This Halloween, the 90’s are Forever


Halloween is just around the corner and if you’re anything like me, you’ll probably need some help deciding on your costume.

Being that the students here now are the last of the 90’s kids, I imagine (or at least hope) you have the same amount of nostalgia as I do. It’s a scientific fact that the 90’s were the best years in a lot of ways.

The great thing about Halloween is that this is your chance to revive it. So, why not be your favorite cartoon character from when you were a kid?

These kinds of ideas are especially awesome if you do it with some friends, and there are tons of DIY pages that ease the pressure of preparing for Comic-Con.

Have a highlighter and pencil next to you, because here’s where article annotation and research skills actually matter.

Remember “Recess”? Snag five other friends and you’ve got the crew! The looks for the Recess crowd are relatively basic and lend themselves to being inexpensive.

Take Spinelli for example, the favorite among solo Halloween goers. Her look is probably the most recognizable out of all characters (save for Ms. Finster or King Bob) and therefore gives all of the other characters context.

The thrift store is a great resource for this character and the entire posse.

Another favorite from the 90’s is “Rugrats”. It’s a great team costume idea with a lot of ways to be creative and an excuse to walk around in just a diaper and a t-shirt… Or if you’re uncomfortable with that concept, you could always swap out your diaper for some white shorts.

The costumes for this crowd are a little more involved than those of the “Recess” group, but nothing beats craftiness. Rely heavily on the thrift store and a local crafts shop for this one.

If you’re still nostalgic, have no shame, because I am too! And if you know me at all, you know that my core values are the scripts for seasons one through three of “SpongeBob Squarepants” (even though this extends into the early 2000s).

I’m still dreaming of the day someone agrees to do this with me, but SpongeBob supporters can get their best friends and create the dynamic duo of Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy (this one also requires some craftiness as well. Make me proud.).

Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy weren’t the only heroes we looked up to and the 90’s were chock full of heroes to emulate.

You can never go wrong with the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”. There are even shirts you can buy online with their abs and belts printed and ready to go.

Another almost cult classic, winning option is “The Powerpuff Girls”.  Who wouldn’t want to be any character from that show?

Basic dresses and some felt are practically all you need if you want to be the tremendous trio.

If you’re anything like me (which, by now you’re probably hoping you aren’t) “Sailor Moon” is where it’s at. And while these costumes can be a little complicated, it should be some consolation to know that all you really need is a skirt (color of course based on which ever sailor you are) a pair of long socks or tights, some ribbon to make two bows, and a white, short-sleeved shirt.

Anime fan or not, we all have some attachment to “Pokemon”, especially today. I know some of you shed a tear when your favorite childhood game got revamped.

If you really want to show your everlasting support, you can go as any of the iconic human characters like Ash, Misty or Brock, all of which have simple outfits that a thrift store or Amazon could help you out with. You can even go as Team Rocket, which is just as simple with some paint, t-shirts and black shoes.

However, you’d probably have the most fun as a Pokemon. I did when I was both 5 years old and when I was 17 years old. What’s the fun of Halloween if you can’t pretend that you’re an animal with superpowers?

What’s the fun of Halloween if you can’t pretend that it’s 1999 all over again?

The Blue and Grey Asks: What is Your Favorite Halloween Memory?


My favorite Halloween memory occurred here at Hood. It was my sophomore year, and a rather large group of friends and I decided to dress up as superheroes.

I went dressed as Green Lantern and my friends went as Batman, Wonder woman, Captain America, The Hulk, Iron Man, Superman, etc. We showed up to Fright Night dressed as the Justice League and ended up taking pictures with President Volpe who came dressed as Superman.

~ Josh McPherson


My favorite memory is giving out candy to trick or treaters for the first time. The kids were so cute.

~ Hanne-Marie Christensen


My favorite Halloween memory was one year when my dad, sister, and I decided to create a “Haunted Maze” in our front yard for all the trick-or-treaters to walk through. We spent practically the entire month of October planning and constructing the maze.

We were really excited about it and put a lot of effort into making it as scary as possible, at least what two middle school girls consider “scary.” We made decorations out of old headless baby dolls, hung up fake spider webs, and even made a little hide-out in the middle of the maze for us to jump out and scare people.

