6 Competitive Clubs at VCU

VCU offers over 500 student organizations to join, so it can be overwhelming trying to decide which club might be right for you. Something that can help you narrow down your options is to decide what type of club you are seeking to join. If you are interested in being a part of a competitive club, you might want to check out one of the six clubs listed below.

1. Mock Trial

This organization is fairly new to VCU, as it was founded in the early months of 2017. It is a unique club that offers students the opportunity to participate in imitation court trials as prosecutors, defendants, jury members, judges, bailiffs, and virtually every other role involved in court proceedings. Students that are highly active in the organization are typically pre-law, but it is open to students of all majors. This organization is great for students that are looking for a competitive, realistic way to learn about court proceedings and specific cases.


2. Quiz Bowl

Quiz Bowl is a game where two opposing teams of students compete head-to-head answering round after round of academic questions. Subjects can include, but are definitely not limited to: history, literature, science, fine arts, current events, popular culture, and sports. The team at VCU competes in the Mid-Atlantic region, but usually attends two national championships each year. It is composed of a fairly small group of students, so the organization is a great way to find a group of knowledgeable, close-knit friends.


3. Table Tennis Club

Yes, VCU actually has a competitive table tennis club. Students of all levels can join the club to practice their skills and work up to participating in the collegiate competitions. The team plays other universities such as George Mason University, Virginia Tech, University of Virginia, James Madison University, Duke, North Carolina State, and many more. If you choose to join the competitive portion of the team, be prepared for a lot of practice; the team runs specific drills and exercises in preparation for each competition. If you’re interested in joining the Table Tennis Club, you can ask an associate at the Cary Street Gym for more information.


4. Swing Dance Club 

Swing dancing was made popular in the 1920s and is still a practiced form of dance today. The Swing Dance Club at VCU offers students the opportunity to gather in the Commons Ballroom every Monday night from 8-10 for social dancing. Amateur and proficient swing dancers can join together because no experience is necessary, but with enough practice you will get better! You do not have to bring your own partner with you, so don’t be afraid to go alone. Occasionally, the organization offers field trips or workshops, so it’s worth staying up-to-date on the events that they have going on.


5. Muevelo

Muevelo is a competitive dance club that works to promote Hispanic culture through traditional dances like salsa, merengue, bachata, and hip-hop. While the club focuses on Latin heritage, the club is not exclusive- they actually encourage students of all backgrounds to join and learn more about Latin culture. They welcome dancers of all levels, including people with no dancing experience at all. Muevelo also hosts workshops to help novice students improve their dancing skills, as their primary goal is to spread their passion for dance.


6. Crew Team

VCU‘s Crew Team is a relatively small but very hardworking group of individuals. The members of the team represent the diverse population at VCU from backgrounds to majors to career interests. Seasoned rowers and novice rowers are welcome to join the team, but anyone who joins must be very dedicated; the team practices six days a week from 5:30am-8am on the James River. The Crew Team is also known for their travel, as they go to many places up and down the east coast for competitions. Some destinations include Boston, Massachusetts and Gainesville, Georgia. If you love physical activity, teamwork, and the outdoors, you might want to consider joining the crew team!


Many people think of competitive clubs to be just about sports or athletics and VCU does offer a number of athletic competitive clubs. However, they still offer a variety of competitive organizations that are more academically- or socially-centered, which appeals to the competitive streak in everyone. If you are looking for a challenge or for the thrill of victory, you might consider joining one of the competitive clubs listed above.



6 VCU Campus Traditions

VCU was established (under a different name) over 175 years ago, so the university has many long-standing traditions. Some are more well-known amongst students than others, but they are an important part of the culture of VCU. Listed below are just six of the numerous traditions that exist at VCU.

1. Ram Horn Wish

One of the main events of New Student Orientation is when students walk through the Commons Plaza and touch the ram horn sculpture outside. Family members that accompanied students to orientation as well as orientation staff crowd around the plaza and cheer you on as you walk though the crowd and touch the horns. As you touch them, you are supposed to make a wish regarding your time at VCU. Your wish can be academic, social, or professional in nature- as long as you plan to achieve it within your time at VCU.


