Class banners to be rotated each year

This story has been updated.

In an email that President Chapdelaine sent to students, “I have heard continued concern from some students regarding potential change to the traditions of Hood. With regard to the banners in Whitaker, there is no plan to remove them. The only current consideration is whether we should find a second location to hang banners, as the space in Whitaker is insufficient for all of the banners, many of which from earlier years are already in storage. Let me reassure you that the administration and I are committed to preserving Hood traditions, a cherished and important part of our community.”

Dean White, Dean of Students, said, “We are looking to coordinate with the Hood College archives, alumni house and art department to preserve and rotate the class banners in Whitaker as we are currently out of space to display them along the railings. The oldest hanging banner is from the Class of 1985, and we do not want the paint to deteriorate. Students have not yet completed their design for this year’s class banners.”

The Blue and Grey talked with Thrumond Maynard II, Director and Chief of Campus Saftey, about the concern of safety of students with the banners, “I do not think they pose any significant safety or security threat to the community.”

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Green Neighbor Forum

PowerPoint Presentation

On March 12th, early on a chilly pre-spring morning, a hundred-some Hood College students and Frederick residents gathered to be a part of the annual Green Neighbor Forum, a series of forums educating citizens and students alike on simple and accessible ways to be more environmentally friendly.

Kicking off the event was keynote speaker Eric Eckl, LLC of Water Words that Work, a firm that acts as a general contractor and manages various projects and campaigns in a way that is both sustainable and environmentally friendly.

According to a study that he presented from the Gallop group, the top problems that people surveyed worried about had to do with water. In his speech, Eckl began with mentioning all of the different ways that we use water in our lives and how we can use it in a creative and sustainable way.

He concluded his speech by highlighting his key point, “The Diffusion of Innovations”, and their environmental impacts, such as bottled water, for example. Originally, it was only for those who were “pretentious enough to drink it,” but that it is now normal, albeit extremely environmentally degradative. He says that the things that seem strange now, like green roofs and rain barrels, will eventually become the new normal, just like bottled water, and how we can all become innovators and empower others to spark lasting environmental change.

The day shifted after this, everyone migrating to their morning forum of choice. Of these forums, relating to the key topics of Eckl’s speech, one could choose a workshop on installing rain barrels, using technology to better support home energy management, or one on the importance of recycling and consuming less.

I decided to attend the rain barrel installation forum. I commute, so it would be easy to use the dusty, old rain barrel in my backyard to water my lawn in the warm coming summer months. So, the first workshop that I went to was about how to responsibly and properly begin using one.

The speaker was Jenny Willoughby, sustainability manager of Frederick County. In her forum, she taught the group the rights and wrongs of using rain barrels to collect rainwater for use around the yard, washing one’s car, etc.

“Using a rain barrel is a visual statement,” she said. “It can start a conversation with neighbors, which might lead to ‘would you like help with your rain garden?’ And so on.”

Being a part of such a visual movement is what brings the community together, and can help to really begin the cultural shift toward a more environmentally-centered mindset. This, in turn, is really what will begin the long journey toward environmental sustainability and progress toward a healthier Earth.

The second workshop that I attended was about recycling more and wasting less, led by Annmarie Cramer, one of the coordinators for the recycling program in Frederick county. She said that on average, we produce approximately seven pounds of waste per day per person, trash and recyclables included. What does that mean for us here at Hood?

We all probably know about how Hood doesn’t seem to be very big on recycling, and have heard the rumor that facilities doesn’t separate trash from recyclables. As students and future leaders, what can we do now to make recycling and reducing our waste a priority? Should we buy reusable bamboo utensils instead of using disposable ones? Not using a bag when we

get food to-go at the Blazer? Taking notes on our laptops and tablets instead of in notebooks? The possibilities are endless.

During lunch, a vegetarian meal accompanied by factoids about the harmful effects of eating meat, people were asked to discuss the various hot-topics that were scattered on placards on each table. After the discussions, the day shifted gears toward the hands-on seminar.

These hands-on seminars, of which participants had three to choose from. I decided to attend The Birth of a Green Roof, led by Peter Ensign of LiveRoof Brand roofs.

He showed participants what he would normally show to a firm that he would represent, which detailed the the positive economic effects that green roofs have been shown to have, and the positive effects that it can have on well being, which is the main reason that businesses choose to invest in green roofs.

It can bring together billionaires and homeless people, he said, and that it’s simply people on their knees, planting vegetables and plants, and getting to know each other.

