Thursday, July 24, 2014

Let's Get Traditional: Lighting of the Lawn

Let's Get Traditional

  Lighting of the Lawn  

by Will Bennett

One of UVa's holiday traditions is Lighting of the Lawn at the end of November near the close of the Fall Semester. At this event, the a capella groups at UVa will perform on the steps of the Rotunda as thousands of students, faculty, and even Charlottesville residents, will gather on the Lawn to watch the performance. At the end of the performances, usually around midnight, lights that have been set up on the Rotunda, the Pavilions, and all of the Lawn Rooms in the Academical Village are turned on. The event originally started in 2001 as a way to bring together the students and faculty of the University after the attacks of September 11th. Since then it has become a favorite tradition among students as one of the last traditions of the Fall Semester before the beginning of Finals. 

On the Lawn, hot apple cider and hot chocolate are served for the students that come to watch the a capella performances. Students that live in the Lawn Rooms of the Academical Village will open up their rooms and serve food and drinks for some of the clubs that they are involved in. Professors that live in the Pavilions will also open up their Pavilions for guests to come in and enjoy their hospitality. The Lawn fills up really quickly with students so I would recommend that you get their early, and, if there isn't already snow on the ground, bring a blanket to sit down on with your friends. The performances will go on for several hours and it can be pretty cold this time of the year in Charlottesville, so remember to dress warmly. Lighting of the Lawn is one of my favorite traditions at UVa because it is a great way to have fun before the beginning of finals and to see a large part of the UVa community come out to the Lawn. 

Lighting of the Lawn Essentials: 
Where: The Lawn
When: End of November, before the beginning of finals. (Show up early to get good seats close to the Rotunda).
What to Bring: Warm Clothes and a Blanket to sit on 

Hear Us Shout and Roar: UVA Intramural Sports

Hear Us Shout & Roar 

UVA Intramural Sports

Intramurals are another great way to play sports while at UVA. Intramural leagues provide a casual, laid back setting to play sports with friends, dorm room hallmates, or even random acquaintances. There are intramurals in both the fall and spring. There are men's leagues, women's leagues, co-ed leagues, and leagues between different student organizations.
Most ever sport is offered ranging from flag football to basketball to ultimate frisbee to soccer. The intramural regular season typically is three games with elimination playoff games to follow. Intramurals are a popular option for students because they are not too much of a time commitment while still providing a great opportunity to get to play a sport you love or play a sport you have no experience in! 

For a more detailed list of all the intramural sports we have to offer, please feel free to look here

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

In the Audience: Your Local Theater

In the Audience

Your Local Theater

I love to go to the movies with friends and there are plenty of opportunities to see movies in the downtown mall area, but the University also hosts movies in the Newcomb Hall Theater throughout the year.  The movies that are shown here are recent releases, before they go on sale as videos usually, and are at a much discounted rate.  I have been able to see movies before Oscar season that I wasn't able to see while they were in theaters.  I love seeing movies on the big screen too, so it's great that all of these are only a few dollars to see one of these movies.

My friends and I decided to take advantage of the theater our first year and see Skyfall, the most recent James Bond movie.  Even though it wasn't one of the movies considered for best picture that year, we still wanted to see it at the theater due to all of our love for anything James Bond.  We were able to finish up any work we still had to do for classes or our clubs and then met at Newcomb for dinner at the dining hall and then walked just downstairs to watch the movie.  It was great having the option to take a study break or quick get together where we didn't have to worry about catching a bus or taxi or figuring out rides to a theater that was further away.

Monday, July 21, 2014

My Date with CVille: Restaurant Week

My Date with CVille

Restaurant Week

Restaurant week is an event in Charlottesville that happens a couple times each year. This opportunity is a lot of fun for everyone in CVille but especially students because it gives them the opportunity to visit some of the city's best restaurants for discounted prices. For $16, $26, or $36 you can get a three course meal at some places that may not be regularly accessible to those living on a student's budget. The best part? A dollar from each meal goes to Blue Ridge Area Food bank!

Dozens of restaurants participate each time. These include everything from gourmet sandwich shops and burger bars to restaurants specializing in Mexican fusion and French cuisine. This past Saturday, I went to The Southern with friends for sandwiches filled with things like jalapenos, goat cheese, and ham with honey Dijon mustard. For $16, I got not only the sandwich but two sides, a starter of bruschetta on focaccia, and "fancy grahams" graham crackers to dip into dark chocolate and marshmallow sauce.

I had a ton of fun on this trip, and I can't wait for the next restaurant week!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Saturday Q&A: Echols Scholars

Saturday Q&A

Frequently Asked Questions from Our Tours...

