Preserving our 3 Cs: A new time, new change

Ya-Marie Sesay | Campus Editor

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Chelsea Harrison

In this year of celebration of Hampton University’s legacy, the university is also making a few changes. HU’s administration launched a new Quality Enhancement Plan: “Preserving our 3 Cs: Character, Community and Culture.”

This QEP is required for HU’s reaccreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC); accreditation is what permits schools to remain degree-granting institutions of higher education. Hampton’s last accreditation was conducted in 2008.

By emphasizing these three Cs, Hampton University hopes to increase “students’ participation and engagement in learning experiences that foster a deeper understanding of the role of character, community and culture in their personal and professional lives,” HU said in the QEP.

With the help of the campus community, a survey was conducted to determine the character development and the code of conduct. Results from this survey inspired the idea for this QEP’s theme.

Hampton administration’s goal in the years to come is to keep students engaged through transformational programs and activities that will prepare them for professional careers and global issues.

To ensure the plan is executed for all freshmen students in the upcoming years, it will be implemented through a required course– University 101.

Posters and flyers have been placed all over campus, introducing the new plan to students.

“It’s a dynamic and innovative way to reaffirm Hampton’s fundamental principles of excellence in character, community, and culture in a way that is conductive to our new generation,” said SGA President Martha Baye.

Administration aims to move forward following HU town hall meeting

by: Ya-Marie Sesay, Leenika Belfield-Martin and Ayanna Maxwell

Hampton University Student Government Association President Martha Baye on Feb. 22 issued a letter detailing proposed resolutions to student complaints voiced at a town hall meeting earlier in the week.

“We appreciate students for coming forward to voice their concerns,” Baye stated in a letter posted on hamptonu.edu detailing how the matters were addressed by the administration.

HU President Dr. William R. Harvey called a meeting that day for administrators and campus leaders to discuss the issues.

Title IX Coordinator Attorney Kelly Harvey-Viney assured the administration and campus leaders that the University’s Office of Title IX adheres to federal guidelines in each report of sexual assault.

“The administration appreciates the bravery of the students who come forward to address the important issue of sexual assault,” Bayes’ letter stated.

In reference to social issues, Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Barbara Inman and Baye agreed to meet to reconsider the banishment of 12-2. Students must adhere to the Hampton University Code of Conduct and Dress Code in order to ensure the revival of this event.

As the food service was another prominent issue discussed as town hall, Harvey said he would implement multiple solutions. The first is the establishment of a Food Services Working Group consisting of approximately 10 students who will work closely with Gourmet Services. This group will serve as a mediator between the student body and the cafeteria staff, and will be able to offer suggestions for all cafeteria issues.

Harvey also urged students to directly and immediately contact Gourmet Services Regional Manager Kerwin Cromartie to report any complaints.

Also, Harvey will allow the Wellness Station to be open seven days per week instead of five, serving vegan-friendly, gluten-free and pescatarian meals.

In regards to the condition of facilities, Hampton University will hire a reputable company to investigate the mold in dormitory and common area. This independent company will be selected by March 1, 2018, and steps to remove the mold will follow shortly after.

Students are also now encouraged to submit maintenance suggestions for academic buildings to SGA Vice President Jared Bourke, who will then submit the recommendations to Vice President for Business Affairs and Treasurer Doretha Spells. She will guide all renovations.

The proposed solutions were in response to several grievances discussed at the town hall meeting Feb 20.

Approximately 700 Hampton University students packed the student center ballroom hoping for answers from the university administration concerning a wide range of topics during HU’s annual town hall meeting.

Tension filled the room as students pressed administrators with questions about the reporting of sexual assault, reports of mold found in dorms, the status of suspended social activities, cafeteria food issues and parking issues.

Baye moderated the meeting, which was attended by Harvey, Inman, Spells, Police Chief David Glover, and Chancellor and Provost Dr. JoAnn W. Haysbert.

A young woman shared her claim that she was a victim of sexual assault on campus. She said that at the time of her alleged assault, she did not feel comfortable reporting the incident since the Title IX coordinator first would have to approve an investigation.

According to the university website, “The Title IX Coordinator will decide whether an investigation or referral is required after evaluating the risk of the alleged offender harming other members of the campus community and the likelihood of the university being able to proceed without the active participation of the reporting party (if applicable).”

At the town hall meeting, Harvey responded to the young woman.

“Two things I want to make clear,” he said. “One: I do not stand by it [sexual assault]. And two: You don’t have to get permission [to speak up], but you do have to come forward.”

He also encouraged students to speak with him directly if they ever think their sexual assault case is not being investigated.

The increase of security at Hampton Harbor Apartments was also another topic of concern to students. Many who frequent the apartments yet live on campus have found it increasingly difficult to travel between the school and the apartments.

The administration pointed out that safety trumps convenience and referenced the recent shootings in the apartments as the reasoning for the higher police presence.

“The number of incidents have reduced dramatically at this location since this procedure was put in place,” Glover said.

Other complaints included living conditions, specifically mold reported in dormitories following flooding. Two students detailed their reports of mold in McGrew Towers and James Hall. Spells ensured students that a $20 million renovation plan was underway and encouraged them to report every possible instance of mold in their dorms to their dorm director.

