SLP Week 2018: Surviving the week

Jaylen Harris | Staff Writer


SLP applicants daily photo challenge submissions | Arleena Allen & Tangela Wilhite

Did you face your fears and survive the week? Only the strongest applicants made it to the end of this year’s Fear Factor-themed SLP week.

The annual SLP Week, dedicated to students interested in joining the Greer Dawson Wilson Student Leadership Training Program, gives students a glimpse of what student leaders do daily.

Applicants were easily spotted throughout the week as they roamed the campus dressed in professional attire. Students participated in a variety of photo challenges, each trademarked with the caption #SLPWeek2018 on Instagram and Twitter.

Throughout the week, applicants found themselves learning how to manage their time, responsibilities and classes, while also familiarizing themselves with the ins and outs of the leadership program and Hampton University.

“Waking up at 5AM definitely taught me how to prepare for my day to get started and keep my mind going at times when I’m usually sleep,” said Eric Coates, a first-year Sociology major from Philadelphia, Pa.

Applicants also had their share of fun through a variety of entertaining events such as a scavenger hunt, SLP meet-and-greet, and campus-wide events including a ballroom party and a student favorite: “Celebrity Wannabe.”

“Celebrity Wannabe” allowed applicants to impersonate celebrities by performing their songs, raps, performing skits from famous movies and making guest appearances. The show was filled with costumes and choreography, all highlighting the mannerisms of the “celebrities.”

Students who did not perform had the opportunity to work behind the scenes.

The opening performance featured Blockboy JB and Drake with a mob of guys behind them, performing “Look Alive,” hitting the popular “Shoot” dance across the stage.

The show ended with students performing the Billboard hit “Walk It Talk It” by Migos. Their performance kept the essence of the actual music video, thanks to a soul train line, shades and afros.

“Performing as one of the Migos definitely brought me out of my comfort zone. Doing the worm, I felt like I was a part of the actual music video and I would definitely do it all over again,” said Gabriel Sanders, a first-year Sports Management major from Atlanta, Ga.

Friday night, SLP hosted a ballroom party with applicants and their friends in full attendance. An entry fee of two canned goods were required; the food was later donated to a local shelter. Students had a great time after a week of working hard.

After the party many applicants returned to their dorms to study for the SLP exam on Saturday. Following days of preparation and studying, applicants were relieved when they completed the week.

Pass or fail, applicants enjoyed their Fear Factor-themed week and are anxiously waiting to hear if they move on to the final process of becoming a member of the Student Leadership Program.


Feminism vs. chivalry

Kayla Lipscomb | Staff Writer

Flickr User Peter Morgan

Women rule the world!

In recent years, women have ditched the housewife role and evolved to become savvy hustlers, top-notch industry leaders.

Women have embraced these advancements and have empowered each other through sisterhood and feminism.

Feminism has allowed women to unite, connect and prove that men are not a necessity for success.

However, has the evolution of the standard role of a woman altered relationships between the sexes?

How can we date in a world where women are searching for gentlemen, but the independent woman rejects the acts of a gentleman?

“A real good man or woman is not easy to find. Most men won’t take women out on dates. It’s always ‘Netflix and chill,’” says Kiara Ward-Beveridge, a junior criminal justice major from Washington D.C.

More initiative is needed in this generation of love. Many conflicts will not take place if people genuinely cared and knew what could get lost in communication. When dating, trying to determine the roles of a woman and man is difficult to figure out.

There may be women who like to be treated and women who like to handle business themselves.

“The problem is, men don’t know where to take the lead or how to be a gentleman. [Relationships nowadays are] about proving someone is higher than the next, and a relationship shouldn’t be that way,” says Maya Gaines Smith, a junior Biology major from Cleveland, Ohio.

Power has played a major role into why women have become independent and are no longer depending on men.

In relationships, the balance of power can be off balance depending on whether the two individuals are dominant characters.

“Anyone in a relationship should be equally yoked with each other. Relationships are all about common ground and understanding each other. If one of us is concerned about who’s in charge we are both wrong. We both have a part in a relationship so it’s equal,” says Brianna Smith, a junior Business Management major from Las Vegas.

