Superbowl 50 and Beyonce

Isabella Reese

This past Sunday, many Americans crowded their TV’s and local bars to watch the Superbowl. Though neither of the teams were local, the hype was still felt regardless.

I won’t speak as if I watched the Superbowl because I like football. In fact, I couldn’t care less. I only wanted to see one thing, and I don’t think I’m alone: the halftime show. Coldplay, Beyonce, and Bruno Mars? Honestly, what could be better?

However, the show was met with much controversy. Specifically, Beyonce’s performance. Just the day before, she had released the video for the song she performed, “Formation.”In this song, she shares her pro-black sentiments and as Jesmyn Ward for NPR said in a recent article:

“She sings to those of us who grew up black in the American South, who swam through Hurricane Katrina, who watched the world sink, who starved for two weeks after the eye passed, who left our dead floating in our houses. She sings to those of us who were displaced, to Las Vegas, to Los Angeles, to Hartford, who lived for months or years or still live in those other places, when the living heart of us is bound so tight with oak and pine we can barely breathe.”

Much of the criticism is coming from, you guessed it: white people. As a white American, I felt a weird sense of conflict. Should I add to matters that don’t concern me, or should I use what little understanding I have to clear up misconceptions that people who share my privilege have?

Like, for instance, diversity. I’ve heard tell of many who say that her show wasn’t “diverse” because there were no white backup dancers. It should be made clear that in a song about issues concerning the Black American population, having white back-up dancers for the sake of diversity is quite daft. It’s almost like saying that we should include men’s opinion in how women care for their bodies. It’s fine, but not really necessary, as women know their bodies better than men.

It’s been said that her song and the performance (in which she and her dancers pay tribute to the Black Panther party) is “an attack on cops.” Since when has criticism and empowerment come to be known as an attack? It’s painfully obvious at this point that not all police are bad. We’ve all seen videos of cops dancing with children or being silly. But, when there is consistent profiling and brutal treatment of a certain group of people within the same police force, it’s something that cannot be ignored. We can’t forget Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, and the almost countless others who have lost their lives by saying “not all cops are bad.”

In the end, to be white in a world where it feels like everyone is a target except for you means that white opinions on black are irrelevant. We don’t decide what is good and what is bad, what is right and what is wrong. We won’t, and never will, understand these experiences with the depth that those who have not been served justice do. It wouldn’t be fair if those who haven’t suffered get to choose what is suffering and what isn’t. To my fellow white people, I hope that we can at least keep each other in check and understand our privilege. Maybe then we can make some real progress toward peace.

Students React to Tatem Changes

Tatem Reaction

After being closed for more than a year for renovations, the Tatem Arts building opened for spring semester classes.

Students now have a new moot courtroom, archaeology lab, 16-computer Mac lab and studios for senior art students on the ground floor of the academic building. The renovations also included upgrading classrooms and the other art studios.

The grand opening was Feb. 5, 2016, where the Hood community observed the improved building. Students’ opinions to the changes were mostly positive.

“It is a much-needed facelift,” senior Mary Horabik said. She is glad to have two courses in the “fresher” building for her final semester.

Each building has its own identity, senior Meg Locey said. Rosenstock is more eclectic in the subjects taught in it, but they feel more comfortable back in Tatem, Locey said.

An art and archaeology major, Horabik felt “out of place” when her classes were moved to Hodson during the renovations, she said.

“It is our building, and they took it away from us,” Locey said. She is also glad to be back for her final semester, she said.

Both added it did not matter what the new interior of Tatem was. Horabik and Locey were just glad to return to the building they have spent so much time in since starting at Hood; they had not even noticed much of what it looks like now.

Horabik said she is most excited about the new archaeology lab. The room is not yet complete, but is usable.

The other large new addition is the moot courtroom on the second floor.

To have the room is a good educational experience, but it was built incorrectly, senior Allen Paxton, Law and criminal justice major, said. Criminal justice professors Janis Judson and Teresa Bean submitted a design for the room, but their dimensions were not executed during construction, he said.

The jury bench is too long, the height of the judge’s bench is wrong and the podium does not swivel, according to Paxton. There is work to make corrections, he said.

“It will be used for all sorts of trial advocacy and [students] learning how to be analytical thinkers,” Paxton said.

