December 13, 2022
“I just put the finishing touch on the theme reveal,” I said, walking over to Leah Ginion’s desk.
“Yep, and I saw that you moved my La La Land clip by half a second, so I moved it back.” This, admittedly, being an accusation, I had no evidence for.
“I had only made two tiny audio edits on that last draft and they were nowhere near that clip.”
“Well,” I said defensively, “I fixed it. It’s exported and loaded into the show.”
That was the moment we were ready for Coffeehouse. The queue was set and ready to launch on Saturday night.
It’s 11:25 p.m. on Saturday, December 3rd and the audience on camera is dancing to Justin Bieber’s “Mistletoe”, then we finally hear the last song start up. Santa Tell Me by Ariana Grande… the last song before the show starts… Lights fade to black, and I am once again reminded: The show doesn’t go on because we’re ready. It goes on because it’s 11:30.
The intro plays, and Off the Record’s guitarist starts playing Silver Bells, the song the show was named after. They have 4 singers, and even though each could front their own band, together they are incredible. They transition into Jingle Bell Rock, a personal favorite, and with that, the show has started. Time for our hosts.
Hosting Coffeehouse may seem natural or easy, but it takes hours of practice to get ready for that night. And these two have practiced. I’ve watched them rehearse this script over and over to get ready for the stage. Jordan introduces the show, then brings up Hannah. She pushes through her first lines, but it’s clear, both of them know the room is not in sync yet. That is until we compare the Annex to a homeless shelter. Hannah follows it up by comparing Commons to the stuck-up rich in Manhattan, and we are off (note: Hannah lives on Commons and did not write that joke, she is very sweet and only made that joke because we made her). We throw in a few more campus roasts, Jordan and Hannah come off stage, and we’re into our second act.
The Snoloreans are up and are followed by our first student-made video. But our team is waiting nervously for our 3rd act, Quentins Quismas Quartet, the Student Activities staff fought hard to keep them in the show. Their schticky self-aware rendition of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” was a favorite from the night.
Jordan throws us into another edition of Holiday Hot Takes, where the crowd cheers to settle some hotly contested debates like who’s Liberty’s grandpa? Dr. Wheeler or Jerry Prevo. Dr. Wheeler is at the show, so when we cut to him in his seat the crowd goes wild.
KMO performs his new original song “Same 5 Hoodies”, right before we get We Three Strings. Their incredible talent playing the John Williams score from Home Alone was unique and incredibly well done. Following them was Tiz the Szn who wowed the crowd with her rendition of “All I want for Christmas is you”, before our first dance act of the night. Divine Call danced to “O Come All Ye Faithful” which provided one of the lovelier moments of the show, but now it was time for the show-stopper.
In Fall of 2021, we were putting together our first Christmas Coffeehouse having just come out of Covid. Nothing prepared us for an unknown Freshman who tried out with “Oh Holy Night”. It was stunning, iconic, and breathtaking. 1 year later Aunalyse built on that performance by singing “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”. The now-seasoned performer took complete ownership of the room as she landed note after note, bringing the audience to its feet. If my life ever depends on the vocal performance of someone, I put my faith in Aunalyse.
Lucas James and his band Lasso around the Moon, covered “Christmas Morning”, which again, brought the audience to its feet. The energy then began to build as Lost in Demoss played “Rocking around the Christmas Tree”, the acapella group North Star sang a beautiful rendition of “Marry did you Know” and “Auld Lang Syne”, and Santa’s Little Helpers, along with the iconic dancing tree ornament played “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”… But now it’s time for the Spring theme.
The Student Activities team argued over this video for hours. Heated takes like “is there too much Ryan Gosling”, “did we put enough content in for the boys”, “Jim and Pam or Ross and Rachel”, or my personal favorite “don’t you dare put in the sock scene from Napoleon Dynamite” carried through the halls of our office. After 14 drafts, lost sleep, and a bevy of arguments about Titanic… it was done.
There wasn’t a single member from Student Activities not watching the stage as our hosts went up to announce the theme. The video started and we waited. First Queen sings “Somebody to love”. “Is the theme 80’s” I heard a Rhino worker say. Then Guardians of the Galaxy, Pride and Prejudice, and the Princess Bride. The room knew what it was. The theme was love. “At Last” by Etta James faded out and “Kiss Me through the Phone” started. This is where it got wild. The aforementioned Napoleon Dynamite and La La Land were met with great applause. Gilmore girls, High School Musical, Avatar, and the beloved Nacho Libre all danced across the screen before the iconic “Good For You” began to play over clips of heartbreak and sadness. After clips from The Office, the Notebook, and 10 Things I hate about you played the theme became clear. This is about Love, but heartbreak too. The final scene played with Cap and Peggy dancing alone while the title card came up to show that the theme was “Coffeehouse: Exes & XO’s”.