After his presentation, our small group created our own small tiles of crushed-up seedums, a hardy and tolerant mix between a coniferous and deciduous plant, which is typical of the work he does with his clients.

Now, hypothetically speaking, what kind of implications would this have for us, Hood College students? Not only would having access to public roof-top garden decrease our general stress and well being (as numerous studies have shown), but it would bring students together in a new way. No club meetings, no assignments, no internships, just a common love for being outdoors and enjoying what nature as to offer. Plus, wouldn’t it be cool?

As students, and more importantly, as humans, we should strive for progress in our communities. Whether it’s seeking out a recycling bin rather than tossing out our recyclables in the nearby waste bin, visiting the hypothetical roof-top garden and planting all kinds of vegetables and herbs, or eating organic and local food whenever possible, today, I personally have a lot of hope for our potential as an academic institution.

We are more than just GPA averages, club attendances, and athletes, we are a community. We all depend on each other, and we must always consider the possible ramifications of each and every one of our actions, how they affect one another, and most critically, how they impact our Earth, the only Earth.

The Green Neighbor Forum was more than just a mandatory assignment or a disturbance in our schedule. It was a sign of our community growing and becoming a more cohesive whole, and that our world may be headed on a different path than what is predicted, maybe a better path.

Maybe every building will have green roofs, maybe everyone will recycle, or better yet, maybe we will abandon our consumer tendencies in favor of a more sustainable lifestyle. Maybe, albeit hopefully, environmental stewardship will become the new normal.

Clutter feature in Email

Recently Hood students have been finding that not all of their emails have been going to their inbox, but rather to a folder called “Clutter” set up by the email server.

Clutter is a Microsoft feature that takes emails that it believes you will delete or are not of importance and move it to the Clutter folder by the program. There are a variety of factors that Microsoft looks at before messages are moved like the user’s participation in the conversation.

For some students this has been an inconvenience, senior Sara Eckard tweeted “Found out that clutter suddenly started picking up my emails this week and I’m not a fan.”

Eckard later said that she turned off the feature and believes that it has been working since. “Once I had realized that anything not coming from faculty was going to my clutter, I went in and found week’s worth of student events emails. I was able to fix it, or at least I believe I did. I now check it regularly to make sure I’m not missing anything and so far it’s been good,” said Eckard.

“Hood IT does not recommend, nor discourages, the use of this feature. The decision to use this feature is purely at the discretion of the Office365 user,” said Bing Crosby, e-mail administrator.

Crosby provided more information on the program, Clutter is turned on by default, and that the feature is trainable, the user can send certain emails to clutter, as well as move them out of clutter and into the inbox.

If students want to turn off the feature, they must click “Options>Mail>Automatic processing>Clutter,” according to Crosby.

Trump Phenomenon: Examining the Mystery

We’re going to have Donald Trump around for a while, which prompts the question: What is the Trump Phenomenon? Or, to put it more critically, what do his candidacy and his success so far tell us about the state of the nation?

Trump’s campaign has stunned America’s political establishment. It is no longer unimaginable that Trump could win the GOP nomination — doubtful, but not unimaginable.

Trump is in a commanding position. He won South Carolina’s Republican primary without difficulty Saturday, capturing one-third of the total votes. This win puts him at a great advantage over his competitors.

Trump’s appeal is simple — he speaks his mind. The “worse” he gets, it seems, the more well liked he becomes. Watching Trump is ultimately cringe worthy, yet Americans can’t help but wonder: what will he say next? Along the campaign trail, Trump has said many things that have raised more than a few eyebrows. A few that stand out are his comments on immigration and Muslims.

First, Trump sparked outrage among Mexicans and Latinos. “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best,” Trump said during his presidential announcement, “They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people,” he added with some uncertainty. Following the recent shootings in San Bernardino, Trump stated in a press release that he “is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.”

Obviously, Trump will never be accused of being P.C. While avoiding offensive behavior is what brings people and communities together, modeling our behavior after Trump’s would only lead to tearing communities apart. Trump doesn’t try to hide what he truly thinks. How he gets away with it is the real mystery. Though some commentators have suggested that he’s tapping into people’s anger and frustration. People feel that ordinary politics from Washington D.C. has bypassed them; the jobs have gone, the hope has gone, and now along comes Donald Trump, whose strong message resonates with them.

Trump is funny and maybe worth a twitter follow for the pure entertainment value. However, if Trump were really elected it would not be a laughing matter. Donald Trump, in my opinion, appeals to fear and anger, but not hope. I have confidence and faith that America can do better than Donald Trump. The last thing America needs is to hand the podium over to a bully and a fear monger, especially one who is so truly feeble. It is not beyond me to state that Donald Trump would be a political disaster.

