Ybarra Wins First Paladin Pitch Competition

Written by Will Przedpelski, Content Editor

The Furman Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (FI&E) held its first annual Paladin Pitch Competition on Saturday, Feb. 22 in McAlister Auditorium. The event featured six Furman student-teams pitching their best business ideas. The competition attracted hundreds of students, alumni, and community members. Sophomore Sam Ybarra took home the $10,000 prize for best pitch with his business Spectrum Tiny Homes. 

Ybarra’s company plans to sell tiny houses to people living with Autism Spectrum Disorder. As he explained in his presentation, the problem his company confronts is that many high functioning spectrum individuals struggle have a particularly hard time finding independent living facilities that cater to their specific needs. 

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Furman Students Fight Coronavirus, Call for Compassion

Written by Eleanor Liu, Contributor

The spread of the coronavirus has generated worldwide fear. Although the virus has largely been contained in China thus far, there are already reported cases in America and Europe. While there has been no significant outbreak in America, many of Furman’s Chinese students have been forced to face the consequences of the effects of the coronavirus on their families.

Motivated students have come up with creative ways to help in this time of crisis. Christy Litz, a member of and ally to the Chinese Students Association, has led efforts to raise awareness of the impact of the coronavirus on Furman’s international Chinese students and to collect medical supplies to send to China.

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University to Rename James C. Furman Hall

Written by Haley Horn, Asst. News Editor

On May 18, 2019 the Board of Trustees voted unanimously to change the name of James C. Furman Hall to Furman Hall. The board’s Special Committee on Slavery and Justice recommended this subtle but significant symbolic change. During President Davis’ announcement of the change in May 2019, she emphasized her confidence that the combined efforts of students, faculty, and staff, could make Furman “a stronger community than when we began.”

James C. Furman served as the university’s first president. According to an article published by the Greenville Journal, he “was a slave owner and ardent secessionist.’’ This portion of his legacy is in clear contradiction with Furman’s current goal of creating an inclusive community that takes responsibility for its difficult past, which especially affects black community members. According to Deborah Allen, Director of the Center for Inclusive Communities, “students, faculty, and staff have shared how painful it is to walk on Furman’s campus and engage with effigies, portraits, and other figures in the image of those who actively participated in exclusionary and inhumane practices. I personally have reflected on what it feels like to not see yourself represented in the landscape of campus.”

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Significant Housing Renovations Could be Coming Soon

Written by Will Przedpelski, Content Editor

Last October, the university’s Board of Trustees met to discuss the new Student Life Master Plan, which includes upgrades to most housing facilities. Although this may come as a surprise to some students, Furman’s Student Life Master Plan has included changes to both North Village and South Housing since 2007.  

Director of Housing & Residence Life (H&RL) Ron Thompson and Associate Vice President of Facilities and Campus Services Jeff Redderson revealed that these changes now seem set to begin in the coming months and years. They will primarily focus on creating community spaces in each location.  Thompson also indicated that the new master plan includes “updates to the PAC and library as well.”

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SLED Closes Case, Furman to Review Programs

Written by Haley Horn, Asst. News Editor

On Friday, Dec. 13, Chief John Milby informed students that the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) was investigating “allegations of sexual misconduct involving multiple Furman students.” On Monday, Feb. 3, President Davis updated students that, upon the conclusion of SLED’s investigation, “no criminal charges will be filed.” 

While SLED and the Solicitor’s Office advised Furman that no criminal charges will be filed, Furman is continuing to investigate the allegations through the sexual misconduct process, as President Davis noted in her email. 

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Furman’s Paladin Pitch Competition Announces Finalists

Written by Grace Ryan, Contributor

Furman’s Paladin Pitch Competition is set to occur on Saturday, Feb. 22 and will grant the winning team up to $10,000 to launch their venture. Furman Innovation and Entrepreneurship (FIE) is sponsoring the event to further develop their mission. The office’s Executive Director Anthony Herrera said the competition intends to “build a campus culture of innovation, develop student, faculty and staff talent and contribute to the regional entrepreneurial ecosystem.”  

