Vol State will be hosting annual Fall Festvial

by Michaela Marcellino
On October 19th the annual Fall Festival will be taking place at Volunteer State Community College. The activities will be on the outside on the Quad (the field outside the library), if it rains then it will be moved inside to the Pickel Field House (Gym). A free lunch will be provided for those who stop by the CAB sand art table and get Fall Festival Bucket List ticket.
They will then need to stop by eight tables in order to receive the lunch. Lunch will start at 12:30, a concert will start at 12:45 on the Quad, the concert will feature the Alex Michael Band.
There are multiple activities available at the Fall Festival “this year we will have corn hole, volleyball, a video game station with E-Sports, ping pong with College Republicans and make your own sand art with CAB”, said Coordinator of Student Activities Tabitha Sherrell.
Clubs have the opportunity to sponsor tables at the Fall Festival “Spectrum and RSO will be sponsoring the Sumner County Humane Society Dog Toys where students can visit the table and make homemade dog toys that will be donated to the humane Society” said Sherrell.
The Fall Festival offers a variety of tables that engage students with different interests “I loved the Fall Festival last year, it was fun to look at all the different tables and people.
I was surprised at how much food I got to sample. I hope there is as much this year! Other than the food, it was fun to walk around campus; I got to show my sister some of the clubs that I am in and the tables that we sponsored. I hope there is a big turn out this year”, said student Rachel Edwards.
Food Day will also be a part of the Fall Festival “We are also partnering with Kelly Ormsby who is sponsoring Food Day the same day. She will have the following tables at Fall Festival: UT extension Office, Second Harvest, USDA, Soup Sampling! Farmers Market (two tables).” Said Sherrell.
The Fall Festival is an opportunity to bring your friends and family to campus and let them see what your college is like, “I am going to the Fall Festival this year and I am hoping to join some new clubs.
I felt too frazzled at the beginning of the year to join any clubs, now that I have settled in I think it will be cool to get involved at school and make some new friends and join some student led clubs and activities.
Even if I don’t get to join any clubs at least I got to hang out with my friends and start off the fall season with a Fall Festival, right? I think it will be fun to see the turn out, hopefully the weather gets the hint and gives us some fall weather to go with the festival”, said student Mackenzie Norset about the festival.

Carlos Andres Gomez visits Vol State

by Miguel Detillier
Carlos Andres Gomez, award-winning poet, spoke at the Campus Activities Board (CAB) Coffee House in Volunteer State Community College on Oct. 4.
This lecture took place at the Mary Cole Nichols Dining Room A in the Randy and Lois Wood Campus Center from 12:45-1:45 p.m., after a student and faculty open-mic event that lasted from 12:15-12:45 p.m.
Gomez’s lecture started off with him reading a poem about dancing with a woman in a wheelchair in a nightclub called “Hector LaVoe is God.” Gomez also spoke about being in love with his partner in college which lead him to read a poem called “Everything.”
Gomez also talked about holding hands with a man in college which lead him to read a poem about homophobia and rigid gender roles called “Handstitch.”
Gomez communicated with the audience about their looks and identities like freshman Billy Trvoni who spoke about being told that he looked like George Lopez, which lead to Gomez reading a poem about stereotypes called “What does Hispanic look like?”
Gomez also spoke about dealing with the audience over specific lines and metaphors from poems that would confuse them.
And Gomez also told a story over the First Amendment Awareness Week when he asked questions to people in Kentucky about how they know the First Amendment, and also the reception that he got from asking those people about their thoughts on same-sex marriage.
Gomez also talked about dealing with his own fears and that he didn’t have to worry about his fears because of his privileges.
Gomez also communicated with students about how women are being treated like junior MaryAnn Kormoski who talked about the Pink Tax that charges money to women who buy products that are targeted towards women, which lead to him reading a poem about his daughter being gendered called “If a Princess Tries to Kidnap Your Daughter.”
And Gomez closes his lecture by reading a poem that he dedicated to his dyslexic younger sister and to those who have younger sisters called “Gifted.”
Tabitha Sherrell, Coordinator of Student Activities, said that Gomez was planning to give away a copy of his book called “Man Up: Reimagining Modern Manhood” at the open-mic event, but he didn’t because the books sold out the night before his lecture at Vol State.
“I loved coming to see Gomez perform at the Coffee House when I brought my English class to this event,” said Kelly Ormsby, Assistant Professor of English.
“We have studied poetry, and I think it is a great opportunity to see a poet perform his or her original work.”
Sherrell said that the Coffee House did really well for the Campus Activities Board, and that they’ve had an English class that came to see Gomez perform, and that four students participated in the open-mic showcase.
“It was an absolute joy to perform at Vol State, and I hope I make it back in the future,” said Gomez.

