More than half of SGA Exec to graduate

By Meg DePanise

The Student Government Association (SGA) is positioned to lose more than half of its executive board members with the graduation of the class of 2015.

For SGA, the loss of nine of the 13 executive positions means two things; members of the senate will have to fill larger roles and consequently, efforts to reload the student senate this spring and next fall will be a priority.

“We have three or four members of SGA exec who have been in SGA in some capacity since freshmen year,” President Tim Hulyk ’15 said.  “This group is very committed to the things they are involved in so SGA won’t be the only organization hit hard by this year’s graduation I would imagine.”

Executive board members agree that SGA has many senators who are eager to step up and serve in executive positions.

“This year has been a big development year with senate, as many of the senators were new so we’ve really focused on training senators.” Development Chair Molly Masterson ’17 said. “We need senators who are willing to put forth that extra push and run for the executive positions.”

Many SGA members are looking forward to seeing what fresh leadership will bring. “Those of us remaining on the Executive Board are excited to have new colleagues to collaborate and share our experiences with,” Campus Facilities Chair Allen Paxton ’16 said.

Hulyk said that he isn’t worried about the transition ahead and he knows the organization will be left in capable hands. SGA members also hope to see new people getting involved with the organization.

“As far as structural changes, I don’t think the structure will change a lot, but we could see a smaller, more efficient student senate next year,” Hulyk said. “The problem Hood is facing at the moment is that a lot of organizations are represented by the same underclass population.”

According to Hulyk, some projects that will continue into next year are replacing shower heads in the dorms and improving student outreach.

“I’d like to see them keep the traditional events alive and well, like Alison has been doing so amazingly this year,” Campus Services Chair Keegan Woche ’15 said. “I’d also like to see them continuing to reach out to the community and represent our school in an approachable, professional way”

Paxton said that he hopes SGA will be influential in guiding the Hood community through the College’s transition in leadership. “I’m sure President Chapedelaine will actively be looking for students’ insights and opinions, and I think SGA is a great vehicle for that,” he said.

House Forum Chair T’Mera Mitchell ’15 noted that it is the “dedication from each individual that gives SGA strength and productivity” rather than members’ class rank. “I am confident that the members who sit on exec in the coming years will not lose sight of what has been laid down as a foundation to continue serving the students at Hood.”

Mitchell continued: “There is always concern when experienced members graduate, but we were able to get this far year after year and the progress will not stop with the graduating class of 2015.”

A soon-to-be college graduate’s networking experience

By Meg DePanise

My peers and I had the opportunity to join local professionals for an evening of eating, mingling and advising at Thursday’s Networking Etiquette event.

The Career Center partnered with the Frederick Chamber of Commerce to organize the two-hour occasion at the cool Ayse Meze Lounge in Downtown Frederick. Let me start by saying that my attendance was without doubt worthwhile.

I’ve been aware of the critical importance of networking for a long time and I’ve heard from everyone—my family, coworkers, and professors— that connections are everything and a college degree is not enough to set you apart in the job market. With that said, I am also aware of my natural aversion to networking events.

I am what most would call an introvert and large social gatherings are not exactly my favorite things ever. However, I am a driven soon-to-be college graduate, and this networking event seemed like it could fit very well into my whole getting a job strategy. In the end, I squashed down my nerves and went with a couple of my PRSSA buddies.

I didn’t know exactly what to expect of the night but I arrived, dressed in my pencil skirt and blazer and armed with a stack of business cards. Thoroughly chilled by the freezing rain, I was definitely happy when I stepped into Ayse Meze’s cozy atmosphere. I quickly claimed a spot next to the fire place and was soon presented with some delicious hors d’oeuvres.
Upon arrival, I was given a name tag with a color which I learned, following the opening remarks, were to separate all of us into groups. The students rotated every 15 minutes to the next group to learn from the experts.

The first networking experts that the yellow group and I met were Allison Seaton and Justin Saltzman of Liberty Mutual Insurance. They talked about how to make a good impression with an elevator speech and how not to be a wallflower at events like that one. Of course my first thought was “I like being a wallflower” but listening to them I began to see their point that introversion isn’t a malady in the world of business and communications that one must overcome to be successful. It’s ok to be a little shy or a slightly awkward. The important thing is to be genuine. Also, the buffet is not a bad place to hang out; the small talk comes more naturally and “that dip looks good…” is about as good an opener as any.

