SGA hosts open house

By Tayla Courage

Volunteer State Community College’s Student Government Association hosted an open house Wednesday, Jan. 24, outside the Wood Campus Center Club Room 213.

“SGA really wants to get their name out there on campus so that students know what SGA stands for and hopefully they want to get involved,” wrote Tabitha Sherrell, coordinator of student activities.

SGA President Caitlyn Ellis acknowledged the tendency for students to shy away from joining organizations that are heavily-involved on campus.

We have learned that a lot of students say they are intimidated by the meetings because they are so formal. We wanted the open house to be very informal, but still informative about what SGA has to offer,” wrote Ellis.

Matt Gillette, SGA attorney general, and Hayley Brazel, SGA secretary, gave out free popcorn and soda while taking questions from prospective members passing by.

“SGA is an organization that helps with student involvement, and it looks really good on a college application,” said Brazel.

She admitted that this was her initial reason for joining SGA but explained that over time she found a passion for getting others involved on campus.

Ellis, like Brazel, believes that being involved in college can set students apart and present greater opportunities when applying to future schools and jobs.

“It has been a huge factor in my college success because I always have someone to turn to to ask questions or a shoulder to lean on when I’m having a bad day. SGA fosters amazing relationships. If I were thinking of joining, my deciding factors would be the friendships I could build and the experiences I would have to put on my resume,” wrote Ellis.

The next SGA meeting is scheduled for Monday, Feb. 5, at 12:45 p.m. in the Rochelle Center of Thigpen Library.

Deadline to apply for graduation approaches

 

By Lauren Whitaker

The graduation application deadline for students completing their degrees at Volunteer State Community College this semester is Feb. 1, by 4:30 p.m.

Students must follow certain steps in order to apply for graduation.

Students must call their assigned advisor to schedule an appointment to apply for graduation.

A graduation packet can be found on the Vol State website or emailed to the student by their advisor, said Becky Adair, a completion advisor at Vol State.

Students who intend on graduating must meet with an advisor.

“An advisor’s signature is required on graduation applications,” Adair said.

Together, the advisor and student fill out Section A of the graduation plan, according to the Vol State website.

There is a Section B to the application the student’s advisor will fill out.

Advisors help coach students on which courses need to be completed before graduation.

“Overall, it was easy to apply for graduation. I simply met with an advisor and filled out the needed information,” said Gareth Laffely, a Vol State student graduating this semester.

Laffely found Vol State to be helpful in applying for graduation, and he was assigned an advisor he could easily schedule a time with.

“Vol State is very good about sending updates,” Laffely said.

A prospective graduation checklist is located on the Vol State website for to help potential graduates to begin the graduation process.

Before a graduation application is filled out, it is important to make sure a student’s required courses will be fulfilled in the current semester. Advisors can help potential graduates confirm the graduation checklist.

In order to graduate, students must apply for graduation by the graduation deadline. Applications received after the final deadline will be filed for the following term, according to the Vol State website.

Vol State’s new debate team will compete at Murray State

 

By Tayla Courage

An informational meeting was held Thursday, Jan. 18, for students interested in joining Volunteer State Community College’s Speech and Debate Team.

Vol State has had successful speech and debate teams in the past, but this will be the first organized intercollegiate team in quite some time, according to Dr. Karen Hill Johnson, a communication faculty member and director of speech and debate.

“We travel to other colleges across the United States in the fall and in the spring, and we compete in both IE events and parliamentary style debating,” said Johnson.

IE, which stands for individual events, is typically more performance-based; whereas parliamentary style debating, or partnered events, often involve limited preparation or extemporaneous speaking.

The number of events a student is interested in will determine the number of hours a student will need to devote to practicing.

Experience is not necessary to participate with the team, but students who have past experience with programs like DECA, FBLA and FFA or activities like theater are highly encouraged to get involved.

Michael Ketzner, a sophomore at Vol State, acknowledged the fear that many people associate with public speaking but urges anyone who is interested to consider joining the team.

Although the experience may be scary at first, communication skills will improve drastically students will get to be a part of an amazing community, said Ketzner.

Vol State is currently offering a three-hour course for students interested in competing collegiately.

Joey Matherley, a freshman at Vol State, expressed his excitement to have the opportunity to work with Johnson again.

