Vol State Police have quiet 2018

By Jim Hayes

The Volunteer State Community College Police Department had a very quiet 2018 according to the department’s 2019 Annual Security Report (ASR).

The ASR is a federally mandated report submitted to the federal government each year detailing the number of 20 specific crimes which occurred on college campuses.

The four Vol State campuses were nearly crime free in 2018 according to the report. Just seven incidents, all on the Gallatin campus, made this year’s report.

By comparison, last year, the Vol State Police Department reported 14 incidents in 2017, 10 on the Gallatin campus and four on the Livingston campus.

Most of this year’s offenses (five) occurred on the public property surrounding the Gallatin campus. The other two were on the campus itself.

Of the five off campus incidents, four were drug arrests and one was the theft of a vehicle. The two on-campus arrests were for drug law violations.

The ASR is issued each year to comply with the Clery Act which requires college campuses to publish their crime policy and statistics.

Under the act, campuses must disclose crime statistics, issue campus alerts to inform the campus community about issues which may impact their health or safety.

It also requires that programs and campaigns to promote awareness of dating and domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking. Those programs focus on prevention and awareness.

The ASR also contains information regarding procedures victims of dating or domestic violence, stalking or sexual assault should follow.

Institutional disciplinary procedures for those committing those crimes are also part of the report.

In addition to the SAR, the campus must submit crime statistics to the U.S. Department of Education.

The department must also publish a daily crime log of alleged criminal incidents which is open to public inspection.

The Clery Act was enacted in response to the rape and murder of 19-year-old Lehigh University student Jeanne Clery in 1986.

Clery’s parents believed that, had she known about violent crimes in the area, she would have been more cautious.

According to the SAR, only four percent of colleges and universities reported campus crime to the FBI before the law was enacted.

Open Source Textbooks

By Katelyn Marshall

Some students may feel that buying textbooks for their classes are expensive. However, some instructors at Volunteer State Community College use Open Source Textbooks.

“It’s free to the students,” Professor Len Assante said, an instructor at Vol State who has been teaching communication courses here since the fall of 1996. “Anything we can do to make books cheaper for students is a good thing.”

Assante also explained that Open Source Textbooks give professors flexibility because, “you can get a whole book or you can put together pieces of the book and make it your own and we combine it in the order we want to do it in and the only stuff we want to teach is in there, and there’s no extra stuff.”

According to Professor Jennifer James, who has been teaching communication courses at Vol State since 2007 and graduated with her associate’s degree here, “at Vol State, we have been, probably over the past two years, the Communication Department in particular had a desire to get away from expensive textbooks and find a way we can present rigorous content to students without charging them $100 or more.”

James said that there is a law in Tennessee, the annotated code, which requires faculty members to consider cost when they are picking resources to use for the class, including textbooks.

“I guess it’s not completely free because you have to have access to the internet and sometimes that means you have to have access to it at home, you have to have wi-fi,

perhaps. You have to have a device that can connect [to the internet],” James added. She also mentioned that for public speaking courses, Open Source Textbooks can save students about $150.

According to James, students can find out if they will be using an Open Source Textbook by looking at the website for Vol State’s bookstore and searching their course. “It could say there’s no required textbook for this course or it’s available free online for this course.”

Assante explained that there are a variety of ways students can access their Open Source Textbook. “It can be as simple as a PDF file. I can email it to you. It can be that simple or it can be something you go to a website like you can go to e-learn, you can have in each module on e-learn a link that takes you to an article or a chapter.”

James, commented about what she thought of Open Source Textbook by saying, “I am excited to offer resources to students everyone can access through a device that costs nothing.”

Newspapers defend freedoms which define US

By Jim Zachary

Newspapers protect your First Amendment rights

With just 45 words the founders guaranteed five — no six — basic freedoms, fundamental American rights.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

This Bill of Rights, the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution, was ratified to protect freedom, to ensure liberty and to define the Republic.

These fundamental rights of freedom declare what it means to be an American.

As Americans, we are guaranteed:

— The right to freely practice religion — The right to exercise the freedom of speech — The right of a free press — The right to peaceably assemble in protest — The right to petition the government for a redress of grievances — And the sixth — implied — right: The right to know, viz. the freedom of information.

It stands to reason that if the press is free to hold government accountable, if all people are free to openly express their opinions about government, to assemble in protest of government and to petition the government for grievances against it, that we also have a fundamental right to always know what government is up to.

Newspapers have a long and important legacy protecting the public’s right to know.

In that way, newspapers have always mattered.

The work newspapers do in communities has always been important.

However newspapers have never mattered more or been more important.

In 1841, Thomas Carlyle wrote about the power of the press, conjuring the words of Edmond Burke: “Burke said there were Three Estates in Parliament; but, in the Reporters’ Gallery yonder, there sat a Fourth Estate more important far than they all.”

