Monday, October 27, 2014

Drop-In on UVa's Legendary Drop-Out

     With Halloween right around the corner, it's hard not to stroll around grounds without thinking of UVa's most famous dropout--Edgar Allan Poe. Yes, THE Edgar Allan Poe! In February of 1826, Poe began his academic journey at the University of Virginia. During his time here, he studied ancient and modern languages. While Poe excelled academically, he wasn't exactly UVa's definition of an ideal pupil. Essentially, Poe broke all of UVa's strict rules against things such as gambling and tobacco. In doing so, Poe ultimately jeopardized his chances of graduating. Poe's love of gambling caused him to go into debt which prevented him from registering for classes and buying textbooks. Frustrated, discouraged, and poor, Poe dropped out of UVa on December 15, 1826.

     Although Poe left UVa, he maintains a powerful presence here. For example, just by visiting UVa's Bookstore, you'll find Poe-inspired cups, bobble heads, and shirts. If you want to get a little closer to UVa's famous literary drop-out, you can always visit his old dorm room on the West Range. It's highly appropriate that the Gothic writer once inhabited room No. 13 which is now preserved by The Raven Society. You can get a glimpse of Poe's life at UVa by peering into No. 13's glass door. Inside you will see early 19th century furniture as well as a black raven. By pressing a button outside of the room, you can hear a recording that explains Poe's time at UVa.

     Perhaps if you're brave enough to visit No.13 in the dark hours of the night, you might see Poe pacing around the room. Don't be frightened if a black cat crosses your path or if a raven perches on your shoulder. Although Poe's life at UVa is nevermore, we can forever feel his presence by tapping at this chamber door.

Pre-Professional Advising at UVA

Pre-med? Pre-comm? Pre-Law? Post-Confused? For those of you that are interested in a pre-professional track here at Mr. Jefferson’s University, the process can seem daunting. But fear not! There are plenty of resources here for your help.
  • Check out the University Career Services (UCS) website at They have tons of information regarding courses, prospects, and can even help you understand if being a judge/neurosurgeon/dentist is really your cup of tea. If possible, try to schedule a one-on-one appointment with an advisor, or even try dropping in during office hours. It will definitely make the process easier to understand. Pre-commerce students have similar resources available at through the McIntire School itself. Remember, the advisors are here to help you, so take advantage of the resources!
  • Talk to upperclassmen/alumni/professors that have gone through the process before. I know it seems a little awkward at first, but reaching out to other people is the best way to better understand what can be a very confusing and stressful experience. Make new friends in CIOs, go to your professor’s office hours, or even directly contact professors (in the law/medical/commerce school) that could give you insight into the application process or the professional field itself.
  • Stay up to date with application/selection process for your track. For example, in 2015, the MCAT is significantly changing the content of the exam. It would be terrible if you had practiced mainly from old workbooks, and gotten quite a shock when you went to your exam date… Remember to check out reliable online student blogs and websites (such as this one!) periodically to look out for opportunities and key information.
  • Plan ahead! The more you plan ahead, the more prepared you will be—I guarantee it. 

Good luck wahoos! I am sure you will do us proud in whatever your field of choice is.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Awareness and Advocacy Events at UVa

Next week (October 20-26), there are multiple awareness and advocacy events occurring on Grounds that you should know about! Two of the most prominent ones are Fat Talk Free Week and the #HoosGotYourBack Pledge Day/Find Your Voice event. The UVa community has been shaken this semester, but these events are good, necessary reminders that we may be shaken, but we can always heal again with the support of our peers.
Fat Talk Free Week is an international awareness campaign aiming to draw attention to body image issues and the damaging impact of the “thin ideal” on women in society. The sorority Delta Delta Delta, which hosts this campaign nationwide, sponsors the event here at UVa, along with the CIO called HOPE (Hoos Open to Preventing Eating Disorders), which hosts their own events on Grounds throughout the week. The main objective of the campaign is to encourage college students to “End Fat Talk.” You may have never heard of fat talk, but I am confident you have heard it being used—it refers to any comment that reinforces the thin-ideal standard of beauty and contributes to body dissatisfaction. Fat talk can be a friend saying, “I need to lose ten pounds before I wear that,” or asking, “Do I look fat in this?” It is common to hear these things and not give them a second thought, so the campaign works to raise awareness of how students use fat talk and aims to get students to pledge to end it and reframe their self-talk positively. One of the many events happening during the week is called “Operation Beautiful,” and consists of students leaving anonymous, positive notes around Grounds to make others feel loved and appreciated (and beautiful, as the name of the event suggests)!
Another incredible event that is happening next week is an extension of the Office of the Dean of Students’ Not On Our Grounds initiative to end sexual violence at UVa. A few powerful things are happening through this initiative; first, Thursday is #HoosGotYourBack Pledge Day. If you are unfamiliar with the #HoosGotYourBack campaign, it was designed during the summer of 2014 and made its debut this semester. The focus is on bystander intervention, awareness, and educating students to become informed and effective bystanders in the face of sexual violence. On Thursday, October 23, students will gather on the lawn to share bystander stories and to sign the “Not On Our Grounds” pledge to be an ally in putting an end to sexual violence at UVa.
Although signing the pledge is important, students recognize the need to continue the dialogue on sexual assault and the new campaign here at UVa. As a result, on Sunday, October 26, a new student-run performance organization called “Find Your Voice UVa” will be putting on a show with the #HoosGotYourBack campaign as the theme.  It will feature real stories and experiences of students regarding sexual assault and misconduct, and will be presented in a beautiful, healing, emotional performance. The goal of “Find Your Voice UVa,” as is sure to be exemplified in their first performance on Sunday, is to shed light on prevalent issues in the UVa community and to give students a place to share their experiences in a meaningful, empowering and healthy way.

