Work Based Learning Gives Students Career Experience

WBL student and Journalism major Nick Kieser at a basketball game assignment.

By Lauren Fraine

Students at Volunteer State Community College have the opportunity to attain work experience through the Work Based Learning academic program.

In the WBL program, students work off campus and integrate classroom learning with real-life work experience while developing work-related professional and personal skills, as well as career readiness.

Through WBL, students acquire workplace savvy that is directly related to their major. Students can explore a potential career while earning college credits and pay. Continue reading

Health and Wellness Fair Addresses Student Issues

By Hailey Bossert

A Health and Wellness Fair will be hosted by Pioneer Prevention in Dining Room B of the Wood Campus Center March 21, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Pioneer Prevention is an organization on the Vol State campus that serves as a support system for students.

The staff members who work in this department are available to talk to students regarding subject matters such as alcohol and drug abuse, opioid use disorder, suicide, sexual assault, and mental health. They are able to provide professional help as well as resources to help them overcome these personal issues. Continue reading

SGA Presidential Election is Monday and Tuesday

By Gloria Cortes

The Volunteer State Community College Student Government Association (SGA) presidential election will take place March 18 and 19.

The two candidates are Mary Dobbs, the current vice president, and Preston Tatum.

There will be voting booths in the Mary Cole Nichols Dining Room A (from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., both days), the hallway of the second floor of the SRB (from 10:45-11:30 a.m. on Monday, and from 12:15-1 p.m. on Tuesday), the hallway of the first floor of Caudill (from 9:15-10 a.m. on Monday, and from 10:45-11:30 a.m. on Tuesday), and the main hallway of Wallace North (from 12:15-1 p.m. on Monday, and from 9:15-10 a.m. on Tuesday). Continue reading

International Film Series to Feature Devdas

220px-Devdas_(2002_Hindi_film)

By Katelyn Marshall

Volunteer State Community College will feature its third International Film Series Friday, March 22 at 5:30 p.m., in the Caudill Hall auditorium. This month’s will be “Devdas.”

“I have never seen the film itself,” Sarah Crotzer, an English faculty and instructor, said. “I know that it’s based on a popular Indian novel and it’s the latest in a series of remakes of that novel. It was made in 2002 and is considered a new classic of Bollywood cinema. But I haven’t had the opportunity to watch it myself yet, so I really don’t know anything else.”

After a wealthy family prohibits him from marrying the woman he is in love with, Devdas Mukherjee’s life spirals further and further out of control as he takes up alcohol and a life of vice to numb the pain. Continue reading

Facebook and Instagram Go Down During Indictment

Many Facebook and Instagram users were forced to “unplug” for 14 hours Wednesday as the world’s largest social media network experienced their biggest outage ever. Facebook turned to Twitter to explain the massive partial outage of its apps, including Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp. Hashtag #FacebookDown and #InstagramDown were trending on Twitter throughout the day. Facebook came out Thursday saying that their outage was due to a “server configuration change.”

If the outage gave people a glimpse of just how “addicted” they are to social media, the shades went back down as soon as their apps were restored.

The outage comes at a time when Facebook is being indicted for illegally sharing user’s information. According to the New York Times, criminal investigations are being made into data deals that Facebook made with some of the world’s largest tech companies, and a grand jury has subpoenaed records from at least two prominent makers of smartphones and other devices who entered into partnerships with Facebook. In doing so they gained broad access to the personal information of hundreds of millions of users.

Facebook’s reputation for sharing users data without consent has played a large role in its waning popularity. If you have a Facebook account, you can go to “settings” and download all the data that has been gathered about you. But prepare to be shocked, because not only is there record of every photo you uploaded, every item you posted and every post you liked, but all your deleted friends, denied friend requests and searches are stored too. If you use Messenger on your phone, Facebook has your phone’s entire address book uploaded. The social network giant is being accused of selling user’s private information for ad targeting, but it is hard to see how all the information being gathered is useful to that end.

In face of this, it should be noted that the connections between science, technology and the military are well established. All apps function through a myriad of electronic devices and nearly all the technology in those devices can be traced to a single source, the US Department of Defense. In her book “The Entrepreneurial State: Debunking the Public vs. Private Sector Myths,” Economist Mariana Mazzucato used Apple as an example to show that the technological breakthroughs behind devices like iPod, iPhone and iPad were exclusively funded by government agencies. The U.S. Navy invested in the development of GPS technology, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) funded Siri. All this makes Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s promises to increase privacy on his apps seem a little thin.

Most people are aware that the information they share on social media is being used for marketing, even for spying on them, but they are not terribly concerned. It is considered a necessary evil, practically unavoidable in our technologically advancing world.

Events in China should arguably raise concern to a more realistic level. China is fast at work to implement a system of surveillance where private companies, together with government, sift through citizen’s social media and online data to produce a “citizen score.” Citizens are to be monitored by surveillance cameras under the guise of incentive for “good” behavior and improving public safety. According to the website, The Atlantic, “[China] is perfecting a vast network of digital espionage as a means of social control—with implications for democracies worldwide.”
Meanwhile, we continue to share with friends on our social networks, nervously hoping that any foreseen dangers will never materialize. Continue reading