Elmer Dixon of Black Panther Party visits Hood

Dixon speaks to students. Photo by Maya Douglas

Dixon speaks to students.
Photo by Maya Douglas

Earlier this month, a Black Panther Party chapter founder came to Hood College.

On March 7, in an event coordinated by Dr. Terry Scott of the History Department, Elmer Dixon, a founder of the Seattle chapter of Black Panther Party visited Hood. During the event he presented his speech: The Truth About the Black Panther Party and Community Organizing.

Dixon began his lecture by questioning the audience’s thoughts about the Black Panther Party. “You probably have heard that the Black Panther Party was like the black KKK,” said Dixon.

He attributed such misconceptions to the media. Dixon addressed there was a “deliberate attempt to hide what [they] were truly about.”

According to Dixon, efforts have been made to keep the “legacy and history of the Black Panther Party […] distorted and hidden” in the media and there have educational efforts in the same aspect as well.

As Dr. Scott said in her introduction, there have been “narratives of menace and fear” spread about the Black Panther Party through distortion in the media and the withholding of accurate information in classrooms across the United States.

During his speech, Dixon thoroughly explained who comprised the Black Panther Party, their goals, and means of operation.

According to Dixon, contrary to popular conception, the Black Panther Party was comprised of people who were heavily engaged in the study of law and political theory. They familiarized themselves with the Constitution and acted on their rights to bear arms in a state where they faced violent suppression enacted through governmental institutions such as the police department.

The Police Alert Patrols was an initiative of the Black Panther Party. It was developed to protect citizens from police brutality in black communities. Arriving at the scenes of black citizen-law enforcement encounters, the Black Panther Party clearly stated in detail, their legal right to use militia for protection from violence expressed by any sectors of the government.

This emphasis on taking advantage of the second amendment is the fraction of the Black Panther Party narrative often misrepresented by the press and circles of political discourse.

The Black Panther Party operated to protect black communities physically, legally, politically and economically and outlined how they would go about demanding both their Constitutional and “God-given” rights. This outline of steps and demands is formally known to the party as the 10 Point Program.

The programs points ranged from securing basic needs such as food and adequate housing to institutional issues such as education, ending police brutality, and trial before members of the black community.

The Black Panther Party was also the first organization to start a free breakfast program for children in poor communities. The Children’s Free Breakfast Program, created by the Black Panther Party, operated for over 10 years. This program was only one amongst 30 free programs implemented by the Black Panther Party to take care of poor communities that were suffering from hunger, medical issues, restriction to education for children and prisoners, and more.

For their efforts to establish social, political, and economic independence for not only the black community, but other minority communities in America and in other countries, the U.S. government took numerous measures to thwart the party’s progress. This attempt to bring recognition and power to all racially oppressed groups was known as the Rainbow Coalition. Its purpose was to empower and encourage all people of color to engage in similar practices to establish independence.

According to Dixon, first FBI director J Edgar Hoover referred to the Black Panther Party as the “number one internal threat to the U.S.” To offset this, he developed COINTELPRO, or the counter intelligence program, to disband the party.

COINTELPRO agents forged documents to create distrust among members and went undercover as bodyguards for the Black Panther Party. Fred Hampton, a respected party leader was killed in his home due to intelligence gathered by undercover body guards working for the FBI.

The FBI was able to accomplish its goal of toppling the Black Panther Party with several other events that took place. For example, the trial of the “Chicago Seven.” During this trial, eight people were present, but one was silenced in the courtroom the FBI.

The Black Panther Party is not just a part of history, a current Black Panther Party exists today. However, they are not as prevalent as their forefathers, who were able to spread worldwide influence through the 1960s and 70s.

With hope that community organizing will continue, Dixon, now a facilitator of the Juvenile Justice Equity Steering Committee in King County, WA, stated that contemporary issues such as mass incarceration of youth of color have to be dealt with by “changing how we handle kids early on to give them an opportunity to succeed at life, and those were the foundations of the Black Panther Party.”

There is a need for, “decent education, decent housing…all of those things that give young people an opportunity to develop character and understand who they are and where they came from so they can be successful,” said Dixon.