On Halloween night, all of our hard work paid off and the Haunted Maze was a tremendous success. Everyone had a blast going through the maze and we had fun attempting to scare them.

Overall, that was one of the best Halloween’s I can remember and it would be very exciting one of these years to recreate the maze and make it even better!

~ Dana Laforce

Vandals in Tatem Arts Center

The Hood College Photo Alliance has been up and running for less than two weeks and they’ve already been victim to theft in the second story halls of the Tatem Arts Center.

A bulletin board adorned with images for the grand opening of the building is now vacant in places where the selected stolen images once hung.

Comprised of mainly students enrolled in Digital Photography I and Digital Photography II, the HCP Alliance is a multifaceted mix of photographers.  Art, communications arts, and history are just a few of the majors that come together in the group.

Photography professor Tim Jacobsen, who encourages them to think outside of the box daily, leads the students on an array of creative assignments.  He believes that it is the photographer who makes the photo, not the equipment used.

Upon noticing the absence of the images, he was very distraught.

“In our situation, I’m saddened,” Jacobsen said. “On a general level, I don’t understand why anyone would want to steal other students’ works.  It just doesn’t make any sense.  It’s just sad.”

Nicole Vassallo’s image is among those missing.

Vassallo said: “I am disappointed that I am not more surprised.  I like to expect better from people in that building.  Art doesn’t just happen, it’s created.  We’re just trying to show our work and it gets taken.”

While it is appalling that anyone would help themselves to the work of others, not all are upset.

“Personally, I’m flattered that someone would want to steal my photo,” Jamie Rees, a senior, said. “Thievery is a most endearing form of flattery.”

Fall into Autumn Fashion

Finally, it’s here. After months of waiting, a brutally hot summer, and more sunburns than I could possibly count, the greatest season of the year is finally here to grace us with its too short presence.

There are lots of different reasons to love fall, whether it’s the changing leaves, the pumpkin flavored everything, or the magical scents that come along with it. But personally, I like the clothes.

Now, I will be the first to admit that I maybe like fall a little more than the average person (but also is it possible to like fall too much?). It is by far my favorite season, and while the rest of the year is okay, I guess, fall is basically the peak. And what is a good fall without a good fall style?

First, there are the boots – the glorious, dark, hardcore boots. While wearing boots is not really a seasonal thing (I wear them throughout the year, except during the summer), putting on some hardcore boots in the fall somehow just feels that much more special.

They are, some would say, they only acceptable footwear for the fall season, and if you don’t find the right pair… you might want to stay inside this year.

Obviously, the best sort of bottoms to wear with your to-die-for boots would be jeans. Skinny jeans are the only option.

Now, I’m 5’3, which means that finding a pair of skinny jeans that I don’t have to roll up is pretty impossible, but rolled up skinny jeans is a look that most everyone can work it. Or, you know, don’t roll them up, but know that you’re more or less failing fall style when you don’t

Next, you need a sweater. A warm-and-cozy-and-super-comfortable sweater.

Warm sweaters are one of my favorite items of clothing, and I also get that much happier when we get closer to the time of year when I get to wear them.

Sweaters also come in all shapes and sizes, but I would say that when it comes to fall, the bigger the better. Get a sweater that sags.

Get a sweater that feels stuffy. Get a sweater that’s a dress.

Fall wouldn’t be fall without some flashy and fashionable make-up, and for this mysterious season the darker, the better. Go crazy with your looks, and treat every day like it’s Halloween.

All I’m saying is that a day shouldn’t go by that you don’t break out the face paint. That’s not even to mention that coats.

The right fall coat can make or break your fall style, and if you end of picking the wrong one your entire fall season is basically ruined. Now, I’m not going to say that going with the classic green coat is the only option… just that you will be completely devoid of style without it.

Ultimately, of course, the most important element of fall style is to be comfortable and happy in whatever you’re wearing. Playing around with different clothing and make-up can be a lot of fun, but it’s not enjoyable if you don’t feel safe and comfortable while doing it.

The more you experiment with what you wear, the more your style will grow and change over time. Going outside the box can sometimes lead to the best discoveries.