2. Welcome Week

Hosted during the week between move-in and the start of fall classes, Welcome Week is a well-loved VCU tradition. The university hosts events of all different kinds at many of the places on campus. Welcome Week is a great time for returning students to reconnect, or for new students to meet each other, due to the number of socials and mixers all over campus. In addition, there are several academic workshops to help prepare students for the semester ahead. Many restaurants around campus, whether they are VCU affiliated or not, will offer free samples of their food.


3. Homecoming Concert

Because VCU does not have a football team, they do not have a conventional homecoming. In place of the traditional homecoming football game, VCU has a homecoming concert. Tickets are only available to students and are very reasonably priced for the show that you’re getting. The university books several artists to play in a festival-style line-up and usually hosts the event at the Richmond Coliseum on the eastern side of the city. For the Fall 2017 concert, the headlining act was Torey Lanez, the popular hip-hop artist.


4. Midnight Breakfast

At the end of each semester, close to finals week, the Student Government Association works closely with the two VCU dining halls, Jonah’s and Shafer, to put on Midnight Breakfast. During this event, the dining halls are open late and serve a variety of breakfast foods at each of the stations. The lights are usually all turned off, except for a few black lights or disco lights that are added for an exciting ambiance, and speakers play loud, popular music. Midnight Breakfast is a great way to relieve your stress during finals week!


5. Family Weekend

Each fall, VCU hosts a family weekend, which offers the opportunity for family members to visit campus and get a taste of what it’s like. VCU coordinates both on- and off-campus events for students and their families, including tours, workshops, games, and other activities. Students and their families are not required to participate in these activities; instead, they can choose to coordinate their own events. Regardless, this is a great time for families to visit.


6. Class Rings

Class rings are a tradition among many universities, but the VCU class ring was designed specifically to represent the history and academic culture of the school. Students buy class rings to have a physical representation of their time at VCU, as well as a symbol of a life-long alumnus status. Students with class rings are told to wear them facing inwards until they graduate, when there is a designated time in the commencement for grads to turn their rings outward.


There are many more traditions at VCU than what is listed above, as VCU has been offering students a wonderful education within a close-knit community for nearly 200 years. Some traditions have adapted to modern times, while others have stayed the same. Nonetheless, all VCU students should learn more about the traditions at the university and try to participate in them to enhance their college experience.

5 Tips to Survive Fire Drills in the VCU Residence Halls

In high school, fire drills are a welcome and exciting distraction from boring classes. However, fire drills in college, especially in the residence halls have much less charm. But, with so many people living in such close quarters, they are inevitable. Listed below are five tips to help you survive fire drills at your VCU residence hall.

1. Get to the stairs as fast as you can

Each residence hall houses hundreds of students, and every student in the building must evacuate in the case of a fire drill. This means that the stairwells get crowded pretty quickly. It can be incredibly irritating when fire drills go off, but it’s even more irritating to get caught in a slow-moving crowd of people going down stairs. In order to avoid the busyness, try to get to the stairwell as soon as you hear the alarm go off.


2. Wear appropriate clothing

Please leave the building when you hear the alarm go off. However, if you are in the shower when the alarm sounds, try to quickly get dressed, as you will have to walk about a block away from the building to get to the “safe space” (it’s pretty awkward to have to go outside in your robe or towel). In addition, be aware of the weather outside. Winter fire drills are especially chilly, so it’s good to grab a coat on your way out the door.


Grab your phone (and hope it’s charged!)

Again, if the alarm goes off, please evacuate immediately- if your phone is lost, don’t spend time looking for it. However, if you know where it is, bring your phone with you. Fire drills can end up being pretty long- up to several hours- and you are not allowed to return to the building until it has been cleared; in these cases, it is helpful to have your phone with you for entertainment, access to study materials, and as a way to connect with your other friends from the building that are stuck outside for a while.


Find your friends

No one likes a fire drill, but sometimes commiserating with your friends makes the situation a little more bearable. Since everyone from the building is required to leave, you may see a few people that you know on your way outside. Try talking to them while you go down the stairs or as you wait outside- this is a great time to catch up with those that you don’t see that often. If you don’t see someone you know, try calling or texting a few friends from your building. It will be easy to find each other, and then you can wait out the rest of the drill together, which makes it much more fun.


