Category Archives: Growing up! – Posts from 2011

The Spirit Rock

by Molly Robinson

About few weeks ago, a spirit rock was added to the East side of campus. It’s located near the sidewalk on the grass lawn closest to the side of ISAT that faces the East Campus dorms.

At first when I saw the rock, I thought it was a pretty silly idea. I thought, “How can the student body possibly be motivated to show school spirit by simply just looking at a painted rock?” Not to mention, it doesn’t necessarily match with the ISAT building/dorm designs or the lawn- its sort of looks like it was just dropped into that location on accident.

But now, as a couple of weeks have passed, I have seen how the spirit rock that I made fun of initially is actually a good creative means for students to advertise campus activities. Different organizations take turns painting the rock in various bright, appealing colors to publicize their events. Who would have thought that a giant boulder would have the ability to make marketing into an engaging art form?

A Look Back

by Elizabeth Short

I can’t believe that the 2010-2011 school year is coming to an end and a group of students, including myself, will be graduating. This year there have been structural changes to the campus, various breaking news, and exciting events occurring at JMU. Here are some things I thought of as another school year at JMU comes to a close:

  1. Grand opening of the Forbes Center for the Performing Arts
  2. Sept. 11, 2010 – JMU 21 – VT 16: “James Madison’s best work since the Federalist Papers”
  3. Dec. 8, 2010 – President Rose announces his resignation from office in 2012
  4. Concerts presenting Cartel, Sara Bareilles, and B.O.B
  5. The building of the new stadium
  6. The Big Event & Madipalooza

I know that there is so much more that happened this year and would like to hear about them from you.

Random Observations

by Mike Bock

Rather than doing a traditional blog post, I thought I’d break it up into a few random observations.

  • Not sure if anyone managed to make it over to the Arboretum in Saturday’s monsoon, but I drove by it and it was almost totally flooded. The water level made it up to the side of the benches. Wow, nature.
  • My buddy in the College of Business is graduating in May. He already has a sweet job lined up, but the joke is on him: he has to wear a brown sash as a part of a graduation robe. I can’t imagine it’s going to look great with those purple robes.
  • Student Employee Appreciation Day was today, and the University Unions gave us a ton of free food. Thanks, JMU!
  • When did hookah on the Quad become so popular? It seems like I can’t even walk to campus without tripping over one of those hoses.

Giving Back to the Community

by Elizabeth Short

This past weekend JMU’s Student Government Association hosted The Big Event, a day of service to the Harrisonburg community. Through word-of-mouth I heard that SGA had a goal of 500 participants, but over 800 signed up! Go Dukes!

I signed up with JMU PRSSA for The Big Event and had a great time. Yes, there was a time or two that I thought it was a little unorganized, but overall I thought that it was a great event, which should definitely occur in the future.

So, you are probably wondering what my group did for the community? We worked in partnership with Blacks Run/Downtown Cleanup Day. When we arrived at our check-in spot they provided us with neon orange vests and trash bags, and gloves. Then we were told exactly what we would be doing…instead of cleaning out the river, like we originally thought, we picked up trash along Vine St.  At least I was only cold, not wet and cold!

I haven’t done service in a long time, so it felt good giving back to the community this past weekend. I believe that the JMU community definitely showed the Harrisonburg community that we have more to offer than what was shown at Springfest.

Did you participate in The Big Event? If so, where did you do your service?

No Cars

by Mike Bock

As you may or may not be aware, JMU is slowly in the process of making campus a car-free zone. Starting next year, only registered JMU vehicles and HDPT buses will be able to drive on the section of Blue Ridge drive ranging from the South Main Street intersection to about where Mr. Chips is located. Plenty of my fellow students are not exactly thrilled with this idea, citing reasons such as “it will be way too difficult to get around” to “we’re turning into another UVA”.

While the decision to reduce on-campus driving doesn’t really affect me (or the rest of the senior class), I can see why people are getting upset. The JMU we love, the JMU we applied to and were accepted into, is slowly changing into something that will be unrecognizable in the next few decades. Losing a driveway next year isn’t just about inconvenience—it signifies the beginning of a process that will demolish the dorms we stayed in as freshmen, the fields we played on, and the buildings we hung out in. An unbiased observer probably wouldn’t object to the changes that will be made at JMU, but changing the campus we grew to love is going to bring up some complicated emotions from students and alumni alike.

Graduation is Fast Approaching

by Elizabeth Short

In a short four weeks, the class of 2011 will be receiving their diplomas and entering the next step of their life. This might include taking on a full-time job, internship, grad school, or just traveling. It seems like just yesterday I was beginning my freshman year at JMU and about to experience the best time of my life. It’s scary how fast time passes when you are having fun.

This week is the Graduate Fair at the bookstore, which is only making graduation a reality. Every time I log on to Facebook I see at least one status about a friend buying their cap and gown and how depressing, bittersweet, but exciting it is. I plan on picking up my cap and gown this Friday. I don’t know how I will feel afterwards, but I will probably make a Facebook status about the “experience!”

For seniors, how are you feeling about graduation, excited, scared, sad or a mixture? For underclassmen, enjoy the time you have at JMU; make the most of it.


by Mike Bock

Last year’s Springfest has left an indelible mark on the JMU community, which school officials have tried to remedy in a variety of ways. You might have noticed press coverage for the upcoming Madipalooza, an outdoor music event that will be held at Festival Lawn on Saturday afternoon. To me, it seems that the event is turning into an “anti-Springfest”—a gathering that aims to keep students entertained without being drunk or breaking any laws. And it might actually work. I’ve talked to plenty of people who are going to Madipalooza, rather than any block parties that might pop up over the weekend.

However, one event isn’t going to change student’s attitudes towards drinking. Madipalooza is a great idea, but there need to be plenty of other alternatives to partying if we want to totally break away from the stigma of the Springfest riots.