News - Page 3
Entertainment - Page 4
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Tennessee Tech University | Cookeville, TN | 38505
Volume 92 | Issue 6 | October 30, 2009
Haunted Homecoming g n Ki ueen s e t a d i & Q Cand
Erin Chambers Senior
Hailey Fanning Senior
Brittany Steele Junior
Alpha Delta Pi
Society of Women Engineers
Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship
Ernest “Evan” Smith
Communications - Public Relations
Society of Women Engineers
Interdisciplinary Studies- Soc & Psych
Sigma Phi Epsilon
Phi Gamma Delta
Page 2 | October 30, 2009
Editorial and Opinion Wanted: Fun, engaging graduation speakers CHUCK ACHESON Asst. Editorial Editor For my homecoming editorial, I decided to write about something with which our alumni can help the University. For upcoming graduations, we need more engaging, better speakers. I realize we all can’t have Stephen Colbert come give a commencement speech, but we need to get someone more engaging than Dolores Gresham, the state senator who gave this past spring’s speech. It was a droll affair in which the person sitting a few chairs down from me dozed off. I wish I was making that up. Honestly, thank the Lord for “Brickbreaker” on my phone, or I may have fallen asleep too.
Gresham broke nearly all of the “8 Keys to a Graduation Speech with Pomp & Significance” from USA Today. Topics, such as leadership in the face of adversity and being yourself, are inspirational, but we’ve been hearing that since Kindergarten. When addressing a class of soon-to-be college graduates, there needs to be more significant value to it, not generalities. Gresham might have made some thought-provoking statement that radically altered the lives all those who heard it. Let me get back to you on what it was, because it definitely didn’t register with me. And that’s not an politics issue. She and I definitely disagree on certain issues, such as bringing firearms into restaurants which serve alcohol. She voted ‘Yea;’ I think that’s
amazingly stupid. Make a strong statement and defend it. Engage the audience. Make a bold statement up there, but don’t offend people in the audience. It’s OK to dabble in politics, but make sure you leave the audience with something to think about after you leave. If she was excited about giving the speech, I missed it. Let’s think about the situation. You are giving a speech to 1,250 graduates plus their families, who are all waiting for a diploma and the chance to bust out of there to hit the parties. Speaking in monotone is not going to hold anyone’s attention. Get up there, and be happy and engaging. But, the most egregious error in her speech was that it was far too long. From what I have read, 10 to 15 minutes is a good amount. I stopped checking my watch after 20 minutes into her speech.
Regardless, short and sweet is key. So alumni, this is where you can help. Have you lived an exciting life in which you have learned life lessons you want to share with students? Please, come forward and offer to tell some of the things you learned at Tech, things you learned in life and how things you learned at Tech affected your life. I want to hear about your life lessons and how I can apply them to my own life. Even if you don’t think you have lived a wild and adventurous life, you will have some wisdom to impart. So please come forward and offer to speak at upcoming graduations. I ask because, for upcoming graduation speeches, it would be nice if Tech didn’t scrape out the bargain bin for speakers.
Halloween is not an excuse to dress like a slut EMILY BOOKER lutely in some brazen cases) about the same I (a Christian) Editorial Editor Halloween: the season of candy corn and costumes. The fun of costumes does not end in elementary school, when we would dress as our hero or a spooky goblin. One of the best parts of fall as an adult is Halloween costume parties. Some may recall the holiday quote from Mean Girls, “Halloween is the one night a year when girls can dress like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it.” Well let me say something about it: you look like a slut. It has become tradition that the time around Halloween is an acceptable time to wear the shortest of skirts, the tightest of corsets, and the lowest cut of blouses. Plenty of men use the time to wear next to (or abso-
nothing, but I am focusing on my fellow women. Halloween costumes consist of “sexy cat,” “sexy witch,” “sexy referee,” “sexy fill-in-the-blank-with-anything-you-can-think-of.” As children, the focus is on candy (how the holiday focuses around gluttony and greed is a different article), and we as get older, the focus turns to sex. Costume parties turn into opportunities to be whoever you want to be, as long as it’s a sexed-up version. Women wear clothes they would consider completely inappropriate any other time of year. Why? What about this holiday makes it ok to dress like a slut? I wonder how the Celts felt about their holiday being turned into a Christian celebration of saints, and ultimately, a costume party with bite-size candy. Probably
feel about the secularization of Christmas and Easter. The Celts celebrated Samhain on Oct.31st. They believed it to be the night the spirits of the dead returned to earth, blurring the world with the afterlife. They wore costumes of animal skins and tried to predict one another’s future. I doubt their costumes were “sexy deer” or “sexy bear.” Holidays these days are basically just an excuse to take some days off work and party (and maybe think about a great leader, a religious truth, or a historical event for a few minutes). But even on days dedicated to celebration and fun, there should never be a day to put values aside. Appropriately-dressed costumes do not take away from the fun of being someone or something else for the night.
