Monday, February 28, 2011

"Hustle," Murs

I first saw this video back in the fall of 2004. It's "Hustle," by Murs. The first time I saw the video, I thought it was pretty cool. It's a good track, with nice beats and an interesting lyrics. The video is funny, as Murs is teaching a "How to Be a Hustler" class. He's rapping about how he used to hustle as a kid while the people in the audience are taking notes.

Near the end of the video, he leaves the class and I see a shirt that Murs is wearing and think to myself, "Cool!" and then I see who shows up in the end and raps a verse and I think to myself, "Holy Shit!"

Yes, John Cena shows up in the video and lays down a rhyme. At the time, that was his WWE character and he's very good at it. He even released his own album a few years back. I remember reading at the time that Cena got in trouble with WWE for appearing in the video, as he didn't get permission to do so. This video came out probably 7 months before he won his first WWE Championship and he wasn't quite at the level within WWE as he is now.

If you saw the blog where I posted his response to The Rock and wondered if his rap skills were legit, here's your answer.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

John Cena responds to The Rock

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson returned to World Wrestling Entertainment last Monday, February 14, after a nearly-seven-year absence. Click here to read a blog I wrote about that. That blog includes both a 9-minute recap & the full 23-minute video of The Rock's return.

The Rock returned to be the "Host" of WrestleMania, WWE's biggest annual pay-per-view of the year. While he won't be wrestling at the event, and has pretty much said that he won't ever wrestle again, The Rock will be at the biggest event of the year and will play a prominent role.

During The Rock's promo, he called out John Cena. But first, some backstory...

The Rock was arguably the biggest star in WWE history during the late 1990s - early 2000s. He was a multiple-time WWE Champion, the top merchandise seller, the most popular wrestler, the most charismatic wrestler, the list goes on and on. As we all know, he left WWE and went to Hollywood to become an action star. The action star thing didn't work out quite the way he envisioned it, but he did become a very formidable actor with a wide range (action, comedy, voice work).

The Rock's last match was in 2004. In late 2003, there was a young wrestler rising his way up the WWE ranks. His name was John Cena. His character was that of a bad-boy rapper. He was technically a "bad guy," but his entertaining raps about his opponents, coupled with his charisma and work in the ring, led him to becoming one of the most popular stars WWE had.

At WrestleMania 21, in 2005, it became official. John Cena won his first WWE Championship and the torch was unofficially passed. Rock was out and Cena was at the top of the mountain. Cena became a multiple-time WWE Champion, the top merchandise seller, the most charismatic wrestler, the list goes on and on. 

In the 6 years since, the WWE and Cena have gone through several changes. Cena's rap character was downplayed and eventually faded away. WWE for nearly a decade, from the late 90's until the late 00's, was one of the edgiest, TV-14/TV-M programs on television. Cena was one of those edgy characters, with his rap persona. In 2008, the decision was made to change WWE's core audience. Their programming was changed to TV-PG. Gone was the bloody violence, excessive cursing, and trashy-looking ladies.

Cena was still the top star in the company. He just now appealed to a much-younger demographic. Kids loved him. The older fans who remembered The Rock and others from the "glory years" of professional wreslting tended to dislike Cena.

In the years since Rock left, WWE started its own film division and has made several feature films for theater and straight-to-DVD. Cena is their biggest film star. In one interview to promote a movie, Cena was asked if he would ever leave WWE and become a movie star like The Rock, if the opportunity presented itself.

Cena answered the question by saying that he loved WWE and would never leave. He then questioned whether The Rock truly loved WWE or its fans, because he did leave. In the last two weeks, it has never been stated publicly by WWE or Cena and Rock, but that is the issue-at-hand between the two of them.

The Rock stated in his promo that he thought Cena was a good guy, until he started saying stuff about him in interviews. Cena brought up a couple times in his response that he wasn't "talking trash," but instead "talking truth."

The Rock's promo was very noticable for its TV-14 slant, as he used a lot more profanity in 23 minutes than had probably been seen on WWE TV in several months combined. Since The Rock didn't go PG with his remarks, Cena slipped out of the TV-PG restraints for one-night only and reverted back to his previous persona for a response.