Take the stairs back up

When the fire drill is complete, residents are allowed to re-enter the building and use the elevators to get back to their rooms. Many students come back in at the same time, though, which makes the lines for the elevators incredibly long. In order to avoid this line, residents that live on lower-level floors can take the stairs back up to their rooms. It’s great exercise, and ends up saving you a lot more time in the long run.


Fire drills in the residence halls are unavoidable. Whether they are real or not, students usually find them inconvenient and a pain to deal with. However, if you follow the five tips listed above, hopefully your fire drill experiences will be tolerable and will maybe even give you a few stories to tell.


5 Reasons to Visit the Writing Center at VCU

One of the most valuable tools that VCU offers to its students is the VCU Writing Center. There are two locations, one on each campus. The Monroe Park location is on the fourth floor of the Academic Learning Commons (known commonly to students as MCALC). The MCV Campus location is on the first floor of the Tompkins-McCaw Library. Their mission is to help VCU students to become the strongest writers that they can be. Listed below are five reasons to visit the VCU Writing Center.

1. Brainstorming

Whether you’re writing an essay, a proposal, a poem, a narrative, or anything else, sometimes it can be hard to come up with topic ideas. However, the Writing Center can help you with this crucial first step to your writing. They are good at weeding out good, useful ideas from the ideas that might not be as easy to develop. However, they are especially known around the campus for coming up with creative, unique topics to write about from basic snippets of everyday conversation.


2. Development

Since a young age, you have been taught that there are several different stages in the process of writing. Most often, students come in to the writing center with a finished essay and expect someone to read over it. While this can be the case, you also have the option to begin your essay with the Writing Center. They can help you in the beginning stages of your first draft and then through multiple stages of revision. The mentors at the Writing Center don’t have to necessarily be for quick questions; they are there to assist you with the entire process if that is the kind of aid you need.


3. Feedback

One of the Writing Center’s mantras is that “your professor shouldn’t be the first person to read your paper.” That is why they offer student consultants that read your paper and give you comments on it regarding its structure, theme continuity, and organization. They might ask you bigger-picture questions to direct or further develop your thought process. Receiving feedback at the Writing Center is worthwhile regardless of your skill level in writing.


4. English Language Resources

VCU has a very diverse population that includes thousands of international students from a variety of countries. Some of the international students that attend VCU do not speak English as a first language or struggle with English grammatical practices. In order to cater to this need from international students, the Writing Center offers English Language Resource (ELR) Consultations by appointment. Students utilizing this service will attend regular appointments with a designated mentor in order to improve their English writing skills and overall language skills.


5. Workshops

The VCU Writing Center also offers occasional workshops that are led by its consultants and administrators. The workshops can be structural or grammatical in nature, or they can be more organic and based on creativity. They tend to be fairly short; usually around 50 minutes. The Writing Center hosts these workshops for both undergraduate and graduate level students. If you are interested in hosting a writing workshop for your club or organization, you can visit the VCU Writing Center’s website for contact information.


The VCU Writing Center offers all of these valuable resources to students as a part of their tuition. As a result, students can make an appointment any time for an in-person or online consultation. It is important that VCU students remember the help that the Writing Center offers, especially when they are looking to become better writers.

6 Reasons To Visit Career Services At VCU

The VCU Career Services center is located on the first floor of the Student Commons. Their name can be misleading to some students; while they do offer many career-oriented services, they also offer a variety of other resources and services. This would include almost anything that pertains to your professional/educational career after completing your undergraduate degree. Listed below are 6 reasons for VCU students to make an appointment at Career Services.

1. Picking a Major

Some students come to college knowing exactly what they want to major in and exactly what they want to do with their life. Yet, there are other students that don’t have the same plans, or any plans at all. Luckily, students who have not declared a major can go to Career Services to get help with deciding a path to take. If you meet with a one-on-one advisor, you will be asked questions about skills you have or would like to learn in order to design an individualized plan.


2. Choosing a Career Path

Once you have decided your major, you typically begin to think about the career path that you want to pursue. Career Services can help you with this too, as they have extensive knowledge about how different majors can apply to careers. Their most famous example is that English majors can apply to over 74 different jobs- you don’t just have to be a teacher or a writer. Regardless of the major you’re pursuing, Career Services is surely able to offer you a plethora of options regarding the different careers you could look into.


