If you would like to submit an article, a letter to the editor, or have a subject that you would like me to approach next, email me at

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Call for Stories

Greetings Readers,

Winter Break is upon us so I will be afk for most of the season. If you have suggestions for articles, please feel free to email me posts at OR, if you would like to submit an article of your own, email it to me at the same address. I hope everyone has a great break away from this horrid place!

--Your Editor.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Follow-Up on the Shooting

Didn't hear about the shooting? Click here, first!

Greetings readers,

I thought it might be nice to give a little follow-up on the recent shootings. I haven't heard much about anything else since it happened, so I guess it's probably pretty important. First, let's take a look at how the news has responded:

First, here's ABC's take.
And NBC...

Ohhhh, NBC..... At least ABC bothered to interview people...

Anyway, that's all swell and everything, but there are a couple interesting points to look at. First of all, how come President Howard was not interviewed? In the face of an (almost) tragic event like this, why was our leader not interviewed for a response on video? Sure, he was quoted as saying this was "Unacceptable." (also: Really? Really? of course it's "unacceptable!" You couldn't say more?). Fascinatingly enough, Dr. Howard, who has always been quick to jump on PR stuff like this was not interviewed for the news. Instead, they interviewed Mr. Thommy Shomo. Hmmm...What does Shomo do again? Oh yeah, that's right. He's the Director of Communications and Marketing. That's certainly a fascinating pick, Hampden-Sydney....

Now don't get me wrong. Mr. Shomo was the one who got me the gig for filming that admissions video...oh wait...that admissions video I did about a month or two ago, and they still haven't posted? Oh well. I'm not bitter. I didn't exactly praise the school in it, after all....

Anyway, I may be going off topic. The President did send a message to students, though. This was...certainly fascinating:

"The Hampden-Sydney Emergency Notification System....has a text component which was activated on the morning of Sunday, December 4." That's funny. I very distinctly remember signing up for this ENS on my very first day back on Campus. Lemme just follow this link, and make sure I'm--Oh! look at that, it has me registered already! Well that's funny...I never got a text notification... hmmm...

Sarcasm aside, there is a serious issue here. Either Christopher Howard is lying to save face, or the system was incapable of performing it's purpose. Because I like to see the best in humanity (even when I've constantly been proven wrong here), I will assume it was the latter. Well I emailed Dr. Howard in reply, wishing him and his family the best in such a stressful time, and respectfully requested that he test the system before someone gets shot and killed. He replied  "Thank you for the note and kind words. We will be testing the ENS soon." (ctrl+c, ctrl+v from my email). So hopefully I'll be getting a text soon to show that the system is working. If not...hell shall be raised.


The system is now up and running, and students are being encouraged to sign up for the system. So..yay!

Library Opens for 24 hours

*sniff sniff* What's that? *sniff sniff* Smells like a post that isn't incendiary? Wowzers!

But seriously, this blog isn't meant to just hate on HSC. (even if I do...) It's meant to talk about the stuff that, for some reason, never gets talked about. So here's a post about something good this school does, but doesn't really advertise like they should.

Welcome to the Bortz Library! Probably one of the newest buildings on campus, the Bortz library replaced the Eggleston Library (Stay tuned for more on Eggleston later!) The Bortz library has stuff for students to check out, like books, laptops, power cords, headphones, and students can print and make copies for free. In addition, we also have an interlibrary loan service (meaning you can check out library books from other schools).

Here's the actual juice of this story: During the exam period of every semester, The Bortz Library opens 24 hours a day. This is so that students can finally do that studying that they haven't done all year (oh...there's the bitterness...). During this period, students begin to pour into the library where they can check out study rooms (2 hour rentals...they try to keep them all day), check out laptops (2 hour rentals...they do keep them all day), sleep on our furniture, and leave their messes laying around. Wonderful.

