Seniors Gathered for a Waffle Bar and Fellowship at the Senior Friendsgiving Event

IMG_0057A waffle bar and a very cozy Cove greeted seniors at the Senior Friendsgiving event on Nov. 20.

The cove had a warm glow on Wednesday afternoon as Vanguard University seniors came and went. With white lights tapered across the ceiling, lamps faintly glowing and the aroma of waffle batter baking, more than 50 people came to the event, Senior Program Director Tommi Ploneis said. “Its purpose was to bring the seniors together,” she added.

Along with the waffle bar, there were board games, music, a raffle for gift cards and senior sweatshirts. Small, cutout paper leaves were available for seniors to write notes of thankfulness. Students could have a cup of hot cider and just take a break from all the work they have here at the end of the semester, Student Senator Angelique Washington said.

Both seniors, Ploneis and Washington, said their favorite part was the waffle bar. Getting to actually make the waffles themselves from the waffle maker to the toppings was the best part, they said. They also said they enjoyed being able to gather with other seniors.

Another exciting part of the event was the very wide range of seniors that came, Ploneis and Washington said. “The people there were people that we don’t see at events,” said Ploneis. The event was promoted through word of mouth and a few posters, so it was exciting to see the number of seniors that came, she added.

To view Vanguard University’s program board calendar, click here.

Students Will Lace their Skates for Vanguard’s All School Christmas Ice Skate

vusc_lightsLace up your skates, leave behind your worries, and enjoy a night of ice-skating and more at the all school Christmas Ice Skate.

On Dec. 2, Vanguard University’s Student Government Association (SGA) will host the all school Christmas ice skate at the Irvine Spectrum Center’s ice rink. There will be cookie decorating, a hot chocolate bar, an ugly sweater contest and, of course, ice-skating.

Welcome to Whoville is the theme for the event and some Whos will be in attendance, Freshman Program Director Regine Bell said. As a freshman planning an all school event, Bell said it has been hectic and fun. “I like seeing things come together almost like puzzle pieces,” she said. She added that she is most looking forward to seeing students come out, take a break from the stress of the end of the semester and just “enjoy the atmosphere.”

Admitting that she is not much of an ice-skater, Bell said she is focusing on creating a well-rounded event that students skating and not skating can enjoy. As a freshman entering the Vanguard community, Bell said participating in school events like this “reminds you that you’re now part of this family.” Students should “come to enjoy each other’s company as a community,” she said.

To learn more about Vanguard’s SGA and their events, click here.

Lions Volleyball Receives Bye for NAIA National Championship Tournament

heenan516Currently sitting at 9th in the country for the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), Vanguard University’s volleyball team received an automatic bid to the national tournament.

Finishing 3rd in the Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) and receiving an NAIA At-Large qualification of No. 3 for nationals, Lions volleyball received an Opening Round bye. Receiving the automatic bid lifts the burden of an Opening Round match and allows the Lions to spend the next couple of weeks preparing for nationals. The NAIA national tournament will be held in Sioux City, Iowa from Dec. 3-7.

The Lions finished regular season play with a 22-6 record. A major highlight of the season came when the Lions beat the No. 2-ranked Concordia Eagles, giving the Eagles their first GSAC loss since 2008. “I think our team has done an incredible job pushing through and competing through this long and tough GSAC season,” Lions volleyball coach Eryn Leja said.

Speaking of her team and the road ahead, Leja said: “It will definitely be a grind for them to get through the next week and a half, preparing to compete for a national title, but the heartbeat of this team has grown stronger with each match, and I feel we will have a successful post-season.”

To read more about the national championship qualifiers, click here.

Students Participate in Solidarity Sleep Out as Part of Movement to End Youth Homelessness

DSC_0387Fog and cold settled across Heath Lawn on Nov. 9-10 as students attempted to sleep during the Solidarity Sleep Out. The goal of the sleep out is to bring awareness to the issue of youth homelessness.

The evening began in Needham Chapel with a time of worship and a message about youth homelessness. Tanya Riches, a former Hillsong Band member, led worship and Sandie Morgan, the Global Center for Women and Justice director and a professor at Vanguard University, shared a message and spent the night as well.

“She helped us see different sides of homelessness,” Live2Free President Barbara Isaac said about Morgan’s message. People often picture older, scruffy, dirty individuals as homeless, but do not take into consideration the many young people who do not have homes and are still going to school, Isaac said. She described an example Morgan gave of a young person sitting outside at night under a streetlight to finish homework so the other individuals living in his or her rented room could sleep.

After the chapel, students participating in the Sleep Out went to Scott Courtyard to get some snacks and gather for a bit before setting up camp on Heath Lawn. All snacks were donated to Morgan’s family and violence class from businesses in the area. Her students were required to ask for donations in order to experience another aspect of being homeless.

Once students finished snacking, they began to spread out across the lawn to find where they would make their bed for the night. Some students had tents, some used sleeping bags and some had nothing. Most gathered in small groups to chat and pass the time in the cold and eventually ended up as clumps snuggled together as they tried to sleep.

Describing the physical experience of her night, Isaac said: “It was really cold and uncomfortable. My back hurt in the morning.” As a sophomore, this was Isaac’s second solidarity sleep out. The experience allowed her and the other students to place themselves in the shoes of homeless youth, she said. “I just can’t imagine not being able to come home to a bed, pillow, blanket, hot water,” she added.

The next morning, students woke up with the sun, packed up their belongings, ate leftover coffee and bread and headed to their homes. Many climbed right into their beds to sleep, Isaac said, adding that she did the same her first year. Looking to the future, Isaac said she would like to see students wake up in the morning after the sleep out and stay awake the whole next day in order to really solidify the statement they made by sleeping out. Helping out at a soup kitchen the next morning might be a good addition to the sleep out, she said. If students stay awake the next day, they really “experience the fatigue and exhaustion like a homeless person,” she said.

Overall, Isaac said the Solidarity Sleep Out had a good turnout, helped students understand some of the struggles that homeless youth experience and, at least in her case, inspired a desire to act.

To learn more about Vanguard University’s Global Center for Women and Justice, click here.

El Puente to Host Night of Latin Music and Dance

BiggerCafeFlyerSalsa and hot chocolate, a mix that is only good when one is a dance and the other a drink. Come to El Puente’s Café con Leche for a night of Latin music and dance, pan dulce and hot chocolate.

On Nov. 22, starting at 8:30 p.m., The Cove will transform into a warm café with hot beverages, lamps and a stage. There will be live performances of authentic Latin music and dance followed by a video. El Puente’s club president, Heidi Lepe said the event will have a “very intimate setting” that will “welcome people to see the culture in a different way.”

As the leader of El Puente, one of Vanguard University’s diversity clubs, Lepe said her goal is to make all students feel welcome and “at home in the culture.” The club helps students to connect and explore the rich cultural heritage of Latin America. With the help of her seven cabinet members, Lepe plans and prepares for all of El Puente’s events. Café con Leche will be their last event for the fall semester.

To learn more about Vanguard’s diversity clubs and their events, click here.