Introducing: Ask Mother

Whether you read the Washington post or any other newspaper they all seem to have one new exciting, attractive aspect about them. They each have an advice column. Those advice columns are run by Somebody who answers people’s questions, and gives them pointers, or advice on what they should do or options as to how going about tough situation. Here at the Blue and Grey, we would like to provide students with appropriate, timely, student-to-student advice. The Blue and Grey again welcomes the hood community to join in a new aspect of Hood social life.

-Ask Mother

Career Center to host spring networking events

Taylor Murphy

The Career Center has a busy month ahead with many events that are catered to help juniors and seniors after graduation.

Jill Hermes, the director of Career Center, has put together many events for the month of April. Among these events is the annual networking event, which allows juniors and seniors to meet with professionals from different career fields.

The Spring Networking Event gives students an opportunity to make connections with professionals that could potentially to lead to internships. Students of all majors can attend, and they are encouraged to dress professionally.

This event will be on April 22 in the Coblentz Seminar Room. Students can go online to RSVP by April 16.

A junior at Hood, Jasmine Grant, said that the networking event is very helpful for juniors and seniors. “You’re more worried about getting a job, and those events allow you to meet different people from different fields,” Grant said.

Hermes said that each event hosted by the Career Center draws about 30-80 students. Some of these events are “niche” events, Hermes said, so they draw fewer crowds.

One of these niche events is the Peace Corps Discussion and Reception on April 24. This event will feature Hood Alums that have gone into the Peace Corps.

Speakers include: Pamela Pratt, 2010, and Mary Beth Molin, 2004, who both went to Senegal; Jamie Busey, 2008, who travelled to West Africa; and Nicole Hewitt, 2000, who visited Bolivia.

Hermes said “many students have been successful in [the Peace Corps] and many students are interested in it.”

The Career Center has also put together several small LinkedIn workshops for the end of March and beginning of April. The workshop is in the Career Center and students will be given a tutorial on how to use the site.

Sophomore Carmelita Ugarte said that the Career Center hosts events that “provide very helpful tools and information to students who seek internship opportunities.” She added that programs such as the LinkedIn workshops are “potential résumé boosters” and help students refine their résumés.

Also hosted by the Career Center is the event Conversations with a Hood Alum. On April 7, Ruth Ravitz Smith will come to Hood to talk to students about having a successful career in government affairs.

Smith is the Vice President of global government relations at GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy. She graduated from Hood College in 1983.

When deciding on which events to plan, Hermes said she asks the faculty, students and members of the community for ideas. She said she likes to see what the students are interested in and what the community members need.

SGA News Corner Update: April

Logan Samuels

The snow has finally melted and SGA is gearing up for several fun spring events to enjoy the beautiful weather and prepare for next year.  Along with a change in the temperature, comes a change in the people of student government. Elections will take place during the week of April 14th. Be sure to come to Whitaker between 11 and 5 to make your vote count, or even run for a position yourself! SGA will wrap up this month with our final senate meeting on April 22nd where we will introduce our new senators for next semester. With the year winding down, classes may be coming to a close, but there are plenty of activities for you to keep an eye out for! On Sunday, April 13th SGA will be hosting its annual Easter Egg Hunt where everyone is welcome. Also be on the watch for the Hood Olympics which will be taking place during May Madness at the end of April. If you want to show how much you love Hood, be sure to come to Give Your Heart to Hood day on April 25th to help plant flowers around campus. If you are curious to see which students will be representing you as your newly elected SGA leaders, you can find out at the Passing of the Gavel ceremony on April 23rd. To stay in the know about all things SGA that are going on at Hood or are coming up soon, remember to look for our e-newsletter.

It’s that time again: RA recruitment

By Jennifer Forester

The Resident Assistant (RA) selection process concluded just before spring break on March 7, when potential applicants received their initial offers from the Office of Residence Life.

The extensive process, which aims to select RAs for the 24 coveted spots, is described as “intense” by Area Coordinator (AC) Travis Eichelberger.

The process begins in February, just after the start of the spring semester. During this time, current RAs are asked what their future intentions are, such as whether they are even returning to Hood, whether they would like to be an RA again or not, and if so, if they would like to work in a different building. They are subject to evaluation and are not necessarily guaranteed an RA position next year.

Current RAs assist in the selection process by recommending students they believe would be good for the position, and invitations are sent out to those students. Students interested could also fill out an application from Residence Life.

In addition, applicants are required to submit a resume and three references before the interview process.

Students who were interested were required to attend at least one information session. An AC and RA are present at these sessions to answer the students’ questions.

According to RA Emily Kuykendall of Memorial Hall, the AC will then leave the information session so the applicants can talk to the RA “one on one before making a serious choice” and “ask honestly what the job is like.”

Then, potential applicants were interviewed individually, and then participated in a group interview that Eichelberger calls “carousel.”

To keep the individual interview as unbiased as possible, a random AC and RA who have no preconception of the applicant interview them so as not to unfairly influence the process.

