Songwriters needed for spring album

 

By Ben Rastelli

Each spring semester, Professor Lynn Peterson looks for students to submit their original songs to him so that he can consider them for the Volunteer State Community College annual spring album.  

Anyone who is currently a Vol State student is welcome to submit their original songs.  This includes anyone who is in a band with others who are not enrolled at Vol State. As long as one of the band members is currently enrolled here at Vol State, they may submit their original work to be considered for the album.  

Students who write original music but do not wish to perform it themselves are also welcome to submit their songs.  

There are many talented musicians here at Vol State that would be happy to perform other people’s music. Songs of all genres and styles are welcome for consideration, including instrumental songs, but preference will be given to songs that have lyrics written and would fit well in a spring album.  

Songs may be either submitted as an audio file or performed live for Peterson.  The writers of those songs that are initially accepted by Peterson and his panel will be invited to participate in recording sessions held in the Vol State studio in order to “flesh out” and edit their songs.  After these songs have been mixed and mastered, final decisions will be made to determine which songs will make the album.  

If students have any questions or have any original work they would like to submit, they can contact Lynn Peterson.  His office is in Steinhauer-Rogan-Black 106-B, and his office phone number is 615-230-3221.  His cell phone number is 615-517-4355.  

Thoughts and Prayers

 

By Blake Bouza

The first words spoken in this sort of thing are always really hard, so I’ll let David Hogg, a senior and student journalist at Parkland High School, do it:

This is not just another mass shooting. No shooting is just another mass shooting. This needs to be a turning point. This shooting was the result of a number of situations and individuals, but action can still and should still be taken to prevent something like this from happening.

“People in Congress, people in state legislatures, just lawmakers in general, need to stand up and not let these political divisions prevent them from saving children’s lives. Cause this can happen and it will happen again if they just make false promises and don’t take action. Because ideas without action remain ideas, and when that happens, children die.”

This is a 17-year-old young man whose life is now divided into two distinct halves: before the school shooting he and his 14-year-old sister had to live through on Feb. 14, 2018 and after it.

This shooting struck close to home. My teenage cousins live in Weston, Florida, not twenty minutes from Parkland, and go to high school only ten minutes from there.

When I heard about the shootings, I panicked but soon found out they were safe and do not attend Parkland High.

I asked my cousin, Brandon Abin, about that day, seeking insight. He knows people that go to Parkland. His girlfriend lost a friend to the shooting. His school was evacuated as soon as the news about the shooting came out.

“It was actually really scary,” said Abin. “You always hear about these things happening in other communities but never imagine it coming to yours.”

Abin said for the rest of the week his school was on lockdown. Students were not allowed in the hallways during class, and were not allowed outside the cafeteria during lunch. Security was added, and police officers patrolled the campus.

I have a friend, Olivia Laskowski, doing an internship in Australia right now.

“Living in a country where the gun control debate was settled in 1989 is astounding. Australians can’t believe we still let this happen and they accept gun death in America as a fact of what our country is about,” she said.

I’ve heard the same rhetoric about people having a higher chance of dying by choking on improperly chewed food. I’ve heard the same thing about obesity, like State Senator Dennis Baxley, who likened gun restrictions to imposing limits on forks and spoons.

Here is the issue with that talk that should die: a troubled person isn’t forcing you to choke and die. No one is forcing you to eat as much food as you do. And it certainly is not happening en masse.

Senator Baxley also said that the focus needs to be on school safety. What about the Aurora shootings in 2012? Or the Chattanooga shootings in 2015?

Some will then say it’s a mental health issue, but per capita, the USA has the same amount of mental illness as Canada, the UK or Australia, according to the World Health Organization. We largely have the same medications in all these countries as well.

Yet there is one major, obvious difference between our country and those in the context of our discussion today: a significant lack of mass shootings in comparison to our own.

Don’t mistake me or the title of this op-ed. I believe in the power of prayer. I believe in it so much that I will never own a gun. I believe that owning a gun will not change the outcome of whether or not my time has come, because when I go is not for me to decide. I do not hold my life in such esteem that I would be willing to kill another person to protect my own.

Our fellow human beings require more than my prayers, though they have them. They need us to vote in people who will actually take a hard line on gun reform – because a mental health reform is even longer in coming. Mental illness is, quite unfortunately, a constant reality of mankind. Gun violence does not need to be.

