Top 8 reasons to vote this election season

By: Cole Miller
The 2016 Presidential election has the two most unpopular main party candidates in recent American history. However, whether or not you like either major candidate, your vote still matters. Please go out and vote on Nov. 8 if you have not already voted early.

8. There is more than one choice.
Although the media primarily covers the Democratic and Republican parties, there are many other parties with candidates running for President of the United States. Some parties are more known, like the Green Party and the Libertarian Party, but there are lesser knowns such as The Legal Marijuana Now Party and the United States Pirate Party.

7. You can actually complain with some integrity.
To quote Abraham Lincoln, “Elections belong to the people. It’s their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the people and burn their behinds, then they will have to sit on their blisters.” Basically what this means is, if the person you did not want to become President does just that, and you didn’t vote, you cannot complain about it.

6. The margins can be very important.
The 2000 Presidential election between George W. Bush and Vice President Al Gore had a popular vote margin of 543,889 votes in the latter’s favor, however, the electoral vote gave George W. Bush the win, making him the 43rd President of the United States. The electoral difference was 5 delegates.

5. There have been people who have given their lives for your rights.
As a United States citizen, you have several rights given to you by the U.S. Constitution. Voting is one of these rights. Ever since we became a country, there have been wars fought, and in each of these wars, Americans have died defending those rights. By not voting, or not practicing any constitutional rights, you are letting them die for nothing.

4. Because you can.
This may seem pretty basic, but most college students are over eighteen, and can finally vote for the candidate of their choice. Growing up, I was always excited to finally be able to vote in an election of any kind, and now I finally can. This election is history in the making, and every vote counts for your candidate of choice.

3. The emotion of anticipation.
The night of the election, Nov. 8 we will have announced to us, the 45th President of the United States of America. This is a very exciting time for many citizens. Excitement can be good or bad though. Some citizens could be in total fear over who will be elected this year, or and year for that matter, because of the feeling of broken promises and the unknown that comes with every new president. Regardless, people will be anticipating these results for days before that night, and the entire day.
2. Honoring Benjamin Franklin.
At the Constitutional Convention that led to our country being formed, Benjamin Franklin was asked the following question, “What have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” He answered, “A Republic, if you can keep it.” Our founding father challenged the citizens of his day and for Americans leading all the way to today to vote for their official leaders.

1. Democracy.
Democracy literally means “people force.” We the people have the ability to put our elected officials in office, any office for that matter. This all the more reason why we should absolutely vote on any ballot. We the people are the most powerful entity in this country. We the people are the backbone, lungs, and brains of this country.

These are just a few of the many reasons you should utilize your right to vote.
Although the candidates in this election are extremely unpopular, one of them will be our next president.
Being educated on your choice and your own beliefs definitely helps narrow down your choices.

