Why Don’t Men’s and Women’s Basketball Receive the Same Support?

By Whitney Bronson

MEAC champions. Multiple NCAA tournament appearances. One Division II NCAA tournament championship. The Hampton University women's basketball team has been a top contender in Division I basketball since joining the MEAC in 1995.

The men's basketball team has multiple NCAA tournament appearances, conference tournament championships and regular season championships. Both teams made it to the 2018 MEAC championship with a record of 21-4 in the conference. But one important factor stands out in a big way: the number of fans.

Nearly twice as many people attend men's basketball games. The women's team barely averaged 2,600 spectators for its 11 home games in the 2017-2018 season. Meanwhile, the men's team averaged 4,205. Overall, the average attendance at all (home and away) women's games is 1,696, while attendance at men's games averages 3,530 for all games.

The reasons are complicated, say those involved, including the way the games are marketed and advertised, differences in the way the teams play, scheduling of home games and – perhaps most concerning – gender bias.

Marketing and advertising appears to be handled equitably, with an equal amount of public relations time spent on both men's and women's team.

Both are advertised throughout the city of Hampton, on campus and on print and online platforms.

"We try to as the athletic marketing team to make it more equal because they are equally as good," said junior Marshall Bennett. "The women's team has more conference championships than the men."

Even Bennett said he is concerned about attendance.

"We don't understand why the people don't come to see the women as much as the men."

Some fans say they enjoy both teams equally, but others say they prefer men's games because they are more aggressive, faster-paced and more dramatic, both on and off the court. The fans respond more enthusiastically at the men's games.

Lizzie Allen is an avid basketball fan who loves both teams. She has been to all of the men's and women's games this year.

"I played ball in high school, so it's kind of my way of staying connected," said Allen. They're both good teams, so it's actually entertaining to watch."

But other students go to men's games more because they say there is more action and it is more entertaining. Men can run faster, jump higher, and have more strength. These traits make the game more interesting, some say.

"Men and women are not valued the same in this country but that's a bigger issue," said Allen.

This is where the conversation gets complicated. Gender bias appears to be part of the answer to uneven attendance.

"Students go to men's games because of preference," said senior guard K'Lynn Willis. "The preference is always men's over women's and if people prefer the NBA over the WNBA, they'll go to an NBA game."

One big difference is the use of dunking. In women's professional and college games, dunking is extremely rare. But the crowds seem to enjoy dunking from their enthusiastic reactions.

"A lot of people just want to see men's over women's because of athleticism. Women are more fundamentally sound, but athletically wise it's more appealing to see men dunk than a woman shoot," Willis said.

Scheduling may also hurt attendance at women's games. During the 2017-2018 season, there were more double headers for men's and women's basketball games. This means that on certain days, the women's team will play first and the men's team will play after. The women's game is never scheduled in the prime time on those days.

The women's games usually start around 4:00-5:00 p.m. and the men's games around 6:00-7:00 p.m. The early start time may hurt attendance by students who have afternoon classes, and people who are working or just getting off work. The on-campus cafeteria also does not open until 5:30 p.m. for dinner, making some fans choose between hunger and the game. Staying for both takes more than four hours, which may be too much of a commitment for some fans.

Scheduling will change once the transition to the Big South conference is complete. There will be far fewer double-headers. Only three are scheduled for the 2018-2019 season. In addition, the women will play more games in the evening and on Saturdays. This scheduling change could help increase attendance at women's basketball games.

The men's basketball players enthusiastically support the women's teams and attend games whenever possible. They feel as though they learn more by watching women's basketball and support their counterparts in the basketball program.

One of the men's players enjoys watching the women play and tries to attend as many home games as he can.

"I actually learn from watching women's basketball," said senior guard Lysander Bracey. "Women have more fundamentals than men's basketball. Supporting them is important and we should all do that."

One theory of why people support men's basketball more is tradition. Men's basketball has been around longer and has developed a larger following. Hampton's women's team was formed in 1975 and men's team in 1967. The same parallel exists in professional basketball, where the NBA has a 50-year head start.

"We're all doing the same thing. Putting in all this time and doing all this work. I think there has to be more support for the women," Bracy said. "It's unfair."

Viewership could also be increased by changing the rules and regulations of women's basketball to make it more entertaining. For instance, the rims could be lowered so that taller women players could dunk. It's a controversial topic because some women players find the idea insulting.

"We're constantly being compared to men. We have people excelling at a ten-foot rim and now you're asking us to lower the rim so we can continually be compared ..." said Los Angeles Sparks player Nneka Ogwumike, during an interview with The Undefeated. "... now someone like me, who has done what she's done, has to relearn the game ...."

