It is your fellow classmates, teachers, and peers that help put on these events and they need your support

by Ann Roberts// Editor-in-Chief

On Tuesday, March 17, there were two events at Volunteer State Community College. One was a Humanities Matters lecture on Transcendentalist communes. Maybe 10 people attended.

There was also on that Tuesday, a Lunch and Learn event.

Nobody showed up for it.
Such low attendance to school events makes me wonder; why aren’t people coming to these things?
Either the students do not know the events are happening, they do not want to go or they have no time to.

“I seriously encourage students to go to as many events, lectures, and opportunities that Vol State hosts as possible. Too much work, effort, and money goes into trying to make the student body unified and happy, and the end result is sometimes disappointing. It is your fellow classmates, teachers, and peers that help put on these events and they need your support,” said Kathleen Long, president of Association of Campus Events (ACE).
“[SLDI] works extremely hard to provide meaningful and significant programming for the entire student body at Vol State.  The activities sponsored, especially by my office, are paid by student fees.  I would encourage students to participate in activities, especially when they are paying for it.  Outside of my office, events are planned to assist in education and furthering exploration of the mind.

“Although attendance is not mandatory, it should be a priority option to attend to see what is available for collegiate growth,” said Dr. Kenny Yarbrough, director of Student Services in SLDI.

I see plenty of people hanging out in the cafeteria everyday at every time. I know they have the time to come to events and lectures.

Do they not know that things are happening? There are flyers up and a calendar on the website and in the school newspaper. There are announcements and flyers on the bulletin boards as well as on the monitors in every building. Do they not see them?

“There is always something happening at Vol State. One thing in particular that I have enjoyed is traveling to other states for conferences and meetings.
“Last year, I went to Washington, D.C. with Dr. Yarbrough for the ASAAC conference, where I met with the United States Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, and spoke with him about Vol State.

“Of course, the trip was wonderful, but I didn’t have to worry about the financial obligation to attend.
“Our student activity fee footed the bill for that once in a lifetime experience for me, and I am eternally grateful.
“I encourage everyone to take part in these events, and look into trips that are available. These trips are available to all students, and are especially fun and meaningful when you travel with Dr. Key,” said Amanda Steele, president of the Student Government Association (SGA).

Vol State has dozens of events scheduled every month of the school semester. Most if not all of them are planned many months in advance. From a wide variety of lectures and presentations to slam poets, musicians and magicians.

“All students pay the student activities fee which therefore means, they are paying for these events that are hosted through [SLDI],” said Tabitha Sherrell, coordinator of Student Services in SLDI.

There are also many student leadership positions that need to be filled.

“… the President of SGA, President of ACE, and Editor of The Settler get tuition paid and a book stipend. Also, all SGA Representatives get a book stipend for attending SGA meetings on behalf of their clubs…most students probably don’t realize this incentive, but it is open to any current student to partake in as long as they put in the time and effort to take on these student leader roles.

“And, these positions look great on a resume as students prepare for jobs or further college education,” said Sherrell.

Please look out for upcoming campus events and opportunities. Vol State wants to help you learn and experience so many things as well as enjoy your time here.

We have all these lectures and events for the students.

If nobody cares or comes to the things we work hard to set up for you, then why should we try at all?

Taking pride and responsibility in your work is a wise life choice

by Ann Roberts// Editor-in-Chief

It is common for students during the school year to give a half-hearted effort at their assignments and projects.

Often times, the task is one in which the student has no interest and thus, does not complete particularly well.

Many homework assignments and projects are not completed and some are not even turned in.

This is not hurting the instructor any.

It is easier to give someone a zero on their grades for not turning in their work than to sift through apathetic content that the student thought was not worth doing well.

This attitude of passivity and negligence is only hurting the student in the end.

“I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more luck I have,” said Thomas Jefferson, 3rd president of America.

The assignments for which the students are responsible are supposed showcase their ability to do what is asked of them.

