Category Archives: Campus

Brooklyne Baker crowned Miss Hampton

Ayana Evans | Staff Writer


Courtesy of Leondra Head

At the annual pageant on Oct. 6 in Ogden Hall, Brooklyne Baker, a senior journalism major from Richmond, became the 60th young woman to take home the crown and title of Miss Hampton University.

Baker’s love for HU is what made her want to run for the honor. After an interview round, swimwear round, talent round and contestant performances, Baker had achieved her goal.

“Being Miss Hampton means everything to me,” Baker said. “I prayed for it every day. I fasted for it. I feel like I did everything in my power to give my best.”

Baker’s mom was a first-generation Hamptonian and enjoyed her college years at HU, so she always instilled the importance of Hampton and its history in Baker as she was growing up.

“Hampton is so important to me, and becoming Miss Hampton is such a milestone for me because I shouldn’t even be here financially,” Baker said. “My mom and I have given everything for me to be here, which is why I told her [that] if I’m going to be here, I’m going to touch as many lives as I can.”

Baker believes Hampton cultivated her into the leader and woman she is today.

While Miss Hampton not only represents the school as a whole, she also represents the standard of a Hampton woman. The definition of the term “Hampton woman” depends on each woman’s personality.

“A Hampton woman is a woman of excellence, a woman of grace [and] a God-fearing woman [who has] a presence in every room,” Baker said. She added that it’s “standing out, but still being humble and not making others feel inferior.”

Baker has been involved in The Greer Dawson Student Leadership Program, New Era Modeling troupe, Ebony Fire and many more student activities throughout her years at Hampton.

Baker’s gift of service makes her stand out. She is passionate about female empowerment and self-love. Her platform is The Good Girl Movement, which started a year ago as a blog. Now, it has expanded to campus organizations at Mississippi State University and Shenandoah University.

The organization is involved in community service and bonding events. Baker explained that The Good Girl Movement is about redefining what it means to be “good.”

“I don’t believe in women being limited,” Baker said. “It’s all about being a multi-layered black woman. It is also about highlighting incredible black women because in the black community, we are prone to negativity and need to be shown in a more positive light.”

Despite the confidence she has today, Baker was not as sure of herself as a child.

“Everyone thought I was so confident when I was really so insecure,” Baker said. “I hated myself. I know how it feels to be so low and not love yourself, which is why I push self-love — because once you realize your full potential, you can touch so many other people.”

As girls in high school and in college still deal with low self-confidence and high self-doubt, Baker wants to be able to advise as many young girls as she can.

Our newly crowned Miss Hampton is still blossoming. She has big plans for this school year and is more than ready to set the standard. Her passion, determination and drive will continue allowing her to accomplish anything she sets her heart on. Brooklyne Baker will undoubtedly leave behind a legacy as the 60th Miss Hampton University.


Rev. Jesse Jackson talks voter registration to Hampton community

Leenika Belfield-Martin| Lifestyle Editor


Courtesy of Stephanie Smith

Reverend Jesse Jackson, the civil rights leader and second African-American to run for president, visited Hampton University on Sep- tember 20, 2017 at the Emancipation Oak. On that abnormally warm afternoon, about 200 Hampton students and members of the community gathered around the historical tree to hear the wise words of this icon.

Rev. Jackson’s visit to Hampton was a part of his tour of the Commonwealth of Virginia. The purpose of this “Healing and Rebuilding,” tour was to push voter registration. Rev. Jackson said, “We vote for resources. We vote for priorities.” One such priority Rev. Jackson discussed was cancer, the leading cause of death in Virginia. He spoke about the relationship cancer has with the environment and how poorer people often are the ones to suffer the most.

“Those who die the most [and] die the quickest are those who have the least amount of insurance.” Rev. Jackson said.

Rev. Jackson also spoke about the recent events in Charlottesville, Virginia, where white supremacist protesters and their adversaries battled over a statue of the Confederate General Robert E. Lee.

He claimed that the white supremacists have evolved instead of deceasing, saying, “The Klu Klux Klan used to march by night with their hoods on. Now, they march by day without any sense of shame.” The protests turned violent and a driver drove through a crowd of counter-protesters, killing counter-protester Heather Heyer. Rev. Jackson encour- aged the crowd not to forget those acts and to ght the hate by voting in November.

“They killed Heather in August,” he said. “We will remember in November.”


Rev. Jackson shared his experiences living in a segregated south during the Civil Rights Era. During this time he was arrested in 1960 for attempting to use a public library. The crowd recited with Rev. Jackson that “we are not going back” to those times and instead we will move “forward by hope and not backwards by fear.” Now, almost 50 years past segregation, Rev. Jackson said that we must learn to live together after surviving apart.

