A soon-to-be college graduate’s networking experience

By Meg DePanise

My peers and I had the opportunity to join local professionals for an evening of eating, mingling and advising at Thursday’s Networking Etiquette event.

The Career Center partnered with the Frederick Chamber of Commerce to organize the two-hour occasion at the cool Ayse Meze Lounge in Downtown Frederick. Let me start by saying that my attendance was without doubt worthwhile.

I’ve been aware of the critical importance of networking for a long time and I’ve heard from everyone—my family, coworkers, and professors— that connections are everything and a college degree is not enough to set you apart in the job market. With that said, I am also aware of my natural aversion to networking events.

I am what most would call an introvert and large social gatherings are not exactly my favorite things ever. However, I am a driven soon-to-be college graduate, and this networking event seemed like it could fit very well into my whole getting a job strategy. In the end, I squashed down my nerves and went with a couple of my PRSSA buddies.

I didn’t know exactly what to expect of the night but I arrived, dressed in my pencil skirt and blazer and armed with a stack of business cards. Thoroughly chilled by the freezing rain, I was definitely happy when I stepped into Ayse Meze’s cozy atmosphere. I quickly claimed a spot next to the fire place and was soon presented with some delicious hors d’oeuvres.
Upon arrival, I was given a name tag with a color which I learned, following the opening remarks, were to separate all of us into groups. The students rotated every 15 minutes to the next group to learn from the experts.

The first networking experts that the yellow group and I met were Allison Seaton and Justin Saltzman of Liberty Mutual Insurance. They talked about how to make a good impression with an elevator speech and how not to be a wallflower at events like that one. Of course my first thought was “I like being a wallflower” but listening to them I began to see their point that introversion isn’t a malady in the world of business and communications that one must overcome to be successful. It’s ok to be a little shy or a slightly awkward. The important thing is to be genuine. Also, the buffet is not a bad place to hang out; the small talk comes more naturally and “that dip looks good…” is about as good an opener as any.

Ellen Keyser of 270 Net and Clark Briggs of Frederick County Bank spoke to us about the art of conversations and how to begin a good chat. A simple introduction is a great place to start. If one thing is true, it’s that people love to talk about themselves. It’s important to ask questions and show interest in what the person you’re speaking to is passionate about and when you can, share a connection to what you do. Also, it’s important to remember that you don’t have to talk to every single person in the room! In fact, that’s the wrong way to go about networking. You want to engage in substantial one-on-one conversations and you want to make a lasting impression.

Michael Kurtianyk of the Frederick County Chamber gave us some advice about how to follow up with connections, when to connect on social media, and what to do with business cards. After the networking event is over, your work isn’t done. It’s crucial to send a follow up email or make a phone call the day after the event to make the most of your new connections. Even if you think you’ll never in a million years have a reason to do business with someone, send a follow up email and add them on LinkedIn because you really never know went they might be able to offer you something.

Business cards are essential at networking events. They go together like peanut butter and jelly. I designed my own but it’s also easy and inexpensive to order a stack online. I learned that the glossy double-sided cards are not always the most practical choice because pen doesn’t write well on them. You may need to write on your card if you want to write down a date or a different phone number for someone.

Also, you should write on other peoples cards at least one thing you remember from your conversation that you can use as a dialogue starter if you meet them again whether that be at another networking event or even at an interview. They’ll certainly be impressed if you remember a marketing campaign they were in the middle of or ask about their family vacation. Networking takes work if you do it right; study those business cards like flash cards and if you know prior to the event who will be attending do a bit of research.

The basics of where to place your name tag, handshakes, and how to tackle the plate and glass balancing act were covered by Jason McDonald of Teleplus Corp. and Doug Raftery ‘12 of the Frederick Keys. This was the last group of the night for me and I sure did see what they meant about trying to eat and shake hands. The key is to keep the plate in your left hand so your right is free for handshakes. Also, the nametag goes on the right. I wore mine wrong the whole night but hey, now I’ll be an expert for next time.

Meghan Butler and Rick Weldon of the Chamber of Commerce were also in attendance along with Linda Harley from US Silica. After the groups, we had a little bit of time to share what we learned with everyone and put our new knowledge to use.

I learned that networking is important for all kinds of reasons whether that be developing your current career, obtaining referrals or sales leads, or getting a job. I liked something that Clark Briggs said: “Networking is casting a net to find work.” A personal connection is a great way to get your resume on the top of the pile. The thing to remember is that a good network is really just a circle of friends and friendship is a two-way street—help others, and others will help you.

Awkward Advice is back!

