VSCC holds understanding sexual assault seminar

by Lillian Lynch
On Oct. 18 You have the Power… know how to use it, Inc. hosted a seminar on understanding sexual assault.
Veronica Clark, the main speaker, began the presentation with background information on You have the Power. It was formed in 1993 by Andrea Conte, the former First Lady of Tennessee and a victim of sexual assault.
Clark showed a documentary entitled “I Never Thought it was Rape.” The video showed three women, all victims of sexual assault, telling their stories.
The first woman told a story of the aftermath of a college party. Her boyfriend at the time let her ride home with one of her friends after she had been drinking. He took advantage of that and of her. She was left believing it was her own fault.
The second woman to tell her story began with her meeting a man at a club. They were together at his apartment when his advances became
forceful. It was not until she talked to a psychologist at her school that she figured out it was rape. This discovery led her into alcoholism and a string of multiple lovers.
The third woman explained that her family had just moved to TX and she was trying to make friends. At the time, she was 13 and she met an older boy of 17. He became her first boyfriend and showed kindness to her parents. One day, they were locked in her room when he antagonized her into having sex. She had never even had her period.
After the documentary, Clark showed a short clip on the meaning of consent.
Consent must be voluntary. If someone is incapacitated they cannot give consent. The absence of “no” does not mean “yes.” Consent must be a clear and conscious decision.
Next was a guest speaker, Shirley Marie Johnson, a victim of sexual assault and President and CEO of Exodus, Inc. She began by asking the audience their feelings on recent occurrences of public gures’ misogynistic comments.
She then went on with a few statistics.
Only three percent of rapists are convicted and serve their time. In Afghanistan, women are imprisoned for being raped. Women have a two- to-one chance of being raped versus getting breast cancer.
Johnson then told her story.
“In six years of marriage, about 900 times I woke up with my husband on top of me, doing things to me,” said Johnson.
She then explain how her church had told her she needed to go home and please her husband.
Once her time was up, a panel of three people got together in front of the audience to take questions.
The rst question was from the audience.
“Do you think more people are reporting sexual assault?”
“Since I’ve been on campus I have seen more people report it. The word’s getting out that it’s okay to talk about it,” said Angela Lawson, the Assistant Chief of Campus Police.
“Resources for victims and media
awareness are increasing,” said Lori Cutrell, Director of Human Resources. The next question was, “How can someone here report a sexual assault?” “You can report to anyone here on campus. There are upwards of 80 official reporters. Faculty is mandated to report by policy but not by federal
law,” said Lawson.
There are also step-by-step
instructions on how to report an assault and things to do and not to do directly after a sexual assault under Volunteer State Community College’s Policies and Procedures page on www.volstate. edu.
“What’s the difference between sexual assault and rape?” asked Clark.
“Sexual assault is touching and groping while rape is unwanted penetration,” said Lawson.
The next question was, “How many reports of sexual assault have there been on campus in the last three years?”
“There have been about 10 – 15 reports just to Human Resources,” said Cutrell.
The next question was directed at Johnson.
“How long was it before you decided to seek help?”
“I knew something was wrong but I was afraid to leave and be looked down on by the church. He wanted the divorce. I didn’t want to be the one to do that,” said Johnson.
The last question was, “How do the rape victims go on with their lives?” “Some find healing in helping others that have been through the same thing. It depends on the person,” said
Clark.
The seminar was left with a word
of advice.
“It’s never your fault,” said
Johnson.