Or, you know, you can just throw on a sweatshirt and jeans and call it a day. Really, “fall style” is just whatever you choose to wear during the fall, and there is no reason why I or anyone else should be giving advice on this stuff.

New rule: to be a true fall fashionista, dress like a pumpkin every day.

“Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” review

Tim Burton has not failed to deliver yet another stunning movie, but “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” falls into a whole new category in regards to his previous movies.

While the movie certainly has the dark moments that are to be expected from Burton, they are few and far between. There is an aura of whimsy and joy that permeates the film even in some of the most dire of scenes; however, this does not mean that Burton has chosen to downplay the conflicts present in the plot.

Expect to see scenes with unsettlingly unnaturalness, but also expect a look into some of humanities true dark acts as the stage for half this film. The movie can be divided into two even parts.

The first half is mostly exposition. Normally, taking so long to set the stage would be the downfall of a movie, but Burton is able to make that first hour entirely interesting and visually stunning.

The problem that lies in this extended introduction is that the viewer then forgets what the conflict is. There is no urgency present after the first 15 minutes.

Luckily, Burton revives the urgency before the story gets too mundane. The action in the film is short and swift, but not at all disappointing.

Every character is brilliantly utilized. The battle is entertaining from beginning to end, partly due to those involved, but also because of genius music choices.

Time, however, is the biggest thing stopping me from giving this movie 5 stars, but not because of the run time or the way it is utilized.

The movie relies so heavily on the element of time and time travel, yet it breaks so many rules established as cannon and rules established by the movie itself. Thankfully, the rule breaking only occurs within the last ten minutes of the movie, leaving the main plot largely unaffected by the confusion that results.

While I will not spoil any details, the end, unfortunately, creates more questions than answers, but not in the way that would warrant a sequel. It will leave viewers less focused on almost everything they’ve seen in the two hours before as they try to understand the way this world works.

4 out of 5 stars.

Title IX organizes Red Flag event

Left to Right: Chris Gardner, Zac Kauffman, Le Nguyen, Samuel Kebede. Anne Lessard represent organization involved in the event.  Photo courtesy of James Brown

Left to Right: Chris Gardner, Zac Kauffman, Le Nguyen, Samuel Kebede. Anne Lessard represent organization involved in the event.
Photo courtesy of James Brown

Contributing Writer James Brown

Hood College prides itself on making members of the community feel welcome and safe while providing an exceptional education to students.

Colleges and universities across the country have begun to try and maintain their healthy learning environments by raising awareness about sexual assault and unhealthy relationships among students.

An organization named ItsOnUs has dedicated itself to helping raise awareness about sexual assault on college campuses.

Last semester, Hood hosted an event called #WhatIsYes. Students may remember seeing posters around campus that dealt with consent.

One of the leading causes of sexual assault is the lack of consent.

Assistant Director and Captain of Campus Safety Errol Birch worked sex crimes in the Montgomery county area for over 20 years. Birch said that lengthy prison sentences are given to those who commit a sexual assault ranging from 10 years to life in prison depending on the nature of the assault.

However, many who commit sexual assaults are never charged because the incident was never reported by the victim. Although sexual assault and consent is a touchy subject, students were receptive to the messages about consent on campus and Hood is hoping to do the same about unhealthy relationship signs.

Hood will be hosting an event called Red Flags.

Le Nguyen ‘17 has been managing the event along with the assistance of the Title IX committee, The Brotherhood, Sisters Aspiring to Success, as well as Hood Republicans and Democrats clubs.

When asked why the Red Flags event was being held, Nguyen said, “[It is] mainly designed to empower and educate students to recognize, avoid, and intervene unhealthy relationships.”

Anne Lessard ’17, the co-chair of SAS, wanted to have her members involved.

Lessard said, “[We] felt that this campaign was something near and dear to our hearts and needed more student involvement”.

Nguyen cites lasts years #WhatIsYes event as one of her motivations to continue educating students about issues that all college campuses are facing.

Nguyen said, “I received a lot of positive feedback and constructive criticism from several students, faculty, and staff”.

A criticism of #WhatIsYes was that one gender felt as though they were being targeted. The Red Flags event intends to show unhealthy relationship signs that can be applied to either gender.