It doesn’t take away from the adrenaline rush of haunted houses and scary movies that come with the modern form of the holiday. We should not encourage one another to look as cheap and slutty as possible, but hold one another accountable. Our decisions on Oct. 31 should not contradict our decisions on Nov. 1. In a society already obsessed with sex, do we need a holiday to dress even more risqué? If you really want to stand out this Halloween, don’t look like a slut.
Managing Editor- AMANDA RUSSELL Advertising Manager- SARA BOHANNON Editorial Editor- EMILY BOOKER Sports Editor- CHRIS BROOKS Entertainment Editor- MIKE FORD Copy Editor I- TALLULAH GILLUM Copy Editor II - BAILEY DARROW Asst. Managing Editor- CHRISTINE SEIBER Advertising Asst.- ALLISON WHEELER Advertising Asst.- DIANA CARSON Asst. Editorial Editor- CHUCK ACHESON Asst. Sports Editor- BRANDON GOODWIN Adviser- BRENDA WILSON Cartoonist- MIKE FORD Tennessee Technological University--nondiscriminatory on the basis of sex in its educational programs and activities including employment and admission of students to the University as required by Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 and regulations based therein and published in CFR, part 86. Tennessee Technological University is an Equal Opportunity Affirmative Action Employer. The Oracle is published weekly by Tennessee Technological University, P.O. Box 5072 TTU, Cookeville, TN 38505
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Day of the dead around the world Like many holidays, Halloween evolves in every culture in which it is introduced. A fall holiday to celebrate the dead (or expect spirits to roam the earth) is celebrated all over the world.
IRELAND In the home country of Halloween, a traditional food eaten on Halloween called “barnbrack” is a type of fruitcake. A muslin-wrapped treat is baked inside the cake which can supposedly foretell the future of the one who finds it.
SWEDEN Halloween is known as “Alla Helgons Dag” and is celebrated from Oct. 31 until Nov. 6. The Friday prior to All Saint’s Day (Nov. 1) is a short day for universities while children are given a vacation day.
SYRIA Syrian Christians celebrate a feast called Halloween on Dec. 3rd and 4th. Children dress up and go to friends’ homes singing and distributing candy.
LATIN AMERICA Many families tidy the gravesites of deceased family members and adorn the grave with flowers or paper streamers. Often, a person is placed inside a coffin which is then paraded through the streets while vendors toss fruit, flowers and candies into the casket.
CHINA During the festival Teng Chieh, food and water are placed in front of photographs of departed family members while bonfires and lanterns are lit in order to light the paths of the spirits as they travel the earth on Halloween night.
FRANCE Halloween was almost unheard of in France until 1996 when American-owned bars started hosting Halloween parties. Today it is usually celebrated by people of all ages going to costume parties at friends’ homes, bars or clubs.
Some people leave bread, water and a lighted lamp on the table because it welcomes the dead souls back to earth on a night which was once considered to be brimming with strong cosmic energies.
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Page 3 | October 30, 2009
News events Tech acknowledges Web site problems @tech By JENDA WILSON Staff Writer Matthew Gann, Web and digital media director, is working to alleviate the issues users are having with the new Tech Web site. He encourages students, faculty, staff and others to contact him with suggestions for improvements. He has already used many of the submitted comments and complaints in correcting problems with the site. “If I’m not made aware of an issue or suggestion for an improvement, then there’s not a way I can act on it,” Gann said. When several users of the site saw that the drop down menus along the top fail to appear, they emailed Gann via the feedback form. He was able to discover the problem and fixed it through their help. There have also been entire pages missing on the new site. Some of these were linked to official units
of the University, while others were linked to individual organizations. The Web and digital media director’s job is to maintain those pages linked only to official units of the University, like the College of Arts and Sciences. Individual student organizations’ sites are managed by Student Activities. Several users have also criticized the new people and site searches for returning empty results, a problem the new search system was supposed to fix. Gann explained that the missing information in the people search often occurs because someone has signed a form preventing the release of their contact information. People who have signed this form in error should contact the Records Office. He also said it would have taken too long to bring every committee and council site over to the new design, so those missing will be added after updating their most recent meeting
Web design by Matt Gann Screen shot of the Tech Web site captured Wednesday evening. The new Tech Web site premiered Sept. 22.
and minute information. Gann does expect the new search engine to improve over time, though, because it uses search relevance—based on page content and traffic—when returning results. Despite several issues with Tech’s new site organization and design, Gann remains optimistic.