3. Finding Part-time Work

Career Services works closely with HireVCURams, which is a program that connects students with on-campus (or campus-affiliated) jobs. The database that Career Services uses connects with HireVCURams and other servers like ConnectVA, SnagAJob, and Indeed. Using so many databases allows Career Services to stay very up-to-date and provide students with job opportunities as they become available. Meeting with a career advisor one-on-one would enable you to narrow down part-time work to things that can be applicable to future careers you plan to pursue.


4. Building Resume 

One of the most useful things that Career Services can offer you is help with your resume and cover letter. Many students come into college with little to no work experience and have a hard time assessing their valuable skills. Career Services regularly helps students identify applicable skills and experiences to add to their resume. While you can schedule an appointment for help with your resume, there are also a number of online resources on the Career Services website that may be more convenient or accessible.


5.Researching Graduate Schools

There are many elements that go into a graduate school application. This, however, does not (and should not!) deter many VCU students from pursing grad schools. Another service that Career Services offers is preparing you for the application process. This would include planning ahead with you to narrow down your search of schools and identifying which programs might be best for you. They then can help you review your application as a whole, which usually will include a personal statement. Career Services advisors can help you decide what topic or experience might be the best to write about. If you remain at VCU for grad school, Career Services can continue to assist you beyond your application process and help you look into further education or professions.


6. Networking

Knowing how to network is a skill that you will need for the rest of your educational and professional career. The advisors at Career Services are very good at helping students identifying their supporters and allies, including people that they may not have previously considered. Career Services also has a strong connection with the VCU Alumni community, so they would be able to get you information on how to contact alumni in your chosen field. They can also help you navigate the website LinkedIn, which many professionals can view as a resume or connection base.


Overall, Career Services offers a variety of opportunities and assistance with their educational and professional aspirations. Their dedicated staff works to increase the chance of students’ success after graduating with their bachelor’s degree from VCU. Students at VCU should definitely take advantage of this free service that can help them enter the professional world with more knowledge.


7 Best Thrift Shops for VCUArts Students

VCUArts is a very diverse school that encompasses majors in all kinds of mediums. Students in Art Foundations, the first year program for art majors, are required to take four essential studio classes (Drawing, Space Research, Time Research, and Surface Research); each of these studios do involve traditional materials found at art stores, but they also require unique materials. Project classes and major-specific classes also demand for unconventional materials like fabric, books, knick-knacks, or practically any eccentric thing you can find. Many VCUArts students often turn to the local thrift stores to find what they need for their unusual projects. Listed below are seven of the best thrift shops for VCUArts students.

1. Circle Thrift & Art Space

Located at 7 W. Broad Street near the Virginia Repertory Theater is Circle Thrift and Art Space. Commonly referred to as just “Circle Thrift”, the store is known for their strong community focus and are big supporters of the local art scene; they host store events coordinated with First Fridays on Broad Street and occasionally host local bands. This store features all kinds of things from clothing, music, tchotchkes, and art. Circle Thrift is great for students looking for one-of-a-kind, handmade goods or unique decor items at relatively low prices.


2. Second Debut (Goodwill)

Second Debut is a non-profit store by Goodwill that is located at 3114 W. Cary Street. Because the store is located in the heart of Carytown, it tends to cater to a more expensive taste. However, this is not to say that they do not have reasonable prices. Second Debut often runs sales on items marked with specific colored tags. The clothing in the store tends to be more formal than casual, so this makes it a great place to go when art students are looking for outfits to wear to galleries or nice events.


3. Rumors Boutique

Rumors Boutique is one of the most popular thrift stores among VCU students of all majors, especially art students. It is located very close to most of the dorms near the corner of W. Broad Street and N. Laurel Street, which makes it very convenient for students to shop at. Rumors claim to fame is that they offer “high quality clothing at starving artist prices.” You can imagine that this is one of students’ favorite things about the shop, as many students don’t have much spending cash. The store is great for art or theater students looking for costumes or physical props.