The one hour interview consists of “skill-specific questions, scenarios,” and serves to gauge the applicant’s knowledge of the position, Eichelberger explained.

Kuykendall said that the interview helps determine the “true intentions of applicants, who may just be interested in the free room.” It also helps “weed out people” and “see their enthusiasm.”

The mandatory group interview, or “carousel,” serves to see how well applicants work with others and is made up of group activities. It is evaluated by current RAs and ACs, who don’t let their personal feelings bias the process.

Kuykendall said that group interview is “intimidating because the current RAs watch you,” but if you’re a genuine and good applicant, there is “nothing to worry about.”

Following the group interview, the ACs compiles a “rough comparison” of how the applicants did, according to Eichelberger. This comprises of the applicant’s individual interview evaluations by the RA and AC, three evaluations from carousel, their GPA, resume, references, and application itself.

The ACs then sit with Zach Luhman, the director of Residence Life, to build a potential RA list, Eichelberger said.

Each AC is in charge of eight RAs, who are chosen based on their “interaction with each other and students,” Eichelberger said. RAs need to be diverse, “for any type of student to come to.”

Once the returning RAs are in place, the ACs hire new RAs “to fill [the] gaps,” he continued.

The applicants receive their job offers and invitation letters via mail. These notify the applicants whether they were selected for hire or not.

If an applicant is selected, they are notified of the building they will be working in but not the floor. According to Kuykendall, this is “subject to change.” An applicant may also be selected as an alternate, who is chosen to fill the position of an RA who declines the position.

The ACs then wait and see who accepts or not, and fill the empty spots with alternates, Eichelberger said.

Kuykendall said that it is “always interesting who is chosen,” because “the process keeps you guessing.”

Right before the end of the spring semester, the Area Coordinators meet with their eight member RA staff to set guidelines and expectations for the coming year. This also gives a chance for the four RAs of each building to exchange contact information and get to know each other before they begin working together the following semester, Eichelberger said.

Eichelberger said that the goal for RA selection is to build “diverse staffs,” which encompass various elements and genders. They must be “representative of the students” who live in the building.

“Out of 150 people who live in the building,” there should be “at least one that a student can relate to,” Eichelberger said, referring to the importance of the RA position.

An RA, according to Eichelberger, must be a person with “initiative” and a “level of maturity to enforce policy.” RAs must “balance an act between being an authority figure and a peer.”

The four RAs who are put together in a building encompass different personality types, and must form a strong team based on their strengths and weaknesses

In the middle of the summer, the RAs are notified what floor they will be working on, which indicates whether they will be working with first-year students or upperclassmen.

Two weeks before the beginning of the fall semester, the RAs endure a week-long training session, prepare the building for students, post flyers, create room name tags, and help with summer orientation, Eichelberger said.

Eichelberger is in his third year at Hood, and notes that there are “constants every year” involving the RA selection process. There is always “large interest from first-years,” he said.

He encouraged students to reapply even if they weren’t hired, because that does not necessarily mean that they are unqualified, but that there are simply not enough RA positions. He also encouraged male students to apply, because there is a “strong[er] female pool as opposed to males.”

He said that every year is a “balancing act” between returning and graduating RAs. He noted that this year, as opposed to years past, there are “not a lot of graduating RAs,” but more returning juniors.

Eichelberger also spoke about the difficulty of choosing an RA staff for the future Assistant Director of Residence Life, who has not been hired yet. He said that they had to “keep in mind the personality type” of the potential person they hire so as it does not clash with the RA staff that has been selected, and to “be prepared.”

The candidate would be the replacement for Danielle Weaver, the former assistant director of Residence Life and the Area Coordinator of the apartments and Meyran Hall, who left the position in January.

Lacrosse closes the season with high hopes for next year

By Jamone Davis

It’s easy to say that every year; the lacrosse team has taken recruiting very serious by recruiting prospects from as far as Hawaii. Each year, the team has hopes of being better than it was the previous year and display how they have improved in certain areas.

It’s obvious that when the seniors graduate, the team will have to find new players to fill their positions and provide depth as well. This year the men’s lacrosse team has a roster of 30 players, 11 of those players are freshman.

With a record of 4-9, one can only imagine how the freshman feel about how this season is going as it comes to an end. Zach Kauffman, freshman Midfield and Face-off, feels like this season is all about building.

“Coach Barber is new and we are building a new system,” Kauffman said. “My expectation was that the transition from high school to college was going to be hard. I just wanted to find a way to impact the team.”

He felt that the team was powered by underclassmen of course with the leadership of Randolph Clark, but the defense was run by the veterans. Sean Murphy, freshman Attack, felt very passionate about this season. He felt a little disappointed about how this season has gone. Things did not go the way he hoped for it to go.

“I just wanted to contribute to the team anyway I could. Try my hardest at everything and give 100% of my effort,” Murphy said. “As a team I expected… wanted us to go .500 and become more of a team family. The expectations of a team family were fulfilled.”

