By Bria Isaacson, Staff Writer

Many noteworthy events and changes have come to Asbury University in the 2015-2016 school year.

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September

→ The Diary of Anne Frank

The Theatre Department presents The Diary of Anne Frank. Jeff Day, Director of Theatre and Cinema Performance, said that The Diary of Anne Frank was the best play this year. “It stood out because of the subject matter dealing with oppressing a race, which is happening all over the world,” Day said. “Also, because throughout the ordeal, Anne Frank kept her youthful innocence and hope. It is a universal story.”

→ ASC Approves New Clubs

Asbury Student Congress (ASC) has signed many new clubs into being over this past year. A well-known and new club this year is Last Man Standing. They are known for sponsoring Taggers vs. Survivors in September. This event operated much differently than it had in previous years. According to senior Ben Garverick, Vice President of Student Activities, the event was well-received. “Each event has its own identity and is popular in its own way. Taggers vs. Survivors is popular with those who enjoy nerf and running around campus launching nerf bullets at their friends…. It was a great way for new students to get involved and quickly make new friends,” Garverick said.

A second well-known club is the Step Team, which was created in October. Freshman Tinson Lam, who founded the Step Team, said he has enjoyed the opportunity to “give glory to God through our talents…. Step Team has greatly impacted the campus by giving students the chance to express themselves through music, rhythm and dance. [It] has shown the Asbury community that we can step into oneness and change…and exposed students to a rising form of dance that they might have experienced before.”

 

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November

→ Chris Thile, Gray Havens Play Shows at Asbury

In November, both Chris Thile, a world-famous mandolin player, and The Gray Havens performed concerts at Asbury. Both of these were fan favorites. Sophomore Josh Bowman said, “Chris Thile was fantastic. I love that it gave students the opportunity to experience music that they may not have experienced otherwise.” Freshman Elijah Bachali attended many of the concerts this semester and liked The Gray Havens’s style, making their concert a favorite of his. “Their narrative style provided beautiful pictures. They use allegory, like C.S. Lewis or J.R.R. Tolkien, and show the world through a child-like lens,” Bachali said. “Plus, they are fantastic musicians, sometimes playing two or three instruments at the same time.”

 

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December

→ Bells of Charlemont

In December, the Theatre Department presented The Bells of Charlemont, the first Christmas play produced by the department in a number of years. This event was fifth-year senior Mitchell Judy’s favorite event in the school year, as it was not only his first major role on stage, but also showcased many talented freshman and sophomores. “No one knew how [the play] was going to go, since it was brand new and many of us aren’t theatre majors, but we got great feedback from the crowd,” Judy said.

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January

→ Laser Tag in Kinlaw

In January, Last Man Standing organized a Laser Tag event in Kinlaw Library. Junior Andrew Higginson created the event and said that it was his favorite event from the whole year. “After creating this event, it was really something special to see everyone enjoy themselves. It is one thing to run an event that has happened on campus before, but it is something completely different to create an event and to see it become successful,” Higginson said. He was not the only student who loved this intense activity. Freshman Jonathan Grosz said, “It was one of those events that people would talk about and never get to do, but then it actually happened, [and] it turned an everyday workspace into a fun space.”

→ Additional Open Dorm Fosters Community

ASC has made tremendous progress in passing proposals this year. One of the most well-known of these is the proposal that added an open dorm night on Saturday. Asbury has seen the results of this in events such as Taste of GC, Trustees Hall Tunnel of Love, Kresge Kafe and Johnson Hall Mini Masters. Sophomore Tom Henry, who lives on Trustees’s Underground and enjoyed the Tunnel of Love, said that he loved the themed open dorms. “It turned open dorm, which is already a great weekly event, into an event that allowed us to see what’s great about each hall,” Henry said. “Halls got to come together to put forth a show.”

March

→ High School Musical

Sophomores presented High School Musical as their sophomore musical, which ran at the end of March and beginning of April. Although there were many setbacks, the four performances were amazing and most of them sold out, according to stage manager, Cierra Jean Hawkins. “We pulled through given the odds stacked against us,” she said. “I think it was fun and nostalgic for everyone who came to see it, since everyone knows the show in some way. It was cool to see it live, because most people have only seen the movie. It was also fun to put our Asbury twist on it with jokes about spicy chicken sandwiches.”