In college, good advice is hard to come by, right? College students receive advice about how to pick a roommate, how to pick classes, and how to steer clear of the freshman 15. But what about all the other advice we need; more personal advice? Like whether a romantic relationship would be a good idea, what would I do if I got my girlfriend pregnant, or why do we fail a class after 3 absences if we are paying for it? Questions like these require another student’s input, not just another paid adult.  So if you have any awkward questions, email tms25@hood.edu with the subject line “awkward advice”.

– Awkward

Safe Sex Carnival Dec. 4

By: Jaasmin Foote

Hood College awaits its first Safe Sex Carnival on Thursday Dec. 4.

The carnival will be held in Whitaker Commons from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. The purpose of the Safe Sex Carnival is to educate the Hood community about HIV, AIDS, STI’S, STD’s, and testing options through fun games, carnival snacks, and FAQS.

Justin Fox, Vice President of the Queer Student Union, also known as QSU, said that overall, he hopes students will learn how to protect themselves from AIDS, HIV, and STD’S: “I hope students will learn how to find out their statuses,” he said. “It’s so easy and there are so many great resources in Frederick like ‘I Want the Kit.’ The company works with the Health Center here at Hood and it allows you to test yourself at home. Then, you can then bring the sample to the Health Center. It’s very secure and private.”

The carnival is also a chance to find out about the plethora of methods used to practice safe sex. Fox said that both sexes should know every possible way to protect themselves during intercourse: “Yes, there are many female condoms in addition to the dental dam,” Fox said. “Students will find that out at the carnival.”

Several student organizations and the Health Center will be in attendance and will have tables with information about the subject matter as well as games and brochures. Co-Sponsoring Organizations include: Health Center, QSU, BSU La Comunidad, PRSSA, SACC/SPURS, Equal Sex, Last Train of Thought, and House Forum

The list of activities for the carnival is as follows:

∙The Health Center–Consent Booth and FAQS

∙ Equal Sex–Female Condom Toss

∙ Last Train of Thought– Condom Pop (popping condoms with a dart)

∙Queer Student Union–Bobbing for Balls with Dental Dams

∙ Black Student Union– Duck Pool and FAQS about STI and HIV

∙Public Relations Student Society of America–Beer Goggle and Condoms

∙House Forum– Pump it Up (blowing condoms up like balloons)

∙La Comunidad–Ring Toss on a Penis

Travis Eichelberger, the area coordinator for Diversity Initiatives and advisor of QSU, BSU, and La Comunidad, is looking forward to the event: “It’s going to be fun. This is all of the student’s hard work. They’re in charge, not me. Teresa Cevallos (director of Health Resources and a member of the Safe Sex Carnival Planning Committee) and I are just here to make sure the educational aspect is included.”

Eichelberger also said he was excited about the event and noted “if everything goes as planned, the decorations are going to be insane.”

Every year, the student organizations take turns leading the activities for World AIDS Day. La Communidad has been the largest contributor the past few years, but this year, QSU is playing the leader.

Eichelberger said QSU wanted to do something “different” this year: “We looked online and saw that other schools do sex carnivals, so the presidents of the student groups looked up standard carnival games and twisted them to apply to HIV, STI’s and STD’s in a fun way.”

Eichelberger noted that QSU chose to do a sex carnival over other approaches because “it gives all of the student organizations an opportunity to contribute in a meaningful way.”  Eichelberger said that a lot of groups are participating, but it’s not too late to help out if you’re interested in doing so.

Eichelberger said that in addition to games, each booth will also have information specific to their community: “For example, the Black Student Union and La Comunidad will have information about how HIV and AIDS affects the African American community and Hispanic communities [and so forth and so on]. Students will get general information as well as information that applies specifically to them and their communities.”

Eichelberger also noted the importance of sexual consent: “I’ve done a lot of work with Rape Culture on campuses, so I think the national microscope dealing with sexual assault is important. No school is perfect, but Hood is working on dealing with this as efficiently as possible, and I like that the pressure is there to make people responsible for their actions.”

Cevallos said that in addition to a “commemoration of HIV,” the carnival is a “bogo” because the booth will discuss safe sex, HIV and STD/ STI prevention, as well as sexual consent.

Cevallos said: “Some students don’t know the consequences that come with sex. The students focused on safe sex for the carnival, but the Health Center is concerned with tying in sexual consent to prevent sexual assault on college campuses.”

