Marriage Equality Panel Draws a Crowd of Support

By Sheila Headspeth

On Oct. 2 at 7 p.m. Hood College  hosted a same sex marriage equality panel in Whitaker Campus Commons featuring advocates Reverend Canon Angela F. Shepard and Dan Furmansky.

Shepard was raised in the Episcopal Church and her ordained ministry has addressed social justice issues like LGBT people, antiracism, domestic violence, HIV/AIDS, etc. She spoke in regards to her support of same sex marriage. She spoke about a Maryland referendum, entitled Question 6 or the Civil Marriage Protection Act, which was filed to challenge the illegality of same sex marriage.

Shepard explained that this act will make it so that religious leaders will not have to marry same sex couples and that same sex couples will have the same rights and protections as straight couples. She believes that marriage is the same whether it is between a gay/lesbian or straight couple.

“As we begin to see more of these marriages, the stormy cloud [of intolerance] will dissipate,” she said.

Furmansky is a social justice leader and has worked for 15 years addressing human rights. He said her became involved in activism because he wanted to, “fight for those who have no voice.”

Both speakers had advice for those who still may have doubt or fear of coming out to their families. “Do what you can…recognize that people are on a journey. Let them know you’re the same person” said Furmanshy.

Shepard advised that those in doubt/fear of coming out, “find a place to call home so that you’re not alone,” and wants them to know that things get better.

Both speakers believe that there is still more work to be done if the referendum passes on Nov. 6. Shepard said building a more accepting society still needs to be done and we all need to work to, “soften the heart of the opposed” by building relationships with all types of people no matter their sexual orientation. Furmansky said that more education about the laws surrounding gay marriage in other states still needs to be provided.

“You can’t force people to change their mind,” said Shepard, “over time the fear will be washed away.”

This event was sponsored by the Career Center and the Office of Student Learning, Office of the Dean of the Chapel, TEA (Tolerance, Education, Acceptance), The Hood College Democrats and Hood Amnesty International.


‘Weight-oped:’ How Do You Feel About Weight and Body Image?

By Olivia Sledzik

When I got the email about the Body Image Workshop project put on by Equal Sex, I thought, “This is honestly exactly what women need right now.”  Around this time, one of my favorite female singers was under public scrutiny for weight gain.

Lady Gaga gained around 25 lbs in the past few weeks because her father opened an Italian restaurant that she frequently dined at.  In a recent radio interview, she said she doesn’t feel bad about it at all, “not even for a second,” which she shouldn’t.  She’s always preached to her fans to be proud of who they are and what they believe in, and it would be counterproductive to lose weight just because some critics in the industry tell her she should.

Gaga put up some revealing pictures of her body on her website,  On this site, she’s able to directly communicate with her fans through messages, pictures, etc.  Looking at these pictures gives me a great feeling because I know tons of people, including myself, who look exactly like this.

In all honesty, I’ve never been really self-conscious.  I’m happy with my body most of the time.  Moving on campus has been difficult on my perception of myself, though.  The installation of GrilleWorks and the dining hall food aren’t the best options to stay healthy and I’ve definitely noticed some of my jeans fitting tighter.  In the past few weeks I’ve been feeling down about that and I’ve been trying to make an effort to go to the gym and try to cut back on certain foods, but with the limited options here, it’s been a challenge.

Another weight debate that’s been in the news is a Wisconsin news anchor that received a letter from a viewer claiming she’s a bad role model for young girls due to her size.  The anchor, Jennifer Livingston, fired back on a live broadcast that the letter was extremely rude, saying that her weight has nothing to do with her ability to deliver news in a truthful manner.

Why do critics think women who have a little extra meat on their bones can’t do their job?  Where exactly did this come from?  Because I’m pretty sure that from the beginning of time, women with curves big and small were considered important to keep the population alive.

This semester I’m taking two art history classes: Art of Japan and Northern Renaissance Art.  Both have shown me the significance of women in ancient and some more recent societies and none of those women I have seen have been a size 2 with perky breasts and a Beyonce booty.  A handheld sculpture used for personal worship in my Art of Japan class is of a full-figured woman.  Sculptures like this represented the dependence of women for their skills in the arts and, of course, childbearing.