Graduation deadline is almost here

by Cole Miller
Graduation is necessary to get a degree, and the priority deadline to graduate from Volunteer State Community during the Spring 2017 semester is Oct. 31. The final deadline for this is Feb.1. The process of applying to graduate is one very graduation packet,which can be picked up in the Hal Reed Ramer Administration Building in room 183 in the Office of Records and Registration. According to the Graduation Packet, students applying to graduate after the priority deadline must submit a Graduation Plan by the final deadline date in order to graduate during that semester, otherwise they will be moved to the next semester. This means that if a student misses the Feb. 1 deadline, they would graduate in the Summer 2017 semester, rather than the Spring 2017 semester. The priority and final deadlines for the Summer 2017 semester are March 15 and June 1, respectively. The packet also states that applicants must review all graduation requirements in their College Catalog for their program, check their progress by using
DegreeWorks, and to work closely with their advisor to make sure that all requirements have been or will be met in their anticipated graduated term. Vol State has two graduation ceremonies each year, at the end of the Fall and Spring semesters. All Summer graduates will participate in the following Fall ceremony. Although participation in the commencement is optional, it is strongly encouraged. All requirements for the respective program must be completed before the credential can be posted to the student’s transcript, or a diploma awarded to the student. For students that are graduating this semester, make sure to contact the bookstore by Nov. 11 to order your cap and gown for the ceremony. Graduation rehearsal is Dec. 9, at 10 am in the gymnasium located in the T. Wesley Pickel Field House. The ceremony will be held in the same place,on the following day,Dec. 10, in the gym. The phone number for the bookstore is 615-230-3636, or you can visit them in the Randy and Lois Wood Campus Center. The “Prospective Graduate Checklist”
lists several things that are needed to check off in order to graduate. They are: completion of all course requirements, all exit exam(s) taken, a minimum of 2.000 GPA unless the student is studying for an Associate of Science in Teaching which requires a GPA of 2.75, pay all financial obligations to the college including overdue fees and parking tickets, making sure all deadlines are met, and picking up the diploma on or after the designated dates of the semester graduation occurs for the respective student. Diplomas are available beginning on the following dates for Fall 2016, Spring 2017 and Summer 2017 semesters, respectively, Feb. 15, June 15, and Sept. 15. Graduates that cannot pick up their diploma can have their diploma mailed to them by providing a written release and pre-addressed, prepaid envelope to the Records office. “Make sure you meet with your advisor to discuss which classes you need to have credit for [in order to graduate],” said Amber Reagan, Graduation Analyst. “Everything you need to know, and the required forms are all on the graduation packets.”

The Alex Michael Band performs at Vol State’s annual Fall Festival

by Kailyn Fournier
Those who were at Fall Festival from 1 p.m. – 2 p.m., probably heard the music from the band playing in the Quad. That was the Alex Michael Band, a country music band from Nashville.
Volunteer State Community College got the band to perform at Fall Festival by attending the Association for the Promotion of Campus Activities (APCA) Conference where the band was being bid on by a variety of schools.
The band includes the lead, Alex Michael, along with Thomas Hassell on drums, Jonathan Warren on fiddle, Dean Green on bass, and Sam Van Fossen on lead guitar. They have been a band since 2011 and, aside from Tennessee, have played in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Texas.
At Vol State they opened with a cover of Dierks Bentley’s song, 5-1-5- 0, and over the course of the hour played 15 other songs. They had some technical difficulties, causing their lead microphone to cut out during the end of one of their songs, but the band did not let that faze them and finished the song as if nothing had happened. Once they were finished, they were able to resolve the issue
After that, Michael asked if their audience was okay with them going ahead and playing what Michael called their, “Show offy song,” before playing the tune for “Devil Went Down To Georgia.” For those not familiar with the song, it is particularly notable for its fiddle solos, which likewise show-cased Warren’s ability the most, but had a part for each member to show off.
Those who like line dancing should have been at the concert because towards the end of the show the band asked if anyone knew how to line dance. As a result
of their traveling and playing up North, where it is not common for people to line dance, they took “Copperhead Red” out of their set list. A few people knew how to, so the band played the song, and the few audience members who knew how to line dance taught those who were interested. “It’s always fun when the crowd gets into it,” said Michael.
Also in their song selections were two of the band’s original songs, “That Woman” and “Carousel.” Both songs are new and have yet to be recorded. They also took requests, which were “Dixieland Delight” by Alabama and their closing song, “Chicken Fried” by the Zac Brown Band.
“I was really impressed by the lead singer,” said Natalie White, Vice President of the Student Government Association, after the performance was over.
Those interested in The Alex Michael Band should check out their Facebook and their twitter page at @AlexMichaelBand. “For those who are interested in our stuff can go to our Bandcamp page and enter the promo code: “volstate” for 10 percent off on our music and merchandise,” said Warren. They also have their album on their Facebook page under the tab “Buy our music here.”
The band wanted to thank Ben Graves and Tabitha Sherrell for making it possible for them to be here.