Evil men will do evil deeds regardless of the tools available to them, no one will dispute that. Sometimes it can be accepting money from the wrong people/organization, and often is the mass slaughter of our brothers and sisters. It should not be the point that settles an argument – it should spark a call to action.
I’m not even saying anything super radical should happen. Let’s examine for a moment the fact that this troubled man obtained his assault rifle legally. Let’s examine how many of the other mass shootings were committed by weapons that were obtained legally.

If this minor did not have the option available to him of buying an assault rifle that was a catalyst to acting out his evil deed, would the shooting have been accomplished in the first place?

He more than likely would not have had the resources or means to obtain his weapon on the black market.

And so with the temptation of living out his dark imaginings revoked, perhaps he would have sought out help?

I obviously cannot say for certain, but I don’t think anyone coming out of the Valentine’s Day Massacre would say nothing needs to change. I’m so sick of calling for change, actually. But I’m sick of seeing nothing done. I’m sick of being told that my generation can’t change, when that does not seem to be the case at all.
I know why we are so pro-gun in our culture: the Second Amendment stipulated that we be allowed to bear arms in case the government try to take over.

Now I ask, in a world where the government has heat-seeking drones, tanks and weapons that can mow down dozens at once – will your one AR-15 really matter? We can discuss the merits of guerilla warfare at another time, but I make my point.

Oppressive governments are frequent throughout history, correct. Both sides of my family spent significant portions of their lives fleeing or recovering from living under one through the latter half of the 20th Century.

At what point do we address the very real, present problems of today and stop preparing for some hypothetical, far off problem of a government take over?

If we as a republic have allowed ourselves to get to the point of a government take over being a real threat and allowed the people we chose to be our mouthpieces in legislature to fail us, is that not on us?

Are there not other, more significant laws in our Constitution that should curb that before it ever becomes a reality, and not just the Second Amendment?

Honestly I am not here to dictate what should happen. I’m a dumb kid with a platform. I will not pretend to be an informed individual on the ins and outs of the hold of the NRA, the politicians who receive money from the organization and gun reform. I do not really know what that would look like, to be honest.

But maybe, just maybe, we can at least look at the rules that allow a child to buy an assault weapon before he is old enough to drink.

I close out with another quote from a survivor of the Parkland shootings, Isabelle Robinson:

“This shouldn’t be a fight between two different parties. This should be a coming together where we all realize that something is wrong. And even if we disagree on the way to fix it, we all just need to talk about it and stop being angry and stop slandering other people because that doesn’t help anyone. And that’s why people die, because we just can’t get along.”

 

Pioneers gear up for baseball season

 

By Nick Kieser

The Volunteer State Community College Pioneers baseball season is now in full swing.

Although the team only started playing this past weekend, the players feel like they are heading in the right direction.

Collin Hopkins, starting catcher for the Pioneers, summarized his current role on the team.

“I am being a leader on the field and knowing the game strategy is important,” he said.

Hopkins also talked about the team’s pitching.

“We are going to work on pitching, other than that I feel like we have a really great team, especially offensively,” said Hopkins.

“The pitching is on the right track, we just have to get there,” he said.

Redshirt Chase Haley gave an update based on where he believes he sits for this season.

“I think coach will just redshirt me this year, and if not then he’ll make his judgment based on seeing me a few more times,” said Haley.

“If I am not 100% this week, then I will be for sure next week,” he said.

With his PRP (platelet-rich-plasma) injection just last July, Haley is partaking in practice and still seeing if he fits on the regular season roster. He commented on what he would do if he did not make the final cut.

“I could work out then go to the game and be there as support,” said Haley.

Last Tuesday, Feb. 13, the Pioneers lost 9-1 to visiting team Wabash Valley College, who placed third in the NJCAA College World Series last season, said Logan Maloney, assistant coach.

“Everyone is getting into the swing of playing again, we’ve seen really good pitching and now some guys can make an adjustment at the plate,” said Maloney.

“We hung in there early, just had an inning that got away from us a little bit,” said Maloney.

“We are going to be a hard-nose gritty team. That is who we are going to be,” said Maloney about his team.

Maloney also said this team has a pretty good chemistry in the locker room.

Maloney discussed who would be starting for the Pioneers.

“We are still looking for our everyday starters. That is all up to Coach Hunt,” said Maloney.

Maloney has set a goal for his outfielders fielding the long hits by the batters.

“No ground ball errors. That is a goal we have set for ourselves in the outfield,” said Maloney.

“It’s about how you finish. It is not about how you start,” Maloney said.