As young adults dating and encountering each other on the daily basis recognizing women and men have both altered from traditional times.

The years of the woman are not coming to an end anytime soon and men should not change being a gentleman due to society.

Gentlemen can find a way to adapt and date until their dream woman is in their arms.

Passion into profit: The emergence of the female entrepreneur

Tempis Askew | Staff Writer

Tempis Askew

Madame C.J. Walker, Sheila Johnson and Oprah Winfrey are female entrepreneurs who have contributed to the success of one demographic of the 21st century: the black female entrepreneur.

Now more than ever, women of color are turning hobbies, skills and talents into lucrative careers that have granted them entrepreneurial awareness, economic growth and financial profitability.

Aryn Dixon, an Old Dominion University senior, has taken her passion for arts and crafts and turned it into a lucrative business that has built clientele throughout the Hampton Roads area.

Dixon was asked to customize bottles with glitter and rhinestones for a birthday party. This request quickly turned from a favor into a business venture.

Tempis Askew

Dixon’s business, Bottle Beauties, launched in 2017 as a remote mobile service that customized collectibles such as cups, bottles and glassware. The personalized touch added to each custom piece quickly became a desirable accent that contributed to the growth and success of Bottle Beauties. As clientele quickly grew, the demand for custom products heightened and the requests for additional custom products expanded.

Now offering custom T-shirts, personalized home décor items and embellished ornaments, Bottle Beauties has turned a hobby into a branded business for Dixon. With an expanding social media presence, Dixon can be found on Instagram at @bottlebeautiesva.

She is currently planning a pop-up shop event with Verge & Vintage Web Boutique to showcase the new custom additions that will be added to the expansion of her brand.

Verge & Vintage Web boutique is an online-based women’s retail hub that showcases denim, shoes and cosmetics. It was created with the vision of offering trendy yet affordable fashion to the masses. All products sold at the boutique are under $50 — perfect for college students on a budget.

Verge & Vintage Web Boutique will launch online April 1 online at Collectively, Dixon of Bottle Beauties and Askew of Verge & Vintage will partner in various pop-up shops and vendorships throughout Hampton Roads during the late spring and early summer.

HU’s 40th Black Family Conference impresses

Leenika Belfield-Martin & Chelsea Harrison | Staff Writers

RolandMartin.pngDJ Envy and Harvey

From left, Roland Martin, DJ Envy and HU President Dr. William R. Harvey 

Fader Magazine

Hampton University’s 40th Conference on the Black Family kicked off on Wednesday, March 14, with a keynote address given by journalist Roland S. Martin.

The School of Liberal Arts and Education hosted this year’s conference with the theme of “A Spotlight on Strong Black Families: Faith, Identity and Community.”

Martin shared personal anecdotes from his childhood, marriage, family, and career, including how he handled certain family issues. He also addressed the importance in growing the Black community:

“You have to ask the question: What am I prepared to do when we talk about the black family?” Martin said to the audience. “Every time we have a discussion about the Black family, we love to have it in a third-person or an across the town, otherly conversation as opposed to a bowling down your alley or sitting in your pew.”

Martin is a renowned journalist who is best known for his contributions as the host of the first daily morning show to focus on news, politics and other topics from the African-American perspective.

Although he and his wife have no biological children of their own, they both helped raise Martin’s six nieces.

The younger audience members were reminded by Martin that their actions will affect the future of the Black community.

“Every decision in terms of who you date, who you sleep with, who’s in your circle of friends, where you work every single decision will determine whether or not the black family will grow stronger,” said Martin.

Hampton’s Conference on the Black Family began after 10 judges from across the nation, including Judge Joe Williams, approached President Dr. William R. Harvey about the declining state of black couples. Hampton University hosted its first Conference on the Black Family in March of 1979.

“We need to make sure we can do what we can to enhance our communities.” Dr. Harvey said when speaking about the history of the conference.

Dr. Harvey’s family was recognized that night as the black family being honored this year. The School of Liberal Arts and Education also dedicated a reading room in Eva C. Mitchell Hall to Mrs. Norma B. Harvey, for her dedication to young people’s future.

