Joshua Davis, author of Spare Parts, visits Hood

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Joshua Davis, journalist, storyteller and author of the first year read, Spare Parts visited Hood’s campus on Oct 21. Joshua Davis’ comical anecdotes engaged the audience from the very beginning of his talk. He spoke of graduating from college with an economics degree and being in debt. He also talked about how he went to the U.S. arm wrestling championships on a whim and ended up coming in 4th place (out of four competitors).

He discovered journalism after a colleague told him that he should tell his arm wrestling story to a magazine; he hasn’t looked back since. Davis has traveled all over the world to investigate different stories including Iraq in 2003, which lead to his job at Wired magazine.

Davis’ proceeded to tell the audience about the press release he got from Carl Hayden Community High School in Phoenix, AZ in early 2005 about their underwater robotics team. The team consisted of Cristian Arcega, Luis Aranda, Lorenzo Santillan and Oscar Vazquez; four undocumented high school students had beat MIT and won the Marine Advanced Technology Education Robotics Competition which was sponsored by NASA and the Navy.

Fredi Lajvardi, the mentor to the students, exclaimed to Davis that no media had covered their amazing feat. Davis’ explained how he went to Carl Hayden in 2005 and witnessed the magnitude of what the four boys did. He explained that the boys’ decision to go to the competition in Santa Barbara, even with the risk of being caught and deported, ultimately helped create the argument of immigrant rights in the U.S. He said that the reason he wanted to tell the story of the boys at Carl Hayden Community High School because he could tell that the robot they had created gave the boy’s lives meaning and the fact that the “American Dream” is not an easily achievable feat.

Davis’ spoke about the boys struggles in life after winning the Marine Advanced Technology Education Robotics Competition. The boys struggled to achieve their goals of going to college and joining the army. Simply because they had won the competition didn’t mean they now had more opportunities. They were still undocumented. Though they struggled, all four boys ended up getting on their feet by 2015; it just took them longer to do it.

Joshua Davis closed with the fact that we should put ourselves out there and step out of our comfort zone. He said our decisions, like the four boys decision to go to Santa Barbara for the competition, can have ripple effects that effect our lives one way or another.

Read Spare Parts by Joshua Davis to learn more about Cristian Arcega, Luis Aranda, Lorenzo Santillan and Oscar Vazquez and their journey to The Marine Advanced Technology Education Robotics Compeition.

Mayday Parade headlines the AP Tour

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Mayday Parade, this year’s headliner of the Alternative Press Tour made its way to Maryland on Oct. 18 at the Fillmore in Silver Spring, MD. The opening acts included budding pop punk stars As It Is, This Wild Life, and Real Friends who all paved the way for Mayday Parade’s set.

The members of Mayday Parade include Derek Saunders (Lead Vocals, Piano, and Acoustic Guitar), Jake Bundrick (Vocals, Drums), Alex Garcia (Lead Guitar), Brooks Betts (Guitar), and Jeremy Lenzo (Bass Guitar). Together the five members from Tallahassee, FL, have created seven albums in the 10 years they have been together.

Some recognizable songs include Terrible Things, Jamie All Over, Jersey, Ghosts, and Miserable at Best. Before the beginning of the Alternative Press Tour, Mayday Parade released their 7th album on Oct. 9 2015, titled Black Lines. The new album includes single, Keep in Mind, Transmogrification is a New Technology.

After listening to the three opening bands the crowd was beyond excited for Mayday Parade to come on stage. Mayday Parade is not necessarily known for having crowd surfers and mosh pits at their shows, but the show in Silver Spring was an exception. The audience was so amped up already from the prior bands that when Mayday Parade came on they were ready to sing and ready to dance. Just as the audience fed off the band’s energy, the band fed off of the audiences.

One of the most memorable moments of the show was when Derek Saunders, and Jake Bundrick sang Miserable at Best. They asked the crowd to sing along, and the crowd delivered. Everyone in the Fillmore was singing along to the point where Saunders and Bundrick stared into the crowd in awe of what they were seeing. The sound of fans singing to the music in harmony filled the room. There was a connection between the audience and the band that would not be obtainable by just listening to it on a phone or IPod; this was different, this was live.

