Worldwide Winthrop Day is a spectacle for all students, upcoming or current. Whether you were excited that Einstein’s was finally open on a Saturday or you were just visiting campus for the first time, the day was sure to impact you in some way.

The day was focused on newly admitted students. After checking in at 9:30 a.m., students were greeted by members of the university in Byrnes Auditorium.

With a number of things to participate in, students were reminded to take pictures with Big Stuff, photograph themselves “dabbing” in their “WU ON ‘EM” shirts, and to visit the Student Life Showcase in the West Center.

Around 11 a.m., students were grouped off to meet faculty members and students from their intended major.

Taylor Mitchell, a newly admitted student planning on majoring in mass communication, said that learning about her major’s department was one of her favorite parts of Worldwide Winthrop Day.

“So far I really enjoyed going all over Johnson, and seeing the studio for Winthrop Close-Up and just talking about everything in the communications department,” Mitchell said.

Taylor’s mother, Kim Mitchell, said that she believes having current students interact with her daughter and other newly admitted students at Worldwide Winthrop Day is one of the best parts.

“To me, hearing students talking about their personal experiences is more valuable than even listening to the professors. The professors have their perspective, but her coming to this and meeting students gives her more of an opportunity to network and learn about opportunities,” Mitchell said.

Sydney Strother, also a newly admitted student, is planning to major in religious studies when she comes to Winthrop in the fall. She said that Worldwide Winthrop Day brings a lot of excitement.

“The excitement of getting to see everything and getting used to campus is great. I just went and got my ID made, so it’s starting to finally feel real,” Strother said.

Crystal Miranda, a newly admitted student planning on majoring in elementary education, said she decided to choose Winthrop for college because of its location.

“It’s close to the city but not like in the middle of the city, to where I can still be safe, but still get to go out and do fun stuff,” Miranda said.

Lakerria Lindsay is currently an undeclared major coming to Winthrop. To begin with, Lindsay said Winthrop was actually her second choice in colleges.

“I toured USC, and it was really big. But when I toured Winthrop, it felt more like home, because it is smaller and I feel like I would be more comfortable in a smaller environment,” Lindsay said.

The “home feel” of Winthrop’s campus was a common response by new students as to why they chose to come here.

“The whole campus dynamic is just so great. Everybody is just so nice and it feels like home,” Strother said, reiterating Lindsay’s stance.

Many organizations on campus were involved in the Student Life Showcase in an attempt to show new students all there is to do at Winthrop and to hopefully recruit new students for their organization.

Andie Davis, a math major at Winthrop, was involved in the showcase with the Academic Success Center.

“We are advertising for the courses that we tutor and also, in order to let the upcoming freshman know what we tutor, what courses they might need help in. Or if they don’t think they need help, we’re advertising to get new tutors because we need more,” Davis said.

Emily Murphy, the editor-in-chief of Her Campus, said that she wished she could have gone to Worldwide Winthrop Day when she was an incoming student.

“I’m from Connecticut, so I couldn’t come to Worldwide Winthrop Day when I was an incoming freshman, and I think it would have really helped me with the transition to coming to college to see how much there is to do on campus,” Murphy said.

After not being involved in organizations her first semester on campus, Murphy is now an advocate for getting involved.

“My first semester here I wasn’t involved at all, and now while being involved I look back and see how much happier I am now than I was then, and really see that whatever you get involved in helps the transition so much,” Murphy said.

With so many organizations promoting themselves in one area, it can be difficult to get new students to visit your booth. The Academic Success Center held a raffle for a free t-shirt and Her Campus gave out free stuff from their sponsors while also holding an Instagram give-away.

Micahla Thomas, a marketing major and member of DSU, revealed that they had their own unique way to draw students to their booth.

“We have a little spin-wheel, and you can win a free prize. We have wristbands, popsicles and water bottles. I think that’s really bringing people in and people honestly just want to spin the wheel, they’re not even concerned about a prize,” Thomas said.

There were also various sororities and fraternities at the event to talk to incoming freshman about their organization.

Ali Eastham, a member of Chi Omega sorority, said her sorority came out to recruit new members and to let new students know who they are. She said that she thinks it’s important to hold these types of events for new students to show them all there is to do on campus.