Accompanying Rev. Jackson on his tour was The New Virginia Majority Education Fund who helped register students at the event. This organization is “the catalytic force for the progressive transformation of Virginia through mass organizing…”according to its website. Last year, the organization had the largest voter registration campaign in the history of Virginia by successfully registering over 168,000 people.

Sauda Speede, who has been with the Education Fund for three consecutive years, said that registering to vote is the first step in making a change in your community. “There’s no point of complaining about certain things in Hampton. If you don’t like it, vote for change,” Speede said.

Speede also said that voting in Virginia should be easier and available to all, even former and current criminals.

“The length of the application is so long in detail… [When people] commit a crime [or] a felony they lose their right to vote forever until the governor actually pardons them and restores their rights.” She also compared the voting rights in Virginia to that of other states, saying “…in Maine and Vermont, [prisoners] vote while they’re locked up!”


Rev. Jackson reached out to the Hampton Chapter of NAACP,who then spoke to the Hampton University Youth and College Division of the NAACP to organize the appearance, according to Hampton’s Miss NAACP, Maya Young. Young, who is a senior elementary education major from South Carolina enjoyed Rev. Jackson’s message about how people fought for the right to vote.

“Like [Rev. Jackson] said, so many fought for us to have that right. So many of us today are really pushing that right without a thought. It [seems to be] no big deal to us, but they literally fought for this right.”

Opening Convocation: The beginning to an end

Amber Smith | Staff Writer


Courtesy of Mary Sesay

The 75th Opening Convocation ceremony left a bittersweet feeling on the class of Ogre Phi Ogre XVI.

This annual fall ceremony for the seniors at Hampton stood as a reminder of what lies ahead.

The ceremony for Dr. William R. Harvey’s 40th year as Hampton’s president was remarkable, with words from senior class president Kris Anderson, Harvey and Calvin L. Butts, the keynote speaker and Hampton University alumnus. The inspiring words given by each speaker and the music sung by the Symphonic choir contrib- uted to the momentous celebra- tion of the hard work the seniors have accomplished thus far.
The historical tradition left many of the seniors feeling nostalgic of the start of their journey at Hampton University to now.

“Sitting there in my cap and gown, listening to the speakers made everything feel very surreal. It seems like I was a freshman just yesterday and now I’m here,” Hampton University senior Jessica Branch said.

Butts’ address delved into his time as a student at Hampton and how it impacted his life and the person he is today. Butts’ most honest advice to the seniors was about being present in communicating with others:

“The best advice I can give you is to stop communicating with your fingers.”

This statement hit home for many of the people sitting in Ogden as it was followed by a big applause from the seniors.

While it may seem like many of the graduating seniors’ time at Hampton University is slowly coming to an end, there is much more work to be done and many more memories to be made.


Graduation is eight months away, and although many seniors are looking forward to the momentous day, they are also determined to make the most of their nal months here.

Christopher Bates, Hampton’s Mr. Pirate and Mr. Senior, reflected on his college passage and how the gradual longing to stay is increasing.


“This ceremony put in per- spective that I will soon be an alumni and begin my journey in the real world,” Bates said. “[It’s] such a warm bittersweet feeling just knowing that my time at Hampton University is slowly coming to an end.”


Hampton U. crowns a new “Mr. Pirate”

Tyler Barnes | Contributing Writer


Courtesy of Stephanie Smith

Hampton University has crowned Christopher Bates as the new Mr. Pirate for the 2017-
2018 school year.

Last Friday, Robert C. Ogden Hall transformed into a night of festivity with Mardi Gras
colors and decorations for the Mr. Pirate pageant.

Proud family members, friends and faculty gathered to cheer on contestants as they
competed for the title.

The audience harmonized along to the tunes played by Dj D Will in anticipation for the
pageant to begin.

The contestants confidently graced Ogden's stage as the crowd roared with excitement.

Contestants Andrew Justice, Barry Palmore, Anderson Douglas, Bates and Bakari Clemmons wore black suits, with vests varying in colors from blue to gold, and a masquerade mask.

After a brief, collective dance performance, contestants had the opportunity to formally
introduce themselves, including a quote that they live by.

Agreeance was heard throughout the audience when powerful quotes such as “The best
way to get lost is in the service of others” from Clemmons, and “Walk by faith not by sight” from Bates.

The gentlemen flaunted their gym results in individual performances during the swimsuit portion of the pageant. Many included creative props such as umbrellas, caution signs and surfboards.