“My first mandate is to attract students,” Gann said. “My second is to support current students, faculty and staff here by making it easier for them to find the information they need. I think we have accomplished this with the new site design.” He has also received positive feedback about the
new Web site. “I must admit that being a software engineer for years and now working for a firm that designs Web sites, I had second thoughts on sending my son to school at Tech,” said Stephany Beane, mother of a Tech freshman. “After seeing the Tenn Tech Web site, I am breathing a sigh of relief. What a welcome change. Keep up the good work.” Gann works closely with Information Technology Services to keep the site running smoothly. ITS maintains an up-to-date server system and hardware, while Gann manages the content system and design aspects. For more information about the site, or to submit your own comments or concerns, visit http:// www.tntech.edu/web/ aboutsite. To contact the Records Office, visit http://www. tntech.edu/records.
Health Services offers affordable medical attention, prescriptions By CHUCK ACHESON Asst. Editorial Editor
By James Schiermeyer Members of the faculty and staff attended the forum held in the Nursing and Health Services Building.
University courses to receive technological redesign By JAMES SCHIERMEYER Staff Writer Administrators and educators participated in a University forum focused on redesigning courses and the involvement of technology in the classroom and the future. Mediated by Ken Wiant and supported by Tech’s Technology Institute, the main goal of the forum was to look at the evidence obtained from other universities to see if any of this could make an impact at Tech. “We have to look at what
we want our students to achieve and is there another way to go about it,” Wiant said. “How can these tools add new things to the classroom, maintain excellence and at the same time improve what we do and how we do it.” The forum analyzed what universities, large and small, across the country have done to meet growing classroom size concerns, to enhance the learning experience with technology and how successful those measures were. Also, feedback from student assessments and personal experiences of faculty and how they were able to use different technological tools to assist their lectures was added to the mix. As state budget concerns and consistent increases in enrollment continue, Tech will need all the tools available to assist in instructing the next generation of leaders and innovators that walk the campus. “We don’t want to change or replace what the instructors are doing,” Stacey Plant, an instructional media
CONTINUED on page 8 as “Redesign”
Examinations and affordable medications are offered throughout the semester by the J.J. Oakley Campus Health Services regardless of your health insurance. “There is a health services fee incorporated into your general services fee,” Randy Tompkins, supervisor for health services, said. “It’s $20 per student, per semester.” After paying the fee during registration, there is no additional cost to be seen by staff and there is no cost to be treated for minor illnesses or conditions. These include influenza, upper respiratory issues, minor injuries and lacerations, urinary tract infections, gastro intestinal prob-
lems, and many others. Prescriptions will cost students, but the price is minimal. “The average cost of medicine is $5 to $7,” Head Nurse Cynthia Tompkins said. The price of medicine listed is the cost of a prescription without health insurance. According to the staff, it’s important to stop by health services if needed regardless of your health insurance situation. The medicine prices are from a state which is bid out by the state government. “We buy generics on a state contract,” Randy Tompkins said. “We try to save students the most money we can.” Health services receives the medications from Cardinal Health, a distributor.
“The contract is handled by the purchases department,” Randy Tompkins said. “We buy some vaccines directly, such as meningitis, but that’s because only one company makes it.” “[Seeing staff] is done on a walk-in basis,” Randy Tompkins said. “There is no need for an appointment.” However, health services recommends planning an appointment for certain procedures, especially regarding women’s health. Health services is located at the corner of 7th Street and Mahler Avenue on the east side of the Nursing and Health Services Building. For more information, go to http://www.tntech.edu/ healthservices/home/.
