Taste The Feeling

Storytime! A couple weeks ago I was hired to work with Coca-Cola as a Campus Ambassador intern for Radford University. Basically, I promote and hold sampling events and try and advertise Coke products and cool campaigns they’re doing, and talk to students about stuff they don’t already know about Coca-Cola. Last week I spent three days at Coke Headquarters and the World of Coca-Cola, learning about the company and how to effectively hold events on campus that I know students and faculty will enjoy (and actually show up to).

It was a long journey getting to Atlanta, however. My 6:10 a.m. flight ended up being canceled and I couldn’t get another flight on the same airline until that following afternoon (thanks, SouthWest). Shoutout to my new friend Ruby, one of the Campus Ambassadors for Virginia Tech, who I ended up meeting at the exact time we found out our flight was delayed and helped me stay sane while we found a flight on a different airline and waited for our next flight, eight hours later.

Once we finally got to Coke Headquarters in “Hotlanta”, I was mesmerized with all of the Coca-Cola products I saw before me. The place was amazing, with Coca-Cola advertisements everywhere you looked, and the workers there were so friendly. I was also very surprised at how welcoming the other 80 Campus Ambassadors around the country were when we arrived. I’ve had experience going to a new place for a certain program with 80+ people my age I’ve never met before (Shoutout to my NSLC friends who I still talk to on occasion), so I knew that all I had to do was engage in friendly conversations with people I was near and worked my way through, and I ended up meeting and getting to know some pretty awesome people.

I just want to take a moment and say how thankful I am to Coca-Cola for giving me the opportunity to represent my school and to meet 81 other college/university representative’s who were given the same honor as I. I’m sure I can speak for all of the ambassadors in that we’re very grateful for kind doings Coca-Cola gave us: the free goodies, the fact that they gave us each our own hotel rooms (which they didn’t have to do), and they booked a box office for us all at Turner Field to see the Atlanta Braves play. We all spent 20+ hours listening to presentations on all aspects of Coke, Coca-Cola commercials (and a scoop into commercials they haven’t even started filming!), and how to handle the FAQ’s Coke Ambassadors get when discussing their products.

For those who aren’t aware, Coca-Cola actually owns tons of beverages (SmartWater, Dasani, MinuteMaid, Fanta, Sprite, HonestTea, etc) and are passionate about making awesome products that don’t destroy our world in the process. For example, part of Coca-Cola’s mission when creating the drinks we all love, is to be water neutral. Water neutral means to return 100% of the water used in beverages and their production back to nature. Coca-Cola also is big on recycling and introduced PlantBottle packaging, which is the first completely recyclable PET plastic bottle made up to 30% plant-based materials (http://www.coca-colacompany.com/). Pretty awesome, right?

Something that Coca-Cola has recently introduced and will start advertising beginning as soon as next month (for select states in the U.S.), is a new variant of Coca-Cola called: “Coke Life”. If you’ve never heard of it before (which I’m assuming you haven’t. It hasn’t been released to many markets as of right now), this product has fewer calories than the original and is made with cane sugar and Stevia, instead of the artificial sweeteners but tastes the exact same as the original. Check out this commercial below which gives a brief summary of the product.

**For more information about Coca-Cola Life, check out this link http://www.coca-colacompany.com/brands/product-description#Coca-Cola Life.**

I am honestly so excited for this upcoming school year and can’t wait to bring more awareness of how cool The Coca-Cola Company is in the most creative and engaging ways possible and use the other clubs I’m involved with to help #OpenHappiness.



The Radford Pitches

We all know that we have to put our hearts and efforts into things in order to complete things to our fullest capabilities, and that is especially true for the Radford Pitches, RU’s a cappella club. They put their heart into their music and each other, and it shows.

“It’s awesome to work with a group of people that share the same passion as you! My favorite part of being in the pitches is when we randomly create mash-ups of songs. We just make it up as we go, and experiencing that creative energy is so much fun,” said sophomore Sanou Diallo.

Some of the Radford Pitches are voice majors, who help those who aren’t voice majors and give good tips on how to improve. Whenever someone in the group has a recital, you’ll be sure to see a few of the Pitches in the audience cheering them on.

“They [The Radford Pitches] are very supportive. There are times that someone needs help with school, or needs a ride or setting like that, and we are all there to help,’ said Vice President, junior Ben Sherman.

The Pitches was founded during the 2013 school year and has been becoming more and more popular amongst the students and faculty at Radford University. The A Cappella group practices every Tuesday and Thursday in the Covington Center for two hours and are run by music director Jonathan Stoots. However, it doesn’t always feel like practice. It gets really fun and entertaining for the Pitches when they start adding choreography to the music and vocals, which gives all of the members of the Radford Pitches the opportunity to get even more creative with the songs they learn each semester.

