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Leaves of October

Is the sun stone or sky,

or pieces of a wasteland only known as such?

Walking back and forth, if anything stays the same

then it is always changing, if there is tradition

then it is only evolving as fast as you and I can.

Walking back and forth, I want you to listen

as we all say something different.

— This close thing endures:

if it is a bell ringing, it is a dog barking,

youth turned cold and growing every day.

Jonathan Campbell ’16

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C Day: An Experience like No Other

September 10 was C-Day for Hampden-Sydney, a day on which students gathered with their peers and celebrated Honor, Service, and Commitment. Festivities began at 9 a.m. as seniors and faculty processed into Opening Convocation. Later, each class had a special speaker; after the speeches were over, the annual “Pig on the Point” lunch and club fair was held at Chalgrove Point. Finally, freshmen were sent out into the community to do service projects.

President Chris Howard, Reverend David Keck, Student Body President Justin Pugh, and Provost Dennis Stevens delivered speeches and presented awards at Convocation, while Ned Bowden’14 delivered the charge to new students.

Following Convocation, all classes went their separate ways to listen to speakers and alumni. Each speaker delivered a different, individualized message to his audience, and drove home the point of just how much he loved Hampden-Sydney. Juniors completed the ring and coin ceremony, while sophomores went through their pinning ritual. After the speeches, students, alumni, speakers, and faculty were all invited to a barbecue lunch at Chalgrove Point.

During Pig on the Point, the school’s clubs were also on display as part of a club fair. Dozens of organizations showed up to recruit members and spread the word about their association. Representatives were out in full force and new members were seemingly added by the minute.

Following Pig on the Point, freshmen performed service projects throughout the communities of Farmville and Hampden-Sydney. Some students cleaned up the Wilson Trail, others helped pick up trash on Highway 15, and still others volunteered at the Moton Museum, Prince Edward County Elementary School and other places throughout the area.

The freshmen service projects really tied the day together for new students, as they were able to see firsthand the community around H-SC. It also helped get H-SC’s name out in the community in a good way, as it’s not an everyday occurrence that students are working to better the town of Farmville and our local campus.

C-Day had a dismal attendance rate last year, but the issue seems to have been resolved via the implementation of the new ID card system. A vast majority of students showed up from each and every class despite the hot temperatures early in the day. School officials were very happy with the turnout, and while it could have been improved, it was a huge step forward from last year.

All in all, C-Day was a rousing success, especially when compared to last year’s events. There will always be room to grow, but this year had better attendance and got students more actively involved in the activities. The day truly showed both freshmen and other students, in President Howard’s words, “Who we are and what we do.”

 

Alex Abbott

Class of ‘17

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Bo Burns Interview

Senior defender Bo Burns was named captain for the 2013 Hampden-Sydney soccer team due in large part to his leadership both on and off the field. I sat down with him to get a look into his goals for the team and himself as he enters his final season

1. What are your goals for the season both as an individual and as a team?

As a team, we haven’t made the ODAC playoffs in two years, so we’d like to get back into playoffs this year. But obviously, our goal is to win the conference championship, a goal that is very attainable for us this year. For me personally, I’d like to make All-Conference.

2. What game are you most looking forward to?

I’m looking forward to playing against Lynchburg College. We have them at home this year under the lights (October 1st), and it should be a great atmosphere. It’s always a heated game when we play LC– we beat them bad last year– so it’d be great to pick up another W against them.

3. How exciting is the chance to play under the lights in front of the home fans?

Our team is very excited to be playing under the lights this year. We’re hoping the night games will bring out more fans and create an atmosphere that other teams will struggle to play in.

4. What has been your best on-field moment?

My freshmen year, we went to the ODAC finals, but the semi-final game that year was crazy vs.  Washington and Lee. Celebrating with the team after that win is something I’ll never forget.

5. Best moment off the field?

This past summer I studied in Valencia, Spain for May Term. It was an unforgettable experience that I really enjoyed.

6. Do you have a teammate you particularly enjoy playing alongside?

Fellow senior and co-captain Bryan Talbert. He’s really made a huge impact on our team this year with his fitness and level of play. He’s the engine of our team.

7. Why did you choose to come to Hampden-Sydney?

I chose H-SC because of the prestige that the school has in terms of academics, network of alumni, and brotherhood among students. In terms of soccer, having the chance to compete for a starting job as a freshman was an added bonus.