In its second day, the conference focused on a variety of topics including social injustice, mass incarceration, the integration of church and state, education, and relationships within the black family.

Students drew attention to the conference through social media hashtag #CBF40; their use of this hashtag also highlighted their excitement and eagerness to hear from speakers like DJ Envy from the Breakfast Club Morning Radio Show and his wife, Gia Casey.

Additional prominent speakers like Kenneth Hardy, Dr. George Woods, Dr. Kermit Crawford, Dr. Richard Masson, Joshua DuBois, Dr. James Braxton Peterson, and the neo-soul duo Kindred the Family Soul were also featured.

The goal for the conference workshops was to encourage young black people to use their voices to bring change to generational struggles.

During his presentation, Kenneth Hardy spoke of these necessary measures, encouraging students to “Show up, stand up, and speak up.”

“Do not surrender to apathy. Do not buy into individual achievement. Have a voice and exercise your voice. Each day ask yourself what are you doing to uplift our people?” Hardy said to the packed room of transfixed black attendees.

The first full conference day ended with a seminar titled “Relationship Goals: A Glimpse into Real Black Love,” where the highly anticipated DJ Envy and Gia Casey spoke on expectations and reality within African American relationships.

Phones lit up the Student Ballroom as almost all who attended captured memorable moments of the guests’ appearances and words of wisdom.

From the consistent overflow of attendees to the roaring applause, the second day of the Black Family Conference was one for the books.

The last day of the conference ended with a morning seminar led by speaker Dr. Ronald Mincy followed by a noon luncheon where Dr. Fredrick Hayes III closed out the three-day event with a talk on “Bringing it Together: How Faith, Culture, and Resilience Can Lead to Community Activism.”

Overall, the events were well received by all who attended, and many students cannot wait to see what the next year’s program will entail.

London Douglas, a Strategic Communications Major from Maryland, stacked her cellphone camera roll with video clips of the events, saying that she had to “keep a few of the memories for her books.”

“The things they were sharing and teaching are things we as students and African Americans need to remember. Who knows when I’ll need to hear their words again to help me get through tough times or times of confusion?”

Obamas-Netflix partnership sparks excitement

Kyra Robinson | Staff Writer

Netflix picture.jpg
Kyra Robinson

Top streaming service, Netflix, and Barack and Michelle Obama are currently discussing the creation of a new series that could significantly benefit both Netflix and the political power couple.

According to The New York Times, while politics will play a major factor in the focus of the show, Obama is not planning to use it as a platform to reply to President Trump and his criticism of Democrats and Obama-era policies.

The programs will be centered on issues that the President and First Lady addressed on when they were in the White House, such as health care, immigration, and nutrition.

Sophomore Nia Saunders, who has not been pleased with recent selections on Netflix, believes this project will be very positive one.

“I don’t think the show should be used to respond to Trump,” the Political Science major said, “Their legacy is far bigger than that. I hope they devote the show to positivity and uplifting the masses.”

The New York Times interviewed Eric Shultz, Obama’s senior advisor while he was in office, who noted that the Obamas always had a passion for inspirational storytelling.

The Obamas will be able to reach over 100 million people with this streaming service. With already 101 million people following Barack Obama’s Twitter, a ready-made viewing audience is anticipated.

Strategic Communications major and sophomore Kenya Cummins is a film fanatic who enjoys what Netflix has done with its original content. She also loves the Obamas for their “level-headedness and strength.” She believes this move will benefit Netflix financially and bring in more subscribers.

“The voice[s] of the Obamas [are] among some of the strongest and most influential in modern history,” she explained.

“They have iconic personalities. Having a window into their true emotions and opinions will absolutely make an interesting show.”

Like Saunders, Cummins does not think the show should be used to address conservatives and the current circumstances with the Trump administration.

She believes what the Obamas have the ability to do is so much bigger than that.

While Cummins would prefer the Obamas tour and give speeches, Saunders believes she will become a regular viewer if the Netflix show becomes a reality.

“As a black woman, Obama’s voice means hope to me,” Saunders said, “His power means hope for our own future, hope for our own legacy, and hope for our own success.”

