Mold Reported in Campus Dorms

By Martha Berkheimer News Editor

Since the beginning of the academic year, several reports have been made by residents claiming to have found mold in their dorm rooms, specifically in Memorial Hall, and this year’s above average rainfall may be to blame. “Due to the increased rain, ground water levels are at an all-time high, which has caused flooding and foundations to leak. Additionally, high humidity levels have been a challenge, making it difficult to keep the building moisture at normal levels,” said Matt Troutman, Director of Residence Life and Student Conduct.  Memorial Hall’s cooling system also creates an excess amount of condensation, leading to high moisture levels throughout the building. The combination of all of these elements has lead to the formation mold that has occurred in the building. But, Hood College is not the only school to experience issues with mold this academic year: University of Maryland has had to evacuate an entire dorm due to the health risks concerning an extremely high amount of mold build up in Elkton Hall. The students had begun experiencing a cough, sore throat, and other flu-like symptoms before being evacuated due to the mold. Since issue surfaced, tensions have been rising among Memorial residents. “Hood College really needs to improve their facilities and not risk their students’ health,” stated freshman Vivian Taylor. In response to the heightened anxiety, Troutman has explained that there are steps being taken to decrease and prevent mold formation in the dorms. These steps include an adjusted cooling system to combat the build up of condensation, treatment and deep cleaning of any areas suspected of mold, issuing dehumidifiers to help dry out the rooms, and bringing in outside contractors for more serious issues. Although the issue is frustration and potentially harmful for many, Hood is attempting to remedy the situation and keep its students happy and healthy.

Hood College’s 26th Annual Homecoming Weekend Celebrated Around Campus

By Jack Wilder Distribution Manager

Hood kicked off its 26th annual homecoming weekend on Friday, Oct. 5. Started in 1992, this Hood tradition has always been filled with fun and festivities to celebrate the fall, but only recently were alumni and family invited back to experience the festivities with current students. Gretchen Nonemaker, Hood’s director of Student Engagement and Orientation, discussed what had been planned for the event. Friday, Oct. 5, kicked off homecoming with an opportunity for visitors to attend either a Spanish, French, Psychology, or World Literature class with current students. Afterward, the residence halls competed in front porch and vehicle decorating contests, followed by a campus-wide parade to the Chapel. The student and family talent show in Hodson Auditorium featured many exciting performances. To end Friday, Alumnae Hall helped to sponsor a latenight carnival with amazing funnel cakes, cotton candy, and classic games. The weekend’s main events occurred on Saturday with 17 different activities for students, alumni, family and friends. The Blue and Grey 5K Run had a great turnout and allowed many members of the Hood community to run side by side. I particularly enjoyed the delicious pretzels and hearty sausages at the Oktoberfest themed brunch. Students were seen on the residential quad participating in activities such as rolling inside of life-sized hamster balls, kicking soccer balls, and taking lots of pictures. Oct. 6 concluded with a performance by mentalist Chris Jones, who gained internet fame for a Walmart promo, where customers doing their holiday shopping were hypnotized to think they were children opening gifts on Christmas day. Homecoming sports games included men’s and women’s soccer, and women’s field hockey among other games and matches that Hood Blazers participated in. Hood’s alumni athletes were invited to a reserved room at local bar, Blue Side Tavern on Oct. 6. Homecoming Weekend ended on Sunday, Oct. 7. Students, family, alumni, and faculty can all find something to enjoy during homecoming celebrations.

Alumni Profile: Conor Prachar

By Delaney Crawford, Sports Editor

At Hood College academics are very important and all students are pushed to do their best in the classroom. When it comes to student athletes they have an even higher standard to uphold because they are expected to succeed in the classroom and on their respective fields or courts.

One alumni of hood college that kept to that high standard is Conor Prachar. Prachar played soccer here and graduated in 2012 after receiving academic all-conference three times. During his time at Hood he was in the Chi Alpha Sigma Honor Society and in 2012 he held the record for most games started in a career for men’s soccer. Right after he graduated, Prachar gave back to Hood and became Coach Pracher.

He was an assistant coach for the men’s soccer team from the time he graduated until 2016 when he switched over to become head coach of the women’s soccer team. To this day he is the head coach of the women’s team and has brought that team a long way.

Alums are so important to every school because they show current students what to strive for and what success looks like. Prachar is a respected alumni who still continues to give back to Hood and inspires his team and others to work hard during their four years here.