“These young people don’t think that their lives matter,” Dixon stated, “That’s why the Black Lives Matter Movement is so important. It’s to help these young black kids and brown kids that come from these families and environments where they’ve been thrown away.”

He concluded his speech by stating that working with these children is the kind of activism new political activists and community organizers should be involved in.


Indoor track and field season concludes at MACs


Hood students who obtained a specific goal headed to Lehigh University to compete in the indoor track and field MAC Championship meet.
Students competed in a variety of events from weight throwing and shot put to 60 meter dashes and 5k runs. 14 of the 15 athletes qualified for the meet.
Attendee Colin Shields said, “The MAC Championship gave me a new appreciation for track and field. I was amazed by how far some events were like the 3200 meter run, which is 16 laps around the 200-meter track. I witnessed an event called the weight for the first time, which I had never seen or heard of before. It was basically like a heavy ball attached to a string that athletes would throw almost in the same motion they’d throw the discus. It was overall a lot of fun watching the best athletes from all MAC schools compete in the championship.”
Senior Jeremiah Ratliff finished fourth in the 60-meter hurdles at 8.92 seconds and 10th in the triple jump with a mark of 12.72 meters.
Zack Corssey, a sophomore, finished ninth in the mile and 11th in the 800-meter dash.
The men’s 4×400 finished in 10th place by senior Rafel Zamora, junior R.J. Tucker, Corssey, and Ratliff. Overall, the men placed 12th at the meet.
The women competed a tight game. Junior Jackie Mangona tied for sixth in the pentathlon. Her highest score for the competition was in the 60-meter hurdles.
Freshman Danielle Pitts finished 10th in the shot put by throwing it 9.96 meters.
Junior Andrea Christmas and senior Jill Heymann both competed in the triple jump. Heymann got 18th place with a jump of 9.81 meters, and Christmas 22nd at 9.22 meters.
For senior Aleyna Fitz, her first and last season of indoor track and field concluded with a personal best in the weight.
“The MAC Championship Track and Field meet was a great experience. This was my first year participating in the meet and it was great to share the experience with my teammates and coaches. My favorite part of the meet was throwing a new personal record in the weight. It was a nice way to end the indoor season,” Fitz said.
This concluded the indoor season. The spring track and field season will continue on March 25 at Goucher University.

From the Desk of the Editor: March 20

At a small school like Hood, I never would have expected to be in the position that I have been in this week. To round out our diminishing staff and lack of enthusiasm surrounding the paper, this week, I caught wind of the possibility of a libel suit.
This past week, I had to defend one of my staff members to a degree of people. As far as outsiders of the paper go, I would expect that it might happen every now and again, however, I had to defend the member to several other people on staff for the newspaper.
We are in a college setting and not everyone is aware of exactly how the media operates. For example, having to say “off the record” prior to exposing information that is to be, as the phrase states, “off the record” and the bare essentails of what one might need to know when talking to a reporter. Personally, I find it interesting that as communication students we are aware of what you can and cannot do, but others are not given instruction on how to interact with the media.
However, what I did not expect was the number of times I had to talk to other staff members about defending the staff member. At the end of the day, I would make the same decision no matter who on the staff it was regarding, and that seemed to be the problem.
I want to do this job to the best of my ability, and I think that’s how all student leaders should view their clubs. Not only do I need to protect my staff, but I also need to keep them together as a group.
It’s not a good dynamic to have people question the leader, or even other members. A debate or discussion is different than openly disagreeing and stating that someone is flat out wrong.
It is an interesting situation to be in a place where people aren’t happy with your club but it has nothing to do with you. I’ve been in a situation where my own writing put me in a tricky place, but it is a different experience trying to defend and protect the organization, not just myself.
As editor-in-chief, I take my job seriously. It is something I want to leave as my legacy at Hood and I want everyone to see me as a good leader, or at least someone who tries.
This includes protecting my staff and the legacy of “The Blue and Grey.”
Just to further address the issue, if you or someone you know has a problem with the content of the paper, please let me know. I would also invite anyone to email me letters to the editor with any comments or concerns.
If a member of the staff is causing trouble, please do not go to any other staff members, talk to the person directly, or myself.
I can be contacted by email at any time at mrm15@hood.edu.


