Category Archives: Campus Culture

Sashay into Spring with Volé Ballet Club’s Seasonal Showcase

vole1Put on your dancing shoes and tap into your inner ballerina this weekend, because Penn State’s ballet club, Volé is taking you on a Broadway-inspired ride with their spring showcase.

The showcase, taking place at two different times on Sunday, April 27th in Schwab Auditorium at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m., will feature an array of exciting numbers from popular Broadway musicals like The Lion King, Mamma Mia and Cats, performed by a talented group of over 100 dancers.

“It’s a great show for all ages. It’s very engaging,” says vice president and artistic director Mariel Harden. “I think we’re really going to connect with the audience. They’re going to be drawn in the entire time, and hopefully singing along.” Continue reading

#JoinTheFightPsu: Penn State’s Fight Against Sexual Violence

photo3Fact: According to the U.S. Department of Justice, one in five women will be sexually assaulted in college.

Fact: Since August 23, 2013, 24 reports of sexual assault have been filed with local (State College or University Park) police.

Fact: According to the Center for Public Integrity, 90 to 95 percent of all college cases go unreported.

Fact: Every year, Penn State students take a stand against sexual violence.

“The purpose of Sexual Violence Prevention and Awareness Month is to convey that the Penn State community as a whole has taken a stand against sexual violence,” says Taylor Olson, coordinator of this year’s events. Continue reading

The Indian “Holi”-day of Spring

imagejpeg_1Bright blue and neon orange powder falls through the sky, Bollywood music is blasting and people are running wild with buckets of water on the HUB lawn. This is Penn State’s very own version of Indian Holi, and ultimately the most fun I have had in a very long time.

This event was planned by the Hindi Student’s Council (HSC) with help from the South Asian Student Association, Sigma Sigma Rho and the Indian Graduate Student Association. Niraja Suresh, President of HSC, says that Holi is an Indian Holiday to embrace the coming of spring. It certainly showed with the amount of spring colors that were scattered all over the HUB lawn on Saturday, April 19. Continue reading

State of Emergency

skoglund.helpinemergencies.5It’s scary to think about, but a medical emergency can happen to anybody at any time.

While some of us had to take health classes in high school where we learned CPR and how to stop someone from choking, would you be able to do that now? What about in another health crisis? You should always call 911 in a medical emergency, but we’re here to help you figure out what to do until the EMS shows up.

Valley chatted with Theo Waksmunski, a registered nurse and clinical educator at Mount Nittany Medical Hospital, to help you get in the know. Continue reading

Our Simplified Guide to the Library

_DSC2673Looming on the west end of campus like an impenetrable fortress of knowledge, the library is an alternate universe that leaves even super seniors scratching their heads.

If you’re trying to finish a paper due tomorrow night or already planning your finals week stratagem, don’t avoid the library like you would an overly-handsy frat guy on a Friday night. Valley wants you to befriend your campus library this semester with this helpful guide.

The Commons

You stumble through the central entrance having just duked it out with the revolving doors and… now what? According to the library’s Coordinator of Outreach, Megan Giplin, the Commons are your one-stop-shop.

Consider your technology ineptitudes obsolete, because while you might be familiar with the Knowledge Commons as a go-to group study location with its glass study nooks, lounge areas and computers, “not everybody knows that we have an IT service here as well,” says Giplin. Continue reading

How to Survive the Meal Plan Hunger Games

SabineC.Mealpoints3It’s that time of year again – the semester is winding down, and so are our meal-points. This struggle to survive the remainder of the semester is better known as the literal “hunger games.”

So how do we join the winner’s circle? It’s no easy feat. Each day we will battle temptation from Starbucks, Au Bon Pain and Chick-Fil-A, each begging us to swipe for a $10 meal. But, we must resist temptation, perfect our swiping skills and make those meal points last.

Cut down on the coffee

Starbucks is a beautiful thing. It’s also the biggest meal-point-sucker ever. Instead of relying on your points to cover that $5 latte, use a Starbucks gift card.  Or, if you have confidence in your bank account, head to an off-campus S-Bucks and pay with cash. You’ll likely be more mindful of how much you’re spending when you’re paying with “real” money. Continue reading

Talking Race and Identity in Japan with “Hafu”

Screen Shot 2014-04-14 at 11.24.22 AMMore than 200 people gathered for the screening of “Hafu”, a documentary film on mixed race people in Japan. On-cho Ng, director of Asian Studies Program, calls the film, which gives its audience a rare glimpse into race relations in Japan, “eye-opening and educational.”

Who is a Hafu?

Hafu, the Japanese word for multiracial children of a Japanese parent and a foreign one, comes from half, meaning half-Japanese or half-breed. According to the film, which was released in 2013, one in 49 babies born in Japan are of mixed racial heritages.

