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.

Ballers: Howard vs. Hampton equals extra effort

Story by Nia Little

"Who is the real HU," you might ask? Well, the Hampton University women's and men's basketball teams take on Howard University Saturday at 4 and 6 p.m. at Hampton University's Convocation Center. Students and alumni from Howard, Hampton and nearby universities attend each year.

Cheerleading teams and dance teams prepare to entertain the crowd. Like other collegiate sports, cheerleaders practice throughout the week to prepare for upcoming games.

Diamond Broughton, a sophomore strategic communications major and member of the Blue Thunder cheerleading, squad says "Practice is more fun because we get to come up with new material to show off."

In the past, cheerleading teams would prepare new material for the larger crowd and possible cheer battles. A Hampton vs. Howard cheer battle video went viral during football season last fall.

Rivalry games like the visiting Bison vs. the Pirates are far more intense compared to other games during the season.

Said Broughton, "We put a little extra 'umph' into our appearance and performance."

Rival games are more than a battle between basketball teams, they give cheerleaders a chance to battle other squads and score points of their own.

"Other games, we usually don't have anyone to cheer against," said Broughton. "Most people don't realize cheerleaders have their own secret game going on, on the sideline."

What's a basketball game without a crowd? Students who do not regularly attend Hampton home basketball games plan to attend this one. "At games like this, the band plays new music, the cheerleaders are intense, and the crowd is more involved" said sophomore pharmacy major Tyra Smith.

Tristin Davis, a biology major from Memphis, Tennessee, plans to put on his best weekend outfit – a nice pair of jeans and a T-shirt and Nike Jordans – and hang out with friends in preparation for game time.

It is safe to say that the cheerleading team's hard work doesn't go unnoticed. There should be more attendees, dressed to impress at this week's game.

The Blue Thunder cheerleading team members said they are ready for this week's rivalry. Watch the cheerleaders live in action Saturday. Tickets can be purchased at

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

North of Hampton U. campus, heavy snow pounds family, friends

By Zachary Bragg and Ashley McKie

The Northeast U.S. states Thursday morning were hit really hard with a serve snow storm. News predictions say that snow can land from 4 to 12 inches, and winds guts were getting up to 35 mph. The Northeast – including New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts -- is in bad condition.

Hampton University campus journalists who were enjoying 40-degree temperatures and clearing skies, checked in on family and friends in the snow-afflicted states.

"The weather right now is around 20 degrees and we're expected to get 12-18 inches of snow," said Tiyanna Jenkins, a freshman, marketing major at American International College in Springfield, Massachusetts. "But the worst part is trying to figure out what I'm going to eat because classes are canceled, the campus is closed, and none of the shuttles are running.

"The weather is so bad, I can't go outside, so I may just rely on snacks for the rest of the day." Mindy Montgomery of Carteret, New Jersey said, "Right now the snow is coming down around 2 inches per hour. For me I know I will not be leaving the house today. Government is asking people to stay off roads, unless they really have to drive due to the awful driving conditions.

"The worst part is the wind. It's causing the snow to blow everywhere."

Iyonce Jackson of Roosevelt Island in New York City said, "There's a good 3-4 inches in my neighborhood right now, but the snowfall is still very heavy. The amount of now will probably go up to 5-6."

Lafleur Derrick of Decatur Street in Brooklyn's Bedford Stuyvesant neighborhood said, "I'm snowed in, and cannot go to work because it is dangerous. Public transportation are running with fewer buses and trains.

"On the bright side, I am very well prepared for the storm, I did some grocery shopping before the storm started."

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

Super Bowl LI was a girlie good time

By Olivia Okeke

HAMPTON, Virginia -- Super Bowl Sunday in a house full of young women is not a typical game party.

Upon walking into the apartment you didn't get the vibe that the biggest football game in the world was on television. Songs such as "Best of me" by Jay Z and Mya were being played. Wine was being poured instead of beer and hard liquor.

The game was on mute. There were conversations about what kind of brownies should be made next.

Little attention was being paid to the game at all but the Hampton University students were concerned about one thing: the halftime show. Lady Gaga was performing and the women were super excited to see what dynamic she was going to bring to the concert this year.

