What is SGA?

 

By Katie Doll

Student Government Association is a club for students to come together to express interests and changes for the student body of Volunteer State Community College.

SGA works to create an environment that boosts student and alumni involvement in colleges across the country.

All students are welcomed to join. A five-dollar fee is required and put towards the student body, according to Matthew Gillette, attorney general for SGA.

“It’s important that SGA uses those funds in constructive ways to promote the student body as a whole,” wrote Gillette in an e-mail.

SGA has a bi-monthly Monday meeting called the General Assembly from 12:45-1:45 p.m. The meeting gives students the opportunity to be represented and heard, according to the Vol State website. Locations can be found on the campus events calendar on the Vol State website.

Student officers of SGA are elected by the student body each spring semester. Caitlyn Ellis, president of SGA, stated her work with the club has benefited her as a student.

“As a student, I get the leadership experience necessary to pursue my goals,” said Ellis. “As president, I also receive most of my tuition paid for and an office in Wood Room 213.”

Ellis also included other benefits for any member of SGA.

“We also have the ability, as do all students, to sit on Dr. Faulkner’s presidential cabinets that discuss things such as international education, commencement and academics,” said Ellis. “We are lucky to know a lot about Vol State just from being on SGA.”

Students through SGA have the opportunity to listen to guest speakers and learn more about the school.

Students also have the opportunity to make friends in SGA. Ellis stated she met her best friends through the organization.

Upcoming events involving SGA include burying a time capsule April 18. The Campus Activity Board (CAB), a constituent of SGA, will have an event called “Love Yourself” located in the Mary Nichols Dining Rooms A & B in the Wood Campus Center Feb. 27. Booths will be set up to give students information on health, suicide awareness, etc.

Vol State to host Transfer Fair Feb. 28

 

By Tayla Courage

Volunteer State Community College students have the opportunity to meet with college representatives at the Office of Admissions’ Transfer Fair Feb. 28, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., in the Mary Nichols Dining Room.

Representatives from 24 colleges and universities, both in-state and out-of-state, have registered to attend the fair, according to Jennifer Johnson, coordinator of student recruitment.

Johnson, although only being employed at Vol State for a short period of time, admitted that last year’s fair wasn’t as successful as it could have been.

“My experience last year, we had it in the Great Hall, and because there’s no classes over here anymore, we did not have a good turnout,” said Johnson.

She said she hopes having the event tables set up in the Wood Campus Center will allow for more student engagement.

Advisor and counselor Lindsay Guenther expressed the need for students to continue to play an active role in their individual transfer processes.

 “Make good grades! Even if you have already been admitted to a university, they will still ask for your final transcript,” according to an email from Guenther.

Guenther also urges transferring students to get an early start on their applications, especially those that concern financial aid.

“Start applying for universities and scholarships now. Scholarship deadlines for fall tend to be sooner than admissions deadlines for fall,” wrote Guenther.

Connie Pimentel, assistant director of admissions, said that she believes the Transfer Fair is a time for students to ask questions and consider the steps they may want to take after leaving Vol State.

“I think it’s great that we have the opportunity to bring those people here to give our students a chance to kind of just get a feel for what their options are,” said Pimentel.

Additional transfer information can also be found in the collection of college brochures in Ramer’s Advising Center Room 174.

Colleges attending Vol State transfer fair

 

By Tayla Courage

Volunteer State Community College will be hosting a transfer fair on Wednesday, Feb. 28, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. in the Wood Campus Center. Here is a list of all the colleges registered to attend so far:

Belmont University

Bethel University

Boyce College

Bryan College

Cumberland University

East Tennessee State University

King University

Lincoln Memorial University

Lindsey Wilson College

Martin Methodist College

Middle Tennessee State University

Mississippi State University

Nossi College of Art

Tennessee Tech

Tennessee Wesleyan University

The Art Institute

The University of Alabama

The University of Tennessee – Chattanooga

Trevecca Nazarene University

Union University

University of North Alabama

University of Tennessee – Knoxville

Welch College

Vol State is 220 paved parking spots short

 

Photo by Lauren Whitaker

Photo by Lauren Whitaker

By Lauren Whitaker

Volunteer State Community College is 220 paved parking spots short for the number of students who attend the college.

“This past year, well it was about a two-year process, we worked with a design and architectural firm out of Atlanta called TSW to do a master facility plan. One of the things they look at is a formula to determine how many parking spaces you should have,” said Dr. Jerry Faulkner, president of Vol State. “They came back and said we should have more parking spaces on this campus.”

During this evaluation by TSW, paved parking was the only parking considered. The two gravel overflow parking lots were not taken into account.

“I don’t know the exact number the gravel lots have. Where the gravel lots do not have lines, it’s hard to get an exact number,” Faulkner said.

Vol State plans to pave the two gravel overflow parking lots in the future.

The Tennessee Reconnect program goes into effect August 2018 at Vol State. The Reconnect program is one designed to allow adult students to go back to school tuition-free. Vol State expects an increase in students when the program begins.

“We believe a lot of these returning students are going to be students that work during the day. They will be interested in evening classes and online classes, and we are even planning to have Saturday classes to accommodate those students,” Faulkner said. “I don’t think we will have a significant parking issue.”

During the first semester of the Tennessee Promise students, Vol State addressed the parking issue by having students park in grass areas as needed. This plan will be reactivated if needed, said Faulkner.

“We can’t do that all the time because as the fall comes and the winter comes, people would get stuck,” Faulkner said.

Current students who arrive to school around mid-morning find parking to be difficult.

“I decided to take earlier classes on Tuesday and Thursday because I didn’t want to spend so much time searching for a parking space,” said Sarah Hall, a sophomore at Vol State.