“My time spent at Hood College was pivotal for my personal and professional development. I enrolled as a soft-spoken student with varied interests but wasn’t sure what direction life would take me. Hood’s professors, students and staff provided, and continue to provide, the environment I needed to find my voice, explore a variety of different academic fields, athletic opportunities and social and civic organizations. This college helped me to channel my potential towards my life goals and passions,” said Prachar.

Upcoming Games and Meeting the Players

By Megan Enright, Staff Reporter

The Hood’s field hockey team has many strengths, but one of their main ones is how they stay positive and they can bond well as a team.

Even when they lose, the team can stay positive by looking forward to the next game and how they can improve as a team. The field hockey team are all friends with each other so it’s easy for them to bond.

Savannah Branch, sophomore, who is one of the star defensive players on the team said one of her favorite things about playing field is how unique and different the game is. The next game is Sept. 19 at 5 p.m. at East Mennonite.

The cross country team has a great team atmosphere. Jayla Harris, dedicated senior and extremely-fast runner, said her favorite thing about the team is creating bonds with each other and being friends.

Another one of her favorite things about the team is having new freshman on the team because they can help make the team grow as a whole. Their upcoming meet is September 22, called the Hornet Harrier Invitational at Kernstown Battlefield in Winchester, Va.

Volleyball is a game about having great teamwork and that is what the Hood volleyball team has. They won their last match 3-0 against Goucher. Carmella Fouts, star junior on the team, said her favorite thing about volleyball would be digging a ball that the hitter hits at her and making it a perfect pass. Her favorite part about the team is that they are all so close and that they have a good time with each other.

Highlights From Men’s and Women’s Soccer Games

Delaney Crawford, Sports Editor

Women’s and men’s soccer teams both opened up their hectic weeks with games on Wednesday Sept. 5. The men’s team had a clean sweep that started with a home game tie against Randolph. Sept. 8, the men played at home and won 3-1 against Cairn. On Sept. 9, they traveled to Goucher and defeated them 3-0. The women’s team took home one win out of their three away games this week. They fell to Catholic in the second half of their game on Sept. 5, 6-3 but then came back out at Immaculata on Sept. 8 and won 3-0. Rachel Knoebel, goalkeeper, got her first start and shutout of the season. Sept. 9, they fell 2-0 to St. Mary’s Md. The men’s team not only took a sweep of no loses this week, they also swept up the MAC Commonwealth weekly awards. Clay Smith received offensive player of the week and Danny Castillo received defensive player of the week. Knoebal, along with gaining her first stats of the season, also picked up defensive player of the week. Sept. 8 was a day of first for our Blazers with two players getting their first collegiate goals. Danny Castillo, junior goalie, scored his first goal off a penalty kick and Colby Painter, freshman, scored her first goal in the women’s win over Immaculta. When asked how she felt about scoring so early in the season as a freshman Colby said, “It was a great feeling being able to get my first career goal, but it was even better that we got it as a team and were able to come out with a win.” Be sure to come out and support our blazers as they begin to tackle another week of soccer.

Canines On Campus

By Keiko Cahill, Staff Writer

An increase in service and comfort animals on campus may have many students wondering what they are here for.

Brooke Monday, a first year here on campus, shares her experience of having her service dog, Shadow, on campus.

Shadow has been training for his duties as a service animal since he was born. Part of his job is to notice when Monday needs comfort and provide it to her.

The majority of a service animal’s job is very personal and Monday opted to keep that information private as well as her reasons for having Shadow.

“I don’t like it went people pet shadow on duty,” said Monday. “He has a job to do while he has his vest on and with people petting him during that time, he gets distracted and can’t concentrate on me and my needs.

However, when he doesn’t have his vest on, people are more than welcome to pet him as much as they want. Like we as humans need down time to ourselves, so do dogs.”

Monday estimated that 1520 people ask to pet Shadow every day.

“One of the main things I would like to let people know is that through the ADA law people are legally to ask two questions to a person who has a service dog. ‘Is the dog a service dog required because of a disability? What work or task has the dog been trained to perform?’ Other question that are asked besides these two can cause legal problem and can make a person with a service dog uncomfortable. I wish people would stop asking me to pet Shadow when they know he’s working. Also, why I have him and what’s wrong with me, for me to have him,” said Monday.