If they feel that the project is not good enough for them to complete or work on at all, they are only conveying that they are lacking discipline, respect for their supervisor, maturity and tenacity.

“It is not by whining that one carries out the job of a leader,” said Napoleon Boneparte, French military leader.

If this sort of mindset and behavior is a common practice during school, how will these students obtain and sustain steady jobs in the future?

If they are used to doing what they want and not what is best then they will not succeed in a workplace environment.

“We are not here merely to make a living. We are here to enrich the world, and we impoverish ourselves if we forget this errand,” said Woodrow Wilson, 28th president of America.

When you are working on a group project, every member has a part to do.

If anyone in the party is not willing to do their work, or do it well, that not only reflects badly on that person, but it also pulls the whole group down as well.

“Show class, have pride, and display character. If you do, winning takes care of itself,” said Paul Bryant, American football coach and player.

Just being present is not going to get the job done.

“All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence,” said Martin Luther King, Jr., American Civil Rights leader.

One must have the ability to see what needs to be done and do it.

Students need to be able to gage what assignments and projects need to be done, and set time apart and make an effort to do them.

What is the point of doing something if you are not even invested in doing it the right way?

“Disciplining yourself to do what you know is right and important, although difficult, is the highroad to pride, self esteem and personal satisfaction,” said Margaret Thatcher, former prime minister of England.

One thing that I encourage you to try is, to do your assignment ñ everybody has something ñ and complete it.

The fun part is, not only do you need to make sure to include what specific instructions your instructor or boss has tasked you with, but you also need to make sure that you incorporate a part of yourself into it.

“The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence,” said Eddie Robinson, American football coach.

You can make something professional and still let it showcase a talent or quirk of yours.

Employers and teachers need to know you can do the minimum amount of acceptable work.

What gets their attention is when you go above and beyond that and can integrate your own style and individuality into your work.

It shows that you can get the job done professionally and in a way that is individualistic. It also shows a sense of pride in your work.

“Remember every job is a self portrait of the person who did it. Autograph your work with excellence,” said anonymous.

Half hearted attempts to complete something you’re not interested in will not produce a piece that you will be proud to call your own.

It does not help anybody, accomplishes nothing and impresses no one.

“It takes less time to do things right than to explain why you did it wrong,” said Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, American poet.

Take the time and effort to actually do what you need to, either for a class or a project at work.

Don’t let your boss, teacher or yourself down by doing less than bare minimum.

A job worth doing is worth doing well.

Club Spotlight: Phi Theta Kappa (PTK)

by Ja’vion Bozeman// Staff Writer

Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) is an International Academic Honor Society for two-year colleges.

Volunteer State Community College is privileged to have its own chapter.

PTK’s mission is to recognize and encourage the academic achievement of two-year college students and to provide opportunities for individual growth and development through participation in honors, leadership, service, and fellowship programming.

Dr. Merritt McKinney, director of the Honors Program, has been the advisor for PTK for over a year.

“I love Phi Theta Kappa. It’s a great opportunity for scholarships and a great way to meet motivated students who want to do community service,” said McKinney.

In order for a student to join PTK they have to obtain a 3.5 GPA.

Then Dr. Jerry Faulkner, president of Vol State, will mail the student a letter and an application that must be submitted with an $80 fee.

Jean Gorgie, English instructor and co-advisor, will accompany this chapter’s students to PTK’s annual international convention, NerdNation.

This yearís convention will take place April 16-18 in San Antonio, Texas.

NerdNation, branding the mantra “Cool 2B Smart,” is a three-day convention that will host people from all over the world.

It provides opportunities for advisor and student engagement that result in long term chapter and student success.

The 3-day agenda combines educational sessions to foster personal and chapter development, training to cultivate leaders, thought-provoking speakers who broaden attendees’ perspectives, networking opportunities to share ideas and expand ones pool of resources and award presentations recognizing past achievements while setting the bar high for future success.

“Last year we went to Orlando, and it was so great. There was dancing, workshops, and great key note speakers. They also help students transition from a 2-year college to a 4-year college,” said Gorgie.