Hood brings e-sports team to boost retention

In an effort to increase the retention of male students at Hood, an e-sports team has been created to encourage a sense of team for those who are not involved in athletics.
According to Travis Eichelberger, director of diversity and inclusion, a retention specialist, Teresa Furnam, was brought in to help Hood identify what groups of students are most likely to leave the college.
“Black males are the least retained group of students on campus,” Eichelberger said.
It was also apparent to the committee discussing the issue of retention that non-athletes are less likely to be retained than athletes. In order to address the problem, two committees were established: peer-mentoring and e-sports.
Eichelberger, ironically sits on the peer-mentoring committee. However, he has some experience in gaming, so he was brought in by Paige Eager, the head of the committee, to help establish the new team.
There was some resistance from faculty members about spending money on gaming due to the violence and the unknown legitimacy of e-sports, according to Eichelberger. Overall, the approach has not cost the college a great deal of money since the game den has an X-Box and, “SMITE,” the inexpensive game chosen to be used for the competition.
When choosing the game, they wanted to minimize the amount of first- person violence, sexism, and racism. Eichelberger, although not an expert on e-sports, will defend a program that will help students stay in college.
SMITE was chosen because it is team based and will be tied into other learning experiences. The violence it holds is also not ultra-realistic because staff needed to find a middle ground in what they were looking for.
According to Eichelberger, there was a lot of white-washing and more of a “Ken and Barbie” look to the game.
Currently, there are 28 people involved in the e-sports team at Hood. 17 of them are looking for a competitive team.
As of now, the e-sports team has started preparing for any in-house competition. It is unknown who will eventually fund the group.

Students create petition to create “sanctuary” at Hood

Sanctuary campuses and cities have been popping up all over the country in light of Donald Trump’s victory, which brought the question to two Hood students: should Hood be a sanctuary campus?

Senior José Galarza and sophomore Nicole Palino worked together to develop a petition not for or against Hood becoming a sanctuary campus, but rather to spark discussion surrounding the matter. According to Galarza their main goal is to get the Hood College community to decide whether or not the campus should become a sanctuary campus or not.

The idea behind a sanctuary campus is that students who are undocumented are protected, modeled after sanctuary cities. Galarza first began to think about this after protesting with fellow interns over the summer, when the DOPA bill tied at the Supreme Court and then failed at the next lower court.

While they were not representing the organization they worked for several of the 39 intern protesters were DOCA recipients. After the results of the election Galarza began thinking about all those affected by President-Elect Trump’s 100 day plan in which he plants to terminate DOCA and defund sanctuary cities.

So far the idea of the petition has been sent to about 130 students and alumni. Galarza has been sending messages over Facebook to see how receptive students are to the petition and who would want to sign it. So far, he said that most students are ready to listen and have the discussion, there are a few that show concern but not one has given him a definite no yet.

Galarza and Palino plan to present the petition to administration after students have time to sign it. Again, they do not want to pressure students to lean either way, they just want the Hood community to start having the conversation.

“Be knowledgeable about what the petition means and just making sure that people understand the benefits and consequences of such a decision to be a sanctuary campus,” Galarza said.

Check out the petition here.


Men’s Soccer celebrates graduating seniors

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Keeper Danny Castillo does a goal kick Photo by CJ Blickenstaff

On Sept. 24 the Hood College Men’s Soccer team celebrated their senior game with a win against St. Vincent.

“It was an awesome feeling to win on senior day, and seeing the whole team put in a great effort to get a special win for the seniors meant a lot,” said Captain Drew Demich.

The game started off slow with nobody scoring until the second half. The point was scored by Alec van Bronkhorst.

Christiano Pillari and Kyle Bulgarelli assisted van Bronkhorst with his goal.

Before the start of the game, the seniors were celebrated. The 11 seniors graduating include two of The Blue and Grey staff members, Colin Viti and Kyle Shields. The other seniors are: Stephen Friend, Christiano Pillari, Juliano Pillari, Drew Demich, Ryan Tutzauer, Elmer Diaz, Joe Benton, Kahembi Mukuwa, and Viktor Muleki.