In my Northern Renaissance class, paintings that include Eve from the Garden of Eden, Mary, or any other significant woman show a fleshed out figure with hips, thighs, and a tummy.  It was normal for women during these times to be a little more full figured.

Seeing examples like these have made me appreciate myself more because instead of looking like mediocre actress and sex symbol Jessica Alba, I resemble some of the most influential women since the beginning of time.  And now, I resemble people with extreme talent, like Lady Gaga, Adele, or even a Wisconsin news anchor.

Someone’s size doesn’t affect their talent or ability to do something they’ve been doing for years.  Criticisms of people in the media are just like criticisms received personally.  Most of us identify with someone famous because it’s a way to connect with others.

So, this is for all of my fellow friends who feel like they’d be a much better person if they’d just lose those last 15 lbs- what you do with your life is much more important than how you look doing it.  That’s something I’m going to try to remember every time I see someone on the cover of a magazine or those ripped girls all over Pinterest.  I look like Lady freakin’ Gaga and the first woman on Earth, and those people are pretty influential.


Halloween Preparations from the Blue and Grey Staff

By Jessica Stonesifer

“When the crypt goes creak, and the tombstones quake, spooks come out for a swinging wake!”  Halloween is almost upon us and the Hood College Safe Harvest will be here before you know it.  If you do not want to spend a lot of money on a Halloween costume this year- have no fear!  There are many unique and fun Halloween costumes you can make at very little to no cost!

Are you what you eat?  What about dressing up as a bag of jellybeans!  This hilarious and cute costume will be the talk of your dorm floor for months.  Wear light colored clothing, and then blow up as many multi-colored party balloons as you can- but keep the balloons on the small side so they look more realistic.  You can stick the balloons to your clothing using tape and then wrap your torso with clear plastic wrap that you can buy at the grocery store.

Another great costume idea is the babe magnet.  For guys, visit your local thrift store and buy a few Barbie dolls.  For the ladies, buy a few Ken dolls.  Then wear light colored clothing and attach the dolls to your clothing with either safety pins or glue.

If you’re a fan of winter time holidays and holiday candy, why not consider being a candy cane for Halloween!  This outfit is just as easy to do as many others.  Simply wear white clothing and wrap red (or green) duct tape in a downward spiral over your clothes.

Maybe you are into something a little more scary- but not too scary to frighten the children participating in Safe Harvest!

One classic favorite is the “cereal killer.”  For this costume, you should wear black or dark clothing, jeans and a dark t-shirt will work just fine.

You will need to go out and buy the small one-serving size cereal boxes from a grocery store or save your cereal boxes from the dining hall. Then, buy some plastic knives from the dollar store.  After painting the knives red, or even coloring them with a marker, glue the knives to the cereal boxes and then glue the cereal boxes to your clothing.  And there you have it, a “cereal killer.”

Halloween is a chance to be fun and creative, so don’t stress out if you are low on cash and do not have the funds to spend lots of money on a costume.  So be imaginative and resourceful and you might find that this method is even more fun than buying one!


Memorial Wins the Pink Spoon in Policies

By Jiselle Lopez

There comes a time in every student’s life where they get to join together with their classmates and win a giant pink spoon. For residence halls Smith, Shriner, Meyran, Coblentz and Memorial this competition is called Policies for Dollars.

Policies is an annual tradition where residence halls can compete in four different categories to learn about Hood’s policies and earn money for their hall’s future activities.  The competition features an obstacle course, cheers, skits, and jeopardy.

All the residence halls gathered in the quad to begin the festivities.

“My favorite thing was learning about traditions, [my] favorite tradition is not splitting the poles,” said freshman from Meyran, Lauren Shubert.

There is one rule, when the pink spoon is raised in the air, no one is allowed to speak or make noise.

Each hall was decked out in their colors and spirit with the anticipation of competition in the air.  Coblentz wore yellow, Memorial sported red, Meyran cheered in blue, Smith was an army in black and Shriner shimmered in green.

“I played some upbeat club music and that got me pretty pumped and ready for Policies.  I also painted my face, which was fun. “freshman fromMemorial,LydiaEmory said.

