Brooke Reese

Layout Editor

​Mizzou. Baltimore. Charleston.

National crimes affecting African-American individuals are circulating the media and Salisbury University President Janet Dudley-Eshbach feels it needs to stop and it starts with students at SU.

​Dudley-Eshbach called a meeting on Monday inviting black student leaders, faculty and staff to an open conversation about what can be done to help underrepresented minorities at SU.

​Despite efforts made by her administration, the student leaders felt more time was needed to gather their thoughts, so they read a letter addressing their concerns and left the meeting.

​The president started the meeting by discussing her issues about the lack of diversity and inclusiveness on campus to the invited students, but wanted to host a space where black students felt comfortable to voice their concerns and hopes for the university’s acceptance of minority students.

​“I’d like us to be seen at Salisbury University as demonstrating leadership on these issues that are being dealt with throughout our country,” Dudley-Eshbach said.

Dudley-Eshbach hoped to create a dialogue between students and administration. She then opened the floor for discussion, asking students how members of SU can become more aware and communicative about diversity issues.

A representative read a letter composed by the invited students in response to her request for conversation. Once the letter was finished the students stood together and walked out of the meeting.

The letter titled, “We will get back to you” requested more time to think about issues they would like to address to campus.

​“We would like to schedule a time at a later date to present our plan before the entire campus, students and faculty included,” the letter said. “We are highly confident that this method of transparency will improve the clarity of the message along with its sincerity.”

​The student leaders Dudley-Eshbach invited included members of the Black Student Union, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Powerful Connections and Alpha Phi Alpha.IMG_5747

​The students addressed that their request for more time to process the issues lacking attention come from a place of “optimism and hope.”

​“We all have been misinformed, we however, do not deny that the current environment here on campus takes a huge toll on the psyche of the students of color affected by the subconscious oppression,” the letter said.

​The letter continues to state that students wish for change on campus and that they hope real development comes out of their efforts.

​“We are dedicated and prepared to do what is necessary to inflict actual long-term change at this university which we call our home,” the letter said.

​A powerful statement was made as the letter concluded, signed, “Sincerely, Any Student, Every Student.” The members of the student group then exited the meeting in unison.

​Dudley-Eshbach continued the discussion with remaining faculty and staff brainstorming the most efficient way to gain student support on her diversity efforts.

​The president stated she was proud of the students who attended and was impressed by the students’ efforts.

​“I was disappointed that the students walked out, because I really wanted to begin a dialogue today,” Dudley-Eshbach said. “I wanted to hear from our students, I wanted to hear what their frustrations are, I want them to help suggest what can make our campus a better place.”

​With many students leaving for Thanksgiving break today, the return from the holiday leave may provide more discussion between students, faculty and administration.

​As the students said, “we will get back to you.”



Are the Starbucks cups an issue?


Staff Writer

Retail coffee company Starbucks has brewed a controversy prior to the official start of the holiday season with its reveal of simple, two-toned red cups.

Every year around this time the company switches from plain white cups to red cups with holiday designs on them. In the past, the festive cups have featured seasonal symbols such as snowflakes, snowmen, ornaments and reindeer.

The absence of holiday symbols has sparked a debate on social media with some conservative Christians saying Starbucks is starting a “war on Christmas.”

Leading the debate is Joshua Feuerstein, an evangelist with almost 2 million likes on Facebook. Feuerstein shared a video to his followers on Nov. 5 encouraging them to go to Starbucks and have baristas write “Merry Christmas” on the cups and then share photos online.

But Salisbury University students, faculty and staff seem to think these plain red cups are no big deal.

SU philosophy professor Joerg Tuske, who occasionally teaches religion courses, said he finds the situation puzzling. Tuske also said he wonders why some fundamentalist Christians would be interested in snowflakes and reindeer when they are not Christian symbols or even mentioned in the Bible.

“I mean we’re not talking about taking away anyone’s right to celebrate Christmas, we’re talking about a company that wants to sell coffee,” he said. “I don’t see how you can bring religion into it.”

When it comes to some Christians telling baristas their name is Merry Christmas, Tuske said he did not understand why some people would not just ban Starbucks instead of going there.

“It becomes this argument where you’re saying ‘I want to make the other person say ‘Merry Christmas’ and that’s a little bit weird,” Tuske said. “And it’s about not your right to celebrate Christmas or your right to exercise your religion it becomes about ‘I’m going to make you to say this to me,’ which is a bit sinister I think.”

Starbucks is just a company that wants to sell coffee, in Tuske’s opinion, and it probably did not set out to infringe on anyone’s religion. And, he adds, if some Christians are going to be concerned about Christmas, they should look at issues bigger than just plain red coffee cups.