Some people believe that just having the conversation will help create a change.

"I just feel like more women athletes at every level needs to speak on it," said junior guard Ashley Bates. "The more people speak on it the more it is seen."

The Revamping of True Branding

By Lindsay Keener

HAMPTON, VIRGINIA - Brand757, the student-run public relations company operating through the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications, has a problem. How does a company sell itself when it only has the promise of the future?

With no recent portfolio to show clients, Brand757 is re-organizing and selling itself on the skills of current student staff including writing, photography, video, social media management and lots of creativity.

A large portion of the rebranding will include forming teams and attracting new clients to build that much-needed portfolio.

Ironically, the top client of Brand757 is Brand757 because it needs an overhaul, said Michael Watkins, executive director (pictured above right). The second client is Scripps Comm Week in April. Events will include a Scripps Ball fundraiser. Brand757 will be responsible for programming and marketing.

Next semester, the agency plans to do pro bono work for some clients to add to the portfolio.

Most of the 20-some members are new, attracted by the idea of getting expeirence working at a student-run agnecy.

"Public relations has always been of great interest to me. Knowing that I'll get real world experience while I'm in college is amazing," said Taylor Harris, a third year strategic communications major from St. Louis, Missouri.

Brand757 has applied to be an official organization of Hampton University. That way students in other majors can join.

"The goal is to really open up Brand757 to other majors so that the club itself can tap into other resources," said Professor Reynolds, the agency's academic advisor.

Brand757 made its debut in 2015 with a public announcement on the Scripps website, but then lost momentum.Watkins said the problem was the small number of members.

The original announcement promised "full account teams, providing large and small businesses a full range of PR and brand services, such as media relations, collateral development, publicity, communications planning, social media, graphic design, web design, and event planning."

Today, students are taking Brand757 back to its roots.

"There's so much we have to work on as an organization," Watkins said. "We were on hiatus. Because of that we have to recreate who we are. We can't reach clients if we aren't established on campus."

After solidifying the agency as an official campus organization, executives are hoping Hampton University students across campus will see its value.

"Students who are majoring in other fields can grow their resumes and knowledge base," Reynolds said.

Brand757 members hope the new structure and expanded membership will help the company get new clients.

"Those would include IT companies, the Scripps Howard website and running WHOV's social platform," Reynolds said.

Those who join Brand757 must be willing to work their way up.

"The organization is structured around positions," Reynolds said. "Freshman and sophomores are in a shadow period, learning the ropes so they can reach the higher positions by the end of their academic career."

Then, Reynolds said, they must be willing to pass their wisdom along. The goal, Reynolds said, is for students to teach the incoming members to ensure the organization has longevity.

"You are creating your legacy within this organization and how it is going to be known across this campus, "Reynolds said.

Brand757 is on its way to becoming a stable organization in the Hampton Roads community. With solutions in place, agency members are confident they will make up for lost time. They are sold on Brand757.

To Budget or Not to Budget

By Niyah Heaggans

During Homecoming season at Hampton University, with its week's worth of expensive parties and high-priced networking, budgeting poses a challenge for students.

The week kicks off with a carnival-style festival and ends with a football game. In between there is a fashion show, a step show, and off-campus parties. Of nine campus events, only four are free.

"My budget is tight. I'm a broke college student with no job," said Antionette Gerald, a freshman at Hampton University.

Click here for 10 Budgeting Tips

This is Gerald's first homecoming and while she appreciates her parents giving her $200 to use, that has to last the whole week. She plans to attend the football game, bonfire, concert, and one off-campus party.

That will cost $45 but she will also have transportation costs, such as Lyft or Uber to Norfolk and Portsmouth, where the parties are being held.

"I want to have a good time and live my best college life," Gerald said.

Some students actually save during the summer just for Homecoming. Ajeya Hughes saved $700 in addition to the $100 allowance her parents give her each month.

Hughes plans on attending several events on campus and off. She's spent $100 so far, which wasn't in her budget. In spite of under-budgeting, she's going to spend all she needs to have her best homecoming.

"I spent way more than I intended but, hey, it's college," Hughes said.

Despite going over budget, Hughes wants the full extent of "the authentic Hampton Homecoming experience," so the money is a minor hiccup in her plans.

Upperclassmen say they do a better job of budgeting based on their experience with previous homecomings. Junior Alexandra Howard has found ways to save money by setting priorities.

Howard lives off campus. Without a meal plan, her main priority is buying groceries and paying her rent. She plans to do her own hair and nails to save money. She will also carpool with friends.