Ellen Keyser of 270 Net and Clark Briggs of Frederick County Bank spoke to us about the art of conversations and how to begin a good chat. A simple introduction is a great place to start. If one thing is true, it’s that people love to talk about themselves. It’s important to ask questions and show interest in what the person you’re speaking to is passionate about and when you can, share a connection to what you do. Also, it’s important to remember that you don’t have to talk to every single person in the room! In fact, that’s the wrong way to go about networking. You want to engage in substantial one-on-one conversations and you want to make a lasting impression.

Michael Kurtianyk of the Frederick County Chamber gave us some advice about how to follow up with connections, when to connect on social media, and what to do with business cards. After the networking event is over, your work isn’t done. It’s crucial to send a follow up email or make a phone call the day after the event to make the most of your new connections. Even if you think you’ll never in a million years have a reason to do business with someone, send a follow up email and add them on LinkedIn because you really never know went they might be able to offer you something.

Business cards are essential at networking events. They go together like peanut butter and jelly. I designed my own but it’s also easy and inexpensive to order a stack online. I learned that the glossy double-sided cards are not always the most practical choice because pen doesn’t write well on them. You may need to write on your card if you want to write down a date or a different phone number for someone.

Also, you should write on other peoples cards at least one thing you remember from your conversation that you can use as a dialogue starter if you meet them again whether that be at another networking event or even at an interview. They’ll certainly be impressed if you remember a marketing campaign they were in the middle of or ask about their family vacation. Networking takes work if you do it right; study those business cards like flash cards and if you know prior to the event who will be attending do a bit of research.

The basics of where to place your name tag, handshakes, and how to tackle the plate and glass balancing act were covered by Jason McDonald of Teleplus Corp. and Doug Raftery ‘12 of the Frederick Keys. This was the last group of the night for me and I sure did see what they meant about trying to eat and shake hands. The key is to keep the plate in your left hand so your right is free for handshakes. Also, the nametag goes on the right. I wore mine wrong the whole night but hey, now I’ll be an expert for next time.

Meghan Butler and Rick Weldon of the Chamber of Commerce were also in attendance along with Linda Harley from US Silica. After the groups, we had a little bit of time to share what we learned with everyone and put our new knowledge to use.

I learned that networking is important for all kinds of reasons whether that be developing your current career, obtaining referrals or sales leads, or getting a job. I liked something that Clark Briggs said: “Networking is casting a net to find work.” A personal connection is a great way to get your resume on the top of the pile. The thing to remember is that a good network is really just a circle of friends and friendship is a two-way street—help others, and others will help you.

Students on Hood’s 11th president

By Meg DePanise

Two representatives from R.H. Perry met with interested Hood students last week to gather input for the search for Hood’s 11th president.

On Sept. 17 and Sept. 18 Matt Kilcoyne and Jean Scott, the R.H. Perry representatives who are leading the presidential search process, talked with students about what attributes they think are most important for the next president.

In an email sent on Sept. 10 to all undergraduate and graduate students, administration provided details about the search for Hood’s next president who will succeed President Ronald J. Volpe. In May, President Volpe announced that he would retire after this summer’s Convocation to close his 14th year at Hood.

The process began with the selection of the executive search firm, R.H. Perry & Associates, along with a 13-member committee encompassing four college trustees, two faculty members, a staff member, an alumna and a current student. Three of the four trustees on the search committee are also alumnae of the college.

In the past weeks, students, faculty, staff, alumni, and donors have met with the R.H. Perry team and the members of the Presidential Search Committee. Everyone’s contributions will go into creating a profile for Hood’s next president.

About seven students attended the Sept. 17 afternoon meeting in the Whitaker Campus Commons. Many students identified some weaknesses of Hood as failing to engage the graduate, international, and commuter student’s in campus activities and the career center’s reputation for ineffectiveness.

Students said that they appreciate the closeness with their professors and President Volpe but they can’t say the same about their relationship with the financial aid, registrar, and career center faculty. “He’s driving around in his golf cart, you see him everywhere, he’ll eat dinner with you; that’s really nice and our faculty is the same way,” sophomore Logan Samuels said. She continued: “Everyone’s like don’t go to the career center, use Google to find your internship and don’t rely on these people which is horrible…I would definitely want them to have a better reputation if that’s something we could focus on.”

All of the students that attended Thursday’s meeting expressed how much they value President Volpe’s strong presence on campus. “An important thing about being president is being personable and being able to connect with your students,” communications and English student Kassy Stout said. “That’s what I hope carries on to the next president; that they’re very open and they’re fun to hang out with if you see them on campus.”

Ryan DiGirmolamo agreed: “I think it’s very important for people that are here and people who are considering Hood to realize how accessible our president actually is. The fact that he lives on campus is something that’s really important; I’m a tour guide so I always mention that and the parents are always really impressed and the students also.”

