Monthly Archives: September 2013

Interview with Andrew Stoddard

I sat down with senior cross country co-captain Andrew Stoddard to discuss the state of the team and his college career overall.

Q: What are your goals for this season individually?

A: I’d like to break 27 minutes for the 8K and get All-ODAC or very close to it.

Q: What about as a team?

A: I think we can get Top 5 in the ODAC and maybe top one or two in an invitational.

Q: What has been your best moment “on the course”?

A: Honestly, it hasn’t been in college, but in high school we made it to the state meet and I was the 4th best runner on the team, and it meant a lot since I used to be the worst on the team and was running 24 minute 5Ks when I started, it really validated all the hard work.

Q: What about off the course?

A: Get to know my teammates and make friends, plus I have been inducted into a few honor societies for journalism and history.

Q: What are your post-grad plans?

A: I am looking to get into journalism or coaching, but if I can’t get a job right away, I’d like to get into grad school for journalism at Syracuse, Missouri, or VCU. As far as running, I plan on taking some time off then staring to train for a half marathon before getting into the full thing.

Q: Who have been some of your favorite teammates?

A: As an underclassman I really liked Andrew Craver and Yonathan [Ararso]. This year Grant [Brown] has been my training partner and he has really been pushing me and motivating me for my senior year.

Q: Funniest moment of your college career?

A: It actually happened on Friday when I lost my shoes, the timing chip messed up my left shoe and I tried running without it for about a half mile but had to take the other one off to balance myself out.

Q: How would you sum up your career so far?

A: Moderately successful as an individual, but as a team a disappointment, we were 7th my freshman year but have gone down in the standings every year.

Q: Any challenges you’ve had to overcome?

A: Luckily no injuries, but when I first started in high school, I was the worst on the team, but it was awesome to be second on the team as a junior and then be a part of the state team my senior year.

Q: How does this year’s freshman class look?

A: Not our biggest in terms of quantity but definitely the best in terms of quality, Grant, LD [Andrew Madison], and Taylor [Matthews] have all shown promise.

Q: What song gets you in the zone before a race?

A: Well there are a lot but I’d have to say that “Magic Carpet Ride” by Steppenwolf.

Q: Early Super Bowl Favorite

A: Well I like the Lions, but I’m going to go with the Seahawks.


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The Most Humanitarian Approach to Syria: Open Borders

The sharks are circling, as it were. Or perhaps it is more appropriate to say that the war hawks are getting restless. As civil war rages in Syria, a bi-partisan cast of war hawks, which includes a couple of former presidential candidates – Senators John Kerry and John McCain — are salivating at the chance to “democratize” another failed state in the Middle East. If our country’s war hawks are as well intentioned and benevolent as we might hope, then bombing Syria is only a means to the end of assisting the innocent Syrian people. There’s no doubt that Assad is a barbaric villain and a throwback to that portion of history which spanned from Gilgamesh to Adolf Hitler. However, in this case – as in nearly all other cases – violence is not the best way to help them. The most humanitarian solution, the one that would ease the suffering of the most Syrians, would be to ensure that our (America’s) borders are open to Syrian refugees.

            So often, when confronted with a Middle Eastern dictator, our government’s instinctive response is to counter with violence or some show of aggression. This is a quite antiquated approach; indeed, our cavemen ancestors would often club one each other on the head if they perceived the other caveman as being aggressive. Man’s crowning achievement is that he moved past the need to fight fire with fire, but instead learned to solve problems through peaceful means like: debate, discourse, cooperation, commerce, etc. Unfortunately, government is one of the last few institutions in which violence is still a normal – and under certain conditions, acceptable – practice.

            Bombing Syria is a course of action that would likely result in more trouble than it’s worth. Most obviously, innocent civilians will die. This is an unavoidable consequence of bombing a country. Unfortunately, many proponents of the bombings believe that this is a worthwhile cost that will lead to a net preservation of civilian lives in the long-run. But even if we accept the premise that civilian casualties are a necessary consequence to bring about a greater good, it’s not at all clear that the bombings will actually lead to better days in the future. Many of the civil wars and revolutions in the Middle East are fought by opposing sides in which it’s uncertain that either side will govern efficiently and compassionately. The recent turmoil in Egypt shows that the revolution might be just as despotic as the dictator. In all of these conflicts, we run the risk of assisting the greater of two evils.

