Giving our veterans a chance to reconnect

By Melissa Farmer// Staff Writer 

Volunteer State Community College has quite a few veterans around campus.  One thing that will soon be available for veterans is a Veterans Center on campus.

Starting college after you have been in the military is quite an adjustment. Often times coming to college can be overwhelming for any students, and when it comes to veterans it can be more overwhelming than average. Being used to a strict schedule while serving in the military, then switching to college life where you get to schedule your classes whenever you choose, and just the over all freedom is a rough time.

“Veterans are kind of a different group, they’re used to being very structured, they’re used to working with adults. Once they get to college it’s usually a totally different environment for them. They can usually handle it, but it’s that transition period,” said Ken Hanson, who is a veteran himself and knows first-hand how this transition goes.

Working with the state, Vol State has plans to open a Veterans Center on campus “Veterans can go there to spend some time studying, work on computers, things they need for school. Or as a one stop shop for veterans so that way they don’t have to go all over campus as much.”

Hopefully with veterans connecting with each other, and other veterans who have gone through what they are experiencing it can be a more smooth transition and their college experience will be enjoyable.

The location of the veterans center is undetermined, so far, but there are plans to get this center up and running by Oct or Nov. Veterans connecting with other veterans is a very unique bond, “They know that each other have, as we’ve always said it, ‘stomped the same dirt’.”

Connecting with a group that has the same experiences and can know where you have come from can be an extremely beneficial bond when someone is in a new environment and trying to settle into a new life.

The ultimate goal is to get veterans to achieve their goal “We want to get them from the time they start here, till we can get them to the point where they can finish their program, graduate and hopefully move on to a much better world,” said Hanson.

The Veterans of Vol State definitely have something to look forward to in the upcoming months. When the Veterans Center is prepared and ready to be the base for these brave men and women, ads will be put out and more information will be available.

In the mean time, should you have any questions, contact Ken Hanson (Kenneth.hanson@volstate.edu) for details, questions or concerns.    

 

Letter on creating a cleaner campus

By Beth Cooksey// Vice President of Business and Finance

I would like to officially welcome all of our returning and new students to the fall semester at Volunteer State Community College.  I have had the privilege of serving as the Vice President for Business and Finance for over eleven years now.  Volunteer State is a great place and I am very proud of it.

As a new or returning student, I hope you are also proud of this College and the Gallatin campus.  In the time I have been here, I have seen plenty of changes to the physical campus.  We have had two major construction efforts, the completed Allied Health South construction and the Humanities Building that is currently underway.  We also had a significant construction project back in 2006 when a tornado did over $9 million in damages to our campus.  Following the tornado, we all pulled together and sacrificed some creature comforts while the campus was rebuilt.  For a while, it just wasn’t too pretty around Vol State, but eventually, the campus started to look nice again.

There are a lot of us on this campus who take a great deal of pride in how this campus looks and how it is evolving.  My point in writing this article is to ask for your help.  Please help us keep our campus beautiful.  When I see little things like gum on a campus sidewalk, I am distressed.  I am distressed because I personally know the hard working custodial team at Vol State will have to clean up something  that just shouldn’t have happened.  Our entire Plant Operations team is dedicated to creating a culture and atmosphere that are conducive to learning.  We want you to be comfortable in your classrooms and in the recreational space.  We want a clean and inviting campus.  Please help us keep Vol State beautiful.  

Thank you in advance for doing your part.  Together we can all have a great fall semester!

Movie night to feature Marvel film

Contributing Writer Anthony Davidson

 

The first logical question that a student asks when they hear about Movie Night: “What is it?”

According to Tabitha Sherrell of the Student Life and Diversity Office: “It is a community event.  You do not have to be a student to come and view the movie.  It roughly starts at dusk, approximately 7:30 or whenever the sun goes down that day. You can bring your blankets and your lawn chairs, and there will be concessions available. I know one of our student clubs will be providing popcorn.”

That said, students, faculty and staff are encouraged to attend and enjoy the movie.  The movie is free because the college’s Student Government Association (SGA) has its own “blow-up screen.”

Movie Night allows students to bring their friends and families out to enjoy a free movie and have some fun, and non-students get the chance to watch a movie and enjoy an autumn night.  “If you are a student with your own children, this would be a perfect opportunity to bring your kids on campus and enjoy some time with them,” said Sherrell.

The next logical question: “How many students know about Movie Night?”

On a survey of students, the Settler found that 4 in 5 students asked did not know about the event. Advertisement of the event is strongly encouraged by Faculty and Staff.

This free showing takes place on the Volunteer State Community College quad, in the middle of Warf Sciences, Thigpen Library, Wood Campus Center, and the Pickle Fieldhouse.

