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IRON BLADE Vol. 62, No. 2

SINCE 1955

60 Years of Ferrum College News

April, 2018

Johns Hosts First Reverse Town-Hall by Mary Stoudt On February 21, 2018, President David Johns held a reverse town hall meeting in the Panthers Den from 4 to 6 pm. In a reverse-town hall, the audience leads the conversation instead of the speaker. The meeting was a chance for Johns to hear what students, faculty, and staff had to say about Ferrum College. He asked a variety of questions, giving students numerous opportunities to have their voices heard. Near the end of the meeting, Johns got personal about his own struggles in high school and explained how one mentor helped him turn his life around. As the meeting went on, students became extremely vocal about what they wanted to see Ferrum become. Johns took in what everyone had to say, but he also emphasized that change could not happen overnight. Johns is hoping “students will see some changes, good ones, by Fall semester.” Johns began by asking students what would encourage them to stay on campus during the weekends. There were numerous responses, but the two answers students were most vocal on were having a student activity center and keeping food venues open later on the weekend. Senior Chris Saunders suggested having an activity center designated just for students. One student suggested having a “Gym Jam,” a practice from her previous college where students go to the gym for activities. Johns also asked students where they would put donation money if they were president. Students suggested that the money go to a graduate program and certification programs to accompany the degrees currently offered. Students also had suggestions about the fitness opportunities on campus, including improving the fitness equipment in the YMCA and adding another fitness facility on campus specifically for students, since the YMCA is also open to the public, and the Hank Norton Center is designated for athletes. Students made clear that they wanted change in food and dining services. One suggestion was that the remaining work-study jobs be made available for work labor opportunities, as some students do not qualify for work-study. A member of the student senate informed the students that a proposal for that idea was being prepared for Johns. Students were also vocal about introduc-

Inside the Issue page 2

Photo courtesy of Ferrum Colllege Athletics

Deickman Overcomes Odds, Finds Success

Photo by Mary Stoudt

Dr. Johns, right, speaks to students, faculty, and staff about Ferrum College at his first reverse town hall meeting. Students asked questions about campus food, allocation of school funds, and pets, among other things.

ing student management jobs on campus, which would give them the opportunity to add valuable experience to their resume. Students want jobs on campus that help them earn more skills that relate to their future career. For dining services, students want nutritious options offered in the cafe. Students also suggested that to-go boxes should be introduced to the cafe. Since the food venues close so early, students who have a tight schedule want the option to grab food and eat it on the run. The audience also suggested a grab-and-go area, which would enable students to swipe their card and grab to-go food. The food choices offered on campus and at the cafe have always been a topic for debate. The students seemed excited to have their voices heard. Johns’ last main question was about making an area of campus pet friendly. Students were very vocal on this question because there are a lot of pets on campus, both registered and unregistered. Students suggested designating a pet friendly dorm, which would relieve those with pet allergies or fears. Students also suggested having a pet park on campus to give pets an opportunity to exercise

and play outside. Several audience members with emotional support animals, or ESAs, expressed their discontent toward a policy preventing them from taking their pets to other dorms. After the meeting, senior Jade Jones said, “I thought the meeting was productive and a step in the right direction. However, talk is cheap. Until I see results, I’m not going to put too much faith in the administration. I wish more students would have come, because I was honestly disappointed in the turn out. But I think if these things happen more often, more people will speak up.” This Town Hall meeting was the first one Johns held since becoming president of Ferrum College. “I appreciated everyone's openness and honesty in sharing their concerns,” Johns said. “It was valuable information, and as I often like to say, the only way we can improve is if we're honest with each other.” To continue open communication within the Ferrum community, Johns is holding two more Town Hall meetings. The first will take place on Wednesday, April 4, from 10:10am until 11:05am, and the second on April 10, from 9:30am until 10:50am.

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Photo courtesy of Ferrum Colllege Athletics

Lacrosse Champion Sets Records

Photo by Declan Galvin

Ferrum Students Enjoy Snow Days

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Deickman Juggles Sports, School, and Parenthood by Kristin Perry Sophomore Leya Deickman has had tremendous success at Ferrum College so far. She’s achieved both academic and athletic excellence on top of taking care of her three year old son, Kendall Ware Jr. During Leya’s junior year of high school, she got pregnant with her current boyfriend, Kendall Ware Sr. They “faced troubles and hardships as a result. We were forced to grow up quickly, balancing being parents, a student, and athletes all at the same time” Leya said. After graduating from Hoke County High school in the spring of 2016, they were both forced to make hard decisions about their future. Kendall Sr. decided to take a year off between high school and college to stay home with Kendall Jr., while Deickman attended Ferrum in the fall. As a freshman, Leya maintained a 4.0 throughout both the fall and spring semesters. Leya was also on the women’s wrestling team. She wrestled in the 170 weight class and went 1-2 at nationals, falling short of her goal to earn both academic and athletic All-American honors. This year, Leya made a great leap in her wrestling career. She won 3 matches and lost 2 at the women’s wrestling national tournament. In her final match, she fell short in a devastating loss, 5-2. Leya lost in the “blood round,” falling just short of All-American honors by losing that match. Transitioning from her freshman year of wrestling to sophomore year, she made many changes to help her improve. “My attitude and confidence made the biggest difference this year in wrestling. I wasn’t as confident in my wrestling last year, but this year I could