The Pioneers will play Schoolcraft College and Parkland College on Saturday, Feb. 24. The first game will begin at 12:30 p.m. at Garrett Field on Vol State’s campus. The second game will begin at 2:30 p.m.

During spring break, the Pioneers will take the road to face off against the Columbia State Chargers at Dave Hall Baseball Field in Columbia, Tennessee, the weekend of March 2-3.

MAN ON THE QUAD 2/20/18

 

We here at The Settler have one goal: to let the student’s voice be heard. So we’re beginning a new segment called Man on the Quad to get students’ opinions, thoughts, and ideas. You can send your question ideas for this segment to aperham1@volstate.edu.

What are some hoops you’ve had to jump through as a working student?

Oh goodness, a lot. Time management, scheduling. Scheduling classes around a work schedule is terrible. I can only come up here once a week so all my classes are crammed in from early morning to late at night. Finding time to do homework. Overall exhaustion. – J

Just getting my homework done and also having free time and a social life and things like that. – N

Driving everywhere. I’m always driving I feel like. – L

I have to manage my time really well because I pretty much work all on the weekend and that’s most people’s time to make sure that they’re getting all their homework done because most things end up being due Sunday nights. Well, I’m working Sunday nights and when most students can put it off till Sunday morning, I have to do it Wednesday night or Saturday morning or something. I can’t put things off. I have to stay on top of things because if I don’t, everything falls apart. – J

Having to schedule work around school instead of the other way around. I had to find a job where I could only work at night or on the weekends. – F

Trying to balance your income to pay for food and gas and tuition. – T

Trying to leave here and get to work on time. – M

I have to manage my homework schedule around when I get off and my study schedule so that can get pretty hectic. – A

I guess where I’m having to put my education on hold, or miss out opportunities to do better in my education because I have to work. –  T

I’m very blessed to have the opportunities that I have, but sleep is not something I experience very often. So I guess that’s the hoops I have to jump through. It’s just like prioritizing my opportunities or prioritizing like my health. – S

I have to get up super early for an eight o’clock class just so I can have my afternoon free. –K

I had to quit my job because of school. -S

Pioneer Peers program to get students involved in orientation

 

Screen Shot 2018-02-18 at 2.45.25 PMBy Riley Holcraft

The Office of Student Engagement and Support is forming an organization called Pioneer Peers to welcome new students at Campus Connect.

Campus Connect is orientation for new students that provides an informative and entertaining way to introduce them to the Volunteer State Community College Campus, according to the Office of Student Engagement and Support.

To become a Pioneer Peer, students must be passionate about their time at Vol State and willing to be a mentor for upcoming students, according to the Office of Student Engagement and Support.

Vol State wishes to establish a successful and sustainable program for student orientation, similar to student-led programs at four-year schools, according to the Office of Student Engagement and Support.

Student involvement is an essential part to the college experience, and it provides a networking resource, according to the Office of Student Engagement and Support.

Becoming a Pioneer Peer is also a great way to earn Tennessee Promise Service Hours, build communication skills, and even get free Vol State merchandise, according to the Office of Student Engagement and Support.

Kate Crye, from the Office of Student Engagement and Support, described a Pioneer Peer as a student who has had positive experiences with Campus Connect and is passionate about his or her college experience. It is necessary to be outgoing, engaging, and friendly.

If students meet these requirements, they can contact Crye at kate.crye@volstate.edu.

“We are hoping to have at least 15 to 20 student orientation leaders on our team to become lighthouses for our incoming students,” said Crye.

Establishing Pioneer Peers is building a foundation for Campus Connect in the upcoming years, and the program successfully links students together right at the start of their college experience, according to the Office of Student Engagement and Support.

Heather Harper spoke about how the Office of Student Engagement and Support is working hard to create new ways to offer leadership opportunities for Vol State students.

“The experiences our students are engaged in while in college can change the course of their lives through providing a skill set and a networking opportunity that cannot always be gained in the classroom,” said Harper.

She commented that the overall goal of Pioneer Peers is to “develop more leaders in our school and provide more opportunities for students to shine.”

Black history month service learning seeks to inform

 

By Riley Holcraft

Volunteer State Community College is hosting a service learning event during Black History Month to raise awareness about sickle cell anemia and glaucoma Feb. 21 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m in the Wallace Health Sciences Building.

The AmeriCorps VISTAs in the Office of Student Services have partnered with Dr. Kenny Yarbrough, manager of diversity and inclusion, and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion for this event.

The AmeriCorps VISTA program is one designed “to strengthen organizations that alleviate poverty through volunteering and the mobilization of resources,” according to the program website. VISTA stands for Volunteers in Service to America.

