Tag: Nick Adrian

Bipartisan Ball unites parties for an evening

Jesse Battles, Chairman of JSU Republicans (far left) and Alexis Paige, Chairwoman of JSU College Democrats (far right) pose with other members of their groups at the Bipartisan Ball on Sunday, March 4 (JSU Republicans/Facebook).

Nick AdrianStaff Writer


On Sunday, March 4, JSU College Republicans and Democrats hosted their first Bipartisan Ball.  The event was held on the eleventh floor of the Houston Cole Library from 6-9 p.m. and featured speakers from both sides of the political parties.

Doors opened at 5:30 and the event began promptly at 6 with Chairman of the JSU College Republicans, Jesse Battles, giving the welcome and leading in the pledge of allegiance.  College Republicans member Coleman Amason gave the blessing for the dinner catered by Sodexo.

Senator Phil Williams was the first speaker featured for the night.  He was followed by the department head of Political Science Dr. Timothy Barnett, activist Lilly Ledbetter, State Representative Craig Ford and Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill.

Merrill posted photos on Facebook the following day and expressed his support for the students.

“These students are leading the way!” Merrill wrote.

Chairwoman of the JSU College Democrats, Alexis Paige, delivered the closing and thanked everyone for attending the event.

Candidates currently running for office on both sides were in attendance.  They, as well as the elected officials, students and members of the community stayed afterwards to hear from each other.

“This was one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had,” said Battles, who was heavily involved with organizing the event.  “I want Jacksonville State to be an example of how individuals with different political philosophies can engage in civil discourse with their peers.  I am thankful for everyone who helped make this event happen, as well as those who attended.  It was an amazing experience with inspirational people.”

The JSU College Republicans meet in Brewer Hall room B100. Food is provided. For more information, contact Jesse Battles at jbattles@stu.jsu.edu

The JSU College Democrats meet in Brewer Hall room 229 and often host events such as Donuts with the Dems. For more information, contact Alexis Paige at apaige1@stu.jsu.edu.

Battles and Melissa Juarez with Merrill (John Merrill/Facebook).
Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill with Paige (John Merrill/Facebook).

Campus ministry shows lecture series

Nick Adrian, Staff Writer

The Canterbury Club Episcopal campus ministry at JSU is taking part in Values in Action, a partner site for the Trinity Institute’s 47th National Theological Conference. Using on-demand videos, the ministry will offer four segments of the conference on Sundays – February 25, March 4, 11 and 18 from 3-5 p.m. at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church parish hall, on the corner of Church Avenue and Drayton Street in Jacksonville.

St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Jacksonville (photo via Pinterest).

The Values in Action conference was originally held at Trinity Church Wall Street in New York City from February 2-3. The conference was streamed around the world to partner sites at churches, cathedrals, seminaries and advocacy organizations. Local participants of the conference will learn how the impact of individual and organizational actions can be expanded through values-based partnerships. Onsite reflection groups will be facilitated using materials prepared and provided by Trinity Institute.

The conference includes speakers whose lives as activists, theologians and authors show the power of values in action, such as Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas, founder and CEO of Define American, who delivers a keynote address chronicling his life in this country as an undocumented immigrant. Other speakers include Michelle Alexander, civil rights lawyer, legal scholar, and author of “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness”; Pádraig Ó Tuama, poet, theologian and mediator; and the Rev. Elizabeth M. Edman, Episcopal priest, political strategist and author.

“These presenters applied their cherished values to societal issues such as immigration, mass incarceration, racial equality, public discourse, LGBTQ rights and refugees,” said deacon Stanley Easton, chaplain of the Canterbury Club and coordinator of the on-demand conference. “Not all of us choose to be active in the same causes. The question to participants is, ‘How do you think the status quo needs to be changed and how do you bring your values to bear on making that changed?'”

The Canterbury Club at JSU’s purpose is to foster spiritual development among college students, other young adults, faculty, and staff.

The sanctuary of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church (via St. Luke’s Episcopal Church/Facebook).

The Trinity Institute is an annual conference in its 47th year that equips clergy and laypersons for imaginative and catalytic leadership. Their conferences present emerging and inclusive theological and social perspectives and engage participants in inquiry, dialogue and reflection. The conference is sponsored by Trinity Church Wall Street, an Episcopal parish in New York City. Recent conferences include “Creating Common Good: A Practical Conference on Economic Equality,” “Listen for a Change: Sacred Conversations for Racial Justice” and “Water Justice.”