Howard has more free time to attend events this year because she is no longer in the band. As a member of the Marching Force, her Homecoming didn't start until the Saturday after the football game.

During Howard's freshman and sophomore year, the band held practice every day from 4:45 p.m. to 10 p.m. By the time the band was released, most events were either almost over or band members were too tired to attend.

By not being in the band she has no restrictions on events, therefore, there's no restrictions on money.

"It being my first year not in the band, I want to get the full undergrad experience and enjoy the HU family," Howard said.

The men on campus typically spend less on clothing during Homecoming, and some say they don't care as much as the women on campus.

For women, Homecoming is about getting dressed to the nines and being seen. The narrative for the men is just having a good time.

"I want to make it my best one, but I'm not too pressed about it," said Reginald Baker.

Baker is a senior who has little free cash and is also saving for graduation. He doesn't have a job, but he makes money providing rides for freshman and playing piano at a local church, and his grandparents help him out here and there.

He plans on attending two parties and the football game but complained about the rise in event ticket prices since his freshman year.

"Tickets cost way too much this year. A party that would be $10 or $15 was $30 a month in advance," Baker said.

He saved money by doing his Homecoming shopping in the summer as well as going to thrift stores to score deals.

Homecoming season can be overwhelming for new students because college is a new experience and college homecomings are different from high school. Still, it's possible to have a good time on a budget, students say.

"I stayed way under my budget and just want to have a great time with my girls," said junior Ayanna Johnson

After reviewing past experiences, students say the key to homecoming budgeting is simply planning and partying within their means.

10 Budgeting Tips

1. Thrift shop for your new outfits
2. Buy your tickets when they raise the price once
3. Look for sales when online shopping
4. Mix and match clothes you already have
5. Choose two major parties to go to
6. Buy outfits you can wear more than once
7. Check group messages for ticket deals
8. Gather your friends and plan your week
9. Be reasonable
10. Party within your means

Outdated Technology Makes Hampton Vulnerable to Hackers: Puts students and staff at risk

By Mark Edwards

Hampton University's technological infrastructure is grossly outdated and allows for multiple vulnerabilities that put students, staff, and the university at risk. The system is so easily hacked, it allows anyone with a basic understanding of computer science can get into its secure areas.

"I really can just take anything if I wanted to," said Wesley Freeman, a senior computer science major.

Armed with only basic social engineering to get users' personal information, hackers can then access their accounts. Outdated software provides a window into servers. Password and ID numbers are often visible when logging in to student resources making them readily available to hackers, according to multiple computer science majors and cyber security professor Dr. Danny Barnes. Because Hampton runs an unsecure network, eavesdroppers can observe on-screen activity from a different location.

A hacker with just a person's name can access that person's personal information. For example, a Google search for "Hampton password recovery" leads to Hampton University's password reset page. Entering a name and answering two security questions, allows the password to be reset. The new password gives access to the person's Blackboard account, university email, and provides a portal to their Touchnet, the website used to track and make payments on student accounts.

Answers to security questions are often easily found on social media like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Social media often includes things like birthdays, states where people were born and the names of pets. Also, in the Hampton system, if users can't answer the first set of security questions, they can keep refreshing until they find a question they can answer.

"It's crippling easy (to use social engineering). All you need is someone's Facebook," said one computer science student.

Computer experts recommend not using Hampton's auto-generated security questions, suggesting instead that password resets be controlled by administrators. For instance, the name "William Harvey" appears four times on the password reset page. None have security questions associated with them, making it unlikely anyone could reset the password electronically. Those who don't use security questions must appear in person at the library to have their password reset.

People who understand code can get further into Hampton's system, because there is a pattern to how student ID numbers, blackboard and InfoTech passwords are created. Each fall semester, administrators announce the standardized InfoTech password to a room full of freshman. Students can change their password at any time, but it automatically resets to the old password after a period of time.

"That's bad," Dr. Barnes said. "People can go in periodically and keep trying standard passwords that they knew were set at the beginning."

Hampton's standardized password has a minimum of six characters, but programs are readily available that can determine passwords with up to 15 characters. The predictability of these passwords helps the programs work faster.

BlackBoard passwords share this vulnerability because the BlackBoard website uses the university ID number as the user name. Then, the login page tells the user that the password is the first initial of the first and last name of the user followed by the last four numbers of the ID number. At least some university computers provide a dropdown menu of previous user ID numbers, essentially providing a foolproof means for logging in.

"They need a randomizer when they generate your generic or your login password," Dr. Barnes said. "I don't know why we don't have one yet."