            There’s only one sure-fire way to ensure that the lot of Syrian citizens is improved: allow as many Syrians as possible to seek refuge in the United States. The U.N. reports that there are currently seven million displaced Syrians. Only two million have been able to flee to different countries. We could easily improve the welfare of Syrian refugees by allowing refugees to enter the United States, as well as urging other Western nations to allow Syrian refugees. The refugees would come to a country that is wealthy and already has strong democratic institutions. Already, neighboring countries like Jordan have taken in refugees, but as numbers increase, they may be unable to support more refugees. Unlike a bombing, this is a policy that would have a decent chance of helping every single Syrian affected. Even the worst-off in America tend to have a better life than the average Syrian.

            Only a conclusion to the civil war and the introduction of better institutions – like respect for the rule of law and freedom of the press – will lead to a better livelihood for Syrians. We need to recognize the limits of violence as a means for solving problems. The American government can’t resolve the civil war. However, America can, at this moment, try to provide Syrians better institutions by allowing the refugees to immigrate to the States and encouraging other Western nations to take in Syrians. 

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Tiger Football Preview: 2013 Season


                  After a long summer of internships, summer courses and down-right pure healthy shenanigans, that time we have all awaited, has arrived.  Tiger football, day-long tailgates and beautiful women are in the future, and we as Hampden-Sydney men must prepare for such great things accordingly.  Our Hampden-Sydney Tigers finished last season with an overall record of 6-4 overall and 4-3 in the conference.  Despite unfortunate losses to W & L and Macon, the 2012 season was one to remember.  The Tigers recorded 1578 rushing yards, 229 first downs, and 20 sacks last season.  They took the minks into four overtimes and fought hard against Macon.  We will miss our recently graduated alumni such as Evan King and Kenny Fryman on the field, but we in turn wish them all the best of luck wherever their Hampden-Sydney degrees should take them.  This weekend, at 1:00 sharp, Hampden-Sydney hosts Averett on Fulton Field.  We beat them last season and the year before that.  The field is clean and cut, the forecast looks promising and the freshmen really have no idea how great they are going to have it.  When asked to relay his expectations for this upcoming season, Junior and safety for the Tigers, John Moore remarked that he “feels very excited and intrigued about this coming season, and that he looks forward to bringing back an ODAC championship to the Tiger Football Program.”  Moore, along with teammates Chris Shembo and Will Ferrell, will lead the Tigers this year as they kick off yet another season of college football.  While the Tigers face another difficult schedule, their fans aren’t going anywhere.  That same undying support will lead our Tigers through tough match ups this season vs. Christopher Newport University, Bridgewater College, the minks and Macon.  David Thalhiemer, a junior and fraternity brother of Moore, affirms that “things will get rowdy”, on and off the field.  Also be on the lookout for quarterback Nash Nance and other notable hard workers, Andrew Cooney and Will Banning.  In light of Saturday’s match up against Averett, Moore stated that “any Hampden Sydney student whose presence will not be in attendance due to the purchasing of tickets to some wookie musical festival will be shunned throughout this entire campus.”  Tailgating begins when you wake up, the game begins at 1:00, but the celebration will continue until the day is won and done.  As long as touchdowns are being scored, the drinks will continue to be poured. 

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Soccer Draws Even in Weekend Trip to Pennsylvania

The 2013 season for Hampden-Sydney Soccer kicked off with a bang when the team traveled to Pennsylvania for a weekend double-header. Outscoring their opponents a total 8-2 across both games proved to be not enough for a clean sweep as the Tigers ended the weekend 1-1.

            The first game, which took place on Friday, August 31st, brought all of the preseason-hype that had been building up. The news regarding the ODAC Preseason Poll, which had placed Hampden-Sydney at the #6 spot, a noteworthy four rungs above the rather less-impressive #10 seed, Randolph-Macon, was released the day before the season opener. The news only bolstered the team’s confidence heading into the game. The Ravens of Rosemont College were the unfortunate victims of the Tiger’s offensive onslaught that day. Junior midfielder James Lawrence surprised everyone when he opened up the scoring just 14 seconds after the starting whistle. Junior midfielder Bryan Barahona was credited with the assist. The game began to have a dreary feel to it when the Ravens were awarded a penalty kick right before the 10 minute mark, evening out the score to 1-1. The offense really began to do its work in the 37th minute when freshman midfielder Liam Hogan scored the first goal of his collegiate career off of an assist from senior forward Alex Thexton. Another freshman opened up his scoring record three minutes later; this time it was forward Robert Kerby, assisted by sophomore midfield/defender Josiah Fleming’s pass from the top of the box. Halftime didn’t slow down the Tigers at all as Lawrence recorded his first brace of the season in the 59th minute; a quick goal scored off of a rebound from junior defender Davis Carter’s attempt. The game looked to end 4-1 until the sophomore superstar, forward Leo Kowalski, brought the total to five in the 73rd minute, giving Barahona his second assist on the day. To add icing on the cake, a third freshman scored for Hampden-Sydney, an unassisted goal by forward Nathaniel Mikuleza in the 82nd minute. The entire game was everything Head Coach Josh Laux needed it to be; three freshmen started their careers on a high note and the 6-1 score was, well, 6-1.   