Stephanie Winters, Dr. Rod A. Risley, Dr. David Burkus, and Dr. Michio Kaku are the featured speakers this year.

Any Phi Theta Kappa member is encouraged to attend.

For additional information, contact PTK President Ryan Carver at ccarver9@volstate.edu.

The importance of fitness and tips on wellness

by Brian Ferrell// Staff Writer

A poor diet and a lack of exercise can lead to physical and mental problems such as diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and possibly cancer.

A proper diet and exercise routine is very essential to a daily lifestyle.

It promotes stress relief, reduces anxiety, prevents chronic disease and heart disease, reduces fat, builds strength and endurance and overall makes you happy.

According to the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition (PCFSN); within the last 20 years there’s been a significant increase in obesity in the United States.

More and more people are becoming obese. It’s also a huge problem with our children.

About 17 percent, or 12.5 million, of children and adolescents (2-19) are obese in The United States.

Also, 33.8 percent, or 78.6 million adults, are obese.

The council also states that the cumulative effect is that children born in the year 2000 may not out live their parents and indicates that 70 percent of youth may never achieve a healthy weight and will become obese adults.

What does that tell you?

Americans are fat.

So how can we change that?

How can we get more people to realize the importance of dieting and exercising?

90 percent of losing weight is just your diet.

Make better food choices and you’ll lose weight. Nutrition and exercise not only complement each other, but they need each other.

According to weighttraining.com, even with a perfectly balanced diet, you still need to exercise to burn the calories.

Abouthealth.com states that the biggest complaint today is people not having the time to focus on a healthy diet and going to the gym.

We all feel that 24 hours is not enough time and we all wish we could have more time to do things but if you really step back and look at how people spend their day we can find time to go to the gym.

The average American watches 5 hours of television (TV) per day according to the New York daily.

So that’s 5 hours of Americans being sedentary on the couch, staring at a TV screen. The New York Daily Times reported people spending 3.8 hours a day on social media.

So out of the 24 hours that we all get each day, 8 hours of it is being spent looking at a screen.

That is time we can use to prep healthier meals and get in some exercise.

We have the time to get it done. We can all squeeze in a workout each day. Incorporating physical activity into your daily life.

At least 30 minutes for adults and 60 minutes for children according to PCFSN.

Another complaint that most people have is that they are too tired.

One of the benefits of exercising is that it actually gives you more energy.

A study published in the American Journal of psychology states that people who worked out for 30 minutes a day lost more weight than people who worked out for 60 minutes a day.

You would think that the longer you work out the more calories you will burn.

Although that is true, the study revealed that people who work out 30 minutes a day noticed their workout was easier and they had energy to do other physical activities throughout the day as oppose to those who work out 60 minutes a day, who noticed they ate more and had less energy to do other physical activity. It sounds counterintuitive.

What about moms who cannot seem to get in a workout because they have to take care of the kids?

One tip is you can find a gym that has a daycare that can watch your kids while you get in a workout.

You can also find workouts you can do at home.

There are a lot of home workouts you can do to help you meet your fitness goals.

Try waking up 30 minutes to an hour before the kids have to get up and get in a workout or do 30 minutes after you send them to bed.

Remember there’s always time to get in a workout, it is just a matter of how bad do you want it.

One of the cool things about exercising is that it releases a chemical in your brain called endorphins (the feel good medicine).

It gives you a positive feeling that will make you happy.

It is a feeling of accomplishment and it is the best drug out there.

Bucy leads discussion panel on biracial marriage

by Lauren Cieler// Staff Writer

Students, faculty and staff at Volunteer State Community College were welcome to attend a lecture on March 2.

The event took place in the Rochelle Center in the Thigpen Building at 12:20 p. m.

The speaker was Dr. Carole Bucy, professor of History.

“This lecture is to provide more awareness of the subject of marriage inequality as part of the Civil Rights movement that still contours today,” said Bucy.

