The student newspaper of Washington and Lee University

The Ring-tum Phi

The student newspaper of Washington and Lee University

The Ring-tum Phi

The student newspaper of Washington and Lee University

The Ring-tum Phi

Shauna Muckle, Editor-in-Chief

All content by Shauna Muckle
Photo courtesy of Washington and Lee University

Mental health and media intimidation

The occasional dehumanization journalists face can clash with the modern sentiment that we should preserve our mental health
Shauna Muckle, Editor in Chief
April 8, 2024
Students can now opt to meet in-person at the University Counseling Center. Photo by Stefani Chiguluri, 24.

Students receive less care from short-staffed university counseling center

The counseling center is down three providers, leaving students with longer wait times between appointment
Shauna Muckle, Editor in Chief
March 25, 2024

W&L senior acquitted of stalking charge

Judge Christopher Billias warned Brandon Konlian, ’24, that further contact with the victim in the case would result in jail time
Shauna Muckle, Editor in Chief
March 25, 2024
Ricardo Vergara will spend six years in prison and five on probation.

Washington and Lee senior charged with stalking

Brandon Konlian, ’24, a top leader for Mock Convention, received the criminal charges a day after the event
Shauna Muckle, Editor-in-Chief
March 11, 2024
The GoFundMe campaign for the family of Mohammed Mourtaja, 25, reached its $30,000 in a matter of days. Photo courtesy of Mourtajas GoFundMe

GoFundMe campaign for Palestinian student’s family raises $30,000 in four days

Within hours of the start of a social media campaign, Washington and Lee community members raised over $18,000 for a family of Palestinian refugees
Shauna Muckle, Editor-in-Chief
February 26, 2024
Donald Trump addresses students and praises Washington and Lee in a pre-recorded video.

Donald Trump wins Mock Convention’s GOP nomination

Trump’s win was no surprise, students said. But the speakers sparked disagreement and conversation
Emma Malinak, Catherine McKean, and Shauna Muckle
February 14, 2024
Mock Conventions Instagram story Saturday night called Trump our next president.

Critical comments removed from Mock Con Instagram

Young alumni slammed convention leaders for describing Trump as the “next president,” rather than the GOP nominee. Then their comments were hidden from public view
Shauna Muckle, Editor-in-Chief
February 14, 2024
Students call for a ceasefire in Gaza at the CARE Rockbridge Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade in

Campus is quiet but not silent about Israel and Palestine

Students personally impacted by the conflict say their biggest struggle is getting an activism-shy campus to keep talking
Shauna Muckle and Jenny Hellwig
February 5, 2024
Photos courtesy of Wiki Commons

Students react to Mock Con speakers

Donald Trump Jr., Charlie Kirk and Candace Owens are all part of the lineup
Shauna Muckle and Erika Kengni
February 5, 2024
This photo, from Mock Convention 2020, shows students celebrating after announcing Mock Conventions nomination of Sen. Bernie Sanders as the Democratic Partys presidential candidate in 2020. A similar process will happen for the GOP presidential nominee this year. Photo by Lilah Kimble

Mock Convention 2024 announces speaker lineup

Donald Trump Jr., Glenn Youngkin, Candace Owens and other faces will appear on campus in less than two weeks.
Shauna Muckle, Editor-in-Chief
January 29, 2024
Annual course loads for the 2023-2024 academic year at peer liberal arts schools. Graphic by Shauna Muckle, ‘24

Class sizes will increase as faculty teach fewer courses next year

The change came abruptly after years of professors’ discontent with teaching requirements
Shauna Muckle
December 11, 2023
Kayla Richardson, a first-year student, had her first month of college turned upside down when this video was posted on YouTube, and a wave of death threats started. (Screenshot courtesy of Young Americas Foundation YouTube)

She challenged Matt Walsh on gender-affirming care. Then the death threats started.