Before, the students used Hodson Auditorium for appeals court and jury trials. Now, they can experience them in a more real courtroom setting.

As a tour guide, Paxton said he sees more students who are interested in the Criminal Justice program here. With the courtroom, Hood can have a competitive Mock Trial team, he added.

While he will not be around to use the new space, Paxton believes the moot courtroom will be a beneficial addition to the program once it is finished.

One completed space in Tatem is the senior studio in the basement. Those working on large-scale projects in preparation for their exhibitions at the end of the year have their own area to keep all their work in cubicle-like units around the room. The layout of the studio is open for students to observe each other’s work, while working in a comfortable space.

The other studios are for everyone. Students in the arts classes have access to them 24/7, and there are open studio days for the Frederick community, according to Gary Cuddington, assistant professor of art.

With the large changes of the studios, courtroom and archeology labs, the renovations to some of the classrooms are underwhelming. The main difference between the rooms are the desks; some have new round, swivel desks and others have new, but basic square desks. The plain ones do not seem to be much better than of what were there before, Locey said.

The building is still a work in progress, as there is more construction to finish on the third floor as well.

The plan is for Tatem to be fully functional by next semester.

Will Free Speech at Hood remain protected?

As millennials, we supposedly live in an age of tolerance, yet our generation is growing less and less tolerant of different and contradictory opinions.

Campus-wide crackdowns on freedom of expression rocked American colleges throughout 2015. From University of Oberlin students attempting to halt a lecture by feminist speaker Christina Hoff Sommers, to faculty at the University of Missouri threatening student journalists, the year was marked by numerous efforts to snuff out ideas deemed “dangerous” by moral crusaders.

Support for censorship seems to be growing common among university students. A 2015 survey from McClaughlin and Associates revealed that, out of 800 college students polled from across the country, 63 percent favored introducing trigger warnings into course workloads and syllabi, and 51 percent supported regulating speech for students and faculty.

In addition, a Pew Research Center poll taken on Nov. 20 last year revealed that 40 percent of American millennials polled said they believed the federal government should be able to censor any speech considered offensive against minorities. This is up from 27 percent of Generation X members and 24 percent of Baby Boomers.

Anyone who spoke out against the rising tide of censorship was silenced or harassed into submission. In the last few months alone, several student reporters who have criticized the Black Lives Matter movement have reportedly received death threats and suffered newspaper budget cuts.

Although Hood College is getting through the anti-free speech phase unscathed, the possibility of it reaching the campus still lingers. Will we see student organizations and faculty members demanding that speakers and groups with opposing beliefs be silenced?

Commonly, hate speech is seen as a target for censorship. However, due to the broad nature of the claim of hate speech, it can be seen in any number of actions.

In the right light, anything from criticizing social justice movements to using seemingly-innocuous words can be construed as hate speech.

College campuses are supposed to be open environments for the free exchange of ideas. Today, they almost serve as places of indoctrination, where feelings triumph over reason and debunked ideas like the wage gap continue to be taught as facts.

More than three decades after 1984, the average college student still lives in fear of committing wrong think, carefully watching their words to avoid angering overzealous activists. Who needs Big Brother monitoring them when their own classmates will gladly single them out and harass them to look “progressive” in front of their friends?

I believe there is still hope, though. Campus censorship has experienced a heavy backlash since its peak in late 2015, with comedians like Bill Maher and even President Obama criticizing student censorship efforts.

I hope that Hood never implements regulations on speech. The free exchange of ideas is an essential part of the college experience. Without it, students will never be exposed to new ideas outside of curriculum-approved ideologies.

The general American public seems to have grown tired of uptight censors policing universities across the country. Time will tell if its student population feels the same way.

Hood Events

Hood Events

What is the measure of a good Hood event? It’s not something I thought about much until this year, because for the most part, I’ve always been a fan of the various events Hood organizations put on. I like quiz competitions and movie nights and comedians. During my freshman year, I think I went on every trip that was offered, whether it was to Baltimore or D.C. Don’t even get me started on bingo. I’ve stayed the entire time during every bingo night since my first semester. I’ve still yet to win anything, but that’s beside the point.

