TNT reportedly found on campus

Volunteer State Community College campus police on the Gallatin campus found two containers of TNT on Saturday, Oct. 27.

According to the public relations department on campus, someone must have dropped it off at the hazardous waste collection event at the school.

Further information to be posted in The Settlers newest edition on Monday, Nov. 5.


Color of Fear event

By: Riley Holcraft

Volunteer state community college participated in diversity week by hosting an event with the viewing and discussion of a three-part film, the Color of Fear.

The documentary spotlights eight men of Asian, European, Latino, or African descent. Their conversations and interactions expose the intensity of racism in America.

Issues such as sexism and homophobia are also addressed in group discussions.

Manager of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Jeff King, organized a final discussion for students and faculty that viewed the film to reflect on the controversial topics.

Guest speaker, Michael McDonald, facilitated a chance to revisit the compelling discussion in the film.

McDonald encouraged the audience to express personal thoughts and stressed the importance of addressing issues that may be uncomfortable.

McDonald opened the conversation with a single thought, “when the founding fathers envisioned freedom, they envisioned it for a very small number of people.”

He presented a brief explanation of the history of the Constitution. It is one of the shortest documents in the history of creating a nation, and it completely avoids any mention of race.

The film presented racism as an issue that has always been there. Although the behavior is learned, children become exposed at a young age.

Ultimately, “racism is a concept that people choose to either accept or not accept,” explained McDonald.

Stereotypes will always be present within society, but believing them is an individual choice.

Another aspect of racism concerns economic class. McDonald chose to discuss the topic due to its absence within the Color of Fear.

The audience all agreed that a person’s economic status is often compared to his or her race.

For example, the war on drugs focused on poor neighborhoods participating in the use and sale of crack cocaine.

Most of the people in these poor communities where of African-American or Hispanic descent. While rich, predominantly Caucasian neighborhoods with white powder cocaine substance abuse were rarely targeted.

There’s a discomfort that comes with the discussion of these topics.

“There is the fear of the unknown in our society, but it is important to hold each other accountable,“ said McDonald.

He encouraged the audience to strive for understanding. Racism is often swept under the rug for someone else to handle.

He closed Diversity Week at Vol State with a final call to action.

“It comes down to personal responsibility in terms of being vulnerable. The future of racism in America is based on the actions of today’s youth,” said McDonald.

Fall Festival

By: Julia Bazenet

Volunteer State Community College hosted the Fall Festival and International Food Day at the Thigpen Commerce on Oct. 24.

The event included putt-putt, corn hole, connect four, presentations on foreign language and other subjects, booths about health and fun activities to enjoy. It was used to help students relax and get into the festivities of fall.

SGA President Haley Brazel and head of the Fall Festival shared her experience and joy of the occasion.

“I think this event is fantastic. The food is delicious and the games that were set up had a lot of people around them, and the vendors we had were getting attention for their cause,” said Brazel.

Activities like the Volunteer State Volunteer’s Club booth allowed students to reflect on and appreciate their favorite traditions and memories of fall. Allie Hemmings, Kayleigh Payne, and Sara Eaton organized the booth.

“We had students and faculty write their favorite fall traditions on a big poster. It was really fun to see all the activities everyone put down, but it was also really cool to see their process of choosing a favorite,” said Eaton.

“I put on the poster that my favorite fall activity is a hayride. My church has a hayride and we sing songs and wave to the people we pass by. It is so much fun,” said student Lili Carter.

“I had a great time with my friends. Corn hole and the other mini-games looked awesome. I enjoyed the food. My favorite fall activities are carving pumpkins, going through corn mazes, and drinking pumpkin spice lattes,” said student Sierra Fellows.

Grave Robbing Lecture event

By: Nick Kieser

Here on the Volunteer State Community College campus on Oct.23 Thigpen Library hosted a lecture on grave-robbing in America.