The audience was amazed by the different talent skills contestants showcased. Palmore  DJ’d a diverse set of tunes for the audience to sing along to. Douglas played the
drums to a medley of today’s hits. Bates showed off his skills in multiple ways by singing,
dancing and performing a short skit to bring it all together.

“I didn’t know that they all did so much,” said Destany Manns, a sophomore journalism
major from Charlotte, N.C. “It’s cool to see the talents that they never show.”

Each was scored on the clarity and delivery of their talent.

The last category was the question-and- answer section. Each contestant received two
questions they had to answer quickly and clearly.

Questions included: What was one thing they would save if their house was burning
down? Who do they go to for guidance? And where is one place they would rather be than at the pageant?

Though contestants all competed to the best of their abilities, only one could be crowned
Mr. Pirate. Bates, a senior sociology major from the Bronx, N.Y., reigned supreme.
Bates was followed by first runner-up Barry Palmore Jr.

“It feels amazing, overwhelming,” Bates said. “I’ve worked so hard, and I have waited
for this moment since I got [to Hampton], and now I did it.”

Bates received a free suit rental from Men’s Warehouse along with a $50 gift card. He will now assist the next Miss Hampton University with her platform and represent
Hampton University in the Hampton Roads community and across the nation.

Now that Bates is the university’s new Mr. Pirate, who will be his Miss? The Miss Hampton University Scholarship Pageant will be held at 7 tonight in Ogden

Hampton University to kick off 150th Year Celebration: Events to take note of

Ivana Spurlock | Contributing Writer


Hampton University is celebrating 150 years of being the “Standard of Excellence.”

This yearlong celebration will feature several memorable events for not only the Hampton University community but Hampton Roads.

This year also marks President Dr. William R. Harvey’s 40th anniversary as president of the university.

President Harvey has one of the longest tenures of any sitting president of a college or university in the country since his arrival in 1978.

Brint Martin, director of alumni affairs, spoke highly of the president and the university’s long-lasting success.

“These milestones are highly significant and meaningful, as they demonstrate our staying power as a university, and this is evident in the strength of our students, alumni, faculty and staff and leadership.”

The theme for this yearlong observance is “Celebrating a Legacy and a Legend of Excellence.”

In honoring the theme, the first event to formally kick off the celebration and the 2017-2018 school year will be the 75th Annual Opening Convocation on Sunday, Sept. 24 in Robert C. Ogden Auditorium.

The ceremony will include students, faculty, staff, parents of graduating seniors, and alumni.

This year’s speaker is Hampton University alumnus Calvin L. Butts Jr.

Butts has had his hand in the university’s community as the founder of Hampton Nation, Hampton University’s athletic foundation.

Celebration plans will continue in October with a host of events geared toward alumni during Homecoming weekend.

The festivities will begin with the official Kickoff Concert & Celebration, featuring award-winning multi-instrumentalist Brian Culbertson.

It will culminate with a black-tie anniversary gala in April.

Other alumni events to look out for throughout the year include: The Biggest Day Party Ever, Platinum Penthouse Experience, and The True Blue Funk Festival.

As far as events for current students, the football team will have five home games this season. Two of them are fan favorites: Battle of the Bay at Norfolk State University on Saturday, Oct. 14, and Howard University vs. Hampton University on Saturday, Nov. 18.

Honoring 150 years of Hampton University’s history has students excited of what this school year has in store.

“Celebrating 150 years means that I have the privilege of being a part of a rich history, and that we [the class of 2018] have left our mark of greatness in the legacy of what we know of Hampton University,” graduating senior and student leader Michael Eley said.

For more information on events, visit the Hampton University website at


New Year Brings New and Improved Bookstore

Amber Smith | Campus Writer

Hampton University students returned to the fall semester amazed at the new look of the university bookstore after it was remodeled and revamped this summer.

The bookstore has a plethora of new amenities offered, such as electronics, school supplies, paraphernalia, and books.

One of the major changes made to the bookstore is the new option of being able to buy textbooks in the store and take them off the shelf that same day. Students are also given the option to order them online and then pick them up from the bookstore.

Bookstore sales associate Michael Scott explained, “Students do not have to wait for shipping anymore, and we also match the prices of our competitors, like Amazon and Barnes and Noble, up to $100 for the price to rent, and they get that money back on a gift card.”

This new amenity that the bookstore offers eliminates the hassle of waiting weeks for books to be delivered to students while assignments are piling up.

The bookstore also offers new convenience items like hair care products, and chargers that may be a necessity for some students.

Sophomore De’Asia Stepney-Bates felt that the new bookstore lifts a huge burden for on-campus students.

“I don’t drive, so now that the bookstore sells snacks, chargers, and hair care products,” Stepney-Bates said. “I don’t have to worry about trying to travel far off campus for things I need.”

