Category Archives: The Early Days – Posts from 2010

Cupcake Wars Revealed

by Molly Robinson

Photograph of cupcakes decorated and arranged to look like the band Hanson
Cupcake Hanson

If you thought that your decorating cupcake days were done in kindergarten, you were wrong. 50 participants had 200 small cupcakes, 50 jumbo cupcakes, and three foot 12” by 12” containers of frosting worth of fun. Not to mention deliciousness of chocolate boxes, dining vouchers, campus cookies coupons, and assorted candy and snacks among other prizes the cupcake-decorating winners got to enjoy.

I do not know who made the correlation between Coca Cola and cupcakes. Maybe a student who knew they would benefit from the sugar-high boost for the their studying all-nighter after the event? Whatever the case, many participants enjoyed the combination of basketball, Coca Cola, and cupcakes with enthusiasm to win Coca Cola prizes from the basketball “Pop-A-Shot” contest.

Were you there? What were some of the most creative cupcakes you saw?

Study Unions

by Mike Bock

If any of you out there are like me and can’t get work done in your own apartment or dorm, you might be happy to hear that University Unions is planning the new “Study Unions” to help you prep for your exams.

JMU is opening up the Festival and Taylor and Warren Halls to anyone who wants to study during finals week. Each of the three buildings will be open 24 hours from Sunday, December 12 to Tuesday, December 14. That’s not even the best part; there will be food and a team of massage therapists giving out free head and neck massages.

Anyone who has spent more than a semester at JMU knows that, during finals week, both ECL and Carrier Library are going to be more crowded than D-Hall on Grilled Cheese Thursday. Since the Study Unions are so new, they haven’t really been publicized yet… which means that there should be plenty of room for you and your study group in any of the three buildings.

This sounds great for anyone who plans on cramming non-stop for finals, but what about all of the slackers out there? Well, the University Unions has got your back, too. Grafton-Stovall Theater will be showing free movies and episodes of Glee to help you goof off while your friends are studying. And if you’re dangerously low on Dining Dollars, there will be free food offered at certain times during the week.

What exactly is University Unions?

The term “University Unions” refers to the physical buildings of Festival and the Madison Union (Warren, Taylor, and Grafton,) as well as the programs and organizations they house. The goal of these services, programs, and facilities provided by University Unions is to create community at JMU, and to really cater to the needs of the students.

Students use University Unions facilities every day: from grabbing a cup of coffee in Java City, to playing pool in TDU, to meeting with group members in a room in Taylor, to asking a question at the Off-Campus Life desk in Festival. The buildings provide places for students to work and relax. There are also plenty of organizations within University Unions with which to get involved, like University Program Board, Make Your Mark on Madison, Student Activities and Involvement, Fraternity and Sorority Life, Kijiji Leadership, Student Government Association, and Mad4U. University Unions also provides valuable services including Ride Board, UDAP, Off-Campus Life, the Club House, and Outriggers.

University Unions is the “Heart and Soul of JMU.” Check out the University Unions website for more details of upcoming events and ways to get involved!

“Going the Distance” with JMU Alum Geoff LaTulippe

Last night, students lined up outside Grafton Stovall Theater to see a free screening of Going the Distance, staring Justin Long and Drew Barrymore. Afterward JMU Alum and the films screenwriter, Geoff LaTulippe, answered questions from the audience. The film received a great response from the audience and many students had insightful questions for Geoff. Geoff’s demeanor was one just like a college student; he was laid back and spoke some vulgar language. He still provided the audience with beneficial words of advice. He told them, “you’re going to be poor at home, you’re going to be poor wherever you are, so be poor where the most opportunity is.” And in his field he said  you are going to have to pick your battles. Geoff lost a lot more battles then he won. He had to fight hard to keep certain scenes, such as the one were Charlie Day is sitting on the toilet in plain view and the Thanksgiving dinner table scene after the incident with Long and Barrymore.

Geoff has some scripts in the working, but he was only able to speak of one. He is currently working on the script for Breathers: A Zombie’s Lament, based off the novel by S.G. Browne.