Cevallos also noted that the staff at the Health Center decided to do a Consent Booth, an informational booth about sexual consent, instead of an “old time kissing booth” to add a modern twist on carnival traditions. She said she hopes the students will learn about disease prevention, sexual health, and sexual responsibility. She noted that the Health Center will offer raffle tickets to students that correctly repeat the FAQS at the booth.

Students will have tables with information and pamphlets about safe sex as well as red ribbons from Dec. 1 to Dec. 5. Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, the tables will be set up from 11 p.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, the tables will be set- up from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

It’s On Us Campaign

By Tatyanna Hunter

The Title IX Committee at Hood College is participating in the White House sponsored campaign It’s On Us National Week of Action, November 17-21.

In 1972, the Title IX law was passed that requires gender equality in all federally funded educational programs. The Hood College Title IX Committee is a group of college faculty and staff who work on maintaining compliance with Title IX and corresponding laws.

The committee also works with overlapping requirements, providing equal access to educational and co-curricular activities, and educating the campus community on Title IX issues.

“The It’s On Us campaign is about bystander intervention and about creating an environment where sexual assault is unacceptable,” said Staci Brennan, Title IX Resource for Athletics. “This particular initiative coincides extremely well with the work that the Title IX Committee has been doing over the past year.”

The campaign, launched by the White House in September, is also designed to create awareness on college campuses about how to stop sexual assault. This campaign helps students learn about roles they can play in ending sexual violence on and off campus.

Hood College is hosting a variety of events during the It’s On Us National Week of Action, such as ones supporting victims of sexual assault and violence, and intimate partner violence. For these events, Hood is partnering with Heartly House, The Frederick Center (a LGBTQ youth support center), and 1in6, a resource center for men who have been sexually abused in childhood.

Carol Wuenschel, Title IX and Section 504 Officer says the Title IX Committee and Hood College are participating in the It’s On Us Campaign “to demonstrate our commitment to having a healthy, safe, and inclusive living, learning, and working environment on campus.”

During the It’s On Us campaign week, Heartly House, The Frederick Center, and 1in6 will also be providing training on sexual assault awareness and prevention. In addition, students will have the chance to sign a pledge to make a personal commitment to prevent sexual assault.

“The It’s On Us pledge is about making a personal commitment to step off the sidelines and be a part of the solution,” Brennan said. “If everyone works together we can create an environment where young men and women feel safe.”

Everyone will have a chance to take the online pledge during the Pledge Drive on November 18 and 19 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Whitaker Campus Center. There will also be an opportunity to take the online pledge during the women’s and men’s basketball games on November 22 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The Dean of the Chapel, Reverend Beth O’Malley will be focusing on the issues of sexual assault awareness and prevention in the weekly reflection.

Student Life is encouraging all students to download the phone application, “Circle of Six” to help in the effort to stop sexual assault.

Wuenschel said that the “Circle of Six” application can be used “to provide support to potential victims and prevent sexual misconduct. The free phone app allows students to choose six friends who can help them during a sticky situation by providing an interruption, or by giving a ride, or just offering dating information.”

Also, new web pages have been created for the Counseling Center portion of the Hood College website that contains information on sexual assault prevention and healthy relationships.

“Hood College will continue to look for ways to engage the campus community in addressing the myriad issues that result from sexual assault,” Wuenschel said. “The Title IX Committee looks forward to hearing from students, faculty, and staff regarding their ideas for having our campus be a safe, vibrant and welcoming community for all constituents.”

Students prepare for Election Day

By Kaylene Wright

In preparation for Election Day on Nov. 4, students on campus have organized a, “Get out the Vote” (GOTV) effort in order to increase voter turnout among college students.

So far, several things have been done with the effort. For example, for National Voter Registration Day on Sept. 23, tabling was done in Whitaker to register voters. There have been several phone banks on campus to call infrequent voters, cards students have signed saying they “pledge to vote,” and posters about voting put up around campus.

The week before Election Day, a banner will be hung in Whitaker about voting, and there will be a “trick-or-vote” canvass in the dorms to deliver voting reminder flyers.

“The effort has been pretty good,” said Laura Shriver, an intern at Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) and organizer of the GOTV effort on campus said. She said she started the work on campus after she heard about the low voting statistics among young people.

In regard to the low statistics, Marites Velasquez, Program Director of Student PIRGs, said there is a misconception that young people don’t vote because they are apathetic or lazy.

“The big reason is that they don’t know how to register, how to get to the polls, etc.”

The GOTV campaign is aimed at trying to help students understand the voting process.

“There are a lot of social problems that young people will inherit. We’ll live with the aftermath of decisions made today for the rest of our lives,” said Velasquez, in regards to the importance of young people voting.

