1,000 faces of JMU- Tall, Dark and Handsome

I love those country hits that touch your heart and express the wide range of emotions that we as people feel. Randy Montana does just that! As a singer and songwriter his songs tell how life is, filled with love, loss and good times. Having a rough, raw voice evokes the passion within his music.

He may not be a big name right now, but Randy is definitely on his way to becoming a huge country star. His self-titled album was recently named ‘Best Country Album’ of 2011 by the Nashville Scene. Randy has opened for Sugarland and Taylor Swift and this fall he’ll be on tour with Lady Antebellum and Josh Kelley. But before that he’ll be at stopping at our very own Wilson Hall on November 3rd! The best part is that this amazing concert is only $5!

I can’t wait to spend the evening listening to compelling songs like 1,000 Faces and Ain’t Much Left of Loving You. For this price, I definitely wouldn’t miss it! See you all at Wilson on November 3rd and don’t forget your cowboy hat!

~Laetetia Bergeron

Cupcake Wars…Not Food Fights

I love cupcakes. If I could choose any sweet to have, it would be cupcakes. From the soft and gooey cake to the delectable frosting on top, there are very few things I would not do for a home-made cupcake. So when I first joined UPB last year I was ecstatic to find out that my first official event I would help out with was UPB Presents… Cupcake Wars. At first, being the dumb blonde that I am, I considered the possibility of a huge cupcake food fight on the quad. Before letting anyone know I let this thought actually enter my mind, I remembered the show on TV.

So UPB actually hosted a competition, dedicated to cupcake lovers and creators, to design the most creative cupcakes with themes of JMU, holidays and miscellaneous. We had a huge turnout and although it got a little crazy and messy, I saw the most original and amazingly designed cupcakes I had ever seen in my life.

Although I still think that a campus-wide cupcake food-fight

would be an amazing idea, (and yes I have participated in a much smaller one of these, which is why I thought of it originally) it brought extreme joy to my heart to see an event just for those cupcake-lovers out there like me. I cannot wait for this year’s competition and new partakers! I’ll see you in TDU on October 26th at 7:30pm in TDU Participation is free so no excuses!

~Courtney Pack, Special Events

Family Weekend Options!

It’s that time of the year again, when our campus welcomes the families of our JMU student body for a weekend of activities. I love welcoming parents and other family members on this weekend – campus really comes alive and is full of people. Kick off a weekend with the family by watching our volleyball ladies set it up against Hofstra at 7 p.m. Friday night.  For all of you with a comedian in the family, consider attending the Whose Live Anyway show featuring Ryan Stiles in Wilson Hall at 8 p.m.  This 90 minute improvised show involves audience participation and is for crowds of all ages.

Saturday is gameday for the dukes.  Bring the whole family to support the football team as we take on the wildcats of Villanova!  Kickoff is at 1:30 p.m. so enjoy a nice lunch on or off campus and head over to our NEW stadium and be sure to cheer for your J-M-U- Dukesssss!  After the game head on over to the Convocation Center for the Pops Concert.  The show starts at 8:30 p.m. and features the Marching Royal Dukes, JMU Chorale and other outstanding JMU ensembles.  This show is going to blow the roof off of the Convocation Center so purchase your tickets now for only $14.

If you’re looking for something more interactive, UPB & AKPsi  are bringing Glow Mini Golf in Transitions TONIGHT at 8pm! Its a fun way to bond with all ages of your family…. plus its FREE!

What other great way to end Family Weekend than to grab brunch at one of JMU’s dining halls or attend an art exhibit featuring art made by JMU students!  Be sure to check out the many talents of our students and share them with your parents!

It’s not everyday that our families can visit and see why we all love JMU so much.  Give them a tour, show them where your classes are and introduce them to your friends.  Show them what being a Duke is all about!