I'm very intrigued by where all of this goes. WrestleMania is April 3, live on pay-per-view. Rock has stated that he will see Cena at WrestleMania, so there will likely be some sort of interaction between them. Will The Rock show back up on Monday Night Raw before then? Will Cena mention anything else? We'll just have to tune in and find out.

Monday Night Raw airs every - you guessed it - Monday night on USA Network at 9 p.m.

Cena mentions The Rock at the 2-minute mark of the video. He starts his rap around the 5-minute mark.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

If you don't like Green Day...

I had been listening to Green Day's latest album and a song stuck out in my head to use in my last blog. I realize now that a lot of people don't like Green Day or that song. I thought of a song that was a little more mainstream and a lot more popular that would have been just as appropriate to put in the last blog. So, if you don't like Green Day, try this song out:

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Hurt my hand! & other updates

I guess you could call this a sequel of sorts to my May, 2009 blog Hurt my toe! & other updates. To update you on those updates, my toe feels fine, the Princeton Times never did have enough money in the budget to bring me back (those feature ideas are still in my head), I did get a 3rd tattoo but not the one I was talking about there (it's still in my head), and I still love Twitter.

I'm not sure what happened to my hand. It feels like I hurt it. I know that sounds strange - if it feels hurt, then it obviously is hurt. It feels like it because I have no idea what happened. The other day at work I went to grab something with my left hand and felt this intense pain around my thumb-joint area when I gripped it.

That was almost a week ago. The pain is still there somewhat, but not nearly as intense as it was. So, hopefully that's better soon.

I blogged a couple times about school this semester, how I was trying to get my schedule together and whatnot. I'm registered for classes, but not a lot and my attendance has been anemic. I'm going to consider this semester pretty much a failure. It's like one notch above the last spring semester, when I wasn't even registered in classes.

I'm trying to snap out of it, but I feel like I went into a little depressed state for a while over it. I haven't been myself lately and I'm trying to dig myself out of it.

Another thing that hasn't been helping me out has been that I got my sleep schedule all out of alignment, again. Insomnia is something that I have dealt with on-and-off since I started college waaaaaaay back in 2004. My 12th grade year of high school, I would go to sleep around midnight and wake up at 6 a.m. every day, without fail. When I got to college, I started staying up later and getting up later and not being able to sleep and just getting into a horrible cycle.

It was at its absolute worst my 3rd year of college. At one point, I was awake for over 50 hours straight. On the weekends, I would regularly go to sleep around 11 a.m. or noon and wake up around 8 or 9 p.m. During the school week I'd usually stay up for like 24 hours, then sleep for 12 and repeat that on-and-off for a few days.

I've never really gotten my sleep schedule on a truly "normal" pattern, but I got to the point last year where I was going to bed around 1 or 2 a.m. and I was functioning at a pretty normal level. These last 3 or 4 weeks, though, all the good work I was doing just went out the window somehow. I've had several days of staying awake over 24 hours and several days where I slept for like 15 hours.

It's definitely not fixed yet, but I'm at the point where I realize how screwed up my sleep schedule is right now. I think that's the first part of fighting something - admitting you have a problem. Earlier in college, I knew that my sleep pattern wasn't normal and was hindering me, but I didn't really do anything to address it. I'm ready to address it now and at least get it back to where I was last year, when it wasn't great but wasn't hindering me.

I mentioned being kind of depressed sometimes. I think one of the biggest reasons for that is because I really can't find an excuse for why I feel like my life is screwed up. "Screwed up" may not be the best phrase. I have a job, I have an apartment, I'm going to school. I'm doing better than a lot of people. I just keep running into setbacks that mess up any momentum that I may be having. And I can't really come up with a good reason for why that is, other than I fuck myself up sometimes. It's like Green Day said, "You are your own worst enemy."

