Distractions, Hampton U. campus and a 3rd presidential debate

By Arianna Herriott

Between Donald Trump stating he may not accept election results and that voting is allegedly rigged, to former U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton calling Trump a "puppet" of Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, the final showdown was definitely a movie-like Wednesday evening for the third and final presidential debate.

In the midst of it all, distractions – including lethal off-campus gunplay – filled Hampton University as many students were not tuned into the debate even though the Nov. 8 election is less than 20 days away.

Midterms were in full effect, yet the Hampton University Student Government Association managed to host a debate watch party for all students to witness each candidate state their final claim.

"I honestly wanted to attend watch party, but I had two midterms the next day which I needed to study for," said Alaria Benton (photo, top right), a sophomore interdisciplinary studies major from Greensboro, North Carolina. "However, I did keep track of the debate through Twitter."

A handful of students tuned into the debate, not only at the watch party, but also in their dorms. Some students weren't surprised how the debate went based on the previous debates.

"While watching the debate, I was not surprised at all by Trump's shenanigans," said Timia Whitsey, a sophomore journalism major from Houston. "It was just back and forth between the two candidates. While they did address issues like foreign policy, once again it was all low blows."

Considering it was the final debate and the last time to see Democratic candidate Clinton and Republican challenger Trump face off, more students could have been tuned in, however move distractions occurred: A shooting just off campus during the debate.

As students watched the debate, Group Me messages, text messages, and phone calls had numerous cell phones buzzing and lighting up. At 10:03 p.m. – about midway into the debate – Hampton University Police reported there was a shooting inside the Hampton Harbors apartments. The apartment complex is adjacent to the campus.

Instead of being tuned into what each presidential candidate said, some students tried to figure out who was killed or injured, and who witnessed the scene. At 12:25 a.m. Wednesday, campus police reported that no Hampton U. students were involved in the mayhem. At dawn, WVEC-TV reporter Elise Brown, reported from the scene that one person was dead and three people were injured.

The essence of the debate died down as students rushed to the Harbors to see what was going on and who was involved.

"I was watching the debate, but couldn't seem to focus because my phone was blowing up with messages asking if I was OK," said Doug Gardner (photo, right), a junior journalism major from Silver Springs, Maryland. "My entire focus changed so I didn't catch the end of the debate."

* * *

Wednesday night's televised debate began without a handshake from the two candidates due to the heated tension that has been brewing during the campaign months. Hillary Clinton went into the debate leading the polls with the hope of sealing her fate as the future president of the United States. Republican candidate Donald Trump approached his podium knowing that he needed to win the debate.

Although there is a lot on the line, some Hampton University students said they would not be tuning into the debate. "I am not watching the debate tonight because I am not interested in either candidate," said Ronald Bell, a sophomore psychology major from Atlanta.

The debate began with tough topics in which the candidates expressed opposite views. They clashed upon the mention of Russia and WikiLeaks. Clinton pushed for Trump to say that he was responsible for Putin's interest in this election and branded him Putin's "puppet," but he countered her by saying that the former secretary of state was just mad because Putin outsmarted her on foreign policy countless times.

Both candidates brought up past statements that did not align with their current statements. Clinton suggested Trump was a hypocrite on the issue of immigration, saying he had "used undocumented labor to build the Trump Tower." When moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News quoted from a paid Clinton speech -- citing an excerpt revealed by WikiLeaks in which she said she dreamed of "open trade and open borders" -- Clinton said she was "talking about energy."

The debate turned to current allegations in the media that have accused Trump of harassing and disrespecting women. Trump said that the women who have come forward are only "seeking fame" or was hired by Clinton's "sleazy" campaign.

Moderator Wallace also brought up Trump's allegations of a rigged election and asked if he would support the choice of the American people regardless of the outcome.

Aside from the candidates, the moderator struggled to keep both candidates under control and respectful of their two-minute answers to questions. – Brendan Cole

Both writers are students in the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications.

1st time Hampton U. student voters vowed to watch presidential debate

By Sydni McCutchen, Jada George and Donald Huskey

Hampton University students packed two student venues in order to watch first Hillary Clinton vs. Donald Trump U.S. presidential debate. Public viewing plummeted for debate No. 2, which aired on Oct. 9, the night of the Homecoming week bonfire.

Before Wednesday's third and final debate, campus reporters asked six students,
a.] did they plan to watch, and
b.] did they intend to vote on Tuesday, Nov. 8:

"Probably not," said Kalijah Stokes, a sophomore, sports management major from Brooklyn, New York. "I watched the first one. It will be a repeat of the same petty going back and forth"

"Yes," Stoked intended to vote: "I registered to vote with the people walking around campus."