Above, Leya Deickman celebrates the new year with her boyfriend and son. Right, Deickm a n d o m i n ate s an opponent duri n g a Wo m e n' s Wrestling Match in Schwartz Gymnasium. Deickman had a child in high school and has mult-tasked as a mother, academic, and athlete ever since. Despite her challenges, she's stacked up an impressive list of ac h i ev m e nt s at Ferrum College

Photos courtesy of Leya Deickman

definitely see a change in my demeanor”. Leya said that believing in herself was key to developing as a wrestler. This year, she made Ferrum history by becoming the first Women’s Wrestler to earn Academic All-American honors. Deickman maintained a solid 4.0 throughout the last two years at Ferrum. She has a diligent strategy for achieving that kind of a success. “I prioritize every day,” Deickman said. “The key to success is taking it day by day. I try to get all my work done as soon as possible, that way I have time to be a super mom, student, and athlete.” Her advice to students looking for both academic and athletic success it is too persist, no matter the obstacles. “Never give up, even when you don’t see positive outcomes, because they will Continued on page 7

Alumni Spotlight: Meister Returns to the Mat by Kristin Perry

Logan Meister, a 2017 graduate of Ferrum College, is now a current assistant coach with Ferrum’s Men’s wrestling program. Meister spent four years wrestling under the coaches that he now works with. He graduated last spring with a major in philosophy and minor in criminal justice. He was the only person of his graduating class to graduate with a degree in philosophy. He graduated with a 3.47 GPA, which earned him the following academic accomplishments: Dean’s list multiple times, president’s cup award his senior year, and Academic All-American Honors twice during his four years. Meister also accomplished big things on the mat. He was a three-time national qualifier and earned All-American honors his junior year, taking sixth place in the country. He was a two-time conference champ, two-time Pete Willson champ, and won outstanding wrestler his senior year. He also placed three times in regionals: third his freshman year, first his junior year, and second his senior year. In addition, he was a member of the scholars program, which earned him the right to live in Dyer. Meister faced hardships and struggles while trying to be both academically and athletically successful. “It was hard. I struggled with time and energy,” Meister said. “Wrestling took up a good amount of time and used a lot of my energy. I had to focus academically to achieve what I wanted.” Meister also said that he had to have balance. “I focused on my school work when I needed to, focused on wrestling when I was wrestling, and would allow myself time to relax where I wasn’t

Above, alumnus Logan Meister poses for his mugshot with Ferrum College athletics. Right, Meister embraces one of his pupils after a wreslting match. A highly decoarted graduate of Ferrum Colege, Meister returned to help coach the wrestling team. He also started a business as a professional trainer under the name "Fit Meister."

Photos courtesy of Logan Meister

stressing over either.” Keeping a good balance of the three allowed him to succeed in all areas. Meister valued his friendships dearly; they were what he enjoyed most about college. Robert Cunningham, Justin Zimmerman, and Jonathan Dickey were the three guys that he did everything with. Wrestling is what brought them close, competing and practicing together in addition to hanging out all the time. Meister is now an assistant coach for Ferrum’s Men’s Wrestling Team. He said that there was not a huge difference in transitioning from an athlete on the team to the assistant coach. Junior year, he stayed at Ferrum and participated in multiple camps with head coach Nate Yetzer. During the camps, he got to help coach and teach wrestling to the campers. In his junior and senior years, Continued on page 7

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Mattox Finishes Impressive Career on a High Note by AnnGardner Eubank Zarkia Mattox had a decorated basketball career with the Ferrum Panthers and left a significant impact on the program. The super star of Swartz Gymnasium is no stranger to news articles, awards, and honors commending her valiant effort and game-changing talent. The senior helped lead her team to victory for the past four years, ultimately ending her career with a 17-10 overall record and a 14-2 conference record for the 20172018 season. Ultimately, the Panthers made it to the USA South Semi Finals, where they lost to Berea College 68-54. The numbers don’t lie. Mattox led the team in most categories this season, including points (592), average points per game (21.9), field goals made (231), assists (86), rebounds (233), and steals (103). The Franklin County native has consistently been a strong force for the Panthers. She was named USA South Rookie of the week three times in her 2015 freshman season and Rookie of the Year at the end of it. She earned several all-tournament team recognitions her sophomore year, broke a school record of scoring 48 points in a win over Bridgewater College in her junior year, earned Ferrum’s first ever triple double in the same game (48 points, 12 rebounds, 10 assists) and was awarded several USA South Player of the Week honors. She also joined the 1000-point club against Emory and Henry College, all while earning USA South Player of the Week multiple times. Mattox finished her junior year as the USA South Player of the year and

Photos courtesy of Ferrum College Athletics

Above, senior Zarkia Mattox, left, jumps for the ball during a Ferrum basketball game. Mattox just finished the last season of a historic career with the Ferrum Women's Basketball team, collecting a plethora of awards and honors in addition to leading her team in most recorded categories.

