Fantasy Art Exhibit open for submissions

James Butkevicius

A fantasy art exhibit, hosted by the Artisans’ Alliance, will be held in the Carpeted Dining Room on Nov. 30, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Submissions are open to the public. The submission deadline is Nov. 20.

Artisans’ Alliance president Michael Clark is creating the exhibit with the goal of preparing artists for the real world. “They need to know that there’s a process,” Clark said, explaining that the exhibit is an avenue for artists to get their work out instead of just leaving it in their rooms to collect dust.

“Fantasy” became the exhibit’s theme after winning a vote held during an Artisans’ Alliance meeting. Clark encourages participants to interpret the theme however they want.

Art instructor Nathaniel Smyth will be holding a demo on how to “mat” the submissions, a process that involves cutting mat board, a substance similar to a dense foam, to fit the dimensions of the piece so that it will be ready for presentation.

The demo will be held in the Fine Arts Building on Nov. 18 at 11:00 a.m., exact location to be determined.

Smyth will also be jurying the event, meaning that he will make the final decision on which pieces make it into the exhibit.

Participants are allowed up to three submissions, one of which may make it into the actual show.

Clark stresses that the three submission limit is the only rule or guideline for the exhibit outside of the theme, believing that an excess of limitations will restrict artistic expression.

Non-traditional media, ranging from sculpture to performance and everything in between, are strongly encouraged.

“If you have something obtuse or awkward, just let me know,” Clark said.

Student Taylor Matson, who plans to become President of the Artisans’ Alliance next semester, says that he will be submitting an interactive audiovisual piece for the exhibit featuring a projector on three panels and a Microsoft Kinect setup that will respond to the movements of exhibit-goers.

The Artisans’ Alliance is making a comeback this semester after consisting of solely Michael Clark last semester. There are now six members.

A poster for the event was designed by Artisans’ Alliance member Stormie Tibbs, with collaboration and input from other members during a club meeting.

It will be placed in the Fine Arts Building on Wednesday, Nov. 11, to raise awareness for the exhibit and offer a taste of what to expect.

“Drones” make a demonstration at Vol State

Kalynn Meeker

Volunteer State Community College held a free seminar hosted by Director & Associate Professor of Criminal Justice, Kevin Cook, to showcase Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Technology on Oct 30 2015 at the Walington Science Field Station.

Most people as “drones” commonly know UAVs.  However, the Federal Aviation Administration said this is a word to avoid when speaking of the modern police machines.

“The word ‘drone’ has a negative public connotation, because people think of large unmanned military aircraft with weapons,” said Cook.

The correct names are Unmanned Aerial Vehicles or Unmanned Aircraft Systems said the FAA.

Cook went to Madison, Wisconsin and completed a UAV Law Enforcement Operators course in September 2015.

He was then able to come back to Tennessee and purchase two Phantom 3 Professional UAVs for the Criminal Justice Department at Vol State by means of the Perkins Grant.

He held the seminar as a public service for Middle Tennessee law enforcement, corrections and emergency services personnel to teach them about the uses and regulations of the UAS.

Corrections, Law Enforcement, and Corrections Agencies were invited to the event as well as criminal justice students to be introduced to the two new UAVs at Vol State.

Cook said Hendersonville Police Department personnel, City of Lebanon Emergency Services Unit personnel, Springfield Police Department personnel, Tennessee Department of Corrections personnel and criminal justice students attended the event.

According to a website that sells this specific model of UAV,, they are 1,259 dollars apiece and have these features: 4K Video /12 megapixel photo camera, integrated 3-axis stabilization gimbal, easy to fly, intelligent flight system, live HD view, dedicated remote controller, powerful mobile app with auto video editor and vision positioning for indoor flight.

Since these UAVs are readily available to the public, the FAA is taking regulatory actions for public safety. They are possibly making each buyer register their UAV through the FAA by Nov 20, 2015.

There are current basic regulations put in place by the FAA that owners of the UAVs cannot do including flying  over 400 feet, flying within 5 miles of an airport, flying over stadiums or crowds of people flying  in a reckless manner and flying at night.

