Get prepared for Halloween extra early

By Hope McKinney

Okay, I am one of those people who decorate for Halloween pre-maturely, dress to fit fall weather even when it’s still 80 degrees outside, and encourage everyone else to do so. Whether you are happy about fall being upon us or not, it is on its way. Here are a few things I do every year to prepare for the festivities of my favorite time of year!

1.     Buy decorations when they first hit the shelves. If you are on a budget, you can get so much for under 20$ at your local Dollar Tree. Their decorations aren’t only cheap; they are so cute!

2.     If you have children let them pick their costume early. Waiting until the very last minute can be very stressful for your whole family due to shortage of Elsa and Ninja Turtle costumes at Party City. By the time October 31 hits all those procrastinating parents will be ready to pull their hair out digging through the left over costumes praying they find something their child won’t throw a fit about. Don’t be that parent.

3.     When you order your festive holiday coffee from Starbucks, or a local shop try something new! We all know pumpkin spice is the king of all coffee at this time, but venture forth and create a new coffee trend for yourself.

4.     Have a scary movie marathon. Get all of the classics together, cuddle up with your loved ones, and see who will chicken out of watching them first! A great alternative if you have children, or you don’t like scary movies would be movies like Halloweentown or Twitches. While these are not scary movies they do the trick of getting you in the spirit.

5.     Create an original costume for yourself. Get on Pinterest and see what kind of concoctions you can come up with! Odds are you can find just what you are looking for right in your closet.

6.     Stock up on candy. Candy is expensive and if you’re anything like me and you start buying it too early, you will also start eating it before it gets to the trick-or-treaters. I like to stock up about 3 or so days before and just see how much will power I actually have before the big day.

7.     If you are trick-or-treating yourself, or with children it is ALWAYS a good idea to get a set of reflectors to stick on yourself. Especially in busy neighborhoods, cars sometimes can’t see you, or simply just don’t watch for you. Reflectors can be seen very easily at a distance and should give an alert driver more than enough time to stop before someone gets hurt.

8.     A rule of thumb when taking my sister trick-or-treating for me has always been not to accept homemade treats from people we didn’t know. What is a friendly gesture for most, can be a harmful method for many others.

9.     If you are attending a Halloween party, or any party for that matter, be cautious of what you are ingesting. Same with the trick-or-treaters there are so many creeps and spooky people other than on Halloween night that have no problems hurting others.

10. Be prepared for cold weather. In the great state of Tennessee the weather changes hour to hour. Always be prepared with a jacket incase mother nature decides its time for a cold front.     

11. HAVE FUN!!! No matter what your plans are for Halloween and the next couple of months leading up to it make it a time to remember. Carve pumpkins and go to haunted houses. Enjoy the cooler weather with family and friends who mean the most to you.

Vet Tech Program to receive new building

By Kailyn Fournier

With all of the art classes moving into the Steinhauer-Rogan-Black Humanities building, it leaves the former Fine Arts building in need of a new purpose. That new purpose could be fulfilled as early as January of next semester as the new home of the Veterinary Technology program.

“I think it is an exciting time for our program at Vol State,” Suzanne Gibson, an adjunct instructor for the Vet Tech Program, says, “as we will be moving from the Science Field Station to a state of the art 9,000 square foot building next year on main campus.”

The Vet Tech program is for students who are interested in becoming a veterinary nurses. It traditionally is a two year program, however there is a six year option for part time students. Gibson says, “Once these students graduate from the Vet Tech program, most will likely go into private practice (in a veterinary clinic) but with this degree they have numerous options and opportunities available to them.”

Every year the program accepts 24 students who have previously completed 40 hours of observing or volunteering work in a veterinary setting, or have grown up on a farm taking care of animals.

The reason they have 40 required hours of observation is so that the students are well informed of the career they’re getting into. “People think that it’s going to be playing with puppies and kittens all day but it’s not,” says Hope Wright, one of the people in charge of Vet Tech. “They’ll see blood, they’ll see surgery, but it’s fun too.”

Gibson says, “It’s important to learn the science and technical skills, but it also takes a special person to be a veterinary technician. We all love animals, but you also have to enjoy helping people as well, which takes a person that is very caring, compassionate, and dedicated.”

It is academic though, as Donna Smith, an instructor and the clinical coordinator for Vet Tech, says, “It’s a very rigorous program.” Students will complete 345 hours of hands-on learning by the time they graduate. Getting that time won’t be a challenge, though. With the relationships the program has established, Vet Tech has quite a few local farmers and approximately 30 clinical affiliates.  This is partly due to the creation of the program being, “…a true community effort,” according to Douglas Shaw, who was in charge of creating the curriculum and organizing Vet Tech at Vol state.