All you can do is try your best to turn things around. I've had a few self-imposed setbacks lately, but I'm finally ready to start trying my best.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Concord University Inclement Weather Committee Response

I blogged previously about the final day of the Fall 2010 semester at Concord University. It was the final day of final exams, December 16, and weather conditions were not favorable. Exams were not canceled or put on the Inclement Weather Exam Schedule. I wrote about it in three entries:

Final exams marred by heavy snow ... written shortly after Dec. 16, I post pictures of the road conditions and express my frustration with the situation

Professors not pleased with revised exam schedule? ... I was forwarded an e-mail thread between a few Concord professors where they expressed their opinions on the Inclement Weather Exam Schedule

Top Ten Concord University stories of the year ... In a list of the Top 10 stories of the year at Concord University, the final day of the fall 2010 semester ranked at number 9

In January, shortly after the Spring 2011 semester began, I e-mailed Mark Stella, Concord University's Police Chief. He is also Concord's Director of Public Safety, as well as a member of the Inclement Weather Committee. I asked him for a statement on the committee's decision that day. He responded a few days ago. The Inclement Weather Committee's statement is below.

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We will be glad to help. It appears that you understand how our inclement weather committee works. The weather team monitors the forecast using official weather sites, the local weather media, contacts with the State Road and other law enforcement agencies when necessary; this data guides the team’s decisions. We implement the Inclement Weather Schedule, as needed, and close the university only as a last resort.

At all times, the team and Concord University administration place the safety of our students, faculty, and staff at the forefront of our decisions. We remind the entire Concord community to use discretion on whether or not it is safe to travel to campus.

December 16, 2010 posed additional challenges because of final exams. The forecast called for worsening weather later in the day, including an ice storm in the afternoon. It is important to understand that the inclement weather schedule would have delayed the 9 a.m. exam to 4:30 p.m. The committee felt it was safer for students to take 9 a.m. exams and get back home before the snow arrived, rather than pushing the exams back into the evening hours, which would be more dangerous. Unfortunately, the weather deteriorated more rapidly than the forecast predicted and the decision to close at 11:15 a.m. was made.

Earlier that week, students were proactively e-mailed the procedures to take if they had to miss an exam. Instructors were notified not to penalize students who missed exams because of weather-related issues. Again, students, faculty, and staff must use their discretion in whether or not it is safe to travel to campus.

Please let us know if you have further questions.

Concord University Inclement Weather Committee

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Comments? Thoughts?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Rock returns to WWE

Finally!!! The Rock has returned to World Wrestling Entertainment. Dwayne Johnson, fresh off a role in the newest Fast & the Furious flick, slipped back into his most famous role - The Most Electrifying Man in All of Entertainment, The Rock.

The Rock, making his return after a seven-year hiatus, is the "Guest Host" of this April's WrestleMania XXVII pay-per-view. What that means is unclear. It may not even be important. What it means is that The Rock is back. And that's the bottom line, to quote another superstar who recently came back to the WWE family.

Last week, WWE Chairman Vince McMahon announced that he would reveal the guest host of WrestleMania this Monday, February 14. Speculation started about who the name would be. WrestleMania usually has celebrity participation and it has unofficially been confirmed that two stars will be involved with WrestleMania - Justin Bieber and Bob Barker. Bieber will likely sing "America the Beautiful" before the event. Barker? If you're a wrestling fan, that doesn't seem weird at all. He had arguably the most successful "Guest Host" cameo in WWE history.

Some thought that one of those two would be the announcement. But, that didn't seem right. It just seemed "flat." Not exciting. WrestleMania is the biggest event of the WWE year. It needs something big. Justin Bieber and Bob Barker will be good additions to this year's event, but they just don't warrant the hype that WWE was throwing out there.

Dwayne Johnson had started a Facebook page a while before the announcement came out. In one of his first posts, he spoke of his WWE past. He wrote that his days as a wrestler were behind him, but that he considered the WWE to be family and had been in talks over the years on potential ways he could contribute to the program.

As Feb. 14 drew closer, that Facebook post came back into public memory. Monday afternoon, Dwayne Johnson's official twitter account was created. The name of the account sent the speculation to another level - @TheRock.

Then, it happened. The Rock made his return. He came out and all the memories associated with him came swelling out to the surface for every long-time fan.

The Rock is a third generation wrestler, following in his father's and grandfather's steps. He entered the WWE in the late '90s, in his early 20's, and quickly rose to the top of the promotion. He became a multi-time WWE Champion. He had memorable feuds with the likes of Mick Foley, Steve Austin, Triple H, and others. He became a master of multiple catchphrases. He sold tickets, pay-per-views, t-shirts, and anything else you could think of. He became one of the biggest stars ever.