Poverty, Education of Women Discussed in “Girl Rising”

girl rising

Women’s History Month at Hood College continues with a documentary on poverty and women’s education in developing countries.

The film, entitled “Girl Rising,” focuses on nine girls from countries including Peru and Haiti, and the challenges they face in order to receive an education. Three of the nine stories were shown to an audience of students and faculty in Hodson Auditorium Thursday afternoon.

A short panel on the benefits of educating girls followed after the screening. Among those participating were Hood’s own Dr. Michael Coon and Dr. Shelley Reid.

Dr. Paige Eager, one of the screening’s publicists, said, “Watching documentaries like this will hopefully open people’s eyes.”

Dr. Kiran Chadda, director of multicultural affairs at Hood, was the primary organizer of the event. She said she hoped it would help students understand the importance of education and its impact on girls.

The empowerment and contributions of women were key themes of the documentary. Among the statistics brought up during its screening was the connection between income and education, and how countries with high education rates for women tend to have higher GDPs.

The department of multicultural affairs will show two other documentaries in March and April on similar global issues and concerns.

Library cuts back on circulation

The Hood College Beneficial-Hodson Library recently announced in a campus-wide email that it will be moving forward with plans to reduce their print collection.

“As part of the Campus Master Plan, the library building will be renovated into a contemporary learning commons, bringing together collaborative learning spaces and critical academic support programs under one roof,” said Toby Peterson in an email to the Hood Community.

Peterson, Library of Access services, says that the idea is for the various academic centers around campus to all be housed in the library, which he says will help create a better and more effective learning environment.

“The building is going to be renovated to include other academic support programs, like IT, CAAR, maybe the center for teaching and excellence, basically to get us all under one roof,” Peterson said. “So we can offer better services to students and become like a one-stop shop.”

To make room for these changes, the print collection will have to be reduced. Peterson said that the Hood Library has teamed up with a company called Green Glass, Sustainable Collection Services. This system gives the library a database of all our print books, and statistics on how often they are taken out.

“Of course, we [don’t plan to remove] our faculty publications, our alum publications, or special collections, our reference collection” Peterson said. “We didn’t even want to consider weeding those.”

The books that will be leaving will be items that have not circulated in at least over twelve years. Additionally, we will continue to be a part of the Inter Library Loaning system, meaning that we can get other books from Maryland very quickly.

Peterson said that different sections will be handled differently. For instance, many computer science books will be leaving, since these books go out of date at a high rate. Alternatively, history books will be handled more carefully, as their content might not be quite as dated.

Students have expressed a variety of different opinions to the changes happening, and what it could mean for the future of the library. “As a student worker at the library, and someone who does book mending, I feel like depending on the books it’s a good idea,” senior Phillip McCarty said. “We can use that space for other things that they want to put in.”

McCarty says that many books have not been used in for fifty years, and that if no one is checking them out, there is not a point in keeping them.

Some students have expressed concern that the library will not keep the books that they enjoy. “I love the library, and I’ve gotten a lot of use out of it and the books that are there, so I’m scared that the books that they’re gonna weed out are going to be books I would’ve used,” sophomore Una Regoje said. “I hope that they will be weeding out those old type of books that nobody actually reads or uses, but I hope they don’t take out any type of literature.”

Peterson also says that students are more than welcome to voice their opinions regarding the changes. “I think it’s important for students to have a say. I would love to get some interest back,” Peterson said.

If you are interested in having your voice heard in the reducing discussion, email peterson@hood.edu.

Heroin Addiction in Maryland

Theresa Sharp

First and foremost, Maryland public officials – policy makers alike – must recognize that Maryland’s heroin crisis is in fact a public health crisis and not a legal matter. What the public needs to be informed on is not the number of drug distribution /possession arrests but the ever-growing/constant addiction to (specifically) Heroin. The community needs to be informed on its long-term and short-term effects it has on the body, and community.

The State of Maryland has done a great job of informing the community of their goal; which is to ultimately decrease the number of drug related arrest. Don’t get me wrong, this is a great goal, but getting caught, charged and being arrested is not going to “heal/fix/stop” a drug addict.

Drug addicts get their high to deal with their emotional problems, boredom, weaknesses, and even physical pain that they are struggling with. Incarceration actually enhances the issues mentioned above. People who are addictd ato drugs (specifically heroin) will always find a way to get that high.