The first event was the relay obstacle course, where selected students from each building had to carry an egg on a spoon with their mouths, run as a two-person wheelbarrow, army crawl, jump through hoops on the ground, do a three-legged run then sprint to the finish.

Throughout the race, each team was cheering and chanting in the darkness. After a team has finished the relay their hall proceeds to the pergola where the real chanting begins.

Each hall chants to impress the judges with their volume and spirit.

Then the games moved to Hodson to show off each halls talents in the skits. Different halls had different themes that they played up on stage.

“We’re all pumped and involved [to learn] about traditions,” said Shubert, “[and] to see what the other dorms came up with.”

Coblentz creatively incorporated policies in theirSpongeBob Squarepants skit. Smith army rapped the policies “like a boss.”

Shriner saved Hood’s policy-breaking habits with their own superhero.

Memorial made a tough decision with their final episode of the bachelorette.

Lastly, Meyran eliminated the rule-breakers in their own hood hunger games. Between each skit was a competition ranging from freshman to senior students winning points for their halls through tests involving cheers, marshmallows, hula-hoops and hall spirit.

Jeopardy followed the skits to test just how much the freshman class actually knows about Hood’s policies and traditions.

With whiteboards in hand and partners at their sides, each team strived to get as many questions correct as they could. The residence halls supported them in celebratory cheering when they answered correctly and being supportive when they were incorrect.

The moment of truth came with the results. Memorial won the pink spoon with their collected 65 points. This left Meyran in fifth place, Shriner in fourth, Coblentz in third then Smith in second.

Memorial ran to the stage and celebrated collectively with a cheer, their cheer of success.

The crowd was riled up and the energy never ceased throughout the whole competition. Throughout the night a sense of support and community flowed from student to student, new and experienced all piled together to represent their new homes.

“Policies helped me get to know some more people in my dorm which was pretty cool,” said Emory.

Policies for Dollars remains the annual tradition that brings the campus together.


Student Spotlight: Freshman Garrett Cline Excited for Hood Journey

By Chelsea Dean

Freshman Garret Cline wants to make his mark at Hood and inspire his fellow classmates.

After only two months in college, Cline has already been very active in joining clubs and participating in Hood’s spirited traditions.

“It’s all about family,” he Cline said. “I want each and everyone of us to be united, just like me and my friends back home.”

Cline was elected to serve the Student Government Association as a senator in September.  Further, Cline participates in Hood College Student Musical Theater,  TEA (Tolerance, Equality, and Acceptance), and activities in Coblentz Hall; such as Policies for Dollars.

Cline was born and raised in a little town called Newville on the outskirts of suburban Pennsylvania. Cline attended Big Spring High School and was very popular among his peers.

“We were traditionalists but in a more modernized way,” Cline said of his hometown. “My high school class was very open-minded; if you weren’t accepting of other’s personal lifestyles, you were the minority.”

This active student was equally involved during his high-school years.

During his junior year of high school, Cline decided to organize a Gay Straight Alliance. However, upon appealing the club to the school board it was denied due to not meeting regulations of other school organizations.

“That really set me off,” said Cline. “We met every standard and regulation necessary to make this group a success; it was simply not in the interest of some faculty members.”

“Well what can you do,” Cline continued. “We really only had one option. Go public.”

Cline, along with friend, sophomore Travis Gilbert, organized a rally among all the high school students who were in support of the GSA club at their school.

The event took place on August of 2012, after the two had graduated from Big Spring High School.

The rally was a complete success. Over three hundred students where in attendance to show their support, and the entire event was televised by a local news station.

“It was terrifying,” Cline said. “That was my first ever appearance on live television and I was being questioned about an extremely controversial issue.”

Even though Cline would not be able to see the success of the GSA at his alma mater, he feels proud at the support he gained for future students.

“It’s not about my interests; it just feels good to know that I had an impact, and maybe even made the lives of some underclassmen a little easier,” Cline said.

As a result of the rally Cline helped to head, the club was approved after a second appeal to the school board.

“There’s an overwhelming sense of community now,” said Cline. “And I’m proud to have been a part of making that happen.”