Cook said Tennessee has developed its own laws concerning UAVs. For instance, the Freedom from Unwarranted Surveillance Act, 39-13-902, Lawful capture of images — Use for lawful purposes, and 39-14-405, Criminal Trespass are some of the laws in place to protect civilians from unlawful uses of the UAVs.

Though these laws are in place, Cook said, they are just not tested in courts enough and are vague.

Cook said he taught about topics included case law, legal limitations, usage of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV’s) (search and rescue (children/elderly), evidence photography, tactical deployments, event security planning, and prisoner escapees, and many other practical lifesaving operations.

He also gave each attendee the chance to learn to fly the UAV in which he said they picked up on quickly.

“The participants of the seminar felt they learned a great deal, and many of them were interested in taking information learned about UAV’s usage and technology; and potentially obtaining one at their agency,” said Cook.

ACE Showcase with Royce Lovett

Barbara Harmon

Royce Lovett performed at Volunteer State Community College on Nov. 4 for the ACE Showcase event.

Lovett opened with an original song that he had written about hip hop.

When his song had finished, he told the audience some things that were going on with him.

“I’ve been on the road since Sept. 11, and I’m tired and excited,” said Lovett, “and extremely happy to be here with you guys.”

He had been hearing positive feedback about his album “Write it on the Wall” that had come out in Oct., he said.

“Yesterday I got some news that it did number 10 on the Billboard Chart for gospel,” said Lovett.

Lovett also sang “Writing on the Wall,” which made 93 on the Billboard Chart in Oct., he said.

“If you like this song, and you want to hear it on the radio, please call your radio and tell them to play it,” said Lovett.  “I would really appreciate that.”

“A lot of my musical career, because my music is different, you’re told it’s not going to get radio play, but it actually did and it got on the Billboard Chart,” said Lovett.  “And I’m really excited about that.”

He said that “Writing on the Wall” is about what is happening in the world today with pointless killings and how he feels that what everyone needs is love.

After the song ended Lovett reintroduced himself and said, “I like writing music or playing a rap, and I grew up listening to hip hop and soul music, so I guess that is how this thing happened.”

When the show was over Lovett signed autographs and took pictures with the students.

Maggie Lewis, a former Vol State student and now owner of Elevated Talent Group, said she met Royce in Jacksonville, Fla., at a conference he showcased.

“I just talked to him and wanted to represent him, so that’s how that happened,” said Lewis.

She said she does his corporate and college bookings, and she has been representing him since March.

“Royce is finishing up his “Write it On the Wall” tour, and then I’m just hoping to get his name and his music out there to just help him share his story,” said Lewis.

Lovett said that he started writing in 2003, after he found Christ.

“I was like, yo God what should I do with my life, and then I felt like it was music,” said Lovett.

“So that’s when I started being serious about being purposeful about something,” said Lovett.

He said when he was growing up he was always in a choir, his mom sang at church, and he had also been in a dance group, but was a lot more interested in sports.

“Things kind of changed after I really fell in love with music, and I just kind of found out who I was after that,” said Lovett.

Lovett feels like his songs are mostly about love, because he believes everything relates back to love, he said.

“Once you find out what love is, then you find out what you love to do and your purpose,” said Lovett.

“Then, after you find your purpose, you find your security,” he said.

Lovett enjoys having the opportunity to perform at colleges, because if the students really like him then they take his music back to wherever they are from, he said.

“Today was a little different, because the atmosphere was a little more relaxed; in the sense that everyone is doing something,” said Lovett.

“But when I perform at colleges with my band, it gets loud and sweaty jumping around.

“I throw water on people; you stage dive and stuff,” said Lovett.

He said he also loves it because it’s his age group, and they are all thinking about the same things.

“All you think about in college is love, purpose, and security,” said Lovett.

As far as his accomplishments go, Lovett would like to “take over the world,” he said.