Health screenings offered in November By KARLA HAMMAC Staff Writer The Campus Recreation and Fitness Center will host a Fall Health Check Nov. 4 and 5 from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. The health check will take place in the Fitness Center. A blood screening will take place in Room 216, and a vascular screening will be in Room 214. Cookeville Regional Medical Center is partnering with Campus Recreation and the Fitness Center to offer the health check. Phlebotomists from Cookeville Regional Medical Center will be ad-
ministering the blood screening. The blood tests that can be performed include comprehensive chemistry profile for $15, lipid profile for $10, thyroid panel for $40, prostate specific antigen for $15, and complete blood count for $10. “This is an affordable service, and all of the money goes to the hospital,” Ramona Pennington, Health Promotions Coordinator, said. The health check is open to all students, staff, alumni and family of alumni. Vascular screening tests that can be performed include stroke screening/carotid artery for $45, abdominal aneurysm screening for
$45, Peripheral Arterial Disease Screening for $58, and a discounted complete vascular package for $125. “The health check has actually saved people’s lives,” Pennington said. “A man practically diagnosed his own cancer, because he saw his own numbers rapidly change and took his results to his doctor,” Pennington explained. Fasting is required 12 hours before the comprehensive or lipid profile blood is drawn. And patients are not to eat two hours before the abdominal aneurysm. For more information, call (931) 372-6511.
Tech partners with Operation Christmas Child this holiday season By CHRIS BROOKS Sports Editor The Residential Housing Association is teaming up with students, faculty and staff to engage in Operation Christmas Child. Titania Kerlegan is one of the volunteers who is assisting in the program, which has been in existence since 1993. “I think it’s an excellent
program,” Kerlegan said. “We tend to take small things for granted. And nobody should be denied the opportunity to receive a gift, especially kids.” RHA will be collecting toys, school supplies and hygiene items from students to donate to the program, with drop-off areas in each residence hall and one in the University Center. The drop-off boxes are covered with gift
wrapping and are located in the lobby of each dorm. One requirement for donations is that each item must be able to fit in a standard size shoebox. “We have to limit the size of the items to keep people from running out and getting something like a bike to send to the kids,” Kerlegan said. “Plus, they have to be able to fit in a shoebox so they can be delivered to them.”
The donations will be placed in shoeboxes after Nov. 15, which is the deadline for donations. They will then be taken to a local OCC dropoff location to be sent off. In lieu of gifts, monetary donations are also accepted to help with the expense of shipping and other project costs. Gifts are distributed based on age category and gender, and the categories are broken down into groups of 2-4, 5-9
and 10-14 years. OCC is a program that works with local churches and overseas charities to ensure that gifts from donors are delivered by hand to children who need them. The purpose is to give needy children those gifts regardless of their background or beliefs.
CONTINUED on page 8 as “Christmas”
Oct/Nov tntech.edu/calendar/main.php for more events
5 p.m. Pep Rally at Memorial Gym 8 p.m. NPHC “Thriller” Step Show
Haunted Homecoming 10:30 a.m. Homecoming Parade from South Dixie Avenue to 12th Street 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Alumni & Friends Tailgate Lunch 1:30 p.m. TTU v. TSU
7 p.m. “Anchorman” Movie Night in Derryberry Hall Auditorium
4 - 6 p.m. Multicultural Evening 5:30 p.m. Women’s Basketball hosts TN Wesleyan 7:30 p.m. Men’s Basketball hosts Bluefield
QEP Deadline Today For more info. contact Ada Haynes at email@example.com.
University Organizations Update A new opportunity to read and discuss literature is available for book lovers at the Women’s Center. - For complete story, see page 8.