The history department has a grant from the Gilder-Lehram Foundation to do a series of lectures associated with films that are about the Civil Rights movement.

Bucy had four people from Vol State come in and sit on a panel to answer questions from herself and students.

These people were; Dr. Emily Short, assistant vice-president of Student Services and her husband Cedric Short; Dr. Michael Torrence, assistant vice-president of Academic Affairs; and Amber Hughes, a nursing major.

Each person told their backstory and how he or she dealt with interracial equality.

Dr. Short and Cedric have been married for nineteen years and have a daughter.

Dr. Short is from Westmorland, Tenn, a predominantly white community.

Dr. Short said she first told her friend that Cedric had proposed to her and her friend said, “You need to tell your mom.”

Although Dr. Short’s mother did know about Cedric, Dr. Short said her mother did not like the concept of a biracial marriage.

Cedric said remembered how he met his wife.

Cedric said in the mid 90s, he was a student at Vol State while Dr. Short worked in Student Services. He said he did not want to talk to her, but one day he finally had the courage to say hello.

As soon as he graduated he made his move and later on started dating.

Cedric said when he proposed to Dr. Short, he first told his younger brother, Marvin.

He said Marvin’s response was, “Did you tell dad yet? You need to tell him now.”

“My dad had a chilly response and was caught by surprise,” said Cedric.

Dr. Short’s family did not come to the wedding, which she said was a heavy rejection.

“I was preparing myself for no in-laws, but when my daughter was born everything changed,” said Cedric.

Torrence has been married for eight years and has two children.

Torrence said was in college when he first saw his wife.

“I was in my advisor’s office and I look out the window and saw red hair bouncing in the sunlight across the Quad,” said Torrence.

When the time came to propose to his wife, Torrence said he went to her brothers and they respected the decision he had made.

He said he asked her father and the father shrugged and said okay.

Torrence said both his children have had the privilege of being accepted and active in sports.

He has only dealt with one mishap of biracial inequality.

“There was a man in church that told my wife and daughter that they didn’t belong here and to get out,” said Torrence.

Amber Hughes said she has been married for 12 years and has three children.

She said when she first met the man she was going to marry, she was 17 and her husband was 23. Hughes said they had to keep their relationship as a secret because of their age difference.

Hughes and her husband met in the food court at the same mall.

His sister was Hughes’ boss.

Hughes said when she got engaged, she told her best friend who was concerned about the age difference.

Her family was not supportive, but her aunt stepped up to help with the wedding.

Hughes’ husband is African American and Hispanic and she said his parents were okay with him marrying her.

One encounter the Hughes said she had with biracial inequality was when she was looking for rent. She said when she was about to fill out the application, the clerk said that he doesn’t rent to African Americans/Hispanics. Hughes said she picked up her purse and walked away.

In the comment and question section of the lecture, Bucy proposed a question.

“What do you think can be done to promote tolerance and understanding among people in 2015? What can be done to improve racial tolerance?” said Bucy.

“To get out of his or her environment; too see something different; to meet people from different backgrounds,” answered Torrence.

Dr. Short said that what works well for her family is that they have open dialogue about racial equality and to learn about each other’s culture answered

“Parents should educate their children in biracial equality,” answered Hughes.

“I think if we learn to accept one another and live our lives everything will be better,” said Patty Powell, vice president of Student Services.

Wes Moore event discusses Hip-Hop and its effects on today’s society

by Cynthia Hernandez// Staff Writer

On Monday, March 2, Volunteer State Community College hosted a special presentation that attracted over 200 high school students from all over Sumner County.

Participating high schools included Beech, Gallatin, Hendersonville, Portland, Station Camp, and White House.

Dr. Michael Torrence, assistant vice president of Academic Affairs, lead the discussion titled “Effects of Hip-Hop on Society” in the Pickel Field Gymnasium.

The goal of the discussion was to “examine your environment with more awareness,” said Torrence.

During the presentation, he recognized five components of hip-hop: knowledge, dancing, MC-ing, DJ-ing, and graffiti.

