International Film Series Screening: “Faces Places“ at Vol State

6C7785B5-BDBA-46FC-ACBF-2DEAF794ABBAVolunteer State Community College will host the 2020 International Film Series Screening of Faces Places, a 2018 documentary directed by Agnes Varda and the artist JR on Thursday Feb. 27th.  There will be a reception with food at around 5:30pm, and the screening will start at around 6:00pm in Steinhauer-Rogan Black building room 150. Anyone is welcome to attend. The screening is open to the public, so family and friends can attend as well. International Education, The Office of Student Engagement, and the English Department helped make this event possible.


Lecture over Civil Rights Movement Held at Vol State

By Caleb Baldwin 

On Thursday February 20th Melanie Cochran, a history professor at Volunteer State Community College, gave a lecture in honor of Black History Month about the Civil Rights Movement. The lecture was held at Vol State’s Gallatin campus, in the Rochelle Center of the Thigpen Library.

About 60 people, faculty and students included, attended the lecture. Cochran’s lecture examined how the 1950s set the stage for the success of the Civil Rights Movement. 

Cochran began the lecture by explaining the state of the U.S. between the end of the Civil War and the start of the Civil Rights Movement. Segregation was made legal in 1896, and while it declared races were ”separate but equal,” they were anything but. Cochran stated that between 1890 and 1950, over 4,000 lynchings occurred, proving that the vast majority of America did not see African Americans as equals. Cochran explained how WWII was a catalyst for anti-racism as Americans saw that if they were fighting racism abroad, they should also be fighting it in their home country. This then began an early Human Rights Movement as Americans saw how mistreated people were under Hitler’s regime.

Cochran then went on to include more historical milestones including President Truman’s endorsement of a Civil Rights Agenda and how the Korean War was the first in which black and white soldiers fought alongside a common enemy, starting the desegregation of the armed forces. Cochran also discussed the importance of Jackie Robinson joining the Brooklyn Dodgers, becoming the first African American to join a major sports league. Cochran discussed how much of the success of the Civil Rights Movement in the 50s was due to the introduction of the television. This allowed for news to be broadcast faster and wider than through a newspaper and became yet another reason for the U.S. to clean up its act.

 In an interview with Cochran, she explained the relevance of the Civil Rights Movement to today’s culture. “I think its hugely relevant, we still have discrimination, and I think it’s important for people to understand why our society is the way it is now,” Cochran stated. She explained that it’s important to understand our history so that we can understand who we are now and why.

 “I think it’s important to know just how long ago it wasn’t, it seems like a while ago, but in the context of American history it really wasn’t that long ago that these laws changed,” noted Cochran. “I think clearly there’s been significant progress, but there’s still a way to go and it’s not necessarily things that laws will change, it’s more cultural I think,” Cochran stated.

She said that while we have come far from where we were, there is still a lot that could change in our culture and society. “I do think we have progressed, especially thinking about a lot of highly publicized events from the past few years where a lot of white power groups have had kind of a platform.” Cochran said that many semi recent events publicized by the news can show us as a society that although we may have come far from the 50s, we still have a lot of work to do for Civil Rights.


An Ever Changing Story

Luis Quintanilla 

Everyday from sunup to sundown, the world and the people in it live out a continuous story, one that continues to be written millennia after millennia. This story is always shifting and molding, bringing new opportunities as well as challenges. It runs chronologically, everyday eating up the one before, months stacking into years, years stacking into decades until decades eventually blend into centuries and millennia.

Most days pass by without any world shattering events, the world seemingly mundane and stagnant in one’s everyday life. Nonetheless, just as much as the Earth runs around the sun and the continents slowly drift apart in mid ocean ridges, change, however quite, is always on the clock.

As anyone who has read a history book most likely knows, this story is not always pretty. Although the world has progressed from times past, it is important to remember all of its aspects in order to better understand how it got to where it is now.

In a story this week in the Settler, Caleb Baldwin covered a lecture given by Melanie Cochran on the Civil Rights Movement in the 50s. In an interview between Baldwin and Cochran, the theme of relevancy to such a topic to today’s world was explored. Cochran stated that even though the 50s seem like an long time ago, they weren’t. On top of that she explained it is important to analyze these stories to understand how society and its people got here and how to move forward in the face of that.

