Life Under the Tower

3Apr/13Off

From the Dean of Students Office…

After what I presume was a life-changing experience at her elementary school health fair, a friend’s daughter recently told me “you are what you eat”. I gave her that tight-lipped smile grown-ups give other people’s children because poking them in the eye is unseemly and potentially actionable. At the time, my mouth was full and I had a Coke in one hand and a half-eaten sleeve of Girl Scout cookies in the other, so poking her in the eye would have been awkward anyway. Based on her premise, I figure I’m about two-thirds black coffee and leftover baked goods (my wife is a baking instructor) and after watching him closely over Easter Break, I’d swear my son is almost entirely off-brand breakfast cereal! Nevertheless, her assertion got me thinking and reminded me of someone else’s-- Aristotle had a slightly different perspective when he said, “You are what you repeatedly do…”  (Clearly he missed his school’s health fair…)

Who you really are can be surprisingly hard to hold on to in the speedy and slippery passage of Life Under the Tower.  College, especially at this time of year, is a consuming rush, and has a way of confining your perspective to the moment at hand. It can sweep you up in the flow of finishing everything and you can find yourself just reacting rather than reflecting or redirecting yourself. If Aristotle was right, this can make it tough to determine, let alone develop who you really are. You can lose yourself living as if “you are what you experience”. If that were the whole truth, it would be pretty discouraging. Circumstances matter for sure, but if we were only the product of our situations, we’d be a pretty fickle and unreliable bunch. No one could count on us or what we stand for because it would always depend on the situation we found ourselves in at the moment; if the situation changed, so would we.  We’d be victims to whatever new pressures and priorities came our way and our character would be perpetually held hostage by our condition.  Come to think of it, that sounds frighteningly like what I see some days in contemporary culture or when I tune in to keep up with the Kardashians. When people live like their circumstances define them, they lose themselves and their way pretty quickly.

Personally, I’ve discovered you can lose your way not only if you believe your circumstances define you, but also if you aren’t honest with yourself when you’re simply living as if they do. When this happens, you have ideas about who you should be and you think of yourself as holding certain convictions: You believe you’re “the Kind of Woman Who Would Do Such-and-Such”, or “the Kind of Man Who Would Never Do Such-and-Such”-- but you never really find yourself acting like it. Instead, your circumstances keep getting in the way. There always seems to be some peculiar characteristic-of-the-moment, some extenuating circumstance that makes it temporarily impossible for you to act the way you believe you should. Sometimes this is true, but the problem is, you can find yourself in this situation over and over until it’s not such a temporary condition after all and what seems only an unusual exception in each moment turns out to be far too “usual” over time.

The hard truth is: You can only make exceptions so many times or for so long before you have to admit that they’re not actually exceptions any more; they're just the way you are. When you string enough of them together in a row it’s hard to say that they’re just unfortunate or unavoidable aberrations and don't actually represent the realest you. If Aristotle was right and your behavior doesn't consistently look like that of the man or the woman you want to be, then you’re fooling yourself to believe that that’s the man or woman you really are.

In the next month, whether it's the last one of the year or the last of your college career, take an honest look at what you repeatedly do. This, more than your lofty aspirations and laudable ideas (or diet, for that matter!) may be the truest test of who you are.

3Apr/13Off

My Life Under the Tower: Michelle Ward

For the past two years I’ve had the opportunity to serve as Belmont’s Student Online Communications Intern in the Office of Student Affairs. It has been a pleasure working with faculty, staff and students to produce this monthly email, featuring the student experience under the tower. I’m always asking students and staff to capture their Belmont story and have never really sat back and thought about writing my own. As a senior graduating in May, I thought this last issue of Life Under the Tower for the school year would be most fitting for such an occasion.

It’s hard to put my life under the tower experience into words. Scratch that… everyone says that. How about just that I don’t know what to say because I’m so overwhelmed with emotions and my whole college experience was basically incredible. I learned a ton and now it’s almost over and I’m sad, but I’m happy and I just can’t believe it… *Sigh of relief* I feel like the little girl on that AT&T commercial where she rambles on about how more is better.

Basically, I look back on the past four years of my college experience and think where did the time go? It wasn’t long ago I was pulling up to Wright Hall with a bunch of weirdos on the sidewalk cheering me on as I got out of the vehicle. I barely knew where I was before everything I had packed in the truck was taken away into my dorm where two girls I didn’t know would be waiting to meet me.

Well I can tell you where the time went. Time was spent turning strangers into best friends. My roommates and the many amazing people I met here shaped my entire Belmont experience. From pulling pranks on roommates, exploring Nashville, basketball and baseball games, Boo Bash, homework on the quad, to simply eating in the caf… all of these occurrences were fun but they wouldn’t have been nearly as fun if I didn't have my friends to experience them with me.