“I have noticed, as the semester progresses, the parking situation gets better. I think students drop classes or people carpool,” said Shelby Swaby, a sophomore at Vol State. “I feel like there is a lot more staff parking that isn’t always filled. I don’t know how many spaces are reserved for staff, but I feel like there are always empty staff spaces.”

Songwriters needed for spring album

 

By Ben Rastelli

Each spring semester, Professor Lynn Peterson looks for students to submit their original songs to him so that he can consider them for the Volunteer State Community College annual spring album.  

Anyone who is currently a Vol State student is welcome to submit their original songs.  This includes anyone who is in a band with others who are not enrolled at Vol State. As long as one of the band members is currently enrolled here at Vol State, they may submit their original work to be considered for the album.  

Students who write original music but do not wish to perform it themselves are also welcome to submit their songs.  

There are many talented musicians here at Vol State that would be happy to perform other people’s music. Songs of all genres and styles are welcome for consideration, including instrumental songs, but preference will be given to songs that have lyrics written and would fit well in a spring album.  

Songs may be either submitted as an audio file or performed live for Peterson.  The writers of those songs that are initially accepted by Peterson and his panel will be invited to participate in recording sessions held in the Vol State studio in order to “flesh out” and edit their songs.  After these songs have been mixed and mastered, final decisions will be made to determine which songs will make the album.  

If students have any questions or have any original work they would like to submit, they can contact Lynn Peterson.  His office is in Steinhauer-Rogan-Black 106-B, and his office phone number is 615-230-3221.  His cell phone number is 615-517-4355.  

Pioneer Peers program to get students involved in orientation

 

Screen Shot 2018-02-18 at 2.45.25 PMBy Riley Holcraft

The Office of Student Engagement and Support is forming an organization called Pioneer Peers to welcome new students at Campus Connect.

Campus Connect is orientation for new students that provides an informative and entertaining way to introduce them to the Volunteer State Community College Campus, according to the Office of Student Engagement and Support.

To become a Pioneer Peer, students must be passionate about their time at Vol State and willing to be a mentor for upcoming students, according to the Office of Student Engagement and Support.

Vol State wishes to establish a successful and sustainable program for student orientation, similar to student-led programs at four-year schools, according to the Office of Student Engagement and Support.

Student involvement is an essential part to the college experience, and it provides a networking resource, according to the Office of Student Engagement and Support.

Becoming a Pioneer Peer is also a great way to earn Tennessee Promise Service Hours, build communication skills, and even get free Vol State merchandise, according to the Office of Student Engagement and Support.

Kate Crye, from the Office of Student Engagement and Support, described a Pioneer Peer as a student who has had positive experiences with Campus Connect and is passionate about his or her college experience. It is necessary to be outgoing, engaging, and friendly.

If students meet these requirements, they can contact Crye at kate.crye@volstate.edu.

“We are hoping to have at least 15 to 20 student orientation leaders on our team to become lighthouses for our incoming students,” said Crye.

Establishing Pioneer Peers is building a foundation for Campus Connect in the upcoming years, and the program successfully links students together right at the start of their college experience, according to the Office of Student Engagement and Support.

Heather Harper spoke about how the Office of Student Engagement and Support is working hard to create new ways to offer leadership opportunities for Vol State students.

“The experiences our students are engaged in while in college can change the course of their lives through providing a skill set and a networking opportunity that cannot always be gained in the classroom,” said Harper.

She commented that the overall goal of Pioneer Peers is to “develop more leaders in our school and provide more opportunities for students to shine.”

Black history month service learning seeks to inform

 

By Riley Holcraft

Volunteer State Community College is hosting a service learning event during Black History Month to raise awareness about sickle cell anemia and glaucoma Feb. 21 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m in the Wallace Health Sciences Building.

The AmeriCorps VISTAs in the Office of Student Services have partnered with Dr. Kenny Yarbrough, manager of diversity and inclusion, and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion for this event.

The AmeriCorps VISTA program is one designed “to strengthen organizations that alleviate poverty through volunteering and the mobilization of resources,” according to the program website. VISTA stands for Volunteers in Service to America.

The event is open to all students, faculty, and staff in Wallace South 216 and 217, according to Shala Curtis, a member of the AmeriCorps VISTA program. Food will be provided in Room 216, and a hands-on activity lab will be available in Room 217.

This event is not a three hour presentation, Curtis wrote. Attendees are encouraged to come and go, and instructors are allowed to bring classes at any time.

Curtis and Kate Crye, another AmeriCorps VISTA, have planned this event and commented on the inspiration

“Each year, the Corporation for National Community Service has a Day of Service that honors the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,” according to Curtis and Crye. “We decided to plan our event in accordance with Black History Month.”

Curtis and Crye went on to explain that the diseases of sickle cell anemia and glaucoma are being recognized during Black History Month due to the higher frequency of each disease within the African-American population.

According to the American Society of Hematology, 1 in 12 African-Americans carry the sickle cell gene. The Glaucoma Research Foundation states that glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness in African-Americans.

Because diseases such as these can affect anyone, the main purpose of the event is to advise students to protect themselves by keeping up with their health. The informative activities and speakers will encourage regular screenings to expose symptoms before the disease becomes destructive.

“There will be a few interactive activity stations. The stations will be managed by members of the Ophthalmic Tech Program. This will be an opportunity for participants to learn about the negative impact of these diseases on their vision. We are hosting Medical professionals from Meharry Medical College in Nashville. They will be present to offer sickle cell disease screenings during the latter portion of the event,” stated Curtis and Crye.