He became such a big star that Hollywood took notice. A cameo in The Mummy 2 in 2001 led to his first starring role in 2002 in The Scorpion King. Starting in 2001, he made the switch to part time wrestler, as he would head off to film a movie, then stop back to WWE for a few months at a time.

The last time The Rock was in a WWE ring for an extended time was February - May, 2003. He wrestled his last match at WrestleMania 20 in 2004 and made a couple more appearances that summer. Aside from two pre-taped interviews (one in 2007, one in 2009), we have not seen The Rock in a WWE ring since 2004.

The situation with The Rock, I liken it to a popular actor on a sitcom who starts making movies. We'll use Kevin James as an example. For nearly 5 or 6 years, he was one of the most popular sitcom stars with "The King of Queens." He had a sizeable audience, but he wasn't entirely in the mainstream yet. A supporting role in the Will Smith rom-com Hitch changed that. Suddenly, he became more in demand and people started counting down when the series would end. He lasted until nearly the end of the decade, then he put "King of Queens" behind him and became Paul Blart.

That's the situation with The Rock. He flirted with movies, with wrestling being his main passion. He then switched to making movies, while flirting with wrestling. Finally, he was just making movies. His billing on the movies started as The Rock, switched to Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, before ultimately dropping the nickname altogether.

A lot of wrestling fans were angry with The Rock for doing that. I never felt that way. Yeah, I wish he would have stuck around more, but you don't turn down an opportunity to make millions of dollars as a movie star just because you love wrestling.

His move to acting was good in a way, as it helped break down the "wrestler stereotype" a little bit. Not all the way, as there will always be people who hate professional wrestling for no reason. There's always been a hidden shame associated with being a wrestling fan. Every wrestling fan knows about it. There are always those people who say, "Really? You watch that stuff?" with a condescending tone. The Rock helped rise above that in a sense, as he showed that he could transition from the "seedy underbelly" of entertainment - professional wrestling - and make his mark as a successful actor, in everything from action movies to Disney kid films.

The Rock's return to wrestling will be something to pay attention to. It has already gotten people talking, as "WWE," "The Rock," and "Dwayne Johnson" were all trending topics on Twitter. The names "Stephanie McMahon" and "Steve Austin" were popular twitter topics as well on Monday night. McMahon, as WWE threw a red herring in having people think she would be the host and Rock mentioned Austin during his in-ring promo.

WrestleMania XXVII now has its "moment." That key factor to make the event important. What will The Rock be doing at the most important event of the year, after a seven-year layoff? You’ll have to purchase it to find out.

What does this mean for the future? It's too soon to tell. The most interesting thing was that The Rock did not treat his appearance as a one-off, short-term deal. He name-dropped superstars The Miz and John Cena, potentially laying the groundwork for something there. In a more poignant moment during his promo, The Rock said he was addressing the fans as Dwayne. He said that the fans were the reason he became who he was and he was never, ever going away.

"Never, ever going away." What does that mean? I doubt The Rock is retiring from acting, but I do believe that we won't have to wait another seven years before we see The Rock again.

WrestleMania XXVII airs live, Sunday April 3, on pay-per-view.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Commuting Tips (Reprinted from The Concordian)

This was the first column I wrote when I came back to The Concordian's staff back in the fall semester of 2009. I didn't have a name for the column by this point, that didn't come about until the 3rd or 4th column I wrote. Click here to read a blog where I reprinted another column I wrote, which has a link to click to find out how my column's name came about.

With my work on the staff that semester, I tried to write about common, practical things that others hadn't done before. Nobody had ever written about the best places to take a nap on campus, so I thought something like that would be appreciated by the students. I never had anybody tell me that they actually used any of the advice I gave out, but it's out there if anybody ever needs it.

At the end of this column I mention the Student Government Association Vice President. The advice is still timely, just not the VP I named. The current Vice President is Dustin Blankenship. Find him on Facebook if you need him.

* * *

Originally published Sept. 2, 2009; The Concordian, Concord University

By Chris Slater

Living off campus for the first time in my loooooong tenure at Concord University, it’s allowed me to view good ol' CU in a different light.

As a commuter.

No longer living in the sheltered environment of the dorm, I've been able to see a different side of this university. I drive here at the beginning of the day and leave at the end. I "hit it and quit it" in a sense.