This year’s messages will use he/she/they pronouns to avoid one gender feeling singled out on a double sided issue.

The Red Flags Campaign has a wide range of organizations working closely together which shows that despite differences, sexual assault and unhealthy relationships are an issue that everyone agrees on.

Le Nguyen is hoping that the messages around campus will spark conversation and get people thinking about the issue of unhealthy relationships.

A forum will be held on Oct. 25 at 8 p.m. to discuss the posters and messages that are around campus. Students who have any questions about the Red Flags campaign should feel free to contact or speak with any of the leaders of the organizations involved.

David J. Smith Wants Millennials to Know Where to Find Their Brand of Peace


David Smith talks in Coblentz Seminar Room. Photo by CJ Blickenstaff


Maryland author and consultant David J. Smith returned to campus on Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016 to give a lecture on “Peace and Conflict” in the Coblentz Seminar Room.

Smith’s hour and a half lecture focused primarily on the intents of the Global Studies community at Hood.  Students were provided with ideas on what career paths they might choose to pursue as well as the additional knowledge of the varying degrees of peace and perception.

He pointed out that while traditionally the careers surrounding global peace piqued interest in students studying law, ethics and foreign services, the tides are turning and the world will need an abundant amount of multitasking capable individuals with well-rounded educations and skill sets.

After asking students their name, major and career intentions, Smith promoted his message with several activities reinforcing the message that peace is not universally interpreted.  In one of these activities, students were asked to choose whether actions presented were “peace” or “not peace.”

Student answers were represented by choosing to physically stand in locations across the room correlating with the answers.  Students scattered across the room in representation of their opinion.

The locations were equally diverse as their reasoning behind them. The topics Smith discussed included levels of conflict, types of work available and the types of careers of which a global peaceful mission is comprised.

Quoting figures throughout history including Eleanor Roosevelt and Gandhi, Smith kept a steady pace of discussion.

The ability to combine an interest of Information Technology and Global Studies was discussed as part of a societal need to be multifaceted and ready for the jobs of the future.

Students were additionally encouraged to engage in healthy conflict such as social media is sustaining a deficit in controversial conversation due to closed networks creating an isolation of ideas.  He stressed people are not exercising their capacity to grow from conflicting opinion and are stifling personal and professional growth.

Smith said, “Getting the right kind of job is important. Students need to find their niche and work with those cut from the same cloth.”

2016 Annual Security and Fire Safety Report Available

In an email sent out last week, Hood’s Director of Campus Safety Thurmond Maynard said, “Hood College’s, “2016 Annual Security and Fire Safety Report,” is now available.

This report is required by federal law and contains policy statements, along with crime and fire statistics for the school. The policy statements address the school’s policies, procedures and programs concerning safety and security, crime awareness, and preventive measures you can take to reduce your chances of becoming a victim.

In the report, there are “three years’ worth of statistics are included for certain types of crimes and three years of fire incident data that were reported to have occurred on campus, in or on off-campus buildings or property owned or controlled by the school and on public property within or immediately adjacent to the campus.”

Looking over the report, one would find nothing uncharacteristic of a small, private college’s campus: low crime across the board, and the typical college incidents in high numbers.

As one might expect, theft is quite low on campus with only three cases of theft in the past three years. Off campus, there have been seven cases of theft, one of them being motor vehicle theft.

However, there have been seven cases of forcible sexual assault on campus over the past three years and altogether five cases of sexual assault and dating violence off campus.

The numbers for both theft and assault have gone ​down over the past 3 years. However, drug law violations have not been consistent.

There were seven total in 2015, 17 in 2014, and seven in 2013. What stands out the most, however, are the number of liquor law violations.

In 2015, there were 75 cases on campus. Off campus there were zero.

This number has been increasing steadily since 2013, going from five off campus and five on campus in 2013 to 47 on campus and two off campus in 2014. This is likely because of tightened and increased security and monitoring of student dorms.

Surely, the number of violations has not changed as much as the number of people caught has. Thankfully, there have been zero cases of bias/hate crimes on campus as well as only one fire.

This data supports the claim that Hood is a safe campus. With increased security, one can feel good knowing that help is close by and always on the lookout for potential hazards.