~Carrie Webber, Special Events Committee

Harry Potter ‘Got the Magic In Me’

People are often asked, “What did you grow up watching and reading for fun?” The obvious answer for most people in our age group is Harry Potter. Unfortunately, this was not the case in my childhood and teenage years. I was a Harry Potter hater for the longest time, thinking these films and books were not for me in any way. How wrong I was…

Just last Thanksgiving, I was forced into watching the first of the eight movie series. I watched with an open mind and found the Sorcerer’s Stone much better than expected but not my favorite movie ever. Eventually, I watched the Chamber of Secrets and had this unexpected urge to watch the next film. Needless to say, six films later, in a matter of a month may explain a great deal of how I feel about Harry Potter. The Harry Potter films were fantastic sparked the magic in me

            With the launching of the last film, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 in July, I found a great joy in looking forward to my first Harry Potter film in the theaters. It was a great experience and something you will be missing out on with the attitude I used to have. With all this in mind, go participate in our upcoming Harry Potter events! UPB & The Quidditch Team Present…Harry Potter Late Night Breakfast will be Thursday, October 13 from 10pm-Midnight. Harry Potter 7-Part 2 Matinee on Sunday, October 23 at 2pm for a reduced rate of $2.00. Lastly, Harry Potter 7-Part 2 will be playing at Grafton from the 26th to the 29th at 9:30pm! 

~Scott Hammond, Center Stage Committee

The Queen of Kings Dominion

I am a huge theme park junky and live for the thrill of roller coasters, 3D shows, and especially the greasy amusement park food we all love, try to avoid, but then always end up eating a funnel cake or two. It was during my first theme park experience at the age of five, stumbling off one of King’s Dominion oldest roller coasters, Scooby Doo, that I cried and swore that I would never go on another roller coaster ever again.

This was a lie because not only have I returned and conquered Scooby Doo numerous times over the years, but I have also been on every ride at King’s Dominion, as well as other parks like Busch Gardens, Disney World, and Six Flags. So it is no surprise that I have been to Kings Dominion’s Halloween Haunt. Although I can ride a roller coaster any day, I would rather sit through three straight classes of economics (sorry for the economic majors out there) than enter a haunted house.

Nevertheless, I knew that I conquered Scooby and I could push through this! I stood in line with my friends, sweating bullets, and was happy to find out we could walk through as a group.

Within minutes of entering, all my confident friends began to slow down, become timid, and scream as they walked through. I will say it is one of the scariest haunted houses I have ever been in but it was definitely a fear worth conquering and one of the most memorable trips I ever had.

I encourage anyone wanted as memorable a trip to head to the Office of Student Activities and Involvement to pick up 35$ tickets to Kings Dominion! Such a steal! I know I will be in line today, because there are only a few available!

-Courtney Peck, Special Events

LA Love for Spotlight

Last spring break I visited my Uncle in LA. LA, where, no matter how nice you look, you always feel underdressed. LA, where tourists crane their necks at other tourists, believing they are staring at Jessica Alba or some other celebrity whose vague features could be easily mistaken.

I mention all of this, because, despite its flaws, LA is a neat town. With neat record shops. Which leads me to my next point.

LA has some kick-butt record stores unique to the area. Amoeba Records, which is a combination of the monstrosity of Tower Records with the personality of a home-town record store, lives in LA. However, this story is not about Amoeba records. It’s about one of those charming small-town record stores. I don’t even know WHY I mentioned Amoeba records, but I think I mentioned it to try and give you a little exposition.


Anyways, here I was, or there I was, browsing in one of those little unique record shops which was not, in fact, Amoeba Records. I was wearing an obscure band t-shirt that I had worn in preparation for this outing, (because let’s be real, there is a daress-code required for record stores. The #1 requirement is a t-shirt or penny with the name of a band who recorded one somewhat acceptable EP in their garage, toured the Midwest, and then got stuck in Ohio and married one of their three groupies). Ok, fine, I was wearing a Beatles t-shirt.
As I browsed, I came across a CD by a band called Elizabeth & the Catapult. I had heard of this band before, in one of my Spotlight meetings, so I decided to take my ailing wallet out for one last hurrah before it gasped for its very last breath.

I ended up loving the CD, called “Taller Children,” and I took it back to my dorm room. It quickly became the CD that woke me up every morning.

So imagine my surprise when I was invited to open up for one of my all-new favorite bands, a quirky, ecletic, joyful group that was the only way I could ever rouse myself out of my warm bed in the morning.
I’m stoked. Wednesday, October 5, TDU, Free Cookies – Be there, or be trail mix.

Spotlight Series Love!