September 12, 2021 : Brogan Campbell
MVNU Cafeteria Moving on All Gears Again
Classes are back in session at MVNU, with one change from last year having both students and faculty excited for a trip down memory lane. The Mount Vernon Nazarene University cafeteria is back to full operation this year, after a year of COVID protocols and safety measures that limited its full potential and use.
Last year the cafeteria, or its nickname donned by students, “The Caf,” saw limited use of its dining space, self-serve options and coffee machines that left most students feeling empty inside and out, with their closest human contact coming through plexiglass. Students missed many of the options the fully operational Caf had, with things like panini presses, waffle makers and the oh so sweet Velvet ice cream freezer.
This year however things are different, with COVID protocols lightening up in the Caf allowing lots of the joys of years past to make their way make for students and faculty alike to enjoy. Self-service is back and students are finding ways to get creative again with the panini press coming back into the fold, allowing students to showcase their culinary creativity.
Mitch Mellert, a junior on campus told The Viewer “My favorite addition this year would definitely be the panini press.” When we asked Alex Moore, a senior, what his thoughts were, he said to us “I like having the self-service back because I get to choose my portions and it goes by quicker in the line.” However, both students cited one thing that they wish was here from last year that is not currently available, and that is more to-go options.
Currently students can only get cafeteria food to-go by placing a five-dollar deposit on a green, reusable container that they can use for personal use and then return for their money back. Last year, white Styrofoam containers were available daily to get food to-go and was available the whole year. “I just miss having the to-go options as sometimes that would be a better fit into my schedule,” Alex Moore told us.
We will have to wait and see if changed are made based on student feedback so far this semester, and if a change is also made due to the rising COVID and quarantine cases here on campus.
Faculty is also excited to return to The Caf this year, as faculty and staff were unable to dine in last year and were limited to certain hours of time where they could come in and get food to-go. This year is different, as staff and faculty are welcomed back into the fold with The Caf being available to them once again, dine in and all.
We talked with Marcy Rinehart, station manager of WNZR the radio station on campus, about her excitment about the cafeteria being open once more and what that means for staff and faculty. “I am very excited to be able to return to the cafeteria. I love the convenience and the multiple food choices,” she told The Viewer. “My husband and I will go four to five times each week. We also like to grab dinner when we work late in our offices or on game nights.”
It’s safe to say that both students and faculty are excited about The Caf making its full grand reopening this year. With the dining room not full of plexi glass and the awkwardness gone of trying to say for here with a mask on and a student worker grabbing a Styrofoam container, MVNU is excited for a step closer to normalcy and a step closer to having a great school year.
Outdoor Chapel Brings a New Experience to MVNU
September 19, 2021 Ben Alexander
You might be thinking, why is this happening? Is it normally in the MVNU Chapel? According to Tracy Waal, Vice President of Student Life, this decision was made based on COVID numbers across campus. “Last week we experienced a COVID positivity rate that was almost 10 times greater than last year’s average. Moving outside was a safe way to protect this important part of our mission while preventing an event that could contribute to further spread of COVID,” said Waal.
According to Campus Pastor Stephanie Lobdell, MVNU President Henry Spaulding suggested the idea to move it outside. “But when President Spaulding suggested we do it outside, I felt kind of a sure of creativity, like hey, we can make something, take something that’s frustrating and turn it into good. We’re going to make it fun, make it an event, and make something that’s memorable. So I’m looking forward to it.”
How would this affect the worship music? Mark Owen, leader of worship at MVNU, was asked how he was going to set up for outdoor chapel. “Outdoor services require more effort to pull off. Setting up sound and/or video equipment would be the primary logistical challenge, and of course the weather can be unpredictable.” Luckily for MVNU that the weather has been pretty nice for both of the chapel days.
There is another problem (or not according to who you talk to) of outdoor chapel. Joe Rinehart Director of Broadcasting and Communications Professor at MVNU was asked about streaming outdoor chapel. “I believe Dr. Spaulding and Pastor Stephanie’s intention is to try something that is intentionally formative and an active form of worship, so there will be no video streaming.” Rinehart added that he supported outdoor chapel to address COVID concerns, such as distancing and masking.
Junior Jackson Moody shared his thoughts on outdoor chapel. “Yeah, I think it’s a really interesting change, and I’m really excited to see how it goes. I think that we have a really beautiful campus to have outside activities in, and so I’m really excited to see what a chapel service is going to look like when done outside.”
Happy Bean Opens In The Library
September 19, 2021 Grant Hauger
Coffee and caffeine can be vital in the life of a busy college student, and MVNU now has the convenience of a coffee shop on campus. Happy Bean has now opened in Thorne Library to give students an option to grab coffee before class and provide an inviting place for students to study or even just hang out.