Why football is so much more than a game

Football has always been a big part of my life. I have had the privilege to grow up in the great state of Tennessee since I was born.
I went to my first Volunteer football game at the age of 3 and absolutely fell in love with the team and the sport.
My Great-Grandfather played football for The University of Tennessee under General Robert Neyland. That is something I take pride in. My oldest brother also pursued a degree from UT for which I am also proud.
I plan to carry on this tradition when I transfer from Volunteer State Community College next fall. For many people football is about wining, who can be the best and who can go to the championship.
For myself, what matters is a little bit different. I care about the coaches and the players. I care about the families of players and coaches that lose time with their loved ones.
I care about the fans in those stands on game day. I care about the couple who just brought their daughter or son to their first football game to enjoy the excitement. I am aware that for most people winning is everything. So many other things go into a football program.
While the feeling of winning is something no one can really fully describe, nothing compares to the atmosphere on a Saturday in the south. Being a Vols fan means that you are prepared for anything.
You get up on game day not knowing what will happen, but you are excited to find out.
From years and years of rich tradition that graces these Tennessee hills, to specific game day rituals the Vols have it all. Running through the ‘T’ at the start of the game, Davy Crockett, the cheerleaders and dancers, the Pride of the Southland Marching Band and my personal favorite, Smokey.
These are the things that make game days so special. When you have a family compiled of players and coaches that is able to come together on a field and connect a group of people the way Tennessee does, it’s very special. I am very proud of my football team despite the three losses we have taken so far this year.
As a team they have worked extremely hard to get to the point they are at.
Even though I will always consider myself a ‘Vol for Life’ I know many other fans of various college and professional teams feel the same way.
No matter what your team is or your sport I encourage you to remember to stick with them through the good times as well as the bad.
I am sure nothing helps a team become more encouraged, and a coaching staff become more driven, than to have unconditional support from the fans.
You can expand your love for sports right here at Vol State. Although I am aware Vol State does not have a well known football team, we do have amazing basketball, softball and baseball teams that need our support.
The sky is the limit for the players at Vol State, and just like big name schools, they need our support as well. There are endless opportunities for these young men and women to transfer to great Universities and even to go professional one day.
Who knows, they may be playing for your favorite team in the near future. The Vol State website has a schedule posted for all the games that are to be played this year. You are urged to bring as many family and friends as you wish to fill up the bleachers.
Your support is always appreciated from The Settler staff.

Top 8 reasons to vote this election season

By: Cole Miller
The 2016 Presidential election has the two most unpopular main party candidates in recent American history. However, whether or not you like either major candidate, your vote still matters. Please go out and vote on Nov. 8 if you have not already voted early.

8. There is more than one choice.
Although the media primarily covers the Democratic and Republican parties, there are many other parties with candidates running for President of the United States. Some parties are more known, like the Green Party and the Libertarian Party, but there are lesser knowns such as The Legal Marijuana Now Party and the United States Pirate Party.

7. You can actually complain with some integrity.
To quote Abraham Lincoln, “Elections belong to the people. It’s their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the people and burn their behinds, then they will have to sit on their blisters.” Basically what this means is, if the person you did not want to become President does just that, and you didn’t vote, you cannot complain about it.

6. The margins can be very important.
The 2000 Presidential election between George W. Bush and Vice President Al Gore had a popular vote margin of 543,889 votes in the latter’s favor, however, the electoral vote gave George W. Bush the win, making him the 43rd President of the United States. The electoral difference was 5 delegates.

5. There have been people who have given their lives for your rights.
As a United States citizen, you have several rights given to you by the U.S. Constitution. Voting is one of these rights. Ever since we became a country, there have been wars fought, and in each of these wars, Americans have died defending those rights. By not voting, or not practicing any constitutional rights, you are letting them die for nothing.

4. Because you can.
This may seem pretty basic, but most college students are over eighteen, and can finally vote for the candidate of their choice. Growing up, I was always excited to finally be able to vote in an election of any kind, and now I finally can. This election is history in the making, and every vote counts for your candidate of choice.

3. The emotion of anticipation.
The night of the election, Nov. 8 we will have announced to us, the 45th President of the United States of America. This is a very exciting time for many citizens. Excitement can be good or bad though. Some citizens could be in total fear over who will be elected this year, or and year for that matter, because of the feeling of broken promises and the unknown that comes with every new president. Regardless, people will be anticipating these results for days before that night, and the entire day.
2. Honoring Benjamin Franklin.
At the Constitutional Convention that led to our country being formed, Benjamin Franklin was asked the following question, “What have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” He answered, “A Republic, if you can keep it.” Our founding father challenged the citizens of his day and for Americans leading all the way to today to vote for their official leaders.

1. Democracy.
Democracy literally means “people force.” We the people have the ability to put our elected officials in office, any office for that matter. This all the more reason why we should absolutely vote on any ballot. We the people are the most powerful entity in this country. We the people are the backbone, lungs, and brains of this country.

These are just a few of the many reasons you should utilize your right to vote.
Although the candidates in this election are extremely unpopular, one of them will be our next president.
Being educated on your choice and your own beliefs definitely helps narrow down your choices.