Kayla Richardson had her first month of college disrupted after a video of her was posted to a right-wing YouTube account
Shauna Muckle, Editor-in-Chief
November 13, 2023
The Republican Party logo is projected on the wall as students dance nearby. The Presidential Gala happens only once in every four years. Photo by Shauna Muckle, ’24

From Town to Gown: portraits of the Mock Convention’s Presidential Gala

The Gala happened on Nov. 11 at the Richard L. Duchossois Tennis Center
Shauna Muckle
November 13, 2023
A law enforcement officer carrying a rifle leaves a room in the Center for Global Learning, amid an hours-long campus search yesterday.

Washington and Lee community still shaken one day after lockdown

Students came in close proximity to rifles after a 'disjointed' threat was emailed to university officials
Emma Malinak, Fraley Williams, and Shauna Muckle
November 2, 2023
Left to right: Professors Bob Strong, Emily Filler, Seth Cantey and Mohamed Kamara discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict before a packed Stackhouse Theater on Wednesday.

Faculty discuss Israeli-Palestinian conflict

A panel of faculty members accepted questions from students on a variety of topics related to violence in the Middle East
Shauna Muckle, Editor-in-Chief
October 24, 2023
Parked cars line the grass outside of third-year parking, a result of overflow.

Students slam campus parking enforcement

Students report a greater prevalence of parking tickets this year. What’s to blame?
Shauna Muckle, Editor-in-Chief
October 9, 2023
Phi Zeta Delta’s letters have been scrubbed from the group’s former house, which has been converted to over-flow housing. Photo from September 2023.

Phi Zeta Delta suspended for 5 years

It’s unclear how the fraternity plans to move forward from last spring’s verdict
Emma Malinak and Shauna Muckle
September 25, 2023
A whiteboard with writing on it in red marker that reads: Shauna + Bri were here until 1:24 am #RTPismylife and we did not finish help us

Editorial: W&L needs to reconsider its relationship with the press

Administrators don’t respond. Students only respond after a piece is published. And us? Well, we respond with this.
Bri Hatch and Shauna Muckle
May 8, 2023
The front of the Pi Beta Phi chapter house, a building at least three stories tall with white columns and a brick first story with several columns and archways between them.

Pi Beta Phi placed on probation until 2024

One hazing report set off an investigation, an appeal and backlash
Bri Hatch and Shauna Muckle
April 11, 2023

President announces campus absence

His departure raises questions about who will preside over major events
Shauna Muckle, Editor-in-Chief
April 11, 2023
A photo shows multiple signs and papers. The focus is a yellow and black sign reading What is a Fallacy? with Matt Walsh.

Petition opposing Matt Walsh visit nets over 600 signatures

Students, alumni, faculty and staff supported a petition asking the administration to disallow Walsh's visit
Shauna Muckle, Editor-in-Chief
March 28, 2023
Sorority houses, red brick buildings with white columned porches, seen through trees.

Greek organizations battle hazing charges

Confidential investigations spark campus-wide rumors with no clear answers
Bri Hatch, Jenny Hellwig, and Shauna Muckle
March 13, 2023

Behind W&L’s sexual misconduct processes

Unpacking the university's reporting routes and outcomes
Bri Hatch, Jenny Hellwig, and Shauna Muckle
March 13, 2023
Vergara direct messaged one of his victims and apologized after he assaulted her Oct. 1. (Screenshots shared by victim)

First-year student arrested on sexual assault charges

One victim said she reported Ricardo Vergara, ’26, to the Title IX office in October for a separate offense of sexual assault—but he faced no disciplinary action
Bri Hatch, Jenny Hellwig, and Shauna Muckle
March 2, 2023

University vows to fight wrongful termination suit

A former fraternity house director is suing Washington and Lee for $1 million
Bri Hatch and Shauna Muckle
February 14, 2023
Selby jumps on a car hood as a bystander urges him to stop. Photo courtesy of Dec. 2, 2021 video obtained by the Phi from an anonymous source

Selby had history of “vindictive, destructive” behavior before sexual battery charge

University administration failed to protect community from Selby, even after reported incidents
Bri Hatch, Jenny Hellwig, and Shauna Muckle
February 14, 2023

UPDATE: Student charged in sexual battery case no longer enrolled at W&L

Daniel Selby, a former member of the Class of 2025, left campus by Feb. 7, sources say
Shauna Muckle, Bri Hatch, and Jenny Hellwig
February 8, 2023
The Lexington Police Department, a brick one story building with a white columned porch.