Students expressed concerns about the large number of faculty that left Hood over the summer. “Our provost changed a lot of things and then left last year, our head of athletics left, and now we have a rent-a-provost so it’s kind of scary to see all the change happening at once and it would definitely be good to have some consistency,” Samuels said.

Students agreed that Hood’s 11th president must be visible and accessible on campus. Many also said they want more transparency regarding where donated funds are going on campus, they want to know they have a say in the decisions that affect them at the college, and they want to understand what exactly the president’s role is.

“With regards to the decision making process of the new president, our four pillars of Hood are hope, obligation, opportunity, democracy, and I think the democracy part is really important and it’s sometimes overlooked in decision making,” junior Eric Stone said. “Obviously I know that the student body isn’t going to overrule the president but I think it’s really important to take into account how people feel about certain issues and not just kind of override that based on what’s best at the time.”

Students like Stone said that last year’s decision on the schedule changes made him feel like the average Hood student has no say. “I feel like that unless you are in the campus activities board or the student government association you have no voice whatsoever here regardless of if there’s a meeting and you voice your opinion,” he said.

Senior Sam Lopez said that many students don’t have a clear understanding of the president’s job. “A lot of the students here that I talk to feel that President Volpe is just a figure head and he doesn’t really do anything and most of us know that that’s not true but it’s sort of like this nebulous gray area.”

As for advice for Hood’s new president, “He’s got a tough act to follow,” Lopez said. “President Volpe, for the four years I’ve been here has been an incredible president.” Lopez continued: “He along with the board of trustees saved the college from bankruptcy about a decade ago and opened the campus to men which is why I’m able to be here. He’s just a really great all around committed person on campus and he really cares for the students so the new president is going to have to be able to do those things as well. It’s also important that the new president has a vision for the college because President Volpe has tried to keep us moving forward not just as a campus community but also with Frederick.”

The committee had its first meeting with R.H Perry representatives on Sept. 17 to define the search process and develop a timetable. According to the committee, the new president will be selected in approximately six months and the search is broken up into five phases.

The email labeled the phases as follows: develop an executive profile and advertise the position; develop and execute a national recruitment strategy; identify, select and interview candidates and select a finalist; check the finalist’s credentials and background; and finalize the appointment.

As listed in the email, the presidential committee members are: trustee co-chairs Jim Reinsch and Amy Chan; Judy Messina ’66; Martha Shimano ’86; Hamp Tisdale; Sue Whaley ’74; Ted Luck, director of student success and outreach; Chuck Mann, vice president for finance and administration; Maria Green Cowles, Ph.D., dean of the graduate school; alumna Julie Murray McCaffery ’79; Sang Kim, Ph.D., associate professor of economics and management and chair of the department of economics and business administration; Wayne Wold, DMA, associate professor of music and chair of the department of music; and senior Tim Hulyk, student government association president.

To read more about the presidential search, nominate a candidate or send a comment on what you think the Hood’s next president needs go to www.hood.edu/About-Hood/Presidential-Search/Presidential-Search-Landing.html.

Frederick community protests violence in Ferguson, Mo.

By Meg DePanise

About 75 protestors marched the streets of downtown Frederick Thursday Aug. 28 to show their support for the residents of Ferguson, Mo., where Michael Brown, a black man, was shot and killed by a white police officer.

The group marched from South End Park at Burck Street to West South Street and West Patrick Street to the courthouse and then to City Hall.

Protestors voiced their opinions about the violence in Ferguson, Mo., many of them carrying signs and speaking out with a bullhorn.

Hood College junior Sandow Sinai got involved in the march when his friend in the Frederick area began planning the march and inviting him to meetings. “My role ended up being holding the banner for a lot of the march and holding the megaphone as chant leader,” Sinai said.

Sinai said that he also spoke briefly at stops along the march about his personal experience with racism and about the history of racism in Frederick including Roger B. Taney, a Frederick lawyer who later served as the fifth Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court and an ardent supporter of slavery.

“It was important to me because the facts of racism are terrifying,” Sinai said. “Every 28 hours, a black person is murdered by a cop, private sector security, or a vigilante and as a black teenager I have to always be conscious of the fact that it could be me.”

The protestors carried a sign that read “Fists Up Cops Down RIP Mike Brown” and chanted as they made their way to City Hall. According to participants, no streets were shut down for the march and a couple Frederick police observed the peaceful protest.