So generally speaking, I’ve liked the events, or at the very least, I used to. This year, there’s definitely been a bit of a lull, although I’ll admit I don’t know who the blame should go to. I want to blame the organizations who normally threw the events, but I also understand that things happen. Trips have gotten cancelled because people haven’t signed up. Events have been downplayed because of weather or other circumstances. There are people (mostly students) in these organizations who do really care, and who have done their best to put together fun events for the students.

So I’m not going to blame them, or at least not entirely. There’s one thing – one department in particular – that’s really off their game. I don’t know if it’s one person or a lot of people, but someone needs to step up to the plate. Because what is up with the advertising this year?

To put it bluntly, it feels like we haven’t gotten any. We almost never get a week’s advanced notice on any event. Sometimes, we get told about an event the day before it happens. A lack of advertisement makes students feel like the events aren’t worth attending. When

students don’t attend the events, they’re usually not good. The few people who do attend these events don’t enjoy them, so even less people are attending. Then, the people who are throwing the events feel like there isn’t any need to do more, because people aren’t showing up anyways. Sensing a pattern?

I think there have been a lot of events this semester that have had potential, but they haven’t been giving enough advertisement to really live up to it. For a Hood event to be successful, the students have to show up. We need to be told about the things going on around our campus, and we need to be told that they are going to be fun and big.

Because when students are told about something big happening on campus, they usually show up. Hood is a small liberal arts school. Not to generalize, but our campus is filled with diverse groups of people who appreciate things like bingo and jeopardy, trips to other places and movie nights. If the students are made aware of an event, the turn-out is usually pretty big. This leads to popular events. An e-mail and a couple of posters would probably suffice. Someone just needs to remember to do it before it’s too late.

First Saturday: Fire and Ice

fire and ice

Fire and Ice attracted a large crowd to view the ice sculptures and fire shows in downtown Frederick.

Attendees could view ice sculptures of various animals, pose with them, one of them even dispensed iced tea, and student could pose with a frozen version of the Hood sign. The event was sponsored by many businesses throughout Frederick. There were 77 ice sculptures in total.

Along Carroll Creek an ice sculpture was being carved, then later that night also a fire performance. Free hot chocolate and s’mores as well as a trolley that went to seven different stops were offered throughout the even last Saturday.

Many businesses offered free samples for the event, stayed open later, had sales or different products to encourage business.

Hood student, Suvana Batajoo, said, “It was nice to know that a lot of the ice sculptures reflected parts of Frederick in one way or the other. It was just overwhelming with too many people. However, I enjoyed it overall.”

This event is typically the most attended First Saturday event of the year according to locals, which was clear from the packed streets and restaurants.

Sunset Apartments

Sunset Apartments

Students who get approved for living in the apartments at Sunset, won’t be able to select the specific apartment that they get to live in.

“You are just going to be approved for an apartment or not approved for an apartment. Most people don’t really care from what I hear where they are going to be in the apartment. They are just happy that they are going to be there,” Troutman stated.

One major reason as to why this change is happening is because Hood’s lease with the Sunset apartments will be up in summer 2016. Troutman states that ideally, he would like to have the apartments together, but it is harder to do that because of the non-Hood students who reside in Sunset.

“It is really impossible right now, we can’t just make the non-Hood people move. We hear it from our point of contact over there, well the non-Hood people were complaining about the noise and things like that,” Troutman said.

Troutman states that the staff of Residence Life, as well as himself, have talked with the management of the Sunset Apartments in saying that one of the things that Hood would like to discuss is the renegotiation of the leases.

“They were resistant to it [signing the new leases] and so we did the survey,” Troutman said.

With the survey that Residence Life conducted, Troutman said that about every other comment from the survey stated that the buildings need to be closer together.

With that survey that Troutman held, he is able to bring that information to the management of Sunset.

“When we go to talk with them this semester about this, it is good that we have it from the students’ mouths with their feedback. It is not us just making this up,” Troutman stated.

Troutman said that if this transition were to happen, the changes would be made over the summer.

Students, who want to live in the apartments, must be a rising junior, senior, or graduate student who is approved through Residence Life.

The Sugar

Kathryn Nagiel

I am a senior at Hood, and have had diabetes for 20 of my 22 years of existence. When people ask about it, I usually say something like, “I’m just so used to it now,” or “I don’t even realize that I’m different,” and both of those responses are 99% true. However, there are times I feel that diabetes makes me different, but not for the reasons one might expect.