In reality, this is pretty cool though, especially if you're the type of guy that likes to study in a library. The downside, though, is the employment. The Bortz library employs a select number of students every year. For the exam periods, they put out a sign up sheet for these students so that they can sign up for the shifts that they would like to take during this period. Unfortunately, you end up with some student workers who like to take as many hours as possible, and then get no rest. The result? He falls asleep on shift, looks like a zombie, and is ultimately ineffective. And yet, he still gets paid. Surprising the type of things we get paid for around here.

Well that's about it as far as this goes. Feel free to drop a comment, or email me about something you'd like to read. Until then, Fare thee well!

-Written while on-shift at the Bortz Library, hours 1-3 of the 24 hour nightmare.

Monday, December 5, 2011

HSC Underground

Welcome to HSC Underground. My name is Walter McCoy, though some still insist on calling me "Flash". I'm a Junior at Hampden-Sydney college, and this is my news blog. Since I started going to school here, I've realized that a lot of the things that happen on campus stay hidden, and are never exposed. Well forget that! This blog is going to be my portal to reveal the things about this school that they don't want you to know.

"Why, Walter?! Why would you do something like this?!!?!" Answer: Because I've been hurt. I came to this school blind. I had no idea what anything was really like here. I was told that this was a place for brotherhood. Hampden-Sydney was a place where men are men, and everyone looks out for one another.

The Truth: This place is actually a spirit drain that sucks away all of your happiness, hopes, and dreams if you are not a posh southern rich-boy.* "The Hampden-Sydney Man" is a term that I scoff at with contempt. A Hampden-Sydney Man does not lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those who do. That's what they tell you. The truth of the matter though, is that it's all about image. An HSC Man is only worried about how other people see him, so as long as he couldn't be caught, he will refrain from lying cheating or stealing**.

I know dozens of other students, alumni, and even faculty here at the school who agree with me. Well this is it: This is where I'm exposing this crap. It needs to be done, and that's my mission. I'm sure I'll catch hell from it at some point, since my name's on it, but whatever. I am Walter McCoy. I will not lie, cheat, or steal, and I will not tolerate those who do. I refuse these things because it is what is right, not because I care what people think of me. So welcome to the Underground!

*This is a generalization that I will often use. Please note that there are, in fact, some decent men here.
**Please note that Vandalism and Bullying are two of the many things ignored from this list of things an HSC Man shouldn't do. (Go figure it's what they do most...)


Shooting on Campus

Dear Readers, 

        Early Sunday morning, there was a shooting on my school campus. I know very little about the actual circumstances myself, but I /do/ however know a lot about the reaction to what has happened. The shooting took place around 1:42 a.m. on December 4th, 2011. Calls were made to the campus security, but by the time they got there, the shooter was gone. witness say they saw three males around the Beta Theta Pi frat house and the Minority Student Union house. Initial findings by the police have revealed five shots fired from a 9mm pistol, one of which struck the MSU house.
        The part that is actually bothering students, though, is how long it actually took for the school to notify us. According to all reports, the call to security came at 1:42 am. The email that was sent to students came at 3:35 am. It took the school almost 2 hours to inform students that there are shooters on campus. 
^This is the email I received.^ 
        Well at least they sent out an email, right? Surely that's the school looking out for us? Well let me go ahead and put in a little snippet here about our Emergency Notification System:

A text message will be sent? I never received a text. Neither did anyone on campus. Naturally this serious flaw was addressed with by angry student reports. One student even wrote the President an email:

to which he replied:
A typical response from our President, whose primary focus has always been the image of the school.