Prizes were given to the students that participated in the discussion.

Some students showed off their dance moves and others showed their “freestyle” abilities.

“So often hip-hop music and the culture that surrounds it, are seen as negatives.

“I’m glad our students were able to learn the history and technicalities of the music they love, so that they can see all of the positives of hip-hop,” said Heather Adkins, an English teacher at Gallatin High School.

“The hip-hop event was very informative and a great avenue to bring the art form and culture of hip-hop to light.

“I believe students left with a new appreciation for the music genre and it’s correlation to the English language,” said Elizabeth Evans, choral director at Hendersonville High School.

This presentation was one in a special series of the One Book, One Community project.

The next presentation is scheduled for Thursday, March 19, at 12:30 p.m. in the Mary Cole Nichols Carpeted Dining Room (CDR) of Wood.

The discussion will focus on the low expectations of young African-American males.

The One Book, One Community culminating event will be held on Tuesday, March 24, from 6 – 8 p.m. in the Rochelle Center of Thigpen.

It is not too late to get your copy of “The Other Wes Moore” and join the discussion

Zorah Sarwari speaks on terrorism and Muslim discrimination

by Brittney Mace// Assistant Editor

Volunteer State Community College hosted Zohra Sarwari, international speaker, March 4, at 12:30 p.m., in the Carpeted Dining Room.

According to her website, Sarwari is the author of ten books, a life coach, a business coach and an entrepreneur. With her time at Vol State, she chose to discuss what it means to be a member of the Islam faith and how her fellow Muslims are targeted when discussing or referring to terrorism.

“I want you guys to think of terrorism globally, not just outside the U.S. All of us know at least one person in our life who has been terrorized through domestic violence and all these other cases,” said Sarwari.

Sarwari said that every religion has crazy people in it, but that she doesn’t believe all the members of that religion should have to pay for that one person and their mistake. She said this issue is especially common for the Muslim community.

“Why is it when a Muslim commits a crime, his religion is labeled for it, but for anybody else, they are just an evil person? . . . What [has] happened in the last few years is that our media keeps saying that ënot all Muslims are Terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslim’. It’s an oxymoron,” said Sarwari.

Sarwari said that she wants society to stop focusing the backlash of terrorism on a certain group of individuals.

“Terrorism is happening all around us. There is no race to terrorism, there is no religion, there’s no age, there’s no gender. It’s an individual, making bad decisions, and taking it out on whoever is unfortunately going to suffer from their hands. . . . I want you guys to think of terrorism in that sense; globally, because truly, that’s what it really is,” said Sarwari.

As for the Vol State community, Sarwari said it was very welcoming.

“Honestly, I didn’t feel like wasn’t welcomed. Some students did look a little like ‘oh, you look out of place’ but that’s okay and that’s sometimes what they need to see [in order] to actually want to be involved in it. . . . I didn’t see any hatred or anything and if people had it, they kept it to themselves, which I think is very respectful,” said Sarwari.

Tabitha Sherrell, coordinator of student activities, attended the event.

“She did an amazing job. I’m a very structured person, so I really liked her PowerPoint. She stayed on task really well, she made it fun and not so hard and tense of a topic,” said Sherell.

Sam Hunt, a Vol State student, was also in attendance.

“The ignorance that people have, not just for [Sarwari] but for anyone, burns my butt, because nobody educates themselves on how not everybody’s like that or not everybody does that, whether it’s African-American, White, whatever. Not all of us are that person. Education is where it’s at. That’s how you stomp out ignorance,” said Hunt.

For more information on Sawari and her services, visit ZohraSawari.com.

Practice living in the moment for a more peaceful mind and life

by Brittney Mace// Assistant Editor

I often find myself thinking about two main things; my past and my future.

Being a college student and working towards my planned life goals, I tend to spend the majority of my time thinking about what I will do when those goals are met and I do not fully appreciate the journey I am taking in order to get there.

I often dwell on what I will be doing a year, five years, even ten years from that moment. As a result, I don’t fully enjoy the time in my life that I currently reside in.