Top 10 movies available to rent at the Thigpen Library this Fall

by Cole Miller
If you weren’t already aware, there is a great selection of movies available to rent in the Thigpen Library. It is completely free, just show your Volunteer State Community College ID.
You are allowed 2 movies, and can have them for up to a week with no late fees. If returned late, you owe a dollar per day, per movie. The following is my personal top 10 movies that you should check out and watch if you have not seen them already.
10. Citizen Kane
In 1941, Orson Welles released this classic mystery drama movie. This film has been dubbed “The Greatest Film of All Time” by the American Film Institute on their 1998 list “100 Years … 100 Movies” and again on their updated list in 2007. Anything that has been noted as being the greatest of all time is absolutely worth your time.
9. The Wolf of Wall Street
Released in 2013 and starring Leonardo DiCaprio, this biographical drama about Wall Street directed by the talented Martin Scorsese is a must see for a movie buff. This is definitely not one to watch around younger kids or people who are sensitive to foul language, as it broke the record for most uses of the “f word” with a whopping 506-569 uses in some conjugation.
8. The Graduate
This is a classic, and your parents probably know this one. The Graduate came out in 1967, and stars Dustin Hoffman as Benjamin Braddock who has just finished college and is returning home. With a soundtrack written by “Simon & Garfunkel” that contains now well-known songs such as “Sounds of Silence” and “Mrs. Robinson”, I absolutely recommend this movie.
7. American Beauty
Keep calm and pass the asparagus. This 1999 “dramedy” starring Kevin Spacey is outstanding. Spacey plays Lester Burnham, a husband in suburbia that is just fed up with life, at home and at work. Without spoiling any major plot points, I can honestly say this movie is in my top 5, and is one I re-watch regularly.
6. The Big Lebowski
“The Dude abides, man.” Before I mention anything about the movie, I should mention that this movie will make you want to go bowling and just take it easy for a while at home with friends. Jeff Bridges plays Jeffrey Lebowski, who shares the same name as a very wealthy mogul played by David Huddleston. Everything unfolds in a hilarious way, and is always worth the rewatch.
5. Argo
Directed by Ben Affleck, who also stars in this suspenseful movie is based on a true story. Based on the “Canadian Caper” which occurred in 1979, this movie tells the story of how the CIA faked a movie to get American hostages in Iran home.
4. Reservoir Dogs
Okay, this is my absolute favorite movie of all time, I did not put it at number one because I am aware it is not for everyone. This is Quentin Tarantino’s first production, and stars Michael Madsen, Tim Roth, Steve Buscemi, and Harvey Keitel. I will not be spoiling anything from the plot, this is a must watch.
3. The Godfather
Directed by Francis Ford Coppola in 1972, this movie is also dubbed as one of the greatest movies of all time. It is ranked second, only behind Citizen Kane on AFI’s “100 Years … 100 Movies”. It stars Marlon Brando as Vito Corleone and Al Pacino as his son, Michael Corleone.
2. Good Will Hunting
“How do you like them apples?” Written by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck while they were in community college, this 1997 drama is a masterpiece. It stars Damon as Will Hunting, and the late Robin Williams as his therapist, Sean Maguire. This movie won Williams an Oscar, and is also in my top 5.
1. Interstellar
If you have not seen this yet, go watch it. Use Hulu if it has already been checked out of the library. This sci-fi movie directed by the talented Christopher Nolan has even been dubbed “almost 100 percent scientifically accurate” by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. It deals with worm holes, black holes, and relativity for those of you who really like things like that.

What do in Tennessee for Fall Break 2016

by Lillian Lynch
Fall Break is coming up for the students of Volunteer State Community College Oct. 10 and 11, giving them a five-day weekend. A vacation can be taken in this time, but where to go is the question.
One attraction is the local amusement park Dollywood in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. There are more than 40 rides and attractions here alone according to
They include the Lightning Rod, which is the world’s fastest wooden coaster, the Smoky Mountain River Rampage, where a group sits in a circle and rushes down rapids, the Barnstormer, a roller coaster based on 1920’s stunt pilots, the Wild Eagle, the world’s first winged coaster, the Dizzy Disk, where passengers sit facing outward for a ride that glides back and forth while simultaneously spinning in circles, kids’ rides, and much more.
There is currently a fall break promotion going on and three-day tickets are $33 a day, compared to one-day tickets at $65 for adults, $52 for children and $60 for seniors. The park is a little less than a three and a half hour drive away.
A less-known local attraction is the Lost Sea Adventure in Sweetwater, Tennessee. Visitors explore caves with a guided tour in a round trip of three-fourths of a mile.
At the bottom of the cave, 140 ft. under the surface according to, is America’s largest underground lake. Here visitors board a glass-bottom boat and take a trip around the body of water.
Tickets are $19.95 per adult and $10.95 per child but children under 4 are free.
Another attraction in Gatlinburg is the Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies. The aquarium is made of two levels, the upper level and the lower level.
The upper level has four different sections. They are the Tropical Rainforest, the Ocean Realm, Shark Lagoon and Touch a Ray Bay.
The Tropical Rainforest features piranhas and poisonous dart frogs. The Ocean Realm features the spotted garden eel and flounder.
Shark Lagoon, as its name suggests, features the sand-tiger shark and the nurse shark. Touch a Ray Bay is a shallow lagoon where guests can reach out and touch rays as they glide by, according to Educators stand by for safety and to answer questions.
The Coral Reef features clownfish, butterflyfish and regal blue tang. The Discovery Center features pufferfish and horseshoe crabs.
The Gallery of the seas focuses on octopi, cuttlefish, and jellyfish. Stingray Bay consists of multiple species of stingrays.
The Penguin Playhouse includes tunnels that go through the penguins’ habitat where visitors can get nose-to-beak with the penguins.
There is also an opportunity to get an original art piece by a penguin. They are given paper and paint with their feet. It is $30 or $45 depending on the size.
Tickets to the Aquarium are $29.99 at the gate or $25.99 online per adult and $15.99 at the gate or $13.99 online per child.
Ripley’s is just a three and a half hour drive away.
A five-day weekend can go a long way.