The difference between a service animal and a comfort animal is important to understand. A service animal is an animal (usually a dog) that has been trained to perform tasks that assist individuals with disabilities to detect the onset of psychiatric episodes and lessen their effects.

Emotional support and therapy animals are not considered service animals as they do not go through the same training and are expected to provide comfort to more than one individual. They still give the support that the individual needs but are limited to most of the same areas as a normal pet, unlike service animals who are typically only disallowed from commercial kitchens for health reasons.

Comfort and therapy animals are more commonly known to stay at the home of the individual and give them support there, rather than staying with their owner throughout their day.

Studying Abroad Becomes Easier Than Ever

Elena Rowe Social Media Manager

Students are encouraged to study abroad and take internships as part of a new high impact learning initiative. Scott Pincikowski, Ph.D., the Director of the Study Abroad Program, is leading the new focus on high impact learning. Pincikowski explains that the Study Abroad Program is a mixture of many different programs that provide students the opportunity to study abroad. CIEE (Council of International Educational Exchange), CAPA and CCIS (The College Consortium for International Studies) are the main ones that provide university and college students with the tools needed for successfully studying abroad such as semester long programs, yearlong programs and summer programs which have locations all over the world. When applying to study abroad, it can be daunting but “when students apply or the college has an affiliation agreement all financial aid that students receive at Hood applies to that program,” said Pincikowski. Studying abroad used to be a major requirement for financial aid but the college changed that rule. Not just students studying languages but all students can now receive financial aid for studying abroad. Applying for Studying Abroad is not as hard as you think. There are 5 easy steps: 1. Make an appointment with the Office of Study Abroad. In the meeting, you can learn about scholarship opportunities, get necessary forms and learn about application procedures. 2. Meet with your advisor to discuss what coursework abroad will count for core or major requirements at Hood. 3. Go to the financial aid office to find out what of your financial aid package applies to your study abroad program. 4. Attend a study abroad session at the career center 5. Finalize all paperwork with Pincikowsi and you are all set and ready to go! These experiences can be life changing, not only personally but professionally. “The way students think about themselves and their studies change for the better. Students have a sense of ownership with their lives,” said Pincikowsi.

Hot Spots in Frederick The Pop Shop of Downtown Frederick to Offer Exciting Seasonal Flavors

By Aliah Buford Copy Editor

One of the best things about Hood College is its proximity to vibrant downtown Frederick. As such, it is important for any student to get out and explore all that the area has to offer. Just a 15-minute walk from campus, Maryland’s largest soda shop is one of the spots that make downtown so unique. Often simply referred to as the Pop Shop, the small business once held a modest 50 kinds of soda pop. But since its conception in 2011, it has changed owners, moved to a new location, and evolved to include around 500 kinds of pure cane sugar, glass-bottle soda, locally made ice cream, award-winning hot-dogs and a plethora of retro candies. The Pop Shop is the perfect stop for anyone who enjoys the sweet and/or fizzy. The shop also offers several diet, vegan and gluten-free options for those with dietary restrictions. “We love giving people options so that families and friends can all meet in one place and at least there are options available for everyone,” said owner Michelle Schaffer. Schaffer, who was born and raised in the Midwest, moved to Frederick in 2011. In October 2013 she began running the Pop Shop. About three and a half years ago the shop moved to its current location at 241 N Market St. Downtown Frederick’s growth into a tourism hot spot and the its eclectic collection of shops and restaurants makes it the perfect home for the Pop Shop, according to Schaffer. “I love that even though there are some places that may compete with my product selection, the overall community really wants everyone to succeed and grow,” said Schaffer. The next time you and your friends are thirsty, hungry or both and want to try something new, stop by the Pop Shop and browse their collection. Try one of their 80 types of root beer, the communist classic, Leninade, or sip on a bacon-flavored soda. If you are feeling extra adventurous, try the Buffalo Wing Soda. You can even combine any flavor soda with any flavor pop and create your own float. “My favorite float is a blueberry soda with lemon ice cream, it tastes like fruit loops and is not around all the time, so I wait in anticipation,” said Schaffer. “I always suggest people tell us what kind of things they like and then we pick out something special just for them.” North Market Pop Shop will also be introducing some new seasonal flavors, like pumpkin, peppermint, and eggnog, as fall and winter approach. Make sure to take some time and pop on in. Schaffer and her team want everyone to “experience and enjoy” all that the shop has to offer.