VASid Player of the Year, along with being named to regional, tournament, and all-state teams. Coming into her senior year, Mattox was well known and respected among the USA South. placed her on their pre-season allAmerican team. She broke the school’s all-time scoring record on January 21 in a game against Pfeiffer, was named USA South’s player of the week five times and placed on’s team of the week twice. She was also named to the USA South All-East Division first team, USA South All-Conference first team, USA South AllTournament team, and All-South region first team. Mattox also finished her career being named USA South Player of the Year for the

second year in a row. On March 16, the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association named Mattox as an honorable mention in the 2018 WBCA Division Three All American Team. Mattox, finishing her career as a record holding, two-time player of the year, and overall outstanding and key player, certainly left her heart out on the court and gave the game everything she had. After four years playing for the Panthers, Mattox will leave a legacy of excellence behind her, setting the bar extremely high for upcoming program leaders and players. Undeniably, Mattox has left her mark on Ferrum Women’s Basketball Program and will surely be a hell of famer one day.

Fullem Breaks Records and Leaves His Mark by AnnGardner Eubank

Tyler Fullem is a stand-out senior with a decorated career on the Ferrum Lacrosse team. Named to the SELIC all-tournament team in 2015 and the All SELIC Team in 2016 and 2017, Fullem’s lacrosse career has been nothing short of impressive. The Maryland native, however, is not done leaving his mark on Ferrum’s field. An attack-player for the Panthers, he is the first ever player from Ferrum College to reach and exceed 200 points in their college career, finsihing with a total of 205. Hard work, talent, and pure love for the game has allowed him to break records and stand out on Ferrum’s offense. He notes that the team culture and sense of family has allowed him to reach his potential and succeed with his team both on the field and beyond. “Being a Ferrum Lacrosse player for the past four years has shaped me in a positive way,” Fullem said. “It has taught me brotherhood and has helped me get my priorities straight. It has also definitely helped me with rhythm as well as repetition in my college experience.” The team currently holds a 5-7 overall record and a 2-1 conference record. With a lot more time in the season, the team is hoping to earn some more wins, along with a major goal of making an appearance in the NCAA tournament. “For the rest of the season, we need to bond more as a team,” Fullem said. “I would say we are half in and half out. We need to work on togetherness a bit more. We have goals of winning our conference and making our first ever NCAA appearance. It’s been a goal of ours in the past, and we’ve

Photos courtesy of Ferrum College Athletics

Above, senior Tyler Fullem gets ready to pass the ball during a Ferrum lacrosse game. Fullem has several accolades under his belt with the Panther's. Recently, he set the record for most points scored in a career by a Ferrum Men's lacrosse player.

never gotten over the hump. So, why not now?” This season, Fullem is currently leading the team in points, goals, shots, and shots on goals. As he soaks in as much of his final season as possible, he wants to leave his beloved team with a legacy of hard work and passion for the game. “I’ve always had trust in my teammates,” Fullem said. “I want the ones who come after me to put their ego aside and go to work. I want to be remembered by my adaptability and want people to be excited when talking about the way I used to play."

With five regular season games left, there is still time left for records to be broken and goals to be crushed. More importantly, there is still time for a close group of seniors to enjoy their last several weeks of hitting the field together as a team. “Ferrum was a great four years for me,” Fullem said. “The hard hat lacrosse that we’ve played here has been great and I’m going to miss it every day after I graduate. I want to wish Ferrum Lacrosse the best of luck in the future and as they move into the ODAC next year.”

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Tennis Teams Build Skill with Practice

by AnnGardner Eubank The women and men’s tennis teams have been busy becoming stronger and more consistent. The pre-season polls predicted the men to finish fourth in the East division and the women fifth. Both teams have been working towards growing, improving, and rising through the ranks for the 2018 season. The Panthers began their season travelling to Lynchburg College on February 18 for a non-conference doubleheader. Both the men and women fell to the Hornets, the former 9-0 and the latter 8-1, with junior Alexandria Dixon winning a match. The men’s team was blown out by Pfeifer University on March 7, Southern Virginia University on March 8, and William Peace University on March 10. However, they pulled off a comeback on March 14 against Greensboro College. Although they lost 4-5, it was the best the men had performed all season. Thomas Wallace and Colin Ross had