W&L student pleads guilty in sexual battery case

A Lexington court lowered a felony charge against Dan Selby, ’25, to a misdemeanor in a Feb. 3 trial
Bri Hatch, Shauna Muckle, and Jenny Hellwig
February 7, 2023
A crowd of people stand in a circle holding flashlights and signs. Behind them are lit up buildings with tall columns.

Students protest University Chapel speaker in lead-up to MLK Day

Over 100 students staged a silent walkout during a speech by Rodney Mims Cook Jr., '78, honoring Robert E. Lee
Bri Hatch, Emma Malinak, and Shauna Muckle
January 23, 2023
A group of people carrying Confederate flags and symbols are assembled in a cemetery.

Local MLK and Lee-Jackson Day festivities clash

Both parades in downtown Lexington boasted the largest crowds they've seen since 2020
Bri Hatch and Shauna Muckle
January 23, 2023
Cadets march outside in front of onlookers on VMI’s campus. This year’s incoming class is composed of 375 cadets, a steep drop from the typical class size of roughly 500.

After VMI enrollment plummets, admissions tests new tactics

Virginia Military Institute is wrestling with how to recruit more students after a bruising admissions cycle
Shauna Muckle, Editor-in-Chief
December 12, 2022
The exposed ceiling on the left side of Newcomb 122 on Dec. 1. The left portion will remain exposed until the ceiling gets fully replaced over winter break.

Ceiling portions collapse in Newcomb Hall

Newcomb 122 was taken offline for days after one-third of the ceiling fell
Shauna Muckle, Editor-in-Chief
December 12, 2022
Police posted at Washington and Lees Natatorium after the bomb threat was reported Dec. 1.

Disciplinary routes unclear after bomb threats

Police began investigations at W&L and VMI after students posted anonymous threats online
Bri Hatch, Shauna Muckle, and Stef Chiguluri
December 12, 2022
Students sit on concrete stairs with grass in between, holding candles. In the background, there is a lit W&L building.

University of Virginia shooting inspires grief, evaluation of emergency protocol

Washington and Lee held a candlelight vigil in the wake of a shooting at U-Va. that left three dead and two wounded
Bri Hatch and Shauna Muckle
November 15, 2022
Pi Kappa Alpha house, a brick building with many windows, sitting on a tilted grassy hill.

New hazing training calls Greek initiation practices into question

Common initiation practices meet Virginia’s definition of hazing, new university training reveals
Shauna Muckle, Editor-in-Chief
October 27, 2022
Former First Lady Laura Bush and daughter Barbara Bush have a discussion with Ramsay Trask ’24 and Carly Snyder ’24 in University Chapel.

Mock Convention kicks off 2024 cycle

Shauna Muckle, Editor-in-Chief
October 14, 2022

High faculty teaching load at Washington and Lee affects hiring and student registration

Faculty said the standard teaching load is one of multiple barriers to hiring additional professors - which also affects which courses students can take.
Proposed woods creek bridge from remodeled Leyburn. Photo courtesy of the master plan.

Major changes in store for campus infrastructure

Senior housing, a Williams School expansion and a new museum on Lee Avenue are planned for the coming years.
Shauna Muckle
March 29, 2022
 The potential for additional traffic on roads like Nelson Street has been a focal point in past public debates regarding housing development on Spotswood Drive. Developers have contended that the uptick in traffic will be minimal. Photo by Jess Kishbaugh, ’24.

Development talk for Spotswood re-launch

Two competing proposals to build multi-family housing in Lexington have been submitted to City Council
Shauna Muckle
March 15, 2022
Owner Trevor Stores was born and raised in Lexington. Though this is his first time owning a business, he brings years of bartending experience to the venture. Photo by Jess Kishbaugh, ’24.

