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!

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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."

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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 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.

Fresh talent anticipated at Hampton U. Majestic dance tryouts

By Anthony Phillips

On Wednesday and Thursday, Hampton University's Majestic Dance Troupe will host its annual tryouts in the Student Center atrium. Students will rehearse Wednesday night starting at 5 p.m. and audition on Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m.

Majestic dance captains will teach the choreography to two songs Wednesday which will then be performed during auditions Thursday.

If chosen, the students will be inducted into the dance troupe

Students must submit applications, including headshots. Once they learn the choreography, they are allowed to choose their best number for the audition before peers and faculty.

For years, the Majestic Dance Troupe has performed at Hampton University and off campus. They contribute entertainment, school spirit, and inspiration to the regional dance scene.

Students and residents of Hampton, Virginia, speak highly of the dance team.

"The Majestic team is dope man. I've always wanted to be a part of them," said David Baker, a Hampton resident. "They look like they have a lot of fun. Their choreography is lit."

The captains of Majestic ­– Justin Jones, Chloe Harper, Amaiyah Beverly, and Khalil Harris – are working hard to make the troupe even better this year.

"Being the captain of such a well-known organization makes me feel proud," said Harris, who promised great things out of the auditions. "I guess everyone will have to wait and see what we have in store."

The anticipation for new talent is high this year, the captains said, urging those who love to dance to give it a try.

Note: The Majestic Dance Troupe on Sept. 15 inducted 62 new members out of 80 people who auditioned during annual tryouts in the student center atrium.

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

Child-friendly science and tech fair at Hampton U. conference

By Jirah Cosey

Even kids participated this year, learning how science explains the culture of our world.

This year's Conference on the Black Family at Hampton University encouraged families alike to venture into various STEM [science, technology, engineering and mathematics] career fields.

Normally the conference consists of various panels that favor adults. This year's conference took a different twist by aiming to affect the minds of children as well. One of the panelist slots turned into a science fair for kids across the Hampton Roads area, a forum titled the "Phantastic Voyage," located in the student center ballroom, consisted of numerous stations that showcased different components of science.

Stations ranged from showing different aspects of the brain to teaching children how to make slime. Kids stared in amazement as HU atmospheric science Ph.D. student Ryan M. McCabe used a visual demonstration to show how a hurricane is formed.

"The best way to learn is to ask questions," said McCabe about the importance of science. "By learning these, kids can make critical advancements in human society."

Every station gave kids a different view on learning about science, which made many of the visitors more intrigued. The children were ushered to each station by Hampton University science majors, and the students were inquisitive throughout the experience.

Gabriel Carter, an elementary school student, said, "I love building things that don't originally work and make them into something that does. I think that's pretty cool."

This year's Conference on the Black Family tackled the unknowns about STEM fields and aimed to meet its goal through every panel and discussion. The conference began Wednesday night and continued through Friday.

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

Cybercrime spooks students at Hampton U. technology forum

By Khalida Volou

Hampton Police Sergeant Mark Kincaid, a speaker at a cyber security seminar Thursday at Hampton University's 38th Annual Conference on the Black Family, said that there has been a series of burglaries on Mariners Cove Road.

As he said that, the crowd gasped in astonishment.

Mariners Cove Road is located in the Hampton Harbors Apartment complex on the edge of the HU campus. Kincaid said that after taking the burglary suspects in for questioning at the police station, the majority of them confessed that they were able to burglarize student's homes because of the easy access of looking at their social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat.

Most of the students stated their whereabouts and that they were out of town last week for spring break. This sensitive information leaked on the Internet made the students vulnerable to theft.

Who would have ever thought that an area that you live in will be victimized because of something so overlooked like posting things on social media?

The other forum speakers, Amber Boehnlein from JLab and retired FBI Special Agent James Talley, chimed in on the cyber security issue as well. After this seminar it was pretty evident that no one is truly safe on the Internet, regardless of the amount of privacy settings one may have. Looking out for yourself, your brand, and the things you post will have to be taken into account in the cyber world.

The campus School of Science is the conference host and the theme is "Full STEAM [Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math] Ahead: Health Minds and Bodies, Securing Our Future."

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

Pursue science and tech careers, said Hampton U. conference keynoter

By Aaliyah Essex

Stage lights glistened Wednesday night upon the forehead of Luther Williams as he patiently awaited his part in the program.

Prior to his keynote address, the Hampton University Terpsichorean Dance Company performed a piece titled "Push Through." The graceful dance composition accurately set the mood for the speaker as the narration read, "I am powerful. I will endure. I have the mind to do anything. I will push through. You can push through. We are pushing through. Full steam ahead, I push through."

As the performance ended and the preliminaries concluded, the Ogden Hall crowd greeted the speaker with a warm round of applause as he confidently stepped up to the podium in his black suit, accessorized with a diagonally striped tie. "Hello," he said as he spoke calmly.

