U.S. President Tyler’s special connection to Hampton U.

By Kiana Salley

HAMPTON, Virginia -- President's Day is much more than a national holiday to Hampton University. Specifically, John Tyler represents significant prestige to the Home by the Sea.

Any Hampton Pirate is familiar with East Tyler and West Tyler streets as being the main road onto the campus, however it isn't typical that all faculty and students understand the relevance of the roads. Tyler previously owned a piece of land called the Rip Raps not too far from the campus and where he resided after his presidency, according to a 1991 Daily Press account. This piece of land is where Tyler sought solace after the death of his first wife Letitia Semple. The Army Corps of Engineers helped build it while Robert E. Lee was stationed in Fort Monroe.

Otherwise known as "His Accidency" by detractors, according to whitehouse.gov, Tyler was the first vice-president to rise as president because of the unfortunate circumstance of the early death to former president-elect William Henry Harrison in 1841. Harrison served 31 days.

Virginia native Tyler was a College of William and Mary graduate, and was elected into the Virginia House of Delegates at the age of 21. His family is of no strangers to the Williamsburg and Hampton Roads area. In fact, they are highly recognized for their service to both communities as well as the state of Virginia.

Former President Tyler served as the 18th governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia and as U.S Senator from Virginia. While president Tyler was most recognized for his annexation of Texas in 1845 to revolt against slavery.

His son, Lyon G. Tyler, presided over the first Virginia public university that allowed women to matriculate in the educational system. Lyon Tyler also counseled Hampton and Richmond Mechanic institutes.

A family man first and a one-term president, the 10th president continued his legacy: Two of his grandsons live to this day, reported U.S. News & World Report this month. John Tyler fathered 15 children, two of which are Lyon and Harrison Tyler, born in 1924 and 1928.

Destin McMurray contributed to this report. Both students are in the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications.

Valentine's Day or just another Tuesday?

By Lyniece Hill

Shelves were filled with teddy bears, Hallmark was selling flowers, and Chick-Fil-La was preparing its heart-shaped biscuits and platters for Valentine's Day.

Some people can't wait for Feb. 14, but some Hampton University students were simply not in the spirit this year.

Tashiya Hunter (photo at right), a sophomore psychology major from Newark, New Jersey, said Valentine's Day is nothing short of an average day in her book.

"At times it excites me because it makes me happy seeing couples I know express their love for each other," she said, "but for the most part it's just another Tuesday."

Hunter is not the only one who isn't feeling the love. Sophomore Jarrell Dillard, a journalism major from Maryland, believes his relationship status contributes to his celebration.

"I'm single. It isn't a special day to me because I am single," said Dillard. "It's just another day."

Several other students interviewed have similar feelings toward the upcoming holiday. When asked what their plans were, many replied with "nothing" or "I have no plans." Some students even said their plans were to study. Others mentioned if they had a significant other they'd feel differently, but even some couples are following the trend.

Juniors Tai Stevens, a strategic communications major from New Jersey, and Stephanie Harris, a journalism major from Los Angeles, said that they won't be doing anything extravagant to celebrate.

"It's not that big of a deal," said Stephanie as Tai nodded in agreement. "Every day is Valentine's Day for us."

This year Valentine's Day does fall on a Tuesday, which can possibly leave students with little to no time to make plans for the holiday. But that's not the case for Evyn Williams (photo at right), a pharmacy major from San Antonio, Texas, who plans to enjoy the evening with friends.

"I bought advance tickets to go see "Fifty Shades Darker" with my five friends. Then we're going out to eat together to celebrate the love that's shared between us," said Williams. She then proceeded to say that Valentine's Day isn't strictly for couples: "I feel like Valentine's Day isn't just to celebrate your boyfriend or girlfriend, but all the relationships around you, including friendships."

It's safe to say that Hampton University students definitely have mixed feelings about the upcoming holiday. Some believe it's overrated and some believe it's a special day.

Nevertheless, Feb. 14 is Valentine's Day, but here at Hampton for some it seems to be just another day of the week.

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

Gender bender: Valentine’s Day switch up

Story by Amber Smith

The traditional Valentine's Day of a man showering his woman with gifts seems to be outdated and overrated, according to some young women at Hampton University.

It's 2017, which means out with the old and in with the new ways of women catering to their men, they say.

