November 2, 2020 I Colin Berg
Even though the Covid pandemic has canceled
so many events this year, nothing stopped
us from celebrating the fall season; and
on Oct. 6 and 7, MVNU celebrated fall by
having a two-day event called Oaktoberfest.
According to the website mvnu.edu/oaktoberfest,
it states that, “Starting Tuesday night, and going
through all of Wednesday, campus was be filled
with opportunities to gather together, have fun
and embrace the fall season! Oaktoberfest
events included a music festival, costume relay
race, Sanctum: A Nighttime Interactive Trail Experience, hayride, pumpkin carving and painting, pumpkin smashing, movie nights, photo booth, carnival games and, of course, all the fall foods and drinks you could ask for!
This list is just the beginning of what you would have found at Oaktoberfest. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, families were not invited to Oaktoberfest since it would not only be a risk to the students and staff but to the families visiting as well. Also, according to Student Life’s video update https://vimeo.com/464222207, Vice President for Student Life Rev. Tracy Waal stated that, “special precautions were taken to make it a very special day with engaging events for you.” For example, there was free Troyers donuts for the first 300 students. There was free apple picking at the orchard behind our campus for the first 50 people that showed up. There was also a pumpkin launching event, axe throwing, tournaments, hayrides, and Sanctum, which was an eerie trail experience.
When talking with students on campus, the overall feeling was relief. Not only did students get a day off of classes, but they got to enjoy so many fun things to allow them to relax for a day and not think about homework being due that night. While some students enjoyed their day painting and carving pumpkins, others patiently waited around for the tweets from President Spaulding where they would be able to win Spaulding Bucks to use at the food truck.
Oaktoberfest was definitely the break many students needed to allow themselves to push through the rest of the semester. Even though fall break was a little different this year, MVNU did everything they could to make it enjoyable for students. It’s nice that even when we hit some bumpy roads in life, we can always find a time to take a deep breath, relax and enjoy life. With all the pumpkins around, autumn is definitely the most gourd-geous season.
During the summer of 2020, four new Resident Directors were hired to work for Mount Vernon Nazarene University. New resident directors were hired for the resident halls for Pioneer, Oakwood and Galloway and the apartments of Cedar, Birch and Redwood. Interviews for these positions were held throughout COVID-19; but by mid summer, decisions were made, and the recently hired resident directors had started in the middle of July.
These four new Resident Directors went through an intensive interview process before being hired. Josh Kusch, Director of Resident Life, explained this process of how becoming a Resident Director works. Kusch stated, “We started with a normal application asking questions about themselves, providing us their resume and cover letter, and we were then presented with 40 applications to look over and review.” A interview panel was put with the task of hiring the four new Resident Directors, and the panel included Josh Kusch, Zach Sherman, Jim Singletary, Brittney Estep and Dr. Phobia George. This panel conducted initial interviews over Zoom and narrowed down to one-half the applicants.
Through the many interviews the applicants went through, they met with different people who are a part of campus life and many different campus partners to get to know the community a little bit better. Kusch stated, “When we began narrowing down our applicants, we had them meet some of the MVNU community so they were able to feel more comfortable. They met with Pastor Stephanie, President Spaulding, Tracy Waal and previous resident directors.” Resident Directors here at MVNU are tasked with many different things, including helping students find connections in their area, helping facilitate growth, and having events help authentic connections in their own identity.
In a video interview with Michaela Bruce, the new Resident Director of Cedar, Birch and Redwood, she explained why she applied for the job and what being a Resident Director means to her. Bruce said, “In a weird way, I love responding to crises and being able to help students through all of the things they are going through.” As Bruce just previously stated, this year is a different year here at MVNU, especially with many new rules and regulations in the residence halls and apartments.
Cara Boyd, the new Resident Director of Galloway stated, “I love being a Resident Director, because making connections with students is really the reason I applied for this job. I am loving the new task of trying to find new ways to connect with everyone in Galloway. We do lots of different events for the floors, so we are not all together or oftentimes we do grab-and-go type of events, so students are able to still have fun but go back to their room after.”
This year Resident Directors are tasked with a few more things than a normal year. A lot have jumped into some of Covid responses as we are developing new ways of connecting with students and allowing students to connect with each other. Kusch stated, “We are looking at everything through a Covid lens and trying to make everything we do go within campus guidelines and finding that balance of making connections and developing friendships while still being in alignment with the guidelines.”