“It seems to me that if you are concerned about the meaning of Christmas or the demeaning of Christmas, you should be worried about the commercialization of Christmas and that Starbucks is selling coffee by putting Christmas symbols on these cups on the first place,” Tuske said.

Jacob Rayner, an employee at Sea Gull Square’s Starbucks, said customers have made jokes about the controversy at their store, but he has not heard of anyone being offended by the cups. Rayner, who was raised Jewish, also said he would have no problem writing Merry Christmas on a cup if someone asked him to.

“Honestly, if you think Starbucks is against Christmas, all you really have to do is walk into our Starbucks and look around and can definitely tell we’re not,” he said. “They probably just didn’t want to spend the money to put designs on the cup this year.”

The Sea Gull Square Starbucks is decorated throughout with holiday themes, and even sells gift cards that say “Merry Christmas.”

Salisbury University Campus Crusade for Christ (CRU) leader Zach Davis called the cups a non-issue. Davis, a senior and exercise science major, said he believes a truly Christian person would not try to trick someone into saying “Merry Christmas,” because the point of Christianity is to show love to all people.

“To show anger, frustration and hate over something so stupid is exactly the antithesis of what Christianity should be,” Davis said.

A truly Christian person in Davis’s view would not show anger, frustration and even hate over a trivial issue like the design on disposable coffee cups.

“Starbucks never claimed to be a Christian company, and part of Christianity is that we don’t expect everyone to be a Christian,” Davis said. “So this idea that a non-Christian company should somehow be held responsible for Christian values in society makes no sense.”

Academic Commons set to open for fall semester




As one presidential candidate might say, “this one is huge.”

It’s the largest building in the history of Salisbury University, and it’s opening in the 2016 fall semester.

The $117 million Patricia R. Guerrieri Academic Commons (GAC) will host an additional 12 classrooms, 18 group study rooms, a 400 seat assembly hall and a 24-hour cafe study area, among other facilities open to the SU campus and community. [Read more…]

Gull Fest faces struggles due to SOAP budget cuts


Staff Writer

Following a three-act performance at the last few year’s Gull Fests, 2016’s Gullfest will be facing harsh cut backs, likely making it a single act performance with the possibility of there being one or two smaller acts added to the lineup.

“We have significant budget cuts this year, compared to previous years,” said Liana Ramos-Izquierdo, who is in charge of concerts for the Student Organization for Activity Planning. “I’m trying to get it to a point where we can have more than one act, but it’s looking like it’s going to be one large act.” [Read more…]

The plan behind Brew’s big night


Gull Life Editor

Brew River has been a hot spot for college kids since the restaurant opened its doors in 2000.

Especially on Thursday nights, when students from Salisbury University, Wor-Wic Community College and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore flood the restaurant nestled on the Wicomico River for its weekly “College Night.” [Read more…]

Students paying their own way could peak interests of employers


Staff Writer

Getting a college degree requires a big time commitment, filled with long nights of studying note cards and writing essays, a feeling many students and alumni know all too well.

Along with this comes the added stress of having to come up with the money to pay for school, another struggle many students face.

University of Maryland Eastern Shore junior, Aaron Jones experiences this stress firsthand, and had to combat this by taking a few semesters off in order to earn the money to pay for school. [Read more…]

Coping, Grieving and Healing Through Art


Staff Writer Art

Therapist and author Sharon Strouse hosted an Art Therapy Workshop at the Center for the Arts in Ocean City on Saturday, Oct. 31, helping those in the area find comfort from the trauma of losing a loved one through art.

“(The event) was a collage workshop but it was grounded in a personal story of losing my daughter to suicide,” Strouse said.

With limited space and free admission, 22 people attended the workshop. [Read more…]

New Academic Repository creates for easy academic access 


Staff Writer

Researchers and readers will now have easier access to academic papers written by Salisbury University faculty and students after the Oct. 21 unveiling of Shared Open Access Repository at SU (SOAR@SU), a new online academic storage area.

SOAR@SU is the university’s first institutional repository, which will provide an innovative way for the library to have an increase in global visibility of work that students and faculty members want to share. [Read more…]

Deer crashes into GUC; Shot by Campus Police


Web Editor



A deer crashed through a window in GUC on Monday afternoon.

A deer crashed through Salisbury University’s Guerrieri University Center late Monday afternoon. [Read more…]

Changing Major: Cause for major concern?


Staff Writer

Advising time means many things to the students and faculty at Salisbury University: for students who are undecided in major, it is a time to consider or select potential majors; for students nearing graduation, it is a time to map out the last stretch of their time at SU; but for all SU students it is a time to organize and plan for their futures.

Like the estimated 50 to 70 percent of students nationwide who change their majors at least once during their time as undergrads, according to the University of La Verne, many SU students struggle with the costs of changing their majors and how this could affect their expected graduation dates.

[Read more…]


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.