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Policies for Dollars 2015: The Quest for the Pink Spoon

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The yearly Hood College tradition puts the dormitories first year students against each other in different activities from the chants, to obstacle course, skits and jeopardy, first year students got involved in the quest to win the Pink Spoon, the 500 dollars, and of course, bragging rights for the entire year.

“It’s a good way to bring freshmen together,” Phaja Prandy, first year student and Shriner floor representative said.

First year and upperclassmen had to join forces to make this night happen. Students planned from the beginning of October for this event; they attended meetings, wrote scripts, designed shirts, and had to work together in order to give their dorm the greatest chance of winning.

First year students from all dorms wore their dorms specific colors: Coblentz in yellow, Memorial in Red, Meyran in Blue, Shriner in teal, and Smith in black. From their shirts to their face paint, Hood students showed off their colors and their school spirit.

“It’s (Policies for Dollars) pretty cool; it’s not something you think would be put together. It’s set up by the school, for the school,” said First year student and Smith Hall Resident, Katelyn Long.

As the teams made it outside, the only thing that could be heard was the chanting of the five teams. They danced and got “hyped up” as they made their way over to the pergola for the announcements and rules about Policies for Dollars.

This year the judges’ panel included newly inaugurated president, Andrea Chapdelaine, Dean Olivia White, Director of Security Thurmond Maynard and Dr. Jerrold Van Winter. The five dorms were judged by their chants and skits. The teams also scored points from Hood themed Jeopardy and an obstacle course.

The skit themes included Good Burger from Coblentz, Forrest Gump from Memorial, The Meyran Military from Meyran, Alice in Wonderland from Shriner, and Scooby Doo from Smith.

The first event was using a straw to pick up M&M’s for sophomores. The next event, a dance off, was for juniors. The third event, the chubby bunny challenge, was for seniors. The fourth and final event was a combination of the upperclassmen that had to eat a donut off of a string with their hands behind their backs. Hodson auditorium erupted with laughter.

After the scores were finalized, the winners were revealed. The Winner of the 2015 Policies for Dollars was…Coblentz Hall! A sea of yellow erupted and a flag flew through the air. Coblentz

Hall’s leading Jeopardy score and hilarious skit pushed them to the top. The runner up was Meyran Hall and in third place was Shriner.

“Hood College is one family and I want us all to be hyped,” said Andrea Christmas House Forum member.

Even though the five dorms were against each other, Policies for Dollars was about coming together as first year students and upperclassmen with a little friendly competition.

What Should Be Done about Blazer Bucks?

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Blazer Bucks are a unique part of Hood College’s meal plans, but students rarely have anything positive to say about them.

“Blazer food has gone up in price and down in quantity,” one Hood student said. “It needs to be more beneficial to those who don’t like Dining Hall food.”

To get an idea of how students would want the Blazer Bucks system improved, an anonymous survey was given in the Whitaker Campus Center and the Dining Hall between Oct. 21 and 28. 133 students chose to take the survey.

To the question of “What should be done about Blazer Bucks?” four possible responses could be chosen: “Integrate Blazer Bucks into meal plans for dining hall swipes,” which 27 students selected; “Increase the total Blazer Bucks per plan,” which 35 students chose; and “Have unused dining hall meals increase your total Blazer Bucks left by a fixed amount,” which 71 students chose.

Unsurprisingly, the last option of “Nothing, it’s fine as it is,” received zero tallies.

Some students had other suggestions on how to improve the system, often referencing the meal plans at colleges like Towson and Frostburg.

Theresa Sharp, a student at Hood, said, “Aramark should utilize the community food places with Blazer Bucks.”

Suggestions from other students included better options for vegetarians, having unused meals count toward guest passes at the Dining Hall, being allowed to build a custom meal plan, and bringing back all-day breakfast sandwiches.

Although it is unlikely that any of these ideas will be implemented, it is clear that Hood students generally do not like the current system of Blazer Bucks. Whether or not the current system will change may depend on how vocal the community at Hood is about the issue.

Women’s Basketball Preview

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Photo by Charlie Covell

The women’s basketball team will start off the season on November 7th vs. Goucher College. We have been given a little preview of what the women’s basketball team expects when taking the court after interviewing head coach, Jack Mehl.