Kusch stated, “All four of our new Resident Directors have been so great. They are stellar, and we are so thankful for the team that God has brought us. They go above and beyond in so many different ways, they are so aware of students' needs, and they demonstrate those in creative ways.”
Make sure you don't miss out the sit-down interview video to go along with this story on our website at www.lakeholmviewer.com!
Introducing the New Resident Directors
November 6, 2020 Mackenzie Holder
Women’s Soccer Seniors: Leaving a Legacy
The pandemic -abbreviated 2020 MVNU women’s soccer season is quickly coming to an end, along with the careers of the six lady senior team members. Melanie Critzer, Adison Preston, Alexa Skal, Natalie Saal, Paige Renz and Missy Emery all have played important roles throughout their careers.
As the final buzzer quickly approaches, Preston, Critzer and Skal reflected on their time playing soccer here at MVNU. “To be part of this team for the last three years has truly changed my life,” said Critzer, who transferred to MVNU prior to her sophomore year from Roberts Wesleyan College. “Making the decision to transfer in was very scary for me and a big risk to come to a campus where I knew two people and starting completely over. It took some time, but I ended up finding my best friends who will be in my life for years to come.”
Preston continued, “My college soccer career has also taught me many life lessons that I will take with me to serve myself in other aspects of my life. I’ve learned the importance of teamwork, dedication and determination; I wouldn’t trade my time on this team for anything.” Soccer has played a role in Skal’s life since she was a child. “It’s played such a big part of my life since then, and to have played a sport that I love in college has been an amazing experience,” said Skal, who is in the top six for both career points and goals at MVNU.
In college and in life, we make memories that last us a lifetime, and the seniors shared their favorites both on the field and off the field, which centered around a trip to the national tournament last year.“Winning a bid to the 2019 national tournament and competing in California will be my favorite memory and getting the chance to play with my best friends while we were there,” said Critzer. “As a kid who barely made the recreation team as a young child, playing in California was such a surreal experience and one I’m very grateful for.” Preston agreed saying, “We worked so hard all season to get there, and it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and I couldn’t imagine doing it with a better group of girls.”
“Going to California last year and competing at nationals was my most favorite memory. That trip was a great time and showed us as a team we are capable of anything we set our minds to,” added Skal.As for off-the-field favorite memories, “During preseason, we do team-bonding activities which will be playing games, watching The Bachelor and playing yard games together,” said Skal. Critzer added hers as, “I’m grateful to be playing one last year of soccer with my younger sister Maddie, (who’s a freshman); and whether it was microwaving pasta with a hairdryer in our hotel room last year, team Bachelor nights, joking with each other at practice, or late-night food runs, I will treasure these memories as I look back on my time with this team.”
With so many seniors graduating this coming spring, the younger players will need to step into leadership roles next year, and all three wanted to share some advice. “I would encourage them to keep a bigger perspective,” said Critzer.Critzer continued, “It’s so easy to get caught up in the competitive nature of everything. At the end of the day, their worth and value can never be found with minutes played, goals scored, or records broken, but who they are in Christ. Remembering this will help them lead better and to love those around them better.” Critzer added, “I would also encourage them to truly invest in their teammates and seek to love them well and serve them, for good leaders are those who simply love everyone around them well.” Skal doesn’t want the younger players to take anything for granted.
For Preston, effort is key to leadership. “Give your best effort and push yourself to be better every single day,” said Preston. “Always give your best to the girl next to you, and don’t be afraid to push your teammates to always give their best effort as well. The best leaders are people that lead by example; always hold yourself and the team to the highest standard.”
MVNU has had a motto that says “Life-Changing;” and for all three, that’s the impact MVNU has left for them. “MVNU has allowed me to grow as a person in a Christ-like environment. This university has provided me with an atmosphere that has positively impacted both my soccer abilities and my nursing career,” said Skal. “MVNU has also impacted me by allowing me to play soccer in a place where I have felt like was a good fit for me. Between both the nursing program and the soccer program, I have been able to follow my career path in an encouraging environment.”
The faculty, the community and the atmosphere play important roles in a college student’s life, and Preston agrees. “The community here is unlike any other,” said Preston. “The faculty and staff care about you and want you to do your best. I couldn’t imagine going to a school with a better atmosphere than MVNU.”.
For Critzer, her life has changed greatly in her three years at MVNU. “It has done so much for me, and I will forever be so thankful for this place,” said Critzer. “It’s where I truly found Jesus and learned to let His love change me. His love has changed everything about my life, and this place will always hold a special place in my heart.”
November 13, 2020 Matt Harden