Due to the constant need to get high, the vast majority of heroin addicts suffer severe declines in health, relationships, financial situations, personal integrity and responsibility for and to others. With this being said, addicts are a loss to a productive society completely. More often than not, theyaturn to theft, assaults, prostitution and other crimes to keep their habit(s) going.

A typical heroin addict may try to lie and hide their habit, while the physical dependency speaks for itself. The chronic use of heroin leads to physical dependence, a state in which the body has adjustedato the presence of the drug. Without that same drug “heroin” amount, a dependent user will begin to feel severe withdrawal symptoms such as: slowedabreathing, cloudedamental functioning, vomiting, drowsiness, hypothermia, coma/death due to an overdose (CCS- Medical team FCADC). In my opinion, jails and prisons are not specialized/ equipped to work with addicts due to the lack of knowledge in their field of study. What we need to invest in is more substance abuse programs with specialized professionals.

If you or anyone you know might be struggling with addiction please get yourself or them help by calling either of the following numbers:

Frederick County Hotline

(301)-662-2255 (in county)

(866)-411-6803 (out of county)

Black History Month celebrated

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This year’s Black History Month events included National Black HIV/Aids Awareness Day, the movie “Straight Outta Compton,” Uncensored Series Dialogue, Swimming in Dark Waters: Other Voices of the American Experience, and Soul Food Sunday Potluck Dinner.

According the Black Student Union President Curtis Stubbs, the events this year have had about the same attendance as in years past. The only exception to this was when compared to last year the Black Lives Matter Discussion Panel had a much larger attendance, but the rest of the events were consistent.

Compared to last year, there were only two different events. Last year there was the Black Lives Matter Discussion Panel, and a campus forum. According to Stubbs, a forum was planned for this year. However it was the same week as the Hot Topic Forum hosted by SGA so they decided to cancel theirs as they found the SGA was more pertinent.

The events are often not well attended, however, it is consistent. RSVP events are not often RSVP’d to, even by BSU members, no one responded to the Soul Food Sunday Potluck Dinner, so it has been postponed to Sunday, March 6.

According to the Assistant Director of Student Engagement and Coordinator of Diversity & Inclusion Travis Eichelberger, “The program during Black History Month is partially sponsored by BSU and partially sponsored by my office. I think last year, having the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act and having such a push to deal with social justice issues, I think it has burn out our students of color. Since they really that usually host programs and host events, I think they are tried. They don’t want to do events where people don’t come. They see on Yik Yak that people bash them every time that the issue is advertised, I think they have had conversations where they are going to adversities without their name on it.”

Stubbs agrees that there is an issue with advertisements, especially on the administrative side. Although, Eichelberger, said there have been posters with all of the events displayed around campus.

There is a lack of interest on the students part, according to Eichelberger, students don’t sign up. Like Stubbs said, no one RSVP’d to the dinner so it had to be postponed. Eichelberger believes that it does not matter how many emails are sent out, there still is not a huge interest.

Hot Topic Forum

Panel

Several changes have recently been implemented regarding residence life at Hood College. Student Government Association (SGA) organized an open forum in Coblentz Seminar Room where students had the opportunity to discuss these changes.

SGA President Katie Bailey opened the discussion and the panel proceeded to explain the changes that will go into effect.

The director of residence life, Matt Troutman, verified that the near-identical buildings Memorial and Smith Hall are only going to house first year students. This decision was based off of the college’s retention rates.

“Hood College, he explained, currently stands at 84 percent occupancy in its residence halls; the intent behind these changes is to raise the occupancy level to about 96 percent.”

In addition, strategies to implement success, especially for first year students, were examined in making this decision.

Dean White added that this will not be the first time that the college has effectuated first year housing. She assured students that interactions with other freshmen increases retention because they will be clustered into two halls. Additionally, it is hoped that the new system will help with programming for first year students.

The second biggest upcoming change will be the removal of the female-only restriction on Shriner Hall. The top two floors will remain all-female while the remaining floors will be coed.

President Chapdelaine explained that this decision was made in order to maximize occupancy since keeping the building all female was not filling it. Given Hood’s history as a women’s college, some donors appreciated the opportunity for females to continue living in an all-girls residence hall.

Students asked how this change might affect alumni donors. President Chapdelaine has not heard any negative feedback from donors said that most alumni agree with the changes. Shriner’s biggest donor was contacted, as well as other donors, and the concept has been well received. It is unrealistic to think that these changes will automatically increase enrollment. Given the demographics, these changes will not exhibit effectiveness in enrollment for at least three years. As far as renovations go, the master plan calls for only one renovation a year, as they are extremely expensive. These renovations will include improvement in insulation, bathrooms, and more. Meyran is scheduled to be renovated this summer.