In a separate conversation with Mark Granlund, an instructor in music at Volunteer State Community College, he explained the importance of maintaining the stories, events, and people in history. He admitted history is not always pretty nor peachy, but time moves forward and with it comes new knowledge and better understanding of our world and how to live in it. He explained it is wrong to attempt to rewrite history to fit our views, to deny the ugliness of it to fit it in our current frame of the world.

There are plenty of things one looks back on appalled and with shock as to how such things could be allowed to happen. From millions systematically slaughtered in Germany in the 1930s, lynchings in America used to terrorize and control African Americans, to millions dying from starvation in the Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin. These are just in the past century . This story, the story of humanity, is rife with unfathomable events.

Disgust, shock, and confusion are all appropriate responses to these things. In the face of questions of why and how, one can begin to try to accept what happened, and to learn from it so that the world never strays that far again. Anyone has most likely heard, “History repeats itself.” This is true, if one is ignorant of history itself, or chooses to push it to the wayside. However, it doesn’t have be like that. Instead of trying to ignore our story, it is important we understand it to help us with our footing moving forward. The eyes of the world of 100 years from now on are on us, on today’s world. They will judge how we moved forward, the lessons we learned and chose to ignore and the changes we decided to enact versus the crying change we turned deaf ears to.


Vol State is a Pick-up Sight on Tree Day

By Georgia Smith

Volunteer State Community College is making an impact on our environment by being a pick-up sight on Tree Day.Tree Day is a day dedicated to planting trees in your neighborhood.

The Tennessee Environmental Council sets up a website where residents of the state or surrounding areas can buy trees to plant on their property. This nonprofit event is taking place on March 21, 2020. You must make your order by March 1 for the items to be processed and pick-up your plants at a selected location, including Vol State. If anyone is interested in trees ranging from Indigo Bushes to Red Mulberries, visit Cash payments are not accepted. Vol State pick-up times are on March 20 at 9 a.m. – 2p.m. or March 21 at 9a.m. to noon.

“Since 2007 the Tennessee Tree Project has mobilized over 60,000 Tennessee residents in planting 637,100 native trees in Tennessee and beyond. The purpose of this activity is to instill public awareness of the value of trees, improve the health of our environment and communities through the multitude of benefits trees offer and to nurture a culture of sustainability in our regions,” according to the Tennessee Environmental Council.

This event not only affects our planet, but also our community. It is known to bring families together and engage people in volunteering. With Vol State being a location for this event, students are getting involved as well.

“I will probably buy some trees to plant in my backyard with my little brother to show him about nature and how important it is to protect our environment. It is essential for people to learn about planting trees so they can impact our planet. With a pick-up site being right here on campus, it makes it very convenient for students to get involved,” Vol State student Aldo Cano said.

Additionally, local resident, Troy Simpson, says he sees this day as necessary. Simpson states, “It really reflects on how we should treat the Earth. Without trees, we would not be alive right now”. Simpson is going to be a part of the progression of a healthy environment by planting some trees himself.

By joining Tree Day, one will serve a positive role in one’s community and world. If anyone chooses to participate in this day, Vol State will be available for pick-up location of his or her trees. All anyone must do is go to the website, select an order, go get the seedlings, and make a difference.


Vol State Hosting Nursing Information Sessions

By: Harley Keene 

As listed on the Volunteer State Community College homepage, the RN Nursing A.A.S Degree program is offering information sessions over the next few months for students interested in applying for the next class starting in June 2020.

The sessions will be conducted on the Gallatin, Livingston, Springfield and Cookeville campuses. The sessions are open and available to anyone interested. Students that are interested in attending the sessions can find dates, times and locations at

The sessions are to help students familiarize themselves with the new RN program as well as the requirements to be accepted into the program. For the nursing program there are GPA and general education requirements making the program competitive.

“They may not know that we have a full Nursing Lab set up on the East Campus with high-tech equipment, including several nursing beds and lifelike patient mannequins for practice,” said Public Relations Specialist, Eric Melcher. The program is fairly new as it just started last year, and the information session will highlight things like the lab and technology on campus.

Students who are interested in pursuing the nursing program can fill out an application for the June classes starting in March, with the deadline being in May