In the face of extreme adversity, such as the terrifying and unsolved disappearance of one of our own in September, the UVa community continues to push on and do incredible things to help each other heal and become more educated about important issues. The events of Fat Talk Free Week and the #HoosGotYourBack campaign are crucial examples of the resilience and determination that defines the community at the University of Virginia.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Our names are Megan Beissner and Tori Irvine. As the new admin of Hoos Online we are in charge of Hoo Stories for the 2014-2015 school year, so welcome! We hope we can continue to provide exciting takes on student life from a diverse group of authors. In order to kick off the blog we would like to share with you the top ten things, in our opinion, to look forward to this upcoming school year:

1.  UVA Football! Already in full swing, the UVA football season has had a valiant start with close, but no cigar loss to UCLA and an exciting win against Richmond this past weekend. Even if football, or sports in general, isn’t really your thing it is more than worth the trek to Scott Stadium just to witness the spectacle that also includes the marching band, intense crowds, sundresses and bow ties.

2. Kevin Spacey! Yes, the award winning actor and star of House of Cards will be here at UVA on October 18 as part of the President’s Speaker Series for the Arts carrying on the tradition that was kicked off last year by Tina Fey. As if that’s not cool enough, the event is FREE. Someone really understands the struggle of being a poor college student and for that we thank you.

3. Voices of the Class! If you’re like us and love to laugh this event is the place to be. Current UVA students create sketches based on the admissions essays of the incoming first years and it is literally laugh out loud hilarious. Written and produced by students that are comedians, skilled in improv, and just plain funny, the talent of UVA’s student body is on display.  

4. Taste of Charlottesville! The one thing that can excite even the laziest college student is the idea of free food and Taste of Charlottesville is a whole event filled with free food. Organized by the Alumni Association, vendors from around Charlottesville have samples of their food, from burgers to macaroni and cheese to mini cupcakes. It’s a great way to sample the countless restaurant options in the area without spending a dime!

5. Apple picking at Carter Mountain Orchard! One thing on our fall must-do list is going apple picking. It’s a fun fall tradition to do with your hallmates, friends, boyfriend/girlfriend, parents, and anyone else who loves delicious apples and gorgeous views. Plus, you can make apple pie with all the apples you pick and there is nothing better than apple pie.

6. Lighting of the Lawn! Although the rotunda may not be fully operational, this UVA tradition will surely still delight students at the start of the holiday season. This ceremony includes acapella groups, apple cider and an illumination show on the lawn. This is definitely not an event to miss!

7. UVA Basketball! After coming off an amazing season by winning the ACC and making it to the Sweet 16, UVA basketball is more exciting than ever. Although the loss of Joe Harris and Akil Mitchell will be tough, this year hopes are still high for Tony Bennett’s highly talented squad which features returning members Malcolm Brogdon, Anthony Gill and Justin Anderson (just to name a few). Win or lose, it is hard to beat the energy and excitement of JPJ at game time.

8. Snow Days! Snow days are more fun in college than ever before. Last year afforded students numerous days off in which to enjoy Grounds as a winter wonderland. Snowball fights on the lawn at midnight and sledding down the slippery rotunda steps were certainly highlights.

9. Late night Crossroads runs! One of the first things you learn in college is that when you are cramming for a test into the wee hours of the morning, junk food is absolutely necessary and is shown to increase test scores (not really, but that would be awesome) and Crossroads, the small convenience store in O-hill dining hall, supplies the best food for your late night cravings.

10. Hoo Stories! Our final thing on this list is the blog itself! We are certainly looking forward to offering more interesting articles to everyone in the future. As a continuation of this past summer’s format we are hoping to feature authors who will maintain a personal theme throughout their postings in an effort to bring as varied a take on UVA as possible. So, enjoy and have a great year!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Thanks for the Great #UVaSummer!

Thanks for the Great #UVaSummer!

Farewell from Your Summer Guides and Bloggers

With the final Move-In Day underway and the University Guide Service about to start giving tours during the regular academic year, it's time for the Office of Admission interns to say goodbye.