Black Panther and A Wrinkle in Time: Dominating the box office

Naomi Ludlow | Arts & Entertainment Editor


 Black Panther and A Wrinkle in Time have taken over the box office.

Black Panther has been the No. 1 movie in the world for five consecutive weeks, and A Wrinkle in Time has been trailing right behind it since its opening weekend.

Both movies had African American directors and were provided with substantial budgets of at least $100 million. Ava DuVernay, the director for A Wrinkle in Time, is the first female African American director to ever hold this high of a position in a big-name studio.

In just five weeks of being in theaters, Black Panther surpassed the $1 billion mark worldwide. In every country that it has been released, the film has done exceedingly well, as if it were in the states.

The director behind this magic is Ryan Coogler, who previously directed the movies Fruitvale Station and Creed.

His work in these two movies has led to the more creative and distinctive side of his career.

A Wrinkle in Time, on the other hand, had a diverse cast starring Storm Reid, Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon and many others.

The movie derived from the book by Madeleine L’Engle and sought to attract families with children between ages 8 and 14. However, following the weekend opening, A Wrinkle in Time wasn’t so successful.

Winfrey and the other stars heavily promoted the movie, with the timing for the release being around spring break. Although the results weren’t exactly as expected, the movie still ranked high with a No. 2 spot in the box office.

The movie is expected to do even better in Australia, Brazil, Mexico and Britain.

The value of Black Panther goes beyond dollar figures.

A tweet about Black Panther said, “[The film had the] most Black people, as dark as me, on screen that I’ve ever seen that wasn’t a comedy or period piece about slavery.”

It is important, especially for younger generations, to have positive representations of African Americans in movies for inspiration. From the directors to the cast, it is imperative to portray positive depictions of the black community.


Regions battle it out in Freshman Fashion Show

Steven Hall | Staff Writer

KPremier @theupnext__

After a short and sweet spring break, Hampton University’s freshman class kicked off their Freshmen Week. The week was organized around the theme Jumanji: Welcome to The Jungle and involved events like Cafe Appreciation Day, Movie Night, Trap Karaoke, and of course, a Fashion Show held in Ogden Hall.

After the administration cancelled the annual Battle of the States Competition, Freshman Class President Bruce Wilson and his team turned a negative to a positive by introducing the Freshman Fashion Show.

Participating students were separated by region and shared cultural aspects from their respective regions through music, dance, and fashion.

The South captured the audience’s attention with their colorful clothing, and lollipops as they showcased their culture through the theme “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”

The DMV region had the audience to their feet with their music choices with artists like Shy Glizzy, and Wale.

Students were excited to see the showcase of their cultures on stage. “They all have worked so hard, and it feels good to see everything come to life,” said senior DMV leader Nkafu Foretia.

“It took me back home, and I loved it.”

Although the Fashion Show is completely different event than Battle of the States, it still had the feel, and drive of the event without the competitive aspect.

“The leaders of each region, in my eyes, try to turn this into another Battle of The States. Although it was a fashion show, or at least meant to be a fashion show, many of the regions decided to show off their dancing skills as well,” said Senior Jamal Jackson.

The Fashion Show included many performances that allowed freshmen to showcase their talents. The men of Phi Beta Sigma also had a pre-show showcasing a few of their Spring 2018 initiates.

“I had a great time performing, it gave me a glimpse of what BOTS was like. It was a lot of work, but it worked out well,” said DMV freshmen Winstina Cole.

Freshmen ended the week attending the annual Freshmen Ball. Women dressed in elegant gowns, while men wore suits; all celebrated their first year of college in the Student Center Ballroom.        The Freshmen class also hosted a Freshmen Festival held on Bemis lawn.

After an eventful week, students are now focused on their classes and ending the semester on a strong note.

“Who am I and where am I going?” Defeating identity crises

Zipporah Baldwin | Staff Writer

Micah McNair | Leenika Belfield-Martin

“Who am I?” and “Where am I going?” are questions that we, college students, ask ourselves on a regular basis.