From the Archives: from the September, 21st, 1994 issue of the Blue and Grey

By Kashif Masood Opinion Editor

Dorm Cleaning Tips

Keeping a room clean has never been a top priority for an undergraduate student. Abagail Bash, a self-proclaimed cleaning professional, shares tips on getting messy dorms cleaned. “Since coming to college, I have learned a few things. Beer leaves less of a stain than soda on a carpet; naps aren’t just for infants; and a clean dorm room is imperative. Surprisingly enough, cleaning my room is possible without overexertion. There are seven steps that must be done in order to clean a room: 1) Music is a must-have because it provides a very upbeat tempo, while at the same time aggravating your mom. That is what motivates and keeps you going. 2) It is imperative to prop your door so that visitors will ask the inevitable question, “What are you doing?” (Which seems quite obvious with the vacuum in the hall, a huge trash bag full of unused papers, and a variety of cleaning agents) 3) After the first two steps are completed, the next step is to make your bed. It always adds that finishing touch, even though you haven’t begun to tackle the hard part, the actual cleaning. Don’t be fool — you aren’t finished — so don’t let yourself stop there. 4) Pile all the dirty clothes — including: those on the floor, hanging on hooks, hidden under beds, chairs, stuffed into corners and place them on the bed. This next part is tricky. Try to assess between what is dirty and what is clean. Now that we’re adults, we do our own laundry. I used to throw everything in the hamper and let the cleaning lady do the rest. But now that I know how much work is involved, not to mention quarters, and unless there are visible stains or mold, I normally just fold it or hang it and them put it away. I often times catch myself about to throw it in the hamper and then I realize, “Wait, I have to wash it myself!” It inevitably gets put away! 5) Now comes the other tricky part, vacuuming. Basically you just suck it up and it’s done. I hate vacuuming. It is one of my least favorite chores, but when it’s done the room looks much better. 6) Dusting is a must in college dorm rooms. I never seem to get all the dust especially when I lived at home. Nevertheless, it is something that must be done. Arm yourself with Pledge or any other furniture polish of that sort and plenty of paper towels. If at all possible, try to get every surface. There will be more dust in your room than you ever though possible. Make sure to warn people about what you did. Many cleaning agents, like Pledge, can make a bare floor very slippery. 7) Fresh scents. Now this is a new area that I just ventured into this year. There are many ways to keep a dorm room smelling clean. Keeping your window open all year long helps, but it has its drawbacks. It gets cold in the winter and it allows dust to set in, so that is a judgement call. There are tons of artificial methods for a “fresh, clean scent.” Carpet freshener works and that makes you vacuum so it has a two-fold purpose. “Plug-ins” are good too, they can also provide that extra decorative touch and there great night lights for those scared of the dark. You can find both varieties (night lights and decorative mushrooms or shells) at the local grocery store. Lastly, there are room deodorizers. I have been suckered into using this stuff, but to be honest, I am a little wary of stuff that you spray out, smells good, and says it doesn’t harm you. So there you have it. A few helpful hints in getting you room in working order. This method works best late at night and also hours before any parent or boyfriend may come knocking on your door. I have perfected this method here at school, but my room is always messy at home. It is the only thing my mom and I still fight about. So try to do it both here and at home. It will later result in fewer fights and you will have more time to do the things you love while at home.

Queer Student Union: What They Are All About

By Kaelyn Mata Staff Reporter

The Queer Student Union (QSU) is all about creating a safe space for LGBT+ students on campus. The QSU is led by presidents, Maria Bernal and Lucky Hernandez. The QSU provides education and entertainment. Members are always wanting to have fun and create an enjoyable and relaxed atmosphere where anyone and everyone can feel free to be themselves. This organization provides a network for LGBT+ students and gives them an opportunity to know and connect everyone in the community. The goal of the club members is primarily to educate and inform others about the community. The QSU aims to create a community of LGBT+ students on campus, reduce stigma around LGBT+ people, and want the community on Hood’s campus to feel welcome and heard. Members provide a nice array of events and plans. The club’s major events include Tie Dye, Queerioke, the Safe Sex Carnival, Liberation Weekend, Trans Day of Visibility, and National Coming Out Day. Bernal and Hernandez emphasize that the Queer Student Union is a laidback, relaxed environment where no one should feel pressured or uneasy. Members are free to explore labels and themselves without having anything pushed onto them.