Demich said, “The team is looking forward to continuing this enjoyable season and making it a memorable final season for all the seniors.”

From the Desk of the Editor Sept. 29

Mary Mug

Photo courtesy of Katie Mann

It is end of September and it’s finally starting to feel like fall. The semester is in full swing, tests, midterms, projects, presentations, and papers seem to be swamping nearly every student.

However, fall break is right around the corner and I for one, cannot wait for a few days home with my family. I am sure that many of you are as well. A break from the mid-semester stress is always useful, even if it is just for a few days.

Hood has already offered students a variety of events to expand knowledge beyond the classroom. Students attended the Breaking through Power event in DC hosted by Ralph Nader. Some registered to vote in Whitaker. Communication students were given the opportunity to have a class with NPR Newscaster Korva Coleman, and all were invited to attend a talk led by her.

I was fortunate enough to have dinner at President Andrea Chapdelaine’s house with four other students, a few faculty members, and Korva Coleman during her visit here. It was an honor to be invited, as well as such a privilege to meet her.  She made it a point to talk to each student individually, learn about us and what we do, as well as what we plan to do in the future.

One of my favorite things about Hood is the little experiences we get to share with not only each other but with our professors and influential people from the community. Event organizers and administration seem to really try to make this a place where students want to be and spend four years of their lives.

As this is the second issue of the semester, I thought it would be good to touch on some changes that people have been noticing on campus so far.

Obviously Whitaker has had a major remodel with new carpets, paint, tables and chairs. However, the banners were taken down and we are still waiting for what will happen with those. SGA ran a poll to see what students wanted done with them, whether or not they should be displayed or only out for special events.

Tatem was also completed this summer and will be dedicated next week. It was something that we have been waiting on for quite some time, and it definitely seems like it was worth the wait.

Students living in Shriner, as touched on in this issue, are the first living in it as a co-ed building. It is also the first year that first-years are housed completely separate from the other classes in Memorial and Smith.

Continuing with dorm changes, Meyran was renovated this summer, and Coblentz received new windows.

Hood is constantly undergoing little changes here and there, but so far they have not seemed to extreme. I’m still holding out for some parking changes.

Ralph Nader organizes “Breaking Through Power Event”


The official logo for the “Breaking Through Power” conference. Image courtesy of Evan West


Ralph Nader has organized an event to inspire young people who have hopes of making an impact on the country in a positive way through those who have already done so.

Hood College students have been invited to attend the Breaking Through Power event in Washington D.C. This event will feature several speakers who have inflicted change throughout the country.

Nader himself will host a variety of talks on matters including: “The Underutilization of Tort Law,” “Overcoming Civic Apathy,” “The Winning Strategy—and Proclamation,” and others. Hood students have been invited to attend the convention’s opening day, on Monday, Sep. 26.

On Monday, the line of sessions include: “Power for the People—What Our Energy Policy Should Be” with S. David Freeman, “Teaching Taxes—Politics and Practice” with John Fox, “How Congress Really Works” with Joan Claybrook, “A Citizen’s Guide to Freeing the Press” with Janine Jackson, “Small Claims Courts—the People’s Courts—Why Not Use Them?” with Oliver Hall, “Public Sentiment and Social Change—What it Takes” with Peter Dreier, “Overcoming Civic Apathy” with Ralph Nader, “Building A Movement” with Karen Hobert Flynn, and many more.

Other events throughout the week include “The Underutilization of Tort Law” which includes information regarding Tort Law and how people can use it properly. This specific law is for people who are wrongfully injured due to hospital malpractices.

According to a Johns Hopkins study, this happens to about 250 thousand people every year and only 3 percent of next of kin will bring a lawsuit against a hospital. This session will explore why people do not use the law and how they can benefit from it instead.

According to Nader, this will open up an opportunity for college students to see what the current generations have done and what they can continue to do in order to provoke change.

Although students may feel that the event is above their educational level, Nader feels that events like these are key to learning.

Nader said, “If you have low expectations of young people they will oblige you. If you have high expectations of young people they will surprise you.”

Nader considers himself to be an example of what one individual can do to promote change. He believes that one of his biggest accomplishments is the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act in 1966.