4. Richmond Book Shop

Richmond Book Shop isn’t technically a thrift store. However, they do offer a variety of vintage posters, books, records, and comics. They advertise that most of their prices are $10 or below, which is great for students on a budget. On their Facebook page, Richmond Book Shop specifically mentions that they have great college materials for art students. The staff at the store is very welcoming and always willing to lend a helping hand. Students love the personable atmosphere in Richmond Book Shop, and art students working in mixed media classes love the materials they offer.


5. Fan-Tastic Thrift

Fan-Tastic Thrift is a cleverly named thrift store located in the heart of the Fan District. Their exact address is 1914 W. Main Street; this is only about a 20 minute walk from the Monroe Park campus. The store is fairly large and offers a very large selection of vintage and gently used clothing. Art and theater majors love this store because their collection is very eccentric and you never know what you might find there. Fan-Tastic thrift is well-known among students for its extremely low prices. Many of their items are around $5 or less.


6. Diversity Thrift

Diversity Thrift is one of Richmond’s largest thrift stores; it boasts a whopping 15,000 square feet of almost anything you can think of. For sculptural or interior design students with a little bit of extra money, they have a showroom with various pieces of furniture including chairs, dressers, bed frames, tables, and much more. In addition, they have a wide selection of clothing and accessories that are great for both formal and informal occasions. Diversity thrift also has an assortment of vintage and collectors’ items that make for great one-of-a-kind projects! If you’re interested in shopping at Diversity Thrift, you can find them at 1407 Sherwood Avenue.


7. Blue Bones Vintage

Blue Bones Vintage is a store that is extremely close to the Monroe Park campus, located at 322 W. Broad Street. It is known among students as one of the more “hipster” stores in the area, but that doesn’t make it any less popular. Blue Bones is especially busy on the nights of First Fridays on Broad due to the increased traffic of students on that end of Broad Street. It is known best for its selection of trendy vintage clothing and records. The store is very small, but make sure to check out the upstairs, as there are more items to be seen up there!


Part of what makes VCUArts such a good program is its strong belief in including the community in the learning process. Richmond has a very strong arts culture, and this is reflected by the items you can find in the local thrift stores. Whether you’re looking for costume pieces, film props, still-life props, or any other peculiar medium, you’re sure to find it at one of these seven thrift shops.



6 Apps that All VCU Students Should Download

These days, technology is everywhere- especially in schools and universities. Most students have smartphones or tablets that allow them instantaneous access to almost any information they could ever want. There is so much information out there, in fact, that sometimes it can be hard to find the things you’re researching. The apps listed below are very helpful in narrowing down your pool of information so that your academic life can be much easier. From guides to authenticators to file storing apps, here are 6 apps all VCU students should download.

1. VCU Mobile

This is the main app for VCU. From this app, you can access almost anything affiliated with VCU. On the main page when you open the app, there are 22 tabs you can open. Students can view their grades, finances, dining options, athletic activities, and much more. VCU strongly recommends to incoming first-year students during their orientation that they download this app, but many students ignore this. However, the app is very helpful when you need access to your myVCU account when you’re on the go.


2. RamGuide

RamGuide is an app that was crafted specifically for VCU. Many student organizations and event planners use this app because it lets you upload guides and program schedules. For example, Ram Camp (a week-long event for incoming freshmen) uses the app to notify campers and leaders of the daily schedule. This app is especially useful to students that are new to VCU, as there are guides for just about anything you need to know about the hot-spots on campus.


3. RamSafe

RamSafe, not to be confused with RamGuide, is the app that allows you to order a RamSafe bus to any location within the radius of campus. RamSafe operates from 5pm-8am, 365 days a year and is free for all VCU students and faculty. While you can schedule an appointment online (if you know you’ll need the ride in advance), the app makes it easy to order a RamSafe from anywhere. The app even sends you notifications of when the bus is about to arrive, so you won’t miss your ride.


4. Duo Mobile

Duo Mobile is an essential app for anyone that needs to log in to the VCU system. In order to better protect students’ information and safety, VCU has implemented a dual authentication system that requires you to verify your identity from a different device. Having this app enables you to receive a “push” when authenticating your account on a new device instead of having to answer a phone call or a text. With the push capability, students are able to log on faster with just the click of a button, so this app is definitely worth downloading.


