OU Students Stomp Their Lawn

Students gathered on the sunny quad on Friday to celebrate the arrival of spring with the annual festival, Stomp the Lawn.  Students took a break from studying to kick it carnival-style with moon walks and crafts galore. Anyone craving a sweet treat had their pick between funnel cakes, snow-cones, crepes, and cotton candy. Action lovers got their adrenaline pumping with water gun laser tag wars, an inflatable obstacle course, and racing up (then tumbling down) the 22-foot “slippery slope.” My classmates suited up in air-filled transformer-like costumes and bravely battled one another in the “airbots” wrestling ring. Contestant after contestant tested their balance on a jerking robo-surfboard, a ride-the-wave spin on the classic mechanical bull.

The day had an eclectic soundtrack thanks to live performances from four different bands. Almost Legendary started off the line-up with covers of old favorites, followed by power-pop beats for guilty pleasure from the Secret Handshake (who was convinced he was at Hogwarts). Isness’ performance was a good fit for this university in Atlanta—the ‘dubstep’ capital of the world. The music continued all day, ending on an upbeat note with crowd-pumping rap group Right Side of the Tree.

For weeks to come, my henna tattoo—one of the many crafts onsite—will serve as a nostalgic reminder of a day of carefree fun with my fellow classmates. Whether you got spin-painted stunner shades, a wax hand,  a souvenir holographic photograph, or simply picked up one of the retro t-shirts as a memento of the day, there was something for everyone to enjoy.

Special thanks to the OSA Programming Board for a truly successful Stomp the Lawn 2011!

Photos: Chelsea Reed ’13

Golden Advice for ‘Life After College’

“HUH!!”

The entire room of college students grunted in unison at the encouragement of Nadia Bilchik, president of Greater Impact Communication, during her lecture last Wednesday. Nadia won over her audience with ‘power grunts’, free copies of her new book, Life After College: The New Graduate’s Guide, and most importantly, invaluable advice about thriving in the professional world.

The hot topic was networking, and Nadia stressed the importance of strategically building relationships (and eventually a network) through connection, conversation, and collaboration. When Nadia first came to America from South Africa in 1997, she says that she didn’t know anyone. And now, she hosts CNN’s Weekend Morning Passport with TJ Holmes.

Nadia Bilchik (center) with OU students, including her daughter Alexa Kesler '14 (second from right).

Nadia painted a picture of networking as a reciprocal process, saying “it’s not just about being a go-getter—success is about being a go-giver.” As a sophomore already thinking about how to go about building a career, that really resonated. She explained that people feel good about giving, but they won’t respond well if you’re demanding. According to Nadia, you have to be aware of how you approach people because they may not remember exactly what you say to them, but they will definitely remember the way you made them feel. And the way you make them feel starts precisely with how you feel about yourself.

Nadia encourages us to “always light the fire,” which essentially means to bring your energy and turn on a positive attitude. Naturally, humans will deal with a broad range of emotions as they go through life, but Nadia spoke about the importance of “acting up, even if you’re feeling down,” particularly in the workplace. Her secret? She channels positive emotions from moments when she’s been happy.

There were many lessons to be learned from Nadia: how to connect to people by expressing genuine interest in them, how to use social media to build your networking database, and how to simply avoid putting off negative energy by accessing positive memories. But, the main lesson I took away was how to take control even when feeling anxious about the future—and I already feel inspired and better prepared for what lies ahead.

Drag Show FUNdraiser a Success

“Don’t be a drag, just be a queen!” Lady Gaga’s lyrics captured the spirit at Oglethorpe’s annual Charity Drag Show this past week. OU students, faculty, and staff packed the Conant Performing Arts Center to enjoy drag performances and raise money for a great cause.

The show was held to support CHRIS Kids, a nonprofit organization with a program dedicated to aiding homeless and fostered youth who have identified themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, or questionable. According to national statistics, about 56% of homeless teens identify themselves as LGBT, and CHRIS kids serves to help them transition into a self-sufficient adulthood. CHRIS is an acronym for Creativity, Honor, Respect, Integrity, and Safety, which are all values the OU community strives to uphold as well. Put on by Oglethorpe student organization, OUtlet, the drag show successfully raised $1,167.

Dr. Nardo (pictured), a math professor here at OU, sang the opening number of the night, “Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina,” in drag to show that math and science folks have a creative side, too. Dr. Nardo’s debut as ‘Evita’ was the  reward to an incentive he proposed to OUtlet last year—to double the amount they raised for CHRIS Kids. Continue reading

Quadfest Marks End of First Week of Classes

It is nothing short of beautiful to see our campus so vibrant and alive again after the quieter summer, and the quaint academic quadrangle is an ideal setting for gatherings in the OU Community. On a Friday afternoon, it was alive with Quadfest 2010, a fitting way to celebrate a successful first week of classes and a foreshadowing of a wonderful school year in the making.

Quadfest 2010 was put on by the Oglethorpe Student Association’s Programming Board, who knew exactly how to appeal to the student body, with multiple activities and free, catered food. In Campbell Walker ’11’s words: “they had Moe’s Southwestern Grill—that’s huge!”

“I love any activity on the quad because it brings out all of the students and unifies everyone. I got to see a lot of people I hadn’t yet this semester,” praised Tyler Herndon ’13.

A bungee trampoline dominated the quad and I watched the thrilled expressions on students’ faces as their bodies catapulted into the air. “It was magical. I felt like a real petrel flying in the air,” joked Sean Lovett. Another popular activity was riding the classic mechanical bull. Katie Cornelison ’14 laughed, “The bull was hilarious because the people who marched up to it with confidence were thrown off within seconds. It seems that those who really rocked it were surprisingly the shy people.” A few yards away, boys were competing against each other in a moonwalk race.

For the less rambunctious students, there was a craft tent where they could make Pop Art and airbrushed tee-shirts. Kimberly Overmier ’12 said, “I liked that there was a creative activity because it was an accurate representation of the many artistic and crafty people that come to our liberal arts school,” as she proudly held up her colorful airbrushed tee with a pinwheel design.

Quadfest 2010 was yet another successful event rich with camaraderie and school spirit. I felt a surge of affection for my beloved Oglethorpe as I watched the freshmen mingle and build connections that they’ve yet to realize will last them a lifetime.

Photos by Armanda Colson ’11 and
Chloey Mayo ’10.

Tag – You’re It! Show Your Petrel Pride on Your Ride!

Whenever I mention that I attend Oglethorpe University, people often comment on the exquisite architecture and picturesque campus. I’m always proud to say that I do indeed live, work, and study at a castle. It reminds many people of Hogwarts School from the beloved Harry Potter series, and some students have even affectionately deemed it “Oglewarts.”

We may be a private liberal arts school instead of a wizarding school, but to me, Oglethorpe possesses a magic of its own. The presence of community spirit is more prominent here than in any community I’ve ever considered myself to be a part of. For me, it’s been an interactive and nurturing environment that has helped me to grow in both my knowledge of my studies and my relational experiences with the wonderful people I’ve encountered here.

One day driving around campus, I noticed a car with an OU license plate and of course I immediately coveted it. It was the opportune time for me to get one because I had just gotten a new car and had a temporary tag. I finally got my OU tag in the mail a few weeks ago and it was exciting! My love for this school makes me bleed black and gold, so I’m ecstatic that I now represent OU even when I’m out and about. Now I get to have a piece of my beloved Oglethorpe with me everywhere I go! 

I encourage all students and alums to show your Petrel pride on your ride! You can contact the OU Marketing department directly at 404-364-8468 for more information about getting an OU plate or you can order one directly at any Georgia DMV.