With that said, I've noticed a few differences between living on campus and commuting.

If you're on campus, you typically wait between classes in your dorm room. It’s like going home - kick off your shoes and turn on the TV until your next class.

If you live off campus, you are usually splitting your time between classes on campus. With backpack in hand – and shoes still on – you’re a lot less laid back than the guy sitting in his room watching The View.

If you commute, you've no doubt noticed the hustle and bustle in the crowded student center of everybody getting their lunch or waiting for their next class.

You've likely never seen the student center "night life." That’s just it, though, there's not much to see. On-campus students, in a quiet setting, casually eat their dinner or hang out with their friends. It's a glaring change of pace from the rushed lunch scene of most days.

If you commute, then you look for a parking spot every day. That's sometimes not the case if you live in the dorms.

It’s possible to keep the same parking space – depending on how often you leave – anywhere from two days up to a week.

Commuting to Concord can sometimes be hard to navigate. You may be asking yourself "Where are the best places to study?" The best places (in no particular order) are:

The Rahall atrium. It's a peaceful spot beside the Housing Office. There's a table and couches or chairs to sit in. The only negative is there's a lot of foot traffic through there in the few minutes after each class.

Practice rooms in the Fine Arts Building. These small rooms in the bottom floor all have chairs and most have a desk. The only negative is that they're mainly used to practice singing and instruments. So, the noise level may be a factor.

Top floor of the library. Not a lot of people go up there. There are a few tables and desks scattered throughout the top floor. The only downside is the limited space.

Empty classrooms. If it's class time and nobody's in there, grab a desk and go to town on some homework. At the worst, somebody will come in and tell you to leave. If so, just go to one of the other places I just mentioned.

If you're at Concord all day, fatigue will no doubt set in. The following (again, in no particular order) are the best spots on campus to catch a quick nap:

The Wilson or Wooddell Hall study lounges. Sorry ladies, but the Wooddell lounge has Wilson slightly beat. There are more couches in there and they're more comfortable. Since it's the beginning of the semester, you need to make sure nobody's living in there – which has been the case the last couple years. After that, they should be good for snoozing.

The cubicles in the corner of the library. It's a desk and a comfortable chair, seemingly cut off from everybody around you. Just put in some headphones, put your head down, and relax. This spot is not a good option for snorers.

The couches on the second floor of the student center. Several comfy couches are waiting for you to lay on them between classes. This is an ideal spot for heavy sleepers, as there is a big screen TV in the area as well as a lot of foot traffic.

Your car. It's not glamorous, but if you can’t find any other spots, it's ideal to tilt your car seat back and take a power nap. It may not be comfortable and it will probably be crowded, but at least nobody will bother you there.

If you're a commuter on campus, you need to be made aware of the Student Government Association's Commuter committee. This is a committee that is here for commuter inquiries, gripes, and general help. At press time, a meeting time had not been set up yet. See SGA Vice President Akeya Carter-Bozman for more information.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Some interesting stuff I found online

I was bored the other night and started to "Google" myself. I sometimes search for myself online after a class I had with Dr. James Parker at Concord in 2006. One of our assignments he gave us was to put our name into a search engine and see what we found. At the time, I didn't find much. But, after Concord's newspaper finally went online and my blog got pretty popular, I found that my name began showing up a little more in online searches. So, occasionaly when I get bored I look for myself online to see what I find.

One of the problems with typing "Chris Slater" into a search engine is that most of the links that show up are about the actor Christian Slater. So, I usually have to put some other word or qualifier into the search to differentiate myself.

One of the weirdest things I found out when searching for "Chris Slater" the other night was that Christian Slater was born on August 18. That's my birthday, too. Isn't that weird?


I was searching online and came across this site called "Opentopia." It's basically a knock-off Wikipedia-ish site. It's an online encyclopedia and the content is user-generated and maintained.

I noticed two interesting bits of information in the Concord University entry. Here's a chunk of information from the page:

The SGA is also well known for its highly contested elections. In a recent election, dorm room doors were set on fire and death threats were made when Rocky Seay (President), Danielle Richmond (Business Manager), and Brandon Brewster (Attorney General) ran an unofficially ticketed campaign that challenged an alleged political machine, known by its opposers as "the Front Table Oppression," on campus. Despite an overwhelming victory for all three, others still managed to mar their success with censuring Rocky Seay for actions outside of SGA and preventing Brandon Brewster from taking office until pending charges are resolved.