at Sweet Briar College on February 23, Pfeiffer University on March 7, and Southern Virginia University on March 8, the women finally found victory when they swept William Peace University on March 10 with a score of 9-0. With their blowout victory, they kept a 3-match winning streak, with a 5-4 win against Hollins on March 13 and another 9-0 win against Greensboro College on March 14. After falling to Salem College on March 17 with a close score of 4-5, the ladies quickly bounced back to get the 9-0 win over Guilford College, where Morgan Scott, Alexandria Dixon, AlexanPhotos courtesy of Ferrum College Athletics dria White, Autumn Murray-Burns, Sophomore Morgan Scott serves the ball in a match against Emory and Henry Hailee Green, and Nikeyra Lee picked up a doubles victory. Wallace has made many improvements so all won their singles matches. The also picked up a solo win, as did Sam far this season and plans to continue Panthers were just as successful in their growth. “Our goal for the rest of their doubles matches, with teams of May and Matt Poirier. “One of biggest challenges we the season is just to continue grow- Dixon and Scott, Murray-Burns and have as a team is that many of us ing and getting better as athletes,” White, and Green and Vicki Meza all taking home wins. are inexperienced players, and for LaLande said. The women returned to the The women’s team has fared a many of us, this is our first time even courts against Guilfor March 18 with playing the sport,” senior Amadeus bit better, with an overall record of LaLande said. However, the team 4-5. After a four-match losing streak a 9-0 win, and the men fell 0-9 .

Ferrum Golf Team Hits the Road Wrestling


by Austin Smith

Above, the Ferrum Golf Team poses as a group with their tournament trophy.

Photos courtesy of Ferrum College Athletics

by AnnGardner Eubank The men of the Ferrum golf team began their spring competitive season down south in Jekyll Island, Georgia from March 16-18. They competed against some big name schools, including Emory University, Carnegie Mellon, and NYU, in the Jekyll Island Intercollegiate Tournament. The Panthers tied for 22nd out of 30 teams. Even in a crowd of some much larger schools, it was another USA South competitor, Methodist University of North Carolina, who ultimately took first place. However, Ferrum golfers were able to hold their own. Freshman Hunter Shelton lead the Panthers with a six over par 222, earning himself the 41st place. Standout sophomore Lance Keiser tied for 79th place, senior Drew Lagan earned 102nd, senior Damien Beasley tied for 110th, and senior Landon Prillman rounded out the team, tying for 116th. The golfers continued their travels to the Golden State on March 26, where they competed at Sierra La Verne Country Club in La Verne, California for the 2018 West Cup and placed seventh, with Keiser finishing 8th out of 85.

As the end of the Panther Wrestling season approached, the issue of a venue for regionals was still at hand. The Panthers held the 2017 southeast regionals last year and came out victorious, placing 9 of 10 wrestlers. This year, in a last minute decision, they will be hosting the 2018 regionals as well. Action started February 23rd, when all 18 teams gathered at Franklin County High School. Bailey Cooper, Andrew Tolbert, Blake Rosenbaum, Antavian Leary, and Alveno Mathews all had a great first day, making it to the semifinals. Max Baker had one loss but battled back to move on. On the second day of the competition, Andrew Tolbert, Antavian Leary, and Alveno Mathews came out of the semifinals victorious, punching their ticket to the NCAA tournament in Cleveland. Cooper and Rosenbaum may have lost, but they battled back hard to take fourth. Mathews and Leary took second, while Ferrum had a lone champ this year in Andrew Tolbert. As a team, the Panthers took third behind Messiah and York out of Pennsylvania. In Cleveland, the Panthers fought hard, but the three wrestlers that advanced were all knocked out in the second round.

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Annihilation Review: Four and a Half Stars by Patrick Duggan

Alex Garland’s first movie, Ex Machina, was a tremendous exercise in subtlety. Working mostly through three rooms and three characters, it leaned on well-written dialogue to explore a familiar sci-fi dilemma from new angles. Annihilation, Garland’s latest, is a lurch in the opposite direction. Maximalistic, risky, and ambitiously indulgent, it shares just about nothing with Ex Machina but genre and intellect. Film-making this unhinged is often uneven and rough around the edges – Annihilation is no exception. Regardless, its visceral creativity and dizzying ponderings elevate it above its own weaknesses, adding up to one of the best movies of 2018 so far. Lena, played by a particularly anxious Natalie Portman, is a cellular biologist and former soldier. Her special-forces husband, played by Oscar Isaac, has been missing for a year after leaving on a shadowy mission. When he returns both physically and mentally damaged, she follows four other talented actresses into a gene-bending nightmare-dome called the shimmer, which is slowly expanding over US territory. Inside, all living organisms are dramatically mutated by unknown means, resulting in equal parts stunning visual fantasy and dramatic monster horror. The bindings holding it all together are like a science fiction Heart of Darkness, building surrealism as the crew moves deeper into the shimmer. Garland handles this premise like a trope-kaleidoscope, guiding his characters through an adventure, horror, and sci-fi smoothie, each element dispersed unevenly throughout the plot. The tonal shifts can be jarring, especially when things get violent. On top of that, some elements never find enough breathing room to realize. The characters never

really take off, stuck in development-stasis. Each member of the crew is assigned some sort of psychological trauma, but the script leaves most of the details to the imagination. Regardless, it’s hard not to be floored by the creative ambition on display. Even when things feel clunky, there’s more than enough dazzling cinematic technique to hold it all together. The premise’s immense visual promise is fulfilled and then some, serving up one show-stopping pupil-dilator after another. More importantly, there’s a fierce intellectual design at play. The final act stretches into one of the most bizarre visual sequences I’ve seen in any movie, ever. After that, Garland brings his scientific themes together into an overarching question:

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what counts as human, and how much can an individual change without becoming a different person entirely? The ending poses more questions than it answers, targeting the kind of crowd that likes to argue on the way home. Overall, Annihilation is an imperfect movie. Garland serves up a schmorgesborg of film flavor backed by a compelling philosophical dilemma. It certainly won’t please everyone – some will be put-off but its inconsistency and others will be frustrated by its ambiguity. But you should see it anyway. Those that like it are in for a genuinely unique think-piece and muscle-tightening thriller, as well as one of the most memorable visual showcases in recent memory.