Cline plans to bring that same sense of togetherness to the Hood campus.



Professor Spotlight: Jay Driskell

By Isabel Duarte

Dr. Jay Driskell has been teaching atHoodCollegefor two and a half years in the history department.

He is a historian who specializes in African American, Women’s, and labor history. Question: “What do you love about your job?”

Driskell: “There are these moments that I went through when I was an undergraduate when I put two and two together, these ‘aha’ moments… and I can see that happening. I think, for me,… there’s really nothing more thrilling in life than putting two and two together. Actually being able to figure something out using the powers of your brain, I think is really one of the most satisfying things you can do and I am really glad when I can see students do that, too”.

Question: How did you become a historian?

Driskell: “[It was an] incredibly roundabout route.” Due to various reasons, Driskell left home at fifteen and had to work all through high school. He graduated thirteenth in his class, and had a scholarship to write poetry at theUniversityofIllinoisinChicago.

Question: What did you take from your college experience?

Driskell: “I hated college with a passion when I got there. I could not see anything I had in common with any of these losers who grew up in the suburbs and had nice, little cozy lives. It was really unfair of me to judge them in that way, because they had not been through what I’d been through, and no one should actually go through all that if they can help it.”

Question: What is the demanding schedule of being a professor and a historian like?

Driskell: It’s worth it because [of] the ‘aha’ moments and [I] to use [my] brain for a living”.

Question: What advice do you have for your students?

Driskell: “If you’re not ready to be in college, take the time you need to get yourself ready… To be young and irresponsible is fine. Don’t pay twenty thousand dollars a year to do it. Come to college when you’re ready to work.”

Fashion Do’s and Dont’s: Fall Fashions To Avoid

By Daniela Kuhr

I thought I was the only German exchange student at Hood this year. Apparently I found some boys on campus, who looked like they would prefer being German, or at least look like it. Because I spotted a fashion emergency the other day: some of the boys here seem to like the stereotype of a German tourist.

I am German, so I am allowed to comment on these. When I think about a German tourist, the image coming to my mind is a man wearing shorts, socks, and sandals. Sadly enough, this is almost what I saw on campus.

However, what I saw was a little less terrifying than that. At least you were not wearing sandals with your shorts and socks. But still: if you are wearing shorts, why would you pull up your socks so they almost reach your knees? If you are afraid that your legs might get cold, have you ever thought about wearing long pants instead?

So now, you have two choices: either wear long pants or go and buy ankle socks. Girls really do not want to see your socks. Other guys probably do not care too much, but girls do. With the long kind one associates dirty socks and smelly feet. Ankle socks on the other hand are not really noticed, so these associations do not come up.

Even though this problem might disappear soon anyway (because you are hopefully going to wear long pants in the winter), I hope you take my advice and pay more attention to the little details about your outer appearance.  In case you do not want to take my advice, you better make sure to pretend you are a German tourist visiting Hood College. However, you should be fluent in German to be convincing. Better start taking German then.

Awkward Advice

 Dear Awkward Advice,

I have a problem. For a long time, I’ve been struggling with this issue in private, trying to make it not true, but I can’t hold it in any longer. I’m a sleepwalker. I have been bearing this burden in silence, trying to hide the fact that I would wake up in strange locations, often in various states of dress. But, I can’t hide it any longer. (Partly because I’m tired of living a lie and partly because my roommate caught me walking around the room clucking like a chicken wearing only a kimono.) Please help me Awkward Advice, you’re my only hope.



Sleepless in Shriner


Dear Sleepless,

There is hope for you and thousands suffering from the same issue. You are not alone. In fact, I would suggest proposing an LLC to Student Life for people in your situation. It would be good for you to be in a community of like-sleeping individuals where you can communicate and really discuss your problems. Also, whenever you embark upon your nocturnal outings, you’ll have plenty of company to interact with as you cha-cha and chicken dance your way through your REM cycle. In the meantime, I suggest you let your roommate strap you down whenever it comes time to sleep. This solution can actually be beneficial in two-fold. Hey Lovestruck, you could use those restraints to make your Valentine’s night extra steamy!




