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Homecoming brings talent to the university

The performers in the Winthrop Homecoming Talent show got the crowd hyped by dancing, singing, rapping and telling jokes.

Every year Winthrop hosts a homecoming talent show where students showcase their talent.
The students that participated in this year’s talent show each brought their own style to their performance, keeping the audience on their toes.

The show was hosted by Jay Dukes, a nationally-known comedian. He had the audience laughing at his jokes and antics.

The performers were not the only students who got a chance to broadcast their talent. Jay Dukes had a segment where the audience was able to participate by dancing on stage and letting the rest of the audience be the judge.

The audience members had a great time, laughing and singing along with the acts.

David Rookard, a junior marketing major said he thoroughly enjoyed the show.
“I really enjoyed the talent in this year’s show, and I am hyped for the rest of Winthrop’s homecoming,” Rookard said.

Ashley Minton, a sophomore dance education major, said that the talent was great.
“I thought that the talent show was awesome and all of the contestant did really well,” she said.

The winner of the Winthrop University Homecoming Talent Show 2014 was Thomas Kelsie, who danced, and the second place winner was Courtney Johnson, who sang.

Courtney Johnson, a sophomore interior design major, wanted to perform in the talent show this year.

“It was exhilarating being on stage. I participated in the talent show, because I wanted to entertain the audience,” Johnson said.


Comedian Jay Dukes hosted this years talent show.
Comedian Jay Dukes hosted this years talent show.
Spoken word artist Timon Ruth performs. Photo by Jacob Hallex.
Spoken word artist Timon Ruth performs. Photo by Jacob Hallex.
Alumnus Ray Singleton performed at the Talent Show
Alumnus Ray Singleton performed at the Talent Show

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Joseph Ferguson performs stand-up comedy.
Joseph Ferguson performs stand-up comedy.

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Vegetarian society talks on-campus eating habits

The Vegetarian Society of Winthrop not only concerns itself with abstaining from meat in their diets but also focuses on improving oneself, bettering the environment and helping animals. The club works to educate students on the benefits of adopting a vegetarian or vegan diet.

“We try to raise awareness about the vegetarian/vegan lifestyle and the benefits of it, in a peaceful manner,” said LaShawn Woolridge, Vegetarian Club president.

At the meetings, student discuss with other members where one can go on campus for a vegetarian meal.

It can be difficult for vegetarian students to find food on campus that coincides with their eating habits.

“Thomson is pretty good with vegetarian options,” club member Simone Mayers said.

“They [Thomson] have been getting better,” Woolridge said. “In my sophomore year, I would go to their dining services board meetings and ask if we could have some more options. [They started] incorporating egg plants without the cheese on top; sometimes they would have the falafel… I know that they have been getting better at that.”

They started serving tofu now,” Mayers said.

The Vegetarian Society will be holding a vegan Thanksgiving dinner Nov. 18 at 8:00 p.m. in the Upper East Thomson Conference room.

Call Woolridge to RSVP at 803-616-6442, because space is limited. Students who attend are asked to bring vegan dishes to share with the community.

The Vegetarian Society also hosts events throughout the Rock Hill and Charlotte area to help spread animal rights awareness, including a fundraising walk for The Humane Society of Charlotte Nov. 22 at Freedom Park in Charlotte. Attendance is free, and the walk begins at 10:00 a.m..

The club gives vegetarian and vegan students the chance to join a community of people who care about animal rights, animal cruelty and environmental awareness.

The club meets in DiGiorgio 220 every Thursday during common time to plan events and discuss methods Winthrop can take to get more involved in the protection of animals.

For more information, email LaShawn Woolridge at


Pianist gets standing ovation

Austrian-born pianist Walter Hautzig dazzled his audience with the works of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Franz Schubert and Frederic Chopin at the Friends of the Conservatory event Nov. 1.

Hautzig is a 93-year-old musician that studied at the Vienna Academy of Music until the rise of the Nazis brought him to evacuate the country.

He came to the United States in 1939 and became a citizen in 1945. He has travelled around the world playing music over the course of his life.

Over the past 24 years, he has directed summer piano workshops at Winthrop University.

At the event, Hautzig played beautiful pieces by well-known composers and put these works into context with background information.

“There is nothing German about the ‘German Dances.’ They are Viennese waltzes,” Hautzig said.

Hautzig said that Schubert, the composer of the “Sixteen German Dances,” feared that he would not be hired if he did not change the name to German.

“It was really tragic,” Hautzig said.

Hautzig ended the evening with works by Romantic composer Chopin including a lively ballade.

“It’s flowing, musical, not abrupt,” said Justin Grooves. “Chopin is a powerful composer.”

After Hautzig informed the audience that Chopin did not receive fame in his life and struggled to make a living, Grooves said that he was surprised that this was the case due to the music’s popularity among fans of classical music.

Hautzig said that Ballade No. 1 by Chopin makes him feel sentimental. He said that every time he plays, he remembers the time he was supposed to play back in Vienna, but was arrested, causing the performance to never take place.