The Trinity Church Wall Street is a growing and inclusive Episcopal parish that seeks to serve and heal the world by building neighborhoods that live Gospel truths, generations of faithful leaders and sustainable communities. More than twenty worship services are offered every week at its historic sanctuaries, Trinity Church and St. Paul’s Chapel. The parish welcomes approximately three million visitors per year.


AOII brings Mardi Gras spirit to Jacksonville

Freshman AOII member, Brianna Winkles, smiles with Mardi Gras King 2018 Paul Hicks (Brianna Winkles/Facebook).

Nick AdrianStaff Writer

A bit of New Orleans made its way to Jacksonville this past week as JSU celebrated Mardi Gras culminating with its first ever Mardi Gras parade on Saturday, February 10.

The event was hosted by Alpha Omicron Pi to raise money for their philanthropy, Arthritis Research.

Mardi Gras is a thousands-of-years-old celebration that has roots in the Roman festivals of Saturnalia and Lupercalia. Today, it is celebrated on Fat Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday and the start of the Christian season of Lent—the 40 days preceding Easter. Mardi Gras festivities have gained particular notoriety in America in the post cities of New Orleans and Mobile, but the holiday is celebrated worldwide, including France, Germany, Spain, Italy, England, Canada and Denmark. In Brazil, it is known as Carnival, a weeklong festival of vibrant colors, elaborate costumes, dancing, eating, drinking and celebrating.

JSU’s celebrations started early in the week on February 5, which included spreading word for the parade, encouraging people to attend and giving out traditional favors like beads and MoonPies.

Alpha Omicron Pi created a Snapchat filter for the parade (Megan Harvey/Facebook).

“Planning this event was a blast,” AOII Philanthropy Chairman Hannah Blue said.  “I got to meet so many people and network with my peers and people in my community.”

Rain may have put a damper on the parade route, but it couldn’t dampen the spirits of those in attendance.

The inaugural Mardi Gras parade began at 3 p.m. on Saturday, starting off at Bibb Graves Hall, traveling around Trustee Circle and concluding at the Alumni House. Miss JSU 2018 Lauren Reaves and Homecoming King and Queen 2017 Paris Coleman and Shea O’Donnell all braved the dreary weather to participate. There was also a Mardi Gras float and plenty of beads, candy and even more MoonPies.

When the parade was finished, the celebration continued with a red beans and rice dinner, raffles, prizes and a live jazz concert by members of the JSU Jazz program.

Students Bobbie Ann Oliver and Paul Hicks were crowned as JSU’s first ever Mardi Gras queen and king.

The event ultimately wound up raising over $9,000 for Arthritis Research, leading to an incredibly successful Mardi Gras celebration that will surely become an annual favorite on campus.

Megan Harvey FB.jpg
Rain couldn’t dampen the spirits of these AOII sisters as they pose at the Mardi Gras themed photo booth following the parade on February 10 (Megan Harvey/Facebook).

From BFFs to Mr. and Mrs.: Active Minds hosts relationship workshop

Fred and Rochelle Smith speak at Active Minds’ relationship workshop on Tuesday, February 6 (Nick Adrian/The Chanticleer).

Nick AdrianStaff Writer

This Tuesday, JSU’s branch of the organization Active Minds held a Relationship Talk with husband and wife Fred and Rochelle Smith titled: “From BFF to Mr. and Mrs.”  The couple, who were once JSU students themselves, gave the story of how they met and offered advice on how not only to lead a good relationship, but a good marriage, as well.

While Rochelle Smith is the Director of the Office of Residence Life at JSU and Fred Smith is the director of the Community Foundation of Northeast Alabama, they are also both pastors at the Bridge Christian Center in Alexandria, Ala.  They first met while attending school at JSU in gospel choir practice, but did not begin dating until Rochelle was in graduate school and Fred was out of school.  They have now been married for fourteen years and came to give advice to students as they “transition from to one day Mr. and Mrs.”

Fred Smith made the point that relationships are one of the few important things in life that we are not tested on.

“You actually are tested to get a driver’s license, but you’re not tested before you get married,” he said.  “How do you prepare yourself for something that you’re not tested on?”  He went on to explain that this “test” does not come along until you are already married.

Mr. Smith gave two ways for students (or young people, in general) to look at themselves and ask where they are in the process of choosing someone to spend the rest of their life with.  The first was to take a closer look at other relationships that we may model our own relationships after – whether they be the romantic relationships of our parents and couples on campus, or platonic relationships we share with our friends.