More seriously: “I hope to do this for the rest of my life, see everything to be seen in the world, pay my bills on time, and inspire people—that’s it,” said Lovett.

“I encourage everyone to continue to learn who they are and who other people are.

“I’m still learning,” said Lovett.  “I think that’s what makes you good at whatever you do, if you keep learning.”

Lovett had something else to add.

He said the first five people that take a picture of this, post it with #VSCCroycelovett and tag him in it, will get a free necklace.

Tabitha Sherrell, Coordinator of Student Activities for Student Life and Diversity Initiatives, said Lovett had performed at a national conference (APCA) in March that Dr. Kenny E. Yarbrough, Th.D., CDP, Director of Student Life and Diversity Initiatives, and Gabrielle Stanton, a Vol State student, had attended, and they both really enjoyed his performance.

“When Gabrielle came back, she went to the Student Government Association (SGA),” said Sherrell.

“Every year after we come back from APCA we do a showcase at the SGA meeting to show everybody the stuff that we saw and what we thought was good, and then they vote on what they liked.

“SGA voted Royce as one of their top performers that they wanted to see on campus,” said Sherrell.

stigmatizing life

Sara Keen// Editor-in-Chief


People always make statements about embracing who you are.  You have heard things such as “be who you are,” or “don’t let anyone tell you what you can or can’t be.”

But it seems that when one tries to do just that, they are only struck down by the very society that encouraged it.  It is as if you can only be who you are if that matches society perfectly.

Even worse, you can only embrace the positive, “socially-acceptable” life experiences you have had.  While we happily share grades, acceptance letters, and the happy sides of our past, we often hide the negative parts of our lives.

Why is it that society has forced us to feel so negatively about our own complex being, that we have to hide some of the most important events in our lives?

There is no shame in any incident that changed who you are or made you stronger.  Whether it was surviving an illness or struggling with a mental illness, no person should have to feel ashamed that they have that hardship in their life.  There is no shame in feeling at peace with your past because your past made you into who you are now.

It may be difficult to do, to say that you struggled with something awful or that you’re still struggling.  I have struggled, and more than likely so have most of the people you would encounter every day.

Sure, it probably is not the brightest idea to proudly announce or display some hardships, but there is no need for shame.

There seems to be a stigma on fairly common events that impact lives.  Mental illnesses, miscarriages, abuse, racism, and even sexism have been stigmatized as things we should not discuss.  That is not at all the case.

For a society to grow, that society must understand the problems it faces.  People cannot continue their lives hiding the awful things in life.  If a person keeps too much to himself or herself, then that person is likely to crack under the pressure.

We are not immune to pain, disgust, tragedy, or illness.  We are humans, considered the most intelligent species on Earth.

That intelligence allows us to push ourselves further into advancement.  That intelligence also causes us to think more about the world and the events that take place.

We are also compassionate and empathetic.  We can understand the feelings and emotions of others.  There should be no shame in embracing our experiences.

The human experience may be the only one we get, so do not feel ashamed of yours.

Volstate Host Halloween Party

Barbara A. Harmon

The Halloween party at Volunteer State Community College on Oct. 30 was a success.

“For a Halloween party the day before Halloween, and we counted a little over 80, that’s pretty good,” said Tabitha Sherrell, Coordinator of Student Activities for Student Life and Diversity Initiatives.  “That’s the most we’ve ever had for a Halloween party.

“We ran out of food, which is better than having a bunch of leftovers.

“Everyone seemed to really like the costume contest, and we did a raffle—a door prize,” said Sherrell.

She said that she saw more faculty staff in attendance at this year’s party and possibly a few from the community.

Sherrell said among those that attended were also students who brought their children.

Some children participated in the coloring contest and will possibly come to the homecoming game for their prize, she said.

Domino Hunt, Secretary of the Student Government Association and a Vol State cheerleader, was overseeing the coloring contest table.

“A lot of kids were engaged,” said Hunt.  “The 3-year-olds loved it.”

“Some of the older kids were distracted, but I think they had fun.

“Everything is a superhero right now; that’s a big deal,” said Hunt.