‘No matter what they do, this they can’t take away from me,” Hautzig said touching the piano.

After he finished his final song, a man in the audience yelled, “Bravo,” and the audience exploded with applause. Hautzig was met with a standing ovation and clapped, demanding an encore.

After exiting the stage, he returned, bowed and announced that he would play the “Raindrop” prelude by Chopin, which was met with further applause.

“When you are 93-years-old, just one encore,” said Hautzig.

This event was the first in a four-part series of shows meant to promote the music department at Winthrop. The next installment of the Friends of the Conservatory Series is set for January 22 in Byrnes Auditorium. Tickets cost $5 with a Winthrop ID, $15 for general admission.


McLaurin artwork adds to campus scenery and history

Few people know of the upside-down flower that is tucked in the nook behind McLaurin Hall.

B1i0ViyIMAEh2t3Former Winthrop student Jeromy Ross sculpted “Mother” in 2010 for an art class and it stirred up many emotions during its ceremonial dedication.

“His mother was here for the dedication. Everyone was in tears,” said Winthrop University art professor Tom Stanley.

Although art on campus is sometimes overlooked, each piece has a unique story.

Ross’ mother was a Winthrop student who lived in McLaurin Hall when it was a residence hall. He created the piece specifically to fit that crevice.

Art sculptures on campus are open to interpretation. Department of Design Chair Chad Dresbach referred to “Mother” as “the giant toilet brush.”

“It beautifies and brings art to whoever finds art in that position,” Dresbach said.

Art student Grace Jerome said art serves a purpose for all students.

“It gives all majors something to widen their minds,” Jerome said.

Winthrop’s campus contains a wide variety of artwork sculpted by students that adds to the rich history and distinct appeal of the university.

“Without art around campus, it would be boring,” Jerome said.


Student from Norway studies to become business owner

Meet Christer Astor. Astor is a graduate student from Hoeyanger, Norway, who came to Winthrop to study international management with hopes of one day founding his own company.

Hoeyanger is a city in Sogn og Fjordane county, Norway with a population just over 2000

20141104_164654Astor said that he is spending one semester at Winthrop and is going to return to Norway in December, where he will continue studying for his master’s degree in international management. After receiving his master’s, Astor said that he plans to spend time as a consultant and later form his own company.

“I want some years to learn how things are being done, but I would like to create something,” Astor said.

When he is not studying, Astor enjoys activities such as skiing, kickboxing, hunting and handball. Astor said that he enjoys being active and exercising.

“The West Center is excellent. It’s got everything you need,” Astor said. “I try to be in the West Center five times a week.”

This is not his first time in America. Astor studied in Minneapolis, Minnesota with other Dutch international students, but his time at Winthrop has been a different experience.

“We tended to hang out with our Norwegian friends,” Astor said. “I didn’t get the full cultural experience which I feel I have here now.”

Astor said that many of the other Dutch international students decided to go to Hawaii Pacific University, but he chose Winthrop because it did not cost as much money but still had a warm atmosphere, even in November.

“In Norway, it’s cold, definitely cold,” Astor said. “I wanted warm weather.”

Astor said that despite its cold temperatures, he really loves his home in Holland and even served in the Navy for a year operating a radio in a code room communicating secret messages. He said that it was difficult coming to America, but it was a positive, personal challenge.

During his time in the U.S. Astor said that he noticed many differences between Holland and the United States.

“All the portions are enormous here and the free refill; we don’t have that in Norway,” Astor said.

He said that he enjoys eating beef burritos at Zoca in Markley’s and that just talking about them made him hungry. He also enjoys mocha frappes from Starbucks.

Astor said he likes the school system in America, because professors are encouraging and often require students to attend classes. He said that they are professional but show interest in students’ learning.

“In Norway, you don’t really have to go to classes and learn as you go,” Astor said. He added that students would often learn most of the material toward the end of the semester for exams.

Astor also said that this friendly and outgoing attitude does not just apply to professors but also the general public.

“I like the people and the culture. They are very open-minded and friendly,” Astor said.

Astor said that in Holland, when sitting on a bus, everyone has their own space and do not often interact with passengers they do not know. He said that in America, when sitting next to someone on a bus, passengers often talk to one another even if they have never met.

“Everyone is polite and welcoming,” Astor said.

Astor said that one major thing that surprised him about his trip to the United States was the trip itself. Unexpected events occurred that worked out for the better.

“When I came to Amsterdam, it was overbooked, and I was the last to check in,” Astor said.

He was supposed to fly from Bergen in Norway to Amsterdam to Detroit and arrive in Charlotte, the overbooked flight set him back an hour. To apologize for causing him to take a different flight, the airline upgraded his seat to business class and gave him a $900 prepaid VISA card.

Astor said that his flight from Detroit also was delayed overnight, so the airline booked a room for him in a fancy hotel with two king-sized beds.

Astor said that he really misses his family back in Norway and looks forward to returning home to see them. At home, he has a mother, father, 18-year-old sister, 11-year-old brother and a girlfriend waiting for him.