The film follows four adult Hafus and one Mexican-Japanese couple raising two biracial children. In the film, Hafus talked about their hardships, identity crises and their personal journeys of self-discovery. Continue reading

Where to Go Swimming in State College

Swim.JosePThe sun is finally starting to show its rays, and Penn State students will be here to soak up every last one of them. The time between the freezing winter and sweltering summer doesn’t last nearly as long as a normal springtime. Soon enough, we’ll be looking for places to take a dip. Luckily, there are various paces to go swimming in the State College area.

Spring Creek

Try cooling off at Spring Creek, located at 800 E. Park Ave. in State College.

“You can get in the water, but it’s pretty shallow. But if you go out further, it’s deeper and you can swim,” says Marisa McGuire, sophomore supply chain major.

McGuire grew up and attended high school in State College, so she’s been around for many summers. McGuire also says that there is a park, baseball field, volleyball court, basketball court and grills available at Spring Creek. Grab a couple of your friends and make a relaxing day out of Spring Creek.

Whipple Dam State Park

Another destination to take a dip is at Whipple Dam State Park. McGuire says the drive is a little farther, but if you have access to a car, it’s an easy ride. Whipple Dam is more like a beach than Spring Creek. It has sand and deep water to swim in. You can also rent pavilions for picnics or canoes and paddleboats to use for the day. Whipple Dam is perfect for going swimming and throwing a little outdoor get-together with your peers. Continue reading

Tawakkol Karman Talks Arab Spring, Democracy and Peace


Writer Kasumi Hirokawa with Nobel Peace Prize winner, journalist and human rights activist Tawakkol Karman.

“As salaam alaikum,” Nobel Peace Prize winner, journalist and human rights activist Tawakkol Karman said on Wednesday as she greeted the crowd in a packed Alumni Hall. This Arabic phrase translates to, “May peace be unto you.”

She then invited those who knew the words of the Arab Spring slogan to recite it with her.

A Peaceful Revolution

“Our revolution is peaceful,” Karman said of Arab Spring, a series of anti-dictatorship demonstrations that began in December 2010. They started when a fruit vendor set himself on fire in Tunisia and spread to other Arab countries such as Libya, Egypt and Karman’s home country, Yemen.

“People wanted a good future for themselves, their generation and for all [of] the world,” Karman said.

“Students ­– young people – like you, went out onto streets, carrying only dreams. The dreams of democracy, of freedom,” Karman, founder of non-profit organization Women Journalists Without Chains, said. “Students just like you decided to dream.” Continue reading

Why Course Scheduling is the Worst Thing to Ever Happen to You

photo-19Breaking News: you’re old.

Seriously, are you really planning out your schedule for next semester? Who even does that? I guess your every waking moment is just one step closer to graduation. On a less melodramatic note, whether you’re ending your amazing freshman year, or getting ready to slam your head into the nearest wall as a rising senior, scheduling your classes is never something to look forward to.

Unfortunately, it’s that time of year again, and there’s a seemingly endless list of reasons why eLion and scheduling is the worst thing you’ll do in this life. So get ready to collect your handy bow and arrow and channel your inner Katniss. You’re about to enter the Penn State Hunter Games, and may the odds be ever in your favor (or the speed of your internet access.)

Lies and Slander

Seriously, can’t you sue people for lies on the Internet anymore? This is 2014! There’s got to be a way for justice to be served when it comes to the dishonesty and false hope that comes along with the scheduling system.

There 87 seats open 24 hours before you can log onto eLion, but the world just doesn’t love you enough apparently to save you a seat.

“It’s the worst thing ever when you check a certain class the day before, and things are looking great, and then when you go to actually schedule it, it ends up being full,” sophomore Sam Henderson said. “It ends up throwing off your entire plan and then you have to start over.”

Watchlist, here we come.

Is under-qualified a word?

You were smart beforehand and memorized your degree audit and your recommended academic plan. You’re even finishing up that one stupid 200-level course right now in order to take this stellar 400-level course next semester.

However, when you go to input it, apparently, your entire life is a lie. What do you mean you’re not authorized to take that class? You’re entering the major for crying out loud! You poor, unfortunate, under-qualified soul. Get ready to run to your advisor’s office at 8 a.m. with the hope that your seat remands open overnight. Yay.

Working up a sweat

Who said sitting on a computer doesn’t count as cardio? The masterminds behind “Insanity” clearly have never attended Penn State. Speeding and throwing your computer out the window all while simultaneously smashing your hands onto a keyboard fanatically can be just simply exhausting.

Also, rapidly copying and pasting while refreshing pages and crying all at the same time can really test your breathing control and hand-eye coordination. Who needs the gym anyway when you can just stress out over course registration?

Have a Life? Too bad.

Whoever decided that midnight was the perfect time to plan out your entire existence for the next several months must be some sort of sadist.

There actually are students who go to bed at normal, early hours of the night that might even find this time to work a bit traumatizing. Even if you’re awake at midnight anyway during the week, it’s still an annoying and random time to have to stop what you’re doing to enter the Hunger Games of all scheduling. Also, if you end up having to schedule on a Friday or Saturday night, it just throws off your entire weekend. Have fun pulling out your laptop at the bars, folks.