After being asked why Happy Bean was opened in the library, the owner of Happy Bean, Jill Ballenger said, “The Library Director and Student Life wanted to create an inviting community space with a true coffee shop vibe, knowing that many students study best in that atmosphere.” Instead of having to go off campus, students can enjoy their favorite drink and choice of food. Happy Bean has partnered with Pioneer Foods so that students have grab’n’go food options for a meal exchange or purchase using Road Bucks.
MVNU student Abbi Hurst said she uses her road bucks to order London Fog tea and iced chai.
Ballenger said that iced chai is the most popular drink, and people who order it often make it a “Dirty Chai” which adds espresso shots to it. Happy Bean also offers hot chocolate and mochas which includes chocolate sauce that are made by Ballenger herself. Another drink for non-coffee beverage option is the “iced milk tea” which Ballenger describes as “tea and fruit puree, topped with your milk of choice. It is a little like a chai, but strawberry or peach flavored. It is super delicious and is quickly becoming a favorite for non-coffee drinkers.”
Of course, Happy Bean offers plenty of options for coffee drinkers as well. Ryan O’Donnell, MVNU student and coffee drinker, is a fan of the white mocha latte.
Senior Cat Dugan says she likes oat milk lattes with either vanilla or honey syrup with a warmed muffin. Other coffee items include cold brewed iced coffee, Americano, café au lait, cappuccinos, cortado and house coffee. Students also have a variety of baked items on the menu to choose from which include gluten-free items. The only slight difference between the Happy Bean on campus and the location downtown is that the syrup flavor options are slightly simpler.
Happy Bean in the library will be open on Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. and 6 – 8 p.m., and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Ballenger highly encourages students to enjoy the library space in the evenings and on Saturdays because she wants the store to be able to have enough business to stay open during at those times. “It's been pretty sparse during those times so far,” she said.
MVNU and Thorne Library have been looking for a new space that is inviting for students to relax and study. With the addition of Happy Bean on campus, that is what has been delivered. Also, it’s a nice spot to grab coffee as well as other delicious drinks and food items. MVNU students are happy to have Happy Bean on campus, and Happy Bean is happy to be here for MVNU.
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Men’s Soccer: On a Quest to Reach their Potential
The MVNU men’s soccer team has shot off to a strong season this year. Beginning the season with four straight wins, the team is pleased, but coach Zach Ganzberg knows that they have not yet reached their full potential. He said, “We are an aspiring championship team, just as someone would say they are an aspiring physician or an aspiring attorney. We have something off in the distance that we’re pursuing but being fully present, giving 100 percent effort, and relentlessly pursuing a competitive edge each and every moment is how we measure our progress. It’s an aspirational process.”
He continued, “I don’t want to make it seem like a finished product, because we are nowhere near reaching our potential.” Although he applauds the team's work ethic so far this season, he always keeps the next step in perspective.
Senior Gabri Burgos added, “We’re a pretty good team, and we’re very hopeful for what’s to come, but we still have a lot of work to do.”
Senior goalkeeper Joshua Dunn also stated, “We don’t really like setting expectations and such; it’s more of that’s our goal, but we have these small steps to the goal first.”
The team culture is a large part of what defines the MVNU soccer team. Both Ganzberg and Burgos are also encouraged by the way the freshmen have burst onto the scene this year. Ganzberg said of them, “They’ve been incredibly productive, but also they bring a lot of energy and life to the team.”
Another major factor for the team is their diversity, as the players have come from many different backgrounds to MVNU. Ganzberg said of the team, “That’s part of who we are as a program, is being incredibly diverse and having common goals. One, [we have] an openness to spiritual growth, and two we love to play the game. That’s who we are.”
Dunn, who hails from Scotland, said of the team culture, “The team really has this bond that I’ve never been a part of before; in past years we’ve had that bond, but it really feels like a family now.”
Not only has the team gotten off to a strong start, but their gritty attitude of constant improvement and their bond on and off the field has created a buzz around the school. However, Ganzeberg noted that this team is not exclusively about playing soccer but also about the players’ growth as well. He said, “Soccer is not the end goal in and of itself. It’s the means of character development for our players.” He continued, “There’s no better anecdote than being part of a team and having some sort of team objectives and working day in and day out to meet it and then giving everything to accomplish it at the end.” He also stated that he is excited for the process with the players and to do everything he can do to get them to succeed.
The team is also thankful for the support of their fans, as Dunn said, “Come out and support us at home games. We really appreciate it!”
September 19, 2021 Mike Basko