FIE believes the Paladin Pitch is multifaceted. First and foremost, it provides students a platform to pitch ideas and products that have real marketplace appeal. Additionally, Entrepreneur in Residence Derek Pederson notes, the competition allows students to connect with regional innovators such as “community leaders, Leadership Council Members and Furman alumni that will attend the final pitch.” In that environment, “students will have the chance to hear feedback, build a network and earn potential investments from the audience.” 

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TEDx FurmanU 2020 Features Diverse Cast of Speakers

Written by Helena Aarts and Evan Myer, Contributor and News Editor

Unlike previous years, TEDx FurmanU 2020 had a theme: “Vision.” Organizer Shelby Walcott, a Furman senior, explained that the TEDx team chose the theme ‘Vision’ because they believed it had the potential for “multiple interpretations.” For example, Walcott explained “Vision urges us to tread further than ever before and discover ideas previously unseen. While it can begin blurry, our vision clarifies in time.” She also added, “Vision can perfect our calling, enact health or social change, improve our environment with scientific research, and build communities.”

The conference, which took place on Saturday, Feb. 8, featured ten speakers who examined the concept of vision from different angles. Senior Kenia Flores, one of three Furman students to speak, had a particularly interesting perspective. Blind since birth,Flores shared her experiences and envisioned a world where “inclusion is the norm and not the exception.”

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JSA’s Ed”Jew”cation Week

Written by Lane Fahey, Editor-in-chief

The last week of January, the Jewish Student Association (JSA) held five separate events in a week of Ed“Jew”cation.  Ranging from handing out bagels to motivational speakers, the events celebrated and promoted Jewish culture and heritage on campus.

The week began with an annual JSA classic: Schmooze with the Jews.  The organization hosts an event in front of Duke Library and pass out bagels, aiming to spark conversation and questions about Judaism.  When asked why the JSA holds this annual event, Secretary Allison Luing said, “we began Schmooze with the Jews last year to create a space to open up a dialogue amongst Jews and Non-Jews in the campus community by bringing in Greenfield bagels.”

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Brittany Arsiniega Connects Students to Latino Community: Project Justicia

Written by Haley Horn, Asst. News Editor

As the newest member of Furman’s department of Politics & International Affairs, Assistant Professor Brittany Arsiniega’s unique background and impressive accomplishments make her an asset to students.   According to Wyche Law Firm’s Website, Arsiniega grew up in a family that was constantly on the move. From living in the United States to Germany, to Saudi Arabia, she cultivated a passion for other cultures and a global worldview that she would later apply to her career.

Arsiniega graduated at the top of her class at the University of Colorado, Boulder with degrees in International Affairs and Spanish.  She then decided to put further education on hold to pursue work in both North and South America for three years. Eventually, Arsiniega returned to school to pursue a JD and Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkely, where she was inducted into the Order of the Coif, the foremost law honor society.  Arsiniega received her Ph.D. in Jurisprudence and Social Policy, two areas she has managed to apply to courses she teaches at Furman, including Introduction to American Government and Judicial Process & the Supreme Court. In addition to her students’ glowing reviews as a relatable and approachable instructor, Dr. Arsiniega’s work behind the scenes makes her an especially remarkable professor.

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Furman Remembers Joseph Vaughn On Library Steps

Written by Will Przedpelski and Evan Myers, Content Editor and News Editor

On Wednesday, January 29, the 55th anniversary of Furman’s desegregation, the university  recognized the bravery of its first African-American student, Joseph Vaughn ‘68. At 12:15, hundreds of students, faculty, and administration officials gathered on the steps of James B. Duke Library—the spot of an iconic photo of Vaughn’s groundbreaking time at Furman.  They processed to Daniel Chapel, alongside Vaughn’s friends and family, to remember Furman’s desegregation and celebrate the official commemoration of Joseph Vaughn Day. 

The event featured speeches from President Davis, Trustee Alec Taylor, Director of the Center for Inclusive Communities Deborah Allen, Vaughn’s cousin Marcus Tate, and Rodney Acker, who desegregated Furman Athletics in 1969. According to history professor Stephen O’Neill, who served on the Task Force on Slavery and Justice and also spoke at the event, Furman’s effort to seriously grapple with its late arrival to desegregation—which occurred after the Civil Rights Act of 1964—manifested itself in 2015 with a publication entitled, “50 Years: Commemorating Desegregation At Furman, 1965-2015.” 

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