A password randomizer does not follow such an easily hacked pattern. Instead, it randomly assigns characters. In addition, it can generate secure passwords over 15 characters, making it more difficult for a password-identifying program to crack. A randomizer would help protect students and staff from malicious programs.

Account security is just one of many vulnerabilities of the university's system. The technological infrastructure is also problematic. The server architecture makes it difficult to update the thousands of computers across campus. Outdated computers are dangerous because they can allow access into the server. An unprotected server leaves the entire system vulnerable to collapse.

Hampton runs on a client-server architecture, Barnes said. This means every staff computer is directly linked to the main server. If someone hacks one computer, they can get into the main server.

Dr. Barnes recommends a "thin-client architecture." This would let information from the server come to computers without putting the server at risk and would save Hampton money in the long run.

"If I need a new piece of software, what they have to do now is come to this terminal and upgrade it," said Barnes, "if we were on a thin-client architecture, all I'd have to do is put it on the server and push it to all the computers."

Pushing upgrades out fast is important for security. Many computers on campus run on outdated operating systems like Windows 7. They no-longer release patches for these software and known vulnerabilities are easily searchable.

Hampton's security issues follow a pattern of outdated systems that allow a laundry list of vulnerabilities. In some cases, Hampton can't enforce its own Appropriate Use of Technology Policy.

For instance, blocked websites can be accessed with a few tricks, like quickly refreshing the screen. In addition, programs can perform this task automatically. The university Wi-Fi can also be accessed during random grace periods when no password is required, making it available to the public, according to one computer science student.

It's difficult for students to feel safe on Hampton's network and the university doesn't allow students to have personal routers on campus. A personal router allows users to be on a more private network, making it less likely they could be hacked. Some students use their computers as personal hotspots, filtering Hampton's Wi-Fi through their computer to bypass Hampton's server restrictions. This provides a level of security that helps protects them from being hacked through the Hampton system. But, it also allows them to bypass university restrictions.

"I don't know how to protect myself on Hampton's internet," Rabekkah Maxwell a Sophomore kinesiology major.

Dr. Barnes recommends using a passphrase, a memorable sentence the user doesn't share with anyone and that has no personal affiliation.

"Going into a thin-client or a zero-client architecture and improving our Wi-Fi are the biggest things we can do on the electronic side that I that would help," Dr. Barnes said.

HU students help middle-schoolers navigate the jungle

By Derrick Collins II

Camera phones flashed. Uncomfortably tightened braces adorned smiling white teeth. The aroma of crisp notebook paper and wooden pencils permeated the hall. The morning bell blared, signaling the start of the first day at Lindsay Middle School on Sept. 4.

Unbeknownst to the students, a surprise awaited just beyond the metallic blue doors. As each grade marched through the front entrance, Hampton University students were posted along the hallway to cheer them on, along with faculty and staff.

As parents and their eager sixth grade students burst through the doors, flooding the front entrance, they heard shouting: "Day by day, I wanna be a lion!"

The chant echoed through the yellow and blue brick halls, covered with murals of majestic lions, encouraging the young students to a jungle they will soon tame.

The event was sponsored by Hampton University's Greer Dawson-Wilson Student Leadership Training Program (SLP), and included Booker Elementary School and Lindsay and Benjamin Syms middle schools.

"I saw a light in those kids' faces," said Dr. Chevese Thomas, Principal of Lindsay Middle School. "Some of them don't get encouraged like this at home, so it really makes me feel good to see that they can look up to people like you."

Some staff and administration joined in with the chants. Assistant principal Mr. Deon Garner danced with the Student Leaders while cheering for the middle schoolers.

"It's a great thing you all are doing for these kids, we really appreciate you all," Garner said, before snapping a group picture with the student leaders.

Accompanying the students at Lindsay Middle School were a sea of parents and younger siblings, eager to watch the first day of middle school.

"The parents loved it," said senior Christian Caudle, the SLP student who organized the event. "They love recording moments like this and seeing that they have that older support from college students for their child."

Hampton junior Mia Luckett believes that being a positive example for the younger students may push them to want to succeed in school. Luckett was in the sixth grade hallway during the morning event.

"Hopefully us being there will let them know that school is a good thing," Luckett said. "I just want to make an impact on at least one kids' life."

Facing racism, black women seek child birthing options

By Paige Giffon

Jessica Lipscomb, 29, was washing dishes when she felt a large contraction. She had been having contractions for a couple days but this one was different. Her husband, Matt, quickly rushed her, not to a hospital as they had with their first child, but to the Charleston Birth Place to have a water birth, where she spent the final stages of labor in a birthing pool and delivered into the water.

