Editorial on Staying Grounded in Situations

By Sara Keen//Editer-in-Chief

Society today seems to focus more on the bad in the world than the good.  It has become increasingly difficult to turn on the news without hearing of tragedy, war, violence, or crime.

Even social media is covered with upsetting news stories.  So often do you see posts of people “giving up on humanity” or not wanting “to live on this planet anymore.”

So how is it possible to stay vibrant or optimistic when it seems like everything is gloomy?

One has to remember that the world is complicated.  There is no split difference between good and bad.  The good often has some bad in it just as the bad often has some good.

Tragedies are capable of bringing people together, as well as making individuals stronger.  For example, following Hurricane Katrina, the devastation and destruction brought people together to rebuild the effected areas.

On a smaller scale, families can be brought closer by death or illness.  Individuals can even become stronger mentally, and grow as a person.

There is also bad found in what we conceive as good stories.  For example, society always thinks about how glamorous and great it would be to become famous.  In reality, a lot of people were not able to handle their newfound fame.  Some would succumb to drug abuse; others would unintentionally break away from their families.  

Even outside of the “limelight,” things we often wish would happen, like winning the lottery, have had very negative results on people.  Lottery winners have been known to be murdered for their money while everyone else dreams to be them.

Too much of a good thing can be bad, and some things that seem good actually aren’t that great.  

When an individual is faced with both good or bad news, the best thing to do initially is to stay calm, if at all possible.  This can help the individual to think over and take in what has happened, or even allow the capability of rational thinking.

Sometimes it could help to turn to a friend.  A good friend will welcome anything you have to share, and may help in any way they are capable.  Some individuals require this in order to remain rational.

Overall, do what you must to cope with, understand, or enjoy the news you have received.  Once you have overcome the initial news, it’s best to focus on how this impacts you.

If the news is devastating, it could have a “bright side,” that is not initially seen.  There could be something good that could come from it, so it is best not to focus entirely on the negative aspect of an event.

Good news can have a dark side to it.  Perhaps one’s high hopes are let down shortly after receiving the news, or what seemed like excellent news did not turn out as well as anyone had hoped.

It is perfectly okay to enjoy and celebrate when you hear good news.  It is simply helpful to remember that not all good things end as well as they started.

Everyone should remember to keep their heads on their shoulders, feet on the ground, and hopes held high.  It is not helpful to focus entirely on the bad or the good, but to understand that they intermingle, and exist together in the world.

Giving our veterans a chance to reconnect

By Melissa Farmer// Staff Writer 

Volunteer State Community College has quite a few veterans around campus.  One thing that will soon be available for veterans is a Veterans Center on campus.

Starting college after you have been in the military is quite an adjustment. Often times coming to college can be overwhelming for any students, and when it comes to veterans it can be more overwhelming than average. Being used to a strict schedule while serving in the military, then switching to college life where you get to schedule your classes whenever you choose, and just the over all freedom is a rough time.

“Veterans are kind of a different group, they’re used to being very structured, they’re used to working with adults. Once they get to college it’s usually a totally different environment for them. They can usually handle it, but it’s that transition period,” said Ken Hanson, who is a veteran himself and knows first-hand how this transition goes.

Working with the state, Vol State has plans to open a Veterans Center on campus “Veterans can go there to spend some time studying, work on computers, things they need for school. Or as a one stop shop for veterans so that way they don’t have to go all over campus as much.”

Hopefully with veterans connecting with each other, and other veterans who have gone through what they are experiencing it can be a more smooth transition and their college experience will be enjoyable.

The location of the veterans center is undetermined, so far, but there are plans to get this center up and running by Oct or Nov. Veterans connecting with other veterans is a very unique bond, “They know that each other have, as we’ve always said it, ‘stomped the same dirt’.”

Connecting with a group that has the same experiences and can know where you have come from can be an extremely beneficial bond when someone is in a new environment and trying to settle into a new life.

The ultimate goal is to get veterans to achieve their goal “We want to get them from the time they start here, till we can get them to the point where they can finish their program, graduate and hopefully move on to a much better world,” said Hanson.

The Veterans of Vol State definitely have something to look forward to in the upcoming months. When the Veterans Center is prepared and ready to be the base for these brave men and women, ads will be put out and more information will be available.

In the mean time, should you have any questions, contact Ken Hanson (Kenneth.hanson@volstate.edu) for details, questions or concerns.    

 

Letter on creating a cleaner campus

By Beth Cooksey// Vice President of Business and Finance

I would like to officially welcome all of our returning and new students to the fall semester at Volunteer State Community College.  I have had the privilege of serving as the Vice President for Business and Finance for over eleven years now.  Volunteer State is a great place and I am very proud of it.