Last year's Super Bowl performance by Beyoncé was utterly amazing, said some of the women, and the reunion of the iconic trio Destiny's Child made history.

"This year's show has to upstage last year's performance or it's going to be terrible," said Aalexis Campbell, a sophomore nursing major from California.

As the countdown for the show began, people's attention was focused on the projector screening Super Bowl LI.

At 8:13 p.m. Lady Gaga started the halftime show on the roof of NRG Stadium in Houston, paying tribute to America. Soon after that tribute Gaga jumped off the top of the stadium and onto the stage to begin her performance.

"That was definitely extremely expected and pretty cliche jumping off the roof," said Ayanna Mondesir, a sophomore history major from New York. "The show directors could have picked something cooler to do instead."

As Gaga continued the performance it just declined, said observers.

"She looks under rehearsed and confused with the directions," said Ashley Mckie, a sophomore strategic communications major from New York.

Once 8:20 p.m. came, the young ladies were up making brownies.

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

Hampton U’s community anticipates Super Bowl LI party

By Jazmin Bryant

As Super Bowl Sunday approaches Feb. 5, Hampton University students and employees looked forward to the game with anticipation.

"The [Atlanta] Falcons will make history," said Jordan McKinney, a sophomore political science major from New Jersey, and Falcons fan. "They haven't made it this far in years."

"For the Super Bowl, I plan to complete homework assignments and watch the commercials," Yamarie Sesay (photo below right), a junior journalism major from Maryland. "I look forward to the halftime show. Lady Gaga is a very interesting but yet entertaining performer."

Tomi Tabler, a senior biology major from Maryland, said, "Truthfully, I love football but I don't really care for the Super Bowl this year. Tom Brady is cool and all but I'm tired of seeing the [New England] Patriots.

"The commercials are honestly the best. I'll probably spend my time at a watch party vibing with friends."

During Super Bowl Sunday it is most likely for students to order big bulks of food from nearby restaurants for the football game. At restaurants on the edge of the Hampton U. campus, Wingzone, Subway and Tropical Smoothie were options.

"We are expecting a 20- to 30-percent increase in business this year because they cut our ordering short last year," said Wingzone manager Sergio Neal. "Between now [Thursday] and Saturday we will receive around 30 orders. Sunday we may be receiving somewhere between 200 to 300 customers or more."

According to Neal, the most popular order that Wingzone receives for the Super Bowl are the "Bone-in wings."

When asking the managers of the Subway and Tropical Smoothie what business would be like during the Super Bowl, it seems that there will not be any overwhelming orders coming in.

"They [students] normally go to a Walmart or Safeway to get the boxes of sandwiches and wings. We don't get a lot of orders because this is a student-oriented store unlike the other Subway up the road from here," said manager Sheetal Petal.

Some Hampton U. students who work at local restaurants said they have a very busy Sunday ahead of them.

"I'm looking forward to tips because I'm a server and I'm working the bar," said Lulu Louizaire (above left), a sophomore strategic communications major from Haiti, who works at a Buffalo Wild Wings.

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

Hampton U. ATL students are all in for their Falcons

By Taylor Lee

HAMPTON, Virginia -- The Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots go head to head Sunday at
Super Bowl LI in Houston, at 6:30 p.m. EST on Fox.

At Hampton University here, a contingent of Atlanta-area students said they are thrilled that their NFC champion Falcons will play for the ultimate prize.

"It's really a great feeling to see the Falcons finally going to the Super Bowl in my lifetime," said Carlton Griffin, a journalism major/cinema studies minor from Ellenwood, Georgia. "I've been a fan since I was born and it's been a tough ride being a Falcons fan.

"My birthday is Sunday, so a Super Bowl win would be the best present I could ask for."

Fans such as Kaelyn Lowe, a sophomore journalism major/leadership studies minor from Stone Mountain, Georgia, have pre game rituals when cheering on their favorite teams and specific ways they enjoy watching football games.

"I can't believe I forgot my Falcons jersey at home," she said. "I wear it every game.

"I still think my Falcons will go all the way!"

"It's really a great feeling to see the Falcons finally going to the Super Bowl in my lifetime," said Jeffrey Lowe, an electrical engineering major from Stone Mountain, Georgia. "I've been a fan since I was born and it's been a tough ride being a Falcons fan. It always seems like they'd get your hopes up and then find some way to disappoint you. A win in the Super Bowl would mean so much for the city and the real fans.