Women, particularly women of color, are increasingly opting out of hospital births and choosing alternative options like giving birth at home with doulas or midwives to help. The main reason is that black women are three to four times more likely to die from pregnancy-related issues than white women, according to the Center for Disease Control.

While Lipscomb had no major issues when she gave birth to her first child in a hospital, she became familiar with the statistics and wanted a more natural experience with her second child. In 2014, 98.5% of births in the United States were in a hospital.

"Women's bodies were made to do this without intervention," Lipscomb said.

The United States is one of 13 countries where the maternal mortality rate is worse than it was 25 years ago. Maternal mortality is when a mother dies during pregnancy, childbirth, or in the immediate postpartum month as a result of complications from pregnancy or birth.

Pre-eclampsia is a condition characterized by high blood pressure that can damage the organs, lead to seizures and harm the baby. Black women are 60% more likely than white women to have the condition, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. This condition can be caused by continual physical and toxic stress to the body, the very kinds of stresses experienced by black women.

Richard Davis, a neonatologist at the University of Illinois of Chicago, has studied the correlation of black mothers and mortality rates for decades. He has found that racial discrimination is a key factor.

"It's hard to find any aspect of life that's not impacted by racial discrimination," he said. "Whether you're talking about applying for a job, purchasing a car, finding housing, getting an education, earning the same amount of money...If you're black, you tend to get less pay."

Lipscomb says she has experienced prejudice and discrimination based on her skin color. The first time, she was about 12 years old training for a cross-country meet in her neighborhood when a white man drove by in a truck and shouted "nigger."

This kind of atmosphere of systematic racism and sexism results in "weathering," a process in which women's bodies are physically worn down by constant stress, according to Dr. Arline Geronimus of the University of Michigan.

"When controlling for income and education, African-American women had the highest measurement of stress-associated body chemicals, higher than white women and black men," Geronimus concluded in a 2006 study.

This discrimination spills over into maternity care, where a third of black women report some level of discrimination from doctors, nurses, and hospital staff, according to a 2017 NPR article titled How Racism may cause Black Mothers to Suffer the Death of Their Infants. Even after birth, the stresses continue.

"We feel the need to be everything for everyone and forget about ourselves," Lipscomb said.

"Particularly in the postpartum part of parenthood, when we're giving all of our energy to this one new soul. No one is taking care of us."

Reducing stress during the birth has a calming effect that resonates through the postpartum period, Lipscomb said. She said a water birth was far better than giving birth in a hospital.

During the hospital birth of her first child, Lipscomb felt doctors were more focused on the baby. Three out of four times doctors came to her room, they were there to check on the baby, not her, said Lipscomb, who believes maternity care is just as important as the physical health of the baby.

"Our mental state, our physical state, our emotional state are not being taken seriously and I blame hospitals for that," she said. "Midwives are there to support both the mother and child, and doulas are specifically there for the mother."

Lipscomb had two midwives, trained medical professionals who focus on promoting natural birth. Doulas are birthing coaches, there mainly to give emotional and physical support to mothers. Doulas tend to extend their care, sometimes for weeks after the birth. Mothers form strong bonds with these caregivers.

"Women are simply not aware of their options," she said. "They take the word of the hospital and go with that."

Lipscomb's labor lasted eleven hours and thirty minutes before she gave birth to her second boy via water birth. There were with no complications and she felt much more comfortable and "more liberated."

When she gets pregnant with her third child, she plans a home birth. She also wants to become a doula herself. Until then she wants to spread the word about options for expecting mothers.

"Until the system changes to protect us," she said, "We have to protect ourselves."

The Boy and the Paper: From Wall Street Journal to Bloomberg News

By: Zoe Griffin

The deeply rooted romance between boy and newspaper began much earlier than college years for Matthew Winkler, the co-founder of Bloomberg News. In the mid-1960s, the rosy-cheeked boy would eagerly grab a newspaper from one of the bundles that landed in his driveway each morning, tearing through it as if he were opening presents on Christmas day.

He only delivered papers for three years, but the pungent smell of ink had left its mark on Winkler. He was hooked on newspapers, he told journalism students at Hampton University at a Q & A on Tuesday, Sept. 25. By the time he attended Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, he was ready to plunge into the riveting world of media and news.

In his freshman year, he applied to become editor of Kenyon College's school paper, never expecting to get the job. It was fitting that he was surprised, he told a packed auditorium at the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications.

"Surprise is the definition of news. There is no more stimulating occupation than coming to grips with surprises and the meaning of surprises and to me that's what the news business is," said Winkler.

