Indoor Baseball Facility Construction

      Construction of an indoor baseball facility is underway at Concordia University of Wisconsin.  If the weather allows for construction to stay on track, the building will be ready to use in early November, in time for the colder winter months.

      The facility will be 6,000 square feet and include 3-4 batting cages, turf, heaters, and a Driveline wall for pitchers. Head baseball coach Edmund Morgan said that the facility will hopefully add more equipment, such as high-speed cameras.

      CUW’s goal is to be one of the better baseball programs in the country in player development. The addition of this facility will aid that goal.

      “It’s going to help a lot of people. It’s going to allow an opportunity for softball and baseball players especially, to be able to get in there and get their individual work done, which will hopefully relate to success on the field,” Morgan said.

      The facility will help many CUW athletic teams by providing a place for conditioning, practicing, and possible athletic training classrooms.

      The facility will decrease space taken up in the field house, with teams no longer fighting to find separate times to practice in winter months.

      “A number of teams will be able to practice here when the weather isn’t the greatest,” Morgan said.

      Coach Morgan also said the facility will help recruit higher quality athletes.

      “It’s an opportunity to show players that our player development is supported by the institution,” Morgan said.

Women’s Triathlon Team in its Second Year on Campus

After a strong inaugural season in fall 2016, the CUW Women’s Triathlon team is thriving during their second year on campus.

This year, the team is transitioning from being a new sport into a fixture of the CUW athletic scene. The squad has remained approximately the same size, losing three former members, and adding two new athletes. A new coach, Ryan Schmelling, has been hired by the CUW Athletic Director to lead the team after the former coach, Andrew Shanks, moved on from CUW. Schmelling, an Ironman athlete and a certified U.S. Triathlon coach, is working to help team members improve in the three events in a triathlon: swimming, biking, and running.

“It’s been exciting to really grow as an athlete through this sport. Starting out last year with no background in triathlon technique, I wasn’t prepared for the learning curve our team would experience. However, coming back for the second year of the program, we have all experienced significant gains in our abilities in the sport and are already achieving a more competitive season,” CUW Triathlon athlete Meghan Klement said.

So far this season, the team has competed in two races. One of the races, a community triathlon held in Portage, Wisconsin, on August 26, was a new addition to the schedule. The athletes performed well, with several women improving their personal times within the individual events. Two weekends later, on September 4, the team traveled to Naperville, Illinois, to compete in a regional qualifier. In this notoriously difficult race, athletes from across collegiate divisions competed with one another to qualify for the NCAA Women’s Triathlon National Championships, being held in Tempe, Arizona, in early November, according to the CUW webiste. Showing a large improvement from their performance at the same race the previous season, each CUW athlete improved their times on the course.

With hard work and consistency, the CUW Triathlon team will continue to improve in their second year and beyond.

Revitalizing Residence Life

CUW’s Residence Life has strived to make on campus living a great experience for students, and this year they have taken their goal to another level.

Residence Life has implemented new protocols that they feel will make students across campus more comfortable. These improvements include, better roommate agreements, safety checks, and making staff more relational, rather than administrative.

One of the biggest improvements are the updated roommate agreements.

“This year we wanted to make sure that our residents took the roommate agreement more seriously, and treated it like a contract. We added things such as scheduled hang out times, quiet hour times, and roommate expectations, that we feel will help the roommates become acclimated with each other faster, and possibly become friends,” said Resident Director Manda Kelly.

The next protocol is actually new to Residence Life as a whole. This new protocol is called safety checks.  The idea of safety checks, allows RAs to get into their residents’ rooms to check for any maintenance concerns that need to be addressed immediately. Safety checks also allow RAs to talk with their residents and build relationships.

“The main goal of safety checks is, for the RAs to address maintenance concerns and to build relationships with their residents by getting a chance to talk to them. We feel that it is important for students to build relationships with each other, and safety checks allow for the RA and their residents to connect,” said Kelly.

The last change Residence Life made to improve student life is with their staff.

“Often times in the past, we feel that the students think we are here to police them or manage them, and that is not the case. This year we have trained our RAs to be more relational and friendly with their residents, rather than administrative. We have instructed our RAs to build relationships with their residents, and to leave policing to Campus Safety or the Conduct Board,” said Kelly.

CUW Residence Life feels these improvements will make student life better as whole, but they also recognize that they still have room to improve.

Introducing the Faith Associate

With a new school year starting at CUW, so to has a new position. The Faith Associate is a student-held position within the residence hall of Wittenberg that provides spiritual resources for new students.

“The Faith Associate is a bridge between Campus Ministry and Residence Life”, said Campus Ministry Faculty advisor, Nichole Haas.

Faith Associates in Wittenberg enable new students with a fellow student who they can seek out when they need help with getting acclimated with college or someone to talk to.

In addition, Faith Associates will have monthly critical conversations where they will answer difficult questions students might have for them.

“Faith Associates work closely with RAs. Their main focus is creating and supporting a Christian atmosphere among the hall”, Haas said.