"I have to [vote]," said Diamond Broughton, a sophomore, journalism major from Newport News. "It's my first time voting so I'm kind of excited, although I have no choice but to choose Hillary [Clinton].

"Yeah, I'm going home to vote. I don't trust absentee ballots"

Natalie Jennings, a sophomore political science major from Maryland, said, "Yes I will most definitely be watching the debate tonight. I am going to be in my apartment and I am inviting some friends over.

"Yes I will be voting!"

Amber Smith, a sophomore journalism and communications major, from Maryland, said, "No, I will not be watching the debate tonight because I have practice for a modeling troupe. I am sure I will see important and memorable pieces and clips on social media though."

"I will be voting, especially because it will be my first time!"

Samuel Gavin, a business management major from Herndon Virginia, said he did not plan to watch Wednesday's third and final presidential debate, however, "Yes, of course," when asked if he planned to vote Nov. 8.

Where? "In Hampton, Virginia. My hometown is too far away."

Charles Bert, a business management major from Grand Rapids, Michigan, said "No, I don't care to watch the debate," but he said "yes" to voting from Hampton, Virginia.

The writers are students in the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications.

Va. BuzzKill anti-underage drinking campaign targets HU campus

By Stephanie Smith

Hampton University Homecoming season arrived along with instances of underage drinking that occurs during traditional festivities.

Kyla Wright, a residence hall assistant from Detroit, said, "I witness the effects and consequences of underage drinking, especially during this week. Whenever there's a big event happening at Hampton, students prepare themselves by binge drinking. Whether it's Holland [Hall] or a Harbors [off-campus apartments] party, students don't like to be sober.

"Actually, I see it more often than I feel I should and that's a problem."

A psychology major from New York said, "I see bigs serving their littles liquor all the time. It's regular." The student's name was withheld by this news site.

Situations like these potentially stop students from getting their degree. This is why the BuzzKill campaign has caused campus police departments to enforce a statement: serve under 21 and the party's over. Underage drinking and impaired driving are illegal in Virginia.

More than 1,800 college students die each year from unintentional alcohol-related injuries, say advocates from the Virginia Commonwealth University Police Department, which launched the Richmond-area BuzzKill Campaign in 2015. Funded by the DMV Highway Safety Grant, BuzzKill made its way to other campuses near Hampton Roads, including Hampton University. The reason: to highlight the personal, professional and legal consequences of underage drinking.

Many students who are caught intoxicated aren't aware of the consequences. They may face suspension or expulsion from the university. They could receive that Out-By-5 p.m. letter immediately. Sometimes the consequences of underage drinking don't come from authorities. Students may experience the worse consequence of them all – death.

On the eve of Hampton U.'s Homecoming weekend keep in mind the consequences of underage drinking. If under the age of 21, do not accept any alcoholic beverages or beverages you didn't prepare. During these festivities, keep your self-image and education in mind. Do not jeopardize your placement at Hampton.

To make others aware of the BuzzKill Campaign, post "pop-out" photos with the hashtag: #PARTYSAFEVA. Everyone be safe and enjoy the annual HU festivities!

* * *

Here at Hampton University, the Buzzkill campaign has been spreading its message through posters, fliers, and picket signs that have been placed in front of the cafeteria and student center. Yet the message might not be getting across to the students living on and off campus.

"I have noticed all of the Buzzkill signs on my way to the cafeteria and class," said Alexander Franklin, a sophomore pre-pharmacy major from Atlanta, "But to be honest, it has been pretty far in the back of my mind."

Franklin isn't the only student that has not caught on to the message. Other students have walked by much of the campaign's propaganda without spreading news or looking for more information. But that does not mean all hope is lost.

"I have been seeing the posters all over campus and I think it's a great idea to let students know the consequences of distributing alcohol or even having it underage," said Maya McCombs of Maplewood, New Jersey, a second year strategic communications major.

Buzzkill is an Ohio-based program created by the Drug Free Action Alliance, educating college-aged students about the dangers of alcohol and the consequences of drinking as a minor or distributing it to minors. It is estimated that over 1,800 students between the ages of 18-24 die each year from alcohol-related injuries, and 696,000 students have been assaulted by someone who was under the influence of alcohol.