“I took Dr. Johnson’s class in the fall and I loved it. So when she recommended this, I couldn’t say no,” said Matherley.

The speech and debate team’s first tournament is scheduled for Feb. 2-3 at Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky.

Study shows economic impact Vol State has on graduates

 

By Ashley Perham

Graduates from Volunteer State Community College’s class of 2016 could potentially earn $470,000 more than workers with only a high school diploma, according to a recent study.

As a whole, the 991 students from the 2016 graduating class have an earning potential of $465.8 million more than workers with only a high school diploma in their working lifetime, according to the study.

This study, “An Analysis of the College’s Economic and Social Impact,” was conducted for Vol State by Knoxville educational consultant Fred H. Martin, according to Vol State’s website.

The study also discussed the social impacts getting a degree from Vol State could have on graduates’ lives, including a greater likelihood of attending a four-year college, improved health habits, increased civic involvement, reduced poverty rates, and increased home ownership levels.

While similar studies have been done about Vol State, this study was the first to look into how a college education could impact a specific graduating class, said Eric Melcher, coordinator of public relations and marketing at Vol State. Continue reading

Snow and ice can delay or close campuses

 

Campus-snow 1-06 097 corrected

Photo by Vol State PR

By Presley Green

Snow and ice can delay classes or close campuses of Volunteer State Community College.

A delay means that classes meeting before the time given in the delay will not be held, according to the Vol State student handbook. Labs may still be held during a delay. The instructor will notify the class through the eLearn system.

If a campus is closed, no labs or classes will meet. The closing of public high schools does not affect the closing of Vol State, according to the handbook.

Closures and delays will vary from campus to campus. Alerts will be posted on Vol State’s website and social media. Students can also be alerted through email or Vol State Text Alerts. Continue reading

CAB to host “Wanna Make S’more Friends?”

 

By Tayla Courage

Volunteer State Community College’s Campus Activities Board will be hosting a social café event in the Mary Nichols Dining Room A Jan. 23 at 12:45 p.m.

The event titled “Wanna Make S’more Friends?” will be open to any students interested in becoming more involved in student life on campus.

“The idea is to spark a conversation about this event and if they would like to see more events of its kind,” according to an email from Crystal Sloss, chairperson of the Campus Activities Board. Continue reading

Usefulness, a disease? Part 1

 

By Blake Bouza

Hi there, my name is Blake Bouza and I’m the Settler’s editor-in-chief this semester. I look forward to overseeing the paper working with our writers to deliver to you, the reader, the best content we can put out there.

I was sitting in a lifespan psychology class last semester when the question was posed to the male students: would you be comfortable letting your wife go to work while you stayed home with the kids?

The overwhelming majority of guys said no. Save for me.

The professor called on me and I made the argument that we live in a time where a woman is no more capable of providing childcare than a man is, and a man is no more capable of going out and working to provide for a family.

It does not impact my self worth, I said, to not be working and providing the bread. Raising children and impacting the next generation is just as noble a cause.

Though I grew up in a very traditional home where my father went to work and my mother raised the children, this could not have seemed more obvious to me, but I got labeled a “progressive.”

When she asked other guys their thoughts on it, they said that “staying home and taking care of the kids is not enough.”

After just making the argument that raising children is a noble cause that either gender can do, this flabbergasted me.

One guy said that he was extremely unqualified for the job of child rearing.

“I’d probably forget the kid in the other room,” he said.

A couple of the girls in the classroom said they would not be comfortable letting their husbands stay home “and sit around” while they were making money and providing.

Is this how both genders view the act of being a homemaker? I thought to myself.

Now obviously my thoughts that stem from this came from the situation where one spouse stays home while the other goes and works, and not both working, so my ideas on this take place within the bounds of the scenario presented.

I had the sneaking suspicion that men would not want to raise children because it may be an overtly feminine act, but I thought there was a lot more to it than that.

The answer came to me later that night: the only difference between going out and making money, and child rearing, which are both very necessary things to do in the 21st Century, is material difference.

See, the act of going out and working and providing money is a very material thing. It is “useful.” It has output. In a farming style of the act, you can literally see the fruits of your labor. Bills get paid. New clothes are bought. Loans are paid off.

Yet the act of child rearing is a very immaterial practice, one whose fruits may reveal itself in tiny ways when your child spells a difficult word correctly, or handles a situation in a manner you taught her to handle it.