 

Emergency grant to resolve financial obstacles for HU students

Ya-Marie Sesay | Campus Editor

The Educational Credit Management Corporation (ECMC) awarded Hampton University with an emergency aid grant for students that may have an unforeseen financial barrier that prevents them from continuing their college education.

The grant will provide a maximum of $500 to each eligible student over the course of the program. The program is for the Spring 2018 semester and hopes to support the persistence of students toward college graduation by removing unforeseen financial barriers.

In order to become eligible for the program, students must be enrolled in Hampton University as a full-time or part-time student receiving a certificate, associate or bachelor’s degree. Students must complete an application and upload documentation of financial need. The student may have an expense paid only once from the grant, and must be enrolled during the semester in which the aid is awarded.

The awarded aid may only be used for unexpected expenses to eligible students despite the amount of credit hours. It can be paid to third parties by the institution or through a gift card for students’ financial emergencies. Eligible expenses include utilities, housing/rent, food, medical/dental and more.

Eligible students may not use the emergency aid grant for school expenses such parking fines, books or required school supplies, and it may not be used to pay prior balances.

The ECMC will not fund the amount directly to the students and may not exceed the amount of need based on the documentation provided.

“I think it’s a great idea, especially after this summer where we saw a lot of our fellow students starting GoFundMe accounts trying to raise money for school,” said Alexis Harris. “Unfortunately unexpected emergency financial situations happen to us in life sometimes, and to have our school provide that support is amazing,” said Harris.

Students interested in applying for the grant can reach out to Dr. Barbara Inman at 757-727-5264 or via e-mail at barbara.inman@hamptonu.edu.

HU’s Graduate and Professional School Fair

Ya-Marie Sesay | Campus Editor

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As the first semester of the school year comes to an end, Hampton University’s upperclassmen are beginning to think and plan for life after college. HU’s Career Center hosted the 2017 Graduate and Professional School Fair, where students and representatives from various schools and graduate programs had the chance to interact.

Schools from across the country set up their displays in the Student Center Ballroom, awaiting students’ arrival to their respective table. Schools of law, journalism, biomedical sciences, theological seminaries, and others shared information about their programs, scholarships, and opportunities for students.

“We encourage Hampton University students to take advantage of this opportunity,” said Bessie B. Willis, Career Center Director.

Among school representatives, Hampton alumna Stephanie Joy Grigg represented Princeton Theological Seminary at the fair.

Grigg, a graduating senior at Princeton Theological Seminary, was introduced to the institution by two of her Hampton University big brothers during her undergraduate experience.

“They challenged me to go to seminary,” said Grigg. “I wanted to merge the gap between psychology and theology into one, and I chose Princeton.”

Princeton Theological Seminary has various masters programs, the most popular include the masters of divinity, masters in arts and theological study, and masters in theological education. The school requires students to take the GRE exam, complete the application process, and submit a personal statement and statement from their pastor.

“We know enough people have a calling on their life at Hampton and different institutions, so we just want to make ourselves available for those who feel they have a calling on their life and want to go straight into it,” said Grigg.

Representatives Dominique Bannarn and Jane Bartlett from Eastern Virginia Medical School shared information about their post bachelors program and their two-year pathologist’s assistant program as well.

The medical master’s degree program is a post-bachelors program that gives students an opportunity to boost their grades before entering the medical school of their choice. The requirements for the program are the same for medical school; students that complete the program also have high chances of being accepted into EVMS’s medical school.

“We’re literally 30 minutes away and we want Hampton students to know that EVMS is an option for them,” said Bannarn.

The new pathologist’s assistant program is one of 10 in the U.S. designed to increase employees in the pathology. Bartlett encourages students that are self-starters and always go the extra mile to apply. Students practice working with autopsies, grossing (dissecting of a dead body), and learn the entire system of the body.

Bannarn advised HU students when applying for any graduate program to share what makes them unique and ensure the school they select fits them.

“I always tell students to go for what your most passionate about and find a school period that fits them,” said Bannarn.

For students interested in law school representatives from Albany Law School, Emory University Law School, St. John’s University Law School and more shared information about their programs.

“We hold Hampton University in high esteem for years, and I try to get here as much as I can,” said Associate Director of Admissions at St. Johns University, Dorothy Moran.

St. Johns offers many opportunities through a diverse body of disciplines like studying in a global marketplace such as New York, and practicing training skills as a student under the supervision of a professor. The school also has study abroad programs; students can study in Europe and gain 6-8 credits in comparative law, comparing the European and U.S. legal system.

Moran encourages students interested in law school to “Study hard for the LSAT, come and visit to ensure its good fit for you, and do well in school that’s the first thing.”

For more information visit the career center for the list of visiting graduate and professional schools or visit the website of the institutions of your interests.

HU bookstore gets a new look

Ya-Marie Sesay | Campus Editor

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Courtesy of Ya-Marie Sesay

You asked, it’s here: Hampton’s newly renovated collegiate bookstore.