Blazer Men’s Tennis Team Strives to Become Victorious

By Maegan Green

The Blazers were defeated by the Catholic University Cardinals 9-0 in the nonconference tournament.  Hood is still looking for their first win of the season.

The tennis program has made several changes this season.  Tim Halter recently became the head coach.  Halter was once an assistant coach at Hood.

“We are in a re-building year,” said Luis Cotto (’13) “With the addition of our new coach we will bring in guys and rebuild the program,” he added.  This is Cotto’s second season on the team.

There are only six players on the roster at the moment:  Cotto, Jamone Davis (’15), Chad Love (’14), Trey Quinn (’13), Philip Roedig (’15), and Thomas Spivey (’16).  Although Hood did not win any matches, Spivey won three games in the singles competition.  Roedig and Love each won a singles game as well.

“My personal goals are to continue to get better and win along the way,” said Cotto.   “It was memorable just really falling into a comfort zone finally,” he added.  The sport is still fairly new to me and I am just starting to become more comfortable and confident.”

The recent addition of tennis courts on campus will help with recruiting and rebuilding the program.  “The new tennis courts are beautiful and will be a great recruiting tool for years to come,” said Cotto.  The best part is that we no longer have to play and practice atBakerPark. It makes it easier for us as player and our fans to attend.”

Thus far, it has been a difficult season for the Blazers.  However, they will continue to improve and become stronger as a team. One disadvantage at the moment is the lack of players on the roster.  “We are weak in the number of players we have,” said Cotto. “Coach Halter will turn that around.”

One of the team’s biggest strengths is their will to keep fighting.  They are gaining more experience with each tournament.  “We have a will to keep fighting,” said Cotto.  “It’s been a rough season so far and we continue to work hard every day at practice.”

Study Abroad Office Offers Students New Opportunities

By Min Ju Dutczak

Kate Emory, director of the Study Abroad Program at Hood helps students travel the world.

Hood’s new Study Abroad Program, located in theAppleResourceCenterin Room 8C, was created in 2011 to help students better understand and plan studying abroad.

“TheUSteaching style is very different so [studying abroad] offers new perspectives and helps students see the world as a whole entity. It really does broaden horizons. It also gives students a heads up in careers because the outside experience [makes] the students more worldly,” Emory said.

Hood offers students a variety of locations for students interested in studying abroad, including: Argentina, Australia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, England, Egypt, Greece, Ireland, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Peru, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, and Turkey.

The study abroad office affiliates with the majority of the travel locations through CAPA (Centers for Academic Programs Abroad) and CIEE (Council on International Educational Exchange) that work withHoodCollegeto get students situated in classes, housings, internships, and financial needs.

Any student with good academic standing and a 2.5 GPA or above can apply to study abroad.

“Junior and senior students are the preferred applicants because they have a clearer sense of their majors and can better plan their abroad studies accordingly to their goals,” Emory said.

Students are asked to start planning with the abroad office at least one semester in advance in order to get all their signatures and financial needs in order with the exception of winter and spring breaks.

Once students have permission to study abroad they may apply to various schools. Students are encouraged to apply to two schools in case spaces in exchange programs are filled up and they may have options.

Several students last semester took advantage of the new study abroad opportunities.

Senior Ashley Rotiz, who studied atUniversity of Seville,Spainin spring 2012, said “students need to leave [their] ignorance behind and take initiative [in order to study abroad].”

Similarly, senior Fran Roth, a student atSweetBriarCollege, inParis,Francein 2011- 2012, said “[students need to] immerse and appreciate the different cultures and histories of the world because theUSis still young and, in a way, disconnected.”

The study abroad office works closely with Susan Erb from the Financial Aid Office to provided financial awards to students who decide to study abroad.

Currently, the Shirley Conner Hardinge awards students monetarily who are studying abroad. In fall of 2011, Hood was able to give about $3,000 to students through this scholarship.

The study abroad process takes significant planning with the study abroad office, which is open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to four p.m.

Junior Molly Seel who studied abroad inLondonlast semester, said, “When else can you get a chance to just live and get out for four months?”

Students interested in meeting Emory can email her at For more information students may also visit the official website at