“I went to the march for Ferguson not only because I think the justice system is racist but also because I think that if people like me, not targeted by racism, don’t stand with the black community on this, the police are only going to get more dangerous,” Hood sophomore Grant Gallagher said. “And I don’t want to live in that world.”

A second march for Michael Brown was scheduled for Sept. 6 but was cancelled due to inclement weather. Organizers plan to postpone the march for a later date.

The march was hosted by Frederick Rising, a self-proclaimed anti-hate and pro-community group and human rights organization Unsettle Frederick.

Frederick Rising accepted monetary donations at the march to buy food to send to Ferguson, Mo. where much of the youth relies on meals provided by the school system.  Donations and school supplies to benefit the Frederick youth were also encouraged.

A fairly new group, Frederick Rising  joined Facebook during October of last year and has gained attention from many of its members’ participation in a number of radical responses and movements. Many members Occupied Frederick, took to the streets for Trayvon Martin, and spoke out against the privatizing of Citizens and Montevue nursing home facilities.

On Saturday, Sept. 13, Frederick Rising will host an event listed on Facebook as “A look at Ferguson, Mo.: Where they’re going, Where They’re at.” According to the event page, organizer Chris S. from Harrisburg, Pa. will share his experience on the movement in Ferguson, Mo. where he has spent time on the ground.

The event is open to the public and Frederick Rising asks that attendees bring a few dollars and a dish to share.

Unsettle Frederick meets weekly on Fridays at 5 p.m. inside Kemp Hall at 4 East Church Street, Frederick.

 

 

 

Photo by Max Neely.

Provost holds forum to address schedule changes

By Meg DePanise

Provost Conway-Turner met with Hood College students in a forum held Monday at 8 p.m. in Hodson Auditorium to address concerns regarding schedule changes that are to go into effect next fall. The Provost delivered a presentation and then opened the floor for questions to be addressed by her and registrar Nanette Markey.

Katie Hays, SGA Academic Affairs Chairperson, said the goal of the night was “to dispel any misinformation that may be circulating around campus.” The changes to the schedule have given rise to a number of groups on campus and many students have turned to social media to express their distaste with the administration’s actions.

Hood Student Power is one of the most prominent of these groups. At the forum four members led by Grant Gallagher approached the Provost on stage to deliver their petition signed by 245 Hood students who are concerned about the changes. “We’re asking Hood to live up to those values of hope, opportunity, obligation, and democracy,” Gallagher said addressing the audience and the Provost.

The real schedule changes and “nothing else unusual”

The Provost began her presentation with the basics. “The schedule is sort of the backbone of which everything else particularly during the day happens around,” she said. The schedule is typical of any college schedule and is designed to meet the needs for both undergraduate and graduate students.

She went on to discuss the motivations for the changes. One was to more effectively make use of the entire week. She said that with few Friday classes and common hour on Tuesdays and Thursdays there was a lot of compression in the week.

The current schedule is also designed for three-credit courses. The recent addition of a number of four-credit classes required accommodations in order to meet the minimal number of minutes standard for a four-credit course.

The new schedule also prevents the possibility of overlapping classes. It also is projected to enhance the retention of students and allow students to more successfully complete their degrees within four years.

The Provost said the new schedule will maintain a more effective common hour. The current schedule has common hour on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12:45 p.m. to 2 p.m. The new common hour will be 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesdays.

She said that Tuesdays and Thursdays are a popular time for classes so they wanted to regain that time so that students can make the most of it. “But we also heard in the forums that we held with faculty, staff and students that the common hour was very important to students and many others,” she said.

The Provost recognized that choir will be directly impacted by the change to the common hour but the change was made on the basis that the majority of people expressed they needed more time to engage in activities they wanted. “I’m the first to say that no schedule is perfect and that people have to change based on the new change and new common hour so I was aware that the choir would be one of those places that would have to make a change in how you practiced,” she said.

The Provost said that the schedule will continue to have the average student taking 15 to 16 credits, 85 to 90 percent of classes will still be held during the day, and three hours will be reserved on Wednesday for other activities. “Nothing else unusual,” the Provost said.

The Provost provided two example schedules and addressed some major points of student concern. “The notion that somehow you are going to have really long days, it’s not happening,” she said. Students will now have more options with the new time slots provided so that they can more easily finish their requirements.

Another key student concern was time for work, volunteering, internships, and research. “You will continue to do those around your schedule in the same way that you do it now as hundreds and thousands of students have done it before you and will continue to after you so yes, there is flexibility there,” she said.

