Vol State to celebrate Unity Day


By Presley Green

Vol State will be celebrating its annual Unity Day, Wednesday, Jan. 31, with a viewing of the movie “I Am Not Your Negro” at the Wemyss Auditorium in Caudill Hall at 5 p.m.

Diversity bracelets will be handed out in Thigpen Library, the Wood Campus Center, the Ramer Building, and the SRB Humanities Building, according to a flyer about the event.

The viewing will be followed by a reception and panel discussion about life during the civil rights movement in Gallatin, Tennessee in the 1960s, according to Carpe Diem, a website about Nashville events.

The event is free and open to the public.

“Unity Day is a celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It is also the precursor and kick off to Black History Month. It is a day to celebrate our similarities and not our differences,” according to Dr. Kenny Yarbrough.

 Unity Day is sponsored by Communities in Motion and The Office of Diversity and Inclusion. For more information, students can call 615-230-3461.

Hunger Games to benefit The Feed


By Riley Holcraft

The Feed, Volunteer State Community College’s food pantry, has announced a food drive from Jan. 29 – Feb. 8 that includes a friendly competition between two teams.

The Hunger Games is a battle between two districts, Red and Blue. At orientation, students and faculty were divided into the teams to compete to end the Hunger Games. Students and faculty are encouraged to bring non-perishable foods such as peanut butter, condiments, macaroni, or canned soup to help their team.

At the Vol State basketball game, Saturday, Feb. 10, the winner will be revealed. Dr. Jerry Faulkner, president of Vol State, will appear at halftime wearing a red or blue shirt to represent the winning team.

Students are encouraged to compete with their friends and to wear their team’s color at the game.

Twenty-five percent of community college students have food insecurities, according to the National Student Campaign against Hunger and Homelessness. Vol State is working to eliminate this problem on their campus.

Lori Miller, administrative assistant in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, has been an instrumental part in establishing the food drive.

“We are only one semester in, but we’ve seen over 4,000 units distributed out of the Feed and over 200 students have visited,” said Miller.

“It makes a big difference for the students that visit. Not having to worry about a meal allows them to focus better and do what they need to do as students,” said new volunteer Jennifer McMillion, an English professor at Vol State.

The Feed is located in Ramer 151. If students or faculty are interested in participating in any way at The Feed, they can contact Lori Miller at lori.miller@volstate.edu.

Usefulness, a disease? (Part 2)


Read Part 1 HERE

By Blake Bouza

Over winter break, I had a full time job as an in-home healthcare provider.

It was in doing this job that the seeds of ideas that had been planted in that psychology class began to grow and I realized the overarching problem: society teaches us, almost from day one, that someone is only valuable when you are useful.

A common issue I found with the elderly and disabled people I provided care for was depression. When we talked it out and got to the root of the problem, I found, almost every time, that the problem was that they felt they could not be as useful in a way that they once were.

I watched a video in that same psychology class that had a psychologist going into a bed-bound, elderly lady’s home. The woman wanted to die and the psychologist wanted to find out why. When the psychologist spoke with the woman, she got down to the common denominator I stated above. Then the psychologist put forth this question: “Would picking up a broom and sweeping really be impactful?”

They shared a laugh at the absurdity of it.

The psychologist said that seniors have to learn that their contribution is no longer to give, but to receive. Receive help from those that love them and accept that their contribution is psychological rather than physical.

Obviously there are senior people that do not have the support system or help that particular woman did, but the principle remains.

I put forth that American society does not equip people to do that getting older and it does not equip younger generations to view an immaterial output in a positive light. Look at the amount of people in a nursing home, rather than at home with their families.

I am Latino, and a multi-generational home is not a foreign idea to me. Because of that it is perhaps biased of me to think that Spanish culture, (and many Eastern cultures), view their elderly in a much more positive light than American culture does.

Could it have to do with the fact that American culture is very individualistic, rather than community, and perhaps, character-driven?

