Cultural Engagement, Student Activities is thrilled to host the third annual Every Square Inch Conference. ESI was conceived through the thought of Dutch theologian Abraham Kuyper when he said, “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!” This mentality is what shaped a two day event filled with workshops, lectures, and music right here on Liberty’s campus.
Over the two day conference, there will be two workshops led by Vice President of Campus Recreation Christopher Misiano, Chair of the School of Divinity Dr. Mark Allen, and author/public intellectual Trevin Wax. Keynote speaker Trevin Wax is the Director for Bibles and Reference at LifeWay Christian Resources and a visiting professor at Wheaton College. His lecture “The Gospel vs. Expressive Individualism: Why “Being True To Yourself” is a Dead-End on the Road to Happiness” will headline the conference on Thursday, February 28th. The two day event will be led to a close through a concert by The Gray Havens featuring Chris Renzema and Gray.
Maintaining the declaration put forth by Kuyper, this conference is a place to engage in intentional, thought provoking conversation. It will be a time to learn and grow in developing a unified vision as the Body of Christ and fostering a community for intentional learning.
Come join in on the conversation of culture and faith on February 28 and 29. Make sure to register for the workshops and purchase your tickets for the show, and for more information about Every Square Inch, visit the event website at Student Activities – ESI.
Written by: Clay Copper
Clay is a grad student that is still trying to figure out what he is doing with his life. Sometimes he writes about relevant topics here, but mostly he writes about what he cares about and hopes you enjoy it.