This fall the campaign has moved to local campuses, including Hampton University, Norfolk State University, Christopher Newport University, and Tidewater Community College, looking to spread its messages to our own community so that students know how to party safely or the possible consequences that can come to hosting parties.

Anyone can get involved by going online to the Drug Free Action Alliance website and filling out a registration and letter of agreement. There is also a $50 fee for membership and to receive materials such as posters, signs, window clings, and stickers. Information can also be found by searching #partysafeva on twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. – Joshua Waldrum

Both writers are students in the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications.

Thigh-high fashion craze on Hampton U. campus

By Jordan Parker

The thigh-high boots sensation is definitely evident on Hampton University's campus.

A "thigh high boot" can be described as a sleek women's boot with a zip reaching just above the knee, creating a knee-high sock effect varying in material. The most popular style features a heel platform, stiletto, or pump. (Rana Shepheard, pictured right)

The art of popping out, or dressing your most fashionable best, has been studied and mastered by many Hamptonians. This fall's most notable advancement in popping out appears to be thigh-high boots.

Blake Newby, a senior from Washington, D.C., said she "can't wait for the weather to finally get cold so I can break out my three pairs of boots I got this summer." As fall approaches so does homecoming season, the time people use to exercise their pop-out skills and flex on everyone.

The new trend was anticipated. Big names such as Rihanna, Beyoncé, and reality stars, Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner gave fans and future customers a taste of the looks early on in candid photos captured by the paparazzi.

The boots come in a variety of colors and styles. Designers incorporate materials ranging from suede, denim, and leather. It's almost as if the standard boot is evolving into something much more runway ready. This has made the thigh high boots a staple piece for many fall and winter pop outs.

The most appealing aspect of the thigh high boot is the versatility in outfits you can pair them with. Wear them with your midi skirts and dresses, leggings, your skinny leg pans. If you want your boots to make a bold statement, get a color that pops, like blue, orange, or red. For an everyday look, black, grey, and nude are perfect additions to an outfit. You can dress them up or down.

Hannah Pink, a freshman from Sugarland, Texas said, "I'm wearing the boots I wore to class yesterday to the club, with a bodycon dress this weekend."

* * *
ABOVE-THE-KNEE BOOTS are taking the fall fashion scene by a storm.

On Hampton University's campus, dozens of young women have been sporting the trendy and in-season thigh-high boots since the temperature has dropped.

After the spring 2015 release of Kanye West's boots, the popularity of thigh highs has skyrocketed. Celebrities such as the Kardashians, Kylie Jenner, Chrissy Teigen, and Karrueche have also been seen sporting West's boots, adding to their popularity. However, most women have been purchasing the bargain brands that range anywhere from $39 to $100 opposed to West's $995 boots. Stores that carry the boots include Aldo, DSW, H&M and more. Online sites such as boohoo.com also carry a variety of thigh-high boots.

"Thigh-high boots are trendy and they're in style. Every celebrity is wearing them and they make any outfit pop!" said Iyana Crawford a sophomore, psychology major from Georgia.

The popularity of the boots has also risen on campus due to Hampton University's homecoming. It's a tradition that Hamptonians only look the best during the week and wear the trendiest and latest fashion. Many women have also admitted to only buying thigh-high boots just to have for Homecoming week.

"Boots are the best fall shoe because there are so many different ways to wear them," said Autumn Evans (pictured above right), a sophomore, elementary studies major and fashion blogger from New Jersey. "Thigh highs have the ability to make or break an outfit and I plan on doing them justice this season."

Fashion choices and statement pieces such as thigh-high boots will most likely be seen being worn for the remainder of fall and transition into winter. Whether it be Kanye West's boots or the competition brand, ladies on campus plan on turning heads and rocking thigh high boots with pride. -- Nia Wellman

Both writers are students at the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications.

Homecoming heads and licenses to thrill

By Pia Nicholson

Hampton University Homecoming is here and this year it's all about the H to the A to the I to the R. What does that spell? Hair!

From goofy colors, to crazy cuts, to the short pixie do ups and the long dramatic "I came to kill it hair" expect to see it all this year.

With seven days filled with fun, parties and endless memories it seems everyone is gearing up making sure that they get their A game on. From outfits, to knee-high boots to the hairstyles everyone students interviewed said they know if it's anytime that they should pop out completely, it's for homecoming week.

"This year I'm coming to slay," said Melody Kirkland, 19, a freshman, nursing major from Los Angeles. "I ordered my hair two months in advance, I was not going to risk my hair not coming on time. I learned my lesson last year."