8. Do you have any pre-game superstitions?

I’m not a very superstitious person, so the closest thing I can think of to be considered a pre-game superstition would be that I lather up IcyHot on my legs before a game. The team usually can smell me from like a mile away.

9. Is there anyone on the team that you feel deserves more recognition for what they bring to the team?

Many players have stepped up their game this season, but freshman goalkeeper Cameron McFarlane has been an absolute beast in goal so far.

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What Makes an Ideal Hampden-Sydney Professor?

Dylan DelliSanti ‘14

            One of the most commonly debated questions on campus is: what is the ideal Hampden-Sydney man? This is an important debate to be had, and – while some peripheral questions remain – after centuries of inquiry, a fairly general consensus has been reached which can be captured in our Honor Code and Student Code of Conduct. However, a less debated, but equally important, question is: what is the ideal Hampden-Sydney professor? While college professors are not asked to hold our hands as tightly as grade school teachers, they are still charged with the important task of helping us progress from boys to men.

            Along with being a good man, a Hampden-Sydney student is asked to be a good citizen. This often entails that he engages in the public discourse, and works to discern and preserve truth – sometimes even going against popular opinion. As a result, the ideal Hampden-Sydney professor should be a role model in intellectual inquiry. Professors should help students pursue many and varied lines of thought, while also showing them correct methods of reasoning. What should be important for the professor is not that the student agrees with his or her opinion, but that the student argued his own opinion in a logical and reasonable manner. This does not entail that professors should be devoid of voicing their own opinions. Instead, professors should be open and explicit about what they believe, perhaps even arguing with students on issues where they disagree. Nonetheless, the professor should set a good example in this area by separating the individual from his ideas: if a student has an opinion contrary to the professor’s, the student should, of course, not be punished for disagreeing, but be judged on his ability to make a reasonable argument.

            This tenant of intellectual inquiry extends outside of the classroom. Often, students see college as either a playground with booze, or a stepping-stone to a career. However, college is also a time to appreciate acquiring knowledge for knowledge’s sake. Professors can serve as stalwarts of intellectual inquiry by engaging – in a respectful and intellectually honest manner – with other professors with whom they disagree. In a society in which ad hominem and loose reasoning is the norm from Presidential debates to Facebook comment threads, professors who demonstrate how to properly engage in debate on controversial issues can be the role models that Hampden-Sydney men need to be good citizens.

            Along with being open to intellectual inquiry, professors should work to preserve the highest standards. Our public education system often panders to the lowest tiers and many students go into college expecting the same treatment. However, there is little that is more demeaning to the dignity of the student, nor damaging to the value of our education, than professors who would pander to the lowest common denominator. This does not mean that professors should be unreasonable, but they should ask the student to grow. Hampden-Sydney – far from being an institution that simply hands out diplomas – should be a college that transforms students into something greater than they were when they first entered the gates. Thus, our professors should keep high standards to ensure that our students truly do grow from boys to men.

            Finally, our professors should take a reasonable interest in the growth of their students. There’s no doubt that many professors lead busy lives, often living far from campus. But, as best they can, they should take an interest in the lives of their students. This might mean being an active mentor in clubs for which they are the faculty advisor, or staying after class to debate controversial subjects or discuss career plans. At a small school like ours, this is one tenant of the ideal professor that should be easily achieved.

            If being a Hampden-Sydney student is a special distinction requiring high standards, then being a Hampden-Sydney professor should also come with greater duties. College is not simply a place you have to go to before you start your career. Rather, it is the only time in a young man’s life where he can pursue new ideas free from the environment he grew up in. In order to do so, the Hampden-Sydney student needs a culture that is open to inquiry, and will push him to become more than himself. Our professors are on the frontlines to creating and protecting this culture.

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Flatbush Zombies—BetterOffDEAD — 4stars

The Brooklyn, New York group’s second mixtape does not disappoint. The same haunting beats and cutting lyrics that made their first mixtape D.R.U.G.S. such a success are back for their sophomore effort, and they fit into the style better than ever before. Highlights from the tape include “Death”, “Palm Trees”, and “Thugnificense”. All the beats are done by producer/rapper Erik Arc Elliot, and his inclusion on the tracks helps him write excellent beats for the crew. Zombie Juice has improved from the first mixtape, and Meechy Darko remains consistently excellent. Despite the glowing review, I must warn that these guys are not for everyone. They don’t rap over bass-heavy beats about strippers like 2 Chainz, they are more dark and sinister. However, if you are fan of more underground rap like OFWGKTA or any member of the A$AP Mob (with whom which Flatbush Zombies have collaborated) you will thoroughly enjoy this mixtape and will definitely have it in heavy rotation over the next few weeks. 