The new schedule, the Provost said, is “nothing really mysterious, it’s an enhancement of the current schedule.” She continued: “It is student centered in that we are looking to remove obstacles that our students had moving throughout their degrees and it provides you choice and ability to really balance your interest with other co curricular interests that you have.”

The smoke hasn’t cleared yet.

Gallagher commented on the outcome of the forum: “Tonight, Hood students have a lot to be proud of. We went to the forum and delivered a petition with 245 names, that’s one in 10 students after petitioning on three occasions. The Provost gave a promotional presentation and dodged questions. Administration’s supporters in the audience, including one of the SGA execs who decided to work against student opinion before actually meeting with students, heckled us. But we delivered a petition signed by 245 students who are against these changes and want to have a real say in decisions made at our school. I think it’s clear who raised the strongest and most constructive voice, and we’re happy about that.”

Hays said she was appreciative of the Provost coming out and the forum was successful in providing examples and explanations for the upcoming changes. “As the Provost said, no schedule is perfect but I think these changes next semester will go a long way in allowing students more flexibility in their schedule and help them to graduate in four years,” she said.

Drake Halpern, SGA president, wrote this in the SGA February newsletter: “As we look back on the Civil Rights Movement and the changes that followed, we at Hood are experiencing changes of our own. With these changes we venture into uncharted waters at Hood. In these times of change Student Government is doing all that we can to advocate for the students.”

Bianca Padilla who previously served on SGA and now is a member of House Council said that she hopes students got their questions answered. “As a senior graduating from Hood I wish that I could have had these schedule options,” she said. “I hope everything works out in the end and I look forward to see what happens next year.”

While some students said that they feel at ease after hearing the specifics of the changes, others expressed that they are frustrated with other issues. The forum brought concerns regarding Hood’s email system and additional scheduling conflicts, many surrounding the 18.5 credit cap for full-time students, to the forefront.

Junior Sarah Tapscott believes that with the addition of four-credit classes the number of credits a student can take without paying extra tuition should be increased. “The excuse that Hood is actually really giving with the 18.5 is garbage,” she said. “18 isn’t easily divisible by four so people can’t take five classes a semester anymore.”

Other students were more concerned about the process that led to the ratification of the changes. “Regardless of whether or not the changes are positive I would like to know more about the voice that students had in deciding on them in the first place because I don’t personally feel as if our input was effectively given in the actual process of deciding on these changes,” Sandow Sinai who also delivered the petition said addressing the Provost.

She said that three open forums were held. “We repeatedly sent emails out to students inviting them so much that we had some students telling us to stop doing it so we did invite input into the process,” the Provost said. “I’m sorry that you didn’t want to come but you know we did certainly invite students.”

Many students said that they didn’t receive the emails or that they could not attend the forums at their scheduled time.

Some feel that they don’t have enough of a say in their education. “Even the faculty are against these new changes,” Melissa Cutts, a sophomore, said.  “One of the reasons that was given to the staff was they are trying to prevent students from partying on Thursday nights.”

Other students were opposed to Monday’s forum being held on a snow day. “You know, I would have gone, but having the thing on a day where classes are cancelled from ice seems like they don’t really care about the students,” Kelsi Harshman, junior, said. “And even if we had classes and no weather, it was still during night classes. Why not schedule it during common hour, or some other time where everyone could attend?”

Attendance of the forum was lower than anticipated with about 50 students and scheduled to end at 9 and last an hour, the conversation lasted only about 30 minutes.

“I’m getting the idea that some of the students that want to speak up are being told to stay silent and that the few who do speak up are being ignored, so others are not speaking up because they feel like there’s no point,” senior Gwen Turner said.

Senior Lanee Higgins suggested something different. “At Hood we have a communication problem that extends far beyond the flawed email system,” Senior Lanee Higgins said. “Students spread things through social media but all of the students who attended the forum last night were not as vocal when addressed with the issue.”

Junior Mary Hickman said that she is apathetic about the changes. “No Friday classes is unheard of,” she said. “I think that people are getting upset over this because we’ve gotten a bit spoiled over Hood’s old scheduling policies.”

The core requirements also recently adjusted, eliminating the upper level course requirements. This is a change that the majority students and the administration agree on.  The Provost said at the forum: “We have made several I think important steps forward that will benefit students. The core changes are one and the schedule change is another. And what was the center of both of those changes was to expedite student’s ability to be successful in college and move through the program. “

The new schedule as well as the summer schedule will be released two weeks before Advising Day on April 4.

Watch the full video of Monday’s forum here.

 

 

Diversity continues to grow at Hood College

By Meg DePanise

Hood College, the place of study for students from 30 states and 23 different countries, values diversity and is committed to providing opportunities and an environment that celebrates multi-culturalism, according to the Study Abroad and Multicultural Affairs offices.