Fortnite Game: Five Stars Fifty Shades: Zero Stars

by Austin Smith Lookout, Fortnite is taking the world by storm and I love it. By definition, Fortnite is a PvP Battle Royale game where 100 people drop in various positions and locations across the map with nothing but a pickaxe. This pickaxe is for harvesting materials as you move through the map. It is also good for building onto things and in tight situations. Once you land, there are various treasure chests with loot such as shield potion, bandages, grenades, guns and ammunition, there are also guns scattered all around the map in various houses and buildings in case you don’t find a chest you can still

find guns. For Ferrum the game is much more than that, it is an escape from reality where you can test your skills against other players; it is a way to unwind after class along with a way to take a break from homework. Fortnite is all these things and some to the students at Ferrum College and that is why it is my favorite game right now. The best part is that the game is free for Xbox, PlayStation, and PC so it is accessible to anyone with one of these consoles. I have been playing Fortnite for about three months now and the game never gets old. Epic games the creators of Fortnite are constantly updating Continued on page 7 Press-release photo

by AnnGardner Eubank The Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy has always been repulsive to me. The story of a privileged, modernday damsel in distress completely swooned by a mysteriously wealthy and manipulative man never managed to draw me in like it did with so many of my demographic, my roommate and best friend in particular. I had made it extremely clear to Camryn that I would not, under any circumstance, find myself in the Eagle Cinema watching the sad excuse of a blockbuster hit. Yet somehow, on Valentine’s Day weekend, I found myself in the theatre with her and a few other friends. Just stepping foot in that theatre, I could literally feel

my brain cells dying. I am no cinematic snob. My favorite movies of all time are Napoleon Dynamite and The Goonies. Don’t get me wrong, both of those films are timeless classics. However, it should be noted it really doesn’t take much for me to be pleased from a movie. My expectations walking into the theatre were extremely low, so Christian and Anastasia Grey had a very easy opportunity to surprise me. My expectations were not exceeded. As a matter of fact, the film was even worse than I expected it to be, making it completely terrible. For starters, the acting itself was just Continued on page 7

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The Great Gun Debate: Pro and Con

Gun control laws have been sues we experience as a country, but a controversial issue for as long as I do believe they will make a large they’ve been established. People impact on the number of gun deaths have been debating about who and crimes committed. should get to carry guns, the correct Japan’s gun policy lies on way to obtain guns, and whether or the opposite end of the spectrum. not everyone should be trusted with Its government has developed the guns since the early days of slavery world's least firearm-filled nation. and women’s suffrage. In 2008, the United States had over I believe that we do need gun 12 thousand firearm-related hocontrol. I say this because we are los- micides, while Japan only had 11. ing too many innocent lives to those This was actually a high number who are not mentally stable enough for Japan; in 2006, they only exto properly use a gun. Stricter gun perienced two. In comparison, the control laws could shrink United States had 587 the number of lives we are deaths in 2008 by accilosing due to gun violence. dental discharge alone. According to The Atlantic, This demonstrates a “America's gun control remarkable comparilaws are the loosest in the son between countries developed world, and its with strict gun control rate of gun-related homilaws and country’s with cide is the highest. Of the loose gun control laws. world’s 23 ‘rich’ countries, In America, the country the U.S. gun-related murwith the loosest gun by Kristin Perry der rate is almost 20 times control laws in the dethat of the other 22.” This shows how veloped world, people are suffering the lack of gun control laws directly the most from gun crime. People correlates with the rate of gun related that are against gun control should homicides. I do not believe that gun only be concerned with strengthencontrol laws will solve all the gun isContinued on page 7

Gun control is a hot issue in themselves. We become helpless to today’s society. There are many the people that intend to do harm. questions regarding gun control Many people think with fewer like, how regulated guns should be guns or strict regulations the rate of or if certain guns should be banned gun violence will go down. Why are completely. This has caused a divide guns targeted so much and being in the American public. linked with crimes? There are just as I am here to say that gun control many stabbings as shooting and you will do more harm than is already don’t see people trying to ban knives. being done. Throughout history gun- The FBI revealed statistics and data control has plagued our world. Many to The Daily Caller stating that people think with less guns or strict “Americans are much more likely regulations the rate of gun violence to die from getting beaten, clubbed will decrease. The truth is all you’re or stabbed to death than to be murdoing is taking guns away dered using an AR-15 or from the people. The govany other rifle. The FBI’s ernment, by implementreport for violent crime in ing gun control, would 2014 revealed that only be disarming the people. 248 people were killed Without guns to protect from any forms of rifle themselves the people including rifles in the are now vulnerable. If AR-15 platform. In conyou take guns away from trast, 3,827 people were the people you are taking killed from being stabbed it away from the people or beaten. That means by Austin Smith who do no harm. Many that you are 15.4 times criminals get their guns illegally, so more likely to die from a stabbing or making it harder to get guns would beating than from a rifle. Handguns do no good. For all intents and pur- accounted for the vast majority of poses you would be taking guns from firearms deaths. The numbers also the people that need them to protect Continued on page 8