The night came to a close with performances by D-Trex and Southside of the Stars. We also got the next installment of “Lustbusters”, and our in-house rock band Carlisle closed the show. I’m not sure how anyone was able to sleep that night. Those three acts were so high energy and incredible, I am afraid of what Cookout looked like after the show. I’m really not sure how we are going to top it next Spring.
But we will… well the students will. There are a few full-time staff members at Student Activities that help guide the show to what it is, but the personality, charm, and life that Coffeehouse has come from the student body. It comes from the dozens of tryouts and videos. The reason why you never forget your first Coffeehouse is because of the long hours students put into their performances. It was an honor to work alongside all of the performers that night, and it’s an even greater honor to host that event for the student body.
We hope to see you all in the Spring singing along to the most famous love/heartbreak songs of all time. I selfishly want someone to try out with “Iris” by the Goo Goo Dolls. Coffeehouse: Exes & XO’s is on sale now, and tryouts will open in January. We look forward to seeing you all there!
Written by Cort Comfort, Director of Student Activities.
August 24, 2022
Few things have transcended culture to the degree that Coca-Cola has. Whether it is Santa, a polar bear, or trying to find your name on a bottle, every generation has a way Coke has impacted it. Coke was first introduced in Atlanta, Georgia in 1886. For over 130 years Coke has been innovating to align with customers and culture. Recently Coke released limited edition Coke Starlight to coincide with the recent public interest in space led by SpaceX.
Most recently though Coke has released Coke Dreamworld. Coke describes it having “vibrant flavor notes that evoke the boundless creativity of the human imagination to the unmistakable taste of Coca-Cola.” Coke has a plan to use Dreamworld to Align with culture yet again, this time Gen Z’s culture. Coke wants to test the limits of the human imagination in a culture that has such a strong desire to create their own mark on the world. People who buy packages of Coke Dreamland will be able to scan a code with their phone to experience an Augmented Reality music experience. Coke is literally the drink of the future, and we can be a part of that future.
We are excited to have Coke as our Title Sponsor for Block Party! Go visit them at Block Party to learn more about the magic of Coke and cool down with a refreshing drink. Also go grab some Coke Dreamland the next time you go shopping to experience the future of Coke.
August 23, 2022
Each Fall semester, after a grueling week of reading the syllabi for every class, students get to relax and celebrate another semester at Block Party. Block Party is a Liberty tradition that not only welcomes in a new freshman class but celebrates the return of all Liberty University students. We all love the fried food, loud music, and joy of seeing our friend being thrown off a mechanical bull but there are a lot of people who help Block Party come together. The businesses who come along side Student Activities as premiere sponsors help make Block Party the event you know and love. This year we want to thank Dominos, Mosaic Collective, Amazon Prime Student, and Your Event Source. We are thrilled that these businesses have come along side of Student Activities.
As college students, we all know and love Dominos, whether it’s a midnight “snack” or feeding the people at your bro/sis hall event, we can count on those pizza’s to be fresh and hot. Go visit them and grab a slice with your friends.
Mosaic Collective is not only selling trendy items for all aspects of your life, but they are challenging people to rethink what they buy and why they buy it. Every item they sell has a story, and we encourage you to go check them out to hear them!
Amazon Prime Student is there for us because we all know a time when that free 2-day shipping came in clutch. Go check out their booth at Block Party to see if you can find any sweet deals.
Your Event Source is always behind the scenes making Block Party great. If you love the view of Block Party from the top of the Ferris Wheel or have made the best memories watching your friends get thrown off the mechanical bull, you have Your Event Source to thank.
We are thankful for our premiere Sponsors and hope you get the chance to stop by and say hi this Saturday!
August 11, 2022
After three months apart it is finally time for all of us to come back together for the Fall semester and we are SO EXCITED to see all of you! As students begin to fill Liberty’s campus again for the coming school year, we will see the reuniting of old friends after months apart and we will watch as a new year brings in a new class of freshman who will begin to make lifelong friends! Here in the Student Activities office, we have been hard at work preparing a semester of events that will give each and every student the opportunity to come together to enjoy themselves and to build relationships with one another!
This semester is chocked full, and I do mean FULL, of exciting new events, but also many of the Student Activities events that students have come to know and love will be making an appearance as well. We wanted to provide room for the return of classic events that have become tradition to many of the students here and bring in the new semester with new events that students will soon come to know and love!