Time was spent in the classroom and internships. Time was spent working at the front desk in the Beaman Student Life Center and playing intramural sports. Time was spent with classmates traveling the country to attend professional conferences. Time was spent investing in the community. Time was spent being Belmont.

All of the memories and all of the accomplishments are thanks to no other than the man upstairs. I'm blessed to have had the opportunity to attend a school that has had a huge impact on my life.  I'm blessed to share life with some amazing people. But the most important part of my time spent at Belmont was learning to live life with a positive attitude and to be intentional in everything you do. I will certainly miss the place I've had the honor to call home.

3Apr/13Off

Faces Behind the Tower: Lougan Bishop

If you've ever tweeted Belmont's official account or commented on a Belmont Facebook post, you may have wondered who is responding. The face behind Belmont social media is Lougan Bishop, the Social Media and Web Marketing Specialist. His responsibility's include monitoring and execution of the primary university social media accounts as well as the marketing and outreach efforts through those accounts. He monitors traffic to the Belmont website and helps out with its management.  He manages the video production executed across campus including videos for admissions, athletics and the occasional robot mini copter flyover. And if you thought that was a lot, he's also chair of the Social Media Administration Team.

Bishop has been at Belmont for about five years and has the opportunity to work with almost every department on campus. "I love the Belmont community and what it stands for," said Bishop. "The thing that I love most is working with students. Whether it’s answering questions on one of the class Facebook pages or working with students on a Preview Day, I find it hard to think of my job as work. I’m really lucky to be where I am today and to work with the people I work with. I also have a lightsaber in my office.  How awesome is that?"

Belmont has several primary social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Foursquare. You can click here to view the social media directory. There are Facebook groups for the Class of 2015, 2016 and 2017 as well as several groups for transfer students.

Part of Bishop's role at Belmont is to monitor mentions of Belmont on all of the major social networks including Facebook and Twitter accounts like Belmont Confessions, @BelmontProblems and @OverheardatBU just to see what people are saying. "I keep up with these pages and accounts because Belmont really does care about what you have to say," said Bishop. "Can we do something about every Belmont Problem? Probably not, but we are always here to help."

In the coming months, Belmont is planning on officially creating a social media street team to help out with various social media initiatives around campus. It's still in the planning stages and will likely be ready to launch this fall.  Bishop will be looking for creative students to help plan and create content for Belmont’s social media accounts. "It’s going to be a lot of fun," said Bishop. Information about how to join will become available in the coming months.  If you’re already interested, email Bishop at socialmedia@belmont.edu.

"I love social media," said Bishop. "You can’t really do what I do with out at least enjoying it on some personal level.  I’m almost always connected to something, my iPad or iPhone, which is funny to say since wires are so 20th century.  In any case, my most used social network is Facebook.  I have friends and colleagues from around the country.  Facebook is the easiest way to connect with them.  My favorite network would have to be Instagram.  I find it fun to actually see pictures of people’s lives, even if it’s mostly pictures of food."

Outside of work, Bishop claims to be your typical geek. He's a science buff and likes to play Playstation and Xbox. "To be honest though, I could probably compete for the worst gamer on earth award," said Bishop. "I’m a Star Trek and Star Wars fan. I do think the Enterprise could totally wipe the floor with the Millennium Falcon in a firefight. That’s just my opinion that just happens to be a fact."

Bishop and his wife are expecting a baby boy in July. "It’s probably going to be an interesting summer," said Bishop.

"One of the things I love about Belmont is how much we care about the student body," said Bishop. "I think that what I do really re-enforces the fact that Belmont is a student-centered university.  It’s why I’m here and it’s why I love what I do."

3Apr/13Off

Community Matters: April 3, 2013

Life Beyond the Tower Event to Be Held Wednesday, May 1 at 6:30 p.m.

life beyond the towerOn the night before our very first classes at Belmont, we all had a special opportunity where we gathered around the Bell Tower to celebrate the start of a new chapter in each of our lives. While each of our Belmont stories are uniquely our own, one thing our stories have in common is where our Belmont story began... we all began our stories together on the night before our first day of classes during Welcome Week under Belmont’s historic Bell Tower.

It only seems right that we should conclude our undergraduate chapters here at Belmont at the Bell Tower where all of our stories began. It is with our deep sense of Belmont pride to have the opportunity to invite you and your families back to the Tower one last time to participate in Life Beyond the Tower, a unique Belmont tradition designed for graduating seniors.

Please join us around the Bell Tower at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 1, for a brief ceremony where we will gather at the place where our Belmont story began as we prepare for our Life Beyond the Tower.

A one-of-a kind gift will be given to all in attendance meant to be a special reminder of your life under the tower! Stay tuned for more updates and information about Life Beyond the Tower.