Student government hosts forum

by Michaela Marcellino
The Student Government Association (SGA)of Volunteer State Community College had their SGA Presidential Forum Monday, Oct. 2. This was an opportunity for the SGA to present questions from students about a wide range of topics relevant to Volunteer State. Presidential forums happen once a semester.
Those on the panel for the Fall 2016 forum included Vol State president, Jerry Faulkner, as well as coordinator of communications and public relations Eric Melcher, assistant vice president of student services Talia Koronkiewicz, assistant vice president of academic affairs George Pimentel, chief information officer Kevin Blankenship, assistant vice president of business and technology Renee Austin, and director of plant operations, William Newman.
The SGA Forum covered many different topics, from on-campus child care, to Wi-Fi issues, to future landscaping plans. Questions were also asked about if Vol State will ever have a health clinic, if students will be able to receive a text if a class is cancelled, and much more.
The panel provided answers. On the Wi-Fi issue, it is being worked on, and should be fixed soon. About text alerts, there are two types: One for emergencies such as evacuations and the like, and the other is for important campus information in general.
As of right now, the technology to separate text alerts by class does not exist. However, if a class gets cancelled completely, the division over that class will personally call each student to let them know. Students are encouraged to make sure their phone number in their online student account is correct. On the issues of a Vol State health clinic and on-campus child care, there are no immediate plans for either. Many more issues were discussed as well.
“[The faculty] responded well [at the forum]. I think some of the initiatives are actually being addressed, being sent to where they need to be sent, and getting to where they need to get to.
These are actual student concerns that are being addressed. The questions on our question list that did not get asked will be getting written responses. I think that is a really good thing, I think [the forum] is opening up some dialog that has been a long time coming,” said Sandra Hunt, the president of the SGA. The SGA posed questions, and then afterward opened the floor to give any student present the opportunity to ask the panel a question.
“What could have been done better, is that I wish we would have had more live student questions. The student questions that were posed by the SGA were gathered from our student organization. I wish we would have had more students here, live in the environment asking questions,” said Kenny Yabrough, director of student life and diversity initiatives.
“This is the eight or ninth SGA forum I have been a part of. This happens once a semester, and I have been here a little over four and a half years. This always a good opportunity to meet with students, answer their questions, and hear back from the students as well. So I think this is typically a really good opportunity,” said Faulkner. “This is the third college that I have worked at, and the first time I have ever been a part of an SGA open forum. I’m thrilled to see that the SGA is taking the initiative to even have an event like this, and that the administration is so willing to be involved in it. This is a wonderful way to have transparent communication, and to answer the questions students have,” said Koronkiewicz.
Students not involved in the SGA were also in attendance, listening to the forum. “I think if the café changes its menu, they’ll lose business, because if they start the calorie count, pretty soon it’ll be an all healthy food, and students will just go to McDonalds,” said Vol State student Oressa Jackson. “I think the forum went well, but I think there should be more student interaction,” said another Vol State student Clara West.
“I think its really good that they give us the opportunity to ask questions. It shows that they really care about their students,” said another student, Vincenza Colavolpe.