“Whether you like the model, or you don’t like the model,” he explained, “that model that you see influences how you perceive relationships.”

The flyer for “From BFF to Mr. and Mrs.” workshop (photo via Paris Coleman/Instagram).

The second way Mr. Smith discussed was allowing yourself to have good judgment, or “measure” when evaluating someone.  He recommended to know how to measure yourself in three areas: measuring your relationship with the model you have chosen, measuring your relationship with your partner, and measuring your relationship with yourself.

He then added one more tip, “I couldn’t leave this out because I figured that this is the real reason for success with any relationship: measure your relationship with God.”

“Good relationships are not accidental.  Healthy relationships take work,” Mr. Smith warned.

Rochelle Smith also took the floor, warning about signs of unhealthy relationships.

“Secrecy, dishonesty, lack of respect…make sure you look out for those signs,” she advised.

The couple also wanted to emphasize that it is important not to rush into relationships, even if it seems like it is what everyone else is doing.

“Continue to develop yourself,” Mr. Smith said.

“You’re able, as a single person, to love yourself, show yourself respect…” Mrs. Smith added.  “Just treat yourself really, really good.  So, that way, you know how you want to be treated.”



Tuesday Talks spotlights the School of Arts and Humanities

Speakers at the November 14 Tuesday Talk were (from left): Laura Wheale, Gena Christopher and Mark du Pont (photo by Nick Adrian/The Chanticleer).

Nick AdrianStaff Writer

JSU held another session of Tuesday Talks meeting on November 14, this time catering to the School of Arts and Humanities. Students who were interested in Drama, English, or Art were invited to come out and learn what it takes to be successful in those fields. The speakers at the panel were made up of three JSU alumni ready to give their stories and talk about where they are in the field today.

The panelists were as follows: Mrs. Laura Wheale, a 2010 graduate with a B.A. in Drama who is the founder and owner of Wheale Law Group in Atlanta and an experienced actress, having appeared in Clint Eastwood’s Sully and Ang Lee’s Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk in 2016; Mrs. Gena Christopher, a 1979 graduate with a B.A. in English who is now the Director of Faculty Commons at JSU and Mr. Mark du Pont, a 2013 graduate with a B.A. in Photography who is now the Scholarships Coordinator at JSU as well as the official photographer for the Marching Southerners.

A big theme of the conversation encouraged students to follow their dreams and do what they love, something that occurred to the panelists during their schooling.

Wheale came to JSU on a tennis scholarship and initially considered majoring in Biology until deciding it was not for her. After being advised to simply do what she loved to do, she changed her major to Drama. After graduating, she went on to Cumberland School of Law, but soon started to miss her true love: acting. She began auditioning and landed roles in Lee and Eastwood’s films. Billy Lynn was her first onscreen acting role and she was initially nervous, worrying that since she was new, she might not be good enough to be cast.

“When I look back on it,” Wheale recalled, “I just said, ‘You’re there for a reason.’ You know, you get hired for a reason. That’s acting; that’s whatever you want to go into.”

Wheale was honored as the JSU’s 2017 Young Alum of the Year at the homecoming game ni October.

Christopher, like Wheale, had a change of heart. Christopher was set on being a doctor ever since she was a little girl, even being offered a full ride to Emory University, but she realized it was not for her.

“Somebody told me the other day, they said, ‘Man plans and God laughs’,” Christopher joked as she talked about opting to attend JSU for a year until she figured out what she truly wanted to do.

After a short stint as a Math major, a few of her English teachers told her she should consider their field, claiming that it fit her personality. She first started as a high school teacher eventually gravitating back to JSU to teach English.

“I truly believe I got the job teaching at JSU because the people I knew from the past knew that whatever it was that I was going to do, I would work really hard,” she said, claiming her work ethic and punctuality did not hurt.

Du Pont had originally gotten a job as a telephone operator at a young age and gradually moved higher and higher in the business. He dropped out of JSU to pursue his job, but eventually decided to re-enroll in 2008 and focus on his first love: photography. While he loves working as the Scholarship Coordinator at JSU, being able to photograph the Southerners as well as working on his own photography is his real passion: “Make yourself happy,” was his simple yet effective advice.

Wheale ended the talk by saying, “Follow your passion and make it your own dream,” which is truly sound advice for anyone, no matter what career they are pursuing.