Kicking us off for the semester we have Fall Welcome Week which is filled to the brim with classic events like Outdoor Open Mic, Bingo, and Outdoor Movie which are events that we will also get to see again throughout the semester. Speaking of classic events, the annual celebration of surviving the first week of class otherwise known as Block Party is an event, we all can’t wait to get to!
As crazy awesome as Fall Welcome Week is, it is only a taste of what we have for you for this semester! Student Activities has spent many hours putting together new events for the semester are funky, fresh, and fun! (I cringed at that line but it’s staying for the LOLs) With events like Line Dancing Night, Laser Tag, Couch Acoustics, Neon Mini Golf and so much more, there is an event for everyone to come and enjoy this Fall! Our beloved Fall Fest will be making an appearance once again, but students will also get to experience the first ever Monster Mash!
There is so much for the student body to be excited for as we look ahead student concerts, a comedy show with Dustin Nickerson, Christmas in Lights, and of course COFFEEHOUSE! We are so excited for y’all to be back here with us building community and just having fun together! SEE Y’ALL SOON!
Written by: Elisabeth Hardy
Elisabeth is a Psychology Counseling major with minors in Biblical Studies and Youth Ministry. She is passionate about using opportunities to show the creativity of God and His presence! She loves writing for the blog as a way to express herself and be creative about things that are fun and relevant.
August 5, 2022
Lucas James hails from Cincinnati, Ohio. WHO DEY! (If you know you know) Lucas is excited to share his music on the Block Party stage which is influenced mostly by the Indie-pop genre. Lucas enjoys the story-telling aspect of music and how music can take you on a journey. He is inspired by artists such as Lizzy McAlpine and Jordy Searcy. Get to Block Party right when gates open for Lucas James to take you on a musical journey through his life.
KMO delivers passionate pop/RnB music to his listeners by drawing inspirations from Jon Bellion and Stevie Wonder. The Maryland native’s fun and joyful personality shine through his music and can be seen clearly during live performances. When you see him around campus, ask him about the time he met a president of the United States. KMO is no stranger to the Student Activities stage and is excited to return for Block Party.
Evvie McKinny is an up-and-coming Gospel artist who gained recognition after winning the show Four: Battle of Stardom on FOX. Her debut single on her new record label “Bring the Whole Hood” gives you a glimpse of Evvie’s life and motivations for her music. Student Activities is excited for Evvie to take the Block Party stage and give us a fresh take of the future of gospel music.
Gable Price and Friends
Gable Price and Friends is a punk rock band from Redding, California delivering the hypest jams and the deepest lyrics. Never sacrificing on the deeper meaning, Gable Price and Friends has found their musical niche somewhere between Holy and Hand Grenade. Known for their electric performances, Gable Price and Friends has an energy that fans cannot forget. This band has no clue what it means to use an inside voice. From rock and roll anthems, to cry your heart out love songs for God, this band knows what it means to feel. Challenging lyrics like “Offend my mind so that I can know you more” are a staple of the band and their off the wall perspective on Life, Christianity, and the human experience. Listen to Gable Price and Friends if you want to find yourself jumping around and remembering the goodness of God, Gable Price and Friends will be your new favorite band.
Social Club Misfits
Social Club Misfits is a Christian Hip Hop duo from Miami, Florida featuring the talents of rappers Fern and Marty. Social Club Misfits constantly looks to push the boundaries of hip hop as they combine their unique personalities to create an authentic and positive experience. Their albums pull from several influences such as their Puerto Rician cultural roots, their quirky sense of humor, and their life experiences but they find a way to craft it all to point to God. In 2020 Social Club Misfits dropped the Album “Feared by Hell” and won Hip-Hop Album of the year at the Dove Awards, beating out the Album Jesus is King by then Kanye West. At this time Marty and Fern realized they were burnt out and decided to take a break, a normal death sentence for a musician, Social Club saw this as a way to refresh themselves as fathers, husbands, and friends. Against the odds they are back working on music, this is the passion and talent God has given them. Come experience their high-energy performance and no apologies personalities at Block Party!
May 5, 2021
Last weekend was our first annual SA Fest, and what a time it was! With this week, our goal was to highlight various talent in the wide spectrum of music and arts. We admired the beauty of photography and chalk drawings, learned about fly-fishing, and rocked out with John Mark McMillan. We kicked it off with the Online Photo Expo where students can submit their photography to be showcased on our Facebook page. We got to see some amazing pictures that depicted various aspects of life.
