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In his Inaugural Address, President Barack Obama asserted that we are asking the wrong questions. Instead of engaging in political debates about the proper size of government, we should do what works. In other words, we should not unquestioningly identify ourselves with ideologies, but should remain open to what public discourse can teach us. In order for this republic to function properly, we must adhere to foundational principles, such as honesty, courage, curiosity and loyalty.
During the last week, while Israel attacked Palestine, drug lords pushed Mexico deeper into political disarray and the FDA discovered salmonella in my peanut butter (knock on wood), someone on this campus was stressing out about balloons.
And just like that the year's already over, and what a wild one it was. So, to send 20 aught eight off in style, I present to you my Richmond Year in Review.
NEW YORK -- Friday night I stood beside more than 30 Richmond alumni to watch our football team make school history. From 800 miles away, we packed into a pub named The Australian and screamed with the crowds in Chattanooga, Tenn., and every other fan watching around the nation. Although I felt like a teenybopper wearing my Richmond '11 T-shirt, I didn't care because the place was packed and our Spiders rocked the house.
Writer's Disclaimer: The following article is satirical in nature, and provides absolutely no facts whatsoever.
Look around everyone; we don't have any reasons to be thankful. It's really cold outside, there's tons of schoolwork to do and geese are taking over the grass in front of the library. We don't even have holidays that stand for something noble. There are two holidays coming up: the second most drunken day of the year (Thanksgiving) and the most commercialized day of our miserable capitalist lives (Christmas). Congratulations to America for eating Thanksgiving and Christmas and pooping out gluttony and materialism. That's an awkward image, to be true, but completely apt.
Is the Juice worth the squeeze?
Sunday night, Umoja Gospel Choir sang, sororities Delta Sigma Theta and Alpha Kappa Alpha stepped and three dance teams - NGOMA, Asian Beat and D-squad - performed to a packed house in the North Court Reception Room. I had never before seen all of these student organizations in the same place at the same time and honestly it almost felt like I was at another school. This night coincided with a program called Multicultural Overnight Visitation Experience (MOVE) that welcomes prospective students from all over Virginia to spend a night on out campus.
Beverly Hills 90210 had The Peach Pit, Boy Meets World had Chubbie's and Saved by the Bell had The Max. Here at the University of Richmond, we have Ukrop's.
Here's the plan: We drive 16 hours from Richmond to Kansas City from 5:30 p.m. on Thursday to about 10:30 a.m. the next day. My mom and dad weren't too wild about the idea and both told me that not going was a completely legitimate alternative. Maybe we should have reevaluated the whole idea, but somehow by the grace of God three news junkies made it to the Associated Collegiate Press National College Media Convention alive.
At 5:45 a.m., a line more than a block-and-a-half long snaked out of the Westhampton Baptist Church voting precinct where 2,200 voters were registered.
This election is about "change." But during the 2008 presidential campaign this word has lost its impact. We on the University of Richmond campus have to find faith once again in "change" by voting on Nov. 4. When you vote, you will not only be voting for the next leader of our country, but you will be voting for senators, mayors, laws and other local ordinances. Especially for people who have registered in Virginia, we have laid out the ballot, its questions and information on each of the senatorial and mayoral candidates. We hope you take the information to make an impact on the local community for which you are a part.
Go crazy. Crazy like this guy I saw Sunday when I got to go to the live concert with Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds. I don't know who he is, but he was on the floor of the Siegel Center with hundreds of people behind him in the audience watching him completely let loose. He had his own personal variation that was a combination of running in place, karate, krump and Irish step all piled into one. He was seriously getting into it. I didn't join him because I thought it was funny at first, but eventually I realized how much I respected him for his ability to lose himself in the music. No drugs, no alcohol, just a love for Dave and Tim.
Changing peer culture on sexual respect at the University of Richmond, or on any college campus, is not easy, but it absolutely needs to be done. The recent e-mail incident in combination with the revelation of another e-mail today that includes misogynist and expressly racist remarks, threatens to marginalize and silence anyone who is not a white male on this campus.
Over 20 years ago my family moved to Africa for almost a month. While they were there (before I was born) my dad walked to the local health clinic with a guy from Australia every morning and every morning he looked my dad in the eye and exclaimed with a thick accent, "America! Greatest nation on earth!" He was completely sarcastic in a joking sort of way and my dad still says it was after this experience that he began to realize how the rest of the world views the United States. We think we're big, bad and the best. We go into foreign countries expecting to solve all the problems (South Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, etc.) and don't usually consider the effects of our actions. I'm often reminded of the Will Farrell "Voice Immodulation" skit where he screams, "We're loud, we're proud! Get used to it!"
Who else besides me reads the writing on the bathroom stalls? There are political rants, inter-fraternity quarrels and usually some reference to a person eating what the toilet leaves behind. While it's probably more often in guys bathrooms (considering most girls I talk to haven't seen any such graffiti) it is always worth taking the time to read. Graffiti in bathroom stalls is some of the most candid dialogue I have ever seen on campus. Whoever writes on the bathroom stall has no fear of punishment and only a few people ever see the message. The scribbles are not always wholesome or thoughtful, but are often indicative of what happens in reality or are at least a reflection of the way many people think about a subject.
On Monday morning I love to talk to the campus facilities workers about the crazy weekend we had on campus. Though they are not here at night when students throw down, it's amazing what you can learn through the trash and waste on the morning after. As I was informed on Monday, "The trash tells it all."
By Trey Murray
People come from all over the world to get caught in the web. We come from vastly different lives to the manicured campus and stone buildings where we will temporarily call home. I have heard countless times "how diverse and accomplished this freshman class is!" and I have been impressed with the new recruits. But at the same time, I wonder how this diversity could make it more difficult to unify under the University of Richmond ideal.
By Bailey Leuschen