She said those that entered the contest need to come back to the homecoming game, if they want to receive their prize.

There were 13 contestants and the winner will be announced during the halftime of the men’s game, she said.

Fran Henslee, staff, brought her three children to the party.

Henslee had attended the Halloween party at Vol State the year before last, and said she feels this year’s party was more family oriented.

She said that is why she chose to bring her children this year.

The activities she enjoyed the most at the party were the crafts, she said.

One of her children said he liked the food the best, and another said the cookies.

Lori Miller, Secretary of Student Life and Diversity Initiatives, said that people were appreciative of this event.

“What I heard from everybody was it was really nice to have this offered, and thank you for putting this on,” said Miller.

Student Life and Diversity Initiatives will also be sponsoring the spirit lunch and overseeing everything for the upcoming homecoming game, said Sherrell.

“They will do a photo booth, and one of the students will run it, but Lori and I will oversee it, make sure everything goes smoothly,” said Sherrell.

She said they will also make sure all the buildings have some sort of decoration before the game.

“We [SLDI] have three family friendly events, we’ve done two and they’ve both been successful, so I’m excited to see what homecoming in going to look like,” said Sherrell.

Presidential forum discusses current issues

Barbara Harmon

The Presidential Forum at Volunteer State Community College was presided over by the school’s cabinet on Oct. 26.

Jesse Versage, President of the Student Government Association (SGA), started the questions by asking if Vol State would ever add more four year programs, and if so what would they be.

“As a community college and offices of the Tennessee Board of Regents, we are not allowed to have four year programs, so that’s just not the way it works,” said Dr. George Pimentel, Vice President of Academic Affairs.

“TTP is the Tennessee Transfer Pathway; the first two years you are here, people transfer then to a university.

“The only program that’s been discussed, and that’s because of possible accreditation is nursing,” said Pimentel.

“There was some talk, over the last few months, that the university accreditation involving nurses may be going to four year BSN degrees, and that might change some things, but as it stands right now as a community college we have two year programs,” he said.

Beth Cooksey, Vice President of Business and Finance, also responded to his question.

“I mean, we do have Trevecca and Lindsey both here and TSU on our campus,” said Cooksey.

“With the growth from Tennessee Promise, we don’t really have the room for other four year institutions to come here,” said Cooksey, “because we’re full.”

A student asked if they did not plan for enough parking for the Tennessee Promise students, or if they did not account for the lost parking from the humanities building.

Cooksey said that they replaced the parking lost to the humanities building space for space, but the amount of Tennessee Promise students was unexpected.

“There was an increase of about 800 freshman this year, and some of them, as well as other students, did not register until June, July and August,” she said.

“What we are doing right now is working with the Tennessee Board of Regents, who is our governing body, to go about constructing new permanent parking,” said Cooksey.

“We have two areas on campus, maybe three that we are considering.

“But we (Vol State) have to get permission from the Tennessee Board of Regents before we start any new parking,” said Cooksey.

She said they are attempting to have something done by January, however she has doubts about them getting approval that quickly.

There should be new permanent parking by the fall semester, but she did not feel comfortable saying it would be finished sooner, she said.

They are considering making some gravel lots before then, she said.

“We are very well aware of the parking situation and our interest is to build sufficient parking for the student body,” said Cooksey.

The athletic representative asked why the overflow parking has been closed.

“We’ve been monitoring the parking area very closely, and as we have determined at this point, and we do it on a daily basis, there is no need to have the overflow parking open at this time,” said William Rogan, Chief of Campus Police.

“It seems, for whatever reason, the car population has dropped off,” he said.

Domino Hunt, Secretary of State for the Student Government Association, asked if tickets were being issued to students that were removing their stickers and parking in the staff and visitor parking spaces.

Rogan said that the campus police are issuing tickets to those students, and that actually consumes a lot of their time.

Chasity Crabtree, Chair of Association of Campus Events (ACE), asked about student leader parking.

Cooksey said it was her understanding that the student leaders would like special parking spaces, but she feels this could cause problems with the students that they have been elected to serve.