10 ways to de-stress for your midterms

by Hope McKinney
The stress of midterms can really get to college students. These top 10 tips to get through midterms might be just what you need.
10.) RELAX. Take some time to yourself. Go for a walk, or drive around for a while and clear your head. Sitting in front of a computer screen for long periods at a time can give you a headache and make it that much harder to finish the task at hand. Some me time is always okay.
9.) Do not get behind. Take the time to space out some you time, but do not take it too far. Sometimes taking it too far can end in a failing grade. It is very easy to get behind when you are overwhelmed and you just want to do everything but school work. You have to push through and stay focused.
8.) Talk to your professors. I cannot push this enough. Keeping an open line of connection with your professors can be the difference between knowing what you need to work on and being completely oblivious to things going on with your grades. Professors are there to help you and especially if you have an online class it is important to at least email them and make sure you are on the right track.
7.) Ask a family member for help. If you have at least one family member that is willing to help do not hesitate to ask them. Especially parents and grandparents may have some great insight from when they were in college and how they got through midterms and other big homework assignments, projects and test.
6.) Organize your notes. Keep your notes well organized and easily accessible. This will reduce stress exponentially if you know where everything is and you can flip back to a page where you left off.
5.) Use the silent study rooms on the campus. You can go into these rooms and you will not have any distractions from the task at hand. You can turn off your phone and other devices and just be consumed in your work. Sounds fun right? It actually works, especially if you have a noisy house.
4.) Study smarter, not harder. When you study smarter you plan out what you need to study and outline your notes. This helps you gather your thoughts on paper so you can see them. This reduces my stress because I have everything together and I know what I need to be studying.
3.) Go to class. Especially as Editor-in-Chief of The Settler I get behind easily. With someone constantly needing my attention or texting me about not being able to do things or how something is going I have virtually no time to just sit and listen, except when I go to class. Going to class reduces stress because when you are sitting there your full focus has to be on the discussion or the lecture.
2.) Set your work load to the side. Many students work and go to school at the same time and this can lead to more stress than most people can imagine. If it is possible at all let someone take a shift of yours. This gives you extra time without work stress being on top of school stress to get things done.
1.) Be a great test taker. If you can compose some sort of mock test and take it without distraction you get a lot of practice. This is my favorite destressing tool for those of you who aren’t the best test takers. This helps me reduce stress when it is actually time to get down to business.

Romeo Marquez visits VSCC

by Cole Miller

On September 14, 2016, Romeo Marquez, Jr. came to speak at Volunteer State Community College. Marquez is a motivational speaker who has appeared on Ted Talks and graduated from UCLA.
He began his speech by introducing himself, and by making the audience play a game similar to “rock, paper, scissors” called “bear, sh, mosquito,” with the person sitting next to them.
I personally found the game amusing and made the awkwardness of being next to somebody you may not know somewhat disappear.
After the warm-up game was nished, we were handed a sheet of paper and a pen, but did not receive instructions on what to do with these items yet.
Marquez had us do another warm-
up activity in which we were told to think of what we could better about ourselves if we did 5% more every day.
Marquez shared a bit from his personal life. He played football in high school, but always wanted to be a speaker, or something similar to such, but was afraid of what his peers would say if he took theatre classes or tried out for his high school plays.
After he graduating and starting community college, he took theatre classes and auditioned for the play they were performing. For his audition, he did a back ip on stage and read his lines.
After Marquez shared information about his past, he had us write a “Be, Do, Have list”. In this list, you write down things you want to be, things you want to do, and things you want to have, and set them as a goal.
After everyone wrote down our lists, he shared a story he read about
comedian Jim Carrey, and how when he rst moved to Los Angeles, he would shout from a cliff, “I will become an actor,” and eventually, Carrey did just that.
Marquez then gave out a free download code for his book and cd. The codes are “VOLSTATEBOOK” and “VOLSTATECD”, respectively.
To get these free downloads, simply text the code or codes to 44-
“Romeo was very inspiring. This
speaker helped me realize I need to wake up and start focusing on my life more.” said Wesam Saleh, a student at Vol State.
I have to agree with Wesam, Romeo was very helpful in the words that he shared, and I hope he comes back to our campus again very soon. Please make sure you take advantage of these free download codes that we were so generously given.