Hood College Office of Multicultural Affairs and International Student Programs along with the Study Abroad Programs Office are dedicated to preparing students to think critically and encouraging them to understand the world within a global context.

“When you actually go to another country to learn it’s a very different experience than just going for a holiday,” Kiran Chadda, director of Multicultural Affairs and International Student Programs, said.

Chadda said that this semester Hood College has 86 graduate international students, 30 undergraduate students, three exchange students, and four language assistants.

Marko Petric, a junior at Hood College, grew up in Bosnia- Herzegovina and was born in Croatia. He attended an international high school in Mostar, Bosnia- Herzegovina called the United World College.

Petric’s high school is one of thirteen such schools in the world dedicated to promoting peace and  helping students from developing countries get a quality education and make positive changes in the world. Petric was able to attend Hood College because of the Shelby Davis scholarship program.

“I find diversity very important and I am glad that our school is putting more focus on cherishing that aspect of campus life,” Petric said.

Hood College also offers a number of opportunities for students to study abroad. There are exchange programs, direct enrollment, and faculty-led options for both the longer academic semesters and the shorter summer and winter terms.

Currently there are 13 Hood students abroad in eight different countries: Russia, France, Cyprus, Italy, Australia, England, Germany and Spain. Kate Emory, director of the Study Abroad Programs Office, said that each semester the number of students and their locations change and students typically study abroad during their junior year.

Emily Foley is studying in Florence, Italy, this semester. “Diversity at Hood is sort of like traveling abroad,” she said. “You can learn from different cultures, hear stories, get inspired by stories of their adventures and exposure to different people and cultures allows you a certain appreciation for the culture and life that you have.”

Study abroad allows students to experience a different country, culture, language, and education system while completing courses in their major.  “While the advantages are many, a few are independence, self-confidence, introduction to a new way of living, language skills, thinking on a global level and networking with students from around the world,” Emory said.

Dawoon Tracy Hwang came to Hood from Seoul, South Korea, as part of a one-year exchange program with Seoul Women’s University. “The most exciting thing was that I could be in new circumstance,” she said. “Everything —the food, buildings, trees, people are really different from Korea so me and my friends from Korea were so excited whenever, wherever we went.”

Jasmine Smith, Hwang’s roommate, said that they get along well and she appreciates the amount of diversity at Hood.

“It’s nice to see and meet people from different places,” Smith said. “I think it’s important for people to do so because then they can learn about different cultures, but also ultimately realize that everyone has something in common.”

Emory stressed that the importance of embracing and learning about diversity is to prepare for the world outside of Hood College. “The world, through technology, is ever shrinking,” she said. “No longer is it rare to hear about China on the news or to meet someone from a different country or cultural background.”

Emory grew up in Frederick County which is not traditionally diverse. “When I studied abroad it changed my life —literally.”

She continued: “Upon returning to Frederick after living abroad, I saw the diversity. I could track the changes that this little county had gone through in the past 10 years.”

Chadda said that there has been an overall increase in the number of students traveling to United States to study in recent years.

“For some time after 9/11 there was a decrease in the volume of undergraduate international students but now it has grown again,” she said. “But it’s our graduate international program that has really grown.”

Just two years ago Hood College had two students from Saudi Arabia and currently there are 50 students enrolled in the graduate program who are studying on a full scholarship.

Chadda said that there are 10 international undergraduate students who will finish their studies this semester and more students will be welcomed to campus in the spring semester.

During an international student’s first year, they are assigned a host family. “It’s like a matching game,” Chadda said. “A relationship is often formed between them that is so good they keep in touch even after graduation.”

Ana Filipovic is a sophomore at Hood College also from the United World College in Mostar. Born in Croatia and raised in Bosnia-Herzegovina, she said that she has enjoyed spending time with her host parents.

“I had the chance to experience Halloween, Thanksgiving, American Christmas, Easter, with my great host parents,” Filipovic said. “I am 5,000 miles away from my hometown and from my family, but I feel like I’m home.”

Hood also offers ongoing diversity programs and workshops. “International students are not the only example of diversity,” Petric noted. “Here at Hood we have people of so many faiths, races, sexual orientations, music preferences.”

Chadda facilitates the “Harmony at Hood” workshop at the beginning of the academic year and organizes additional discussions and programs throughout the year. She said that in December there will be a special program on festivals around the world.

Petric continued: “Some of these differences are obvious while others are not, but I think they all enrich Hood’s campus culture in so many different ways. We can all learn something from each other, as long as we keep our minds open.”