            The following day the Tigers traveled 14 miles across Pennsylvania to face off against Penn State Abington in Fort Washington, PA. The Nittany Lions demonstrated that they were a tougher nonconference opponent for the Tigers in the first half when they managed to score two goals, both assisted by their forward, Marco Papora. 37 minutes in, two after the second goal, senior defender Jason Haas was sent off with a red card, leaving the Tigers with 10 men the rest of the game. A mere two shots taken and a dismal period of three minutes where three offside calls were made left Hampden-Sydney with a disappointing first half. The Tigers found themselves down 0-2 in goals and 10-11 in players at the half. 14 minutes into the second half was the moment the gears starting moving again. Lawrence played a key role yet again when he assisted junior forward Robert Stephens. Stephens, one of the prolific scorers for Hampden-Sydney in the 2012 season, managed to chip the ball over the Nittany Lions’ goalie and have it still find its way into the net. The goal spurred the rest of the team into action and for the rest of the game the Tigers pushed strongly for the game-tying goal, accumulating six more shots and even more offside calls before the final whistle was blown. Despite the second half effort, the first half’s mistakes could not be offset, leaving the Tigers with their first loss of the season, 1-2.

            The one-for-one weekend was very impressive. Freshmen opening their scoring accounts and determination at an all-time high are encouraging signs for Coach Laux’s team. The Tigers will compete in another double header this weekend. At 4pm on Friday, September 6th, Southern Virginia University will travel to Hampden-Sydney to be the targets of the Tiger’s home opener. Greensboro College will make the same travel Sunday; this game will be at 2pm. 

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Pantele: Still on the Hill


As many of you know, the Office of Student Affairs has within it a different face that is familiar to last year’s students: Richard Pantele ’13 is now an Assistant Dean of Students, in charge of activities and organizations. According to Dean Pantele, he noticed the job opening on Hampden-Sydney’s website last year, during his last semester. He said that, as a Government and Foreign Affairs major, he was preparing for the LSAT’s when suddenly, after hearing that the job was no longer available, he received correspondence for an interview. Needless to say, he got the job.


Dean Pantele said that the transition was not difficult. “I’ve had very many family members come here, and I’ve been coming to football games since I was six years old. So, this is kind of just an extension of what I’ve been doing all my life.” About a possible career in college administration, Pantele said that he had never really considered it an option, but it is now considering his love for his new job.

A concern that comes up in these kinds of situations is how the relationships a student has with fellow students translate to relationships between dean and students. Dean Pantele said, “It has been a priority of mine to establish what sort of relationship I can have with my friends who are still here, who were here last year.” He went on to say that it is hard but necessary. Dean Pantele assured me that those friendships he made as a student still thrive today: “I keep up with them because they’re my friends, and I can’t help it. It’s not worth not being friends with someone just because I’m now in a professional position ‘above them.’ That’s just not how I think of this position at all. Nor should I, because it would be very unsuccessful for me to do that.”


Dean Pantele expanded on the nature of his position in Blake A, saying that he presides over Greek life and student organizations, such as clubs. He noted that Dean Mladen Cvijanovic, who is no longer at HSC, and Dean Ramsey both have been the dean over Greek life, but there hasn’t been a specific title for the charge before. His job entails aiding in the facilitation of student activities, including the inspection and maintaining of policies at the circle. 

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Arriving On The Hill



As the fall semester starts, there are nearly 300 new Freshmen walking across campus, embarking on the first year of their Hampden-Sydney journey. For many of us, that first year was filled with some air of complaints about the freshman dorms. Whether it be the shower heads in Whitehouse that are nearly as tall as one’s chest, or the lack luster paint job in the Carpenters, somebody somewhere was expressing their boldest dislike about dorm life as a Freshman.


With our memories of freshman dorm living held fondly, we have a new extension to build on those memories. This year, we are fortunate to have new student lounges. Last semester with the help of Dean Lawson, Dean of Student Living at the time, and the student body, a plan to increase the lifestyle of Freshman living was implement, and resulted in these lavish new lounges.