“Part of the practice is meant to have more of a relaxed, hangout feel. Other parts are more for getting down to business so we are prepared for performances,” said Sherman.

Working hard does pay off for members of the group, as Diallo recalls her most favorite experience as a member of the Pitches from their concert last year, when they sang “Run to You” by the a cappella group, Pentatonix. “The acoustics in the hall were great, and the song just built and sounded so beautiful,” said Diallo.

The A Cappella group has one concert a year, but also sings at Radford University events such as basketball games, baseball games, and at the Veteran’s Day ceremony. When they perform at those types of events, they usually sing the national anthem in front of at least 500 people. While the group is still fairly new to the Radford campus, they hope to have more performance opportunities within the next year.

If you ever get the opportunity to see them perform, whether it is a sporting event, concert, or holiday affair, you can tell that the Pitches are really passionate about the group and put a lot of time and energy into their overall sound, and try to constantly improve their overall sound and chemistry, on and off stage.

The Radford Rowdies

A brand new student organization, the Radford Rowdies, began during the fall semester of 2014 at Radford University as a student-run hype squad in support of Radford’s athletic teams.

The Radford Rowdies was founded by junior Mahdi Torabinejad in the hopes of persuading students to be more school-spirited and support our athletic teams in fun and creative ways. There will be tons of opportunities for Radford students and the community to show off their spirit this upcoming season. “Banners, flags, organized choreographies are all in the works, we’re just now getting started with all that,” Torabinejad said.

Since the Radford Rowdies are a student organization, Radford University students are given the option to run for leadership positions, and can put this organization on a college resume. Freshman Stephanie Seitz decided to join the organization because she enjoys cheering on her school teams. “I have so much school spirit since my high school was really big into sports. It’s awesome that the Radford Rowdies allows me to continue rooting for RU with people who are school spirited too!” Seitz said. The group is currently run by President Torabinejad along with seniors Morgan Sumner and Brad Korer, junior Matt Tabor, and sophomores Dylan Price and Isaiah Trundy.

Joining the club is quick and easy; all RU students have to do is pay a one-time $10 fee and student’s get: free t-shirts, scarves, noisemakers, fan wigs, flags, posters, and so much more. Being a club member also gets your invitations to tailgates for RU Men’s and Women’s Soccer, Volleyball, Basketball, Baseball and Softball games and first call priority seating in the Rowdies section of the stands. Members also have the ability to take part in pre-game and mid-game fan activities and organized choreographies, as well as the option to be in promotional videos and photos.

The purpose behind why the Radford Rowdies began is to get students excited about our school teams and be there for them while having fun with friends. Radford Rowdies’ Student Board is in charge of what the group does, what games they go to, and when to get rowdy. “We’ll be leading chants, leading the atmosphere, getting under the skin of the opposing team’s players, creating an identity of a Radford sports fan in general, something to join and get behind together,” Torabinejad said.

During the spring semester, the Radford Rowdies had a total of 285 active members on the Radford Rowdies group page on Facebook. The Rowdies are trying to spread the word about this organization to as many students as possible and use social media outlets to their advantage. “Not that many people are aware that we do have a Twitter, and we’re really trying to get more people to know about us and make us well known around campus,” Torabinejad said.

The Rowdies have been advertising and promoting the organization on campus, through RUInvolved, and online. Different types of information graphics are being created and distributed on boards across campus, on Radford’s TV Channel, and on each classes Facebook page. They’re still developing ways that can persuade RU students to join and have fun with others while cheering on our fellow Highlanders.

Snow Day at Radford University (FROM SPRING 2015)

RADFORD, Va. – Radford University experienced its first snow day for the 2014-2015 school year on Feb. 16, 2015, with a prediction of up to eight inches of snow lasting until the following night, giving Radford students and staff the day off.

When students are given snow days, there are multiple activities that they can choose to do. Some like to go outside and take pictures or enjoy sledding or having snowball fights.

Many enjoy staying in with a cup of hot chocolate and a good movie or book or rather like to go to a friend’s house and spend the day there and just hang out. However, the most common activity students at RU do on snow days, is celebrating the snowfall with friends.

Freshman Stephanie Seitz was really looking forward to the snow. “Sledding is the best thing to do on snow days because it’s really fun, especially if you down headfirst,” said Seitz.

Seitz is a social science major, currently living in Tyler Hall. This was her first experience with snow at Radford, and the first thing she did when it started snowing hard, walked around campus with her roommate and frolic in the snow.