It would be unlikely that they could match these designated parking spaces to where the student leaders needed to be—resulting in empty parking spaces, she said.

“In the past, we did allow some student leaders to have a faculty staff decal,” said Cooksey.

“That seems like a better solution to me; in that, instead of creating a third category of spots that might stay vacant, we could allow some student leaders to share in a faculty staff spot,” said Cooksey.

A student asked about the procedure that would be used in the case of an emergency, after the false alarm Vol State had.

“We get the report, we respond to the area, and a decision of evacuation is made,” said Rogan.

Rogan said that every situation is different.

As far as the incident that was a false alarm went, an alert was sent out and the campus police made a traffic stop, he said.

If it would have been an actual situation, they would have put a shelter in place and they will be having a drill for this, so students will better know what to do, he said.

Alice Myers, Vice President of SGA, wanted to know if more hydration stations could be put in the Pickel Building.

“Yes, we are currently going through every building,” said Will Newman, Senior Director of Plant Operations.  “Each building is getting hydration stations.”

“Once every building has a hydration station, and it’s a main common area, we will circle back to the buildings with the higher traffic and add more,” he said.

Hunt asked if it would be possible to make a connector walkway to cross the street, for students who wanted to eat at those restaurants.

Pimentel said that question has come up before, but that would be a city ordinance.

Cooksey said, “Obviously we’re concerned about student safety, and I do see how students crossing what is a very, very busy roadway; I know that Dr. Faulkner reaches out to the Mayor of Gallatin and speaks to her about that.”

It might help if the students aided in that effort, as well, she said.

Versage wanted to know what was being done about how crowded it is for faculty and students and the lack of space for the clubs.

Pimentel said he was not sure what Versage meant about crowded, however the classes are full.

“Once the humanities building is built there will be more options for faculty, and it won’t feel so full,” said Pimentel.

He said the new humanities building is supposed to be finished by next fall.

Hunt asked if they would ever consider bringing back Friday classes, so the schedules would not be so tight.

Pimentel said, “the short answer is no.”

Surveys about this have been conducted for both faculty and students, and they agree, he said.

“Two years ago we did not offer a lot of classes after 1 p.m., so it was primarily a morning campus,” said Pimentel.

“Pretty much the same pressure for fitting in classes has always been the same, but now we are utilizing more of the day and alleviating some of the pressure,” said Pimentel.

“Students still take five classes a week and teachers still teach five classes a week,” he said.  “It is still the same amount of hours.”

Jason Strong, a student in SGA, wanted to know if there could be a scheduled hour and a half break for lunch, so students could participate in organizations.

Pimentel said they did a survey on this about two years ago and students had no interest in responding.

He also said that students are capable of scheduling a time for their lunches when they plan their schedules.

Taking Measures to Prevent Suicide

Sara Keen// Editor-in-Chief


Last week, Volunteer State Community College lost one of its students to suicide. In the hopes of avoiding another tragedy such as this, The Settler would like to provide some helpful advice to anyone experiencing thoughts of suicide or concerned that a friend may be.

College can be a stressful environment, between exams, essays, and managing time between school, work, and a social life. It may be overwhelming for some students, and it is important to remember that asking for help is okay.

Let someone know if you are experiencing these thoughts or if you are concerned about a friend. It could make a difference on a person’s life. Helping someone could be as simple as showing him or her that you care or that the person is important to you or others.

It can also help to find better ways to cope with feelings, stress or improve mental health. Sometimes it can help to write feelings out, or express what is causing them. You can learn more about yourself through this, and how you can cope with life and the world around you.

Others may choose art, such as painting or drawing. Therapists help their clients express emotions or calm their nerves using art. They are able to create a visual representation of how they feel.

For students who may not be inclined toward art or writing, physical activity can be helpful. Sunlight and exercise can often improve moods and can be helpful for people who want to take their focus away from what is bothering them.

The biggest thing that can help someone who might be considering suicide or even harming himself or herself, is to speak to someone.   It does not help you to isolate yourself from everyone.

