Transport Back To Medieval Times

All throughout elementary school, I can remember looking forward to fifth grade. All the kids celebrated “Medieval Day,” getting to dress up in fun costumes, eat medieval lunches, and make crafts all day. As a younger student, I can remember walking through the halls on the days leading up to “Medieval Day” as they slowly put up all the decorations and just wishing I was in the fifth grade. I looked up to the kids who were able to participate and longed for the day it would be my turn. It was a day to remember, let me tell you, the line for the bathroom on Medieval Day was intense! Every kid in the school wanted to venture into the fifth grade hallway and see what was going on. Unfortunately, teachers caught onto this plan quickly—really who wouldn’t when your entire class has asked to go to the bathroom 4 times in one day? Like I said, it was a big deal.

Finally, it was my turn the following year. All day, instead of doing math or history, we worked on crafts, played medieval games, and learned about kings, queens, and jesters: much better than a regular day in the fifth grade. It was like a vacation from school, but the teachers thought we were still “learning,” a perfect trade-off, right? But, just like every other day, Medieval Day had to come to end and the next day would just be another school day full of math, language arts, and lunchables. I would never have another Medieval Day.

WRONG! Now all of that excitement and fun is coming into my life again! On Thursday, February 10th, the Late Night Breakfast is THEMED medieval. How perfect is that to bring me back to fifth grade—except this is going to be ten times better! There is going to be a moon bounce to jump on and the games won’t be like the ones from fifth grade, they’ll be better. Anyone can compete with their friends in the inflatable game “Off with Your Head” to see who can hold up the longest! There will be food, games, and even crafts! What’s better? It’s all FREE!

I know all of my roommates have been talking about it for weeks and when I told them about my fifth grade experience they may have laughed, but they completely understand why I’m excited! Who wouldn’t be?

~Jessica Lynn Arienti, Spirit & Traditions


Get To Know…Director of Spirit & Traditions

There is nothing dull about being the Director of Spirit & Traditions for the University Program Board!  I have the challenging and rewarding task of coordinating Funny Freakin’ Fridays and Late Night Breakfasts for every month of the school year, with the help of a committee of 25 members.

One of the biggest challenges I face is how to sustain these events that take place every single month.  I have to find ways to make each Late Night Breakfast theme and the activities at the event unique and distinct from the one before.  Thinking outside the box can be difficult, but it’s great to have a team of people to work with to help generate ideas and new perspectives.  This year we’ve had some very original themes for Late Night Breakfast, such as “Board Game” and March’s upcoming, “All Around the World.”

Once the committee has come to a consensus about theme we want, it is my job to work out the logistics; what activities, crafts, and food would compliment this theme?  What companies can provide such entertainment?  Will it fit into my budget?  A lot of things have to be decided and considered to bring an event together and make it a success, but once I have accomplished those things, it’s so rewarding to see the final execution of the event and all the students that come out to it and have a blast.  How great to see the hard work you put in pay-off, and your ideas come to life-all for the student body to enjoy!


~Melissa Janocha, Director of Spirit & Traditions

College Musicians

Music is such a huge part of all of our lives. Whether you realize it or not you can’t go a day without it. Just try it. Go ahead. You can’t do it. It’s on at home, in the car, in restaurants and stores, walking through campus, on the bus. You literally can’t avoid it. But who would want to?  We grew up with boy bands like N*Sync, Backstreet Boys, and O-Town. Rock groups like Creed, Smashing Pumpkins, and Train. Country performers like Garth Brooks and Tracy Lawrence. Rap artists like Eminem and Dr. Dre.  Now we have a new generation of music forming, but at the roots will always remain my favorite artists: the college musician.

It really is amazing how much talent we have lurking around every corner at JMU. To get a taste of it all you have to do is walk out to the Quad on a sunny day and listen to the bongo and guitar duos jammin’ out, or to a Tuesday Open Mic Night in TDU to catch the solo artists honing in on their skills. But if you really want to see the raw awesome talent that JMU has to offer you really should get out to a show. These shows are all over campus and all over Harrisonburg. No matter what your taste is you can find someone playing something that makes you want to rock!

UPB and Mad4U are teaming up for a Late Night Breakfast/Live at the Drum event in Festival with The Dish Dogs TONIGHT, November 11th. You will be able to eat some great food (as always!), make your own music video, make crafts out of old school record covers, listen to great Americana music (think Bob Dylan), play games (including the not-yet-released XBox Kinect!!!), and SOOOOO much more, which is why I’ll be attending Late Night Breakfast at the Hard Rock Cafe with Live at the Drum. You should be there too.