by Jacques Moore-Roberts Are there still racial issues in America? The answer to that question may depend on the respondent’s ethnicity or moral values. The world is taught racism. Children do not grow up with hatred towards a race that’s different from theirs. In most cases, it is the parents or guardians that implement stereotypes and dislikes into the children they are raising. This causes the children to grow fond of that playground friend who’s skin is darker or lighter than theirs. Social media also plays a large role in condoning racism by allowing people to say anything and voice any opinion while experiencing no consequences. Racial issues are still alive today, but they form in different ways than before. A few decades ago, there was no social media to document racist activities. Today, however, many debates are sparked by videos or tweets that demoralize different ethnicities. The officers charged for the malicious mugging of Rodney King were penalized because the video leaked to the public. Since then, there have been plenty of cases dealing with African-Americans being harassed by police officers or worse. The Sandra Bland case caused drastic reactions in the black community and caused

groups like Black Lives Matter and the NAACP to voice their opinions. Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by a neighborhood watch committee leader in Sandford, Florida on February 26, 2012. Reports state that Martin was walking through a wealthy neighborhood dressed in a black hoodie and was seen as a “suspicious figure” by George Zimmerman, Martin’s killer. Zimmerman approached Martin and fought him. He said that he shot Martin out of self-defense and was acquitted. This incident sparked a nationwide outrage from the black community and stirred up a lot of racial tension. One result was the Black Lives Matter movement, which was founded by Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometti. Donald Trump’s presidency has continued to grow racial tension in America. His insensitive comments about Mexicans, Muslims, Haitians, and others have exasperated the national debate. According to NBC News, Trump stated that Africa and Haiti are “shithole countries.” In reference to haitian refugees’ protected status in the US, he stated, “Why do we need more Haitians? Take them out.” It is shocking and disappointing to hear these statements from the president - Continued on page 8

Opinion: Racism In the Modern World


Staff Writers, Photographers, and Other Contributors Editor-in-Chief: Patrick Duggan Design Team: Patrick Duggan & Mary Stoudt

Sports Editor: AnnGardner Eubank News/Feature Editor: Mary Stoudt

Staff: D'on Jones, Jacques Moore-Roberts, Kristin Perry, Austin Smith, Zavion Thompson, Mary Stoudt, AnnGardner Eubank, Patrick Duggan

Letters Policy and Publication Details:

Opinions expressed in The Iron Blade do not necessarily reflect those of Ferrum College administration, staff, faculty, or students. The Iron Blade is published four times each semester during the academic year at Ferrum College, Ferrum, Va. It is designed on Apple computers and printed at JS Printing in Montgomery, Ala. Material may be reprinted with the advisor’s written permission. To contact The Iron Blade, call 365-4304 or e-mail The crest on page one was designed by alumna Sandy Southard (’04) in 2005 and updated and colorized in 2009 by Glenn Thompson.

Join the Staff

The Iron Blade is always looking for students who are interested in journalism, photography, or design. If you desire to contribute to The Iron Blade by being a writer, photographer, editor, or designer, please contact Patrick Duggan at

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Logan Meister, from Page Two Fortnite Game, Page Five he helped coach teammates and underclassmen. He was team captain the same two years, which helped him run workouts during the season. He also ran all spring workouts as a senior. Meister said his role has continued developing and isn’t much different than it was when he was captain, except he isn’t competing now. Meister is responsible for all strength and conditioning workouts, both preseason and during wrestling season. He runs the men’s lifts three times a week, ensuring that they use the correct techniques, gain both muscle and mass during season, and continue to make gains in the weight room. He also runs wrestling workouts approximately once a week. Most coaches want to ensure that their wrestlers don’t get burnt out on the mat from wrestling too much and training in the off-season. The key to staying motivated throughout the season and off-season was to “take some time off of the mat, but you should never stop training,” Meister said. “I think if you really want to be successful, you will always be doing something to work towards that goal. I enjoyed finding other ways to get better. Lifting was another way for me to train and get better at

wrestling while keeping my body healthy. Even on days when you’re not physically training, you can be mentally training. Visualizing the perfect match. A big tool of mine was visualizing my celebration for an upcoming tournament or match. Visualizing winning reinforces positive thoughts about the competition and calms my nerves.” Throughout the season, there are times to push and times to back off. If a wrestler is forced to compete at their maximum potential all the time, they will crash quickly. Meister helps plan “workouts around our competition schedule. We try to peak our athletes at the right time, the post season. We train extremely hard, but we will taper back on the intensity as we get closer to competitions so our athletes feel fresh and are ready to go.” Having been an athlete at Ferrum College, Meister can relate to a lot of the guys on the team and knows when to push and when to taper back. Coming back to Ferrum right after graduation was a big step for Meister. Working on the coaching staff of Ferrum’s Men’s wrestling program is a step towards his ultimate goal of becoming the head coach of a division III wrestling program.