The speaker Jennifer Weedman, who is a former Merrol Hyde Librarian, spoke on the matter of this part of American history.

“I loved it and when I got in front of the crowd and started talking about this information I love so much it was fun. I just wanted to share my stories,” said Weedman.

Students and professors in attendance listened tediously to the individual stories that Weedman told to the audience.

“We found it to be an interesting topic approaching Halloween. I think students who came understood how things were back then, and hearing that people hired others to go rob graves,” said Vincent.

Part of the presentation mentioned the men who were involved with digging up these graves. The mentioned and documented names in history are, Simon Kracht, Chris Baker, Bill Gunter, and Hampton West.

Most of these men according to Weedman were substance abusers of all kinds. In addition to that, she brought up how West was the scariest of them all and that he was even a bodyguard to Confederate General Stonewall Jackson.

“I am most definitely interested in things like this because I absolutely love history and scary stories. I wanted to hear the history behind this because I am unaware of it. The stories she told kept me on my toes,” said student Autumn Edwards.

Weedman is a part-time librarian in Thigpen and she is also in the process of writing a book on the things she has uncovered and wants to share with the world.

“I saw a picture of a man named Bud Rogan. He was a Gallatin man who lived from 1869-1905 and was the fourth tallest man in the United States. Bud is buried in the front yard of the family household, and had concrete poured over him so Vanderbilt couldn’t get to him,” said Weedman.

According to Weedman, Rogan was wanted by the doctors of Vanderbilt because they wanted to understand how a man could be the height that Rogan was when he was alive.

“There is no way I would donate my body. I want to be cremated after all that I have learned. It’s a wonderful thing if someone wants to, but I couldn’t do it,” said Weedman.

“Absolutely! In fact, this is going to help me with my book. Now I know what is good to share and what is not. There are so many stories that I couldn’t even get to that it would surprise you,” said Weedman.

Business student pursues outreach to other fellow business majors

By: Nick Kieser

Volunteer State Community College has a business degree pathway and students here with that major are taking various routes to pursue that degree.

Vol State student, Roy Garcia, Student advocate of the Tennessee Society of CPA’s is on a mission to reach out to the other business majors here on campus.

“A student group or body helps other students just out of their own will. As a business major, I have hardly run into other business majors that could help me. This school really needs students being able to learn and teach other students and pass it on,” said Garcia.

According to Garcia, his first mission on campus is to find other business majors and connect with them.

In reaching out to business students at Vol State Garcia stated that there are three events for accounting majors one at Middle Tennessee State University on Nov. 9, the next at the University of Tennessee Martin on Nov. 13, and at Tennessee Tech University on Nov. 16. All event times are from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“I would like it to be an outreach here. One thing I would like to do is be able to unlock a door or have a door open for students to be able to make that connection themselves here. At least show students that they can do that whether it’s things like in business, music, or anything like that,” said Garcia.

“Roy is doing a really good thing for the community by providing a great outlet for kids who know what they want to do and even for the kids who may not have a sure clue yet,” said Robert Tapia.

Garcia said for himself that he is an intern at an accounting firm in Bellevue, TN.

“In the end of it, all of the leg and push work was my own. I want the students to know it’s easy and that they can do it,” said Garcia.

“There are a lot of opportunities that kids I know, especially myself, that are sometimes unaware of how much an abundance there is of help and aid, and one of the things I realized was that one person can only do so much alone,” said Garcia.

Working for the TSCPA is something that according to Garcia is something he inquired on in wanting to work for them.

“There aren’t many career-oriented programs for business. I love that Roy is showing initiative in providing resources for other students,” said student Tayler.

“One of the things I would like to see in myself while helping other students is being for the other student. Students that want to be a part of this should also share those qualities as well,” said Garcia.

According to Garcia after Vol State, he is looking into the University of Belmont or the University of Tennessee Knoxville.

“After Vol State, I am looking to transfer. One step at a time, but yes eventually my plan is transferring,” said Garcia.