After giving recognition to appropriate individuals, the former Tuskegee University professor and Ph.D. strategically informed the audience about the lack of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) and overall education in the African-American community. With a message revolving around education beginning with youth, Williams indirectly pleaded to the students as well as the African-American community: "We could study those in isolation and we can make implemental gains to the body of knowledge, or we could actually design logic constructs to try to solve these problems, problems that are beginning in the black family."

As the former president of Atlanta University spoke, it was clear that he wanted to point out the result of the lack of African Americans involved in STEAM programs. Dermatologist and former Hampton University student Karen Royal Love, M.D. passionately spoke about her take away from the address. "He made the point that with his honors and the things that he has done, we're kind of cast off as 'Well see it can be done.' This black person did it and everyone else is complaining that opportunities aren't there," she said. "Many times those beliefs can penalize our young people." Before the lights faded, Williams urged the students to pursue education as he explained, "In preparation for a career, one really has to ensure that there is currency towards academic preparation."

The 30-minute address set the tone for the 38th annual Conference on the Black Family, hosted by the School of Science. The opening speech complimented the conference's theme, "Healthy Minds and Bodies, Securing Our Future."

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

Lots of trash talk, yet the ‘real HU’ rivalry is friendly

By Kayla Johnson

The seats filled up, cheers from the fans bellowed throughout the Convocation Center, and with the sound of the whistle, the game began. The Hampton vs. Howard rivalry resumed.

On Monday, Feb. 9, the Hampton University Pirates took on the Howard University Bison in a quest to determine who is the "real HU."

The Pirates were victorious Monday night and snagged the title of the "Real HU" from the Bison with the men winning in overtime 73-69 and the women winning the first game with a score of 80-61.

Hampton U. Blue Thunder team member Sydnei Fryson, a senior from West Virginia, explained that this is not simply a competition between just the basketball teams; cheerleaders get in on the action too: "We practice a lot harder and pull out the more difficult stunts for this game."

Tradition has been a common theme in the debate about who is the "Real HU." Kayla Monroe, photographer for the campus athletic marketing department said, "You feel like you are a part of the team when you are there supporting them and cheering them on for games like this. Healthy competition between schools, whether it's sports or academics is good. Having competition makes people always want to strive to do and be better."

The Hampton vs. Howard rivalry is not something new. This tradition reaches back to at least the 1980s and lightheartedly divides some households at Hampton, including my own.

When speaking to Donna Johnson, a Howard University graduate from Detroit, she said "School pride fosters the rivalry, and it's good to see both Hampton and Howard students still have such a rich sense of pride.

"As a proud Howard alum, I'm glad you chose the "other HU."

Unlike the Battle of the Bay rivalry that occurs every year between Hampton University and Norfolk State University, the "Real HU" rivalry is noticeably very friendly. When all is said and done both schools support each other and generally have a great time being around the "other HU," a term that is jokingly used to refer to Howard students around Hampton and vice versa at Howard.

In years past, the Hampton and Howard cheerleaders had a choreographed routine that they performed together during a game. In the stands last night, Hampton students could be see socializing and taking pictures with their Howard friends who came to support the Bison.

When asked about the how she felt about the rivalry, Elizabeth Jenkins, a Howard University psychology student from Detroit, said "Our schools wouldn't be the same without it."

"Hampton is a very nice place with respectable students. I have love for the "other HU."

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

Students enjoy themselves during C-Span Bus Tour visit

By Elexus Freeman-Filmore

Yesterday afternoon, the C-SPAN Bus made its second stop here at Hampton University on its HBCU Bus Tour.

Stepping onto this bus, immediately visitors' senses were engaged, with small television screens along the stairs and everything lit up. On the first half of the bus there were interactive television screens that allowed visitors to take a history quiz of the U.S. government and C-SPAN.

Kyle Avery, a junior journalism major from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., said the quiz was "interactive and engaging."

Moving forward through the bus, Media Specialist Steve Devoney stood answering questions and giving details about the bus, saying, "The C-SPAN bus is intended for educational outreach and is used as a production vehicle."

The second half of the bus was well illuminated and set up with a couch and flat-screen television. Earlier that morning, President William R. Harvey was interviewed, and he took calls from around the country, answering questions varying from a possible increase in the Pell Grants, student admission rates, and general praise of HU.

The C-SPAN bus had not been open for more than 30 minutes before students began crowding inside trying to get a "snap" or "selfie" to post on their social media sites. Despite the biting wind, near-freezing cold and peaking sunshine, students were still very eager to get on the bus and learn some information.

Students and faculty of the Scripps Howard School were pleased to see 2014 graduate Mariah Crews as the bus volunteer and Hampton representative. Currently Crews assists in production and is a marketing representative for C-SPAN. After interning with them for four years and working there for six months she says, "I like the bipartisanship of C-SPAN; they do not show one party's view, they give viewers full coverage."

Crews said that "interacting with the students" has been her favorite part of working on the C-SPAN bus. Before walking away from the bus, "The Face of Fox43" real-time news anchor Ty Lorenzo, stood with his camera in hand ready to cover the C-SPAN bus story. Having been invited by Crews, Lorenzo said the bus was a "never before seen, awesome and unique travel studio."