Injecting insulin and checking my blood sugar have become automatic actions. I do not mind when people stare as I prick my finger, or when they ask if my shots hurt. However, I still cringe every time somebody asks, “What type of diabetes do you have?” This question seems innocent, and I do not blame anyone for asking because they may not know what they are insinuating. But when I am asked this question, I have been conditioned to hear “Are you that fat, lazy, and unhealthy person or the one that just happens to have an unfortunate autoimmune disease?” To this day I find myself immediately defending myself, saying that no, I was not fed a steady diet of junk food as a baby, and yes, my pancreas just decided that it didn’t want to produce insulin anymore. I did not neglect to take care of myself, I have always been active, and I still try to eat nutritionally (as much as is possible for a college student… I tend to give into my craving for curly fries from the Blazer).

Lately though, I’ve been getting increasingly irritated for instantaneously trying to protect myself from accusations of having Type 2 diabetes. After my most recent encounter with the “What type?” question, I realized that I was angry, not anxious, to be asked this question again.

Person I just met, why does it matter what type of diabetes I have? Curiosity is fine, that is not the issue. In fact, I like to educate people about the difference between the two types. The problem comes when preconceived notions about diabetes color the way people view diabetics. Since I do have Type 1, I have always been able to quickly get out of the judgement zone. However, if someone is truly concerned about my wellbeing, he or she would not worry about the reasons why I have developed the disease, but instead focus on the present condition and how to help.

Flash conclusions about my condition do not only affect me. When I was first diagnosed, my young mother went to informational groups for individuals with diabetes. When another group member saw my mother at the meeting, she told my mother that she should be ashamed for having diabetes at such a young age. I assume that this woman thought my mom had Type 2 diabetes, and that she hadn’t been taking care of herself. This is wrong on multiple levels. I have obviously had to deal with the fact that I have diabetes, but my parents have had to deal with the disease plus false, uneducated accusations about their child-rearing abilities and decisions. I have amazing parents, and I know without doubt that they have never had harmful intentions.

While my parents, especially my mom, were dealt wrongful judgements, they are smart people, and know that they did not do anything bad. Unfortunately, many parents, specifically those of children with Type 2 diabetes, are stuck with guilt that they do not deserve. These parents are accused of making poor decisions for their children. It is easy to point a finger and say that a parent is at fault for not encouraging exercise or cooking healthy foods, but in reality, I believe that most parents are doing the best that they can. Loving parents do not want to hurt their children, and when they are accused of this, it takes away time and energy that could be spent on helping the child. Prevention is great, but it cannot help after a child is already diagnosed, so it is not productive to focus on the past.

Most people know that Type 2 diabetes is on the rise, and these statistics are always paired with rising obesity statistics. Americans are more obese than ever, but we are more than ever before scared of becoming fat. Obesity is often equated to lack of self-control, which may then be equated to weakness. I wholeheartedly believe that as long as the current view of Type 2 diabetics prevails, that is the diabetic as the sloppy person, the poor person, the minority person, the lethargic person, the obese person, the old person, the less than being a capable and civilized and hardworking person, there can never be true healing. Because even after he or she loses weight and possibly does not have to rely on insulin anymore, this person knows that if they ever slip back into that previous form of themselves, they reacquire the shame and the judgement, plus the new burden of having failed.

A few summers ago, I spent some months in an eating disorder recovery center. Rates of eating disorders are particularly high in adolescents with Type 1 diabetes. One reason is likely because we constantly have to focus on food in an already food obsessed nation. Recently, I have also come to believe that so many of us have more trouble because we go out of our way to appear slim, so people know that we did not make “bad” life choices and end up with the “bad” type. For people with eating disorders, this is a common factor, even when diabetes is not involved. We need to appear in control, and to become obese would appear out of control. When someone says the word “diabetes,” people inevitably think of an obese person. What I’m trying to articulate is that they have become synonymous.

Facts: Type 2 diabetes does not mean obese. Neither “obese” nor “Type 2” mean unlovable, invaluable, or incapable. Why does it matter if you struggle because of something everyone deems preventable or if you struggle because your own body turns on you? Why should that matter in every other aspect of your life? It shouldn’t, and it is appalling that it currently does, not just for diabetics, but for various sorts of conditions.