“Because Winthrop is such a small school, it kind of gets a stigma that there’s not a lot that goes on here. So I think for incoming freshman, it’s really important for them to know what they’re going to get themselves into and know that we’re not just a suitcase school where everyone goes home every weekend,” Eastham said.

To see more photos from Worldwide Winthrop Day, you can search #wucelebremix on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Food trucks driving into the mainstream

Food trucks have been steadily increasing in popularity over the last decade or so, and they are slowly moving from hipster fad to mainstream trend. You can find food trucks in almost every city in America, even in little old Rock Hill. A 2012 forecast by Intuit Inc. said that the food truck industry is projected to account for approximately $2.7 billion in food revenue by 2017. Where did this food truck frenzy come from and what does it mean for Americans?

Food trucks are not a new creation. The origins of the mobile eateries can be traced back to food wagons in the 1800s. The first modern food truck (that was not an ice cream truck, ice cream trucks first appeared in the 1950s), was created in 1974 by Raul Martinez, as reported by Mobile Cuisine, a food truck trade magazine.

The issue with those food trucks, and largely the reason why they were not considered a mainstream fad is that they were considered by many to be cheap and dirty and were nicknamed “roach coaches.” They were largely centered near construction site or blue color work sites. This all changed, however, with the 2008 recession.

Millennials in particular were looking for a cheap quick alternative to the more expensive sit down restaurants. Couple this need for cheap, on-the-go food and the rise in hipster culture which focused on the new and underground, the food truck industry boomed.

Fast forward to today and food trucks are no longer considered a novelty but a regular culinary scene for young people. In the surrounding areas there are two different weekly or biweekly food truck meet-ups called “Food Truck Fridays.” One occurs in Charlotte and the other in Rock Hill.

Victoria Deatherage, a sophomore biology major, and Emily Leamy, a sophomore integrated marketing communication major, went to Food Truck Friday in November and had nothing but great things to say about the food truck culture as a whole.

“I like food trucks because they offer the community a variety of different foods to try and enjoy; foods like Greek gyros to gourmet mac and cheese,” Deatherage said.

Leamy seemed to really enjoy the diversity food trucks have about them.

“I like food truck Friday because it’s different. It gets people out of restaurants and outside, with options of different foods to try. Also, all the food truck owners are also super friendly and will discuss their ingredients and recipes with you,” Leamy said.

There still exists a sort of stigma surrounding food trucks in the older generations, but Millennials as a whole seem to greatly enjoy the trend. This means that in the coming years new food trucks will be created and the American culinary scene will continue to expand and evolve.

If you would like to check out some delicious local food trucks try Food Truck Friday – South End, in Charlotte or Food Truck Fridays at Fountain Park in Rock Hill (check online for dates and food truck listings).

Professor leaves Winthrop for missionary work

This article was written by Clayton Boone / Special to the Johnsonian.

As a teenager riding in a tour bus in Russia with her youth group, Melanie Powley knew she wanted to become a full time missionary.

Powley, senior instructor of Family and Consumer Sciences at Winthrop University, recently announced that her and her family were moving to Montemorelos, Mexico to become missionaries in 2017.

Throughout Powley’s life, she has been able to travel around the world with mission teams and developed a passion for serving others.

“I had the opportunity to go on mission trips since I was a teenager,” Powley said.

With support from her church, Powley went to Russia while in high school. Before studying at Winthrop, Powley joined a missions’ team and traveled to Portugal and throughout the United States.

Powley received her bachelor’s degree in FACS and her master’s degree in education from Winthrop.

Before returning back to her alma mater to teach, she taught FACS at Northwestern High School and South Pointe High School.

While teaching and starting a family were top priorities for Powley, the idea of becoming a missionary was always in the back of her mind.

“I felt like I was spinning my wheels not just with work but with life in general,” Powley said. “I wanted something different, something more.”

After reading “Radical” by David Platt, Powley was inspired to make her mission field in her neighborhood. She and her family opened her home and provided food for children who stayed in the neighborhood.

Her family would also provide meals for the elderly in their neighborhood.