"This year I'm switching it up and treating my boyfriend to dinner and nice gifts. He deserves it" said Destiny McFadden, a strategic communications major from Hackensack, New Jersey.

This statement may be unconventional for many women who expect their male counterpart to go above and beyond on this special day with expensive gifts and fancy dates, but some women like this idea of reversing the roles for a day and see it as a refreshing change.

"It's always good to switch it up when you're in a relationship with a guy, it shows him that you're independent and that you don't always count on him to buy you stuff and take care of you" said Elan Cooley, a communicative sciences and disorders major from Englewood, New Jersey.

While it seems the women here are for this new trend, some men interviewed are not. Apparently sending flowers, chocolate, and being wined and dined by your significant other is a rite of passage for some men, and they prefer to keep it that way.

"Although Valentine's Day is only one day out of the year, it is important for guys to spoil their girl and show them how much we appreciate them," said Chris Carter, a five-year MBA major from Washington, D.C. "Letting my girl spoil me instead on Valentine's Day makes me feel somewhat emasculated."

Some women said they were torn between if they would consider catering to a man on Valentine's Day or stick with the more common traditions.

"Relationships are mutualistic and while I don't mind showing my appreciation for my boyfriend, I would like to receive the same effort from him on Valentine's Day," said Diamonique Taylor, a nursing major from St. Mary's County, Maryland.

While some people rather stick with traditions and others prefer to switch it up, they can both agree that new trends on how to celebrate Valentine's Day are definitely on the rise.

Whether it's red roses or candlelit dinners, the celebration of love continues to be the main focus on this special day.

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

Hampton U. students reflect on MLK’s impact before annual celebration

By Carly Moon

Hampton University is preparing for its annual Martin Luther King Jr. holiday celebration on Monday, Jan. 16.

Students and faculty plan to participate in a campus-wide march beginning at 10 a.m. at the Emancipation Oak and end it at Ogden Hall. Following the march, there will be a program to honor King's legacy at 11 a.m.

The student attendance rate is predicted to reach a high this year due to the largest freshman class -- 1,400 students -- in Hampton's history, as well as participation by the many organizations on campus.

"I expect a good turnout from the student body. I hope they receive knowledge about what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. truly stood for," said Anzell Harrell, director of Student Activities.

Instead of resting, some students said the will use the holiday to commemorate King by continuing his legacy of justice, service, and unity.

"MLK Day allows us to give back to the community and honor a man who paved the way for myself and future generations" said Joshua Thompson, a sophomore political science major from Salisbury, Maryland, pictured above right.

For some, this day symbolizes the similarities between the current and previous generations' social struggles. It reminds the youth that they have the ability to, therefore they must positively impact society just as King and other civil rights figures accomplished.

"MLK Day is emotional for me because I always think of how my grandparents were treated for the color of their skin rather than the great people they are" said Chardae Reeves, a sophomore psychology major from Columbus, Ohio. "Unfortunately, we still deal with that hatred today, so we have to pick up where Dr. King left off and continue demanding the equality we deserve."

Hampton is a diverse HBCU with many black students who come from cultures and communities that do not celebrate MLK Day as prominently as the university.

"At my predominantly white school, MLK Day wasn't a big deal," said Raquel Lewis, a second- year, five-year MBA major from Scotch Plains, New Jersey. "Coming to Hampton and seeing African-Americans unite for such a special day is a breathtaking experience"

With the help of former Hampton University Assistant Pastor Rev. Dr. Jerome A. Barber from Sixth Mount Zion Baptist Temple, the campus Office of Student Activities was able to secure a speaker for the program: Ambassador to the African Union, Michael Anthony Battle Sr., who served as Hampton University chaplain from 1976 to 1996.

Hampton University welcomes the public to attend Monday's event. For additional details, contact the Office of Student Activities at 757-727-5691.

Photo and additional reporting by Timia Whitsey. Both students are in the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications.

Valentine’s dilemma: Ditch girlfriend or NBA All-Star game?

By Ashley Hendricks

Well it's that time of year again – but on Valentine's Day!

The NBA All-Star game steps outside the United States to Toronto for the first time in 65 years. It's been a little steamy on the court with Drake and Kevin Hart going head to head with blades of shade being thrown at each other. The highly anticipated celebrity basketball game may cause some feuds between couples this time around.