The event is open to all students, faculty, and staff in Wallace South 216 and 217, according to Shala Curtis, a member of the AmeriCorps VISTA program. Food will be provided in Room 216, and a hands-on activity lab will be available in Room 217.

This event is not a three hour presentation, Curtis wrote. Attendees are encouraged to come and go, and instructors are allowed to bring classes at any time.

Curtis and Kate Crye, another AmeriCorps VISTA, have planned this event and commented on the inspiration

“Each year, the Corporation for National Community Service has a Day of Service that honors the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,” according to Curtis and Crye. “We decided to plan our event in accordance with Black History Month.”

Curtis and Crye went on to explain that the diseases of sickle cell anemia and glaucoma are being recognized during Black History Month due to the higher frequency of each disease within the African-American population.

According to the American Society of Hematology, 1 in 12 African-Americans carry the sickle cell gene. The Glaucoma Research Foundation states that glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness in African-Americans.

Because diseases such as these can affect anyone, the main purpose of the event is to advise students to protect themselves by keeping up with their health. The informative activities and speakers will encourage regular screenings to expose symptoms before the disease becomes destructive.

“There will be a few interactive activity stations. The stations will be managed by members of the Ophthalmic Tech Program. This will be an opportunity for participants to learn about the negative impact of these diseases on their vision. We are hosting Medical professionals from Meharry Medical College in Nashville. They will be present to offer sickle cell disease screenings during the latter portion of the event,” stated Curtis and Crye.

African-Americans and the Great War

 

By Ashley Perham

Grady Eades, chair of Volunteer State Community College’s history department, will present a lecture titled “Closing Ranks: African Americans and the Great War” Wednesday, Feb. 14 at 1. p.m. in Thigpen Library’s Rochelle Center.

The lecture is part of the yearly lecture series put on by the college’s history, economics, geography, and political science department, according to Eades.

“This year being the centennial of the First World War, it only made sense to have our presentations connect to this anniversary,” wrote Eades.

The lecture also ties in to Vol State’s Black History Month events.

The lecture will focus on African-Americans from all over the country, but will also have middle Tennessee anecdotes, wrote Eades.

“The most important point from the presentation is the same point that Black History month tries to convey in general: African Americans have made important contributions to the history and survival of this country,” wrote Eades. “Sadly, those contributions have often been downplayed or ignored.”

Eades has worked on this lecture for about a month, he wrote. His favorite part of lectures like this one are getting to go beyond the basics of the story to “dig into the specifics.”

For students who are interested in learning more about African-Americans in The Great War, specifically from middle Tennessee, Eades recommended “The African-American History of Nashville, TN, 1780-1930” by Bobby Lovett.

“Just about anything on the Harlem Hellfighters is going to be a good read!” Eades wrote.

Lovett’s book is available at Thigpen Library, according to the library’s website.

Eades said that he doesn’t have a favorite event Vol State puts on for Black History Month.

“All of them have value!” he wrote.

He explained why it is important for students to be aware of Black History Month.

“As long as it is necessary to explain why people should be aware of Black History Month, it is important to have a Black History month,” wrote Eades.

Tori Long, a Vol State freshman at the Highland Crest campus in Springfield, wrote that she would be interested in having an event like this lecture at her campus if it pertained to World War I.

Vol State to host Valentine’s concert

 

By Tayla Courage

Volunteer State Community College’s Associate of Fine Arts students will perform a free Valentine’s Day voice concert Feb. 13 at 7 p.m. in Steinhauer-Rogan-Black Room 151.

The concert is scheduled for the Tuesday before Valentine’s Day so as not to interfere with Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent, according to Nancy Slaughter, associate professor of music.

The performances will feature a medley of Broadway love songs selected by Slaughter and Mark Granlund, a fellow associate professor of music.

Voice students will be singing the great songs from Musical Theater [sic] of yesterday. You will be humming a familiar tune when you leave!” according to an email from Granland.

The soloists and duets, which will include a married couple, will be accompanied by Slaughter and Granlund, respectively, on the grand piano.

Slaughter said that Vol State students enrolled in a music appreciation course may use this event as a writing opportunity for one of their required concert reports for the semester.

Sophomore Livy Blizzard, one of the performing vocal students, said that she believes the concert will be “a very wonderful affair” to showcase some of Vol State’s most talented students.

“She chose really well for each of her individual singers, as well as Mr. Granlund. So, not only will there be good songs, but there are good vocalists and the songs suit them perfectly and really show the best of their abilities,” said Blizzard.