After a few years of serving her community, her husband Dave approached her with the idea of mission work in Mexico. Her desire for missions had been answered.

Through prayers and research, Powley and her family paired with the Association of Baptists for World Evangelism and began to understand the steps to becoming a missionary. Before moving to Mexico, Powley and her family will study Spanish at a language school in Costa Rica.

“We get to pair with a missionary who is currently serving in Costa Rica and work with them everyday in their ministry,” Powley said. “It is full immersion.”

Throughout her eight years as an instructor, Powley has made many memories. When asked her favorite memory of Winthrop, she was able to distinguish one particular experience.

“The very first graduation I attended as a faculty member,” Powley said. “I love seeing my students graduate and I like hearing what they are doing with employment.”

The news of Powley’s departure from Winthrop brought many emotions to faculty and students.

“I was happy and sad,” said Helyne Frederick, program director of FACS at Winthrop University. “I know she is going to do something wonderful but the selfish part of me wishes she can be here at Winthrop to provide guidance for our program.”

Students were thankful to have the opportunity to have Powley as guidance through their Winthrop experience.

“I have enjoyed the way she teaches and the ability she has to reach all students at different levels,” said Tiffany Woodard, a senior FACS major specializing in adolescence studies. “I am going to miss the funny stories she tells in class to help remember content and the enthusiasm she brings to each class.”

Powley and her family have created a website so that friends, family and supporters can see where they are financially in their journey.

Just as she knew she wanted to be a missionary on that tour bus in Russia, Powley is ready to commit to her dreams and reach the world.

Students talk gender equality

Gender equality is a social issue that appears many times in news and entertainment outlets. For many, it is a major issue. Events such as the “Crossing the line” event held on March 29 in Dina’s Place is a strong benefit for college students. Events like this give students a chance to talk and discuss these public and social issues in a safe place.

The Winthrop student run organization, the AAUW [The American Association of University Women] helped in putting on “Crossing the Line.” AAUW’s primary purpose on Winthrop’s campus is to educate people about gender inequality on college campuses and in the workplace which directly translated to the conversations and discussion that took place.

Savannah Ogle, a junior English education major and vice president of Winthrop’s branch of AAUW, attended the panel and was pleased with the results.

“I think that the message really hit home with the line thing where we took it a step forward with privilege that we have was applicable to us,” Ogle said.

Ogle was pleasantly surprised with some of answers and questions she received.

“I was impressed that people acknowledged the fact that white males have the biggest unearned privilege of all,” Ogle said.

The “Crossing the Line” panel covered a wide range of subtopics in relation to gender inequality and gender privilege. Some of these topics included, but were not limited to, education and race as it pertained to gender.

Events such as “Crossing the Line” are important to have, even in places such as Winthrop which appear to be liberal and open to all ways of life and living. Students and student leaders like Ogle agree that it is always important to be aware of social issues.

“The concept of equality and privilege go hand in hand, because in order to have equality people need to be aware of their privilege and how it puts them above other people, and [they] should know how to level the playing field so we’re all equal,” Ogle said.

Ogle said she believes that events like “Crossing the Line” hold significance especially for women such as herself. She said she believes that the issue of women’s equality is just as important as other social issues.

“There are so many things that women go through that men just don’t have to do through, like being afraid of any man walking behind them, especially at night,” Ogle said. “I’m afraid to walk past any guy while wearing a dress, because I’m afraid I’m going to get catcalled or harassed. I’m afraid to say no to any guy that asks for my number at a club, because I’m afraid they’re going to hurt me. I have to smile at creepy old men who tell me ‘you just need to smile more!’ because if I don’t I seem like a bitch. I see so many women with those brass knuckles that look like a cat, which is for self defense, or pepper spray on their keychains to protect themselves, which isn’t even an issue for men.”

As the future president of AAUW, Ogle believes that more events such as “Crossing the Line” will definitely encourage students to actively participate and understand the severity of these issues.

“I definitely want to do something like this,” Ogle said. “I’d like to have a few, maybe one specifically centered about gender inequality of men versus women, or specifically about what African-American women go through.”