This year Valentine's Day landed on a Sunday and ironically enough on the same day of the All-Star game. If you're a boyfriend who's a sports/celebrity fan, you may have some tough decisions to make this weekend. Do you ditch your girlfriend or the game?

It's OK if you don't know, because I have some tips for the fellas.

You don't have to wait until the day off to do something special. Let's take the entire weekend into consideration. Note that tip-off starts at 7:30 pm and the game will start at 8 p.m. on Sunday.

Get an early start on Saturday morning by leaving cute hints around the house leading up to the big day. Writing the sweet clues on something love-themed such as a faux rose pedal or heart-shaped cards will add a spice to the romantic weekend.

Who doesn't love a delicious, juicy meal? Saturday evening, is the perfect time to slide a romantic dinner into your plans. Two lovers can use this one-on-one time to reflect on memories they have shared and possible plans for the future – as in the All-Star game this Sunday!

If watching the game is a definite, here's the time to lay it out on the table so that everyone's on one accord. Honesty is a major key to a relationship and if you want your relationship to thrive, I encourage you to be upfront with your girlfriend. A little honesty won't hurt. Who knows? She may end up watching the game with you.

Let's play devil's advocate. Female lovers may get a little cranky if their significant other chooses to watch the game. However, for seasoned lovers, being with each other is sufficient. "The first 10 years of marriage, my wife would've been upset," if he watched the game, said sales manager Chris Angle, a furniture store sales manager in Newport News, Virginia. "She wouldn't be mad [now] because we've been together for 35 years."

Angle, 51, explained how he and his wife have been together for so long they don't usually go all out for Valentine's Day. He mentioned how he usually doesn't have plans for Valentine's Day with his wife and she's just fine with that. However, "a Valentine's Day card and flowers and maybe a special dinner at home" may happen unexpectedly.

Some younger guys don't have a problem missing the game. Dedrick Bolagi, 23, a department store sales manager in Raleigh, North Carolina said he is all for being with his girlfriend – if he had one: "You got to do what she wants to do, right?" he asked.

Bolagi also said how he'd "rather miss the game than miss some ..."

Well, there's no need to get risqué here. But more than likely he'll be watching the game since he's bae-less for Valentine's Day this year, he explained.

So guys, if the All-Star game is a must see, be sure to strategize this weekend so that everyone can enjoy it. Whether it's cuddling close at a romantic resort or watching the game at home with your Valentine this year, be sure to express how much you love and appreciate them. Only then may you have your cake and eat it too.

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

What men really expect for Valentine’s Day

By Nya Harris

It's that time of the year again. The uncontrollable manifestation of red, pink and white, hearts, chocolates, and roses will make you either "feel the love," or make you sick to your stomach.

Either way, these feelings typically come from just one group of people. That's right, the ladies. But what do men truly think about Valentine's Day? What does Valentine's Day mean to them? Obviously, your oh-so-charming male companion doesn't expect roses, balloons or chocolate. So, what does he expect?

"Valentine's Day is strictly for women," said Twarn Mixson, a senior, wide receiver for the Hampton University Pirates football team. "It is a holiday that gives women the opportunity to be lavished with gifts and candy. I do not believe men should expect anything from their significant other, because men should not be into receiving gifts. The best gift is to see your significant other happy, and to make sure she feels special."

Mixson has been in a relationship with his Hampton University sweetheart for over a year, and will be celebrating Valentine's Day for the first time. "I do not expect her (his girlfriend) to give me a gift for Valentine's Day," Mixson said. "If she does, I honestly will insist that she takes it back."

On the contrary, some men do anticipate something for Valentine's Day. Jervon Presley, a senior, Hampton Pirate basketball player explained although he does not want a "material" gift from his significant other, he does expect to be pampered. "I will give my girlfriend a gift," Presley said, "But I believe that my girlfriend should have something up her sleeve as well. It would not be fair to say that Valentine's Day is just for one person, or one group of people. I believe Valentine's Day is about giving something special for men and women, so I am expecting a surprise."

Presley has been in a relationship with his girlfriend for over three years. He said that he always gives her flowers, a card, clothes, and takes her out to a nice restaurant. He said that his girlfriend always has a surprise for him as well. "Last year my girlfriend wrote me a letter explaining how special I was to her," said Presley. "Even though it was not a gift, I still really appreciated that surprise."