Halloween at Hood: What’s Coming Up

By Meg DePanise

With October here and Halloween fast approaching, Hood College students are looking forward to the events and celebrations to come and preparing for the fall season.

Among Hood’s annual Halloween events are Fright Night, the Ghoul Café, the Halloween Dance sponsored by the Black Student Union, and Safe Harvest.

Hood students kicked off the fall festivities with First Saturday in downtown Frederick on October 5 from 3 to 9 p.m. First Saturday, sponsored by Hood College and Mayne’s Tree Farm, provides a fun-filled day for both children and adults.

The theme for First Saturday this month was Harvest. The event featured live music, late shopping hours, art gallery openings and dining at downtown’s wonderful restaurants.

“First Saturday is a huge community event that shows off the heart of downtown Frederick and everything it stands for: fun and community,” Hood student Sarah Tapscott said. “It’s definitely a time for everyone to have fun.”

There was also pumpkin painting, a scarecrow making contest between the shops and restaurants, fall-themed crafts, free hot apple cider and a photo booth, courtesy of Hood College and a movie screening at dusk.

Erin Droneburg said her favorite Halloween event at Hood is Fright Night. “All those traditional fall events are my favorite and it’s great that Hood gives students the opportunities to do them at wallet-friendly prices,” Droneburg said.

Last year Fright Night was held at Crumland Farms. The details about this year’s haunted house are still being determined. As of now, Fright Night is scheduled for Friday October 25.

“CAB’s already pumped to get working on Fright Night. I don’t want to give too much away, but let’s just say the students can expect to scream and smile as much as ever!” Campus Activities Board member Samuel Lopez said.

Currently, the Ghoul Café followed by the Halloween Dance is set for Wednesday, October 30. Students should bring their creativity and wear their best costumes for the costume contest.

Hood College student Kevin Parker said he’s most looking forward to Safe Harvest.

“As much as I steer clear of Hood events, I loved Safe Harvest in the dorms,” Parker said.

Safe Harvest is sponsored by the Hood College Chapter of Mortar Board. The annual event gives children an opportunity to enjoy a safe and fun night of Halloween-themed crafts, games, and trick-or-treating.

Parker continued: “It was fun decorating the hallways and hanging out watching the children come through. I’d inevitably see adults I knew in the community there with their kids, and it’s just fun to be a part of.”

Safe Harvest this year will take place on Thursday, October 24 from 5 to 8 p.m.

There are also many spooky fall events happening around Frederick this month including Candlelight Ghost Tours, Cemetery Tours, and Murder and Mayhem Tours. The City of Frederick will also celebrate its fifth annual Halloween in Baker Park.

Don’t forget to look out for the treats, crafts, and pumpkin carving happening in the dorms too.

Find CAB on Facebook and be on the lookout for flyers around campus as more specifics of all the fall events are decided.

Artomatic@Frederick 2013

By Meg DePanise

September 4 marked the beginning of Artomatic @Frederick 2013, a remarkable five week event showcasing more than 40,000 square feet of art. Located at 115 and 117 Church Street in downtown Frederick, this fantastic display of local talent will continue through October 5.

This is the second Artomatic event held in Frederick which features both returning and new artists as well as live music and other special events.

HoodCollege student Melissa Cutts said, “I liked the vast variety of styles there, I’m happy I went!”

Aeren Waters, an artist featured at Artomatic@ Frederick said, “I appreciate that Artomatic provides a platform for visual and performance artists to express themselves, and there is no judgment.” She continued, “Simply a release of expression to bring attention to the fact that art is everywhere!”

Executive Directors of Artomatic @Frederick, Jennifer Finley and Steve Dobbin, said in a note featured in the event’s program that Artomatic’s mission is to “strengthen the community both economically and socially by providing an artistic playground to showcase local and regional artists in the areas of visual art, performing art, music, written and spoken word, dance and film.”

Waters visited Artomatic @Frederick in 2011 which she said led her to be a part of Artomatic in Crystal City, Va. in 2012 and this year at Frederick.

Water’s exhibit this year features handmade clutches and men’s wallets which she designs and sews herself. Her pieces can be found in Building 115, Room 62, and they are for sale.

Waters said ten percent of sales will go to OneStepAway, a Philadelphia street newspaper whose content is produced mostly by residents of Philadelphia’s shelter system which helps raise awareness for homelessness and provide employment to those in need.