This year’s showing will be Disney’s Avengers: Age of Ultron on Sept. 18, 2015.

For students who haven’t kept up with the series and related films, the movie stars Scarlet Johansson, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, Samuel L. Jackson, and James Spader as the voice of the AI, Ultron.  The movie follows the storyline of the Marvel comic book series. The film is rated PG-13, due to language and thematic violence.

The  viewing is scheduled to be played on the quad, however, if the weather should not permit, it will be shown in the  carpeted dining room of Wood Campus Center.

Concessions will be sold and the proceeds from concessions will benefit the school’s clubs and programs.  The Settler does not currently have a list of specific concessions, but concessions will be available at the event.

Coffee with the Prez

By Kalynn Meeker// Staff Writer 

 

Volunteer State Community College invites students and faculty for a handshake and conversation with President Dr. Jerry Faulkner at Coffee with the Prez.  

The reason the event was created is to “try to get him acquainted with the students and let them see, yes, we have a President. Here he is and you can talk to him about some sort of issue, if you’re really happy with Vol State or you just want to compliment a professor or somebody on campus that’s changed your life. He is right there and is easy access for students to talk to,” said Tabitha Sherrell, the Coordinator of Student Activities, who planned the date this summer.

A table will be set with free coffee, sugar, and creamer. Other free foods will also be served such as muffins or chicken biscuits. A sign in sheet will be on the table where students are asked to sign up. In the past, there has been anywhere from 10 to 40 people at Coffee with the Prez. With this in mind, it is a first come first serve.

The event is informal, like sitting down with a friend at the local coffee shop. Faulker comes in and mingles with everyone in the dining room.

Jessie Versage, president of the Student Government Association, attended last year and plans to go this year.

Versage encourages all students to join him and ask questions “to get more insight on what the college is doing for their students.”

To give an example of what kind of questions could be asked, Taylor Matson, a student at Vol State said if he could ask the president a question it would be, “How is college paid for when it’s free for the Tennessee Promise students?”

Save the date for Wednesday, Sept. 9, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. in the Mary Cole Nichols Dining Room A or what is known as the Tile Dining Room.

Three different dates are set to ensure everyone who wants attend can choose a date to better fit their schedules.

Other dates available to attend Coffee with the Prez are Tuesday, Oct. 20 from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 and Thursday, Nov. 19 from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. Both meetings will also be in the Tile Dining Room.

 

Brenda Buffington’s Farewell

By: Barbara Harmon

Students and staff of Volunteer State Community College got their final hugs from Brenda Buffington, Director of Adult Learners and Evening Services, on Aug. 31st.  This was her last day at Vol State and even though there were cake and balloons around the department, there were that many more teary eyes.

Buffington was employed by Vol State over three years ago and feels she has made the most of that time.  She has enjoyed working with the student organizations, such as The National Society of Leadership and Success, overseeing many other student events and truly listening to what the students had to say.

When asked by students why she was doing all that she did, her response was, “because of you,” said Buffington.

Her work with the adult students led to her contribution to the Launch and Learn project for the upcoming year, which will offer workshops and free career assessments to the students who participate in this program said Buffington.

While reminiscing about her time at Vol State, Buffington recalled how she strove to turn the student gatherings into special events.  “We did not do it every day, but when we did—it was an event,” said Buffington.

There is one last event that Buffington planned for the students at Vol State.  “I will not be here, but my final event will be here.  I planned, on Nov. 19th, which is during the week of homecoming, a Clearly You event,” said Buffington.  “It will be in the carpeted dining room from 1-7pm, and then starting at 5:30pm there will be a dinner.”

You are welcome to bring your family to this event and have your image scanned into a three dimensional cube said Buffington, and she hopes that you will attend her event.

Judy Schuelke, Coordinator for Adult Learners and Evening Services, said Buffington will be missed incredibly.

Schuelke worked with Buffington slightly more than a year.  “Hugs were her trademark.  Regardless of the kind of day you were having, students and staff would come into her office just to get a hug, because they knew it was “ok,” said Schuelke.

Having worked under the guidance of Buffington, Schuelke said Buffington was centered on helping students.  “Brenda was a very giving person, genuine and sincere,” said Schuelke.

Tracey Toy had only worked with Buffington since January, but said it was common for students to come to the office just to see Buffington, even students that had already graduated.  “She is a rarity, not just to students, but with everybody that she works with,” Toy said.

Toy said that there is going to be so many people that are disappointed that Buffington is gone.  “I am happy for her though, because wherever she goes she will be a star,” said Toy.