First-Year Reads Provides Many Campus Programs

The third year of First-Year Reads (FYR) will culminate on campus this semester on Oct. 23 with an on-campus talk featuring Ishmael Beah to discuss his memoir “A Long Way Gone.”

Before coming to campus, all first-year students downloaded “A Long Way Gone” on their iPads to read over the summer.  This fall, all students can participate in numerous programs sponsored by FYR.

“We are proud to be able to bring famous authors such as Ishmael Beah to Hood College and want to make his visit to our campus as rich and rewarding as possible. The FYR program is all about community and making connections with issues and events that affect our lives,” Dr. Martha Bari, the head of FYR said.

During orientation, first-year students discussed Beah’s memoir within their orientation groups with both staff and upperclassmen student facilitators.

On Sept. 6, FYR will sponsor the film “Bling: A Planet Rock that ties in several issues presented by Beah’s memoir.

“‘Bling: A Planet Rock’ starring Ishmael Beah and Kanye West, on September 6 as part of Student Affairs’ double feature movie night. This short film connects the “blood diamonds” mined by slave labor during Sierra Leone’s civil war to the funding of this conflict, making a direct connection between hip-hop’s cult of diamond jewelry and the violence and suffering in that country,” Bari said.

Beah’s visit in October will allow students to talk about the issues presented in both the memoir and the film, and even the opportunity to speak one-on-one with Beah.

After the discussion, there will be a book-signing.

“[Beah’s visit] will be an exciting and rewarding experience. There will be opportunities to meet the author one-on-one in an intimate reception and to hear him speak publicly in conversation with Dr. Conway-Turner. Students can ask questions, challenge the author, find out why Beah did things the way he did, and witness the inspiring kind of man he has become as a result of his terrible trauma. This is the type of event that makes a student’s time at Hood especially unique and enriching. It would be a shame to miss Beah’s visit,” Bari said.

Campus Renovations Still to Come

By Stacey Axler

This summer many renovations occurred to the Hood campus, but several more are slated to happen this year.

Over the summer, several buildings underwent changes.  Smith hall received a new fire alarm and sprinkler system, carpet in all rooms, and fresh paint.

Smith as well as Memorial received upgrades to their front and back entrances to prevent storm damage.

Meyran Hall received new furniture this summer as well.

Renovations also occurred on the academic side of campus.  Rosenstock underwent complete remodeling this summer that includes a new fire alarm, carpet in the hallways and classrooms, new paint, and a new chiller.

Other summer projects include  road repair, landscape improvements around Gambrill Gymnasium, a new  refrigerator and freezer in Coblentz Dining Hall, and the installation of more security cameras around campus.

More renovations will continue throughout the year.

A coffee shop will be added to the Beneficial- Hodson Library.

Academic buildings will also continue to receive renovations throughout the year.

Opening Convocation Marks Beginning of the New Academic Year

By Stacey Axler

On Monday, Aug. 20, Hood celebrated the start of its 120 academic year at the annual Opening Convocation ceremony.

Convocation began with the traditional “dinking” ceremony in which new students received their dorned red Dinks for the entire morning.

After the first-year students processed into the Hodson Outdoor Amphitheater for Convocation, Hood seniors lined up outside to begin their walk into the ceremony.

After the procession, President Volpe officially began Convocation by welcoming everyone to campus.

Biology professor Dr. Drew Ferrier served as the keynotes speaker and discussed the importance of ed ucation.

Similarly, SGA President, senior Drake Halpern, discussed the importance of understanding that education is a gift that many people are not fortunate enough to receive.

After the speeches, Provost Kate Conway- Turner commended the recipients of Convocation Honors, an award given to those with a cumulative GPA of 3.6 or higher.

The ceremony concluded after seniors lit their senior candles, a tradition that comes full circle when the graduating class lights candles again before commencement in Spring.

After Convocation, students and faculty enjoyed an outdoor picnic that lasted until classes began later in the afternoon.  The Hood community also received shirts with a “brainstorm” logo.

A Reflection from the Summer’s International Model United Nation Conference

By Samantha Helmold

On July 14, Hood College welcomed 90 delegates from 27 different nations to partake in this year’s International Model United Nation conference. With suitcases and bags in hand, the delegates prepare for two weeks’ worth of hard work and tons of fun.

Over the course of this two week camp, the students were going to learn what Model UN was all about, but first, they had to have an understanding of what UNESCO really was.

UNESCO, or “United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization” is set up for students to better understand the goals of achieving peace. And the UNESCO IMUN Summer Camp is set up just for that; for students from all over the world to come together to work as one and better understand the meaning of peace and how to achieve it in the most efficient way possible.

For two weeks, the delegates were to get up every day by 6:30 a.m. and then start the day off with breakfast, then workshops, and even some field-trips as well.

Some of the field-trips that were scheduled this year were a trip to D.C. to see the monuments, museums, and visit the state department to allow students to ask some questions regarding UNESCO and anything else they may have had regarding solving international issues. Another trip was taken to Baltimore Inner Harbor, Hagerstown Outlets to shop a little, and of course New York City Time Square. We were going to visit the United Nations but they were cleaning it out.

Over the course of these two weeks, they were preparing for the last three days of the camp, Model UN days. The delegates were broken down into five different committees before they arrived to the camp; UNESCO, ECOSOC, WHO, General Assembly, and The Security Council. Each committee was presented with different topics to discuss, and they were to solve each topic, or resolve it.

At the end of the two weeks, whether or not anything was resolved within the committees, the delegates enjoyed themselves, worked hard, made life-long friends, and had a ton of fun. And a special thanks is to be given to Hood College for partnering with UNESCO this year, all the facilitators for volunteering their time over the two weeks, and a special thanks to Mr. Guy Djoken, Miss. Claudia Twum, and Mr. Karl Helmold for working so hard to make this year’s camp possible.