On average, the city of Radford gets about 16 inches of snow, two inches above the average snowfall for the state of Virginia, according to usa.com.

“The C.O.B.E. [The College of Business and Economics] is the best place to go sledding! It has a lot of hills, which would be fun to go down,” said senior Laura Dannemiller.

The C.O.B.E. building officially opened in the fall of 2012 and is currently one of the biggest buildings on Radford University’s campus, residing on top of a steep hill.

Dannemiller is a public relations major, currently living in an apartment on light side. She has experienced multiple snowstorms while at RU and really loves spending her snow days with her friends at her apartment.

The time frame that students choose to spend playing in the snow or being outside during a snowstorm varies on how much one likes that type of weather. Some students only go outside to get food; others will go outside to just appreciate the weather and play in it as well.

“I probably spend an hour outside during a snow day. Once my clothes start getting wet I quit,” said Seitz. In contrast, Dannemiller said that she spends three or four hours in the snow, and whenever she gets really tired and just want some hot chocolate she goes inside.

When universities close, it causes the issue of whether or not their regular activities and school transportation services will still be available to their student body.

For Radford University, on Monday, their transit buses stopped operating at 5 p.m., and the Radford Men’s Basketball game against Coastal Carolina scheduled for Monday as well was changed to only being open to RU students who are able to walk to the Dedmon Center.

Closing the university also changes the hours of operation for Radford University’s dining halls for students living on campus. The Bonnie Hurlburt Student Center and Dalton Hall remained open for students until 10 p.m on Monday.

In the past years at RU, students usually have snowball fights in front of Heth hall, the center of the university’s campus. “It’s the best place to play in the snow; you can play with more people,” Dannemiller recalls.

For example, last year many students participated in a huge snowball fight on Heth lawn, consisting of about 30-40 students, according to Radford University’s Facebook page.

“The snowball fights are the best. I remember how intense it was last year on the Heth lawn, and it’s safe to say, everyone who walked by was a target,” said Dannemiller.

Monica Levitan

mlevitan@radford.edu cell: (240)-393-2726




Murder Mystery Night at Radford University (FROM SPRING 2015)

RADFORD, Va. – Radford University students walk in Muse Banquet Hall as themselves but enter the “cocktail party” as someone else. Everyone is a suspect for the “murder” of the Radford Highlander, and two detectives are determined to find out who would do such a horrible task.

On Friday, March 27, 2015 from 9 p.m. to midnight, students were given the opportunity to take part in this hilarious impromptu experience that engages and allows them to meet new people and spend time with friends.

Junior Shieh Freeman was really excited to take part in this brand new late night activity. He was seen walking from table to table introducing himself as the name he was given for the show and had a big smile on his face. “It’s a good place to meet new people and be funny and just have fun,” Freeman said.  Untitled

Attendees were given masks, mustaches, gloves, necklaces, and other artifacts that gave their alternate persona a personality.

Murder Mystery Night ended up being a very popular event. Radford Student Programming and Campus Events, R-SPaCE, planned for 150 students to attend, but over 180 students came! They had to lie out chairs on the sides of the banquet hall so everyone had seats.

The two detectives gave the audience instructions throughout the show such as, “Walk around the room. Everyone you meet you is suspicious of…but say so using Gibberish words. Actually, say the word lamp in a suspicious voice towards everyone you see,” one of the detectives said.
But how did R-SPaCE find this comedy duo? “We [R-SPaCE] go to NACA every year and saw the Murder Mystery men perform and we were really interested in them. We asked if they could come to Radford and they said yes, which is awesome!” said sophomore Melissa Brown, who is R-SPaCE’s Director of Late Night.

The Murder Mystery Men did two shows at Radford University that Friday night, each completely different than the other. The detectives do each show in a way where the audience decides who the murderer is and everything that happened in between.

This was the first time that the Murder Mystery Men came to RU, and it was a big success. “It brings students together and entertains them. It’s something different that they can do on a Friday night instead of going out or even staying in to watch Netflix,” Brown said.

After each show, R-SPaCE provided a buffet complete with free dinner and dessert food for the audience to enjoy.

The audience was very engaged and active in how “the murder” was completed. Several students went on stage and acted out dances and impromptu scenarios that the audience believed happened when the murderer “killed” the Highlander.

The people who went on stage were the suspects of the murder case and the audience decided who should stay on stage and whom they don’t believe did the horrible deed.

Once there were three suspects left on the stage, people from the crowd began developing how each suspect supposedly killed the victim. The audience then voted on whom they believed the murderer is, and then acted out the actual killing scene.


Monica Levitan

mlevitan@radford.edu (240)-393-2726