Shaw also says, “Our students are getting jobs….Out of 13 students in one class, all but one are already in a veterinary career.” Smith says something similar about one of the previous years, “One of the neatest things [was], we had 19 graduates. 17 of those had jobs. It’s just phenomenal.”

Smith thinks part of the success is due to the fact when it started, Vol State was the 5th school in Tennessee to have the Vet Tech program. The schools are all spread out too, so the low number of schools teaching the program makes the students very sought after, not only here but even in the states bordering Tennessee. With the new building, Smith thinks the program has a lot of potential to grow.

The program itself is very sought after by students as well, with over 50 students applying for this year. Again, only 24 students are selected per year. So, for students who are interested, or know someone who might be interested in applying for the Vet Tech program next year, more information and the application can be found at

Free tutoring on and off campus

By Rachel Yates

Volunteer State Community College offers free tutoring assistance to all students who wish to sit down with a learning assistant or tutor on campus, or if one is studying online assistance is available 24/7 at Tutoring is offered for all students at different levels in the Learning Center and the Language Center.

Kay Dayton explains, “Tutoring is available to all Volunteer State Community College students in the Learning Commons located in Thigpen Library. We are opened Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. and on Saturday’s 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.”

The Learning Commons is located on the first floor of the Thigpen Library.

The Learning Commons has tutors who can help in subjects from math to physics. In addition, they also work to help students in the co-requisite classes if they need help with their reading or writing.

Suzanne Previte, director of the Language Center, tends to pick up when the Learning Center is unavailable. “The Language Center offers students assistance in all forms of communication – written, oral, visual, academic, professional, and personal – and we can work with students in disciplines at any stage of the writing/presenting process,” said Previte.

Beginning Sep. 6, the Language Center will be open Monday’s and Thursday’s 9:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m., and Friday’s 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Prior to Sep. 6, the Language Center will be open the week of Aug. 29, and will be open that week Monday – Thursday 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. and Friday 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. One can find the Language Center located in the Steinhaur-Rogan-Black Humanities building room 205. Previte added, “Students use the Language Center quite often; in fact, over the past 6 years on average more than one thousand students use the Language Center each semester.”

The Language Center also offers physical consultants with whom the students can work with. If the class meets online, or at an alternate location, the professors are given the opportunity to have a Language Center consultant embedded in their eLearn class shells.

Students who are finding classwork challenging always have tutoring assistance available at their fingertips. Whether having coffee at their favorite coffee shop, or sitting in their living room, all they need to do is access the internet and type in for free online help.

Kenia Alderson, freshman, states, “I feel great knowing that tutoring is offered. I think it’s a really good thing to have because sometimes you need that extra help in some places and tutoring can do that and be useful for us.” VSCC tutoring offers insurance that students can learn and complete homework to meet their deadlines.

Whether it is online tutoring, in the Learning Commons, or in the Language Center students are given many opportunities to successfully get that extra help that one may need.

“If a student comes with a need we try to help them and link it out,” said Dayton. VSCC will have the tutoring schedule available Aug. 29.

Fitness Center available to students

By Kailyn Fournier

Students enjoying the Fitness Center

Students enjoying the Fitness Center

Volunteer State Community College has a fitness center located in the Wesley Pickel Field House building open Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m.—9 p.m. It has a variety of equipment for students and faculty to use.

The room has treadmills, exercise bikes and cross trainers, as well as various weights. It also has stations for biceps, abdominal crunches, seated leg curls, leg extensions, biangular shoulder presses, seated leg presses, and tricep extensions among others. On each of these stations are instructions on how to set up the equipment, how to enter the equipment and how to actually do the exercise.

In addition to the equipment, on the walls of the room, there are posters with various warm up and workout information. There are also three T.V.s mounted on the walls.

The rules for the fitness center can be found on a sign near the desk, and on the wall in front of the treadmills. They are general rules apply mostly to using the equipment, such as taking care of the equipment and keeping the room clean.

However, no food and drink are allowed unless it is water, and since there is heavy equipment involved, parents are not allowed to bring their children into the room for the child’s own safety. The fitness center is also closed to others whenever a class is in session.

It should also be mentioned that the rules specifically state that the fitness center is for working out only, no socializing or loitering.

The fitness center is a public place, and though it is a workout room, proper attire is required. Shirts and shoes are necessary. Also, profanity, and screaming or grunting loudly is not appropriate or allowed.

Justin McKinney is an adjunct athletic trainer at Vol State and teaches a weight training class that takes place in the fitness center Mondays and Wednesdays from 10:10 to 11:05.