What did you think of the film and what Geoff had to say afterward?

Homecoming Weekend!

Happy Homecoming Weekend!! There are tons of exciting events planned for this weekend, so throw on some purple and gold, and come show your school spirit! Get this information and more at the JMU Homecoming page.

Friday, Oct. 15

6:30pm: Pep Rally and Bonfire, Festival Lawn (rain location: Festival Ballroom)
Get pumped for the game! This event is combining two of our largest Homecoming events – Sunset on the Quad and the MadisonFest Bonfire!  Spend your evening enjoying food, festivities and fun, including appearances by JMU celebrities, including Coach Mickey Matthews, who will light the bonfire! There will also be performances by JMU’s a cappella groups, dance teams, cheerleaders and more!

Do you think you’re JMU’s ULTIMATE FAN?! Dress up in as much purple and gold and show us why you deserve to be the ultimate fan! The winner of the contest will receive awesome prizes.


Bring your whole organization out to the Pep Rally on Friday at 6:30 to win great prizes for your organization! The organization with the highest percentage attendance will have open books with Events and Conferences for the 2011 school year! Be sure to check in when you arrive!

7pm: Women’s Soccer vs. Drexel, JMU Soccer Fields

7pm: Women’s Volleyball vs. VCU, Godwin Hall

Saturday, Oct. 16

9am: 15th Annual UREC 5K
Start your Homecoming morning off with our annual 5K through the JMU campus!  Proceeds will benefit UREC student professional development. Click for more information and registration.

10-11am: Hoffman Hall Reunion, Hoffman Hall
Reconnect with your roommates, hallmates, and other former residents of Hoffman Hall! The morning includes a free continental breakfast, as well as tours of the newly renovated residence hall.

11am: Fraternity and Sorority Pre-Tailgate ReceptionTransitions
Join your fellow Greek Life alumni and current members for a pre-tailgate reception!  There will be a representative for each chapter present, so stop by for a light snack and friendly conversation before you head to the Godwin Field Tailgate!  The event is free, however, please register online so we can get a head count.

1pm: Alumni Village Tailgate, Godwin Field
Celebrate Homecoming and leave the cooking to us!  Reconnect with all your friends in the ultimate game day experience of a JMU tailgate with tailgate fare and family-friendly entertainment, including music, moonbounces and more! Cost includes food and drink. Register online

1-3pm: Reunion Tailgates
A number of groups will be celebrating their Reunions with pre-game tailgates. Join the fun!

1-5pm: Forbes Center for the Performing Arts Open House
Experience the excitement of the Forbes Center for the Performing Arts at James Madison University, featuring five remarkable venues, each unique and acoustically designed to perfection. The Forbes Center will captivate your spirit with its soaring floor-to-ceiling glass lobbies, comfortable seating with ample legroom, and upgraded audience amenities.

1-2:30pm: Contemporary Gospel Singers’ Concert, Grafton-Stovall Theater


3:30pm: JMU vs. New Hampshire, Bridgeforth Stadium
Tickets for the football game are now sold out. If you didn’t get yours in time, check Madison Marketplace!

6-8pm: Madison Mahogany Memoirs Reception, Leeolou Alumni Center Great Room
Join the Black Alumni Chapter for its annual post-game reception!  We will be showcasing black alumni memorabilia and premiering the M3 DVD!  Food cost for the reception is sponsored by the Chapter, and $25 of each package purchased will be donated to the Black Alumni Chapter Scholarship Fund.  A $25 donation will be accepted at the Reception for walk-ups! Register online.

7pm: Women’s Volleyball vs. William & Mary, Godwin Hall

8pm (doors open at 7pm): CMSS Homecoming Step Show, Wilson Hall Auditorium
Join the Center for Multicultural Student Services as they host fraternities and sororities from JMU and surrounding colleges, who will compete for a first place trophy and cash prize. The After Party will immediately follow. Purchase tickets online.