Coach Mehl believes that the Lady Blazers will be “very competitive this year and they expect to play an up tempo, push the ball up the floor style of play”. The Lady Blazers will rely heavily on their defensive pressure to force our opponents to cause turnovers. Causing turnovers will allow the “Lady Blazers to capitalize on the opponent’s mistakes by scoring at the other end”, expressed Coach Mehl. The team will be led onto the court by a very solid core of returning players. The senior class is represented by: Verkia Smith, Arianna Delerme, Alexis Briscoe, and Alexis Andrukat. The returning juniors who will play a large part in our success are Allie Appleby and Taylor McGaughey. They also expect Eboni Staples to return to the court after missing last season due to injury. The only sophomore returning is Kristin Histand. The new additions to the Lady Blazers this season are transfer Erin Martin, and the freshmen class which include: Denisha Robinson, Lauron Bagby, Jasmine Webster, Mackenzie Grove, Shannon O’ Meara, and Annyssa Greene. We are definitely looking forward to what the Lady Blazers bring to the court this upcoming season.

Men’s Basketball Preview

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The men’s basketball team will start off the season on November 3rd at Mount St. Marys. We were presented with a little preview of the season after speaking with first year head coach, Chad Dickman. Coach Dickman feels that “the men’s basketball team will have to rebuild from several significant losses off last year’s team”. One of the key losses is Chris Cook, he was the conference player of the year. Cook will be joining the Blazers as a Graduate Assistant Coach. Last year the Blazers also graduated their best leader, Terrell Buyck. They also have to replace a versatile 4-year player, Reggie Daniels. “All three started most of the games last year and were great role models for the younger guys on the team”, expressed Coach Dickman.

Coach Dickman believes that it is way too early to tell who the most valuable newcomers will be for the Blazers. The Blazers are looking to be bigger, deeper, and more skilled than they have been in the recent years. Although there are a lot of players who have never stepped foot on the court in a college game. The Blazers are going to rely on the leadership and experience from our veterans: Davon Hill, Trevor Magnuski, and Tanner Ruths.

Fans can definitely expect the same, aggressive, up-temp style of play that the Blazers have incorporated in previous years. However, Coach Dickman states that they will play different on offense. Coach Dickman said the Blazers might face some bumps early on in the season but they will gain experience as a whole. The Blazers hope to continue to get better each day and will be playing their best basketball in January and February. Coach Dickman is happy with how practice has gone and he states that all the guys have committed to improving individually and gelling as a team. He sees a lot of potential for these guys and the entire coaching staff is excited about the future of Blazer basketball.

SGA Update

The Student Government Association is in full swing once again, with a few senate meetings under its belt, events underway and a full calendar of events left to go. In October, SGA broke its new senators up into various committees led by executive board committee chairs to give a specific focus to each senator. Senators are divided up into the student life, academic affairs, traditions, public relations, finance, services, and facilities committees. SGA was excited to welcome President Chapdelaine officially during the events leading up to her inauguration. Along with CAB, SGA co-programmed a special outdoor movie viewing after Oktoberfest to get ready for Halloween with everyone’s favorite: Hocus Pocus. SGA also celebrated the inauguration by participating in the week of service at Waterford Park to clean up and remove invasive plant species. For the actual inauguration, the executive board wanted to make sure that President Chapdelaine could drive in style, so they decorated President Chapdelaine’s golfcart to celebrate her new role.

For Safe Harvest, SGA hosted pumpkin bowling once again and was thrilled to see plenty of happy bowlers knocking down ghosts with their rolling pumpkins and earning plenty of candy and prizes. SGA’s current goal is to find a better way to collect student concerns and suggestions to bring into our meetings so that we can better serve the student body. Students can look forward to some November and December meals, events and a hot topic meeting coming soon. SGA wants to congratulate Active Minds on becoming a new SGA-approved organization and The Graduate Student Association for becoming formally recognized by SGA.

Active Shooter Plan

With the unfortunate increase of campus shootings across the country, both students and their parents are eager to know how their campus is keeping its students safe.

Hood College and its trusted staff are well-aware of the dangers that hold a threat against college campuses and are equipped to handle anything. Director and Chief of Campus Safety, Thurmond Maynard, values safety over all else and has several plans and courses of action under his department’s wing.