Overall, Ogle and many students who attended the event were appreciative of the turnout and pleased by the eye-opening discussions presented. In the future, it is likely that Winthrop will see more events like this in order to encourage discussion on social issues.

A YouTuber’s journey from Germany to Winthrop

If you were sitting in a class at Winthrop University, chances are you might not know you could be sitting next to a student with over 48,000 subscribers on YouTube.

Sam Walton, a freshman commercial photography major, said he prefers not to tell people about his YouTube channel. Walton’s channel, “SamWaltonMan,” currently consists of over 200 videos. His most viewed video, “Life in Germany – Ep. 80: Biggest Lies about Germany,” has over 436,000 views.

In December of 2012, Walton moved to Stuttgart, Germany with his family after living in places like Asheville, North Carolina and Greenville, South Carolina. The move was brought on by his dad’s involvement in the military.

This was around the same time that Walton’s YouTube channel really took off. After he moved to Germany, Walton said that he finally started uploading content on a regular basis.

“I didn’t really start regularly making YouTube content until we moved to Germany. And I started the whole “Life in Germany” series just for my friends and family just to show what we were up to. I didn’t expect anyone else to watch it. And then people just started to,” Walton said.

Walton posted the first video in his “Life in Germany” series in December 2012, which is arguably the series that has brought him most of his viewers.

The “Life in Germany” series on his channel currently has 83 videos. Walton has produced other miniature series on his channel as well, such as “SURVIVING GERMANY,” “The France Vlogs,” and “SamVlogs.”

It was in 2011, while only 13 years old, when Walton began his YouTube channel.

“Up to that point you had to be 13 to open an account, and my parents weren’t the kind of people to let me lie about my age to open a YouTube account. In fact, I got in trouble for opening an eBay account once,” Walton said.

In February 2011, a video was uploaded to YouTube called “How to Cure Hiccups: GUARANTEED!”

With Cali Swag District’s “Teach Me How To Dougie” playing in the background, the video featured vertical photograph diagrams and description that read, “The absolute simplest, easiest, BEST way to get rid of hiccups. If it doesn’t work, you aren’t doing it right.”

That was the very first video uploaded to Walton’s channel.

“I don’t really remember what prompted me to do it, but my first video was this stupid little video on how to cure hiccups, because I learned this cool trick, and then I decided to make a video about it,” Walton said.

A true definition of the phrase, “you have to start somewhere,” Walton made it clear that his channel hasn’t always been up to the production level it’s known for having now.

“You can go to my channel and sort them oldest to newest, which I don’t recommend doing, because all the old ones are still on there. And I have videos where I just take a pickaxe and beat the crap out of a lawn chair. It really started off all over the place,” he said.

In such an internet-focused-world, people today are scrambling to delete their embarrassing old content from online, but Walton said “they’re there to stay.”

Walton explained that his popularity on YouTube has much to do with his large German fan-base, with an estimate of between 8 and 9 out of 10 of his viewers being German.

“There are people outside of Germany who are interested and want to see what Germany is about, and then there are the Germans who are just curious what I think of their country,” Walton said.

With much of his fame being centered around Germans, Walton said he has even been recognized out in public a few times when still living in Germany.

“It’s very entertaining every time. Sometimes I’d get on a bus and some guy would look at me funny and then he would walk back and say, ‘Are you SamWaltonMan?’ and we’d talk for awhile. Or one time I was at a fest and a drunk guy recognized me and we hung out,” Walton said.

And while Walton enjoys making videos and hopes to continue doing so, he said that his main goal is to pursue a career in photography. He just created his own photography website, which can be found at www.samwalton.gallery.

Around the same time his family moved to Germany, Sam said he also fostered a love for photography after using his mother’s DSLR camera. However, Walton said that his love for photography was really filtered through his love for Photoshop.

“I downloaded Photoshop for whatever reason. I think I pirated it, but that doesn’t matter. I pay for it now, so don’t worry. I would just fool around, trying to do silly things with it. Then I ended up shooting my own pictures and realized I really like to do that too, so that kind of snowballed into what it is today,” Walton said.

With his family still in Germany, Walton said one of the reasons he decided to come back to the United States for college was that, as a freelance artist, he wanted to study and network in the area he thinks that he will settle down in.

