Keep up with all the stories and opinions of students. Opinions published are not necessarily those of MVNU, the Church of the Nazarene or Viewer advertisers. The Viewer does not necessarily uphold or advocate opinions published.

Oaktoberfest Returns to MVNU

November 8, 2021 : Henry Shobert

Following fall break, Oaktoberfest returned to MVNU with its classic fall festivities. Students could grab some of their friends and go on a hayride around campus, go smash or launch pumpkins beside Redwood, carve pumpkins or relax by a fire with a hot chocolate. Other treats included cotton candy, caramel apples, s’mores and kettle corn. Assistant director of the library Zach Sherman performed music on the Oakwood lawn. Fall-themed T-shirts, key chains and stickers were available for students to purchase.


The pumpkin launching and smashing attracted many students to the Redwood lawn. Before anyone could partake in the destruction, they were required to fill out a short waiver sheet. To launch the pumpkins, a catapult was set up at a safe distance from spectators in the middle of the lawn. As many gathered around to watch, pumpkins were placed into the catapult and launched towards the brush away from Redwood. People were cautioned to keep their heads up, however, as some of the pumpkins were shooting straight up out of the catapult. While many watched this, others used rubber mallets to smash pumpkins on the side. Some even threw the pumpkins into the air to watch them explode on the sidewalk.

Senior Andrew Ehrenberg commented, “It was fun to watch people smash the pumpkins. Some were hitting them especially hard. While some enjoyed the more action-packed activities, others preferred to relax and hang out by a bonfire with friends. Freshman Gabe Wolf said, “I really enjoyed the bonfires that were set up. It was relaxing just sitting there and having a conversation with friends.” Initially, he was not sure how he was going to feel at the event, stating, “I had an enjoyable time, something I honestly wasn’t expecting.” He concluded, however, by saying, “It was a good time and I’m glad I decided to go to it.”

Overall, Oaktoberfest turned out to be a success. The event officially welcomed the cool fall weather. Faculty, staff, students and locals came out to enjoy the many festivities.


Barry From the Cafeteria

November 8, 2021 : Allison Prouty

Anyone who’s eaten in the MVNU cafeteria during weekday evenings has met Barry Whetstone. He’s known for being enthusiastic about greeting everyone who comes to the cafeteria, which is his ministry on campus.

Barry grew up in a parsonage home. “My dad was a pastor, and he prayed that all of us would somehow get to get a Christian education,” said Barry. After spending some time being a “rebellious teenager,” he gave his life to the Lord and decided to pursue his calling as a pastor. An answer to his father’s prayers, Barry attended Southern Nazarene University.

“College education has such a tremendous meaning to me,” Barry said, in part because of the friends that he made in his time there. “They’re still my college friends. I got engaged in the back of one of their cars, and one of my college friends became a General Superintendent in the Church of the Nazarene. We’ve kept in contact and if you ask me who my best friends are, after 57 years, I’ll tell you they’re my best friends.”

After graduating from SNU, Barry went on to serve as a pastor for over 50 years. “Unfortunately, health issues pretty much mandated that I not pastor because of my heart and lungs,” said Barry. But because of his love for people, he knew he wanted to find something that would let him be with people. So, he reached out to Dr. Henry Spaulding to find a new way of ministry. Barry was first hired as an adjunct professor at MVNU, but he quickly realized that he wouldn’t get to spend as much time with students as he would have liked.

Soon, a position opened that allowed Barry to coordinate the shuttle ministry, where his goal was “to be there for the students as well as transporting them.” He did this for three years until the COVID-19 pandemic broke out around the world. There were MVNU students on a trip in Italy just as the virus was taking over the country; and upon their return to America, they needed picked up from the airport. Barry went to pick them up. But after they returned, he learned that all the people he picked up were going to be the first people from MVNU to be placed into quarantine, and Barry was going into quarantine as well. In the year following this, Barry experienced four “widow maker” heart attacks, but he said that “God was protecting me. My one physician . . .  she says ‘you’re the man who won’t die!’ As long as I have a mission, I’m not going to die,” said Barry.

His mission now is to be with MVNU students as much as he can, this time by working in the cafeteria. “Dr. Spaulding had been envisioning that I could really make my position here [in the cafeteria] as a ministry because they could let me just be free at the desk to talk to you guys and spend time, and I’ve already had several counseling sessions with young people who just needed to talk to somebody that was different,” said Barry. 

When he isn’t at the desk with students, he loves helping the cafeteria staff to help make sure dinner goes smoothly. “We’ve had so many challenges this year with COVID and having to use paper plates and take things out; and each day, that’s something I can help them with. So, when we’re going through this time, I’ve been able to help them get the Styrofoam paper plates set out and all of those things I can do to help them with the load they’ve carried,” he said. “I just love being around the people, and I love the staff of the cafeteria. They’ve been really wonderful and accepting to me. They really love you kids, even though they’re usually so busy that they don’t have time to show that, which is, you know, part of our human characteristics; but boy do they really work to put out good food, and I’m happy with that.”

Barry really does enjoy the cafeteria food, and he loves to let students know what’s good when they come in to the cafeteria. He loves steak ticket nights, but “I think everybody likes steak night. But, all of our meat is so prime and so well cooked,” said Barry, “So there’s a lot of good foods. I just have to be honest and say that I like to eat. So, the best food [in the cafeteria] is the next meal. I’ll tell you how I feel about it.”

Barry wants students to know that “you are loved. I really just want [students] to know that I’m here for them if they need somebody to talk to. If they’re going through a difficult time, that’s not abnormal. That’s a part of developing as an individual. It’s especially a part of growing as a Christian, and I pray that, whether it be me or someone else, that they won’t allow the burdens to get too heavy, and that they’ll allow us to carry them with us for them. Because if I get anything out of the Bible, it’s that our faith with Christ is an individual thing. Nobody can do it for me. But the reality is, as much as it is individual, it’s relational and that everything in our lives has to do with a relationship.

“So, make good relationships, reach out to people, they’re hurting. Some of them are bleeding all over the place and nobody knows it, so don’t miss the opportunities to be there, but please know that I and everyone on the staff I know and everyone that works in the cafeteria would stop if they knew you are hurting and do whatever they could to help you. We love you.”


Happy Bean

November 5, 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 students have grab’n’go food options for a meal exchange or purchase using Road Bucks.

MVNU student, Abbi Hurst says she uses her road bucks to order London Fog tea and iced Chai. 

Ballenger says 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 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 8am-4pm and 6pm-8pm, and on Saturdays from 10am-3pm. 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.” Ballenger says.


MVNU and Thorne Library have been looking for a new space that is inviting for students to relax and study at. 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.