There are a few interesting things we can take away from this: One, many men do not generally expect material gifts on Valentine's Day. Two, ladies, some men would not mind if you take the time out to do something special for your significant other. And finally, men and women agree on the fact the Valentine's Day is a special way to show your love and appreciation.

No matter how you may choose to spend your day of romance, it is imperative to remember that gifts to not prove your love or appreciation. Try doing something memorable for your significant other, and fellas, if you are the type of guy that likes gifts and surprises, be sure to communicate that.

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

Novel Valentine's Day idea: Focus on each other

By Fine' Thompson

Valentine's Day is almost here; the one day of the year dedicated to love. With each passing year, it seems like Valentine's Day expectations and gift ideas become more outrageous and far-fetched. People spend hundreds of dollars on jewelry, candy, flowers, enormous stuffed animals and elaborate dates just to say, "I love you."

But with some couples interviewed on the Hampton University campus this was not the case. This year, the theme for Valentine's Day seems to be simplicity. Instead of focusing on the material aspects of Valentine's Day, some couples are beginning to focus on what's really important: each other.

Jermaya Patterson, a freshman majoring in biology, and her boyfriend Brandon Monroe, a freshman majoring in music education, will not only be celebrating their first Valentine's Day together this year, they will also be celebrating their one-week anniversary.

While many couples tend to have high expectations for their first Valentine's Day together, for Patterson and Monroe, this special day is about spending time together. "I think Valentine's Day is about spending quality time with the person you care about," Monroe said, "Not the material things."

Every day is about loving each other for Julien Forrest, a sophomore majoring in political science, and Dara Terry, a sophomore majoring in journalism. The couple is not hesitant about showing their affection for each in different ways. Said Forrest: "Every day with this one is like Valentine's Day. I don't let her go a day without knowing that."

The couple has been dating for over a year and is expecting this Valentine's Day to be full of love and excitement; in other words, an ordinary day. Terry explained that she and Forrest go on exciting dates frequently so they are planning to keep Valentine's Day simple and fun. The two are content just spending the day together.

From the opposite end of the relationship spectrum, after 30 years of marriage, Drew Berry, a professor in the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications, and his wife prefer expressing their love in simple ways. The media management and business Journalism professor explained that in the earlier years of his relationship, he and his wife celebrated Valentine's Day like other couples. They would take the traditional Valentine's Day route by and going to dinner and exchanging gifts and cards. However, as the years passed, Berry and his wife began showing their love for each other daily and Valentine's Day just became another day.

"We have no expectations," he said while laughing. "We've been married so long that it doesn't matter. We celebrate every day."

Meanwhile, being single isn't stopping Kayla Wimbush, a senior journalism major, from celebrating Valentine's Day. She has decided to share her day with an old flame. Although the couple is not together, Wimbush explained that they are still close friends and they are working on rekindling their relationship. In her eyes, Valentine's Day will help their relationship progress.

Wimbush believes in simple, heartfelt gifts and is only expecting one thing from her Valentine. "I just want flowers," she said. "They are a beautiful expression especially, when given from the heart."

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

Friends, food, politics at Va. Congressman’s Labor Day picnic

By Tra'Von Williams and Tyana Talley

NEWPORT NEWS – Congressman Bobby Scott hosted his 39th Annual Labor Day Picnic at his family home here. Democrats from across the state had the chance to gather for food, family, friends and politicking.

"We first had one in 1977 when I ran for the House of Delegates," said the U.S Representative from the 3rd Congressional District. "I had just won the primary, and we had a thank you for our volunteers and we never stopped having it after 39 years."

About an hour into the event, approximately 200 community people filled the backyard of Scott's Shore Drive home. Several tents across the backyard were set up with cold drinks, grilled meats and a registration table.

Virginia native John Lash said he has attended Scott's picnics since he was in college decades ago: "Everybody is very approachable and you can mingle amongst people. You can talk to them, tell them your ideas and have a good time too."

The picnic gave the community and local politicians the opportunity to come together for a festive time before elections. This once-a-year event gave politicians room to share their platforms and discuss everyday concerns in Virginia.

Newport News Vice Mayor Robert S. Coleman said he has attended this yearly event for 15 years: "This is the unofficial start of the campaign season. Everybody who is in politics in the Hampton Roads area will be at this picnic most of the time and everybody who is running for office."

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

Easter away from home at Hampton U.