Walton said that he can see that being places like Asheville, Greenville or Rock Hill.

“I’m actually starting to make a lot of connections in the Rock Hill area, like with charities and companies who have clients that I might be working for through these companies. It could lead to great places,” Walton said.

College is often a busy time for most people, even if you’re a successful YouTuber. This is apparent on Walton’s channel. The last video he uploaded was four months ago and it was a video for a Winthrop class assignment. The video before that was the 83rd video in the “Life in Germany” series and it was uploaded seven months ago.

However, no fear for “SamWaltonMan” fans, Walton said that he currently has content ready to upload. The only thing holding him back is his busy schedule.

“I have one or two videos that I recorded before I left Germany and just haven’t had the chance to edit and upload. And when I visited Germany again over Christmas break, I shot another one. So those are on my computer waiting to be edited,” Walton said.

With talents like video-making and photography, Walton decided he couldn’t just stop there. To further his well-rounded background in the arts, Walton is also musically inclined.

He plays the oboe, which he showed off in Winthrop’s band last semester, and he also plays the piano and the bass guitar.

Doing it for the ‘gram, America’s obsession with weight

As summer approaches, so do the billboards and Internet ads nagging viewers to get their ‘summer body.’ In the past, the ideal summer body has been imagined as a perfectly sculpted Britney Spears 2003 torso and a Kardashian tan.

People are constantly bombarded by images of Victoria’s Secret runways and Armani models in dramatic cologne ads which make up approximately 50 percent of magazine’s print, specifically fashion publications.

The fashion industry is notorious for its tendency to be composed of the extremely thin, from its editors to its models. For some, this is a body type; they are naturally inclined to be thinner than the average person. For others, this is a look that is attained in other ways, sometimes unhealthy ways.

On the other end of the spectrum, there is skinny-shaming, or degrading people for being ‘too thin.’ It seems as if in today’s society, you just can’t win.

In the last few years, however, a trend dubbed the ‘body-positive’ movement has emerged. The movement encourages people to embrace the healthy body they were born with and to stop trying to conform to a body type that is not their own.

One of the most recent actions based around this trend is the #AerieReal campaign produced by the brand Aerie, a sub-brand of American Eagle. The campaign features un-photoshopped images of models representing all shapes and sizes.

The Mattel-owned Barbie doll recently launched its #TheDollEvolves campaign, releasing three new types of dolls: curvy, petite and tall.

Another important milestone for the body-positive movement were the various Swimsuit Illustrated covers for 2016. The magazine spotlighted plus-size model Ashley Graham, athlete Ronda Rousey and model Hailey Clausen.

Although these campaigns are supportive in the trend of body positivity, they are global campaigns that feature high-profile names and brands. How do you take this movement and integrate it into everyday life, for everyday people?

Many people rely on the Body Mass Index (BMI) chart in order to determine a healthy weight for themselves. The BMI chart compares height and weight in order to determine what a person’s healthy weight should be. However, this chart is not very subjective since it is based solely off of numerical data and cannot measure a specific person’s lifestyle or habits.

“As an athlete, you can’t go by this chart. You can be considered overweight on the BMI chart, but simply be more muscular than the average person and live a healthy, active lifestyle. Everyone’s body is different,” said Zoe Conover, an exercise science major and student athlete.

The purpose of the body-positive movement is to break barriers like numerical charts and even gender specificity.

Although the movement is mostly oriented around females, guys feel the same pressure to look a certain way as well.

“It’s not just a female problem. There’s more emphasis placed on the female body image in America’s society, but as guys we’re supposed to swallow our issues and not complain. I feel like if I were to complain I wouldn’t be met with the same support as a female,” said junior Alex Corder.

The Body Positive, an organization whose goal it is to help people “overcome conflicts with their bodies to lead happier, more productive lives,” has five fundamental competencies in order to achieve a more body-positive outlook:

1. Reclaim health

2. Practice intuitive self-care

3. Cultivate self-love

4. Declare you own authentic beauty

5. Build community

The fundamentals work from the inside out, from building self-esteem to finding others with similar mindsets.

For more information on The Body Positive movement and specific competencies, visit TheBodyPositive.org