HoodCollege student Britanny Napier said, “Artomatic was awesome —three floors of amazing art ranging from furniture to photography to children’s artwork.” She continued, “but what I liked most about Artomatic was making a mosaic to be a part of the mosaic tree that they were making outside.”

With over 350 artists at Artomatic, it definitely requires more than one visit.  “There is so much to take in and it’s a beautiful thing!” Waters said.

Waters said she will also share her work at the upcoming Artomatic@ Jefferson in Charlestown, W. Va. in October.

For more information about what else is to come at Artomatic @Frederick visit www.artomaticfrederick.org.

Downtown Frederick: Rock & Roll Graveyard

By Meg DePanise

Amidst the bustling restaurants, antique furniture stores, quirky non-chain shops and small businesses that line Patrick Street is Rock & Roll Graveyard. The funky record store, located precisely at 115A  E. Patrick St. in Frederick, Maryland, is undoubtedly a gem for the small town’s vibrant downtown scene.

The ‘A’ must refer to underground because the sign which hangs from the brownstone marks the shop’s entrance, just down a short set of steps under Princess Day Spa and Boutique. From just one look at the store, it’s clear that what the shop may lack in space, it makes up for in character.

With its bright purple, poster-covered walls lined with vinyl, Rock & Roll Graveyard’s cool and easy going atmosphere will transport its customers back to the days of hanging out in their friend’s basements flipping through records. The space, which is made up of two conjoining rooms, is deeper than it is wide and the memorabilia covered walls will launch a feeling of nostalgia. The low ceiling basement is surprisingly comfortable and the entrance room, lined with records, seems to beckon you to walk further into the store.

Chris Wolfe, the owner of Rock & Roll Graveyard, is welcoming and enthusiastic, eager to help customers find what they are searching for or make suggestions, and show new arrivals. He is also happy to share how he came to open the store two years ago. He has over a decade of experience working in record shops, he explained. “I used to work in a record store but I had lost that job so I made the decision that I was going to take my collection as the basis for starting my own place,” he said.

“My entire collection is about eight thousand,” Chris said proudly. He has over six thousand records in the store and two thousand more at home, he said. With each record sorted alphabetically in the wall to wall bins, it’s easy to become lost flipping through the albums, noticing the artwork, picking out known artists and wondering about the ones never heard of.

It won’t be long before you find your head bobbing in time with the music, which is always refreshingly unfamiliar. “That’s what’s great about being here, you never run out of new listening material,” he said. Listening to music that many people don’t even have access to is one of the reasons why he loves his job, Chris said.

He said the majority of the music in the store is rock, psych, punk, metal and rhythm and blues but there is a little bit of everything and he carries all genres from the 1960s to the present. Rock & Roll Graveyard sells 7 inch, 10 inch, and 12 inch vinyl, cassette tapes, 8-tracks, and CDs, as well as turntables, tape decks, and stereo equipment.

Chris said he is asked every once and awhile if he carries vintage video games and comic books but, he would rather “keep it simple and all about the music.” He said he has always had a passion for music and began his record collecting when he was only in middle school, an age when most are trying to fit in and keep up with the pop hits rather than delve into the music their parents used to listen to. Chris plays guitar and bass and Rock & Roll Graveyard also promotes local bands and music festivals.

The store that used to occupy the space, Chris said, was 6 Feet Under, also a record store. The real key to his success, he said is not trying to compete with stores that sell modern music. The majority of his collection is used although he does have some new releases.

“Every record store is different,” he said. “It’s not like just heading to Wal-Mart and picking up a CD.” He added that a record store is an important part of the community because our taste in music is a way of expressing ourselves and it can shape our identity in a big way.

Even though it may seem easier to go to iTunes, search a track, and click purchase, there is something special about being able to flip through records and CDs.  “Being able to hold your music physically in your hand rather than just seeing the file on your computer or phone or tablet screen is a totally different experience,” Chris said. It’s not just building your music library, it’s getting to hold the album artwork and liner notes in your hands and leaving the store knowing that it’s just one of the limited number of records made.

As far as competition goes, he says there is none, as he has an agreement to trade music with The Record Exchange on Market Street in Frederick in a way to benefit both businesses. Most everything in Rock & Roll Graveyard is under $50. All the records are kept clean and in good condition and all the music in the store is priced below the suggested price, Chris said.

Rock & Roll Graveyard is open Tuesday from 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

“It’s sort of like a library or maybe even a zoo,” he said. “It’s a place to explore and expand. You never know what you are going to stumble upon.” Like a library, a record store has the power to help you build the person that you want to become.

“Instead of a petting zoo, it’s a listening zoo,” Chris said smiling. “You never quite know what you might find.”