At Hampton U., spring semester is flu season

By Dedrain Davis

Spring semester at Hampton University brings exciting spring break plans, romantic walks on the waterfront, and the dreaded flu season.

Due to close living quarters, shared restrooms and social activities, college students must be extremely careful. According to the Center for Disease Control, the official months of flu season is from November to the end of March.

Ciera Edwards, a sophomore business major from Minnesota, said "I wash my hands before every meal and take NyQuil if I start feeling sick."

The flu is spread by droplets that are released into the air when people sneeze, cough or talk. Students should seek medical care if they experience symptoms like body aches, fever and chills.

"Because I live on campus, if my roommate gets sick I assume that I will to, that's the reality." said Macie Owens, a sophomore business major from Chicago. That is the feeling of many students on campus.

The campus Health Center uses a rapid swab test that gives a positive or negative result in only 20 minutes. Once diagnosed with the flu, the Health Center is responsible for placing students under "isolation". Isolation is a procedure that prevents the spread of the flu to other students. In this case, the Health Center will contact the parents of the student and make alternative living arrangements that can include a hotel stay or staying with a family member.

Melanie Ames, a registered nurse at Hampton University's health center, said "In the month of January we were concerned about an epidemic at Hampton. We had to place several students on isolation. That was the worst month."

Ames added, "The flu is miserable. It is easier to just be careful."

Health Center Director Bert W. Holmes Jr., M.D., encouraged student to get the flu vaccine at home. The flu vaccine protects against 60 percent of flu strains. The vaccine will also make symptoms less severe, if one does catch the flu.

Below are tips from Student Services. Stay healthy Hampton.

Tips for preventing the flu:
- Strict hand washing
- No sharing of drinks
- No kissing
- Use Hand Sanitizer
- Cough in elbow, not hand
- Flu vaccination

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

9-year-old is Oscar’s Best Actress nominee

By Niccolas Gadsden

Sunday's Academy Awards show will be historic. All eyes are on Best Actress nominee, Quvenzhané Wallis. This 9-year old is the youngest actress in history to be nominated in this category.

Wallis, nominated for her starring role as Hushpuppy in "Beasts of the Southern Wild," will be making her first appearance ever on the show's red carpet after the making of her film debut.

The plot of "Beasts of the Southern Wild" revolves around the relationship of Hushpuppy and her father, Wink, who is ill. The two live in a small Louisiana bayou town, which is cut from rest of the state by a levee. A storm is approaching the town, and the residents prepare for its approach. Wink prepares Hushpuppy for both the storm and his death by teaching her how to be a survivalist.

"It was very unique, said Professor Eleanor Earl of the cinema studies curriculum in the Hampton University English department. "I think it was an excellent exercise in visual storytelling, which is what filmmaking is all about."

In an interview with CBS News, Wallis said she was one of 4,000 girls to audition for the role. She auditioned in her hometown of Houma, La., at age 5, and was the youngest to audition. Acting as a crew member's mother, she showed great personality, winning over director Benh Zeitlin. Wallis said that at that time she was only able to read at a certain level, but Zeitlin was able to re-write the script to make it fit around Wallis' personality.

Professor Jamantha Watson of the Fine and Performing Arts department said, "She is delightful to look at. Her energy is where it's supposed to be, and I really look forward to seeing what happens on Sunday."

If Wallis wins the award not only will this make her the youngest ever to win for Best Actress, but also the youngest to win an Academy Award, beating out actress Tatum O'Neal, who won for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the 1973 film "Paper Moon" at age 10.

Also it will make her the second African-American to win for Best Actress behind Halle Berry, who won in 2001.

Wallis was not the only one to make an acting debut in this film. Dwight Henry, who plays Wink, did not have any acting experience prior to this film, still the L.A. Film Critics Association named him Best Supporting Actor.

Henry owns a bakery in New Orleans, and had no plans of acting until some of the film's crew members convinced him to audition for the film. After convincing the director and producers that this role was right for him he had to convince Wallis, whom he bribed with sweets from his bakery, Henry told interviewer Oprah Winfrey.

Wallis plans to continue acting. She has an upcoming role in the film "12 Years a Slave," where she will be working alongside actor Brad Pitt.