The answer is not simple and there is not an easy solution. Perhaps if people placed less emphasis on things and output and instead the value of their relationships, would things change? But our society is geared toward buying The Latest Thing and upgrading to The Newest Thing and buying our loved ones The Best Thing to show them how much we love them.

It is a very accepted practice, and while not inherently bad, does require moderation and thoughtfulness.

I believe I have seen the issue from both sides: how young people view the act of instilling character values and ethics that go into staying home and raising a child, and the light that the elderly view themselves in when they are no longer viewed as “useful.”


Vol State hosts first art exhibit of 2018


By Katie Doll

Volunteer State Community College is hosting an art exhibit of graphic designer Lisa Lorek Quine until Feb. 19, in the SRB Humanities Building.


Courtesy of Lisa Lorek Quine

The display includes lettering design featuring quotes and song lyrics designed to create a nostalgic aesthetic. The quotes come from a variety of sources such as Mark Twain and the musicians Geto Boys.

The exhibit is free and open to the public.

Quine will visit Vol State Feb. 19, from 11:30-12:30 to answer questions about her artwork.

Based in Cleveland, Ohio, Quine graduated from the University of Dayton with a BFA in Visual Communication Design.

Although she originally started her career in advertising, Quine turned a new leaf and began to focus on her passion in lettering, according to Quine’s description of her exhibit.

“Lettering has opened the door to a variety of visual styles and unique projects,” said Quine.


Courtesy of Lisa Lorek Quine

Art nouveau, an international style of art taking influence from the natural world, is one of Quine’s inspirations for her style to create detailed illustrations.

A notebook is set out in the gallery for students and faculty to express their opinions of the artist’s display of hand-lettering and illustrations. One visitor acknowledged the use of the color and its impact on the quotes.


Courtesy of Lisa Lorek Quine

“Love the use of gold,” wrote the visitor, who signed with the initials “HH”. “Very subtle, but brings a bit of youth and vibrancy to something that people believe to be lived out or not relevant.”

Quine was a student of Nathaniel Smyth, assistant professor of art at Vol State, about a decade ago. Smyth helped in bringing in Quine’s artwork to give students an opportunity to see art that they can possibly feel more of a connection too.

“We have a whole lot of students here that are interested in graphic design,” said Smyth. “I think this is good for them to be able to see like ‘Oh hey, look the design and the art, they can kind of mix.”

SGA hosts open house

By Tayla Courage

Volunteer State Community College’s Student Government Association hosted an open house Wednesday, Jan. 24, outside the Wood Campus Center Club Room 213.

“SGA really wants to get their name out there on campus so that students know what SGA stands for and hopefully they want to get involved,” wrote Tabitha Sherrell, coordinator of student activities.

SGA President Caitlyn Ellis acknowledged the tendency for students to shy away from joining organizations that are heavily-involved on campus.

We have learned that a lot of students say they are intimidated by the meetings because they are so formal. We wanted the open house to be very informal, but still informative about what SGA has to offer,” wrote Ellis.

Matt Gillette, SGA attorney general, and Hayley Brazel, SGA secretary, gave out free popcorn and soda while taking questions from prospective members passing by.

“SGA is an organization that helps with student involvement, and it looks really good on a college application,” said Brazel.

She admitted that this was her initial reason for joining SGA but explained that over time she found a passion for getting others involved on campus.

Ellis, like Brazel, believes that being involved in college can set students apart and present greater opportunities when applying to future schools and jobs.

“It has been a huge factor in my college success because I always have someone to turn to to ask questions or a shoulder to lean on when I’m having a bad day. SGA fosters amazing relationships. If I were thinking of joining, my deciding factors would be the friendships I could build and the experiences I would have to put on my resume,” wrote Ellis.

The next SGA meeting is scheduled for Monday, Feb. 5, at 12:45 p.m. in the Rochelle Center of Thigpen Library.