Winkler got a summer job after his freshman year as a newspaper reporter and was working full time by the time he graduated. He covered courts, police, politics and even sports. Then he got an assignment he knew very little about: Business and Economics.

It changed the course of his career.

As Winkler pursued business writing, he developed a love for the Wall Street Journal, considered one of the best-written papers in the world. He admired the newspapers "errorless" articles, noting that it seemed there was not a single comma out of place.

In those days, the Wall Street Journal had no photos, relying on the vivid writing of its reporters.

"The Wall Street Journal was a newspaper that said a thousand words were worth a picture," said Winkler. Winkler was so driven to work there, he personally handed his application to the head of personnel. Then he waited impatiently. Two weeks later, he got a letter from the managing editor.

The letter said: "Dear Mr. Winkler, We have no openings for you now or in the future."

Two weeks later, he got a phone call from the New York bureau chief saying, "You may have received a letter. Disregard it. Can you come in for an interview?"

Winkler never knew why there was a change of heart, but he still went for the interview.

As a reporter for the Wall Street Journal, Winkler covered topics such as financial markets and the global economy. While there, he found out about a mysterious computer monitor called "The Bloomberg" sitting on the desks of government securities traders. The Bloomberg, founded in the early 1980s, used technology to rapidly disseminate financial information to subscribers.

Winkler and a colleague decided to do a story on how information technology was transforming Wall Street. He called Michael Bloomberg, then president of the company that produced The Bloomberg, and published a front-page profile of him.

Winkler didn't talk about exactly how it happened, but a year and five months later, he was working for Mike Bloomberg. Together they developed Bloomberg News, the leading source of financial news in the world today, touted as the "Central Nervous System" of global finance, with 19,000 employees in 176 locations around the world.

So, why did he come to Hampton to tell students his story? As an editor, Winkler had an epiphany, he told students. He looked around the newsroom and realized everyone looked like him. White and male. "If everyone looks like me, the stories are going to be fundamentally flawed," he said. "There are certain questions that should be asked but are not asked ... Take the most powerful institution, The Federal Reserve. The 40 years I've been writing about money, not once in those four decades, on an international, local or national level, not once was there a journalist of color covering the most powerful corporation."

Winkler urged the students to go into business journalism, saying their perspective is vital to accurate and complete news coverage. He added that this is a great time to be a journalist, "view every problem as an opportunity and follow the money." Today, students at Hampton don't deliver newspapers, and most never experienced the aroma of fresh ink on newsprint, but they can still fall in love with the surprising and rewarding world of journalism as they follow the money.

The Hidden Gem: HU’s counseling center is starting to attract more of the student body

By: Naomi Ludlow

While some students are happy with the newly reorganized counseling center, some students point out the hassle of scheduling an appointment.

In a survey, there was a trend of great reviews for the counseling center, but there is a need of more counselors. Out of 32 responses, 13 responses said this will make their experience better.

"More people are finding out about them, so they're busier and they can't focus on everyone like they used to," said one junior Journalism major from Detroit, MI.

According to the director of the counseling center, Valerie Proctor, there are peak seasons for appointments. The beginning of the semester has the most availability with less than five days from the time that students set the appointment. Toward the end of the semester, the center becomes more hectic which causes a two to three week wait.

At times when the center is booked, counselors recommend community resources instead.

The counseling center is made up of three counselors and a secretary who make it their duty to service as many students as they can. The director is currently interviewing counselors to join the center.

The three counselors are Valerie Proctor, Ayana Churn, and Amanda Albright. The expertise of these counselors ranges from mental health and wellness, LGBTQ and substance abuse to depression, anxiety and anger.

On the Hampton University website, it says the counseling center's sole purpose is to "offer individual counseling for enrolled students who have personal concerns, emotional distress, interpersonal issues, psychological disorders, and critical crisis situations."

The counseling center is open Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Counseling, however, takes place from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Appointments can be made by phone or in-person. There is limited walk in service, but depending on the crisis these women will take students.

Emergency appointments are determined by a screening tool used to evaluate the severity of the situation. If there is a crisis, the next available counselor will see the student. Other appointments or meetings taking place at that time are pushed back.

"My first appointment was referred by my professor after I had a really bad panic attack in class. It took some time for me to warm up, but in the end, I'd say it was definitely effective," one student who prefers to stay anonymous said. Students are not forced to attend sessions.

Students can be referred to see the counselors by any faculty member, coach, parent, or health center staff member, Proctor said. "The most effective way is if students come in on their own because although someone may believe they need help, the student may not be ready to seek help." The only mandated sessions are for students who are involved with drugs and alcohol and anger management.