-ing gun control laws if they can't pass written, physical, or mental tests to own a gun. Do you really think just anyone should be able to own a gun? I believe we should implement gun control laws like those in Japan because they’ve worked for many years and made a large impact. To own a gun in Japan, you must attend an all-day class and pass a written test afterwards, which is held only once per month, limiting the amount of people able to go. You must also pass a shooting range class. Next, you must go to the hospital and be able to pass both a mental test and a drug test. Japan is very strict on making sure the individuals wanting to own guns are mentally fit. Lastly, you must be able to pass a rigorous background check for any criminal record or criminal association. You also must give the police documentation of the location of your gun and ammo in your house, which must be locked and stored separately. Gun owners must also have the police inspect their guns once a year and re-take the class and exam every three years. These steps ensure that a person seeking to be a gun owner must pass multiple tests to prove themselves fit. This would cut the gun crime rate tremendously. Richard Rowe’s “Here Is Why We Need Gun Control Right Now” makes three very distinct arguments about why we urgently need gun control. First off, Rowe says that we often overlook the laws that are in place and the things that aren’t being enforced already. There are many gun control laws already in place, but they are not being utilized properly because buyers have found loopholes in the current laws. Like Japan, the United States has some laws regarding background checks and tracking of gun ownership. We need new and improved laws because the ones already in place are not preventing gun use illegally or stopping tragic gun violence. Second, Rowe points out that California and New Jersey are the only US states that have required some kind of mental health or criminal screening to own a gun. Most other states allow anyone to walk into a store and either buy a gun for themselves or for someone else. This means that in most states,

come,” Deickman said. “Most importantly, don’t forget to be a student first. The rest will fall into place.” Leah is majoring in English with a minor in education. She wants to teach high school English. While teaching, she plans to get a master’s degree and maybe PhD to become a school counselor. Leah said that it was “hard dealing with the process of high school and the stigma about not being able to go to college. It was challenging, but if you look at it on the positive side, it made me strive to do better, and I also always had help from the people around me.” The stigma about teen-mothers motivated her; she knew she was going to go to college, she just didn’t know exactly how she was going do it. Ten years from now, Leah sees herself married with more children and making a positive change in educational systems, especially for young parents. She said she wants to “help get rid of the stigma by being a living example and outlet for those students who are going to a title one school with high risks of getting pregnant.” Leah has made many sacrifices to get where she is today, but somehow she always seems to make it work. there is no guarantee that the buyer is mentally stable or that the person they are buying the gun for is mentally stable. Knowing this, we need to make a national law to enforce these screenings and help ensure that not anybody is buying a gun. Many mass shootings could have been avoided with better control and enforcing of laws. Rowe also states that in 2015, the United States had more guns circulating than it had people living here. Having more guns than people circulating in a country largely increases the chances of human error, which could include leaving a gun where a teen or small child could get it, selling guns to the wrong person or people, and improper storing and security. Humans are known to make mistakes, and with the amount of guns circulation throughout the United States, there are way too many mistakes waiting to be made. By enforcing stricter laws on guns, we can prevent accidents and mistakes from happening.

the map and gun selection keeping the game extremely interesting. Personally, my favorite part of the game in sniping, the snipers in this game are very realistic. This means you must account for bullet drop and lead a shot when the enemy is running. Along with this the game is in third person making fighting that much more exciting because you can look around corners or over hills before you actually crest them. For PlayStation or X-Box, the aim assist is very necessary and a great addition to the game. PC does not have aim assist; from what I have heard, it isn’t needed. The one thing that truly sets this game apart from all the rest is the implementation of building. As you gather materials, you may place floors, walls, or stairs, making a fort or just scaling a mountain. This is in no other game that I know of and people are taking notice. It’s a feature that takes the game to a whole new level, and that is why everyone is playing it. I would highly recommend this game to anyone that plays videogames. A solid 10-10.