He says that the room is always fairly open. “Our athletes here at Vol State utilize the facility as well,” He says, “but the best time to come and work out is the afternoon, because they’re practicing.”

According to McKinney, the desk in the Fitness center is used whenever the Athletic Department has work studies. Occasionally there is someone at the desk who is just there to help and observe and there are routine checks of the room to make sure everything is fine.

If no one is there it still fine to use the workout equipment, but it is one’s own responsibility to make sure they are using the equipment safely.

Abby Hall and Melanie Wells are two of McKinney’s weight training students and thought they would be the only two girls in his class. They realized that the class was much more diverse and have a decent number of both men and women.

Though neither of the girls are involved in any sports at Vol State, they do coach basketball at Madison Church of Christ in Madison, TN. Hall says she specifically joined the class to use the room to help with a problem she has in her knee.

Featured equipment from the Fitness Center

Featured equipment from the Fitness Center

Vol State officially releases crime statistics

By  Cole Miller

At Volunteer State Community College, the campus police are located below the Wood Campus Center.

Lisa Morris says, “In person at the Campus Police office of each site is the most efficient way. In the event something is realized after leaving campus, calling is permitted but the victim may be asked to come to campus police for a follow-up interview.”

According to the chart, there were 18 counts of larceny, or theft, in the year 2015, compared to the 19 theft offenses committed in 2011.

“There’s crime on campus?” said student Kevin Clow, “Everything seems so calm, like, I never would have guessed there is actual crime on campus.”

“I figured there is crime, you can’t be too sure, but I never would have known actual crime is committed here,” said Mariah Lynn Rodriguez, a student at Vol State.

“I feel safe for the most part, I mean as safe as any individual would feel at a school,” Rodriguez added.

Courtney Myatt, a student at Vol State, said, “It’s hard to form an opinion on crime when you don’t know it is going on.”

Campus Police can be found in the lower part of the Wood Campus Center, room 105, and be called at (615) 230-3595.

Students are encouraged to vote this election

By Michaela Marcellino

This has certainly been one of the most interesting election cycles in a long, long time. Students, it is time to make your voice heard.

According to a poll taken earlier this year by Pew Research, Millennials (aged 18-35) now make up the same portion of the electorate as Baby Boomers. We have a bigger voice then ever, and it is time to vote.

According to CBS, this next president will potentially appoint four Supreme Court Justices, while Business Insider reports that the the average number of appointments per President is 2.6.

The Supreme Court shapes the future of this nation by how they cast their votes. Ask yourself honestly: Are you happy with how your nation is being run, or do you want change?

Whether we like it or not, either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton will be our next president. They will both bring change.

Voting this election is so important because we have both the right and privilege in America to vote and to make our opinions known.

It is a responsibility that can never be taken for granted. A wise lady said recently something to the effect of, “If you do not vote, and end up not liking what is going on, you do not get to complain. You did not get out to vote.”

Voting is so important because you are the next generation of Americans. We can no longer be apathetic, and say it does not matter whether someone votes or not.

Think long, hard, and carefully about what you believe, and not what your parents, teachers, fellow classmates and friends believe. On November 8 and vote accordingly because not voting is a vote in itself.

The next step before election day is to make sure you are registered to vote. If you are not, you need to by October 11.

Tabitha Sherrell, Coordinator of Student Activities, said “Next week, SGA will be hosting a voter registration table Tuesday-Thursday from 12:45 p.m.-1:45 p.m. in the tiled dining room. We will also be hosting a ThinkFast Game Show on Wednesday, September 7, 2016 from 12:45PM-1:45PM and the theme of the game is ‘The Right to Vote.’ The League of Women Voters in Hendersonville will also be doing a table set-up on Tuesday, September 27 in honor of National Voter Registration Day. They will be in the tiled dining room from 10:30 a.m.—1:00 p.m.”

In addition, The Tennessee DMV website,, states, “You can register to vote in person and by mail. First, complete the Mail-In Application for Voter Registration (Form SS-3010).

“This form is good for both in-person and by-mail registration. Next, either mail your form to your local county election commission or visit one of the following locations: County clerk’s office, Public libraries, Register of Deeds office, Department of Health, Departments of Human Services, Mental Health, Safety, and Veteran’s Affairs.”

If you are not sure if you are registered, you can check at the following website:  You can help shape the future of this nation, and you can make your voice heard.