Students and Alumni entered Hampton University’s Collegiate Bookstore during homecoming week in surprise to the newly renovated look.

“We got nothing but praises! During homecoming week we had some alumni coming in, and even they said it’s great that we’ve gotten an update,” said Michael Scott, a bookstore sales associate and senior international studies major from Delaware.

After months of student input, planning and construction, the HU Administration made another advancement in improving student life on campus.

The remodeled store has more selections for students, such as new apparel choices, increased textbook options, electronics, a variety of snacks, hair products and a new look.

The nearly 20-year-old store is now surrounded with photos of student-athletes, school spirit and students in the library. The wall that divided the clothes and the books has been transformed into a pirate ship showcasing Pirate pride. There is also much more space and vibrant colors.

“It’s a big change, a 180-degree turn,” Scott said. “It’s more open, more decorative. It’s more convenient for us to come from our apartments or dorms and just pick up whatever we need.”

Hampton University’s Auxiliary Enterprises, the office responsible for students’ experience at HU, heard the demands of students for new items in the bookstore and chose to completely rebrand the store to increase student attraction.

“The remodel was an exciting venture; the response has been overwhelmingly positive, and we know there is no other bookstore as great as the one on HU’s campus,” Director of Auxiliary Enterprises Taryn Boone said.

In partnership with Follett Higher Education Group, the university wanted all decisions to completely benefit students. Boone told the Hampton Script she would sit with students in the dining hall and casually ask what they would like to see in their bookstore.

“It was a very beautiful collaborative effort, I feel good about it,” Boone said.

Another great aspect introduced at the start of the semester is the price-match option. Students can compare the price of a textbook in store with prices from Amazon, and Barnes and Noble. The price difference can be given to the student through a bookstore gift card that can be used to purchase the new fashionable apparel and other textbooks.

Students also can order textbooks in store and receive them within 48 hours without shipping expenses.

Many new electronics such as laptops and printers are now available in the bookstore. Students also have the option to charge their electronic expenses to their HU account.

In celebration of the university’s 150 years and President William R. Harvey’s 40th anniversary, the store included a section dedicated to the milestones. The section includes shirts, watches, hats, cups and Dr. Harvey’s recently published book, Principles of Leadership.

“It is my sincere hope that the students embrace it, enjoy it and brag about it all over social media,” Boone said. “Hampton has a high standard of excellence. The students [should] understand change does take time, but the administration [is] always working to give you a positive experience.”

City of Hampton’s 5K race helps West African Orphans

Ya-Marie Essay | Campus Editor

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Courtesy of Ya-Marie Essay

Share Heart Africa raises awareness of West African orphans and widows in the Hampton Roads area during their 5K Race for Hope.

The organization hosted their 5 th annual 5k Race for Hope at the end of September near Warwick High School in Newport News, Virginia. The race is dedicated to raising funds for Sierra Leonean children in need, proceeds will directly impact the education of Sierra Leonean children and microfinancing for caregivers to assist their financial need.

The race began with an 8 a.m. 1-mile run followed by a 5K and 8K race at 8:30 a.m. The cost of participation began at $18 for one mile, $30 for 5K and $45 for 8K.

Saffiatu Harper, founder of Share Heart Africa, also a Sierra Leonean native said she was
inspired to host a 5k run to raise proceeds for Sierra Leonean girls that suffer to get access to an education. Last year the race took place during the August heat and had a greater turn-out than this year. With it being the 5th year the Share Heart Africa’s team had a stress-free planning process.

“It was really good to get a late September date this year, the early morning Autumn breeze felt good especially to our runners,” said Harper. “The event was a success but we definitely need more participants to make a major impact in children’s lives in Sierra Leone.”

Rapheal Kamanga came in first place during the 5K race. The Kenyan native was extremely excited to give back to Africa. He hopes to encourage people to participate in fundraising races to not only live a healthy lifestyle, but to also impact the lives of others through a great cause.

“When you’re doing something for Africa, I feel like you’re doing it for me and doing it for my people,” said Kamanga.

Share Heart in Africa focuses on families in the village of Sierra Leone, and main cities like Freetown, Makeni, Kenema, Gloucester, Waterloo and Grafton.

“Our hope is that each child will fully grow up, take what they have learned, and become an agent of change in their community,” said Harper.

Harper believes the Lord called on her to give back to her country. “My heart’s desire is to fulfill the calling God has placed in my heart by promoting the welfare of children in Africa,” said Harper on Share Heart in Africa website.

The organization was founded in and focuses on seven core values that include family and community, accountability, faith, quality, stewardship, integrity and individualized care. The organization also ensures that each child has basic holistic care through their physical, mental social and spiritual needs for a healthy and well-rounded life.

In mid-August Sierra Leone faced a drastic mudslide killing over 300 people, and destroying many homes leaving over 2,000 people homeless. Many organizations including Share Heart in Africa are currently accepting donations to provide medical, sanitary and food supplies for those affected.

“We look forward to impacting more lives in Sierra Leone, West Africa with other future
events,” said Harper.

Share Heart in Africa is currently looking for hardworking and dedicated volunteers. For more information, please visit their website at http://www.shareheartafrica.org