Sam Kebede said he’s voting this year because it’s his duty as a citizen, and an important part of the democratic process.

“College students are an often ignored demographic in the political scene. We have constructed opinions and ideas on how the world works, and those opinions should be heard,” he said.

The campaign on campus will continue all the way up to Election Day. “To me it feels like one of the most important things. To have a bigger impact and help influence other people to vote,” Shriver said.

Clubs offered at Hood

By Mary Milligan

Hood advertises as having over 60 clubs, yet inactive clubs are advertised on the website for five years to try and revive them.

Clubs stay on the website to spark interest in students and prospective students. Inactive clubs still have email addresses that go to student life so that they can let students know how to restart the club.

It is important for admissions to keep recently inactive clubs on the website so that prospective students know that they have the option to restart. They are currently working on finding a way to acknowledge inactive clubs on the website.

Clubs are an appeal to prospective students. Although they might not all currently be offered, they can easily be restarted and may push a student’s interest to choose Hood over somewhere else.

“When a club is inactive for over 5 years they come off the list, or if we know that the organization has changed or merged with another,” said Don Miller, Director of Student Activities. An example of a merged club was when HOSA became a wing of the Black Student Union.

Clubs that are currently inactive but still unlisted clubs include: Health Professionals Club, which some students are interested in bringing this organization back to active status, Philosophy Club, Amnesty International, College Democrats, College Republicans, Habitat for Humanity, and more.

“I would want to join the film club because I think that it would be cool to just watch films and talk about them, but the rest of the clubs seems kind of boring,” said Lydia Jines.

Abigail Jines said, “I would potentially be interested in the Health Professionals Club because I was part of something similar in high school. I’m sure it would be beneficial since we just launched the nursing program.”

To students there does appear to be some interest in these inactive clubs, yet the interest of a few students is not enough to restart. There needs to be a group of students to go from inactive to restarting.

There are also clubs that are listed that do not often host school wide events. These clubs are much more membership based rather than school wide based.

Clubs that may appear inactive, but they are clubs that are often major based that students can use for the resumes and build experience in the prospective fields. These clubs include Student Social Work Organization and Student Education Association.

Often for students who are not in the niche of these areas it is hard for them to become involved. Due to the nature of these clubs they usually tend to advertise to the specific classes and areas of study so that the right group gets the information they need about it.

Carlotta Walls LaNier speaks to students

By Cameron Rogers

Hood students were treated to a lecture and book-signing by a member of the Little Rock Nine, Carlotta Walls LaNier, this last Wednesday evening.

The lecture, which occurred from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. with another 30 minutes for questions, detailed the difficulties she had while growing up in the Separate but Equal era. She openly talked about the challenges she faced while attending the first federally-mandated desegregated school, even with American soldiers escorting her to and from classes.

Mrs. LaNier also spoke of her appreciation for the attentiveness and emotional investment that many of the audience members had throughout her presentation. “Such a warm welcome from all of you,” she said shortly after receiving a standing ovation for walking onstage.

The presentation received an overall positive response from the attending Hood students, many of whom complimented the powerful emotions displayed and evoked by Mrs. LaNier throughout it.

Zachary Helmold, a freshman at Hood, said, “It was really captivating. I got to experience her personal chat at 3:45 p.m. today, and I enjoyed being able to see the actual emotion behind her book. I thought the book was very well-written, and that she connected it well with her lecture.”

Similarly, Amber George of the Class of 2016 voiced her approval for the lecture following its conclusion. “I thought her speech was empowering, well-spoken, and culturally-driven,” she said.

The presentation was planned-out and prepared by the First-Year Reads Program at Hood, which selects culturally-relevant and thought-provoking books for freshmen students to read before their first year begins.

“We try to make it relevant,” Dr. Martha Bari said about the program.

Dr. Bari is the head of the First-Year Reads Program, and is directly involved in the process for choosing each book and organizing lectures by their respective authors. She said that both of these can take great lengths of time, with the presentation by Mrs. LaNier requiring four months of preparation to organize, and the book selection often requiring a year to finish.

Although Dr. Bari had only met Mrs. LaNier the day of the presentation, she said that she was very impressed by her generosity and manners. “She was down-to-earth, and treated everyone equally. I admire that.”

In November, the program will put out a call for nominations for the first-year read for the Class of 2019. Typically, current events influence what the designated book will be based off of its subject matter.

Dr. Bari stated that she does not believe that one book can change the reading habits of anyone, but that she hopes to inspire creativity and critical thinking in students with the program. “There are amazing opportunities here, if you just grab them.”