Category Archives: Campus Culture

The Best Late Night Bites

IMG_4288 By now, may have read the “Penn State Eats Here” article in our Fall 2014 print issue. While the restaurants downtown definitely deserve their own bucket list – what about the late night eateries?

So let’s just be honest right from the start and admit that our late night eating habits are still in full swing (for most of us anyway). It’s so hard not to crave a little something when you’re staring blankly at your homework, only pausing to acknowledge that your stomach is counting the five—now six—hours since your last meal.

And we’re here to tell you that you’re in the right place to be hungry late at night.

Here’s a few of our favorite late night places—the places we’re sure will put your hunger to rest…for now.

If you’re hungry for something that will stick to your ribs (and provide leftovers for tomorrow morning), go to: The Diner

If you haven’t had their stickies, you have to know about their late night macaroni and cheese deal.  You can add pretty much whatever you want to their already delicious macaroni and cheese (a personal favorite is chicken and ranch) and the portions are huge. Continue reading

5 Struggles that Only Penn State Students Understand

AW1_wTBCMAEax0-.jpg-large I would like to preface this article by saying that Penn State University, as we all know, is the greatest school on Earth. We have a pristine campus, some of the most fun bars and the best student section in the Big Ten. What’s not to love? Every great school, however, has its flaws. So, although we LOVE YOU, Penn State, these are the top five things we struggle with.

1. When you have an 8 am in Keller.

This tops our list because there is literally nothing worse than trekking to this building in the morning– Or afternoon– or night. You walk along, thinking to yourself, “Just get to the library and you’ll almost be there.” Then, you get to the library, and realize you are not close. At all. By the time you finally make it there, you’re sweating under your winter jacket. Unlucky for you, the heat is on in your classroom. Have a great day!

2. When a professor schedules an exam for the Monday after a canning weekend.

We understand that they need to stick to a schedule, but we go to Penn State. Isn’t everyone FTK?! There is nothing worse than driving back to school from a canning weekend only to sit in the library for hours. Continue reading

Project Cahir: The Fight Against Student Poverty

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One of the best parts of being a Penn State student is the endless amount of activities that are available for everyone to get involved with. Valley was lucky enough to speak with Natasha Bailey, a student who is very passionate about one of her organizations: Project Cahir.

Project Cahir was founded at Penn State two years ago. It is named after Bill Cahir, a United States Marine and Penn State alumnus, who was known for his dedication to community service. The club’s mission is to fight college student poverty, an issue many of us may not be aware of.

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Bailey explains that she was unaware of student poverty before she joined the initiative. Students around campus may be struggling to find their next meal, or a place to sleep at night. To combat this, Bailey created a poverty resource card. This card helps students find free resources on and off campus.  There is also the “Take Cahir” initiative, which helps students that need to purchase textbooks, toiletries and groceries.

Project Cahir has worked with the Office of Development to raise money for students in need, and even met with President Barron to make sure that every textbook is available on reserve at the library. They are also working with local hotels to find affordable semester break housing solutions for students who cannot afford to go home during breaks.

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This organization brings new light to an issue we don’t think about often. If you are inspired by the passion of Project Cahir volunteers, you can make a difference. Their current project is a crowd-funding campaign to raise $5,000 for students in need.  You can learn more about the initiative and donate at https://pennstate.useed.net/projects/114/home.

It is exciting to be involved at Penn State, and Project Cahir is an organization that definitely deserves more attention in our community.

Photos provided by Natasha Bailey

Penn State Gets a Lesson on Girl and Guy Code

GirlCodeGuyCode.MeghanTranauskas You know it was a good night when not only did the entrance to the show require a disclaimer sign for profanity and adult content, but your review of the event will probably need one of those, too.

But, as a courtesy to sensitive eyes and ears, we’ll skip over some of the more, how should we say, unladylike material from this past Saturday evening and get straight to crackin’ the code – Girl and Guy Code, that is.

This weekend, comedians Kevin Barnett of MTV’s Guy Code, and Nicole Byer and Alice Wetterlund of Girl Code payed Dear Old State a visit, laying down some seriously LOL-worthy #realtalk for the packed HUB Alumni Hall. Valley was there to get the scoop, and after drying our tears from laughing way too hard over things we probably shouldn’t think are funny, we decided to share some words of wisdom from our three new comedy spirit animals.

Homeless men are the new George Clooney.

“Y’all got any sexy homeless men around here?” asked Byer. “Never go to L.A. The homeless men are way too sexy. They’re failed actors who found meth and spend all day bending over trash cans, which is a major core workout, might I add.”

The reasoning here is oddly on-point. Continue reading

Going Steady: Giving Relationships A Try in the College “Hookup” Culture

RelationshipsInCollege_SkylarYuen There he is. The man that makes your heart sing. Your face flushes red when you see him. You fluff your hair and put on your best smile, hoping he notices. Or, it’s the girl whose beauty outshines the rest. Something about her just makes you stop and stare, and even though you can’t define it, it’s there. And you want it…bad. But, you can’t be in a relationship because… college, right?

It’s everywhere. Whether you have read articles about college dating failures in Cosmo or Elite Daily, seen features on our generation’s struggles in The New York Times or heard it passed through the lips of your peers, the idea that college relationships don’t work is very prevalent. So, what is up with relationships? Is commitment in college really such a crime?

“I think relationships in college can work, but a lot of the time things are just really casual and people tend to go for the ‘we’re not defining the relationship’ idea,” says junior public relations major Chrysten Colacicco. “Generally I think college tends to be defined more by a hookup culture than actual relationships.”