8 things every VSCC student should know

Picture taken in the new SRB Building Second Floor

By Melissa Farmer

Picture taken in the new SRB Building Second Floor

Picture taken in the new SRB Building Second Floor

1.The Grill has delicious food! Not only will they make you a burger to order, they have options already set out so you can grab something quick and go. The Grill is located in the Wood building across from the Student Life and Diversity Office.

2.If you are reading this, then you have discovered that Vol State has a student newspaper! The Settler is a great way for student to develop their writing skills, and participate in a fun club/class. The Settler is located in room 212 in the new Steinhauer-Rogan-Black Humanities building.

3.Its okay to take naps at school, I know it isn’t every ones style and some would rather power through long days amped up on caffeine, but there are plenty of places to sleep, benches, the library, the café, or even the floor. You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.

4.Vol State has a basketball team, baseball team and a softball team! Show your Pioneer pride and attend one of these games before the seasons end!

5.The Vol State bookstore has more than just books! The bookstore, located in the Wood building, has yearly planners, backpacks, notebooks, phone chargers, snacks, and even an E.L.F makeup stand (ladies, you know what I’m talking about. ELF stands for eyes, lips and face).

6.The parking situation gets better after the first month, just be patient and get here early for a good spot! Don’t forget to get your parking decals for the 2016 school year!

7.If you can’t get online to entertain yourself, due to the wi-fi, you can grab a copy of The Settler! There is a newsstand in every building.

8.This list already mentioned the Grill, but everyone needs to know that the Grill has coffee. And lots of it. There are a few different types of brews, and cream and sugar are provided!

Team Change scheduled to hold first meetings at VSCC

By Miguel Detillier

Team Change are planning to have their first meetings this week at Volunteer State Community College.

Le-Ellen Dayhuff, Assistant Professor of Math, said that these meetings will start from 2:20 p.m. on Sept. 7 and 8. Dayhuff also said that this club has not made any confirmation on where they will have their first meetings.

“We are also planning to have a community-wide stream clean-up event on Saturday, Sept. 17 at Mansker Creek in Goodlettsville from 9 a.m.-noon, and this event can count for TN Promise hours to students who are on the TN Promise scholarship,” said Kelly Ormsby, Assistant Professor of English. “Not only this event will help out our environment, but it will also help improve our water quality.”

Dayhuff said that this club will be advertising the stream clean up event at Team Change meetings this week.

“Besides getting involved in stream clean-ups, we have also participated in many events like Earth Hour when they handed out reusable metal water bottles to students who participated in Earth Hour, and at the Earth Day Festival when they did a drawing for students to win t-shirts made out of recycled plastic,” said Dayhuff. “We would also have speakers on campus like Jeff Barry who spoke out on energy savings, and sometimes we would also sometimes show films, and that we would also do workdays at the Vol State Community Garden and tree dedications to retired Vol State faculty members like when we grew two trees in dedication of Nancy Morris and Richard Harville, and we would also participate in tree plantings at parks with the Tennessee Environmental Council.”

Keith Bell, Associate Professor of Geography, said that Team Change is part of the Campus Sustainability Committee, and that the core mission of the Committee is to allocate funds procured from the Sustainable Campus Fee Program in a responsible and effective manner. Bell also said that the Campus Sustainability Committee seeks to reduce the rate at which Vol State contributes to the depletion and degradation of natural resources, and to increase the use of renewable resources, especially with the purchase of “Green Power Switch” energy from the Tennessee Valley Authority, and to adopt and expand other sustainable measures that can enhance the physical environment and decrease their ecological footprint, and to foster a culture of sustainability across campus through “green” philosophy and broad-based societal change.

“We hope that we can make campus sustainability efficient by encouraging our students to recycle and also by helping them protect our environment,” said Bell.

Ormsby confirms that this club is a great way for students to get involved around campus. Ormsby also said that she really enjoys working with students in Team Change off-campus on projects like stream clean-ups.

“Our goals for this club is to make the campus more sustainable and to help our faculty, staff, and students to be more aware of how our choices affect our environment,” said Dayhuff.

Intramurals kick off at Vol State

Sports intramurals at Volunteer State Community College will be starting this week with co-ed flag foot- ball and soccer for the fall semester.

Both of these sports will be played outside the QUAD from 11:10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and the game dates
for ag football are on Mondays and Wednesdays from Sept. 12 to Oct. 31, and the game dates for soccer are on Tuesdays and Thursdays from Sept. 13 to Nov. 3.

Intramurals just recently par- ticipated with other student clubs and organizations at the “Come-I-Wanna- See-You!” event in the QUAD on Tuesday, Aug. 25, and offered students the chance to play co-ed flag football and soccer for the fall semester.

