Global Engagement Mixer to be held at Vol State

Promoting cross-cultural relationships on campus, the Global Engagement Mixer offers a space for international/ESOL students and domestic students to learn and share different cultures by discussing regions of the world and cultural topics affecting all students. The event will take place Tuesday, Feb. 4 at 1:00 p.m. in the Rochelle Center in the Thigpen Library.  Light refreshments will be served.

In honor of the 9 victims of the Calabasas crash

By Luis Quintanilla 

On a small scale, most people will go about their lives and battle their own battles in the confines of their own world, much of their struggle not readily apparent to an outside viewer. Very rarely will a tragedy transcend that bubble and reverberate through a culture and its people. On January 26, 2020 the world received a stunning blow with the death of Kobe Bryant, someone revered as a legend, icon, and hero by many.

The world seemingly stopped for a day. One could not go on any media without seeing the tragic news of the death of nine people in a helicopter crash. Sadly, alongside Kobe was his daughter, her teammates along with their parents, the pilot, and other coaches. Accidents happen everyday in every part of the globe, and people, humans we will most likely never know, tragically lose their lives in these accidents. Perhaps you have experienced this close to home once so you understand the devastating blow this can have an a person, or maybe you have been fortunate enough to have been blind to it.

With a death like Kobe, it is difficult to swallow and accept. Many grew up watching him do what he did and loved best.  Even for those who didn’t follow basketball closely, the purple and yellow jersey stamped with the number 24 and 8 were sure to remind one of the name Kobe Bryant. His name could be mentioned in almost any conversation in today’s culture and people would know exactly know the name no matter his or her interest.

This reach, this ability to be renowned is what perhaps made his death much more tragic. We tend to not think of accidents like this at the front door, often presuming we will make it to tomorrow, but in the case of Kobe we were reminded that no one is an exception to life and its unpredictability. A legend and icon was here one day and gone the next.

Celebrity deaths always shock the news for a couple days and subside after a while, but in the case of Kobe the sheer unpredictable nature of the accident stunned everyone who admired him. This should serve as a reminder to keep in mind the unpredictability of life, and to hold on to our worlds and the people in it a little closer in the face of that. To be grateful for everyday you wake up or make it home safely, something we truly take for granted.

One did not have to be a basketball fan to admire Kobe. He was by no means a perfect being worth worshipping on one’s knees, but nonetheless can serve as an inspiration to us all in whatever it is we choose to do. His drive to be the best in what he did can inspire us to never stop pushing until we achieve our goals and whatever dreams we may hold. To become the best at what we do.

Jimmy Kimmel, in a monologue dedicated to Kobe after his passing, said basketball was far from the most important thing on this planet. For Kobe to become so renowned from simply picking up a round brown ball and throwing it into some hoops showcases how significant his impact on today’s culture was. Perhaps his legacy goes beyond that finding its roots in his character and his dedication to his family.

This editorial is not entirely relevant to Vol State’s affairs, but I felt was nonetheless important to mention after the tragedy of the Calabasas helicopter crash. It is important to note that Kobe was not the only one who lost his life that day. His daughter Gianna, her teammate Alyssa Altobeli and her parents John and Keri Altobeli,coach Christina Mauser, Sarah and her daughter Payton Chester, and pilot Ara Zobayan all tragically were lost in the crash as well. Their families must now grapple with the fact that their loved ones were alive in the morning, and did not make it home for dinner.

In the same monologue by Kimmel , he stated, “ I know this might not make sense but he was just the last person you could ever imagine something like this happening to.” To this day it is hard to believe how quickly he was here one day and gone the next. Again, these accidents happen everyday both to people whose names we will never personally know and sometimes to those close to home. Kobe’s death does not exalt him or make him more important, but his renown in our culture made his death especially shocking and hard to accept. It is a reminder that all of us, no matter our wealth, fame, or legacy, are ultimately subject to the unpredictability of life. Again, this should slap us awake into holding the world and the people important to us a little bit tighter everyday we get the chance to wake up, because many people did not get to see today, and no one is guaranteed tomorrow.

Spring Campus Kick Off starts semester

By Madison West


Students and representatives engaging at a few of the booths offered at Spring Campus Kick Off

The Spring Campus Kick Off on Wednesday, Jan. 29, was an event organized by Tabitha Sherrell designed to allow students to engage with all that Volunteer State has to offer. The event hosted over twenty different booths including booths from several student led clubs and organizations such as CAB, a student led organization that organizes events designed to boost student engagement on campus, such as setting up events like “Movies on the Lawn.” Booths from Academic Support and Learning, the library, as well as Distributed Education, formerly known as Disability Services, were also be available with more information for students to better understand just what options they have on campus as well as many other organizations intended to benefit students at Volunteer State .

The League of  Women’s voters also had a booth set up to try and engage young voters and encourage registration, and even offered the ability to register to vote directly from their table.