~Josh Grubb, Mad4U Grad Advisor

My Country Accent

This year, I am a member of UPB and love my position, serving as the hospitality chair for the Spirit & Traditions Committee.  When comedians come for events like Funny Freakin’ Friday, I help to arrange for their amenities while visiting JMU, which can include anything from transportation to hotel to food and anything in between. 

This year, I have encountered two comedians and these interactions can be quite interesting due to my friendly personality and my Southern upbringings.  Some people would call me a Southern belle, but I have a country accent and am normally overly talkative and personable.  These qualities are enhanced by being pretty tall, for a girl – 6′ to be exact – and being picked on for my abnormally southern accent for being from Virginia is a completely normal part of my life since coming to JMU.  Last month, I was made-fun-of again when Nore Davis was the Funny Freakin’ Friday comedian.  He had some good jokes on and off the stage towards me and my parents, who were visiting me for Parents’ Weekend.  Like I said, the most common form of picking I encounter is pure mockery of my accent, and this is the first thing that Nore did when I spoke to him on the phone as he arrived on campus.

Funny Freakin’ Friday is an event held the first Friday of every month; so I have plenty more comedians to meet before the year is over and I am curious to see if every one of them mocks my accent.  However, November 5th is our next Funny Freakin’ Friday which is also being sponsored by the Latino Student Alliance, featuring Cesar Cervantes.  I cannot wait to be there to hear his jokes and see you guys there this Friday in TDU at 8pm for some free laughs and fun! 

~Maribeth Jones, Spirit & Traditions Hospitality Chair

Making the Meeting

The day had finally come! Yes, it was here! The day where I did not have to endure a three-hour, Business-Law class had finally arrived!  Now, instead of sitting in a lecture hall scribbling notes as fast as humanly possible, I was off to my UPB Spirit and Traditions meeting that I had been missing since the beginning of the semester.  When I walked into the meeting room in Taylor I was greeted by so many familiar faces that I had missed very dearly.  During the meeting, we discussed the upcoming Funny Freakin’ Friday event and decided on next month’s Late Night Breakfast theme!  It was so nice to relax and enjoy UPB for once instead of stressing over class.

To my surprise, I was also introduced to a group of PIT Crew members who were there to sit in on our meeting. PIT Crew is a group of students that are in Programmers in Training, which is the 2nd and last phase to becoming a member of UPB. I encourage anyone reading this, whoever you are, to apply for next year’s PIT Crew! You won’t regret it!  I mean, who wouldn’t want to be a part of one of the best organizations at JMU??? Just sayin’.

Well that’s all for me!  Unfortunately, next week I’ll be back in Zane-Showker for my Business Law class. Again, I highly encourage all of you to apply to UPB if you get the chance. I have a ton of fun at the meetings (when I can go!) and I think it is an organization all of you readers could really enjoy.

 ~Shannon Essad, Spirit & Traditions


Present day Oktoberfest has more then 5 million attendees each year.  It is a three-week long festival that runs from mid-September through the first week of October.  Traditional German food is served including Würstl (sausages), Reiberdatschi (potato pancakes), Brezn (pretzels), Kasspatzn (cheese noodles), and various Oktoberfest beverages.

 The history of Oktoberfest dates back to October 12th, 1810 in Munich, Germany.  Crown Prince Ludwig married Princess Therese and in order to commemorate their marriage, a great horse race is thrown.  The horse race went over well (I mean really who doesn’t love a festival?!) and it was decided to make the festival an annual celebration.

Unfortunately most of us cannot afford to fly to Germany to celebrate Oktoberfest with them.  Now, UPB and SafeRides have found a way to bring it to us. This Friday, at 9:00pm, on Festival Lawn, JMU is going to have their very own “Octoberfest”.  The activities that will be there include a haunted SafeRide, pumpkin painting, and a costume contest. I hope I win the iPod Touch!  There will also be free food and a cappella performances.  Hope to see you all there!

 ~Kelsey Coffin & Samantha Long, Spirit & Traditions

Luau Late Night Breakfast

Looking for a way to escape all the work you have so far this semester? For the last couple of weeks I’ve been telling myself I need a vacation! And thanks to UPB I’m finally getting one. TONIGHT UPB is hosting a Luau Late Night Breakfast where everyone can enjoy a night out having fun with friends!

There may not be actual sand between my toes but there will be surf! This month you can come “Hang Ten” with our awesome Surf machine! Where else can you surf at school? If surfing isn’t your thing you can try your hand at
ladder ball, hula hoops or sand art! And of course dancing!

Make sure you check out Late Night Breakfast this month and every month after that!


Can’t wait to see you all there!

~Courtney Waldmann
Spirit and Traditions Committee Member