Maira Miranda reports on what goes on for students at UNR before and after joining a fraternity or sorority.

According to Wikipedia: “Pi Beta Phi, often known simply as Pi Phi, is an international women’s fraternity founded at Monmouth College, in Monmouth, Illinois on April 28, 1867 as I. C. Sorosis, the first national secret college society of women to be modeled after the men’s Greek-letter fraternity.”

Time for Philanthropy

Each fraternity or sorority at UNR is involved in philanthropy. When it comes to Pi Beta Phi, every year, they host an event called “Pi Phi gives you wings.” Anyone is invited as long as they purchase a ticket to have a chicken wing dinner at their house. “All of our money goes into the literacy fund to support the one in four children [who] do not know how to read,” said junior Lexy Larson.

What many people don’t know about Greek life as well is that it takes a lot of time outside of school. “I was spending seven…


Jaden Urban and Makayla Hardy interview three Reno rappers and what it’s like to come up with hip hop dreams in the 775.

Jordan Gipson (J Gip), DJ Stanton (SCUBA DEEJ), Ryan Riggle (RIIIGGZ) talk about their slow rise to success of Reno’s local rap group, Shift the Wave. Photo Collage done by Makayla Hardy with multiple screen grabs from J Gip’s music videos and photos by Jaden Urban

Testing the Waters

Reno isn’t as big in the music scene as other cities across the west coast since no one has made a huge splash from their Biggest Little City base.

Making a career in the music industry is no easy feat for anybody. It takes an immense level of talent, hard work, stress, pressure, sleepless nights, doubt, and even a little luck to make a living from musical creation.

Reaching success in the music industry is also super unpredictable. For some it takes years of slow growth to make it. …


Kayla Crowley and Ethan Morganti showcase individuals behind Star Wars fan accounts. The Star Wars Instagram community contains thousands of different fanpages who support one another, discussing what they love, Star Wars.

“I’ve seen people comment that they were having a bad day but then we post a meme or something, people get all super excited, ” said Mark Watton of the thehothspot Instagram account.

How it all got started

“What if … ? the Kaminoans cloned Obi-Wan Kenobi?” a recent post on thehothspot recently asked, while simultaneously promoting a podcast, discord channel and merch for sale. The post has gotten over three-thousand likes.

“I really enjoy being part of the Star Wars community just because I don’t know too many Star Wars fans around me,” said Mark Watton, creator of the account. “So it’s really cool to be able to go online and post something and see what people’s thoughts are.”

Mark Watton started a Star Wars Instagram account with his best friend in 2012, simply because they loved…


Jordan Bader interviews current local titleholders, Kaili Hill and Gabrielle Szachara, about life in the boots of a rodeo queen in Reno.

Miss Reno Rodeo 2022 Contestants awaiting coronation on stage in the Peppermill Ballroom. (Hill — third from left, and Szachara — third from right)

What smells like manure but glistens like the sun?… a rodeo queen’s boots!

Rodeo Queening is an up and coming culture across the United States. In fact, the Cowboy Channel recently released a season documenting a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the life of rodeo queens chasing victory.

Here in Reno, we are home to Miss Rodeo UNR and ambassadress of USA Today’s “Second Best Rodeo,” Miss Reno Rodeo. The Miss Reno Rodeo title is currently held by Wolf Pack cheerleader Kaili Hill.

“There are a lot of resources to get involved within Reno Rodeo but queening outside that is hard,” Hill told the Sandbox in a recent interview. …


Maggie Durling looks into an increase in attendance in the Christ-centered Young Life college club at UNR, since going back to in-person learning this semester.

A group of Young Life College students attending the Reno Air Balloon Races on September 11, 2021. Permission to use by Reno-Sparks Young Life.

What is it?

The sun is going down, the barbecue is fired up with burgers cooking, a group of college kids debates the score of a game of cornhole, while another group is getting ready to make s’mores by a fire pit. This is the first official meeting of Young Life College, a club at the University of Reno.