10pm-2am: Kappa Alpha Psi and Omega Psi Phi 25th Anniversary Party, Festival Ballroom
Celebrate 25 years of Kappa Alpha Psi and Omega Psi Phi at JMU. This will be an alumni event and upscale attire is requested. H’ors douevres and beverages provided. Music will be provided by a DJ and proceeds will go to fund scholarships and fuel commitment to school spirit and community service by Kappa Alpha Psi and Omega Psi Phi. This will be a Homecoming party and experience you will remember! Tickets are $20/alumni in advance and $25/at the door. Undergraduate students are encouraged to register for $10. Click to register.

CMSS Homecoming Step Show After Party, Godwin Hall
The annual after party will start immediately following the Step Show! 



Sunday, Oct. 17

1pm: Women’s Soccer vs. Delaware, JMU Soccer Fields

Live in the Drum – Sept. 30

by Elizabeth Short

Every last Thursday of the month Mad 4 U presents Live in the Drum. Live in the Drum takes place in the Festival Drum during the evening and features local bands.

On this particular Thursday, two local bands performed, the Cosmic Blackbirds and Clear View.

The Cosmic Blackbirds were the first to perform. At first the crowd was still and quiet. Then, during the middle of a song, bassist Matt Redabaugh took the show to the crowd by jamming right in front of students who immediately fell in love with the band and became eager to hear more.

The band from Haymarket, Va., consists of five members: Nate Dressel  (Vocals), Cameron Lodge (Guitar), Matt Redabaugh (Bass), Jon Combs (Drums), and Austin Kim (Guitar/Keys).

Senior Finance major Chloe Paccaly, had this to say about the band, “They were really cool. I enjoyed listening to their music; they had a good vibe about them.”

Cosmic Blackbirds’ performance was one that showed confidence and a love for music. Their passion was seen in their show as Jon put all his effort into playing the drums and Nate moved the microphone in sync as he sang the words to the songs.

After an hour of playing, the Cosmic Blackbirds cleared the stage allowing Clear View to set the stage up for their performance. From Bridgewater Va., the five band members, Michael Lupton, Jake Taylor, Peter Loomis, Mike Nelson, and Tim Reckley gave a great performance that had the crowds’ full attention.

To find out more information about what is going on in Mad 4 U “Like” their Facebook page, “Mad 4 You.”


by Molly Robinson

Before the concert, raffle winners got to spend a few minutes of one-on-one time with the Cartel.  Sophomores Katie Pullis and Mandy Jenkins, two out of the few JMU students who won the opportunity to meet the band, have been fans since their middle school days. They described it as an experience they won’t soon to forget and said, ‘’They [Cartel] were really nice; they were really cool. We had some witty banter with them.”

JMU’s own Casey Cavanagh band opened for Cartel. The audience enthusiastically welcomes the lively student band that vocalist/guitarist, Casey Cavanagh, describes as mix of “Rock and Roll with an Alt-Country flair and pop sensibilities.” The band’s set list showcased a variety of different musical styles, from their classic rock-inspired, “The Weight” to their alternative sounding song, “Coming Home.”

Each of the band members- including, Casey Cavanagh, John Giardinere (guitar/ backup vocalist), Sam Gillett (guitar/drums), and Jeff Pober (bass guitar/backup vocals)- manage to juggle their class work, organizations, and jobs and internships with fostering the success of their band. Casey, who has been a fan of Cartel for years was honored to open for them and described the experience as “surreal.”

Magenta lights, black pants, bass notes that shook the stage…Cartel’s concert on Friday, September 24th proved to be an energetic and enjoyable experience that left that audience wanting more.  Large sections of the seats in Wilson’s auditorium were left vacant, but not because of low attendance levels– the energetic fans circled around the active stage. Grey and magenta light washed over the band and highlighted the unique style of band members Will Pugh (vocals/guitar), Joseph Pepper (lead guitar), Nic Hudson (guitar), Jeff Lett (bass), and Kevin Sanders (drums). Cartel played about ten songs including their smash-hit, “Honestly”,  “Say Anything”, “If I Fail”, and a cover of Oasis’s “Wonderwall”.