Top 10 movies available to rent at the Thigpen Library this Fall

by Cole Miller
If you weren’t already aware, there is a great selection of movies available to rent in the Thigpen Library. It is completely free, just show your Volunteer State Community College ID.
You are allowed 2 movies, and can have them for up to a week with no late fees. If returned late, you owe a dollar per day, per movie. The following is my personal top 10 movies that you should check out and watch if you have not seen them already.
10. Citizen Kane
In 1941, Orson Welles released this classic mystery drama movie. This film has been dubbed “The Greatest Film of All Time” by the American Film Institute on their 1998 list “100 Years … 100 Movies” and again on their updated list in 2007. Anything that has been noted as being the greatest of all time is absolutely worth your time.
9. The Wolf of Wall Street
Released in 2013 and starring Leonardo DiCaprio, this biographical drama about Wall Street directed by the talented Martin Scorsese is a must see for a movie buff. This is definitely not one to watch around younger kids or people who are sensitive to foul language, as it broke the record for most uses of the “f word” with a whopping 506-569 uses in some conjugation.
8. The Graduate
This is a classic, and your parents probably know this one. The Graduate came out in 1967, and stars Dustin Hoffman as Benjamin Braddock who has just finished college and is returning home. With a soundtrack written by “Simon & Garfunkel” that contains now well-known songs such as “Sounds of Silence” and “Mrs. Robinson”, I absolutely recommend this movie.
7. American Beauty
Keep calm and pass the asparagus. This 1999 “dramedy” starring Kevin Spacey is outstanding. Spacey plays Lester Burnham, a husband in suburbia that is just fed up with life, at home and at work. Without spoiling any major plot points, I can honestly say this movie is in my top 5, and is one I re-watch regularly.
6. The Big Lebowski
“The Dude abides, man.” Before I mention anything about the movie, I should mention that this movie will make you want to go bowling and just take it easy for a while at home with friends. Jeff Bridges plays Jeffrey Lebowski, who shares the same name as a very wealthy mogul played by David Huddleston. Everything unfolds in a hilarious way, and is always worth the rewatch.
5. Argo
Directed by Ben Affleck, who also stars in this suspenseful movie is based on a true story. Based on the “Canadian Caper” which occurred in 1979, this movie tells the story of how the CIA faked a movie to get American hostages in Iran home.
4. Reservoir Dogs
Okay, this is my absolute favorite movie of all time, I did not put it at number one because I am aware it is not for everyone. This is Quentin Tarantino’s first production, and stars Michael Madsen, Tim Roth, Steve Buscemi, and Harvey Keitel. I will not be spoiling anything from the plot, this is a must watch.
3. The Godfather
Directed by Francis Ford Coppola in 1972, this movie is also dubbed as one of the greatest movies of all time. It is ranked second, only behind Citizen Kane on AFI’s “100 Years … 100 Movies”. It stars Marlon Brando as Vito Corleone and Al Pacino as his son, Michael Corleone.
2. Good Will Hunting
“How do you like them apples?” Written by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck while they were in community college, this 1997 drama is a masterpiece. It stars Damon as Will Hunting, and the late Robin Williams as his therapist, Sean Maguire. This movie won Williams an Oscar, and is also in my top 5.
1. Interstellar
If you have not seen this yet, go watch it. Use Hulu if it has already been checked out of the library. This sci-fi movie directed by the talented Christopher Nolan has even been dubbed “almost 100 percent scientifically accurate” by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. It deals with worm holes, black holes, and relativity for those of you who really like things like that.

Breaking bad study habits for your midterms

by Sara Keen
Midterms are upon us, and some students may find themselves cracking under the pressure.
New students, especially, may not yet know how to study for a college exam or prepare for a midterm essay like those who have already passed their first semesters.
In some classes, the midterm can make or break your grade. It may be from a lack of smaller grades or the worth of the midterm itself.
It is always better to start preparing for midterms a few weeks ahead, but with work, home, life, and anything else that could interfere happening, that does not always work out.
Therefore, this week we are looking at some great tips for last minute test preparation for anyone struggling with their class or simply buckling down to study.
First and foremost, it is a lot easier to focus when you are not in an overly familiar environment, like your bedroom or living room. Instead, choose to go to the library, Starbucks, a place on campus, or even an empty room in your home (without a couch).
It can also help to drink something warm and breathe for a few minutes before you start. It calms your nerves and can make you feel a little more comfortable in the environment to focus on what you are doing.
The best help you can give yourself is to stay away from your phone while you study. It is a distraction because you will wonder “what’s on Facebook?” “has bae texted me yet?” and so on.
Even your laptop can be a major distraction with endless access to the internet. There are apps that can help, though, such as Self-Control, Concentrate, FocusBooster, FocusWriter, and Anti-Social. These are all apps designed to help you stay focused and stay off of social media.
Once you rid yourself of distractions, it is time to study or write that midterm essay that has worried you all week.
Music can also be helpful, but not pop music or your favorite “jams.” Music without vocals is usually better for studying and writing. Try your favorite video game or movie score, or even check out the study playlists on Pandora and Spotify.
If you do not already know how you study best, it is a great time to experiment.
Some people do better by listening to notes or watching crash-course style videos. Others are better if they can answer questions or use flashcards.
Personally, I find it is better to rewrite and organize my notes before the tests. I have to actively concentrate for it and it is a great last minute refresher for an exam.
Many people choose to form a study group and work together with flashcards. In study groups, you can talk over any problems being faced with the others and even receive help from someone who understands a topic better.
Groups also help others with their writing. If someone is a little nervous about going to the Writing Center or even needs help getting started, discussing the writing with others can be extremely helpful.
In addition, take advantage of the services on campus and your instructors. We have a language center, learning commons, supplemental instruction, silent study rooms, and even class lists to help contact other students.
Instructors are almost always willing to help anywhere they can. No student should be afraid to ask for a little help, whether it is some additional material or a more detailed explanation for one of the concepts.
Midterms are coming hard and fast, so do not let yourself get caught up with stress. You can really exhaust yourself.
Make sure you rest, get plenty of sleep, spend some time chilling out, and eat a decent breakfast before your midterms begin.