Campus Safety possesses a lengthy document in regards to all different plans revolving around the safety and security of Hood. It includes the plan for an active shooter on campus, as well as various other protocols and strategies for other hazardous events and happenings.

Recently, there have been several changes in leadership, including the new college President, Dr. Andrea Chapdelaine and a new Director of Residence Life, Matthew Troutman. Due to these changes, the safety plan is being reviewed and revised to re-evaluate its instructions and directions to ensure it is as thorough and up-to-date as possible.

Maynard knows that students are eager to be informed when it comes to their safety, so after these revisions, he hopes to collaborate with the local police to run a presentation for the campus to inform and to answer questions. Before any other action is taken during a crisis, the police are informed, so it will be important for them to meet students and vice versa.

For the majority of dangerous events on campus, Campus Safety officers act as a deterrent for danger and work to gather intelligence for the police. Campus Safety is unarmed, so they encourage everyone on campus to shelter in place while they notify the police and send out a Hood Alert.

Maynard shares that when it comes to crisis, an individual’s course of action is left to them alone and they can choose to run, fight or hide, but Campus Safety encourages shelter in place, meaning that the individual should hide out during the event with windows drawn, lights out and being as still and quiet as possible.

When police arrive on campus, their job is to neutralize the situation by eliminating the target by whatever means possible. Maynard advises students to cooperate with the police by always keeping their hands visible and following directions until a final Hood Alert is sent out explaining that the danger is over.

Maynard said, “We are prepared just in case, because you never truly know. Every situation is different, but we have an emergency response team who have roles.”

While students might be curious to know who this team consists of and what their specific duties are, the plan cannot be made public because shooters tend to possibly be disgruntled students, staff or employees and they cannot be made privy to the plan so that they cannot outsmart it.

Maynard encourages students and their families to sign up for the Hood alert so that everyone can be aware and kept up-to-date for bad weather, unusual

situations and dangerous threats. Maynard also advised students to stay indoors and wait for instructions in all circumstances.

Maynard wants to do more fire drills and make everyone aware of their surroundings, exits, evacuation plans and building addresses in case of an emergency.

Maynard has an open door policy and is available by email for any concerns or questions. Director Maynard wants everyone to enjoy college, but also wants students to be safe and aware at all times.

Student Athletes: Aubrey Fetters and Meaghan Donahue

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What is the first thing you do before you go out and play?

Meaghan and I warm-up together and play music. The entire Men’s and Women’s team makes a huddle and we chant to get each other pumped up.

What are the biggest challenges you face during a game?

When I get in my own head or the other team gets in my head. Tennis can be a mind game as much as a physical game, so when I get frustrated I start making mistakes. Usually when this happens, it’s hard to come back from; I just have to take a minute to regroup.

How do you feel about the reputation of tennis here at Hood?

I’m not sure that tennis even has much of a reputation. Personally, I think tennis is a sport that is forgotten about. Last season, the Women’s tennis team made it to the Conference Playoffs, which was not only a big deal for our team, but for Hood athletics in general. We have also gotten MAC recognition for our teams high GPA and academic accomplishments. However, we got little to no recognition for these accomplishments here on campus, so as tennis begins to achieve some major things I hope we also create a positive reputation here at Hood.

How did it feel reaching the finals?

Reaching the finals was absolutely amazing. We are the first of Hood’s tennis team to reach not only the semi-finals, but the finals in the MAC individual tournament since we joined our current conference. We had other team’s coaches congratulating us and shaking our hands; I still feel excited when I think about it now. Meg and I needed that boost to move us into our spring season!

How did you like working with your partner?

I love playing with Meg. We are not only partners, but we are very close friends. So, we know how to encourage each other to keep our energy up and how to communicate to work cohesively. When a crucial match point is about to be played Meg and I would lock hands and tell each other that no matter what happens we still love each other. That may sound silly, but it takes the pressure off and got us all the way to the MAC finals!

Q: What is the first thing you do before you go out and play?

Aubrey: Meaghan and I warm-up together and play music. The entire Men’s and Women’s team makes a huddle and we chant to get each other pumped up.

Q: What are the biggest challenges you face during a game?

Meaghan: My biggest challenge is to not let my opponents get into my head and focus on each point and not the overall score.

Q: How do you feel about the reputation of tennis here at Hood?