Please stop criticizing and assuming. Please don’t fear obesity for trivial reasons. Of course losing weight can help certain health conditions, but a lower weight, slimmer appearance, and lack of disease do not make a person’s character better. Commend that person ALWAYS, regardless of shape, size or health. That is all.

The Trials and Tribulations of Smith Hall

Alexandra Skouras

The everyday burdens that come with living in Smith Hall have given it the honor of being the worst Residence Hall available to students. From its wide array of broken appliances to an unkempt kitchen that people are often afraid to enter for the sake of their health, Smith Hall has become a running joke on Hood College’s campus.

Burnt popcorn, burnt hair, and other acrid smells have merged to form an ever-present noxious odor that lingers in the hallways. The unpleasant scent of the building is a small inconvenience in comparison to the traumatizing third floor gas leak that left half of the inhabitants coughing and gasping for air and sent a few residents to the hospital.

The sinkless dorm rooms are yet another burden of living in Smith Hall. While students living in Coblentz and Memorial have the luxury of sinks in their own bedrooms, residents of Smith Hall do not, which sends them on frequent trips to the bathroom. Bathrooms which, it should be noted, have such variable water temperatures that students have taken to yelling “warning” before flushing toilets so as to not to scald anyone who is in the shower.

Despite the endless struggles that come with life in Smith Hall, third- and fourth-floor occupants of the building can look forward to a free cardio workout plan. The ancient elevator has been out of commission for months now, allowing Smith Hall residents to feel the burn in their quads several times per day as they trek several flights of stairs while bearing the scoliosis-inducing weight of their education on the straps on their backs. The piece required to fix the 65-year-old elevator is allegedly out of manufacture, leaving students to wonder how dreadful move-out day might be.

Through the trials and tribulations of Smith Hall living, residents remain positive. The struggles of life in Smith Hall have fostered an attitude of solidarity among occupants which makes living in the building much more tolerable. Though reparations for the hassles faced daily by students is

unlikely, everyone can agree that Smith Hall residents deserve, at the very least, a P.E. credit for their struggles.

Dr. Edgar Schick released from duties as Provost

Hood has seen its fair share of transitions these past couple of years, especially when it comes to staffing changes. Students are no strangers to welcome lunches, search committees and presentations from possible administrative and leadership position candidates.

2015 brought with it the farewell to President Ronald J. Volpe and welcomed Dr. Andrea E. Chapdelaine as our current president. With a semester under Dr. Chapdelaine’s belt, and after several changes to the Student Engagement team, staffing interest has shifted back to the position of the provost.

Dr. Kate Conway-Turner used to hold the position of Provost before leaving Hood to accept a position as President of SUNY Buffalo State. During this transition and while the presidential search was under way, Dr. Edgar Schick took on the role of Interim Provost.

While the Hood community was in the know about a search committee looking for a new provost to join Dr. Chapdelaine, it came as quite the surprise to learn that Dr. Schick’s contract was ended early. In an email to Hood faculty on Feb. 1, President Chapdelaine announced that she had ended the contracted services of Dr. Edgar Schick and that his last day would be Friday, Feb. 5.

President Chapdelaine wrote: “I am grateful to Dr. Schick for his service during this period of transition and wish him well in future endeavors.”

The letter to faculty went on to inform that the search for a new provost was underway and that she expected to appoint someone to the position this summer. She also requested that anyone interested in assisting her and Julie Chalk in their efforts to fulfill the provost’s responsibilities should contact her.

When The Blue and Grey approached President Chapdelaine for a followup, she apologized that an email had not gotten out to the students about the decision as was originally intended, and a day later, students received the same letter that the faculty originally did.

President Chapdelaine also said that she could not comment on the decision to end the contract because it is a “personnel matter”.

President Chapdelaine was happy to share that she was busy working on details to divide and concur the work of the provost and she was grateful to already have heard from several faculty members who had offered to help dedicate their time and support.

During the same week that Dr. Schick’s contract was ended, President Chapdelaine was in Washington D.C. to conduct the first round of interviews for provost. As stands, there are 13 candidates, but Dr. Chapdelaine plans to select between three and five to invite to campus for interviews during the week of February 21st.

When attempting to contact former Interim Provost Schick for comment, an automatic email reply stated, “Effective February 2, 2016, Dr. Schick is no longer with Hood College” though staff, faculty and students were told that Dr. Schick’s last day would be Feb. 5.