“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans,” said John Lennon. This is something I have been attempting to change in my life.

Yes, it is important to have goals and yes, it is important to plan the steps in order to achieve them, but one should not deem any part of their life unnecessary or less important than another.

If you find yourself in the same issue, take a deep breath and relax.

Quiet your mind of life planning and fully embrace the uncertainty that life brings.

“Life is a preparation for the future; and the best preparation of the future is to live as if there were none,” said Albert Einstein.

Both you and your plans will change, but there will only ever be one present.

The same way of thinking goes for ones’ past.

Do not become stuck on the “what ifs” of your existence.

I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason.

You may feel like you are not on the right path, that you made too many mistakes, or that you want to go back to the past where you believe you once thrived.

I too, often have these thoughts.

Recently new to adulthood, I still catch myself wishing I was back in my childhood, a victimless child with no worries or adult responsibilities.

I remind myself to not waste any more precious time thinking about regrets or how things could have been different.

I choose instead, as should you, to focus on the person in the present.

Are you a better person as a result of your past?

Are you living your life, each day, to its full potential?

Are you taking one step at a time, to achieve this?

Do not use your incredible mind to overthink where you came from or where on this earth you will end up.

Personally, I would rather live a life of chaos that gave me unexpected pleasures, than strictly scheduled plans that I am uncertain I even want.

I constantly have to remind myself that I have the honor of living in a great country, I have the option of a great education, I have a vast amount of resources to make my life the best that it can possibly be and that I should celebrate every single day just the way it is.

I have never been much of a swimmer, but I have found bliss in the choice to go along with the waves of life instead of fighting against the current.

So whether you believe that detailed planning, fate, karma or some other higher power is the key to a happy life, I advise you to take chances.

I encourage you to try things from a new perspective and don’t hold yourself back from experiences that seem uncertain.

If all else fails; when the worry starts to set in, just remember that you are okay.

You have time.

And you are right where you are meant to be.

The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, not to worry about the future, or not to anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly,” said Buddha.

Transfer tips from a Vol State Alumni

by Sherayah Witcher// Guest Writer 

Some of you are probably in your last semester or two here at Volunteer State Community College and have your next college already in mind.

Transferring from community college to a four-year school can be exciting, but it can be a daunting process as well.

There is enough paperwork to make you wonder if you are a signing up for school or to donate an organ.

Here are just a few tips that can make this process a bit easier.

Look for, or ask, an admissions advisor at your new school if there is a list of everything you need for your initial application and then also a list of everything you need to submit after you get in.

This is essential, so that you do not keep getting emails that you are missing another piece of paperwork.

When you have this list you can get everything together and submit it all at once.

Get multiple copies of your official transcript.

You will need to submit a final transcript to your new school and these have been known to get lost in the shuffle, so I suggest getting two or three to be on the safe side.

This also helps if you want to get into another program later.

Apply and get your paperwork in as early as possible.

Paperwork is going to take longer to process at a bigger school, so get it in early because you will want to make sure to have enough time to register for the classes that you need before they fill up.

Orientation might be the last thing you want to do, but most universities require it.

Get all that you can out of it.

It is also another incentive to get your paperwork in early so that you can choose a day that works best for you.

Use this time to talk with an advisor.

This is a few hours that your advisor has set aside to see the people specifically at orientation and it is going to be more difficult to see them later.

Either while you are at orientation or at least before you begin classes make sure to take a good look at the building that is going to house your majorís department.

For example, if you are an English major make sure that you look at the building that the English department is in and get familiar with it because you are going to be in that building for the next couple of years.

The last piece of advice I have for you is that once you get into your new school, make sure you check to see when you need upper level advising.

If you graduated from Vol State or at least accumulating a lot of credit hours you are going to need to get started on that your first or second semester at your new school.

These are just a few tips that I hope help to ease your transition from the wonderful halls of Vol State to your next endeavor.

I wish you all the best in your new adventures!