Gun Control, Page 6 Deickman, Page 2 Fifty Shades Freed,

from Page Five

rubbish. Dakota Johnson, the female lead who plays Anastasia Grey, was so monotone it felt like she never left a round-table rehearsal. Her voice nearly put me to sleep. Jamie Dornan, who played Christian Grey, the predator-like male lead, was a bit more convincing in his acting. However, the story itself just really did not make sense. From the impossible intensity of the car chases to the rather mundane motives for kidnappings and stalkings, I could not piece together how any of the driving acts of the storyline made even remote sense. The characters seemed to overreact to the slightest inconveniences, but in the most monotone and mundane way possible. While the acting and the actual story were subpar at best, it was the misguided “girl power” movement the franchise claimed to promote that bothered me the most. My roommate and I have debated the issue on multiple occasions. My roommate, Camryn, argues that Anastasia’s ability to slightly change the dominant Christian Grey’s way is enough to start a feminism rally. I, on the other hand, found the film to glorify and promote abusive behavior. Christian Grey never let up on his controlling, manipulative, and extremely possessive ways. The only reason he simmered down on physical abuse aspects of their relationship was because she forced an ultimative upon him, which obviously included sex. The movie undeniably romanticized possessive and psychotic behavior and tried to play it off as protective. I have a feeling that the Fifty Shades Trilogy is on a constant loop at the gates of hell. However, there was one highlight to the third installment of the series. The soundtrack was actually rather catchy and included some pretty good songs. I am not typically a pop music fan, but this soundtrack wasn’t bad. My favorite song in the movie was “The Wolf,” by The Spencer Lee Band. It’s a banger. Another highlight to Fifty Shades Freed is that it is the final installment to the franchise. It’s over and done with, thank goodness.

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Ferrum Spends Some Time in the Snow

Ferrum has seen its fair share of snow during this winter season. Throughout the semester there have been some cancellations and other times students made the trek to class and activities despite the snowy weather. During this year's snowfalls, most students made the most of the weather and spent their days with friends in the snow. Photos by Patrick Duggan

Senior Noah Reed "I worked, I baked cookies, and I did homework. The days off were probably the most rewarding thing imaginable." Photo courtesy of Alyssa Herman

Junior Alyssa Herman "I screamed 'No!' at the top of my lungs and then crawled back into bed angry."

Senior Brandon Fleming "I spent the day relaxing and playing Portal. After, I went out in the snow. We had snowball fight and I made snow angels." Photo courtesy of Ta'Vyon Harris

Freshman Ta'Vyon Harris "Well I went outside and played in the snow, then played Fortnite afterwards."

Anti-Gun Control Opinion, Page Six

indicated that murder with all guns was on a steady decline, and was at a new recent low in 2014, with 8,103 total firearm murders committed. That means a decline of 351 murders since 2013, and a decline of 1,096 from 2010. ” This shows that you are more likely to be beaten or stabbed than to be shot by a rifle on the street. The numbers in this report conflict with the same statistics published by the Center for Disease Control. In addition, the weapon was not specified in thousands of firearm related cases reported to the FBI. Regardlessly, the numbers indicate a certain trend. Many rifles are now banned in the United States. This is just taking guns away from people like hunters that use them for recreational activities. Although the government isn’t trying to ban all guns, making them extremely hard to get for the people actually following rules and regulations is not fair. Implementing gun control doesn’t help the crime rates. It only

disarms the innocent people looking to protect themselves. Many criminals get their guns illegally, so enforcing background checks, mental health checks, and requiring stricter classes will not make a difference on a large scale. Many criminals illegally receive their guns from the black market or off the streets, which means that imposing and enforcing stricter gun laws will not change the number of criminals still receiving guns and committing crimes. “In 2004, the government conducted its periodic Survey of Inmates in State and Federal Correctional Facilities. It found that among inmates who had a gun when they committed their crime (16 percent of all prisoners), about 11 percent had bought the firearm at a retail store, a pawn shop, a flea market or a gun show. Another 37 percent had gotten it from a friend or family member. About 40 percent said they got it illegally on the black market, from a drug dealer or by

stealing it,” says Jon Greenberg with the Pundit Fact Newspaper. This goes to show that most criminals that are already locked up did not receive their gun legally. Additionally, several mass shootings are done by minors who did not obtain guns legally, thus enforcing stricter gun control laws is not going to help those shootings either. Most teenagers steal the guns from their parents or family members who usually would have obtained the gun legally. Yet, the parents should not be penalized because their child is old enough to know the consequences of their decisions. In conclusion, gun control is not the answer. As we move on year by year these crime rates are declining and we are heading in the right direction. The illegal trafficking of guns is a bigger issue that can not be solved by regulations. If people try to push for gun control it will only hurt the ones that are actually doing the right thing.

Freshman Logan Smith "I really enjoyed the days off. I fed the ducks, went for a hike, and lit a fire in the cabin. I also caught up on homework." Photo courtesy of Josh Sanders

Senior Josh Sanders "I built a snowman with all of my roomates."

Race, Page Six

from the president of the United States. Donald Trump’s poor choice of words stirred a ball of controversy and caused the Haitian ambassador to the U.S to speak out by saying, “Either the president has been misinformed or miseducated.” Racial issues obviously still exist in America, but I believe that they present themselves differently than they did in the past. Before technology such as cell-phones and cameras, there were many racist acts that were never reported due to lack of physical proof or lack of care from government officials. Nowadays, the world of social media makes it hard to get away with heinous racial hatred. However, those who express those beliefs should not be judged. Rather, they should be met with insight that will help them understand why they’re wrong. If people take the time to understand other races instead of building stereotypes and having subconscious fears against them, I am for sure that the world would be a better place.

Profile for Ferrum College

Iron Blade: April 2018  

Iron Blade: April 2018