5. Blackboard

Blackboard is the system that VCU uses for students to communicate with their professors and their peers. Students can access their grades for each course as well as specific information, content, or additional material that the professor chooses to post. With the Blackboard app, you will not only be able to easily access these things, but you can also enable notifications to remind you of due dates and upcoming assignments. Some features of Blackboard are better viewed on a computer or a larger tablet, but the mobile app is still a worthwhile (and free!) investment.


6. Google Drive/Microsoft OneDrive

These two apps can be lumped into one category because they serve the same purpose; you don’t need both if you have one or the other. Regardless of the app you choose, it is crucial that you download some kind of file saving/sharing app. Many students use Microsoft Office (which connects with OneDrive) or features of Google (Docs, Slides, Drawings, etc.) for all of their notes, essays, and projects. Downloading apps like Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive enable students to access these files from anywhere. You never know when you might want to do a last-minute edit on a presentation!


Schools and universities today are moving towards being more technologically dependent. Students and app developers are adapting to this technological climate and it is becoming increasingly important and useful to have “educational” apps on your mobile devices. With the seven apps above (and any others you may find), you should be set with most of the technology you need to make it through your time at VCU.


7 Organizations Under the VCU Student Media Center

Located at 817 W. Broad Street, the VCU Student Media Center is in a small storefront that often draws little attention. However, it is a happening place on the VCU campus that fosters an environment of communication, creativity, and collaboration. All of the organizations under the VCU Student Media Center are completely student-led, as the SMC works on a model that discourages censorship and authoritative control. Students that work through the Media Center at VCU are able to express themselves fairly freely through a variety of different media publications. Listed below are all seven of the organizations that operate under the Student Media Center at VCU.

1. WVCW Radio

WVCW Radio is a student-operated radio station at VCU. They broadcast live, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. WVCW is known for delivering campus news and announcements, current events, commentary, and great music. Students who listen to WVCW often report that they are more informed about happenings around campus and in the world as a whole. The WVCW is a great news and music outlet for students that don’t particularly enjoy reading articles or watching videos. If you’d like to tune in but don’t have access to a traditional radio, you can also find WVCW on SoundCloud and on-demand and on their website.


2. Poictesme

Poictesme (pronounced pwa-ten) is a literary and art publication under the Student Media Center. They are a collective of undergraduate students’ poems, prose, visual art, and other forms of art. Their name is very much based in literary roots; Richmond-native author James Branch Cabell (for whom the VCU Monrow Park library is named) wrote all of his novels in a fictional setting called Poictesme- hence, the name of the publication. The ultimate goal of the publication is to foster a sense of artistic expression and community for students across all majors at VCU. If you are interesting in submitting work to them, you can visit the “Submissions” tab on Poictesme’s website.


3. Ink Magazine

Ink Magazine is a student-led collection of art, music, culture, and fashion editorials. Features of each issue can include social commentary, opinion pieces, (auto)biographical pieces, visual art pieces, playlists, and much more. Ink Magazine is very open to posting “non-traditional” content, which pairs well with the quirky, artistic environment of VCU. The collective is especially active on their website and their Instagram; even if you aren’t interested in submitting to/getting involved with Ink Magazine, their media is definitely attention-grabbing and interesting to a lot of people.


4. Mesh Media

Mesh Media is different from the other divisions of the Student Media Center in that it is not simply one publication or media source. Instead, Mesh Media is a network of student-run websites that publish articles about VCU and the happenings of the Richmond community. Mesh Media includes Rams Review (articles related to athletics), The Horn (articles related to the music scene in Richmond), Shafer Bird (articles about campus dining), and River City Fashion Uprising (articles about fashion around Richmond).


5. The Commonwealth Times

The Commonwealth Times is an independent, student-run press at VCU. Sometimes referred to as “The CT”, the Commonwealth Times was founded in 1969 and is one of VCU‘s oldest remaining media publications. The CT does have a regular staff, but they also accept submissions from VCU students of all majors. Pieces published in the Commonwealth Times can be opinionated or strictly factual- topics are generated completely by the students who write the articles. Students who consistently contribute quality work are even eligible to rank up to paid positions.