Every week we'll post answers to prospective students' questions. Some will be FAQs from tours, like this week, and others will be responses to comments and emails received via this blog. If you have a question about a post we've covered previously, comment to ask us for more information. Have we not covered it yet? Email us at and we'll reply with an answer!
What is the Echols Scholars program and what are the benefits that come with it?
The Echols Scholars Program is a merit based scholarship program offered to students in the College of Arts and Sciences. While there is no monetary benefits offered to students that receive this scholarship, there are several other useful benefits awarded to the scholars. For starters, Echols Scholars do not have to fulfill the general area course requirements of the College of Arts and Sciences, such as the foreign language, math, history, and nonwestern perspective requirements. This allows the Echols Scholars greater freedom in the classes they can take throughout their academic career at UVa. Echols Scholars are also assigned an academic advisor specifically tailored to their expressed areas/majors of interest when they enter the University. During their first year when UVa students live in dorms, Echols Scholars are assigned to live in some of the newest dorm buildings on Grounds with other Echols Scholars and first-year students belonging to the other scholars programs at UVa (Jefferson, Rodman, etc). Echols Scholars also have the ability to declare an Echols Interdisciplinary Major, which combines three areas of study in the College of Arts and Sciences into a single interdisciplinary major. The final benefit of the Echols Scholars program is that Echols Scholars are given priority course registration times among the students of their year. This means that Echols Scholars will register for classes each semester before the other classmates within their year.
A multipurpose room on a floor of a dorm for Echols Scholars

This is probably the most useful benefit because, by the time you are a fourth-year student, you will be among some of the first undergraduate students to register for classes at UVa. There is no special application that must be submitted when you are a prospective student applying to UVa to become an Echols Scholar. All students accepted into the College of Arts and Sciences are considered for the Echols Scholars program when they apply to UVa, and the students that are selected for the program are notified upon their acceptance to UVa.

--Will Bennett

Friday, July 18, 2014

Follow Friday: Part VIII

Follow Friday

Part VII: See Our @UVa_Summer Instagram!

Don't forget to follow @UVa_Summer and search the hashtag #UVaSummer on Instagram! To view the Instagram in your browser, click here.

Check out some of this week's most liked Instagrams including pictures of incoming UVa Class of 2018 students and of Hoos around the world!

"#Wahoowa around the world! There are Hoos everywhere this #UVaSummer 'Get it? @UVa_Summer #UVaSummer' --@sydneyglampson"


"We're halfway done with orientation sessions and halfway closer to welcoming the Class of 2018 for the school year! #Wahoowa #UVaSummer"


"Orientees... Orientees everywhere! #ClassOf2018 #UVa #UVaSummer #MakingNewFriends"

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Hoos in Charge: Student Council

Hoos in Charge

Student Council

StudCo Organizational Diagram
In my last post, I told you a little about Class Council and how each Council works to increase unity and spirit within their respective Class, planning fun and useful class-wide activities/events. That might have piqued your interest, but what if you want to get involved on a much wider level? While each Class has its own individual Class Council, which solely caters to the needs of that Class, Student Council represents and caters to all students from all years and all colleges, including undergraduate and graduate students. 

Track Your Trash event
Student Council (StudCo) strives to “protect and improve the rights, opportunities, and quality of life of every student at the University of Virginia”. It’s comprised of several different boards, commissions and task forces that come together to create the best student experience for all those at the University through innovative projects, events and initiatives. StudCo does a variety of things; for example, it provides funding for CIOs, distributes scholarships to the student body, promotes student safety and wellness, represents student interests to members of local governments and creates initiatives to improve the diversity of the University.

Speak Up UVA day
The different components of StudCo each have their own purpose and agenda to improve the overall student experience, so that gives you the opportunity to join one that fits your personal interests/goals. For example, if you want to pursue a marketing career in the future, you can join the Marketing & Communications Committee and work to promote and market Student Council and Student Council events to the student body. If you’re interested in web design, you can join the Technology Committee and help UVa administration improve their websites to be easily accessible and more user-friendly. There’s a little something for everyone in Student Council and no matter what aspect you choose to get involved in, it’s a great feeling to know that your efforts will benefit the entire student

Wednesday, July 16, 2014



LGBTQ Community at U.Va.

BChelsea Marcelin

Chelsea here, filling in for Hawa this week to talk a bit about some of the diverse groups we have on grounds here at U.Va. Another large part of the University community is the The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Questioning (LGBTQ) community.  There are many ways to get involved in the LGBTQ community here at U.Va. The Queer Student Union (QSU) , for example, provides opportunities for students to hear from guest speakers and participate in social events around grounds and in the Charlottesville community! 

Students can also campaign with Queer and Allied Activism (QuAA) for equality movements and promote awareness and acceptance of members of the LGBTQ community. QuAA focuses mainly to work within the U.Va. and Charlottesville community, students have the opportunity to work at the state, federal, or even international levels on issues that are important to the LGBTQ community.
All student have access to the LGBTQ Center on the first floor of Newcomb Hall at the University. The center provides study spaces, hangout space, and resources for all students, but also has many resources specifically for LGBTQ students that are provided by a handful of student volunteers.

The LGBTQ community has a variety of events throughout the year. One of their largest is their Love is Love T-Shirt campaign, which started in 2009. Each year, students can purchase a red "Love is Love" teeshirt to wear on Valentines day. The event is meant to help bring awareness equality of all relationships (not just sexual, but gender, religious, race, ethnicity, and more) in the community.

The LGBTQ community has many events throughout the semester for students. Proud to be Out Week (PTBOW), for example, is held both in the fall and spring semesters to celebrate members of the LGBTQ community. There are social events, performances, speakers, films, discussions, and much more. There are smaller scale events more regularly as well, including LGBT (Let's Get Brunch Together) on the lawn every week!