Decorated with fresh new leather couches, chairs, Hampden-Sydney memorabilia, and flat screen televisions, the new dorms are something unusual to those of us who remember the old dorm Freshman dorm life.


Curious, I spoke with multiple Freshman about their experience arriving on the Hill. With expectations of the usual banter prevalent on Hampden-Sydney’s campus towards Freshman living, I heard something quite different.  I heard stories of joy, embrace, and camaraderie.


As it were, each student from Whitehouse that I spoke with was content. They had stories of jubilation, jokes, and gratification of the community they felt in their Freshman dorms. Whether it was the first two weeks of freedom speaking, we shall see. But for now, the remarks hold strong with comments from 1st year Will Smith: “Community life is awesome.” Other 1st year Jake Richardson expressed his content with the open community: “You can walk around anywhere in Whitehouse and be welcomed in other rooms.” “Everyone sits outside and talks on the weekends,” stated Thomas Murphy.


Though there was much joy, there were the casual complaints of bathrooms not being clean in Whitehouse, washing clothes for the first time and the difficulties that mixing whites and darks create, and other comments regarding similar areas.


It’s not only Whitehouse that is getting high remarks. Shamus Magee, Cushing resident and Freshman, explained how the spacious rooms are superb compared to the smaller dorms of other colleges. Another nice benefit of Cushing, Magee added, was the fact that the building has air conditioning—a luxury some other colleges don’t have. Another big plus was that our Resident Advisors tend to be affable, a factor that does not always play nicely at other colleges.


With multiple students’ opinions heard, I thought it was time to here from an RA himself about the living situations and the usage of the new lounges. Rest assured, the lounges are being used in the capacity that the school expected: “My residents have been making the best out of the lounges in Carp X. It’s helped a lot having this extra space in the Carpenters, and is definitely giving the residents more reason to stay around,” assured Carpenter X Resident Advisor, Jack Carignan.


The West House lounge has also been a great addition: “They use it all the time in West House: meetings, hang outs, everything. The residents think it’s really nice,” explained Whitehouse Resident Advisor, Thomas Isom. The only frustration came from usage with the new keypads. Some people have difficulty accessing the room on the first try.


After visiting Buildings and Grounds and learning how to use the pads, I was informed that sometimes students do not push hard enough on the buttons, and that will result in the door locking them out; therefore, it is essential to press hard enough so that the device acknowledges your commands.


With these words of elation from our new brothers, and new expectations from our upper classmen towards campus lifestyle, the year has started off on a very strong foot. The many improvements toward Freshman living have been a success, and are paving a new wave of success to come for the future. As an upperclassmen, I am excited to see the new changes that will come in our time here, and in the time once we leave campus. 

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H-SC Cross Country: ODAC Preview Meet

It was a Hampden-Sydney first on August 30th as The Manor Golf Club hosted its first cross country meet. The club’s newest golf course served as the terrain for the meet. The golf course environment made for an easier run due to the grass, but also a difficult experience as it featured numerous hills. The temperature was mild with a slight breeze and the receding amount of sunlight at dusk made for a perfect climate for the runners.

The ODAC Preview Meet offered a first look at this year’s teams from across the conference, such as Bridgewater College, Lynchburg College, and Washington and Lee University.  The Tigers took ninth place at the event. Senior Andrew Stoddard looked to follow up on an impressive junior season in which his personal record was 27:23. He led the Tigers with a time of 28:56, taking 35th overall. Freshman Grant Brown posted a time of 29:31 to place 43rd, and fellow freshman Andrew Madison ran the course in 31:21 to take 73rd. Two sophomores rounded out the Tigers group, as William Imeson looked to improve on a solid freshman season. He finished the Manor course in 33:03 to take 85th place, while Evan Harris crossed the finish line 86th with a time of 33:16. Coach Betsy Leonard will look to use Stoddard and Imeson as the foundation to build a winning team upon.

Christopher Newport University was the big winner as they took team honors in both the men’s and women’s meets. Brian Flynn of Bridgewater College was the top men’s runner, while Casey Mackintosh from Washington & Lee took the top women’s spot.

The Tigers will now go into the season looking to exceed expectations after being picked to finish ninth in the ODAC Preseason Poll voted on by league coaches. The ODAC Preview Meet at The Manor will serve as a preview of the ODAC Championship Meet that The Manor and Hampden-Sydney will host on November 2nd.

Caption: Andrew Stoddard makes the final push to the finish line


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