Slaughter explained that her students have only had a couple of weeks to fully memorize their music, but she acknowledged that the presence of an audience will serve as an incentive for them to give their best performances.

“It makes them want to be even more prepared when they’re going to have an audience, so it’s very supportive for everybody to come,” said Slaughter.

VSCC to repair parking lots, add sidewalks

 

By Presley Green

Volunteer State Community College will be repairing parking lots and adding sidewalks on the Gallatin campus in 2018.

The Parking, Road and Site Upgrade Project is to repair and resurface older parking lots. Also, sidewalks will be added to end the issues students face while walking to the further parking lots across Loop Road, the road the that wraps around campus connecting the entrances.

This project is still in the design phase, but construction is already being scheduled.

The goal of the Parking, Road and Site Upgrade Project is to repair aging parking lots and increase pedestrian safety through the construction of sidewalks on campus,” according to Will Newman, senior director of plant operations.

This upgrade project includes resurfacing Parking Lots A and B, located outside Ramer Administration Building and Caudill Hall, and repairing Lot E, by the tennis courts, and Lot Y, on the east side of campus. The project is not adding additional parking but just repairing and resurfacing current lots that are damaged or old.

A five-foot-wide sidewalk will be constructed around the southwest side of Loop Road, and another sidewalk will connect Loop Road to the center of the campus.

“This project is funded by annual capital maintenance appropriations which are provided by the state. For fiscal year 2016-2017, the state awarded VSCC nearly $1.6 million for site repairs and upgrades. The Parking, Road, and Site Upgrade is estimated to cost $644,000,” according to Newman in an email.

Even though the project is still in the design phase, the construction is estimated to start in the middle of May and is projected to last until the middle of September. The construction is scheduled to take place during the summer months to avoid disturbing students, faculty, and traffic.

Fatima Carreno, sophomore at Vol State who parks in Lot E four days a week said, “I think this upgrade project is great. I rarely walk along Loop Road, but I’m sure many students do and will appreciate the safety of a sidewalk.”

Man on the Quad 2/13/18

 

We here at The Settler have one goal: to let the student’s voice be heard. So we’re beginning a new segment called Man on the Quad to get students’ opinions, thoughts, and ideas. This week we asked students about some of the weirder things they’ve seen on campus. Here are their responses. You can send your question ideas for this segment to aperham1@volstate.edu.

You told us your craziest Valentine’s Day stories:

It was Valentine’s Day, and I had been asked to have dinner with a guy I had just recently begun seeing. We had only been around each other a handful of times and never alone. He took me to Logan’s Roadhouse to eat because all the restaurants were packed, and we were poor 20-year-olds. I got up to go to the restroom, and I slipped on the peanut shells and bust the floor wide open. Instead of immediately getting up like most humans, I lay there for a good five minutes laughing. I realized he was not laughing. Needless to say, that was our last date. – L

When I was in 5th grade, there was a boy in my neighborhood who had a huge crush on me. On Valentines Day, he brought a box of chocolates and flowers to my house when I was in the shower. My older sister thought it would be funny to tell him I was pooping. My mom was laughing too hard to take up for me, and he waited at my front door until I was done in the shower. I was so embarrassed I said thanks and shut the door. – P

One time I had a boyfriend, and he literally got me a toy car for Valentine’s Day. No chocolates, nothing else, just a toy car. And his reasoning was because my car was a piece of crap, and he wanted to get me a new one. We’re not together anymore. – C

I got like this singing valentine one year, and it was from my boyfriend freshman year. And it was supposed to be cute, but it was also his way of breaking up with me, tied to one of the little roses I got. – J

So I’ve actually never had a valentine, but last year my girlfriend broke up with me a couple of days before Valentine’s Day. I was so excited to have my first valentine then she was like bye – N

In first grade, my parents and grandmother set me up with this other little girl because they knew their parents, and I remember being back behind where we’d put bags up and what not. Because it’s in first grade, so everything’s just kind of awkward, and I handed it [the valentine] over because I didn’t want anyone else to see because the other kids would make fun of me “eww you got cooties” – C

My first Valentines with my boyfriend was on campus. He tried to deliver them to me in one of my classes. I was so embarrassed I pretended like I didn’t know who he was. -R

My first Valentines with my boyfriend, he didn’t get me anything. He gave me something a few days later, and I asked him why. He said, “Everything was on sale, and I could buy you the big stuffed bear.” -H