10 essentials for everyone’s backpack

by Melissa Farmer

10: Phone Charger- Guys, it is 2016, one of the worst things that can happen to us is our phone dying. You can buy a cheap phone charger to keep in your backpack so you always have one on hand at school.

9: Hand sanitizer- This is not a drill, take hand sanitizer everywhere. When cold and flu season comes around and you’re sitting next to Sniffling Sally you’ll thank yourself.

8: Headphones- There is plenty of down time where you wish you could just put some headphones in and get some “quiet” time.

7: Planner- Buy a planner at the beginning of the school year and use it. Write down your test days, what time you work, when you make plans to go to the movies. Trust me, it is much better than trying to keep it all organized in your head.

6: Chapstick- This is not just for the ladies, keeping chapstick in your bag can save you from one of the most annoying things ever: chapped lips in the winter.

5: Umbrella- Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you don’t need an umbrella to walk across campus. We don’t have the biggest campus, but it is big enough to get soaked walking from Ramer to the Library!

4: Sunglasses- Sunglasses have so many purposes. Protecting your eyes from the sun is the biggest one, but don’t forget that you can put them on while you cross campus and people won’t try to make eye contact with you.

3: Reusable water bottle- Y’all need to quit wasting your money buying a bottle of water everyday. You can get a reusable water bottle from Wal-Mart, Target or even the 5 Below store in Hendersonville, you will save money and help the environment!

2: A change bag- I’m not saying that you have to have an old lady change purse with you (but if you do then you rock), but even keeping a plastic bag to put your change in can save your life and stomach on days that you’re broke and need a snack from the grill!

1: Snacks- Do it. Keep a snack in your backpack. Some days are long at school and it gets really hard to focus when your stomach is growling non-stop. A snack can save your stomach and your grades. Really.

Students are encouraged to vote this election

By Michaela Marcellino

This has certainly been one of the most interesting election cycles in a long, long time. Students, it is time to make your voice heard.

According to a poll taken earlier this year by Pew Research, Millennials (aged 18-35) now make up the same portion of the electorate as Baby Boomers. We have a bigger voice then ever, and it is time to vote.

According to CBS, this next president will potentially appoint four Supreme Court Justices, while Business Insider reports that the the average number of appointments per President is 2.6.

The Supreme Court shapes the future of this nation by how they cast their votes. Ask yourself honestly: Are you happy with how your nation is being run, or do you want change?

Whether we like it or not, either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton will be our next president. They will both bring change.

Voting this election is so important because we have both the right and privilege in America to vote and to make our opinions known.

It is a responsibility that can never be taken for granted. A wise lady said recently something to the effect of, “If you do not vote, and end up not liking what is going on, you do not get to complain. You did not get out to vote.”

Voting is so important because you are the next generation of Americans. We can no longer be apathetic, and say it does not matter whether someone votes or not.

Think long, hard, and carefully about what you believe, and not what your parents, teachers, fellow classmates and friends believe. On November 8 and vote accordingly because not voting is a vote in itself.

The next step before election day is to make sure you are registered to vote. If you are not, you need to by October 11.

Tabitha Sherrell, Coordinator of Student Activities, said “Next week, SGA will be hosting a voter registration table Tuesday-Thursday from 12:45 p.m.-1:45 p.m. in the tiled dining room. We will also be hosting a ThinkFast Game Show on Wednesday, September 7, 2016 from 12:45PM-1:45PM and the theme of the game is ‘The Right to Vote.’ The League of Women Voters in Hendersonville will also be doing a table set-up on Tuesday, September 27 in honor of National Voter Registration Day. They will be in the tiled dining room from 10:30 a.m.—1:00 p.m.”

In addition, The Tennessee DMV website,, states, “You can register to vote in person and by mail. First, complete the Mail-In Application for Voter Registration (Form SS-3010).

“This form is good for both in-person and by-mail registration. Next, either mail your form to your local county election commission or visit one of the following locations: County clerk’s office, Public libraries, Register of Deeds office, Department of Health, Departments of Human Services, Mental Health, Safety, and Veteran’s Affairs.”

If you are not sure if you are registered, you can check at the following website:  You can help shape the future of this nation, and you can make your voice heard.