Thanks for following along this summer and reading our posts about Charlottesville, professors, the arts, study abroad, traditions, diversity, athletics, and student self-governance! Want to still keep learning about student life? Scroll through the archives and know that more student bloggers will be here to run Hoo Stories soon enough.


Jared Morgan
Chelsea Marcelin
Andrew Barat
Veronica Mercado
Will Bennett 
Hawa Ahmed
Wyatt Moorer
Belen Osman

Friday, August 22, 2014

Follow Friday: Part XIII

Follow Friday

Part XIII: 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.

For our final Follow Friday of the #UVaSummer, take a look at fun outdoor activities and move-in day below!

"'Res Lifers hike Humpback on Humpday.' @misskatiesomers #uvasummer"

"'Just one more day until first year move in! Are you ready?? #uva2018 #uvamovein' @thecavalierdaily #uvasummer"

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Hear Us Shout & Roar: UVA Football Preview: UCLA vs. UVA

Hear Us Shout & Roar 

UVA Football Preview: UCLA vs. UVA

Football season is only nine days away. Anticipation is building for the upcoming fall for UVA football. Coming off a disappointing 2-10 season, UVA football is looking to start anew against UCLA on Saturday August 30th. The game will be held at UVA in Scott Stadium and televised on ESPN starting at 12PM ET.

The game against UCLA will be a tough challenge for UVA football as UCLA is ranked #7 in the AP preseason poll. Last season, UCLA had a 10-3 record. They defeated, Virginia’s rival, Virginia Tech in the Sun Bowl. This season, UVA will have a new starting quarterback, sophomore Greyson Lambert. The UVA fanbase is excited about the upcoming season and looking forward to see what UVA is able to do in the 2014-2015 season.

For UVA's complete schedule for the 2014-2015 season, look here

Let's Get Traditional: UVa Lingo

Let's Get Traditional

UVA Lingo

by Will Bennett

If you have ever visited the University of Virginia or been on an historical tour, then you may have noticed some different terms used by the student body than you would here at other colleges. Here is a helpful guide to some of the terms that you will hear while coming to UVa. 

At UVa, we call our campus Grounds instead of calling it "campus." On admissions and historical tours of UVa, the tour guide will prefer to the area of the school's campus that you are on as a specific area of "Grounds." 

First-Year, Second-Year, Third-Year, Fourth-Year
Instead of calling themselves freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors, students at UVa will call themselves first-years, second-years, third-years, and fourth-years. The reason behind this tradition dates back to the founding of UVa. First, Thomas Jefferson believed that learning was a life long process that was never completed, so therefore you could never be a senior in learning simply by beginning your fourth year of college education. Second, during the first years of UVa's function, many students would enter UVa for a year or two and then leave to return home for an extended period of time, and then they would come back to UVa to continue their college studies. Therefore, It made more sense then during UVa's early years for students to identify what year of their undergraduate education they were in rather than calling themselves a freshman, sophomore, etc. Even students that are pursuing graduate level studies here at UVa will say they are "second-year law students" rather than saying "sophomore law student."

Wahoos and Hoos 
The official name and mascot of the UVa athletics teams is the Cavalier, but our informal name for our sports teams and our students is the Wahoo, or simply the Hoo. At any UVa athletic event, you would hear the announcers say "Go Hoos," rather than "Go Cavaliers," and you will also here many professors on Grounds refer to students as simply "Hoos." The origin of this nickname for our sports teams and students goes back to a heated baseball rivalry with Washington and Lee University in the 1890s. During the 1890s, the fans of Washington and Lee's baseball team would refer to UVa students as fans as "wahoos." Overtime, this name came to be used more frequently around Grounds and by the 1940s it had become a commonly used term to refer to UVa students and athletic teams. Since then, the term has since been shortened to just "Hoos" rather than "Wahoos."

The Corner 
One of the most popular places for UVa students to go out to eat and hang out at is an area of University Avenue called "The Corner." University Avenue is one of the main streets of the area of Charlottesville near UVa's Grounds, and it serves as a kind of outline for the area of Grounds just north of the Rotunda. The Corner has some of the most popular restaurants, shops, and bars that students will go to throughout the year.

Academical Village and the Lawn
The original classroom and dorm buildings of the University of Virginia are located in an area of Grounds called the Academical Village, and the Lawn is the grassy area that divides the East and West sides of the Academical Village. The Academical Village is comprised of the 10 Pavilions, 54 Lawn Rooms, and the Rotunda that surround the Lawn. Thomas Jefferson called the original Grounds of UVa the "Academical Village," because he believed that a college should be like a village where professors and students would live and learn together during their years at UVa. The Lawn serves as the quad of UVa's original Grounds, and while there are some Quad areas in the first-year dorm areas,  the Lawn would be the equivalent of the central/original quad of UVa.