On Thursday, we went to Hydaway where Ethan Martin, the owner of TaleTellers Fly Shop, taught us about making three different lures to enhance your fly-fishing experience. Each person got to make two worm lures, two nymph lures, and two bug lures. They also got to learn more about TaleTellers Fly Shop and more about Ethan’s shop in downtown Lynchburg.
Then, students watched News of the World – a movie about Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd escorting a ten-year-old child across the harsh western terrain. They come across danger from other people and from natural world. Students were able to treat themselves to concessions and free popcorn while watching on the big screen in Vines.
We hosted our first ever Chalk the Lot on Saturday where we showcased students’ talent by letting them turn a parking space into their artistic creation. Also, seniors were celebrated with free Rookie’s or Golf Park Coffee and free Domino’s pizza. We also gave each senior a free t-shirt designed by our graphic design team. To put the icing on the cake, we jammed out with McKenna Stamm, TJ Lawson, and Noah McLeroy who performed live music for students to enjoy.
To close out the week, we spent the night with talented John Mark McMillan and John Mark Pantana. John Mark Pantana opened the show with mellow, yet powerful lyrics backed with stories from his walk with Jesus. John Mark McMillan headlined the show and captivated the room with his relatable and personal expert songwriting backed by his robust instrumentals.
We had a blast at this year’s SA Fest. We were excited to give a platform to artists to showcase their talents in a variety of ways. We can’t wait to be back at SA Fest next year with new events and artists!
Written by: Andrew Reynolds
Andrew Reynolds is a Senior Project Management Major, and enjoys writing for the blog because of the opportunity it gives him to grow as a writer and to challenge himself to see current topics and discussions from a view point he may not have otherwise thought about.
April 23, 2021
As the semester comes to a close, many students are desperate for a pause on reality. Finals are looming, graduation and the future are lurking, and the thought of studying is listless. Before academic life takes over one last time, take a break and check out SA Fest!
Kicking off the week is the Online Photo Expo which begins Monday, April 26. Photos will be posted on the Student Activities Facebook page where viewers can vote for their favorites. Voting will last all week before the winner is announced at noon on Friday, April 30.
With the weather and water getting warmer, now is a perfect time to sharpen up those fishing skills. Grab some friends and register for a workshop on fly tying! This learning experience will take place at Hydaway Outdoor Center at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 29.
On Friday night, end the last full week of classes by watching a movie on the lawn. Free popcorn, a blanket, and a movie with friends is a perfect way to wind down the semester. News of the World will be shown on the Commons Lawn at 8:30 p.m.
Chalk the Lot will take place from 12 – 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 1 in the Pavilion Lot. Chalk murals done by Liberty’s very own students will be drawn throughout the event and will be voted on by YOU to determine first and second place winners. Live music will be performed by McKenna Stamm, TJ Lawson, and Noah McLeroy. All this art might make you hungry, so there will be food trucks and vendors at the event.
The promise of food is always a strong incentive, but free food is even better. Graduating seniors who come to Chalk the Lot will receive free food and shirts. College education can be a hard four years, so come celebrate the accomplishment of making it through.
Closing out SA Fest is a concert with John Mark McMillan featuring John Mark Pantana. Grab some tickets for Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. and head to the LaHaye Event Space to wrap up the week and have a good time before cracking open those textbooks.
SA Fest will be held April 26 – May 1 at various campus locations. SA Fest is our first annual arts and entertainment festival, highlighting a variety of events and workshops to help develop community and foster culture. If you’re looking to participate in one of our educational workshops, enjoy the latest in music or movies, or explore the arts in depth, SA Fest is for you.
Written by: Anna Pender
Anna is a Senior Strategic Communications major. She is thankful to have the opportunity to write for the blog because it gives her a chance to explore and write about topics and events that she is passionate about and that are relevant to the world. She loves getting to be creative and share her personality through writing.
April 16, 2021
Spring is here! Flowers are blooming, the sun is out, the old is gone, and the new has come. Just like nature, we clean out the old to make way for the new. That’s right, it’s time for some Spring cleaning. Whether you dread the chore of decluttering or are excited for get a fresh start, you may as well get the most from all the time you put in cleaning out your home and make a little extra spending cash from the process. You know what they say – one person’s well-loved and appreciated clothing and household items are another person’s treasure (okay, that’s not exactly what they say but “trash” just sounds weird).
Where will you sell all your previously loved goods? You’re in luck! On April 24, we are hosting our annual Community Yard Sale. This is the place to be if you want to resell some of your old clothes or if you want to go secondhand shopping. This semester on the blog, we have already discussed the importance of shopping second hand. So, if you’ve been inspired to shop ethically and desire to find some one-of-a-kind pieces, you do not want to miss this event.