Although the bookstore is considered off-campus, it is still in walking distance from Hampton University’s campus. These new added items offered will help students without transportation or students not wanting to travel far get the quick items they need.

Sophomores, juniors, and seniors are quite impressed with the new changes the bookstore has made. From the new items offered to the renovating of the store itself, it’s fair to say that students appreciate the new improvements made.

“The bookstore has definitely changed since my freshman year and the new electronics sold are the best part. I already bought a phone charger, and the convenience of getting it quickly was very helpful,” said senior Jerald Rogers.

Many female students also appreciate the new quality hair care products that the bookstore is selling like Cantu brand products, which celebrate natural hair.

“I was surprised to see hair products at all, but especially Cantu because that’s a quality brand that works well on any hair type. I now know where to go if I need some hair products,” said junior Weemon Reed.

With all the new changes made to the bookstore this semester, only time will show what other improvements or renovations may be taking place in the future around campus.


Parent’s Weekend Approaches for HU Students

Ya’marie Sesay | Campus Editor

Parents Weekend 1

Many students are excited for the arrival of their parents for this year’s Parents Weekend. With the many activities in store for them this weekend and the celebration of Hampton’s 150th anniversary, parents will have a lot to look forward to.
Parents weekend gives parents and family members the opportunity to visit their students since their last encounter from move in day. Although the weekend is targeted to family of freshmen, since this is their first time being away from, the eventful weekend is open to all parents.
“This is great time for them to really get an opportunity to experience the college setting that their children are attending,” said Calvin Harris, Assistant Director of Student Activities, and Parents Weekend coordinator.
Vice President of Administrative Services and Student Affairs Dr. Barbara Inman, and Director of Student Activities Anzell Harrell worked alongside with Calvin Harris and the Greer Dawson Student Leadership Program in the three-month planning process of this eventful weekend.
As of last Friday, 386 parents were registered, making it 413 expected guests including other family members. This is a larger number compared to last year’s Parents weekend.
“It’s been an amazing experience with my committee thus far, so the planning has been easy thus far,” said Delaria Ridley a senior strategic communications major from Atlanta, Ga. and co-director of parent’s weekend.
This year Parents Weekend will have a few new events including a cookout and step show performance before the football game hosted by the National Pan Hellenic Council.
“Everything is bigger and better this year and it’s just an amazing experience to be able to direct this weekend,” said Ridley.
The weekend will begin Friday with registration, classroom visitation for Parents and Tours from 9 a.m to 4 p.m, a dance concert hosted by the Terpsichorean Dance troupe in Ogden Hall at 7pm, and a talent show and reception for parents at 10pm in the student center atrium.
On Saturday, registration will take place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for parents arriving, University President Dr. William R. Harvey will give his remarks in the Student Center Ballroom at 9 a.m., an Information Fair will also be held in the student center ballroom and second floor at 9:30 a.m., a cookout hosted by the NPHC at 12 p.m. The HU football team encourages parents to attend their home game at 2 p.m. against Monmouth University at Armstrong Stadium. The night will end with a parent’s dance in the student center ballroom only costing $15.00.
Sunday, parents and family of graduating seniors can see their seniors dressed in their cap and gown at opening convocation in Ogden Hall, a ceremony that formally kicks off the 2017-2018 school year.
“It’s a beautiful moment for just senior parents to just see their children in cap an gowns before the commencement,” said Ridley
The ceremony will include remarks from University President Dr. William R. Harvey announcing Hampton University’s 150th historical anniversary and 40th anniversary of his career at Hampton.
Delaria Ridley, like many seniors are very excited to have their parents travel from far areas just to celebrate the start of their senior year. “They’ve never been to a parent’s weekend so I’m excited to be directing the one parent weekend that they actually get to experience,” said Ridley.

Nu2u Fashion announces closure; leaves HU students wondering

Chelsea Harrison | Contributing Writer

Nu2u Fashion, the go-to convenience store for Hampton University students for more than five years will be closed by the end of March, according to co-owner Leilo Jones.

Students say they are heartbroken to lose their beloved “corner store” at The Harbour Shops with its trendy fashions and quick snacks, right next to The Hampton Harbours Apartments, and an easy walk from the main campus.

“Nu2u is like a Hampton heirloom. No replacement will ever be able to fill its shoes,” said Eric Dockery, a sophomore HU student who visits the store at least once every day.

Jones said the store would close after its lease was not renewed.

The Jones’ created a petition to highlight the large amount of support from HU students and Hampton residents. So far, it has accumulated over 700 signatures.