The name Young Life is very well known, especially if you are from the South or are involved in Christian communities.

Young Life is an international faith-based non-profit organization that works with kids, to provide fun and friends.

“I feel like Young Life is…


Sol George interviews a member of the local metaphysical community who explains why they have chosen to follow this path.

Sora Abraxan perusing the local Stone Age Quarry store to find crystals to engrave. Photograph by Sol George

Metaphysical Beliefs: Practice or Faith?

The metaphysical community in Reno which dates back decades and decades strives to inspire its long-standing traditions in practitioners well into the 2020s — which is to say, there are no traditions. Everyone in the community practices their beliefs in a different way than other practitioners. I practice tarot readings, oracle readings, and general meditation with the occasional spiritual teachings but not everyone does these things.

That is to say, no two practitioners believe or practice in the same way. A friend of mine, Sora Abraxan, was eager enough to clue me in to his…


As the sun sets on the season for the Reno Aces, Bryon Restori and Evan Ferris report on the employees at Greater Nevada Field who work to keep the lights on.

In the first season since the Covid-19 lockdown, the Reno Aces are currently in second place in the Triple-A West division. The team’s success on the field helps bring more fans into the stadium, but it is the work behind the scenes that makes the fan experience even more enjoyable.

Kyle McAndrew, an “activation assistant” on the team who helps with the overall brand and corporate partnerships, is part of the dozens of employees working daily to ensure a positive fan experience.

“We have about sixty people from the front office … that help our guests and sponsors, and put…


Cayley Dishion and Montana Lloyd report on why the Wolf Pack women’s tennis team is made up of only international student-athletes and why this is important to Nevada’s athletics.

Russian sophomore Anastasia Luneva warms up during a recent practice on Nevada’s home court, McArthur Tennis Center. The Nevada women’s tennis team has something no other Nevada team has, a roster of only international students and coaches. As unique as this may sound, it is no coincidence. Photo by Cayley Dishion.

A Coach From France

French native Guillaume Tonelli is head coach of the Nevada women’s tennis team and his international background led to coaching a team of international student-athletes. Tonelli came to America in 2003 when he moved to Tyler, Texas where he played tennis for Tyler Junior College and went on to win a national championship at the National Junior College Athletic Association level.

Tonelli made the move to Reno, Nevada in 2005 to pursue his bachelor’s degree in international business while being a lead player on the men’s tennis team for two years.

“Coming from a different country…


Joffea Burgos and Owen Christopher interview officers of a film club on the UNR campus who are optimistic about its future despite the many recent challenges they have faced. This semester marks the second year of the group’s existence.

Camera operator shows off video production equipment. Visual created by Joffea Burgos.

Start Rolling On A New Semester

Early in the semester, dozens of booths started setting up for the club fair on campus. One humble group wasn’t expecting much from the event, having been disappointed by turnout in the past. However, the UNR Film Club booth would soon be swarming with excited new members.

UNR’s film club started in the summer of 2020. Most of their meetings have been hosted on platforms like Zoom and Discord, and many of its members have struggled to stay motivated. “COVID put me in this mental block.. …


Brigid Butler goes beyond preconceptions held by some about sororities to explain why many students are compelled to join.

Members of the Theta Theta Chapter of Tri Delta celebrating bid day 2021 on September 12th at 845 South Sierra Street in the heart of Reno, Nevada. Photo by Giovana Cibulsky

More Than What You See in The Movies and on Social Media

Excitement filled the air at the Tri Delta sorority, a short walk from UNR’s campus, on a warm, sunny mid-September Sunday, with live music, photos, and good food.

Behind the Hollywood movie interpretations and Instagram photos, sorority life is full of women empowerment and meaningful relationships. Many female students seeking higher education are members of National Panhellenic Council sororities at their universities or colleges.

For many incoming freshmen women, the process of being a chapter’s new member is a right of passage. The process of joining a sorority…

Reynolds Sandbox

Showcasing innovative and engaging multimedia storytelling by students with the Reynolds Media Lab in Reno.

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