The Faith Associate position is because of combined efforts of both Campus Ministry and Residence Life. During the Fall semester of 2016, a survey asked students  about spiritual life on campus. The surveys showed that most students on campus go to their peers when they have questions regarding faith. This resulted in the Faith Associate position.

The position  is a pilot program on campus and only available in Wittenberg. Placing the first Faith Associates in Wittenberg allows the university to evaluate in an environment that is majority composed of freshman.  Depending on the degree of success, Faith Associates could expand to other campus residence halls, which would allow more students to utilize the resources.

Haas also oversees the hiring process of the Faith Associates and anyone interested in becoming a faith associate can get more information by contacting the CMLT office or stopping by in upper Albrecht in the CMLT office.

New Beginnings at CUW

Two weeks ago, Concordia brimmed with activity as hundreds of freshman and transfer students moved onto campus to take part in the New Student Orientation.

Orientation is always an important factor in acclimating new students to campus resources and preparing them for the first week of classes. Although the orientation process changes from year to year, the goal remains the same: to make every student feel comfortable and at home on campus.

According to the Coordinator of Student Activities and Orientation Devan Lenz, about 500 students participated this year. This includes about 400 students at each activity throughout orientation weekend.

“We need to integrate students socially and academically. Our goal is to connect them with people on campus. We want to connect them with upperclassmen and to their fellow underclassmen as well as faculty,” Lenz said.

Lenz also said that orientation is structured to connect new students to campus resources such as Campus Safety, the Counseling Center, the Learning Resource Center and many more.

This year, orientation added new features to further connect students to the Concordia community. One feature consisted of putting new students into small groups led by a member of the orientation team. The leaders of these groups helped new students find their around campus and other tasks like teaching them how to do laundry.

“These small groups created such a strong sense of community. Not only did it increase our attendance at a lot of our events but it also made the new students feel like they were a part of a team,” Lenz said.

Orientation activities include informational gatherings and fun activities like Skit Night where students can learn more about the residence halls and staffs on campus.

New students will continue getting integrated to Concordia throughout the Fall Semester with periodical check ins with their orientation leaders and the upcoming “Falcon Frenzy.”

Writing History One Spike at a Time

It took only a few words for junior captain Lauren Nevinski to sum up the 2016-17 Concordia Volleyball season. For the first time in school history the Falcons clinched an automatic bid into the NCAA National Championship Tournament.

“It’s an unreal feeling,” Nevinski said.

The Falcons finished with the best record in school history, with a record of 22 wins, 8 losses. Nevinski, a middle hitter, led the team in solo blocks with 9.

“I’d say the best part of the season for me was beating Aurora to win the conference. No other team in Concordia history has done that so it was incredibly special to be a part of,” Nevinski said.

After winning the NACC conference championship 3-1 over Aurora, the Falcons left for Saint Paul, Minn., where they would eventually lose to No. 2 ranked Cal Lutheran, the reigning national champions.

“I think being able to go and compete against one of the best teams in the country was huge for us as far as mentality goes. This season proved to everyone involved in the program that we have the potential to go further into the NCAA tournament and play at an extremely high level,” Nevinski said.

And as the spring semester ends, the volleyball program continues to take steps forward to improve for next season.

“I think winning conference was really an eye opener for a lot of us. I’ve never been on a team that has made it to a big tournament like that so I think it’s just made us raise the bar on our expectations and our preparation,” said Nevinski. “We’re trying to keep making history.”

Coming Home for Homecoming

November began the start of festivities for Concordia as the school kicked off homecoming week.

“Homecoming is always a really festive time on campus,” said student Maddie Stressler. “Everybody really goes all out. The football game’s crowd is always huge and there’s always events going on somewhere on campus.”

Food, lawn games, and free t-shirts included the start of Freddy Fest.  With Concordia’s student-run radio station WCUW “The Talon” providing music for the event, students flocked to the Regents Courtyard to tailgate before the Falcon football team took to the field.

After an exciting first half, the homecoming court crowned their king and queen.  Seniors Erin Kline and Jonathon received the crown in front of the crowd. Halftime festivities continued as the 2006 Falcon Football team took center stage as they were honored for their accomplishments on the field.

“Seeing those guys get honored at halftime was really cool,” said Allison Neuberger. “Not only was it really awesome to see that alumni still appreciate Concordia, but it was also amazing to see one of the guys propose to his girlfriend. To be a part of that is pretty special.”

After the festivities of halftime ended, the Falcon football team took the field once more to battle against Rockford. Ultimately they won 49-46 in thrilling fashion after scoring a touchdown to take the lead with under a minute left to play.

To end homecoming weekend, Concordia students danced the night away at the River Club.

“The venue was really nice, as was the music,” said Tyler Martinkus. “To top it all off, the decorations really fit the theme of Once Upon a Time. Overall the whole thing was just an amazing time.”

As the night drew to an end, so did the week of festivities. And as the last guests strolled on out into the night, students anticipated next years’ activities.