Blasting Schedule

Blasting for the new cafeteria/academic building is scheduled to occur at 8:30 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. each weekday. Three warning horns will sound prior to each blast. To ensure maximum safety, vehicular and pedestrian traffic near the construction site will be stopped temporarily before each blast and will immediately reopen following the blast. Blasting is expected to be complete in September.

3Apr/13Off

Your Attention Please: April 3, 2013

Priority Registration for Fall 2013
Begins Monday, April 8 at 7 a.m.

Scholarship & Awards Day
Wednesday, April 17 at 10 a.m. in the Massey Performing Arts Center

Last Day of Classes
Tuesday, April  23

Academic Preparation Day
Wednesday, April 24

Final Exams
Thursday-Tuesday, April 25-30
The exam schedule can be found on the registrar's site.

Life Beyond the Tower
Wednesday, May 1 at 6:30 p.m. at the Bell Tower

Commencement Rehearsal for May Graduates
Friday, May 3
8:30 a.m. – Morning Commencement Rehearsal in the Curb Event Center
College of Business Administration
Mike Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business
College of Visual and Performing Arts

11 a.m. – Afternoon Commencement Rehearsal in the Curb Event Center
College of Arts and Sciences
Gordon E. Inman College of Health Sciences and College of Pharmacy
University College and Interdisciplinary Studies
School of Religion

Baccalaureate
Friday, May 3 at 2:30 p.m. in the Curb Event Center

Commencement for May Graduates
Saturday, May 4, 2013
Morning Commencement Ceremony: 9:30 a.m. in the Curb Event Center
Afternoon Commencement Ceremony: 2:30 p.m. in the Curb Event Center

13Mar/13Off

From the Dean of Students Office…

Welcome Back from Spring Break!

I don’t know what you did last week, but I’ve heard enough stories of sunny places and ski slopes, adventures in other countries, and relaxation at home to make me good and jealous. I’m glad many of you had such eventful Spring Breaks. I’ve heard from others of you who didn't have “adventures” per se, but used the break to simply catch up on other things like sleep, homework, jobs, and relationships. I can relate better to that. I didn't jet off to an exotic locale (unless you call the Beaman Center “exotic”); I just barricaded myself in my office and dove into the things that had buried my desk. Whether your Spring Break was glamorous or not, at least it was exactly that, a break-- a much-needed pause in the rush and routine of the spring semester.

Every year, this pause is a mile marker in life under the tower that signals a shift in the perspective of those living it. Before Spring Break, for better or worse, we feel like we have plenty of time; the semester is still gearing up, getting going. We feel like there’s a lot going on, but there’s also plenty of time to get it all done. After Spring Break, it feels like time suddenly got short; we’ve got even more going on, but we realize it’s going to be hard to finish before the end. In the space of one little week, our perspective goes from ramping-up-to-hit-our-stride to hurrying-up-to-beat-the-clock. Freshmen, who are barely over feeling new, find themselves blinking at the realization that their first year is almost over. Seniors, who already thought things were moving a little too fast this winter, are shocked at how much larger commencement and life beyond the tower can loom now that spring has officially sprung.

For such a short space on the calendar, Spring Break makes a big difference in our attitude, and make no mistake, attitude matters. Your emotional posture shapes a lot of your experience. When you’re excited or hopeful, you’re stronger and more resilient. You dream more and give yourself more fully to your experience. But when you’re anxious or overwhelmed, you’re weaker, more fragile, and you find yourself managing life more than really living it. We’ve all experienced the difference. Here’s some advice to make the most and get the most out of the last two months of the school year: remember why you’re here.

With the change of perspective Spring Break brings, it’s natural to tune-in more fully to what you have to do, and that’s not a bad thing. (Setting your eye harder on the prize as the finish line comes into view is good strategy…) But it’s important to tune in more fully to why you have to do it too. If the rush of the year’s end leads you to let the What eclipse the Why, it’s hard to finish strong. After Spring Break, the weight of responsibility naturally rises, and you can’t afford to let the sense of opportunity that sustained you before Spring Break disappear.  You need that sense of purpose and possibility to be strong when it counts. I put it this way to the leaders I work with: People don’t burn out from too much to do, but from too little reason to do it.

In the next couple months of your life under the tower, when your To Do List looks long and your time looks short, the key to not only making it, but making the most of it lies in this principle. You’re at your best and can accomplish amazing things when you don't let the What eclipse the Why.

13Mar/13Off

My Life Under the Tower: Reece Chamberlain

The past three years at Belmont have been full of defining moments. A mixture of many of these significant memories could define my life under the tower. However, last weekend alone could sum up a big chunk of what my life under the tower has been.