Speak to your family, and if that is not possible, go to a close friend.   There are people who care, for everyone, and someone will help you.

Even if you do not feel comfortable going to someone you know for help, there is a multitude of resources now. There are suicide prevention lines, forums and even blogs.

For those who have difficult lives, or maybe have some awful experiences, there are resources for everything from abuse to rape.

We are fortunate enough to live in a time where people care, and do not want others to give up their lives or lose hope. Every person in the world is facing something, handling it differently, and will need to ask for help at some point or another.

Do not be ashamed of getting help for yourself.


“We all have a little bit of ‘I want to save the world’ in us… I want you to know that it’s okay if you only save one person, and it’s okay if that person is you.”


Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network Phone Number:

(615) 297 – 1077

Person of Interest: Karen Pratt always ready to smile

Blake Bouza


Karen Pratt said she believes that a person can wake up in the morning and decide, “will I smile today? Or will I be a grouch?”

Pratt said she prefers to smile. “It’s just easier,” she said.

Students might have encountered Pratt’s warm, positive attitude during the lunch rush at the Volunteer State Grill. Pratt has quickly become a staple of the Grill, but she is not originally from Tennessee.

She grew up in Ticonderoga, New York, a town with only about 5,000 people.

Pratt got her Bachelor of Science degree at the State University of New York in Plattsburgh. From there she pursued her Master’s degree at Castleton State College in Vermont.

She went on to teach middle and high school students in the day, and is no stranger to the community college environment as she would teach nightly statistics classes at her town’s local community college.

Pratt retired in June of 2014 just before she and her husband decided to pick up and move to Tennessee.

“It was quite an adventure for us to do something like that, just pick up and go,” Pratt said with a smile.

Her husband got a job as a store manager at Lowe’s. “I didn’t really know anybody around the area,” said Pratt. “So I said, I gotta get out because all I’m doing is sitting here and talking to my dogs.”

When a few different career websites did not work for her, Pratt’s husband suggested she try Craiglist, where she saw the ad for work at the Vol State Grill.

“I started working in the kitchen in the winter of last year,” said Pratt. “I think they moved me to cashier probably because I was making too much of a mess in the kitchen.”

“There was flour all over the place and all over me. Nobody else was having that problem, so I think it was their nice way of telling me my place wasn’t in the kitchen,” Pratt said with a laugh.

Pratt, luckily, thrives when interacting with people, especially students.

“When I was teaching middle and high school I learned that you have to have a certain personality to reach kids,” Pratt said.

“If you can’t joke around with them, if you can’t smile, you won’t grab them. When I retired, I just had to go out and be with people. It became a part of me,” she said.

“You can tell that some people are going through things sometimes. One lady just lost a son. Another girl had a miscarriage. People go through a lot. You get a sense of it. Sometimes you look at them, and they seem down. If you give them a smile, they can’t help but smile back,” Pratt said.

Pratt has seen how stress affects students as the semester wears on. “One kid walked in and told me ‘I just had a midterm. I didn’t know we were having a midterm today,’” said said.

“I offer my assistance to help kids out with their math homework, but no one has taken me up on it yet,” Pratt said while laughing.

Pratt is not unaccustomed to volunteering her time to help others. When she was 24, Pratt joined the Peace Corps on an extended stay in northern Africa. She taught calculus to the locals there.

One night Pratt opened her eyes to see a man in her room.

“We were told, in the beginning, not to move or they might kill us. He took everything. Even our alarm clock.

“After eight months, I was ready to go home. I was glad to have the experience, but I chose to go home,” Pratt said.

Students can return Pratt’s welcoming smile every day of the week at the Vol State Grill.

Recognizing Volstate Staff Member Voorhies

Michaela Marcellino


Marguerite Voorhies has worked at Volunteer State Community College since the day it started, July 1, 1971 as Cataloging Librarian.

Vol State, called the historic Cordell Hull Hotel home in 1971.