Just as many other women's hair is the No. 1 priority for them. If your hair is off everything is off. Just like how you need the perfect icing to top of a cake you need the perfect hair style to top of an outfit.

"My hair is my baby; $475 is what I paid for my bundles, plus to get it installed is another $150," said Kia White, 21, a junior, criminal justice major from New York. "My hair is an investment. I knew I had to get the best if I wanted to look the best. It's that serious."

From the step show, to the fashion show and the Little Uzi concert, students anticipate seeing all sorts of colors and textures of hair during the homecoming showdown.

"I mean, everyone thinks that the girls are the only ones who are going to pop out," said C.J. Morris, 21, music major from Houston, and a Kappa. "But I have a surprise for them. My whole crew will be rocking fades so sharp you might get cut."

Students expect the sororities and fraternities to come out to the parties and shut them down. When it comes to the Delta and the AKA sororities, everything is a competition "This year we are rocking pink and green to every event, function and show, and I'm not talking about our outfits only," said Brianna Bullard, 20, biology major from Chicago. "Our hair will also represent our colors."

* * *

Throughout Homecoming Week at Hampton University, it is an unwritten law among students that they must slay from hair to toe. Meaning, your outfit and shoes could be Vogue worthy. But the Hampton standard of excellence is not met unless your hair is looking fresh out the salon and runway perfect as well.

During the weeks leading up to homecoming, hair is noticeably drab and lifeless as back-to-school styles become stale. However, you can be sure that appointments are set and campus will soon be colorful again with flowing tresses and razor-sharp edge ups.

"I've noticed that a number of girls on campus tend to get their hair done around homecoming and what better time to do so!" said Arie'yana Easterling, (photo above left) a junior, psychology major from Durham, North Carolina.

Bouncing curls, romantic waves, and bone-straight hair are certain to be gracing campus throughout the week. However, females aren't the only ones preparing their hairdos for homecoming.

"Guys want to look presentable. Dudes will get their hair cut equivalent to how females get their weaves done or a beat face," said Mikey Watkins, a sophomore strategic communication major from Newport News, Virginia. "It's our way of prepping for homecoming."

While it seems nearly everyone braces for the big Morgan State-Hampton football game, Hampton's cheerleaders take extra precautions to remain flawless all four quarters.

"First impressions mean everything," said Jzalyn Green, (photo right) a sophomore pre-pharmacy major from Columbia, South Carolina. "I am getting crochet twists because it is a cute, protective style. Knowing that I have to cheer for homecoming, I need a style that is not going to sweat out and last me the whole game." -- Daijiah Steele

Both writers are students in the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications.

Intensity of 2nd presidential debate stunned viewers

Hampton U. campus flooded because of Hurricane Matthew affect

A mini lake formed outside of at least one of the Hampton University dormitories Saturday night, holding students hostage in their residences, said student eyewitnesses.

Coastal flooding related to Hurricane Matthew was the culprit.

Lauren Hendricks, a senior from Texas, said she witnessed the water mass. Briana Oates of Maryland, also a senior, said, "It definitely flooded here in Hampton last night. The grass became mini pools outside of the Multi-Use Facility, in between Armstrong and Ogden [halls].

"Streets were flooded to the point where shopping centers closed early, some stop lights were out. Pizza companies stopped delivering. There were high winds and some power outages across the bridge. Damages were not too bad and power did not go out in the dorms, just lights flickering occasionally. But, I did hear that some people's cars got hit by tree branches."

Hampton University Police with the National Weather Service issued a flood warning at 6:49 p.m. Saturday and followed up at 7:43 p.m. with a flash flood warning.

"Excessive runoff from heavy rainfall will cause flooding of small creeks and streams, urban areas, highways, streets and underpasses, as well as other drainage areas and low-lying spots," said the communique sent by text message and email.

"Traditional low-lying areas are Lots 9, 32, Shore Road, Ferry Road and Queen Street across from the cafeteria. Relocate to Lots 21 (across from the cafeteria, and Lot 41, adjacent to the Health Center. or lot 10."

According to The Weather Channel, overnight, about nine inches of rain pounded the Peninsula [Hampton and Newport News] and South Hampton Roads [Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Portsmouth, Chesapeake and Suffolk], which resulted in flooding, downed trees and limbs, and power outages.

"As of right now," said Oates in a mid-Sunday afternoon email, "the sun is slowing peeking through the clouds and the streets are dry."