With three games left in the regular season and as the seven seniors prepare to depart, what is the game plan for this offseason? Both Murphy and Kaufmann both had working out and becoming better players in mind.

Kauffman stated, “I simply want to put myself in position to become a better athlete whether it’s practicing stick skills or working out. I will do whatever I can do to become a better player because I know roles needs to be filled.”

Both players admitted they loved the team and that the team was young. Looking at the roster, there is time to rebuild and they can only get better from here. The younger players definitely have the drive to push themselves to become better players and teammates.

So this offseason, “train hard, train often.”

Students Volunteer on Alternative Spring Break Trips

By Jeanne Robinson

While most Hood students went home for their Spring Break, some used their week of free time for mission work in North Carolina, Florida and around Frederick with the Alternative Spring Break program.

Students and faculty members put their energy to good use helping others in both local and out-of-state projects while learning about their fellow community members.

Catherine Brown, graduate assistant to the dean of the chapel, along with Elaheh Eghball, supervised a team of students who remained in Frederick for the annual “Staycation” March 10-14. During the week, the group volunteered at several organizations both in Frederick and in the surrounding area, said freshman Shanayah Braithwaite who participated in “Staycation.”

“Our community is not just Frederick, it’s everywhere. You see how thankful the people are, which is really amazing,” Braithwaite said.

Brown was a major part in organizing the week in Frederick. It is planned throughout the year, and the students visit different organizations every time, Brown said.

While an organization must be found that both needs and is willing to accept help, the place must also be able to host the students for the day. Also, the students need to be passionate about going there, Brown said.

The theme for the week was “Diversity,” Brown said. The students visited five different places in five days, she said.

The group volunteered at a location of SERRV International in Fredrick Monday where they packed handmade items made by from around the world in a mission to help eradicate poverty. Tuesday they went to The Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. to pack school and baby kits to ship to other countries, Braithwaite said.

On Wednesday the group went to Baltimore to Earl’s Place, a transitional home for people recovering from abuse problems. Volunteers from Hood visited Earl’s Place in October for the chapel’s Fall Break Service-Learning Day, and Brown made sure that they revisited it for the spring.

Last fall the executive director of Earl’s Place, Sheila Helgerson, told Brown that she wanted to expand the organization. When they went back in the spring, the group had already purchased another site in Baltimore and was starting to expand their services, Brown said.

“Being in a local place, we can catch up and keep a relationship going,” Brown said.

The next day, they went to the Frederick Community Action Agency where they bagged groceries to hand out and helped serve in the soup kitchen.

Their final day was spent at the Frederick County 4-H Therapeutic Riding Program where they learned how the horses are used in therapy with people with disabilities, Braithwaite said. The organization has riders of all ages from elementary school kids to an 80-year-old woman, their oldest rider, Brown said.

Working at the horse program hit Braithwaite closer to home.

“I liked the 4-H Therapeutic Riding place because they offered free rides to kids with disabilities and my brothers have disabilities, so I thought that was really cool,” Braithwaite said.

Some students and faculty went a bit further from home to the Franklinton Center at Bricks in Whitakers, N.C. The Rev. Beth O’Malley led a group of seven students with Dr. Wanda Ruffin to spend the week. A former slave plantation, the Franklinton Center is now a school and a retreat center that teaches education for racial justice.

At Franklinton, O’Malley’s group tutored elementary school kids. They learned about the history of slavery in the US and the ongoing legacy of prejudice, she said.

Whitakers is a rural area in North Carolina whose citizens have high blood pressure, diabetes, are HIV positive and have other health issues. Along with their low health, there is a high illiteracy rate, O’Malley said. The Franklinton Center works to combat those problems and create a better community.

O’Malley has sent a group to the Franklinton Center for five of the six years that she has been at Hood. It is good to make an investment in the communities so that there is a relationship established, O’Malley said.

“It moves from just giving a week of charity to having a long-term social justice commitment to those places,” O’Malley said.

Spending a week working together caused the groups to become close. The faculty chaperone to spend time with the students as much as for service opportunities, O’Malley said.

When professors work alongside students, it makes the college look united in our goals, Brown said.

Dr. Susan Ensel took a group of six students to Sebring, Fla. to work for Habitat for Humanity for the week. They participated in the Collegiate Challenge, a Habitat program that pushes college students to donate their time.

While many students took part in the ASB program, more are always wanted. As an incentive, some students who went to North Carolina or Florida received independent study credit as they gave presentations and were assigned reading, O’Malley said.

It does cost students to stay during Spring Break to cover travel and housing, but they raised money to help offset those costs. The Career Center also gives scholarships to those who apply.

Many departments worked together on campus to help the ASB program get advertised, from duplicating services printing thousands of fliers to marketing loaning cameras, Brown said. Doreen Jarvis, campus safety supervisor, arranged all the transportation for the three trips.

O’Malley hoped that even more students would donate their time next year.

“Even if you don’t know people, it doesn’t matter,” she said. “Take the plunge, and you’ll meet great people.”