In 2004, an independent paper, The Student Edge led by LeAnne Davis, was chartered as an alternative to The Concordian. However, The Student Edge never saw publication, and The Concordian remains the only printed news medium on campus. Despite the failed attempt by Ms. Davis to start her own paper, she returned to the Concordian in Fall '06 and was appointed to the position of Editor-in-Chief by the Concordian's advisor, Dr. Parker, over the heavily student-favored choice, Chris Slater.

Yes, somebody went on this site and wrote about the 2006 SGA elections as well as the "newspaper drama" that occured between myself and LeAnne Davis. As a quick note, The Student Edge was started in 2005, not 2004.

I just thought that was something funny that I came across. I'm not sure who wrote that entry. I figure it would be somebody who was a big supporter of Rocky Seay and myself. I wrote about the 2006 SGA Elections in the past. Click here to check that out. There's a picture of the burnt door included.

The Student Edge never saw the light of day. In an interesting note, the first time I ever saw Facebook was in September 2005, when I was shown the Facebook group for the alternative paper. I then signed up for my own account about a month later.

It definitely came close to being a reality. The Student Edge became an official student organization and could have qualified to receive funding from the Student Government Association.

I only have a couple memories about The Student Edge. There was the initial Facebook look at the group. I remember having a brief editorial staff discussion about whether we would allow students to write for both papers. I was against it but others were for it.

I wrote a column on the Arts and Entertainment section at the time and, to be funny, started finding ways to mention the name The Concordian and add after it, "the premier news source at Concord University," just as a little jab. I used to do dumb stuff like that to amuse myself.

Probably the funniest thing Student Edge-related occured at a SGA meeting in the late Spring of 2006. Usually, there are chairs in rows and that's how the room is set up, but for some reason this week there were several round tables with chairs around them. I walked in and, being a little confused, sat down at a random table without paying much attention. LeAnne was sitting across from me. I didn't have any problem with her, so I smiled at her and she smiled back. A couple minutes later, Mandy Sole, former Editor-in-Chief of the paper, came toward me. She was about to sit down and noticed LeAnne. Trying not to cause a scene, she motioned with her head toward another table and muttered under her breath, "Sit over here." So, I got up and left.

As the Opentopia entry mentions, The Student Edge never came to be, as LeAnne came back to The Concordian. That thing about me being the "heavily student-favored choice" is probably in regard to the Facebook group that was started around that time - "Supporters of the True Editor-in-Chief, Chris Slater." At its peak, the group had like 200 members or something.

I'm not going to write about any of that stuff. If you're interested, read this blog I wrote in 2009 - 8/26 SGA meeting, some other stuff. Read the first half of the blog, then scroll down and read the comments section. It'll fill you in, somewhat.

That was just something interesting I found online about myself. That's something everybody should do every so often - type your name into a search engine and see what comes up. You never know, you could be mentioned in a positive tone in an online encyclopedia entry. Or not.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Top 10 Concord University stories of the year

2010 was an interesting year for Concord University. There were several developments that will affect CU for years. Some of these are seen as positives - the opening of University Point has been long awaited for years, the football team's turnaround after over a decade of losing seasons has been pleasant to watch, and former President Marsh's monetary donation to Concord is definitely a good thing. 2010 had some negatives as well, as the semester ended in a snowy mess of miscommunication, the zero percent tuition increase looks good on the surface but a closer examination could prove otherwise, and the Student Government's efforts to help Haiti turned into an embarrassing snafu once all was said and done.

This list is by no means definitive. It's just something I thought of and researched a little bit. Lists such as these are very subjective and there really is no right answer on what story is more important than any other story. My list is below.

Top 10 Concord stories of the year:

10) Changes to Homecoming Royalty

In a positive step toward equality, Concord's Student Government Association voted to change the title of Homecoming winners from "King and Queen" to simply "Royalty," and allowing two men or two women to run together. I feel as though this would have been a bigger story if two men or two women did run together, but none did. But, the option is now open for future same-sex groups to run for Homecoming Royalty.