Hampton U. students sigh in relief after VP debate

By Chelsea Harrison

Some Hampton University students say they are gaining more confidence after last night's Vice Presidential Debate. With last week's Presidential Debate leaving Hillary Clinton supporters uneasy, HU students say Tim Kaine helped calm their nerves.

"Senator Kaine really hit certain issues on the head," said Diamond Perry, a biology major from Charlotte, North Carolina, "ones I think Hillary was too scared to address."

Kaine, the Virginia Democrat, and Republican Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana, disputed issues on immigration, police enforcement, and international affairs just as their running mates did. There was also discussion on both sides of rumors of scandal and tax evasion.

Several students gathered at the Democratic Coordination Office on the edge of the Hampton U. campus to watch the televised debate from Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia.

Deja Rivers, a kinesiology major from Philadelphia, was enthusiastic throughout the entire debate. "Kaine really stumped him [Pence] when he talked about 'stop-and-frisk'. It just polarizes the relationship between the community and police," she said. "If they don't trust the way I look, I don't trust them either."

Coordinators at the Democratic Coordination Office are prohibited from speaking about the election, but by judging the look on their faces, they seemed pleased at Kaine's efforts as well.

The writer is a student in the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications. Tweet observations about the VP debate at #hu2vote.

Disney’s ‘Queen of Katwe’ a joyful surprise to Hampton U. students

By Maya Wilson

Opening in theatres Friday, Sept. 30, "Queen of Katwe" is a Disney film, made with an all-black cast. The movie was made to shine a positive light and educate its viewers on African culture and feminism.

Based on a true story, the motion picture follows the life of chess prodigy, Phiona Mutesi, who became so skilled at the game, her abilities got her out of the slums where she grew up. Mutesi eventually becomes Uganda's first female chess master. In this movie, Disney conveys to their viewers that people should always persevere and follow their dreams to ultimately accomplish their goals.

Students at Hampton University were pleased to hear about this film because the concept is so different from most Disney movies. Finding out about the all-black cast caught a lot of students off guard, including Matthew Dow, a freshman from New Jersey.

"There's no way that Disney is making a movie about an African girl," Dow said. "I'm interested to see how this all plays out."

Critics have said there has been a lack of diversity in Disney projects over the years, but recently the studio have been showcasing different cultures in their films. Not too long ago, the studio announced that their newest Disney Princess is Moana [Thanksgiving 2016] from Polynesia. Most Disney princesses beforehand have been of European descent, with the exceptions such as Mulan [1998] and Tiana [2009] in "The Princess and the Frog."

"Growing up, I rarely saw people in Disney movies who looked like me," said Nathania Hector, a junior from New Jersey. "I'm happy that Disney is making an effort to showcase more of our people."

In "Queen of Katwe," Disney is not only showcasing the talents of African people as a whole, but the talents of an African female in particular. People never expect for a woman to master the game of chess and beat men at the game, thus putting feminism under a positive light. By becoming a Uganda's first female chess master, Mutesi ultimately breaks gender stereotypes about the game.

Disney movies commonly display women waiting for men to come to their rescue. These films have always told women that it is OK to be dependent and spend their whole life, waiting for their knight in shining armor. "Queen of Katwe" is different.

"I think it's important to teach girls to be independent and reach their goals," said Jordan Parker, a junior from Texas. "We have our own aspirations, just as men do. Hopefully, this film conveys the message to those who don't realize."

The writer is a student in the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications.

Hampton U. debate watchers stunned by Trump-Clinton clash

By Mallory Beard

Last night's presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump drew in crowds by the masses. At Hampton University, students and administrators flooded the Student Center theater and atrium in order to view the nationally televised event and watched the two candidates charge head-to-head with their proposals.

At right, Raelynn Hawkins [foreground] watches presidential candidates' debate from the Student Center atrium. [Photo by Mecca Evans]

Some students were taken aback by the candidate's statements. "I couldn't believe when he compared us to the likes of a third-world country," said Devon Van Dyke, a varsity football player. Van Dyke said he was befuddled by Trump's statement, deeming it "disrespectful to the advancement of Americans."

Some students and staff experienced different emotions after the debate concluded. Tracey Bumphus, a Chick-Fil-A employee at the Hampton U. campus, caught the tail end of the heated battle and observed what she called "absurdity" while listening to Trump in comparison to his female adversary.

"She [Clinton] possesses class and seemed to choose her words carefully," said Bumphus.

The next presidential debate on Oct. 9 will commence at 9 p.m. EST on Washington University's campus in St. Louis.

The writer is a student in the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications.

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