-- BAILEY DARROW Copy Editor The Speech and Debate Team came back from a competition at Berea College in KY last weekend with an award for third place out of the fifteen other schools that competed. -- JONATHAN PIERCE Staff Writer
Tech honors students left yesterday for the National Collegiate Honors Conference in Washington D.C., where students will be presenting and listening to presentations by other honors students across the country. -- JONATHAN FRANK Staff Writer
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Page 4 | October 30, 2009
Entertainment “Paranormal Activity” was kind of all right...Yawn, stretch By MIKE FORD Entertainment Editor
A friend and I, with hope of entering that fall-time realm of spooky shivers, saw “Paranormal Activity” this past weekend. Hailed by many as one of those scariest movies of all time, this low-budget startle-stash has been very well received. Using minimalist effects, a sin-
gle set (inside the director’s home) and a lone camera, Paranormal Activity harkens to some universal fright factors. Where do we go to keep safe from whatever creature lives in our closets (and perhaps moves out when we hit puberty)? Our beds, nestled beneath blanket to warm those chills. Here, in the bedroom, and particularly while the main characters sleep, is where this movie steps up to bat (bat!). Micah (pronounced Mee-
kah) and Katie, dating and living together in a large, empty house, set up a camera at night to capture the actions of some spectral meanie that has perpetually picked on poor Katie nearly her entire life. Micah obnoxiously totes his new cinematic toy around like a security blanket, all the while acting like some self-proclaimed Ghostbuster. Sorry, Micah. Had Bill Murray been there, it would have been a different story but, the camera store was fresh out of
Proton-packs so Micah had to do his best by acting like somewhat of an unlikeable frat-boy. Spooked senseless, Katie pleads throughout the film for outside help while Micah, ever sensitive, does anything but oblige. The movie got frustrating listening to them bicker, Micah often just being that guy that people do not like. Anyhow, on to the scares. In bed, the camera sits still, watching the couple sleep.
These are the moments that do some saving for the movie. Lumbering steps on the stairs? Scary. Stuff being moved or slammed across a room? Got me. But these aspects were simply too few and far between. I found myself huffing sassily when the two were out of bed. I genuinely enjoyed the frights but the dragging in between left me yawning. Until the end, it’s too sporadic. You may get a burst of horrendous terrors for about 15 minutes in
closing, but I could have done without the buildup. At parts, one of the scariest movies I’ve seen in a while and at others, as boring as “Goodwill Hunting,” only not good. And it’s not even long. Stick with the classics this Halloween. I just watched “The Shining” again and Nicholson is always a sure thing. Go watch it, get spooked and put your $8 to something much better. Eight ghostly tacos... wooooooooo! Happy Halloween viewing, readers!
Creepier than Jack Nicholson in “The Shining” A comic strip by Mike Ford
Christine Seiber / The Oracle (From left to right) Heather Adkins, Adam Greene, Hiromi Kawamura and Sonya Murphy do their best living-dead shimmy.
The living dead of Cookeville Swing dance the night away By CHRISTINE SEIBER Asst. Managing Editor Prostrate on the floor, members of the Cookeville Swing Society dug their fingers into the beige carpet and regained footing. Then, feigning weak legs or slumped shoulders, they hobbled toward the audience and began to dance. Performing the dance routine from “Thriller”, Michael Jackson’s 1983 single, the CSS sashayed across the floor it at its seventh annual Halloween Dance of the Dead at music and arts venue First and Cedar last Friday. Although the CSS is open to anyone to join, Tech students make up a majority of its membership. “Performing ‘Thriller’ is an all-time favorite with members,” said Heather Adkins, CSS president. Adkins, a junior history major at Tech, also added that
the CSS did not learn the routine as a result of Jackson’s unexpected death in June, although performing his work is indeed a “tribute” to him. Instead, the CSS originally learned and performed the routine in previous years to compete for the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest number of people performing the dance at the same time. In more recent years, the feat has become a traditional segment at CSS Halloween parties rather than for competition. The dance is a modified, shorter adaptation of the version made famous by Jackson. The original dance appeared in a 14-minute music video that received the Grammy Award for Best Long Form Music Video in 1985. For information about joining or receiving dance lessons from the CSS, contact Heather Adkins at adkins. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mon.-Thurs. 11-6, Fri.&Sat. 11-7
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Up & d e Dy
Transylvanian Transvestite comes twice in the Backdoor By GERILYN LEMONS Staff Wrtier Among the vast amount of homecoming activities this week, two screenings of The “Rocky Horror Picture Show” will be presented at the Backdoor Playhouse. WTTU, Tech Players and Tech Activities Board present the screening beginning tonight and Friday at 10:30 p.m. The screenings are open to the public but not recommended for people under 17 years of age. “If you have an open
mind, it’s the most fun you can have watching and participating with a movie,” John Corley, junior geology major, said. “The most fun came from watching everyone dance around on stage dressed in ridiculous clothing and hearing all of their offthe-wall comments.” Tickets to the event are free and can be retrieved at the Information Desk in the lobby of the RUC. An estimated 200 tickets are available for each screening, so acquiring tickets early is encouraged. In keeping with “Rocky
Horror” tradition, audience members are encouraged to dress as their favorite character. Also, prop bags will be available to purchase before the film begins. The prop bags cost $1 and will contain many items commonly thrown during the cult classic.