Here are all of the facts as I have them, so I think I'll just close with one more post:

The following is an email that was sent out by our college President, Dr. Christopher Howard:
Dear Hampden-Sydney College Community,
Early Sunday morning, multiple gunshots were fired on our campus.  Although no one was harmed, the incident is troubling and unacceptable.  Evidence points toward the perpetrators being from off-campus with no official ties to the College.  I am writing to tell you what we know and what we are doing about it.     
At 1:42 a.m. on Sunday, December 4, calls were made to the Campus Security and Police Department reporting gunshots in the yard of the Minority Student Union (MSU) House on Atkinson Avenue while a party was being hosted in the MSU House.  Within one to two minutes, Officer Simmons arrived, with Officer Jenkins arriving shortly after, and they immediately controlled the scene.  Chief Gee, Director of Security and Chief of Police, and Officers Fowler and Travis were notified and responded to the scene to aid the investigation and search.   
According to initial police accounts, witnesses reported that three males traversed the MSU yard and the street between MSU and Beta Theta Pi House.  One of them fired a handgun as he backed away from MSU.  The subjects then fled on foot.  Police officers conducted a search for the suspects throughout the entire campus.  It is believed they left campus in a vehicle.  Initial findings are that at least five shots were fired from a 9mm pistol.  One shot struck the MSU House, lodging in the outside wall. 
The campus Emergency Notification System (ENS) was activated.  A warning notification message was sent to students, faculty, and staff at 3:35 a.m., which informed the community of the nature of the incident and directed all persons to stay inside.  An “all clear” message was sent at 4:59 a.m.  Both emergency messages were sent as an e-mail to all H-SC e-mail addresses including current students, faculty and staff and posted on the College website homepage.  Messages were also posted on the electronic bulletin boards in buildings across the campus. 
This disturbing incident has shaken us all.  I want to assure you we are conducting a thorough investigation into what happened so that we can identify who did it and take appropriate and immediate action against them.  The Police Department is talking with witnesses, students, and other community members.  The Dean of Students Office is communicating with and counseling students.  The Farmville Police Department is cooperating with us.  Furthermore, we are evaluating our security procedures.     
We all have a responsibility to do our part to ensure that Hampden-Sydney College is a safe place for students, faculty, staff, and guests of the College.  We will not tolerate destructive intrusions and unlawful behaviors that threaten the security and serenity of our College community.  We will take the appropriate measures to ensure a safe campus.  And, we will keep you informed.
If you have any information about this shooting incident, you should contact the College Police Department at 434-223-6164.  Ifyou have any additional questions, please feel free to contact Dr. Dale Jones, Vice President for Strategy, Administration, and Board Affairs at 434-223-6116.
Click here to read an article about it in the Roanoke Times Dispatch. Keep in mind this article is subject to updates.

And Click Here for the ABC13 report.

Please feel free to comment. Would love to see how others feel about this. Never fear to voice your opinions!


UPDATE: For the record, my family never heard anything about this, either. I had them check their emails and such. Oh well. I know the parents of some students received emails, so maybe I'm just an anomalous case....

UPDATE: For a follow-up report, click here.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Welcome to Hampden-Sydney

"Welcome to Hampden-Sydney." It's a phrase that I have become accustomed to using quite frequently. I use it in a way that says "Gee, that sounds like one of the defining features of Hampden-Sydney College. I really wish someone had told me about that before I got here, rather than letting me find it out on my own!"

This phrase typically gets used when my friends and I will remark on the way things are run around the school. A few examples:

"I can't believe the Student Finance Board gives $X,000 dollars to a club that does nothing on campus, and then gives less than $400 for our club, which actually has weekly meetings and events for the entire campus..." (Welcome to Hampden-Sydney)
or maybe
"Has anyone else noticed that the President's flowers get replaced weekly without fail, and they can't even change the light bulbs in the Academic honors house?" (Welcome to Hampden-Sydney)
or one of my personal favorites:
 "And then he said 'Woah! There's gay people here?'" (Welcome to Hampden-Sydney)
It's really actually sad how many examples of this I could come up with. Maybe I should start writing them down? Anyway, it's dumb things like this that just really blow my mind about this place. I'm almost finished with my fifth semester here, already, and frankly, I'm tired of this place. Things have had their ups and downs since I started here. I'm sure my experience isn't the only bad one here. But you'll quickly learn where I stand here, and why I felt the need to write this blog.

I really hope that this will someday help someone in their decision process for college selection, but we'll see. Until then, Welcome to Hampden-Sydney.