New Chair of the Board Scholarship

Contributing Writer Rebecca Grackin

Next fall, in 2017, Hood College will offer a new scholarship, the Chair of the Board Scholarship. This scholarship will cover a student’s full tuition, and is renewable up to four years, so long as the student maintains a 3.5 GPA and works continuously towards a bachelor’s degree.

All accepted first-year students will be considered for this award based on their high academic ability. It will be highly competitive, and students will need to attend Scholars Day on February 11, 2017 to be interviewed for the award.

The Chair of the Board scholarship is funded by Judy Messina ’66, Hood alumna and vice chair of the Board of Trustees, and her husband David Fleischer. This scholarship comes after Judy Messina’s 50th class reunion, and she has funded it in hopes of attracting top academic students to Hood College. The scholarship itself is unrestricted, rather than endowed.

Every applicant to Hood College for next fall will be eligible for the award, but only the top academic students will be considered. Students who are considered should attend Scholars Day, February 11, 2017 in order to meet faculty and current students and be interviewed for the award. Two weeks following, four Chair of the Board Scholars will be named to receive the award.

According to Nancy Gillece ’81, Vice President for Institutional Advancement, most of the scholarships that Hood College awards annually are funded by alumni or certain classes that wish to give back to the college. On average, the total amount of funding that Hood College receives annually from supporters comes to about $8-9 million, $6-7.3 million of which is for scholarships and around $1.7 million goes to Hood’s operating budget for building projects and other maintenance.

As for the number students who receive awards every year, Gillece says nearly 100% of students receive something from Hood College. There is a lot to go around!

“Let’s End the Stigma of Mental Health” Speaking Tour Comes to Hood

John Tessitore speaks about OCD and mental health in Hodson Auditorium.  Photo by Abbey McAlister

John Tessitore speaks about OCD and mental health in Hodson Auditorium.
Photo by Abbey McAlister

On Monday, October 3 2016, the JCK foundation came to Hood to start up the conversation of mental health.

JCK, which stands for John Cleaver Kelly, was a long time sufferer of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and ended up committing suicide because of his struggle with the mental illness. His friend, John Tessitore, another sufferer of OCD, came to Hood College to tell his friends story and how he is motivated to end stigma.

The talk was sponsored by Active Minds, a mental health advocacy group on campus.

The documentary called “Heroes Get Remembered, but Legends Never Die” was created by Tessitore and some of his friends to tell the story of Kelly. Kelly grew up in New York and loved baseball and traveling.

He had a lot of friends and was there for anyone who needed him. People loved Kelly. He was diagnosed with OCD during his 8th grade year and struggled with the illness until the day he died.

OCD took over his life but he continued smiling. He wanted to make a difference in the world and made sure people knew they were not alone. He cared deeply about others. Some days were better than others, but the intrusive thoughts became too much for Kelly, and he committed suicide in 2011. His death shocked the community, his friends, and family.

His family wanted him to live on, so they created the JCK foundation in his honor. The JCK foundation is part of the movement to end stigma surrounding mental health, and to help spread the word about OCD.

They hold a softball tournament annually, and have even gone to Uganda where they set up a clinic for people struggling with mental illness. The foundation has also been to over 20 colleges to tell his story and fight to end stigma surrounding mental illness.

The most moving part of the night was when Tessitore spoke after the documentary had ended. He came up on stage visibly shaken up and crying.

The death of his best friend was still fresh in his mind. Tessitore spoke about how when he was diagnosed with OCD in his 7th grade year, Kelly talked to him about his experiences with OCD, and that made Tessitore not feel so alone.

Kelly made it easy to talk about their illness in a society where it is a taboo topic. Their story was inspiring. Tessitore continued with telling the audience that they “Should never stop fighting” and that it was “Up to them to change the stigma”. In a world where ¼ people have a mental illness, we need to be there for each other.

He left us with two important closing points:

  1. Do not be afraid to get help.
  2. Do not be afraid to give someone help

Mental illness does not discriminate and is a topic that needs to be brought up more especially among the college communities, since we are at a vulnerable in our lives. There is always hope, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. The JCK foundation is making a difference for people struggling with mental illness which is exactly what John Kelly would have wanted.