Behind the Scenes of…Late Night Breakfast

Hey everyone, my name is Melissa, and every month I plan and coordinate a Late Night Breakfast (LNB) in Festival.  At every LNB you can find music, food, crafts and exciting activities; all of which are based around a theme.  Past LNB themes have included Disney, Safari, Luau, Hard Rock Café, and Pirates.

But how do we choose these themes?  I work with a committee of about 25 members, and we meet once a week to discuss ideas for Late Night Breakfasts and how we can make them really happen!  I generally start out by asking the committee to come up with the craziest and most extravagant ideas for a theme and/or activities, and from there we work our way down to decide on a theme that is feasible and within our budget.

We then spend the weeks leading up to the event choosing all the activities and crafts that will complement our theme, and we spend a lot of time trying to come up with things that we know JMU students would love to come to Festival to do!  For all of our inflatables, such as the giant Shark Slide on the Festival Lawn, we actually call in a company from Pennsylvania to set-up and facilitate the activity!

From decorations to the food, our committee thinks of every way possible to bring all of our visions and students’ suggestions together and make each LNB fabulous and entertaining!  We’re looking forward to all the great themes coming up next semester!  Are you excited?!

~Melissa Janocha, Director of Spirit & Traditions

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Heartbroken Over A Kid

I’m feeling sad. And a bit pathetic. Maybe desperate is a better adjective? Or perhaps used. Any person who has done whatever they could to impress a special person in their life knows how I feel. When you want so badly to just make them see how great you could be together. That feeling of helplessness when “the one” just doesn’t think you’re good enough. And then they reject you over and over, no matter what you try to do to show them you care. Some of us try to guilt them into accepting us. Some of us leave with our pride and our head held high. I’m balancing between the two.

That’s how I feel about our attempt to get Kid Cudi to come to JMU. For years now, you have all let it be clear that you want him to come. There’s a facebook group. There’s countless votes on the survey. On top of that, we receive write-ins on the survey and emails to our account requesting him by name. So we listened! We tried, JMU.

I tried to impress him with our great venue. Imagine – a sold out show at Convo! But it didn’t work.

I tried to show him that we would be such a great pairing. JMU – a school filled with students who have requested him by name! But it didn’t work.

I increased the bid. Once. Then once more. Then I extended the bid by a couple of days. Then by a week. Then by a month. But it still didn’t work.

Now I’m deciding between a guilt trip (Scott “Kid Cudi” Mescudi, wouldn’t your mom want you to say yes? Did you know that we’re both from Cleveland? I probably ran into you at Solon High School! You know, we do have mutual high school friends on facebook!) or just leaving with my pride, moving on to a new artist, and parting ways amicably.

But rest assured JMU, we’re analyzing your survey results, pouring over available artist lists, and bidding artists for an even better spring Convo concert!  Get excited!

~Carrie Martin, UPB Coordinator

What Would You Do In 127 Hours?

Over Thanksgiving break, I went to go see the new movie 127 Hours about the incredible story of Aron Ralston who had his arm trapped under a boulder while canyoneering in Utah.  After being alone for 127 hours, he came to the decision to cut off his own arm with a dull pen knife to survive. The film made me think about what would I do in that situation? Could I cut off my own arm? Would I even be canyoneering to begin with?

To answer my first question yes I would have James Franco play me in the film version of my life. Wait that wasn’t the first question… but to answer that, it would be no I would not be canyoneering to begin with. I have a fear of heights and I have a fear of climbing alone. To answer the next question I believe I have the will to live to cut off my own arm, but I would definitely have to keep my eyes closed while I did it. Now for the serious question, what would I do in that situation? I would think of my family, my friends, my past, and my future. I hope these things would give me the strength to do what is necessary to stay alive. And in this time of year of finals and holidays I hope you all have the drive and strength to make the rest of this semester a success and won’t ever go canyoneering alone.

~Zach Hamby, VP of Marketing

It’s Good To Have A Best Buddy

The value of a friend is extremely underappreciated and quite often taken for granted in our society. Best Buddies has given me the opportunity to touch people’s lives in a more unique way than I ever thought possible!

Best Buddies is an international, non-profit organization, and the chapter here on JMU’s campus is very special. We, as Best Buddies members, work with people with intellectual or developmental disabilities to form one-to-one friendships with college students. Social acceptance and inclusion for the small community of people with disabilities is our number one goal!

Okay, all the business talk aside, Best Buddies has changed my life. Since starting the chapter at my high school and continuing on into college, Best Buddies has taken me places and shown me things (literally and figuratively) that have changed me for the better. This organization has opened my eyes to the world around me. It has shown me that some people are very unfortunate, and that in grim times, the most important thing that you can give someone is your friendship!

All that being said, I cannot wait to bring my Buddy to December’s edition of Funny Freakin’ Friday, TONIGHT at 8PM in TDU! We crack jokes all the time, so I know he will get a kick out of the comedian, Watt Smith. Best Buddies is thrilled to be co-sponsoring their first event with UPB for FFF. Hope to see you there!

-Bryan Herbert, Best Buddies JMU President

Cupcakes, Glorious Cupcakes

I’ll be honest–like most students, I spent the majority of my Thanksgiving break dreading the return to classes.  But as Sunday night crept ever closer, the only thing keeping me going was my excitement for JMU’s first-ever Cupcake Wars! 

Around the office and among all my friends, my name has become synonymous with baked goods.  To say that I love to bake would be a gross understatement.  I live for baking–almost literally, as I teach cake decorating classes at Michael’s.  I love experimenting with new recipes and challenging myself to try new techniques, so naturally when I heard UPB was planning this event, I was positively ecstatic.

The only thing better than baking is baking is competitive baking.  Ever since I happened upon it a few months ago in a fit of summer boredom, I’ve loved watching Cupcake Wars on Food Network.  I would give anything to compete on the show (and, believe me…I’ve spent plenty of time scouring Food Network’s website for information on auditioning; alas the option is unavailable.)!  For now, though, I’ll settle for judging tonight’s competition.  I can’t wait to see what designs you all have in store!

~Josie Eller, Film Committee Member and Cupcake Wars Judge