Emanata is the group behind VCU‘s first and only comic anthology. Each year, Emanata produces a black-and-white volume that is a collective of talented student writers and illustrators. They also hold events for aspiring comic-writers that help them better their craft. Emanata has increased in popularity over the years, so they are getting more and more submissions for each publication. However, they are rumored to be very diligent with their responses to any submissions. If you are interested in submitting to Emanata, a good place to start would be their Facebook page, as it has all of the contact information you need for the people in charge.

7. Amendment

Amendment is a literary and art journal produced exclusively by VCU students. It is similar to Poictesme, but there is a key difference; Amendment is a publication that works specifically to promote social justice, tolerance, awareness, and social progression. They seek to accomplish this mission by publishing work that draw attention to unknown or ignored issues in society. Amendment publishes one large collection during each fall semester, but it also publishes smaller things like zines and chapbooks throughout the year. They also hold events like film festivals and flash fiction events, and also work on events in connection with other divisions of Student Media.


Students who are pursuing an English, journalism, advertising, broadcasting, or mass communication degree tend to gravitate towards the Student Media Center. The divisions of the Student Media Center can be great places to socialize, learn more about communications and current events, and gain experiences for future resumes. Still, it is important to remember that these divisions are not exclusive; students of all majors can and are encouraged to submit and contribute to the publications sponsored by the Student Media Center.

6 On-Campus Jobs for VCU Students

Are you a VCU student who is tight on money? Are you looking for extra pocket cash to spend on a night out? Then you might be interested in finding a part-time job. Many students who work part-time at VCU actually work for the university itself, as VCU offers many different positions for all kinds of students. Listed below are just a few of the jobs that you can find on-campus as a student at VCU.

1.Informational Assistant

If you have an extensive knowledge of VCU and its surrounding area or are great with remembering a lot of small details, you might have an interest in being an informational assistant in the Student Commons. Near the doors closest to the Ram Horns, there is an informational desk that students, faculty, and visitors can go to for all kinds of guidance. Students that work as informational assistants help advise people with questions about things like the best places to eat, directional help, or recreational hot-spots. If you apply for this job, make sure you are comfortable working and communicating with many different kinds of people, as socializing with visitors is a part of your job!


2.RAM Camp Leader

In order to welcome first-year students and ease their transition into college, VCU offers a program for a selected group of freshmen. The program is a week-long camp that runs the week before the official fall move-in date and involves leadership seminars, socials, and group activities around Richmond. Students who work as RAMCamp leaders move in even earlier than their campers and prepare for the program through training and team-building activities. This job is very short term- it generally only lasts about a month and is only conducted at the end of the summer. If you are particularly knowledgeable or passionate about VCU, or if you have an interest in helping guide underclassmen in their transition to college, you can contact the Residential Life and Housing Department about applying for next year.


3.Desk Assistant

In each of the on-campus residence halls, there are at least two security personnels at the front desks in the lobby. Most of the employees that do this job are students. It doesn’t require a ton of physical labor or skill, but people who apply for this job should make sure that they can stay very focused. Desk assistants must monitor who goes in and out of the building and are essential to keeping the residence halls safe, so it is important that those who apply for this position are diligent and can work well with people.


4.Mailroom Assistant

Also in each of the on-campus residence halls are individual mail rooms. Each residence hall houses and processes mail for hundreds of students, so there is always a large demand for mailroom staff. As a mailroom assistant, you will receive, take inventory of, and sort residents’ mail. You will also interact with student residents who come to the mailroom to pick up their packages. Working in the mailroom can get very busy at times, as many students come to pick up their packages at the same time. Because of this, it is important that mailroom employees can work well under pressure and can diffuse situations with frustrated residents easily.


5.Break Point Customer Service Assistant

Many VCU students forget that there is a full game room in the basement of the Student Commons. This game room is called Break Point, and it often hires VCU students. Break Point employees are paid minimum wage ($7.25/hour) to manage general operations in the game room. This includes customer relations, basic game maintenance, enforcing rules of the room, and managing the cash register. Occasionally, Break Point will hold special events or tournaments that customer service assistants help organize and operate. This job is great for people who love games and enjoy being in a relaxed, recreational environment.