By Miah Harris

Easter has been classified as one of few special holidays traditionally celebrated in an array of ways. While some students may remember shopping for their Sunday best Easter suits, or ruffled socks to match that bright yellow dress in preparation for unforgettable Easter speeches, others have just seen Easter as after church spring Thanksgiving dinner.

Here at Hampton University, a variety of these significant Easter traditions have now become just memories for a few. Since most students are many miles away from home, alternative plans have been temporarily or possibly permanently set into place.

"I would usually be going to church with my family," said sophomore and art major Geryn Harris of Richmond, Va., "but this year I will just attend chapel service on campus with friends, with high hopes to catch a decent homemade meal at someone's house afterwards."

In addition to childhood memories, many students have given up one or more things that they would usually have or do on a daily or regular basis (i.e., candy, television, social media, juice) for 40 days leading up to Easter Sunday. This method of sacrifice is known as "fasting," but for this occasion, referred to as "Lent."

Serena Rudisel, an electrical engineering major from New York, adheres to this annual practice: "This year I gave up all drinks except for water, so I can truthfully say that I am pretty anxious to have something to drink with flavor as I enjoy my meal at a potluck with some of my bigs."

Prior to Sunday, Hampton students and the Greer Dawson Wilson Student leadership Training Program will give back to the community by participating in a 5k race off campus and later catering their time to the youth with fun and games at "Easter by the Bay" in the Convocation Center.

"Because my family was and still is heavy on giving more than receiving," said senior and English major Devon Bonnick, "I will continue their tradition by participating in Easter by the Bay along with the student leaders." "Once I heard there was going to be a huge Easter egg hunt, I was all for helping out. I also thought it would be a reasonable excuse to reminisce on my childhood for a bit."

Although Easter may be a full day of festivities, it is more than an Easter egg hunt, a speech, or once worn stylish outfit. "I have realized and been completely guilty to the fact of simply becoming caught up and forgetting this holiday's true meaning," said marine and environmental science major, Christina Williams. "As I've gotten older, and especially since I am away from home, I've made it my conscious effort to not overlook family tradition by remaining reflective and grateful for this holiday."

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

Valentine’s Day on a budget: What are students to do?

By Delaney Davis

Valentine's Day is right around the corner, and students all across campus are wondering how they can hook up their honey without breaking the bank.

Because we all know roses are red and violets are blue, but neither one are cheap, so what do you do?

"Balling on a budget" is the mantra of some Hampton University students, but expectations for such a special occasion may surpass available funds. Aarian Lasselle, a grad student from Bermuda, says, "Money is no object, but at the same time, we are in college." Lasselle believes that you don't have to spend a pretty penny to have a memorable day.

However, going above and beyond on Feb. 14 is simply expected according to Candice Davis, a sophomore from Atlanta: "I do expect something. I want to see that you tried. Put some thought into it."

With the looming holiday, many sweethearts are running out of time and running low on coins. Edible Arrangements, life-sized teddy bears and bouquets are all extravagant gifts. But exchanging handmade cards or cooking each other's favorite homemade meal are also super sweet gestures that are low on price but high on creativity.

Believe it or not, there are some men out there who say they don't want a gift for V-Day. "The girl doesn't have to do anything for me," said Dean Johnson, a senior from Maryland. He just wants to see his significant other happy.

You can't deny that there is a certain level of stress that comes along with all the Valentine's Day preparation. Questions arise such as what to get your boo, or better yet, will they even like it? Jalan Richardson, a senior from Louisiana, said he likes to make the holiday an event for her and her friends: "I don't like anyone to feel left out if they don't have a valentine, including myself."

Sharing the special day with your friends is a great idea and gives you the option to have fun, sans valentine. But Chelsea Davis, a sophomore from North Carolina, doesn't think so positively about being single on the sappy holiday. She dubs it "Singleness Awareness Day" but adds that she doesn't mind the extra dollars she gets to spend on herself instead of a Valentine this year: "Yes it would be nice to have someone to spend the day with, but I can take myself out to eat! I don't need a man for that."

Valentine's Day is the perfect time to express love (or like) for your sweetie. But five-star meals or diamonds that shine like stars in the sky are not the only way to express your feelings. Remember, you can't buy love. There's no need to stretch your bank account to win the heart of your one and only.

As college students, it's key to keep in mind that heartfelt and thoughtful gifts, not always the expensive ones, will make your bae -and your wallet happy.

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

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