"I'll be watching with some friends. Anybody who has the Patriots winning might just lose their money."

This is Super Bowl specifically monumental for the Falcons and their fans because it has been almost 15 years since the team went to the big game. Atlanta Mayor Kassim Reed Friday signed an order that allows bars in the city to stay open until 3 a.m. Sunday night through Monday before dawn.

As for the Patriots, New England has gone to the Super Bowl eight times and have been victorious four times. Bill Belichick is a highly respected coach in the National Football League.

Hampton students from the East Coast who are Patriots fans said they were confident.

"I mean come on, Tom Brady is the No. 1 quarterback in the NFL right now there is no way we aren't going to Disney,' said Marshall Gordon, a freshman business management major from Reston, Virginia. "I don't think it will be a blowout for the Falcons or Patriots, but the Patriots have the upper hand with our amazing offense."

Zachary Bragg (photo right), a sophomore journalism major/sports management minor From Roselle, New Jersey, said "I'm going to watch the game in my dorm room.

"That way when I comment and talk trash on every play, I won't disturb anyone."

This game will be watched by millions of people all around the world, and only one team will become champions.

Whether you are a Falcons fan, Patriots fan, or just there for the food, drink and commercials, the Super Bowl is a big deal.

For those who have nowhere to go but just want to be around other students, the Hampton U. Student Government Association is hosting a Super Bowl watch party inside the Student Center Ballroom at 6 p.m.

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

Wary, hopeful Hampton U. students check out “The Quad”

By Atira Kennedy

The new Black Entertainment Television show "The Quad" premiered 10 p.m. EST Wednesday, Feb. 1. The drama series focuses on the student life at HBCUs --Historically Black Colleges and Universities -- and the issues that occur: Relationships between teachers and students, gender stereotypes in leadership, racism, hazing, underage drinking, blackmail, and, homicide.

"It deals with politics in the academic world, and with issues the students face, like sexual assault," Jasmine Guy told "ABC News" last month. Guy previously starred in "A Different World," a late 1980s- to '90s-era sitcom set at fictitious black campus Hillman College.

Created by Felicia Henderson, Charles Holland, and Rob Hardy, "The Quad" is said to be "addictively soapy and serious" said a review by the Hollywood Reporter, an trade newspaper.

The show promises to favor other shows and movies that have portrayed the HBCU lifestyle such as "Stomp the Yard," "A Different World," and "Drumline." With a plot line focusing on an Ivy League-educated African-American woman as the president of the university. Each episode will center on serious topics that are affecting the black community with black literature hash tags as the episode titles.

"Trojan-Horse style, 'The Quad' gives its viewers an education by doubling down on the suds," said the Hollywood Reporter.

Some anxious viewers on the Hampton University campus suspect that the new show might shed a negative light on HBCUs, or won't be an accurate depiction of any of the 107 schools.

"I think it's going to shine light on things that do occur at HBCUs, but at the same time, I feel like it's going to be very negative and controversial and exclude all the richness and positivity that occurs," said Victoria Daniels of Raleigh, North Carolina, a journalism major.

The hit-or-miss fear was evident for other students at Hampton.

"I have very low expectations for the show just because of the second 'Drumline' movie and how cheesy and inaccurate it was," said Deja Young of Chicago, a nursing major. "The first ["The Quad"] episode may be good, but it will probably go downhill from there."

However, some students have high hopes for the show and were excited for the premier. "They have Jasmine Guy on the show, and she's not prone to be a part of messy TV so I have faith in the overall production," said Ashley Wright (pictured right), a Hampton University alumna from Chicago.

The accolades accumulated by some of the stars and producers of the show, may keep it afloat.

"Take a look at the people making the show. If they went to an HBCU, they'll be more likely to do it justice," said Arielle Wallace, of Detroit, journalism major.

The first episode of "The Quad" appears to be an experiment for many students as well as celebrities. Both high and low expectations have been set for the show; however, the BET premier will reveal the truth.

"The Quad brings HBCU life back to TV," wrote Paula Rogo in Essence magazine last October. "It's the first look into the black college experience since 'A Different World.'"

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

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