The discovery of personal purpose is an everyday task, both rewarding and challenging, as we uncover our greatest passions along with our deepest fears.

Whether we’re drowning ourselves in procrastination or obsessing our priorities, we tend to direct our focus everywhere else but to ourselves. Often times, we end up so busy with others, that we forfeit taking the time to get to know ourselves.

According to the American Psychology Association, “The concept of identity is made up of two parts – self-concept and self-esteem.”

In other words, your identity includes your beliefs about yourself and how you feel about those beliefs of yourself.

The self-discovery journey can be a tedious one, but there are steps to help you reach that destination.

Consider your…

POSITIVITY – Are you optimistic about your future and your existence right now in the present? Positivity will be a major fuel behind your success. This includes: positive attitudes, positive beliefs, positive energy, positive thoughts and positive words.         Do away with self-defeating behavior and remember that your quality traits outweigh any and every shortcoming that you see within yourself.

PASSIONS – What are you passionate about? Your passions can typically give you hints to where your purpose lies.

PURSUIT – Are you in pursuit of what you want to get out of life? Maintaining a healthy balance by avoiding idleness and avoiding overexertion is a major key for success.

PERSISTENCE – Are you consistently going after what you want to gain out of life? Destroy self-doubt and fear of the unknown. Be persistent in order to maintain your well-being along your journey.

PERSONAL GROWTH – Are you at peace with who you are becoming? Keep an eye out for signs of your personal growth to guarantee positive, forward-moving productivity, instead of stagnation or decline.

Continue to plant good seed in your purpose, on purpose, so that you may bear a plentiful harvest in due time.

Certainly, the process of self-discovery is not immediate, but it is undoubtedly worthwhile.

“The best part of my self-discovery journey has been finding peace,” senior Desiree Jones said. “The main portion of my peace is realizing who deserves my time and who doesn’t.”

Sophomore Brooke Arrington affirmed, “The best part of my self-discovery journey [has been] the people that I’ve met along the way. They have inspired me to strive to be the best version of myself that I can be.”

Can YouTube couple channels ruin a relationship?

Nia Brevard | Contributing Writer

Flickr User Dragunsk Usf

In 2018, most people are creating vlogs.

Vlogs, or video blogs, are used as a way to communicate with the world and share things that interest yourself and/or others.

Vlogs range from beauty tutorials, technology reviews, fashion advice, DIY (do it yourself) hacks and health/fitness instructions.

The most popular types of vlogs are couple channels.

YouTube and other video sharing platforms are flooded with vlogs of love interests playing pranks on each other, doing skits, telling stories, and competing in social media challenges.

And, viewers can’t get enough of them.

These are a few couple channels that have grown impressively popular over the past few years:

– De’arra & Ken 4 Life: They have been vlogging since July 2015 and are considered one of the favorite couples on YouTube.

– Dwayne N Jazz: They are considered the honest couple and best known for skits and dances.

– Chris and Queen: Having publicized their relationship struggles, breakups, and family obstacles, they have gained a lot of attention through their drama, scandals and commotion.

Although vlogging with your significant other may seem like a great idea, there are some serious issues that can arise and potentially ruin the relationship.

These social media couples who blossom into popular, viral personalities are considered to be famous. In most cases, fame brings about drama and unnecessary problems.

Being a YouTube super couple, the fans, subscribers and followers on other social media outlets appear quickly, and it can be life-changing.

These couples start receiving other perks such as money from monetizing their viral videos, gifts from fans and followers, publicity and other on-camera opportunities.

However, these perks can also deteriorate these couples’ most valuable asset, their relationships.

“The weight of our relationship is the weight of our careers [and that] is the weight of our whole lives, and that pressure is not good for a relationship,” then-YouTube super couple Jesse Wellens and Jeana Smith said to Independent.

“Everybody thinks everything’s perfect, that we have a perfect life, and it’s really not it at all,” Smith said. “Everybody has problems, everybody has issues but we choose not to put that in the videos usually.”

Everyone deals with things differently, and despite being a couple and vlogging together, the “life of a star” will not have the same effect on both people.

This can cause miscommunication in the relationship, leading to you and your partner only staying together for the vlog and not the relationship.