9) Last Day of Fall 2010 Semester

I won't go in too much detail here, as I've blogged about this several times in the past. Basically, Concord should have been placed on the inclement weather schedule or had classes canceled due to the snow. Neither of those things were done. Students showed up and Concord was shut down before noon. [click here to read my coverage]

8) Concord's Cafeteria Goes Trayless

In the name of "going green," Concord University made the eco-friendly move to eliminate trays from the Libby Alvis Dining Hall. While I haven't seen any data on how much money Concord is saving through this, I assume it is substantial enough for this to be a good idea. Going trayless had been a rather hot-button issue through 2010, with several for it and several against.

7) University Point Finally Opens

University Point was an idea first drafted over 50 years ago. Over that time it remained just an idea until donations started coming in more heavily in the last two decades. After a few starts and stops, Concord's new alumni center and non-denominational church (in addition to some other stuff, eventually) is now open on campus.

6) Matt Belcher Elected SGA President

The 3-way race for SGA President was between Rob Elsaid, Korey Hummer, and Matt Belcher. Elsaid was seen as the candidate with the most experience, Hummer was seen as the wildcard with all the buzz around him, and then there was Belcher. After a rather tumultuous start in the SGA, Belcher worked his way up through the ranks and won the student vote for SGA President. The day his win was announced, the SGA Attorney General and Public Defender resigned over the news. [click here to read my coverage of Belcher's win]

5) The SGA's Haiti Donation Problems

Shortly before the Spring 2010 semester started, a powerful 7.0 magnitude earthquake rocked Haiti and left the area devastated. Several donation efforts were started and Concord's SGA talked about ways that they could help. A consensus was taken and a popular idea was created - get rid of 2010's "Spring Fling" events and give the money to Haiti. That was in January. Around April, right before the money was to be given out the SGA ran into a loophole - you can't donate state funds to charity. That plan went nowhere and a hastily-put-together Spring Fling occurred. [click here to read some of my coverage of this]

4) Mountain Lion Football Team's Record Turnaround

Concord University had a bad football team for several years. The last winning record was in 1998. The 2007 season saw only one victory. The 2008 season saw zero victories. The 2009 season saw Mike Kellar take over as coach and the team went 6-5. The 2010 season saw them go 8-3, their first 8-win season since 1991. We already have one of the top stories for 2011, as Kellar resigned as Head Coach in January.

3) John David Smith Named New VPAD

In 2008, long-time Concord professor and administrator John David Smith was selected as one of four finalists in a nationwide search to be named Concord's new President. He ultimately was not selected. Fast forward two years and in 2010, JDS was one of four candidates in a nationwide search to be named the new Vice President and Academic Dean. This time he was selected and is now the #2 man on campus, behind President Aloia.

2) Former President Marsh Leaves Millions

Marsh? That sounds familiar, you might be thinking to yourself. Marsh Hall, aka "the admin. building" is named after the former President of Concord, Joseph Marsh, who served from 1959-1973. Odds are you even saw him around campus before his December, 2009, death but just didn't realize it. He was the old man with the gray hair, gray mustache, and thick black glasses who would occasionally make his way to campus events. In his will, Marsh left $3 million to Concord with the intention of hiring an endowed faculty member in the music department and also to restore the pipe organ in the Fine Arts Building.

1) Zero Percent Tuition Increase

On the surface, that sounds like a very good thing. The amount of money students will pay for tuition for the 2010-2011 year is the same as the amount they paid for the 2009-2010 academic year. The only problem is that all of Concord's costs for the 2010-2011 year did not stay at the 2009-2010 levels. It's still too early to see how this has affected Concord and what this will mean for the future. The last time there was a zero percent tuition increase was in the early 1980's. The next year saw a roughly 20% tuition increase. Could something like that happen this year? Not likely, but I do believe the tuition increase will be more than in previous years. This is definitely a story that all Concord students should be paying attention to. [click here to see my coverage]

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There's my list. If you have any thoughts or comments, feel free to leave them. If you disagree with my list or feel as though I left out something important, let me know. This isn't a science, it is very subjective. There are no right answers on what was or was not an important story. Debate is always fun, if done in a civil manner. I allow anonymous comments on my blog, if you would like to leave your thoughts in that manner.