SA will provide everything you need to have a pleasant shopping experience and be giving out free iced coffee and donuts. We will also have a new Community Yard Sale exclusive tote bag and SA branded sunscreen – both for free, so you will have something to carry your new purchases. All you need to bring is yourself and some cash.
If you would like to be a vendor, visit the Student Activities website for how you can purchase a table space to set up your shop. This event is open to the public, so whether you are a Liberty student, alumni, or long-time Lynchburg local, we would love to see you at our Community Yard Sale!
Written by: Sarah Day
Sarah is a junior majoring in Youth Ministry. Sarah enjoys writing for the blog because she loves exploring the ways that the simplest things in our lives impact us in the most meaningful ways. She is passionate about connecting with people, talking about what truly matters and baking.
April 8, 2021
Spring has sprung on campus! In typical Virginia fashion, there still might be a few chilly days here and there. For the most part, some of these days are the most beautiful that I can remember. A warm Lynchburg day unlocks a surplus of new things to do in the area. Student Activities, for instance, hosts outdoor promos and open mics on the Montview steps, we have outdoor movie nights, and even the community yard sale is around the corner. But this weather also brings about one of my personal favorite events that SA puts on, Drive-In Movie!
Last semester in the fall was our first ever drive-in movie and it is perhaps one of the best events to put on during the pandemic. This semester, we will be back and better than ever when we show Jurassic Park on Saturday, April 17, at 8:30 p.m. in the East Campus Satellite Lot. We have 250 spots for the show, so now is the time to befriend someone with a truck bed, so you and your friends can come watch a classic movie in style. The first 150 cars will get free Domino’s and Mama Crockett’s Donuts, so be sure to arrive early and secure your food and parking spot. This is sure to be a memorable night for all who attend. Don’t miss it!
Written by: Josiah Frisbie
Josiah enjoys writing for the blog because he believes in the power of discussing relevant topics. He wants to be challenged in his writing and research style while still growing and striving for knowledge.
March 29, 2021
On Friday, March 19, Student Activities was able to host Q Union for the fourth time. Q Union is an event unlike many others, as it happens on both a national and school-wide level. On the 19th, groups of young adults from around the country gathered to hear national speakers and leaders Gabrielle Odom, Annie F Downs, and Curt Thompson. Here at Liberty, we also heard from student speakers Zane Richer, Taylor Murray, and Joe Carson. This year, Q Union allowed presenters to speak on a wide array of relevant topics with the hope of having conversations about difficult aspects of today’s culture. Q was created by author and Liberty alumni Gabe Lyons, who hosted the national broadcast.
All the speakers, national and local, chose unique topics to speak on. Locally, we were able to hear from Zane Richer who argued that there is not only danger in relative truth, but also neutral truth, since no truth is really neutral. He pointed out that truth cannot be neutral because it is a person: Jesus. Instead of looking for neutral truth, we ought to filter information by seeing if it aligns with the grain of reality that God has created.
Our second student speaker, Joe Carson, shared about engaging in Christian community in a time where physical gathering is restricted. He derived his vision from Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who operated an underground seminary during Nazi-run Germany when the church was state-controlled. His two main points were that believers can remain connected through vicarious representative action such as prayer for one another and finding unity in the reality of Christ.
Finally, we heard from Taylor Murray about the authenticity gap. She spoke in light of a time in her own life where she was portraying one image to the world but was feeling another way, and shared what she had learned from her experience. She pointed out how we often gravitate away from authenticity in search of it, but that we can find where we have gone wrong by evaluating our perceptions of ourselves, God, and how we think God views us.
As a part of the national broadcast, Curt Thompson had a sit-down conversation with Gabe Lyons about anxiety, and Gabrielle Odom delivered a speech on the importance of the Bible. The session that struck me the most was Annie F. Downs’ talk on how to use social media well. Social media is so new, and believers often struggle with how to use it in a way that is glorifying to God. So often, believers end up either using social media in the same way as everyone else or abandoning it altogether. Downs challenged both these notions by proposing there is a way to use social media in a meaningful way through sharing with the world what we are learning. While it is not wise to share too much about one’s private life, the speaker argued, “for social media to flourish it HAS to be personal”. Vulnerability makes social media meaningful.
All in all, Q Union was a night full of learning and good conversations. We cannot wait to see what next year’s speakers have in store!
Written by: Courtney Stone
Courtney is a Business Administration: Digital Marketing and Advertising major. She enjoys writing for the blog as a way to explore relevant topics and grow in written communication.