As a new or returning student, I hope you are also proud of this College and the Gallatin campus.  In the time I have been here, I have seen plenty of changes to the physical campus.  We have had two major construction efforts, the completed Allied Health South construction and the Humanities Building that is currently underway.  We also had a significant construction project back in 2006 when a tornado did over $9 million in damages to our campus.  Following the tornado, we all pulled together and sacrificed some creature comforts while the campus was rebuilt.  For a while, it just wasn’t too pretty around Vol State, but eventually, the campus started to look nice again.

There are a lot of us on this campus who take a great deal of pride in how this campus looks and how it is evolving.  My point in writing this article is to ask for your help.  Please help us keep our campus beautiful.  When I see little things like gum on a campus sidewalk, I am distressed.  I am distressed because I personally know the hard working custodial team at Vol State will have to clean up something  that just shouldn’t have happened.  Our entire Plant Operations team is dedicated to creating a culture and atmosphere that are conducive to learning.  We want you to be comfortable in your classrooms and in the recreational space.  We want a clean and inviting campus.  Please help us keep Vol State beautiful.  

Thank you in advance for doing your part.  Together we can all have a great fall semester!

Movie night to feature Marvel film

Contributing Writer Anthony Davidson

 

The first logical question that a student asks when they hear about Movie Night: “What is it?”

According to Tabitha Sherrell of the Student Life and Diversity Office: “It is a community event.  You do not have to be a student to come and view the movie.  It roughly starts at dusk, approximately 7:30 or whenever the sun goes down that day. You can bring your blankets and your lawn chairs, and there will be concessions available. I know one of our student clubs will be providing popcorn.”

That said, students, faculty and staff are encouraged to attend and enjoy the movie.  The movie is free because the college’s Student Government Association (SGA) has its own “blow-up screen.”

Movie Night allows students to bring their friends and families out to enjoy a free movie and have some fun, and non-students get the chance to watch a movie and enjoy an autumn night.  “If you are a student with your own children, this would be a perfect opportunity to bring your kids on campus and enjoy some time with them,” said Sherrell.

The next logical question: “How many students know about Movie Night?”

On a survey of students, the Settler found that 4 in 5 students asked did not know about the event. Advertisement of the event is strongly encouraged by Faculty and Staff.

This free showing takes place on the Volunteer State Community College quad, in the middle of Warf Sciences, Thigpen Library, Wood Campus Center, and the Pickle Fieldhouse.

This year’s showing will be Disney’s Avengers: Age of Ultron on Sept. 18, 2015.

For students who haven’t kept up with the series and related films, the movie stars Scarlet Johansson, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, Samuel L. Jackson, and James Spader as the voice of the AI, Ultron.  The movie follows the storyline of the Marvel comic book series. The film is rated PG-13, due to language and thematic violence.

The  viewing is scheduled to be played on the quad, however, if the weather should not permit, it will be shown in the  carpeted dining room of Wood Campus Center.

Concessions will be sold and the proceeds from concessions will benefit the school’s clubs and programs.  The Settler does not currently have a list of specific concessions, but concessions will be available at the event.

Coffee with the Prez

By Kalynn Meeker// Staff Writer 

 

Volunteer State Community College invites students and faculty for a handshake and conversation with President Dr. Jerry Faulkner at Coffee with the Prez.  

The reason the event was created is to “try to get him acquainted with the students and let them see, yes, we have a President. Here he is and you can talk to him about some sort of issue, if you’re really happy with Vol State or you just want to compliment a professor or somebody on campus that’s changed your life. He is right there and is easy access for students to talk to,” said Tabitha Sherrell, the Coordinator of Student Activities, who planned the date this summer.

A table will be set with free coffee, sugar, and creamer. Other free foods will also be served such as muffins or chicken biscuits. A sign in sheet will be on the table where students are asked to sign up. In the past, there has been anywhere from 10 to 40 people at Coffee with the Prez. With this in mind, it is a first come first serve.

The event is informal, like sitting down with a friend at the local coffee shop. Faulker comes in and mingles with everyone in the dining room.

Jessie Versage, president of the Student Government Association, attended last year and plans to go this year.

Versage encourages all students to join him and ask questions “to get more insight on what the college is doing for their students.”

To give an example of what kind of questions could be asked, Taylor Matson, a student at Vol State said if he could ask the president a question it would be, “How is college paid for when it’s free for the Tennessee Promise students?”

Save the date for Wednesday, Sept. 9, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. in the Mary Cole Nichols Dining Room A or what is known as the Tile Dining Room.

Three different dates are set to ensure everyone who wants attend can choose a date to better fit their schedules.

Other dates available to attend Coffee with the Prez are Tuesday, Oct. 20 from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 and Thursday, Nov. 19 from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. Both meetings will also be in the Tile Dining Room.