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Erica O'Neal - Opinions Editor - opinions@mercercluster.com

August 14, 2013 - Page 2

Opinions clustereditors Editor in Chief Emily Farlow

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Managing Editor Patrick Hobbs

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Opinions Erica O’Neal

News Josh Glasscock

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Local Molly Wilkins

Features Marin Guta

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Entertainment Rachel Snapp

Sports Carly Iannarino

Copy Editor Katey Skelton

Photography Trey Smith

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Online Editor Business Manager Conner Wood Kelsey Jones

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Adviser Lee Greenway

Letter From The Editor

By Emily Farlow Editor in Chief

The new face of The Cluster.

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“Whenever I hear The Cluster, I think of cluster... ‘eff...’” People say that to us a lot. Hopefully it’s because clusterf*** is a phrase that sticks in people’s minds, and not because The Cluster is a clusterf***. Even though we’re used to it and we don’t mind much, here’s the real origin of The Cluster, Mercer University’s student newspaper: According to “Why Mercer Student Publications Have Their Names,” by Bert Struby, “The Cluster of Spiritual Songs, Divine Hymns and Sacred Poems” was the name of a book of hymns edited by Mercer University founder Jesse Mercer in 1835. In 1920, when The Cluster first began publishing, it was named in honor of the baptist minister’s book of songs. In fact, if you give the Jesse Mercer statue by the quad a visit, you’ll see a book called The Cluster forever memorialized in his hand. The Cluster is a lot different now than it was back in the 1800s when it was first conceived by Jesse Mercer.

Editorial opinions in this paper only reflect the opinion of the writer, not the opinion of The Cluster or Mercer University. Writers are encouraged to keep letters to the editor around 300 words. The Cluster reserves the right to edit letters for length. Questions regarding editorials or letters to the editor should be sent to: opinions@mercercluster.com

Emily Farlow

tures a silhouette of the Jesse Mercer statue, complete with The Cluster on his lap. Patrick (Managing Editor of The Cluster) and I chose that design because, despite all of the changes, we wanted to make sure we remembered where The Cluster came from: A book of hymns based on the convictions and beliefs of a baptist minister who valued education and hard work. Our conviction and belief is that news is important, and we will work hard this year to give Mercer the news it deserves. Welcome back, Mercerians!

“Macon” Summer Memories: How will you make Macon part of your year? By Kelsey Jones Business Manager

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The most obvious difference is that we don’t publish songs about Jesus. That’s not really the purpose of a newspaper. (Though it is the purpose of The Dulcimer, Mercer’s literary magazine. You can submit all your songs, poems, short stories and art to them!) As a newspaper, The Cluster is also different now than it was when it began in 1920. The Cluster is even different than it was last year. The newspaper is smaller in size now, though we can still publish the same amount of news. The layout looks different, and you’ll notice more color in each issue. We are also going to work hard to update our website with videos, photos and breaking news. Our goal is to keep the students of Mercer interested and concerned about the news happening around them. If The Cluster wants to keep up with the ways journalism and news are changing, then The Cluster has to change, and I hope you will like what we have done and what we will do. Let us know what you think of our new look, and please email any ideas or suggestions you may have to me. You’ll notice that our new masthead fea-

Last January, I made one resolution before returning to school and that was: to not live at home the upcoming summer. I weighed my options, and though they were numerous I am sure, I already had my heart set on staying in Macon. Why, you may ask? For one, it was financially responsible. The first job I committed to for the summer was as a camp assistant for Residence Life. The biggest perk of the job description was free housing for the summer, an offer that seemed to hop off the page and into my loving arms. The job turned out to be awesome, and no, Residence Life is not paying me to say that! I met new people, learned how to “pull keys”--sometimes for an entire building at one time--, and saved a few camp kiddos from lock-outs. The job was not too demanding as far as time and energy and was well worth the experience it provided. The staff in Residence Life really are great people, and I would definitely recommend you get to know them. I took on a second job and a third job almost within the same day--the first being with the College Hill Alliance and the second as a nursery worker at First Baptist Church of Christ (FBCX). At College Hill, I had some typical office duties, but I also had some pretty neat opportunities within the community. If you are looking for a job this semester that impacts the community and is fun, I would look no further than an internship with College Hill. In May, I saw the largest gathering we have ever seen at a Second Sunday, and I finished my last

Break some of the stigmas you may have heard about Macon and instead, make it your own. It is your community to play in, to grow up in, to make friends in, and I think this is a perfect year to put your stamp on it.

Second Sunday in July with a ride down a homemade slip-n-slide in Washington Park. At FBCX, keeping one year olds every Sunday morning proved to be a whole different line of work. I would argue that most days there is no greater joy than those little ones, and I always leave the nursery feeling so much more positive.

After taking into account the job and housing situation, another reason I needed to work in Macon for the summer was to fulfill my senior project requirement for the Mercer Service Scholars program. In addition to these jobs, I helped write a few grants for the Methodist Home for Children and Youth. It was a good experience that I am proud to call my culminating work for the Mercer Service Scholars program. My third, and probably the most important, reason for staying in Macon was and still is that I love this city. I wanted to spend one summer in the city I affectionately call a second home before I graduate.I knew there would be a lot to soak up in Macon’s summer rays, and I wholeheartedly think I did. From celebrating my 21st birthday at the Hummingbird on a Saturday night to watching the fireflys dance on the back roads in North Macon, I think I had a special summer. I would not have traded this summer in Macon to have been anywhere else. I say all of this not to divulge to you the details of my summer, but moreso to challenge you to likewise make Macon a part of your year. There are numerous opportunities-- going to Second Sunday or Mulberry Street Market, visiting a church, eating downtown and in Mercer Village, going for a run through a nearby neighborhood--and they are only waiting for you. Break some of the stigmas you may have heard about Macon and instead, make it your own. It is your community to play in, to grow up in, to make friends in, and I think this is a perfect year to put your stamp on it.

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