600 appointments are made per semester and the center services 12 to 15 percent of the student body.

Proctor has been the director of the counseling center for two years and has seen an increase in student appointments due to implementing a new software that keeps track of appointments.

The counselor center is planning to do more outreach to service as many students as they can.

Sixty-two students filled out the survey, and mostly sophomores and juniors use this resource. Other students are not aware of the benefits of the counseling center, so enhancing outreach methods and hiring more counselors will further increase student participation with the counseling center.

Boys Don’t Cry: Why we should be talking about mental health with Black men

By Tahshea LaBrew

It is no secret that life is rough for Black men and for people who suffer from mental illness.

The intersection of mental illness and the black man was the theme of the stage production "Boys Don't Cry" written and directed by Timea Whitsley and Brooklyn Baker, sponsored by The Greer Dawson Student Leadership Program.

There are four main characters and each is a young, black, male, college student going through their own unique problems regarding mental health.

Writer and director Brooklyn Baker gave feedback on the subject of the play in the student center theatre. "The reason why there are four main characters is so that it could represent four different types of men. At Hampton University the ratio is 12 women to 1 guy so we really wanted to touch on a subject that would really just resonate with black men specifically. So we really wanted to touch on mental health in the black community. A lot of black men told me that it resonated with them."

Erlanger A. Turner, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Houston-Downtown shared information on this subject. "In the wake of increasing injustice related to police aggression and brutality there is growing concern about the impact of these events on mental health. A study published in the American Journal of Public Health noted that those who reported more police contact experienced more symptoms of anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. However, few Black men seek mental health care. Black men may avoid seeking mental health treatment due to stigma, mistrust of providers, or lack of culturally-informed care."

Because most students at Hampton University, where the play was performed, are women, many events, panel discussions, and campaigns are geared towards women's issues. The campus doesn't have many events regarding black men and their struggles however, this event was an exception. Despite how noisy the environment was, one junior mathematics major spoke about his experience with mental health after the positively received stage production.

"I've struggled with depression for most of my life. It's a lot to talk about honestly," he said "There's always this kind of air of cowardice that's shoved on men with depression or suicidal thoughts. Like you aren't brave or strong if you think about taking your own life. It's never made sense or been helpful to me."

"In general, men in society are taught to be very emotionless, especially with each other. You're seen as weak or gay or feminine otherwise. As a result, I don't trust 90% of people with my thoughts or emotions. People don't understand me or seem to care too much to try so I stopped trying years ago."

The student's statement described hypermasculinity.

According to Britannica.com, Hypermasculinity is a "sociological term denoting exaggerated forms of masculinity, virility, and physicality."

According to strengths and weaknesses of the young Black men, masculinities, and mental health (YBMen) Facebook project, An initial exploration of what 'mental health' means to young black men, Journal of Men's Health and Gender and Huffingtonpost. "Studies show that Black men often are socialized or grow up in homes where masculinity is emphasized and men are not encouraged to talk about their feelings or emotions."

"Research shows that African Americans often under-utilize therapy compared to White counterparts. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 18.6% of African Americans report living with a mental health condition but only 16.9% report using mental health treatment."

Having a mental illness has a negative connotation. More black men should seek help and not just ignore it and refuse to address or even acknowledge it. The play "Boys Don't Cry" opened a discussion that should not end soon.

WHOV: The Hidden Gem of Hampton University

By James Philip JAC 210

Many Hampton University students seeking to pursue a career in media and entertainment are not aware of a broadcast opportunity right under their nose, WHOV Radio. Although the jazz music is extremely popular in the community, students in the Scripps Howard School of Journalism do not like it, and the school does not do a good job of promoting it.

WHOV Radio offers students at the Scripps Howard School of Journalism the chance to improve their skills in broadcast and production. For those who discover this hidden gem, bold career goals can be met.

"My ultimate goal, I want to become a station manager and run a station myself," Freshman Jabari Resper said.

Smooth 88.1 WHOV-FM broadcasts to the Hampton Roads and Norfolk areas in Virginia. The station runs continuously for 24 hours a day, year round.

Hosting three main formats of music, with several successful and critically acclaimed talk shows. An incredible selection of jazz, gospel, and R&B are permanently played. With a diverse appeal to the Hispanic community, WHOV plays a Hispanic Sounds program over the weekend that is in first place with fans of Latin American music listening in Hampton Roads.

The station does live coverage of the Hampton University football games, and women and men's basketball games, all the way into the playoffs. These live games are broadcasted across the country.