Voorhies could recall when the current campus opened in Feb. 1972. The Library staff was responsible for moving the collection of books belonging to the School into the Ramer Administration Building using the “Book Truck.”

Of course, as Voorhies said, “Then, we had less books.” The Vol State Library again moved when Thigpen Library opened in 1994.

“Everybody in the beginning that I was so close to, because we were over there in the administration building, retired. I just refuse to retire, as long as I have my health and half a brain!” said Voorhies.

When she was just out of college, Voorhies started at the Blue Grass Regional Library in Columbia, TN. They had a book mobile, and “we would take the book mobile to post offices, really anywhere that would take us, banks, or whatever, and leave books for people,” said Voorhies. She spent two years working at Columbia State Community College before coming to Vol State.

Voorhies’ favorite thing about working at Vol State is “working with the students, and the Vol State family.”

“[The biggest change] is the growth of the student body and college personnel. We only had a few students then,” said Voorhies.

Donna Warden, who has worked in purchasing and acquisitions at the Vol State Library for 40 years, said her favorite memory of Voorhies was filming a skit for a Media Information Resources course.

The MIR course was a required course for all incoming freshman. In this particular video, Voorhies was dressed like a biker chick, and kept saying “Honda” instead of “Harley.”

“We kept telling her, no, Harley people don’t like Honda!”

“She is such a sweet and caring lady…she has a good heart,” said Warden.

Julie Brown, who is the Technical Services Librarian at Vol State, has been Voorhies’ supervisor since Jan. 2010.

“[Voorhies] continues to be a dedicated professional. I can only hope to be as active and sharp as her when I’m her age. She comes in to work every day…she really enjoys what she does,” said Brown.

Voorhies lives in Gallatin during the week, and commutes to and from Columbia on the weekends. She has a sister and three grand-nephews there that she “loves dearly.”

“What has stayed the same [in 44 years at Vol State] is the idea that the student comes first,” said Voorhies.

Annual Volstate Fall Festival a Success

Blake Bouza
Volunteer State Community College hosted its annual Fall Festival on Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015 from 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. in the Carpeted/Tiled Dining Room and the balcony.

Students received a ticket with seven squares upon entering one of the dining rooms. Participants in the Festival were asked to participate in at least three of the seven items listed on the ticket to get a free lunch. A lunch of hot dogs and condiments was served at 12:30 p.m. in the carpeted dining room on a first-come, first-serve basis.

According to Tabitha Sherrell, Coordinator of Student Activities, the idea of the event “is to offer fun activities along with interactive community service tables to encourage students, faculty, and staff to give back to the community.”

Community service tables included CAP (Children Are People) Hygiene Bags, where Service Learning and Artisan’s Alliance asked participants to fill Ziploc bags with deodorant, shampoo, toothpaste, and a toothbrush to donate to Children Are People.

Team Change and The Settler collaborated to create snack bags to donate to the Shalom Zone. Participants were asked to decorate a brown paper bag and fill it with three snack items to deliver to the Shalom Zone.

Free HIV testing was offered to students in the cafeteria.

Phi Theta Kappa, Spectrum, and the Psychology Club operated a table on the balcony where participants were asked to stuff an animal to donate to hospitalized children for the Stuff-A-Plush table.

Sarah Naleby said this in particular hit close to home for her as she picked stuffing out of a large cardboard box and pushed it into the opening on the back of a plush Cocker Spaniel.

“I was in the hospital three weeks before Christmas,” said Naleby. “I remember getting toy donations like this from the local colleges.

“Even Tim McGraw gave us kids some Target gift cards,” said Naleby while laughing. “I am happy to return the favor to kids in need.”

Games were led by the Music Club and the African-American Student Union, including a ping pong table, corn hole, spider ring toss, and pumpkin toss.

Free caricature sketches were offered in the cafeteria while a free photobooth was set. According to Sherrell, students could get their picture taken with friends and a fall themed photo strip was printed out for the students to keep.

The photo and caricature booths were sponsored by the National Society of Leadership & Success, the college republicans, and Returning Student Organization.