6.Resident Assistant

Being a resident assistant (or RA) is probably one of the most classic jobs you can get during college. VCU has a great community of RAs that work well together and support one another. While this is a warm, welcoming environment to work in, it is important to note that RAs are not paid a salary or an hourly wage. Instead, they are offered free housing in whatever on-campus residence hall they are assigned to work in. RAs generally get their own room, or share larger-than-average rooms with only one other person. Being a resident assistant involves mediating disputes between residents on your floor, enforcing rules and regulations, organizing events, and notifying residents of events around campus. This job is great for people who love helping and working with others and can be a very rewarding experience.


There are a variety of jobs offered on-campus at VCU. Because of the diversity in the positions available, it is easy for students of all personalities, majors, and interests to find something that suits them. If you don’t see a job that you like on this list, don’t be afraid to search around. There are hundreds of opportunities for part-time jobs on or around campus, you just have to do some searching. Happy job hunting!

5 Things You Might See in the Compass at VCU

The Compass, a well-known landmark at VCU, was formerly the heart of the campus. Its purpose was to serve as a central place for students to gather and communicate, and while the Compass is no longer considered the center of campus, it very much still serves this purpose. A general rule for VCU is that you can pass something strange or attention-grabbing almost anywhere on campus, but the Compass seems to attract a very expansive array of people with different goals, ideas, and opinions. Listed below are five things that you might expect to see while walking through the Compass at VCU.


The Compass is a great place for student organizations to coordinate fundraisers for their programming. There is a great volume of traffic that flows through the Compass each day, so there are many potential donors/customers. The most successful fundraisers offer something in return for the donation, many fundraisers in the Compass are bake-sales or care packages. Other creative students have put together self-care packages that are great for a relaxing night in, or a canine kissing booth, where donors contribute a certain amount and can in turn snuggle or take a picture with a dog. 

2.Religious Groups

The Compass is one of the only “free-speech” places on campus. That means that people from outside the university, regardless of background or identity, can enter the space and exercise their right to free speech. Because of this rule, many extreme religious groups congregate in the Compass and work to spread their beliefs. Some groups are more disruptive than others; some come in with large signs and megaphones while others quietly and politely pass out flyers. The diverse, urban environment of VCU provides a haven for people to openly and freely express themselves, and there are certain actions that students must take in order to maintain this freedom.¬† It is important to remember that while you may disagree with a certain group’s ideologies, they are just as entitled to their beliefs as you are, and you should work to conduct productive dialogue instead of inciting hate and disagreement. 


One of the hardest thing for college students to come to terms to is leaving their pets behind at home. Luckily, the Compass is a popular space for students, faculty, and members of the Richmond community to bring their pets on walks. On-campus (or near-campus) pet owners love that their animals get well socialized with a variety of different people, and the animals generally love the attention they receive. Students who love animals often report that seeing pets while on their way to classes brightens their day and makes them smile. 

4.Camera Crews

VCU has a flourishing community of media artists, journalists, and photographers, so the Compass fairly regularly has someone filming or taking pictures in it. Students and professionals like the Compass for its setting; it was the former heart of campus so many of the main buildings are centered around it. This makes for a perfect backdrop for senior portraits (for high school or college), advertisement, and film. In the Fall 2017 semester, the SHOWTIME program Homeland¬†even filmed some scenes in and around the Compass. 

5.Social Commentators

As previously mentioned, the Compass is widely known for its role on campus as an arena for free speech. While commentators are generally composed, usually only armed with a simple sign, others come to make a scene. There have been several instances of students and members of the outside community coming to the Compass to yell and incite hate. However, the VCU Police works diligently in these situations to deescalate tensions and keep the peace. Yes, the Compass can get rowdy due to it’s “public-forum” kind of nature, but it is one of the most concrete examples of why it is great to attend a school that encourages the conversation between diverse perspectives. The Compass, though just a standard landmark to some VCU students, represents an area that students, faculty, staff, and community members can come together to communicate. Whether you come to the Compass seeking social engagements, political expression, a homemade brownie at a decent cost, or a soft dog to pet at the end of a stressful day, the Compass is a staple location and arena for the VCU community.