Several students at the forum voiced their concern at the lack of gender neutral bathrooms available for transgender students. This will be an issue for upcoming first year students: Smith and Memorial only have one bathroom per floor, which eliminates the possibility of installing gender neutral bathrooms. Dean White explained that a committee now exists which is devoted to creating a better response to such issues.

At a small private liberal arts school, it is expected that students will voice their opinions if they feel their voices are not being heard. In other words, a ruckus was to be expected, and a ruckus indeed occurred, most notably when questions were raised regarding the survey that was sent out to students about the residence life changes.

One student brought up how the survey results revealed that 74 percent of students were against first year housing, others felt it disingenuous that the survey was sent out after executive decisions has already been made.

Troutman admitted to anticipating the unpopularity of the first year housing and President Chapdelaine addressed the matter by explaining that the survey was not sent out with the intent of using the feedback to make the decision, but rather to see what students had to say about the changes. Dean of students, Olivia White, elaborated by explaining that peer institutions and other research were examined to make a favorable decision.

A follow up interview with the discernibly exhausted president was conducted after the forum’s conclusion. She revealed that she was thrilled with the attendance, which she described as a clear indicator of student engagement.

In reference to the student’s opinions, she stated, “I thought the questions were fair ones and people had done their homework.” President Chapdelaine also disclosed a list of changes that need to be taken into consideration having heard the concerns of the students during the forum.

Among these changes was a better, more aggressive plan for gender neutral bathrooms, as well as a plan to work more closely with communication lines in order to improve conveyance of important information to students.

Student voices were heard loud and clear during the forum, where most students shared negative feedback. Regardless, these changes will be put into effect for the next school year.

Annual Student Juried Exhibition draws crowd

Justin, Ann

Photography, painting, stoneware and printmaking: Hood College students know how to create gallery quality art.

The opening reception for this year’s annual student juried exhibition on Feb. 25 saw students, professors, and members of the Hood community come to the Hodson Gallery to view the submitted works. Both undergraduate and graduate students participated in the show.

Some of the digital photographs were signed, but the rest of the pieces remained blank. With this, viewers were “looking at art rather than seeing who made it,” said senior Bonnie Monnier, who showed two photos. There was a list of all pieces in the gallery with the works’ titles and artists for people to refer to as they walked around, instead of directly on the art.

The studio art department awarded prizes for first – third places and Best of Show for undergraduate submissions and top prizes for graduate students. Before the awarding, President Chapdelaine spoke of how the students’ work “shines” in the new gallery space.

Senior Justin Fox won Best of Show for his still life digital photograph Pomegranate Seeds and Cup he created in the photo studio.

Lew Dean, senior, won first place with The Stag, his wood painting. Junior Leigh Anne Brader’s Body Image-Inspired by Mattisse paper cutouts won second place and senior Cameron Tate’s Omari print won third.

Winning Best of Show is “nice recognition for all my hard work,” said Fox. He spoke to the gallery attendees of the process behind his photograph. He said he was drawn to the pomegranates because he liked the translucency of the seeds; he spent around half an hour arranging them on the mat.

Fox has loved the photo since he took it last year, and the gallery was a good excuse to finally print and mat the image, he said. There is a lot of time, effort and expense that goes into displaying digital photographs, more than many people realize. Fox added winning an award showed him that others appreciate his work as well.

A large portion of the show is of digital photographs. Digital Photography I and Photojournalism students from photography professor Tim Jacobsen classes submitted work together. Fox said he took his photo when he was in Jacobsen’s class too. Minus those submissions, the gallery would be considerable smaller.

Junior Jennifer Forester submitted two photographs with Jacobsen’s photojournalism class. She is “definitely proud” to have her work up for everyone to see outside of the class. One of hers is across from the door, so she is happy that people see hers when they come inside, she said.

Forester said the event was not advertised enough. She would not have noticed to share her photos if Jacobsen did not tell her of the show. Students who do not have classes in Tatem this semester probably did not know of the chance at all, she said.

“Everyone knows about sport events, but they did not know about this,” said Forester. She wants more awareness on campus for art events.

The gallery is open until March 4.

Tate’s senior exhibition, Sneakers, starts April 21 in the Whitaker Gallery. Fox’s, Overlooked, is April 28 in the Hodson Gallery.