Wes Moore event discusses the fear or low expectations of young black males

by Brian Ferrell// Staff Writer

Volunteer State Community College had a Wes Moore lecture about the “Fear of (or low expectations of) young African-American males and possible solutions.”
The guest speakers included Bill Ligon, a lawyer who practiced law for 30 years, and Dr. Sidney Hardyway, professor of Psychology at Vol State.

The lecture started with Ligon telling about his life growing up in Nashville, graduating from Gallatin High School, and getting a basketball scholarship to Vanderbilt University, where he said his team won the SEC Championship that year.

While waiting to get into law school, Ligon said he was offered a contract to go play for four teams; The Harlem Globetrotters, The Kentucky Colonials, The Detroit Pistons, and The Dallas Cowboys.
Ligon decided to go play for The Detroit Pistons and played only one season with the team.

After being cut from the Detroit Pistons, Ligon said he came back to Nashville and enrolled law school.
He went on to practice law for 30 years and concentrated on young African-American men and criminal defense.
Ligon said he is now working on movie project and a book project.

Hardyway said he grew up in Wichita, Kansas and was the youngest of 11 children.

As a child, Hardyway said his nickname was ‘professor cricket’ because he had to read all the mail, due to his father being illiterate.
Hardyway said he graduated from a catholic school where he was the only African-American and went on to graduate at Wichita State University.
Now, he said he has been teaching at Vol State for 20 years.

After getting to know the guest speakers, the event continued into the discussion about perception.
Ligon asked “what is the perception of the African American Community and how it affects the African American race?” and talked about how today’s society is like a jungle.

“When you’re out in the world if you walk casually, something can get you and if you run, something can get you,” said Ligon.

Ligon said that young black people always have to maneuver around certain people because of the way they are portrayed.

One person in the audience talked about the media and how it portrays black people in a negative way and a lot of people get their perception from the media without actually taking the time to educate themselves.

Honors lecture discusses technology’s effects on fitness

by Austin Kemp// Contributing Writer

A lecture was open to all faculty, staff and students of Volunteer State Community College March 18.
The presentation was held in the Rochelle Center located in the Thigpen Building at 12:30 p.m.
Philip Williams, instructor of Sociology, gave a lecture centered on the integration of technology into sports over the past century and the changes that occurred as a result. “Basketball isn’t basketball and football isn’t football anymore,” said Williams.
Sports are changing with the times.
Williams specified three areas where technology has affected sports: equipment, medicine and communication.
Advancements allowed for safer equipment over the years resulting in the protective gear that audiences are familiar with today such as padded helmets rather than the traditional leather of the early 1900s, which provides a higher level of safety to the player.
Because of steps forward in sports medicine athletes were presented with a better caliber of healthcare to preserve their wellbeing.
The invention of MRIs and X-Rays allowed for better treatment towards sports related injuries.
With the introduction of radio, television and the Internet, sports have become more easily accessible across the world allowing a person in Colorado the opportunity to watch a soccer match in Ireland.
Social media outlets such as Twitter have also closed the gap between athlete and spectator communication as fans may directly address their favorite players.
The Q&A following the lecture brought out many diverse opinions about the pros and cons of technology’s partnership with sports.
“Ticket prices are so high because people all over the world have access. It makes it harder to get there,” said Todd Griffin, the production manager of Media Services.
Increased ticket prices are a result of the global access to ticket sales provided by secondary sellers on the Internet.
“I can actually watch the World Series of Cricket now. I can get away from the capitalism and get back to the purity of sports,” said David Fuqua, assistant professor of Economics.
As Williams stated throughout his presentation, the integration of sports and technology is designed primarily for the maximization of profit.
Along the way it simply manages to entertain.
Williams, said it has “created a more level playing field that comes with good and bad.”

Family Day Easter Egg Hunt open to the community

bt Jim Busha// Staff Writer

Volunteer State Community College is hosting Family Day Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, March 28.
The event will take place outside in the Quad and will be from 10 a.m. – noon.
The event is open to all on the Vol State campus as well as members of the community, who want to celebrate Easter with Vol State and spend some time outdoors.

“We encourage all students to invite their family and friends,” said Kathleen Long, president of the Association of Campus Events (ACE) Club. “It is a day for families to just spend time with each other, and for the community to come together, as well.”
There will be an Easter Egg Hunt

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The Egg Hunt will have two age brackets, 0-6 years old and 7-11 years old, and there will be a raffle to give away prizes.
There will also be an appearance from the Easter Bunny.
Parents are encouraged to be involved and take photos of the event.
Anyone who has questions or concerns is encouraged to contact, Tabitha Sherrell, coordinator of student activities, in the office of Student Life and Diversity Initiatives (SLDI) at tabitha.sherrell@volstate.edu.

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