A relationship takes time and communication in order for it to work. But being a YouTube couple, it’ll take a lot more.

If something happens within the relationship, you may have to let it go for the sake of the channel if you all are dependent upon it.

Chris and Queen were once a YouTube couple, and everyone knew them and their life. But as of right now, they are no longer together.

It was stated that Chris cheated on his wife, and that ended things. He made an apology video about the whole thing, but fans were not accepting.

“I never really watched their YouTube channel, but I would see them on all social media sites,” said Kayla Cosby, a chemistry major from Silver Spring, Maryland.

“Like any other YouTube couple, they seemed stable and as if things were going good. Now after everything that happened, it made me question if the relationship was real.”

It takes a lot of effort to become a YouTube couple and maintain that status. Some couples that are now separated will even continue the vlog for its viewers and just focus on the channel.

Nevertheless, there are YouTube couples who are staying strong and balancing the life fame. So yes, couple YouTube channels can ruin a relationship, but if the relationship is really worth it, it will work out.

Virginia colleges require parents’ visa status for students’ admittance

Mia Luckett | Contributing Writer

Flickr User: Benuski

Quetzali Cruz is a high school senior with a 4.03 GPA, working toward an international baccalaureate diploma. One would think these accolades would be enough to receive benefits from the state’s second oldest institution, William & Mary.

Although Cruz’s transcript proved she was a Virginia citizen, when William and Mary officials asked for the visa status of her parents, Cruz was denied in-state tuition.

Colleges in Virginia such as William & Mary, Christopher Newport and Old Dominion have required students to provide their parents’ immigration papers in the admissions application process.

Students at Hampton find these practices of neighboring Virginia universities to be unfair. Sophomore Mecca Gladney voiced her frustration with the legislation.

“This legislation is problematic because it holds students, who want to further their education, accountable for issues that they have no control over,” Gladney said.

“A lot of children are born here, and their parents work hard to make sure their children have better lives, so denying them access to education and/or at a cheaper price for education is not fair.”

According to the Washington Post, this has been happening to students all over the state. Eric Wolf Welch, a veteran social studies teacher who runs the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) college preparation program at Cruz’s high school, said three universities – Old Dominion, Christopher Newport and William & Mary – have demanded parents’ immigration papers from his students.

HU sophomore Vashon Gordon believes that this kind of legislation promotes inequality.

“We represent ourselves. I shouldn’t have to suffer just because of the status of my parents,” Gordon said. “Just because their parents weren’t born here doesn’t make them any less or different or any less worthy of state benefits.”

Though the federal and state courts have ruled that U.S. adult citizens cannot be denied access to financial aid due to the citizen status of their parents, universities defend the policy because they claim federal and state financial aid rules automatically assume persons under 24 are dependent on their parents, and the parent must prove state citizenship for the student to qualify for in state tuition and financial aid.

Gordon disagrees, stating that this is not a good enough argument to deny students financial aid.

“A lot of students in college are not dependent on their parents,” Gordon said.

“A lot of students are first generations, and they may be on their own without their parents’ help. You can’t assume everyone’s parents are helping them out. Some people come from backgrounds with one parent, and that one parent may not be able to help them. Are the [students] really dependent?”

Representatives from William & Mary and Christopher Newport have confirmed this practice, stating that it falls within Virginia law.

Hampton students find that Virginia schools have just begun to enforce this legislation because of the influence of the current administration.

“According to the United States president, there are many “issues” with people being in the country illegally, and although this may be true, children should not be punished for their parents’ actions,” Gladney said.

Sophomore Lakiylah Mitchell also believes Virginia schools must enforce these legislations because of the power the administrative holds.

“I really would say the current presidency because he has enacted a lot of laws against immigrants particularly, however Virginia is not supportive of the presidency, as can be evident through our votes,” Mitchell said.

“The state is very democratic and not supportive of his laws. However, he is still a person in power, and we have no choice but to go along with him. But it’s not OK.”

Florida, New Jersey, South Carolina and the District of Columbia have all been sued for the same practice, ruling it unconstitutional in every court case.