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

Musicians, dancers raise their game when HU-NSU play ball

By Simone Taylor

Fans can expect more than 3 point bombs and emphatic dunks at Monday night's Hampton vs. Norfolk State basketball game. For years, Hampton University organizations such as the Blue Thunder Cheer Squad, Ebony Fire, the Majestic Dance Team, and the Pep Squad Band have been entertaining the crowds with dance, stunts, and music.

Monday night's game will be no different, as these organizations are preparing to give the crowd a game to remember. The game will be broadcast on ESPN, and attendance is expected to be high due to the rivalry between both cross-harbor schools.

Band members have been practicing two hours a day, at least twice a week. Rehearsal requires members to learn and memorize music and occasionally learn dances. Said sophomore trombone player Edgar "Trey" Rawles, "The band as a whole usually puts more effort into big games, not only because NSU is our rival, but because Norfolk's band will be in attendance too."

The band usually plays six songs per game. Fans can expect to hear the band play upbeat classics including: "It Ain't My Fault" by Silkk the Shocker and "Mr. Ice Cream Man" by Master P.

Band members often use their close proximity to the court to assist in distracting the other team's players and to get the crowd involved in the game. Said sophomore bass drummer Tanai English, "the crowd tends to be more involved with the band when we play rival schools. I wish it was like that every game, but there is a noticeable difference when playing rival schools." Norfolk State and Howard University – the other HU – are Hampton's rivals, whether fierce or friendly.

The Majestic Dance Squad will perform a mix of Rihanna songs at halftime. In addition to the halftime performance, the squad also dances in the stands during the game. Majestic practices Monday through Thursday and has held weekend practices to prepare for Monday's game.

Stamina is an important factor for the dancers due to the difficulty of their routines. Said junior Tiara Frazier, "As far as the physical aspect, we definitely have to be fit and in shape because who wants to look at a tired dancer?"

The Blue Thunder Cheer Squad will keep the crowd intrigued by performing various cheers and chants. The members of the squad have been practicing stunt sequences and dance drills for the big game. Said sophomore Bre'on Long, "I feel like there's a lot of pressure to making sure everything goes right and there's few to no mistakes, but I'm just going to cheer my hardest!" The pep squad assists the cheerleaders in leading chants that get the crowd involved. The anticipation is high for both the players and those off the court. "[Things] can get a little out of hand at times," said Long, "but I hope it's a good game and the Pirates take the W!"

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

Hampton U. bio club spreads love for Valentine's Day

By Ashley Bozeman

"Hey do you have a valentine this year?" Crystal Smitherman yelled across the lunch table to a male student.

"No I don't actually" said the student as he walked over to the table.

"Well I'm sure there is some girl out there that would love a rose from you, I promise it'll make her day!" said Smitherman, a sophomore Biology major.

The male student pondered the thought for a moment then said, "Yeah, your right actually! I'll take one. I think I've got an idea."

Love is in the air and its already that time of year again, Valentine's Day. The campus has been buzzing with excitement for Thursday the 14th through in-person conversations and social media such as Twitter since the start of the month.

Many campus organizations have taken advantage of buzz and have created events and fundraisers catering specifically to students and couples on campus.

Hampton University's biology club implemented a new fundraiser this season. The club organized a rose gram delivery service that will deliver roses and a personalized note to the person of your choice on Valentine's Day. The club is selling roses for $2.50 for one rose, $12 for half a dozen, $20 for a dozen and $75 for four dozen roses. Students have the option of picking up the roses themselves or to have them be delivered anywhere on campus on Valentine's Day. According to Kai Bracey, club president and a junior, "We typically meet twice a month on Monday's at 6 p.m. We work on creating a more united biology department among faculty and students. We focus on academic excellence and fellowship. We have been focused on fund raising for our department and so that we can send a gift to the Sandy Hook Elementary School." In December, 20 children and six adults at the Connecticut school were fatally shot by a 20-year-old wielding rapid-fire guns.

Here, the Biology club has Valentine's Day competition. The Hampton University Choir is selling "singing-grams" this week and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc is having a "Dating Game" Thursday night. Other fundraisers will also take place throughout the week.

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