Unfortunately, there is no way to measure the quiet, warm satisfaction of seeing a child raised the way you taught them to be raised.

This important act, viewed as “just staying home and sitting around,” is instead a very real, full-time, lifetime job. Someone coming home from work gets to clock out; a parent does not.

That does it for this week, but please come back next week as we explore society’s definition of usefulness with Part 2!

In the meantime, please email us at bbouza@volstate.edu. Make sure you put “Letter to the Editor” in the subject line!

 

 

Back to school tips for students

 

By Jerushah Blackburn

After the holidays wind down, Volunteer State Community College students hoist heavy backpacks and head back to classes. However, the fog of marshmallows and hot chocolate may make it difficult for students to get back into the groove of college life.

Many students get into erratic sleep patterns over school breaks. According to the University Health Center, a division at the University of Georgia, most college students get six to almost seven hours of sleep. To be well rested, adults need 6-10 hours of sleep. The recommended amount of sleep is eight hours.

Lack of sleep can cause poor health, unhealthy weight loss or gain, increased stress, anxiety, depression, and a drop in academic performance. For these reasons, college students should develop consistent sleep patterns. These patterns include going to bed every night at a consistent time, even on weekends. Good sleep helps with the processing and retaining of information.

For new Vol State students, familiarizing themselves with their new environment, instructors, and schedules is important.

“They should also get familiar with the campus and the tremendous amount of resources available to them,” said Rebecca Adair, completion advisor of business and technology.

For returning students, a good thing to do to improve is to identify what did, and didn’t, work last semester, and think of ways to correct it.

The biggest struggle for both new and returning students can be time management, especially for students who work, either full- or part-time. Students can use a weekly schedule, writing down dates for work and school assignments.

Another method to keep in mind is “time blocking.” It is important to make breathing room within one’s schedule, in case of the unexpected, according to Livy Simpson, librarian at Thigpen Library.

Another essential part of academic success is studying. Vol State offers a large array of resources to its students. Thigpen Library offers quiet space for students to study, either alone or in groups. They also offer research guides, sorted by subject, and a website available 24/7 with chat rooms for academic help. Tutoring and the Language Center are also accessible. It is important that students do not wait until the last minute for help, according to Simpson.

 

Students can avoid flu, cold

 

By Lauren Whitaker

Because flu and cold seasons are here, there are certain tips and procedures students should practice to prevent obtaining and spreading the cold and flu.

“The single most important way to prevent flu is to get vaccinated every year,” said James Mills, nurse practitioner.

The flu vaccination does not guarantee a person will not contract the flu, but it does lower a person’s risks. It is possible the flu vaccine may not match up with the flu viruses circulating where a person lives, according to thisisinsider.com.

If a student gets vaccinated and still becomes infected, the vaccine will lower the possibility of further complications, like pneumonia, according to thisisinsider.com. Continue reading

Vol State announces nursing degree program

 

By Lauren Whitaker

Volunteer State Community College has announced that they will offer an associate degree program in nursing beginning in the fall 2019 semester.

Vol State has considered an associate degree program in nursing for eight years, according to Elvis Brandon, dean of health sciences at Vol State.

“We have actually had the proposal ready twice, but because of the cost of the program, we decided not to move forward with it the first two times,” Brandon said.

The degree is designed to stand alone. Depending on schools with a bridge program from the associate in nursing to the bachelor’s in nursing, there will be the option for students pursuing this degree to transfer, according to Brandon.

The program will have a limit on the amount of students admitted into it.

“Students will have to complete all the prerequisite classes, and obviously, it will be competitive based on grade point average,” said Brandon.

“It’s about time that Vol State got a nursing program,” said Anna Lawson, Vol State student.

“I had hoped they would start one in time for me to go to it, but I’m so excited for future students to have this opportunity. Vol State is a great school, and I’m so glad that they are giving their students more opportunities in education,” Lawson said.

Despite a bachelor’s degree in nursing being recommended, students graduating with an associate degree in nursing can work as a registered nurse, a travel nurse, a school nurse, a psychiatric nurse, and a neonatal intensive care nurse, according to nursing.org.

Students can expect to spend 18-24 months in school before graduating with an associate degree in nursing; and after earning this degree, students are required to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses before becoming a registered nurse, according to Rasmussen.edu.