It has been an honor to be a member of the Belmont basketball team and last weekend we had the opportunity to compete in the Ohio Valley Conference tournament. The whole experience was truly a blessing and the memories from that weekend have absolutely defined what life under the tower has been for me. Winning the OVC tournament really put into perspective for me how much hard work and dedication pays off. These are two qualities that Belmont has taught me over the past three years. Whether it is in the classroom or on the court, being at Belmont has taught me that giving up is never an option. If you had the opportunity to tune into the tournament you would have seen that we fought hard until the last second in both the semifinals and the championship game, we never gave up even when things were not going our way and we were losing. Never giving up and working hard really paid off, it won us the tournament. The moments after winning the tournament were feelings of excitement. In that instance it made me realize how much the hard work and dedication we have put in all season long has paid off. That moment is something I will never forget and it was truly a moment that I think can define my life under the tower. The experience just tied together so much of what I have learned through my experiences at Belmont and how important they are to me.

People always say that character is what you do when no one is looking, which I believe to be somewhat true. During practice, when no one is looking, my team and I are dedicated to representing Belmont the best that we can and working hard to prepare for each game in order to win.  This often goes unnoticed, how all the guys on the team give so much time and work in practice no matter what else is going on and everyone is constantly working to make the team better. However, I believe that character can also be defined by what you do when everyone is looking. Last weekend is a perfect example of how my team and I exemplify the same traits when everyone is looking as when no one is looking. Working hard, being dedicated, never giving up, and having humility are all traits that I think as a team we possess.

Showing class after each game and the sportsmanship that represents Belmont positively. These are qualities we have all learned through our time here at Belmont. Winning the tournament amplified how important those qualities are and how they have defined me through my time at Belmont. My life under the tower has been full of great memories but winning the tournament just really proved to me how what I have learned here at Belmont are qualities that will help me in everything that I do.

13Mar/13Off

Faces Behind the Tower: Julie Beazley

Movers & Shapers of the Student Experience:
Julie Beazley, Program Assistant
By: Michelle Ward

With the men’s basketball OVC tournament win, the athletic department has been buzzing with excitement, planning ahead for Selection Sunday and the NCAA tournament. Back in the athletic office you’ll find Julie Beazley busy, working away to assist in the everyday operations and helping with organization and student staffing of athletic events.

Beazley’s favorite part about working at Belmont is the relationships she has with the students. “It is awesome to open my email or pick up the phone and it is a former student just saying hello or asking me to be a part of their wedding,” said Beazley. “Makes my heart smile.”

As Beazley watches students grow within different aspects of their Belmont experience, she loves to listen or discuss their hopes and fears with no judgment. “There are lessons we can learn every day,” she says.

“I talk BU athletics most everywhere I go,” said Beazley, who avidly encourages the student body to attend campus sporting events. “I am so proud of these student athletes. They represent Belmont so well, not only on the court but most of all with their class and poise.”

Beazley was raised by avid sports fans and loves to watch a multitude of sports. “My DVR stays busy with football, basketball and tennis for starters,” said Beazley. Accepting her position many years ago as Belmont Athletics’ Program Assistant was an obvious decision.

It shouldn’t come to any surprise that outside of work Beazley enjoys watching sports, exercising and spending quality time with her daughters and nieces.

“At some point every day I stand outside and feel the sun or wind on my face and just thank God for being able to appreciate such small pleasures,” said Beazley.

Admist all of the craziness of March Madness, Beazley continues to be the calm and caring person she is. Besides experience Belmont’s spring sports, she encourages student to share their smile because you may just give someone the best gift they have had all day.

13Mar/13Off

Community Matters: March 13, 2013

The Madness is Back!
ovcwinOn Saturday night, your Belmont men’s basketball team defeated Murray State, 70-68, in overtime to claim the 2013 OVC Men’s Basketball Championship and earn an automatic bid to the 2013 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship. The victory marked win No. 1000 for the Belmont program, and the Bruins (26-6) will appear in the NCAA Tournament for the sixth time in eight years! Click here to watch ESPN Sports Center coverage of the game.
Please join us this Sunday for a “Selection Show” pep rally featuring the men’s basketball team, the Bruin Blast Pep Band, Belmont University Cheerleaders, free commemorative t-shirts, and free refreshments! (The cafeteria will be closed, and this will be the site for the Sunday evening meal.)
Sunday, March 17
Beaman Student Life Center
4 pm: Food & refreshment service begins in the Maddox Grand Atrium and West Lobby (entrance off of Belmont Blvd. by the Curb Café)
4:30 pm: Pep rally and team introduction
5 pm: NCAA Tournament bracket revealed live on CBS
For the latest NCAA Tournament information, visit www.belmontbruins.com. We hope to see you on Sunday!
13Mar/13Off

Your Attention Please: March 13, 2013

Academic Advising for Fall 2013
Wednesday, March 13-23

Selection Sunday Party
Sunday, March 17 at 4 p.m. in the Beaman Student Life Center

Easter Break
Thursday - Friday, March 28-29