This was the 8th year that Volunteer State has run the Spring Campus Kick Off, though it may have been known under a different name in years past. The Kick Off brings in around 200 students and has steadily increased in attendance since it’s start in 2012.

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Christina Arellano signing in


Jesse Baker explaining what CAB is to a student


Jesse Baker with CAB


Penny Starr and Judy Schuelke for the ALVA (Adult Learners & Veteran Affairs) booth


Students enjoying the free lunch provided by the Fair

Intercollegiate art show now on exhibit

image003 (1)By Diana Leyva

Talent is on full display this month as Volunteer State Community College hosts the annual Intercollegiate Student Art Show. The art show will be open until February 22nd, and it can be found on the first floor of the Steinhauer Rogan Black Humanities Building. It is open from 8am to 8pm Monday through Thursdays, 8am to 4:30pm on Fridays and from 10am to 4:30pm on Saturdays. The exhibit is free and open to the public.

Students enrolled in studio art classes from all of Tennessee’s thirteen community colleges were eligible to submit artwork. Out of 103 entries only 42 works were selected to be displayed. The exhibit features artwork from Vol State’s very own Jayna Edwards, Elyse Mutterspaugh, Madison Elise Warner, Quentin Boots, John Matthews, Sera Perrone-Rinaldi, Jesse Tarbuck, Britt Pugh, Sara Grace Wright, Julia Kabler, April Heimer (Baker), Cheyenne Calvert, Barbara Martorello, Denise Brown, Dylan Taylor, Jillian Manor, and Misun Rollo.

Each work was judged by Austin Peay State University’s Professor of Art, Drawing, and Illustration, Mr. Billy Renkl. Renkl has been featured in many exhibitions both nationally and internationally. In order to be completely fair and impartial, Renkl was not made aware of any of the students names or of the colleges names. Each artwork was judges solely on its merit.

The artwork covers a wide spectrum of mediums including, acrylic, oil, charcoal, ink, graphite, photography, plaster cast, collage, as well as digital media. For any interested in purchasing artwork please contact the Humanities Office at (615) 230 3200.

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Vaping is a dangerous habit that we need to take immediate steps to stop

Humanity must have a death wish.

As a species we choose to ingest substances which have been scientifically proven to have harmful effects on our bodies.

Over the years, we have experimented with LSD, cocaine, heroin, tobacco, and now, vaping.

For those who don’t know the mechanics of this new age vice, a nicotine- or THC-laced (THC is the chemical which causes the high produced by smoking marijuana) liquid is vaporized by an e-cigarette, and then inhaled into the lungs where it apparently has been doing significant amounts of damage.

Just last week, the Centers For Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia, in its weekly update on vaping, attributed 39 deaths in 24 states and the District of Columbia to e-cigarette use. Further, it said that 2,051 cases of vaping associated lung injuries had been reported from 49 states (Alaska is the lone exception), the District of Columbia and one US territory.

According to the CDC, the symptoms of lung injury are cough, shortness of breath or chest pain, nausea or vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, fever, chills or weight loss. It can develop over the course of several weeks or in just a few days.

That weekly update from the CDC also contained this little nugget of information, the samples of fluid collected from patients suffering lung injuries who vaped contained vitamin e-acetate which, when consumed orally, or applied to the skin, does no harm. However, research suggests that vitamin e-acetate can interfere with the normal function of one’s lungs.

This research and these numbers have been in the news for the last several months but, for whatever reason, we continue to use these products.

The sales of e-cigarette devices have gone from 2.2 million in 2016 to 16.2 million in 2017 and the industry leader Juul forecasts its revenue for this year to be $3.4 billion.

It is estimated that the US market for e-cigarettes will reach $16.5 billion by 2024.

Apparently, as a species, our craving for the high brought on by consuming the THC in e-cigarettes overwhelms the common sense which is telling us that sucking this stuff into our lungs is damaging them.

Given the sub-glacial speed with which our government moves, there is no real hope of legislation to curb the sale of e-cigarettes. Besides, any such attempts would likely be met with a hail of lawsuits launched by the tobacco industry which owns most of the companies producing vaping paraphernalia.

It would seem that the bottom line is that we must be left to our own resources to combat this latest assault on our common sense.

Yes, the choice to ingest any harmful substance is just that, a personal choice. But what rightminded person would willingly make that choice?

It is the equivalent of walking blindfolded across the Indy 500 race track on Memorial Day. You might survive, but chances aren’t good.

So, let’s not take that walk across the race track. Let’s let common sense dictate our choices for a change and not find ourselves in a hospital faced with the prospect, as one vape using patient did, of a double lung transplant.

If we’re going to suck something into our lungs, let it just be air.

This is the last issue of The Settler which it has been my honor to edit. I have been extremely lucky to have had the assistance of a talented staff of writers, photographers and advisors.

Thank you.