“Hookup culture” isn’t just a term used among college students. It’s a term that has become easily attributed to the twenty-something’s of today.

But even if you don’t partake in the hookup culture, maybe you still have your “because… college” reason to avoid commitment. The main purpose of college is to achieve your goals and work toward a future. Do relationships get in the way? Continue reading

What’s new with THON 2015?

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Each year, the THON Executive Committee makes important decisions and implements changes in an effort to improve THON. Although many of us have heard about this year’s changes, most people remain unclear on the reasons as to why they are being made. We talked to THON 2015 PR Media Relations Captain Graceanne Domino to learn more about the changes being made for THON 2015.

 Morale to Dancer Relations

One of the most well known changes has been the name change of the infamous Morale committee. “Morale” is now known as “Dancer Relations.” “The new name of Dancer Relations more directly reflects the committee’s purpose of serving as the primary liaison to volunteers selected to dance for THON Weekend,” Domino says. Despite the name change, the Dancer Relations committee will continue to fulfill the same duties that the Morale committee previously handled, including the planning of various pre-THON and THON Weekend Events and ensuring the safety and well-being of the Dancers throughout THON Weekend. “The name change displays the Committee’s increased focus on Dancer health and wellness,” Domino adds. Continue reading

Mid-Semester Cleaning

CleaningTipsMaryDuggan “Some clean, others don’t clean well,” said Rick Dunlap of TNT Cleaning Services when asked how students clean their dorm rooms and apartments. Dunlap told us that when he gets called in, he has to clean EVERYTHING because all spots are missed. However, do you know the common spots that you miss when you are cleaning? We aren’t talking about the obvious like vacuuming, doing the dishes or laundry, but the stuff you forget about that you really shouldn’t.

Think of how many times you use the same cleaning supply. The broom that has cleaned your dirt covered floor, the grimy sponges that get the toughest dried ketchup marks loose. I bet you never thought about cleaning that. Well, now you should. After a couple of uses you should make it a point to clean out your vacuum and clean out your broom’s bristles. For the sponges you can clean them in the dishwasher a few times, but it’s best to replace them every few weeks–if you don’t they will start to smell! However, if you are more into using the dishwasher as opposed to the old fashioned way, you need to remember to clean that as well. If you add vinegar to a load of dishes or simply put it in the dishwasher, it will clean the machine. This way, it can operate better, which makes for shinier, spotless dishes. Continue reading

Meet Your 2015 Homecoming Executive Director, Brandon Rittenhouse.

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The 2014 Homecoming celebrations took place in State College not long ago, but planning has already begun for next year. Penn State junior Brandon Rittenhouse was elected as the 2015 Homecoming Executive Director on Oct 27. He sat down with Valley to share his excitement for the future, and offer a word of advice to students seeking involvement. Read on to get to know your new Homecoming director!

Valley: What previous involvement have you had with Homecoming?

Brandon Rittenhouse: My first position with homecoming was Photography Captain, and that was for Homecoming 2013. It was a really amazing experience. So, after that, I decided to apply for a director position and I received the position of Merchandise Director. For this previous homecoming, I held that position. [The experience] was amazing. It was life changing. So, I decided to apply for Executive Director,  and here I am!

V: What else are you involved with at Penn State?

BR: I’m involved in University Park Undergraduate Association (UPUA)  as the Executive Graphic Designer for the Department of Communications. That’s a really awesome experience, I love working with the (UPUA) students. Additionally, I’m a committee member with the production committee of State of State, which is a conference geared toward making changes in the university.

V: I noticed you have your own photography website. When did you start getting involved in photography?

BR: I started with photography in tenth grade. That’s when I took my first in-depth photography course in high school. Since then, it’s just been one of my main passions. I’m technically majoring in graphic design, but I’m working toward a double major in visual arts with a focus in photography. It’s kind of always been one of those things that’s been a part of me since I was younger. I was always one of those visual kids. I loved to draw, I loved to look at photo books and magazines and all that stuff. Since (tenth grade), I’ve been working toward doing it as a hobby and also doing some freelance stuff like senior portraits. Continue reading

Challenge Accepted: The Ford Motor Company and Penn State

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The Ford Motor Company called, and Penn State answered.

Recently, Valley got the chance to cover an amazing event featuring Intern Queen, Lauren Berger. Over 250 students turned out for the presentation, but what actually went into bringing the Intern Queen to Penn State? Enter the Ford College Ambassador Challenge.

The Ford Motor Company asked college students across the country to compete for some amazing prizes, all by utilizing the power of social media and marketing tactics.

Teams from each university were given a series of challenges to complete that would showcase Ford and harness social media to snag votes in an effort to win first place.

Team leader and senior Carlee Delp jumped at the opportunity to participate. Continue reading

Dorm Room Food Hacks

DormRoomFoodHacks_RachelJohannes Welcome to college! Here, the meal points flow like water and Redifer late night is always open (except for Mondays).

Coffee and bagels are available round-the-clock and a panini can be readily made in minutes. On-campus convenience stores provide all the chips and queso we could ever dream of, meanwhile our friends Ben and Jerry are merely a hop, skip and a jump away in the freezer section.

Then suddenly, the on-campus food gets old. We crave homemade meals, fresh fruits and veggies, and chicken breast that doesn’t slightly resemble rubber. But how do we deal with only a refrigerator and a microwave?  You’d be surprised.

To turn your dorm room into a fully functioning kitchen, you first need to purchase flavorful necessities. Every good dorm-cook needs a consistent supply of salt, pepper, butter, lemon-juice, lime-juice and Sriracha – all found at either McLanahan’s or on campus convenience stores.

Now it’s time to get creative. Continue reading