Store owners are encouraging all supporters to come sign it and help spread the word.   

The store is known for the informal warm counseling provided by founder Regina Jones, Leilo’s mother, she said.

“This is a “home away from home for all who comes through its doors,” Regina Jones said. “Everybody knows they can come in and talk to me about everything whether it’s school, work, relationships, anything.”

Jones opened Nu2u in 2011 as a small and affordable boutique.

“But once I began to hear about the things students said they needed, I started taking notes and slowly started to add those things to my store,” she said. “Now, almost everything in here, the students asked for.”

Jones offers everything from formal attire to honeybuns.

“What other place do you know that provides food, drinks, hair supplies, blouses, and a warm atmosphere? Nu2u is truly one of a kind,” said Serena Rudisel, an HU senior and frequent Nu2u customer.

Many students credit the quick shop for helping them get through their freshman year with ease, especially those without  a car like sophomore Janae January, who needed her “cram-session” snack..

“There were time when Mrs. Jones would leave the store open a little bit longer just so that I could grab a bite to eat,” January said.

The hashtag #RIPNu2u immediately spread through social media sites like Twitter and Instagram as students expressed deep sadness and disbelief at the store’s closing.

Andrew Williams, a senior pharmacy student tweeted, “I had a feeling Nu2u was [going to] close. Just didn’t think so soon. #RIPNu2u.”


National Council of Negro Women returns to HU

Daijiah Steele | Contributing Writer

Marking its return to campus after a four year absence, the first call to action of Hampton University’s new National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) is a feminine hygiene products drive for underprivileged women. The drive, which runs from March 20 to April 3,  aims to collect pads, tampons, and other feminine products for Menchville House Ministries in Newport News.

“Being able to give to women that need feminine products but don’t have the means to get it themselves inspired me to start this drive,” said junior psychology major Arie’yana Easterling who is a local vice president who helped spearhead the effort to bring the historic organization back to campus.

Menchville House, at 13658 Warwick Blvd., is a 46-bed emergency housing facility that helps homeless these families in their journey to self-sufficiency with temporary housing and supportive services.

“Without the donations, the women here would have to use their own money to buy the feminine products they need and a lot of people that come here don’t have that money,” said Menchville House case manager April McKinney. “With the donations we receive, the feminine products are already in their rooms by the time these women get here.”

At Hampton’s NCNW’s first meeting the executive board told their sisters to start collecting items from their dorms and people they knew to donate to Menchville House Ministries. At the second meeting, so many products were donated, the organization had to arrange for extra storage space. Organization officers said the newly formed group was already living up to the legacy of assisting women in the community, the original mission of the NCNW, founded in 1935.

 Its mission is to lead, develop and advocate for women of African descent as they support their families and communities. Founded by educator, philanthropist and civil rights activist Mary McLeod Bethune, the organization historically pushed for jobs, voting rights, and anti-lynching legislation.

Bethune envisioned NCNW as a clearinghouse for other organizations with similar goals, facilitating networking and coalition-building, and advocating the use of collective power on issues affecting women, their families and communities, according to the NCNW website. Local president of Hampton University’s NCNW Olivia Okeke made a promise to herself and to HU women that she would try to bring this sisterhood back to Hampton University. “The reactivation of this organization means everything to me,” Okeke said. “Words can’t explain how elated I am.”

Initially, Okeke was unsure whether the women on campus would be familiar with NCNW. She feared that they would categorize the organization with other campus programs for women and not be interested. Her fears were unfounded.

“Students were  excited for the reactivation of this organization and I cannot thank them enough for their support,” Okeke said.

By keeping in contact with the National Headquarters as well as the chapter president from her hometown Staten Island, New York, Okeke avoided the time-consuming process of re-activating Hampton’s NCNW. She sees the National Council of Negro Women as the epitome of excellence and wants Hampton’s NCNW to maintain that image.

The feminine hygiene drive is just the beginning of the legacy of service that Hampton’s NCNW plans to uphold. The group is planning an empowerment event for homeless women in efforts to ensure that these women understand their value and that they have sisters in the local NCNW that genuinely care.

 “NCNW is a new concept to the younger generations of Hamptonians,” said Okeke, who believes NCNW will be  a force to be reckoned with on HU’s campus. She hopes students will attend events, donate to NCNW drives, and consider joining the sisterhood.

“We need our Hampton family more than ever,” she said. “So please look out for us and support our efforts.”

Hampton University Admitted Students Day 2017 (Photos)

Phillip Jackson | Web Editor

This past weekend Hampton University held its annual “Admitted Students Day,” for current high school students who received acceptance letters and scholarships to their new Home by the Sea.

Check out these photos below:

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