SkyBar brings a new aesthetic to Lexington

SkyBar, a speakeasy-style bar in the basement of Blue Sky, opened to the public Feb. 18.
Shauna Muckle
March 15, 2022

Mask mandates in question at local schools

A controversial executive order has school districts defending their decisions to keep mask mandates in place.
Shauna Muckle
February 15, 2022
Organizer Mansi Tripathi, ’22, gave opening remarks about the prevalence of sexual assault at Washington and Lee in front of a banner signed by students to show support for survivors. Photo by Shauna Muckle, ’24.

SPEAK hosts sexual assault awareness event

Anonymous stories written by survivors described a culture of self-blame, doubt and social stigma surrounding speaking out about sexual violence
Shauna Muckle
February 1, 2022
Sydney Brun-Ozuna, ‘24L, plays Eighteen Wheeler American Pro Trucker at Tommy’s Arcade. She visited the arcade for the first time to compete in a Smash Bros. tournament. Photo by Shauna Muckle, ’24.

Downtown Lexington gains its first arcade

Lexington’s newest entertainment option offers a community spot to play retro and modern games
Shauna Muckle
February 1, 2022
Youngkin will be Virginia’s first Republican governor in eight years. He, Sears and Miyares are the first Republicans elected to statewide office since 2014. Photo by Shauna Muckle, ’24

Republicans make major gains in Virginia elections

Glenn Youngkin and other down-ballot Republicans defied Virginia’s leftward trend Nov. 2, declaring victory in their competitive races.
Shauna Muckle
November 9, 2021
Glenn Youngkin spoke in Buena Vista Oct. 28, a few days before the Virginia gubernatorial election. Photo by Shauna Muckle, ’24.

Youngkin fires up Buena Vista in campaign’s final stretch

Glenn Youngkin, Virginia’s newly elected governor, held a rally in Buena Vista days before his electoral victory
Shauna Muckle
November 9, 2021

Campus organizations receive additional dollars from the EC

The Executive Committee invited student organizations across campus to apply for funding and recognition by Oct. 6.
Shauna Muckle
October 26, 2021
Burns reads a Veterans Day prayer at the annual Veterans Day event on campus. Photo courtesy of The Columns.

“A very cheerful, uplifting person with a heart of gold:” Paul Burns dies at 72

Burns, a longtime W&L Facilities staff member and Army veteran, died from COVID-19.
Shauna Muckle
September 28, 2021
Pilates students use a reformer, an appara-tus with tension pulleys meant to challenge the body. Photo courtesy of Kevin Remington.

New Pilates studio offers hot-powered approach

A new business in Lexington brings a blend of Pilates and heated yoga to the workout scene.
Shauna Muckle
September 28, 2021
Street names associated with the Confederacy were a topic of heated debate at a recent City Council meeting. Photo by Lilah Kimble, ‘23

The possibility of city council renaming Lexington streets looms

A new policy might let Lexington leaders change the names of streets, but residents are not so keen on it
Shauna Muckle
April 13, 2021
Spotswood Drive decision delayed

Spotswood Drive decision delayed

An offer to buy property on Spotswood Drive has raised concerns for Lexington residents, leading to another hearing to be held on March
Shauna Muckle
March 19, 2021

VMI COVID cases are coming down since mid-February spike

The cases at VMI reached 190 active cases on Feb. 16, but the cases dropped to 89 on Feb. 23.
Shauna Muckle
March 4, 2021

Sixth District race nears its close as early voting ends

Cook Political Report rates Virginia’s Sixth District as “solid Republican” this election cycle
Shauna Muckle
November 4, 2020

Project Horizon handles increased domestic violence reports

The Rockbridge nonprofit did not close its doors during the worst of the pandemic
October 21, 2020

Civic groups orchestrate non-partisan voter education

Virtual events prove successful for 50 Ways and Rockbridge Justice Coalition
Shauna Muckle
October 7, 2020

Rockbridge-area schools reopen virtually

City and county schools tout new resources for students
Shauna Muckle
September 22, 2020
Local political organizations have pivoted their campaign tactics due to the coronavirus pandemic and connecting with voters virtually.

Local candidates pivot campaign tactics amidst coronavirus pandemic

Local Republicans and Democrats are using different strategies than usual to reach voters
Shauna Muckle
September 10, 2020
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