Burke may have been chiding the press for its sense of itself, but Carlyle used his words to write about the importance of newspapers to democracy.

In an often-quoted letter to Edward Carrington, Thomas Jefferson wrote that if he were to have to choose between “a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.”

Democracy is best served when the newspaper provides checks and balances as the Fourth Estate of government. Newspapers are not the enemy of government — rather they are the champions of ordinary men and women.

Newspapers are the most powerful advocate the public can have and for that reason should always provide an open forum for a redress of grievances and public expression.

Newspapers hold government accountable because at our very core we believe that government belongs to the governed and not to the governing.

If newspapers do not stand up for the public, protect the rights of free speech and the rights of access to government, then no one will.

The provisions of the First Amendment do not exist to protect the press. Rather, the press exists to help protect those freedoms.

Far from being the enemy of the people, the province of a free and unfettered press is to help keep government in check and to defend the public against any assault on the five — no six — basic American rights of freedom guaranteed by the First Amendment.

CNHI Deputy National Editor Jim Zachary is CNHI’s regional editor for its Georgia, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida and Texas newspapers and editor of the Valdosta (Ga.) Daily Times. He is the vice-president of the Georgia First Amendment Foundation. He can be reached at jzachary@cnhi.com

This is one gold star you don’t want

By Jim Hayes

Typically, this space is reserved for commentary about items which it is thought will resonate with Volunteer State Community College students.

Not so, this week. This week we will attempt to reach an audience that likely includes some of our students, but this message is more likely to connect with Vol State’s faculty and staff.

Yesterday was Gold Star Mother’s and Family’s Day.

It is a day set aside to remember the families who will never again see their sons or daughters who died in service of this country.

The gold star has been around for a long time.

In 1918, the Woman’s Committee of National Defense suggested to President Woodrow Wilson that the mothers of soldiers killed in World War I be allowed to wear a black armband upon which was embroidered a gold star.

In 1936, the United States Congress officially designated the last Sunday in September as “Gold Star Mother’s Day.” President Barrack Obama expanded the gold star designation to include all family members in 2009.

But somehow, its commemoration has fallen through the cracks. Perhaps the American people feel that paying their respects on Memorial and Veterans Days is enough (although, those days are more often marked with cookouts and pool parties rather than commemorations of those who served this country).

However, the Gold Star mothers and their families are still here and still grieving.

Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving dinners are still celebrated. But there will always be the feeling that something is missing. Each birthday passes, but there is no longer anyone to bake a cake for, or to hug and congratulate for making it through another year.

This has to be a special kind of torture. One borne silently. The missing family member unacknowledged yet never forgotten.

It is a familial sacrifice, yet one that barely registers on anyone’s radar.

Well, for the record, it made a big blip on ours.

You have our condolences, our sympathy and, if needed, our shoulder to cry on.

Your son or daughter made their sacrifice and yours will go on for the rest of your life.

Nothing will ever replace that empty spot at holidays and birthdays, but know that you will always have our ungarnished gratitude.

Math teacher says she’s ‘emotionally invested’ in campus and students

By Velma Crochet

Leah Frauendienst is an instructor of mathematics at Volunteer State Community College.

She loves teaching at Vol State and feels emotionally invested at this campus because this is

where she started her career and absolutely loved her time as a student. She has been

teaching math for general studies and college algebra for the last four years. Beginning her

fifth year teaching at Vol State she now has added another course to her agenda, math for

elementary majors.

College algebra is her favorite of the three courses to teach because it is organized and

makes a bigger connection. “Algebra is my baby,” Frauendienst said.

Yanetd Herrera said that she hated math before taking Frauendienst, math 1010 class this

past summer and now can see the other side of the math. “She is very passionate when she

explains everything in a simple manner so we all understand it. I love her attitude always

willing to answer our questions,” said Herrera. Frauendienst is easy to connect with for

help or questions to be answered because she uses remind, the app. An easy way to manage

communication—and make more time for teaching according to remind.com/teachers.

Frauendienst, received her associate’s degree at VSCC in general studies. Then she went on

to further her education at Tennessee Tech where she got her master’s degree and

bachelor’s degree in mathematics. Math always has an answer and is not subjective. She

was going to teach high school students but very quickly changed her mind teach college

instead said Frauendienst. During her college years she tutored her peers at the math labs

on campus at Vol State and Tennesse Tech.

Frauendienst was born in Minnesota and then moved to Hendersonville, Tennesse, at the

age of four. She loves the area and enjoys eating at Taziki’s Mediterranean Cafe on

occasion. Her favorite time of year is fall with crisp air and beautiful landscape to see said

Frauendienst. When she is not busy helping a student, grading papers or lecturing you can

find her at a Predators game enjoying the vibe inside the Bridgestone Arena.