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12 Years after 9/11: New Leadership Needed

On Thursday, September 12, the Wilson Center hosted an informative event on the Bortz Library’s fourth floor that centered on the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Mark Gerencser, a Booz Allen Executive Vice President, stopped by The Hill to discuss how we can combat terrorism with a community approach, and ultimately a new kind of leadership. Mr. Gerencser has also held roles as an advisor to government, private and non-profit task forces in building up “megacommunities” to solve infrastructure nuances. He is the co-author of the book Mega Communities, and is a member of the National Security Education Board, just to name a few of the positions he’s held.

Mr. Gerencser opened up with a statement regarding how the United States (US) is doing since the attacks, and he stated that the country is faring “fairly well, but not adequate.” The country’s ports and information sharing techniques have improved, but not to a standard of ‘superb’ security.

He then went on to discuss three simulations in which he played a significant role. These simulations were different kinds of terror attacks on US soil, and were intended to improve preparations for any potential attack in the future. A couple months after 9/11, Mr. Gerencser’s first simulation was an airborne attack of the pneumonic plague in two locations of the country: one at a college basketball game and the other at an NHL game. Throughout the simulation, the unawareness led to one million virtual deaths.  This simulation was rerun twice, and in the third trial, the death rate had dropped to about 10,000 virtual deaths.  The results of this simulation included better business interactions, faster decision making, a need for a better alert system regarding airborne events and this simulation played a role in the formation of the Department of Homeland Security.

Mr. Gerencser then discussed his second simulation: a faulty port inspection giving way to a radioactive scare in 2002. In this simulation, a container with a hazardous device entered the Port of Los Angeles, was cleared and eventually shipped into the US. While in transit, the container fell over and the hazardous device emerged, causing authorities to investigate, and upon further inspection in the simulation, the hazardous device turned out to be a “dirty bomb.” During the investigation, all ports were shut down by US agencies, including the Coast Guard, FBI and Customs. Eventually, the ports were reopened after a virtual confusion on who had the authority to reopen the ports. This simulation helped point out flaws in the authority of ports reopening and the economic effects of closed ports. It also helped with the creation of the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT).

From here, Mr. Gerencser got to his main point: a need for a new kind of leadership.  He mentioned that the new kind of leader needs to think about the larger picture and not be self-centered anymore. Ultimately, this new kind of leader should not have a “command and control” mentality but should have a lighter touch, charismatic, inspirational, compassionate, and be able to walk in another person’s shoes.  And where can this new kind of leader begin?  Megacommunities.  Megacommunities, as Mr. Gerencser pointed out, are networks where everyone involved has a vital capacity of the network across multiple entities. In essence, a megacommunity follows the guidelines of Metcalfe’s Law.  As the network grows, the connections exponentially increase, allowing limitless opportunities to collaborate and think of improved ideas to solving specific problems.

So 12 years after 9/11, there’s a call for a new kind of leader in our nation: one who can see the whole picture.  One who learns the tools of the trade in a sound environment, geared toward equipping tomorrow’s leaders with the necessary tools; an environment that—Mr. Gerencser pointed out—is just like Hampden-Sydney.

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Golf Wins First Tournament of Young Season

Behind a stellar performance from Brian Burt, the Hampden-Sydney golf team notched the team’s first win at the Tom Kinder Memorial hosted by fellow ODAC member Bridgewater College. Burt led the Tigers with a score of three over to finish in fifth place overall. Close behind was Alex Simmons who finished seventh overall with a five over and two Tigers, Trey Culley and Drew Arnold, tied for 13th after finishing with a six over. Rounding out the Tigers’ top five was George Whiting who also finished in the top 25 with a score of nine over.

After the first round the Tigers found themselves behind the host Eagles by one stroke, but a strong performance in the second round allowed the Tigers to secure a ten-stroke victory. The Tigers will next hit the links at home, when they host the Hampden-Sydney Invitational on September 23rd and 24th

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