WHOV is a nationally ranked radio station that's directly linked to Scripps Howard. The station has an influence that stretches far around the Hampton communication students' immediate vicinity. It also fits inside the mold of what many students expect their time at Scripps Howard to include.

"To network, hook up with people, and collaborate in any way possible because it's really an advantage to be in a place with so many black creatives," said fourth-year journalism major Mariah Mingoes.

Hampton students often don't know about the career goals, broadcasting opportunities, and internships.

While meeting with WHOV employees, the Station Director Mr. Lang addressed the way students feel about the current format. That Hip Hop and R&B radio stations represent the majority of today's Urban America and receive the highest coverage.

"Many of the students in the University do not like the jazz and gospel music that is always playing," Lang said. "When students hear that their favorite genres of music are not in circulation, they immediately become disinterested."

Mr. Lang understands the student's concerns, and still believes the radio station has a lot to offer, even without the music of their choice. There is a disconnect between WHOV and the number of students at the university encouraged to explore creative opportunities, but limit themselves by not advancing toward the most obvious media outlet. The average Hampton student would be made to work around music they do not enjoy. By avoiding WHOV, they avoid this dilemma and the potential for career elevation.

"I don't really know what goes on in the radio station. It sucks that we have a radio station on this campus and it's not being used to its full capacity," Mingoes said There is no promotion for the station by the teachers, or the school. A class that involved students going to the radio station and practicing their recording was cancelled at the end of the 2017 school year. Students would need to do their own research if they were interested in the station. Inside of the Scripps building there aren't any fliers promoting the WHOV radio station, any of the opportunities, or any of the events they are involved in.

WHOV played an active part in the university's high school day. Although broadcast occurs throughout the Hampton Roads and Norfolk areas, the message for media benefits does not reach students.

Operations and Program Director of WHOV Radio Kevin "Moose" Anderson said, "For those who commit to the station it provides you with some skills that you can take out into the professional world and succeed." Students who enter through the halls of WHOV leave with a firm professional mindset, not only that but also, "We can provide you with the skills to hold your own, and a broadcast facility or any kind of media situation."

Students who become connected to the station are given the resources to branch off into every radio station affiliated with WHOV. The Station Manager, Mr. Lang, and the Program Director, Mr. Anderson, give students the broadcasting skills to carry with them into a professional radio setting.

For Scripps students seeking jobs in radio, stations will be more welcoming to the ones who are extra prepared when they walk in. Students gain experience in speaking professionally, production, recording, and submitting scripted newscasts, weekly and on a deadline. The media industry is difficult to navigate, and the more a person knows how to do, the more valuable they are in the industry.

Many hours of sweat and button pushing as a producer is sometimes rewarded with placement at another station or media center. Treating the station as a hidden gem that only a few students are aware exists, Jabari Resper, has succeeded early in discovering the potential of WHOV. "Its helping me learn how to run a station and learn everything that goes on behind the scenes that people don't normally see." Resper said

"As far as securing internships. Mr. Lang and I can place students in certain positions, but it's not for everybody." Anderson said, Anderson helps students get jobs when he believes the student has met enough of the station standards, and can encounter the constantly changing world of communications with the highest possible understanding.

Mr. Anderson and Mr. Lang have built connections, resulting from years of being in the broadcast industry. When asked by a capable student, who has procured many working hours, these two are willing to extend a hand in procuring an internship opportunity for students. A recommendation from either of these men will carry weight in an interview or radio job. The doors open for students working at the station. They have the chance to intern for other stations in D.C., Virginia, New York, Atlanta, and many other states in the country.

"If you're going to get an internship at a broadcast facility you need to take some experience with you." Anderson said "One thing I do a lot is I help broadcast the games that we have on campus from the press box to the station and then out to the people." Resper said Not wasting any time on his approach into the industry, Resper does many jobs around the station.

"I help make the newscasts that come on at 5:55(pm) every day and I help to work on spots and commercials that need to be made." He said By working hard and putting in the effort within an already established and well-promoted radio station, his vision for the future becomes clearer.

Student workers have many broadcasting opportunities while apart of WHOV. While there, students learn to operate nearly every behind the scenes aspect of a radio station. During the business week, students are allowed to shadow the live talk shows held at the station. Regularly scheduled newscasts are broadcasted to the Hampton Roads and Norfolk areas. Lastly, students have full access to the production boards.

For Jabari Resper, The WHOV Radio Station is not his end goal, but only a temporary platform he chooses to use in order to further his media aspirations. "You kids from the 90's don't know. This is WHOV, you can do it all here son!" Anderson said.

More Entries