This bill has saved approximately 3.5 million premature deaths, not including injuries and other related incidents. This is due to Nader’s knowledge and desire to promote change in the world after losing several friends in car accidents.


This event as a whole will demonstrate to students that it is easier to make change than they might believe. It will be hosted by leading experts in a variety of fields, and Nader hopes that this convention will teach civics to people from the perspective of those who have actively participated in it.

Professors Depart Hood

As the seniors get ready to graduate, a few professors prepare to leave Hood at the end of the academic year as well.

Two professors who are leaving Hood started full time in 2012, the same year that this graduating class began at Hood as well.

One of these professors is Assistant Professor of Economics Dr. Michael Coon. Coon originally came to Hood because of the community vibe.

Coon said, “From my first visit to campus I felt welcome and at home.”

During his time at Hood he has made several friends, making his decision hard to leave. He is headed to be the assistant professor of economics at the University of Tampa.

Another departing professor is Assistant Professor of Accounting and Management Dr. Glen Weaver. Unlike Coon, Weaver will be retiring.

Weaver started at Hood as an adjunct professor while working as a banker in 2000. He continued as an adjunct until 2012 when he went full time.

Weaver pointed out how Hood was a warmer environment compared to other institutions that he was used to. He said that he has great colleagues, and it is a beautiful place to teach.

Weaver had always wanted to go into academia and saw an ad in the Frederick News Post and decided to apply. Weaver loves education and plans on eventually returning after a break.

Both professors said that they enjoyed the students the most at Hood.

Coon said, “I will get to see students graduate who were in my class the first semester I was here and have taken several classes with me along the way.”

Along with that, Weaver said, Hood stands out to him because of the students. He pointed out that he always has good conversations and discussions, they “well surpassed expectations.”

New Provost announced

Photo courtesy of Marketing and Communications  Office New Provost Debbie Ricker

Photo courtesy of Marketing and Communications Office
New Provost Debbie Ricker

Dr. Debbie Ricker was recently named the next provost and vice president for academic affairs of Hood College to start on July 1.

Ricker’s first goal is to learn as much as she can “about Hood College’s people, programs, and policies.”

However, the plans she has upon her arrival to Hood is assure that the college is ready to be visited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education for the reaffirmation of accreditation. Ricker will also review the goals of Hood’s strategic plan. She believes “these two documents will help us as a campus, to define our ‘big plans’ for the future.”

Ricker has served as a faculty member, department chair, associate dean, and currently dean at York College.


In a letter to faculty, staff and students, President Chapdelaine said, “Her excellent credentials, enthusiasm for our academic mission and passion for students will serve Hood well as we build our next strategic plan to further strengthen our academic offerings, student academic achievement and support for our faculty as teacher-scholars.”


Her experiences that have prepared her for this position include: curricular design, strategic planning, student success and retention, faculty and staff development, budgeting, enrollment management, co-curricular programming, and community engagement.


“Personally, I think Dr. Ricker will be a fantastic provost for Hood College,” SGA President Katie Bailey said. “The direction our school is headed in, with all the changes and plans created by the new administration will be greatly helped by what Dr. Ricker has previously done at York.”


Ricker is looking forward to two things at Hood, the people and the future.


“Everyone has been so welcoming and supportive; I can’t wait to learn more about my colleagues on the academic affairs team,” Ricker said.


She said she was excited for the opportunities to collaboratively work with the other administrators and with the campus towards a new strategic plan.


“I truly enjoy working with students every day, whether it’s teaching a class, celebrating an achievement, cheering at an athletic competition, mentoring through a crisis, or simply enjoying lunch in the dining hall,” Ricker said. “Student-centered isn’t just a buzz word to me; it’s how I live and it’s how I work.”


Ricker found her fit at Hood in its “commitment to providing an enriching, holistic, student-centered educational experience. And, this experience is cultivated by professionals who value teaching excellence and fully embrace a multitude of learning opportunities both in and out of the classroom, as well as on and off campus.”


She also likes how Hood integrates liberal arts and professional programs, making them work together, “preparing students to not only make a living but also make a life.”