Tabitha Sherrell, Coordinator of Student Activities, confirms that sports intramurals used to be scheduled from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., but is now scheduled from 11:10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sherrell explains that why this club changed their time frame is because they are hoping that more students can come and participate in all the sports that Intramurals are offering.

“We have been offering sports intramurals over the last four years, and we had a lot of students participat- ing in ag football since it has become a really popular sport on campus, but we did not have enough students to play soccer and we are hoping that
we can get more students to play this sport as much as they have in flag football,” said Sherrell.

Tim Moore, Chairman of Intramurals, said that students should think about participating in this club because they should take playing sports more seriously, and that it could be a good way for them to socialize with each other.

“I believe that playing in sports intramurals can allow students to interact with each other, and I also believe that it can let them enjoy their time in school more than just studying and being in the library and it can also allow them to have a common connection,” said sophomore John Pratt.

Not only does Intramurals offer ag football and soccer during the fall semester, but they also offer basketball and volleyball during the spring semester. Sherrell said that even though this club has already scheduled the dates for ag football and soccer, they have not planned a schedule for basketball and volleyball.

Besides providing sports to many students, Intramurals even offered video games to them at the Randy and Lois Wood Campus Center last spring. Sherrell said that this club decided to offer video game intramurals because they wanted to have students spend their leisure time without having to utilize outside space, and the video game consoles that the club used for students to participate in video game intramurals was the Xbox One and the Nintendo Wii.

Since sports intramurals will be starting this week, students will be able to enjoy their leisure time on campus.

Soccer flyer provided by Tabitha Sherrell

Soccer flyer provided by Tabitha Sherrell

Flag Football flyer provided by Tabitha Sherrell

Flag Football flyer provided by Tabitha Sherrell

Service Dogs on Vol State Campuses

Gus the dog is a service dog at volstate

Gus the dog is a service dog at volstate

By Kailyn Fouriner
Service Dogs can be useful to someone with disabilities, as a dog can be trained speci c skill sets to help out their potential owners. One such dog is an 18 month old English Labrador who goes by the name of Tink. Her owner, Andrew Thorsett, is a student hereatVolunteerStateCommunityCollege and says she helps him out immensely. Her primary job is to help him navigate around obstacles and nd doorknobs he cannot see on his own. The two were matched together by Pilot Dogs Inc. and have been together 3 months now. Though, Thorsett has never had a service dog besides her, he says that Tink is just like any other dog when he takes her service harness off. Service dogs have a wide range of jobs they can be trained for, and one person who would know is Shelby Swaby. Swaby is also a student, and has raised and trained service dogs for Retrieving Independence the past two years. Her passion to train them blossomed when her friend had Swaby watch her dog named Angel. Angel was a service dog, and since then she has raised three others. Her newest dog, a Golden Retriever named Gus, is still in training to go to someone with seizures, diabetes, or problems with mobility. Gus is in the stage of training where Swaby has to get him used to being in new places, and being around a lot of people. When he is working, he has a harness that says to not pet him. Out of the four dogs she has trained, only one has gone to an owner. Swaby states that she has, however, heard some amazing stories about other dogs she has not raised. “One of the dogs, Kip,” Swaby says, “was given to an 85 year old woman who had a car accident. She was limited to her house, but then heard about the program, and was assigned Kip. The two have traveled everywhere since.” She goes on to state that another dog, Rex, has also had an impact on his owner’s life. “A man that has seizures, diabetes, and is in a wheelchair got a dog from Retrieving Independence name Rex. Rex is a Lab, Golden Retriever mix and [he] is the sweetest dog. One night Rex was barking and whining for the man to wake up. The dog had apparently sensed that his owner’s blood sugar was low, and had alerted his owner, but on the man’s way to the fridge, he passed out. “When he woke up,” Swaby continues, “he had every kind of drink in the fridge around his head with the dog licking his face.” Both Swaby and Thorsett agree that service dogs are a benefit,but a concern could arise though, if a teacher doesn’t want a dog in class. Luckily Swaby’s instructor for English Composition I, Patricia Highers, is fully supportive of the service dogs. In fact, on the topic of Swaby bringing Gus to class to train, Ms. Highers’ only concern was to make sure that Swaby had gotten the right documentation by going through the disabilities center. Though Ms. Highers has never had a student in class with a service dog, she has some deaf students who needed another person as an assistant. Based on mutual trust and cooperation, Ms. Highers views these two ways of assistance very similar. Ms. Highers nds service dogs to be fascinating, and believes with more awareness and support, they could be a help to more people. Ultimately, she feels that service dogs are, “[one of the] things in this world we don’t utilize as much as we should.”