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April

→ As You Like It

In April, the Theatre Department presented Shakespeare’s As You Like It. Sophomore Bryce Hockema, who played Orlando, said this play was remarkable, because they got to perform for Access Weekend and for Doug Jones, an actor who visited campus for the Engaging Culture week. “It was incredible to get [Doug Jones’s] praise and instruction,” Hockema said. In addition, Hockema loved how the cast became like a family and that the play showed people a different perspective to Shakespeare. “We got to show people how diverse Shakespeare was and how he can be presented in any flavor. This is something I never thought was possible,” Hockema said. “People were coming to me after the show and saying that they never knew Shakespeare was so much fun.”

→ All Sons & Daughters

All Sons and Daughters played a concert at Asbury in April. Freshman Ian Maderia appreciated the way that their concert was also worship. “It was unique. It had the concert feel integrated with Scripture. They gave us time to meditate between songs and let God work on our lives,” Maderia said.

→ Ransomed Class Wins Legacy Games

This year’s spy-themed Legacy Games was a favorite event for many, especially for Ransomed Class members. Senior Caleigh Smith said this event will be really memorable, because of the Ransomed Class’s lack of participation in previous years. “Before [this year], the best we got in Legacy Games was third place,” Smith said. Last year, there was a divide in the Ransomed class between those who didn’t want to play—#LeaveNoLegacy—and those who did want to play—#GoldenAge—according to Smith. This turned around this year, though. “During Senior Showcase, we chanted ‘Golden Age’ and rallied the team together for one last hurrah,” Smith said. “It was so surprising [that we won], but also not surprising, because we worked really hard this year.”

→ Dance Ban Lifted

ASC also passed a proposal that allows dancing on Asbury’s campus. Because of this, Asbury hosted its first dance on the Old Asbury Green during Legacy Games. Sophomore Bryce Hockema liked that the dance was on campus, because it made it easier to attend. “Also, we had dancing on Asbury’s campus for the first time. It was a staple how Footloose it seemed and how we all felt it,” Hockema said.

→ Jym Jam

Jym Jamboree, often called “Jym Jam,” was an event in April that showcased Asbury’s tumbling team. Sophomore Will Turner, who has been a member of the tumbling team for the past three years, said that this year was the best year he’s seen. Much of this has to do with the size of the team this year, as there are about thirty members, making this one of the biggest teams they have ever had. “We were able to do bigger stunts, and we had a lot of people [who] could do higher level passes,” he said. In addition, he noted that this year’s crowd was bigger and cheered more. “No one on team could remember ever receiving a standing ovation! That was really cool,” Turner said.

→ Lowbridge Film Festival

Lowbridge was another student favorite. Junior Paul Goodyear said, “It’s great because we’re literally watching each other’s films without any need for competition. We’re not so concerned about quality and film craft, so it’s a great time to see and just appreciate everything everyone’s done.” His favorite Lowbridge films were “Blank” by junior Brooke Butterworth and “Caffeinated History” by senior Caitlin Gagnon.

→ Highbridge Film Festival

Many students’ favorite event of the school year was Highbridge. Junior Brooke Butterworth, who won the Highbridge award for Best Actress, said that she loved that the festival gave campus the opportunity to celebrate many student achievements. “This year was great, because the films were higher quality, and the judges were amazing, [because] they were very qualified in each of their areas,” Butterworth said. “Also, I feel blessed and humbled [to win an award]. It’s nice to feel support and to be encouraged.”

 

Notable Chapels

There have been many notable chapels this year, as the chapels have included many diverse perspectives, including speakers such as Ghassan Thomas, a refugee pastor, in September; Deanna Lindbert, who represented Refuge for Women, in February; and actor Doug Jones in April. Junior Emily Ansert enjoyed these three chapel speakers the most, because they were relatable and gave firsthand accounts on different experiences.

There were also many new chapels and series this year, such as Sexual Wholeness Week, Emotional Wholeness Week, breakout chapel and movie chapel. Freshman Caleb Ripley enjoyed the breakout chapel in April, as he got to see his whole class in one place. “I would actually like to do more chapels like that, so that we can become more familiar with our class and get more messages that are focused [for our class],” he said. Sophomore Caleb Melcher also enjoyed the breakout chapel; however, neither of these students liked the movie chapel in April. The movie itself, which was Many Beautiful Things, was not bad, but Melcher said it did not work as a chapel, because it “interrupted the normal routine of the day.”