Furman takes first place in two video contests

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com

Furman University has won first place in two separate sustainability video competitions.

Furman took first prize in a contest sponsored by Green Living Project, a film production and distribution company. The GLP Student Film Project, part of the education program at GLP, awarded Furman top honors in the college division for its “Gardening for Good” video by students in Dr. Weston Dripps’ First Year Seminar, and who also took part in his ECOS (Environmental Community of Students) Engaged Living class last year. The students are sophomores Josie Newton, Tim Sharp and Melanie Brown. Their winning film features a local NGO, Gardening for Good, whose executive director is a Furman alum, Reece Lyerly ’11. The video can be viewed on the GLP website found here.

In a contest sponsored by the Associated Colleges of the South (ACS), the ACS Sustainability Film Competition, Furman took first place for the video, “Sustain Furman.” Freshmen in Dr. Dripps’ current ECOS Engaged Living Environmental Science class crafted the video which documents the numerous ways Furman is working toward its goal of achieving campus carbon neutrality by 2026. It features a series of interviews with the students, faculty, and staff behind Furman’s sustainability efforts. To view the video, visit this link on YouTube.

Taking second place in the ACS competition was the video, “Sustainability in the ACS: Furman University,” which was submitted by Furman freshman Haena Chon. The judges gave Chon’s video high marks for its beautiful and thought-provoking imagery of campus sustainability efforts. To view Chon’s video, visit this link on YouTube.

For more information about the videos, contact Weston Dripps, Chair, Earth and Environmental Sciences department at (864) 294-3392, or weston.dripps@furman.edu. Or contact Furman’s News and Information Office at (864) 294-3107.

Republicans poised for big gains, says Vinson

The Republican Party will emerge as the winner in next month’s midterm elections, Furman University Political Science Professor and Chair Danielle Vinson told a crowd of about 100 people Wednesday at the Upcountry History Museum. The question is, she said, how big the victory will be.

Vinson offered her predictions about the outcomes of Congressional races and what those results will mean for the political future of America. Her talk was the fifth of eight consecutive events in the university’s High noon lecture series this fall.

Republicans are defending six fewer seats in the Senate than Democrats, and seven of the Democratic seats are in states won by Mitt Romney. “This is not good news for Democrats,” Vinson said.

Political trends in recent years also give predictors of how November’s races will turn out. Only twice since Franklin D. Roosevelt’s presidency, in 1998 and 2002, has the President’s party gained in mid-term elections.  With President Obama’s approval rating at 40 percent, it is unlikely that Democrats will turn out to vote in large numbers, she said.

Three current issues also favor the GOP, according to Vinson. ISIL and Ebola, both security issues, and government incompetence with matters at veterans’ hospitals and the Center for Disease Control, have remained high-profile in recent months. While media reports on the recovering economy continue, they haven’t helped Democrats. The party will likely lose between eight and 10 seats in the House, Vinson said.

“The Senate will go Republican, but the question is, by how much?” she said.

Senate races in North Carolina, New Hampshire, Georgia and Kansas could be some of the most interesting to watch. In some cases, such as Louisiana where a run-off is a possibility, the outcome may not be known until January, Vinson said.

10.14 elephant“There won’t be many upsets… The deck is simply stacked against Democrats this time,” she said. “In 2016, it will be stacked against Republicans.”

Political Science major Matthew Nickels ’17 of Brentwood, Tenn. was one of the youngest members of the audience. One of his priorities as vice president of the College Republicans is to provide students with more opportunities to get involved with government, he said. Nickels and other students were involved in promoting Gov. Nikki Haley’s visit to campus Tuesday for the gubernatorial debate.

The College Republicans are co-sponsoring a voter registration drive at the Trone Student Center this week with the NAACP and the College Democrats. “We want to get students excited about politics,” he said.

The Upcountry History Museum/Furman is located at 540 Buncombe Street in downtown Greenville’s Heritage Green area. All lectures in the High Noon series are free and begin at noon on Wednesdays.

A complete schedule of lectures is available on Furman’s website.

For more information, contact Furman’s Marketing and Public Relations office at 864-294-2185 or e-mail Marie Newman-Rogers at marie.newman-rogers@furman.edu

Remembering a lone voice against the Vietnam War

2014 Fall High Noon Schedule

Dr. Sean O'Rourke

Dr. Sean O’Rourke

Fifty years ago, the U.S. Congress passed the Tonkin Gulf Resolution, which opened the door for America’s involvement in Vietnam. Among the two dissenting voices in Congress was Sen. Wayne Morse of Oregon, who gave an impassioned and historic speech against the resolution’s passage.

Furman communication studies professor Sean O’Rourke will examine the speech and Morse’s prescient arguments against what would become the most controversial war in U.S. history when he speaks at the university’s High Noon fall lecture series Wednesday, Oct. 29 at the Upcountry History Museum-Furman.

His lecture—“50 Years Later: Senator Wayne Morse, the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution and the Vietnam War”—begins at noon.

O’Rourke’s talk is the sixth of eight consecutive lectures presented by Furman professors during the fall.  All lectures are free and begin at noon on Wednesdays.

The Upcountry History Museum/Furman is located at 540 Buncombe Street in downtown Greenville’s Heritage Green area.

For more information, contact Furman’s Marketing and Public Relations office at 864-294-2185 or e-mail Marie Newman-Rogers at marie.newman-rogers@furman.edu.

A gap year before Furman

gap-year-elizabeth-campbellIt’s a familiar script that millions of students follow each year: Graduate high school and then immediately start college. But more and more students are embracing the “gap year”—a year of volunteering and working before heading to campus. Elizabeth Campbell, a Furman freshman from Little Rock, Ark., did just that by deferring her admission to Furman for a year and moving to Seville, Spain, as part of a gap year program with the Council on International Educational Exchange.  Read more in Metro.

Friday: Diwali Festival

7 p.m., Friday, Oct. 24, Watkins Room. Asia Club presents Hindu festival of lights.

Saturday: Homecoming Football Tailgate

11 a.m.-1 p.m., Saturday, Oct.25, Furman Mall. FUSAB presents.

Saturday: Rugby: vs. Furman Rugby Old Guys (FROG)

10 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 25, Roberts Field.