Aubrey: I’m not sure that tennis even has much of a reputation. Personally, I think tennis is a sport that is forgotten about. Last season, the Women’s tennis team made it to the Conference Playoffs, which was not only a big deal for our team, but for Hood athletics in general. We have also gotten MAC recognition for our teams high GPA and academic accomplishments. However,

we got little to no recognition for these accomplishments here on campus, so as tennis begins to achieve some major things I hope we also create a positive reputation here at Hood.

Meaghan: I think we are a definite up and coming team. Hopefully now we will start to be known and get more respect from other athletes and the school as a whole.

Q: How did it feel reaching the finals?

Aubrey: Reaching the finals was absolutely amazing. We are the first of Hood’s tennis team to reach not only the semi-finals, but the finals in the MAC individual tournament since we joined our current conference. We had other team’s coaches congratulating us and shaking our hands; I still feel excited when I think about it now. Meg and I needed that boost to move us into our spring season!

Meaghan: I was so proud, and excited! I’m so proud that my partner and I were able to do it together especially since it is her senior year.

Q: How did you like working with your partner?

Aubrey: I love playing with Meg. We are not only partners, but we are very close friends. So, we know how to encourage each other to keep our energy up and how to communicate to work cohesively. When a crucial match point is about to be played Meg and I would lock hands and tell each other that no matter what happens we still love each other. That may sound silly, but it takes the pressure off and got us all the way to the MAC finals!

Meaghan: I love playing with my partner Aubrey, we work well together. I know I have her support on hand and off the court. I’m so thankful I got to share this moment in my tennis career with her.

Inauguration Improv Show

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With the inauguration of Hood’s 11th President being on Saturday, October, 17, the campus was buzzing with excitement, and more importantly, an endless list of events.

In honor of President Chapdelaine officially becoming a part of the Hood family, on Wednesday, October 14, Joe Brady hosted an improve night with a variety of improvisation troupes and a whole lot of laughter.

“Welcome to the celebration of the inauguration of the president,” Brady said, giving a wave to President Chapdelaine and her husband in the audience.

The show kicked off with everyone up on the stage. The stage was filled from side to side with all different improve groups from all over Maryland and they broke the ice by taking turns performing with people they have never met or acted with before.

The topics were taken from the audience with no preparation from the actors on stage. The first question for the audience was, what are our favorite things about fall?

The winning topic was Pumpkin Spice, of course. A slew of one-acts ensued about Pumpkin Spice lattes in the fall and brought about the invention of the Goddess of Pumpkin Spice:

“If you say pumpkin spice three times, the goddess of pumpkin spice will come, but you really have to feel it, all the way down to your Uggs.”

After treating us to some Pumpkin Spice scenarios, the stage split up and different troupes performed one at a time, each also taking a topic from the audience.

One of the groups was our very own, HIT, the Hood College Improv Troupe. They called themselves 30% of HIT as they made up exactly 33.3% of the Hood troupe.

Jake Rogers, a member of HIT, said: “HIT’s been great; it’s a really fun culture to be a part of. All of the people are interesting and hilarious and it’s always a good time. The show last week was a little strange because there were so many people and when there are more people it is difficult to get yourself into scenes, but it was definitely a good learning experience to be around all those talented improvisers and watch them do what they do best.”

The Hood group acted out some scenes from the suggestion of the Pergola as a topic which resulted from the question: what is your favorite thing about Hood College? HIT made a fun dig about our traditions and how extreme they can get by coming up with the fake tradition, “If you throw a rock at someone in the pergola, they’ll fall in love with you.”

Other improve topics included theft from friends, hotels, receiving noodles as a birthday present and teachers. There were performances rom One-Ton Prop of Baltimore, Annie Hall of Baltimore, Matt, Geo and Joe, and then everyone up on the stage together again, but this time, with anyone from the audience who wanted join.

The night was fun-filled with endless laughter since neither the actors nor the audience ever knew what was coming. It was improve at its best.

Courtney Lapsley, a HIT member, said, “…It’s always fun to work with other troupes and creating a comedic mood together, despite being nearly strangers. [The]…greatest challenge for me as an improviser [is] not to laugh at the hilarious things my scene partners tell me. Sometimes there is disconnection, but I feel we all came together and pulled it off.”