The C-SPAN bus is continuing its tour down the East Coast to visit other top HBCUs. Follow the bus by visiting You can also follow them on Twitter and on Facebook.

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

Tricked out news bus wows Hampton U. students

By Taylour Walker

On Thursday, the C-SPAN Mobile Bus stopped by Hampton University's Student Center as part of their HBCU Bus Tour. C-SPAN is a public affairs network, which was created to provide public access to government proceedings within the U.S. Congress. With more than 250,000 hours of programs online, C-SPAN has become a valuable research tool. To promote their successful Internet endeavor, the C-SPAN Mobile Bus travels to schools nationwide for educational outreach and program production.

After an interview with President William R. Harvey that morning, the C-SPAN Mobile Bus opened its doors to students. Along with a warm respite from the near-freezing cold, walls lined with interactive touch screens welcomed students as they walked in.

A curious and active crowd filed into the bus with questions and cameras ready. While many were snapping selfies in front of the C-SPAN logo at the back of the bus, C-SPAN representatives quickly took to demonstrating what the Mobile Bus had to offer. Activities included: demonstrations on C-SPAN's transition to a mobile platform, touch screen quizzes, and a close look at production equipment used to film C-SPAN programs.

Sara Zou, a C-SPAN marketing representative, wanted students to "learn more about C-SPAN and and recognize that it's a fantastic resource for students."

When asked about why the C-SPAN Mobile Bus chose to visit HBCUs, she said that, "a C-SPAN fan suggested it to us."

Students who stopped by welcomed C-SPAN's visit. Khayla Harris, a transfer student and journalism major from Baltimore, said, "I actually have seen C-SPAN before. I've been in the D.C. area, and I know that they record Congress.

"When I found that out, I had to come here to see it."

After an engaging discussion with Steve Devoney, a C-SPAN media specialist, Harris said she wanted other HBCU students to, "get the experience that I had and be able to talk to people who are professionals."

Demarius Newsome, a senior psychology major and leadership studies minor from Meadville, Pa., was quite taken with the interactive aspects of the bus. Newsome said, "outside of those who are journalism and political science majors, who always have to keep involved, C-SPAN is a good way for us to be involved with things that are going on."

Jeremy Trippett, a senior marketing major from Chicago, was just pleased to, "look and see HBCUs and see President Harvey and the exposure of Hampton University through C-SPAN." He also said that it was, "just good to bring that exposure to college students and black students at large."

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

Motivating, aggressive Hampton U. Founder's Day speaker

By Candace Davis

"Excellent, aggressive and motivating" are words that describe the 122nd Hampton University Founder's Day keynote speaker, alumni and Attorney Paul Clinton Harris, said his peer and classmate Dorothy Barnes, a 1986 graduate and Hampton resident.

Harris's first moments at Hampton made him feel overawed. "I showed up on campus with a blue pickup truck with red mud splashed all over it," he told the Daily Press of Newport News in 1997. But it didn't take long for the Virginia native to take Hampton University by the horns. In 1986, he finished his undergraduate career with a B.A. in political science, ranked as second lieutenant of the U.S. Army, presided as Student Government Association president and became a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated.

Barnes, Harris's PMS Secretary, said, "Paul had great leadership during his whole college career."

These leadership skills and the life motto of "Thy will be done" generated a prosperous political career for Harris. After law school at George Washington University where he received his Juris Doctorate, Harris became the first African-American Republican elected to the Virginia legislature and served two terms in the Virginia House of Delegates.

In 1998, Harris served on the 19-member Federal Advisory Commission on Electronic Commerce. He resigned his seat in the Virginia legislature to become the Deputy Associate U.S. Attorney General under President George W. Bush. Harris is one of the five senior Justice Department lawyers who wrote the regulations for the Sept. 11, 2001 Victim Compensation Program.

Justice Harrison, fellow member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and sophomore biology major, admires his fraternity brother: "its men like Paul Harris, and men of such influence, is why I am a member of Alpha Phi Alpha and hope to be as great of a man one day. I look forward to his address."

In 2006, Harris received Hampton University's Distinguished 20-year Alumnus Award and he is a newly appointed member of the University's Board of Trustees. Harris now serves as Corporate Counsel at Northrop Grumman Corporation. He is responsible for managing all international legal and regulatory risk management in Australia, Europe, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and Japan.

On Sunday, Harris will give the Founders Day address at 11:30 am at Ogden Hall. Founders Day activities will include the commemorative wreath placing ceremony at the gravesite of the University founder, Gen. Samuel Chapman Armstrong, at the Hampton University Cemetery at 9:30.

Jerome Barber, pastor of Sixth Mount Zion Baptist Temple, Molly Joseph Ward, Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources, and HU alumna, Dr. Gladys Hope Franklin White will receive 2015 Presidential Citizenship Awards.

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

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