Friday, Oct. 30 at 10:30 p.m. Free Tickets are available at the Info Desk in the lobby of the RUC.
Amigos Club celebrates Dia de los Muertos By AMELIA TRITICO Staff Wrtier
The Tech Amigos Club will sponsor a Día de los Muertos celebration from 6 to 8 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 5 in South Hall, Room 205. “I’ve never been to the Día de los Muertos party
here at Tech,” said Cameron Chaparro, a freshman at Tech and president of the Amigos club, “but I think it’s going to work out well.” El Día de los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead in English, is a holiday celebrated by Mexico, parts of the United States and other Latin American countries. The
holiday consists of families and friends gathering together to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. Traditionally, this holiday is celebrated in concurrence with the Catholic holiday of All Saints’ Day on Nov. 1 and All Souls’ Day on Nov. 2. Private altars are built to
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honor the dead family members. Skulls made of sugar, marigolds, and the favorite foods of the deceased are placed upon the altar and sometimes even the grave. The Amigos club will celebrate this holiday by providing food, music for dancing and games. “We want it to be an environment for kids as well as college students,” said Chaparro. “We’re hoping to have a piñata for them.” Tickets are priced at $5 in advance and $7 at the door. Tickets for children are $3. They can be purchased from members of the TTU Amigos Club or at the Foreign Language department office. online edition>>
Page 5 | October 30, 2009
Entertainment TOMS campus reps, Poet’s host night of awareness, music, freebies By MIKE FORD Entertainment Editor
Two tech students, serving as TOMS Shoes campus reps are hosting an event to raise awareness for children in need all over the world. Matt Pack, senior ESL major, and Amanda Mercer, sophomore housing and design major, will be at local coffee shop Poet’s on the Square tonight from 6 to 10 p.m., discussing the TOMS Shoes mission, viewing a film about Toms, giving away prizes, and enjoying some of Cookeville’s live music scene. TOMS Shoes is a fairly new company founded on the thought that a charitable business model could be just as profitable as any other. Blake Mycoskie, founder and chief shoe giver opened TOMS Shoes in 2006. For every pair purchased, TOMS donates a pair to a child in need. People doubted Mycoskie’s business plan, Mercer said. “They told him ‘You’re never going to make money that way.’” But Mycoskie proved any doubters wrong, with TOMS becoming a very successful venture coinciding with its non-profit donation organization, Friends of TOMS, and staying true to the one-for-one promise. By April 2009, TOMS had donated about 140,000 pairs of shoes to children in Argentina, Ethiopia, South Africa, and more recently, in the United States. In design, TOMS are based on the Argentinean alpargata, a lightweight canvas shoe worn by most Argentineans. While vacationing therein 2006, Mycoskie decided to borrow the simple yet functional design and apply it to his business gamble, a gamble that has made TOMS an internationally recognized shoe brand. Mycoskie is currently looking
to expand operations outside of TOMS’ home in Santa Monica, California, by opening a factory in Ethiopia. Stopping debilitating diseases like Podoconiosis, is one of TOMS’ chief points of focus. “Some children walk up to three miles to get water,” Pack said. Walking barefoot on toxic soils like those found in some areas can lead to diseases which can lead to full loss of walking ability. Alike, many schools require shoes to be worn when attending school. “If they can’t afford shoes,” Pack said, “they can’t afford an education.” The youthful company still
has word to spread, having only recently become a major hit. Mercer recalled coming in contact with the TOMS Shoes movement at a Hanson concert. “Each concert they had, they would walk one mile barefoot to raise awareness. It really touched my heart.” “I thought it was amazing, what they were doing,” Pack said. “When I got my first pair in the mail, I thought ‘Wow. I just bought someone a pair of shoes.’” “It’s really the easiest way to help out,” Mercer said. “Even though it’s a huge part of our lives, there are many people who
know nothing about the company. With this event, “We are just trying to inform people about what we found out about,” Pack concluded. With the help of local business manager Kelsey Taylor, a donation of 10% of Poet’s profits made between 6 and 10 p.m. will be donated to Friends of TOMS. Also supporting Pack and Mercers effort, The Market, a local boutique shop neighboring Poet’s will be present and selling TOMS to those interested. Pack and Mercer will have a discount code available for online purchases as well. “We are going to be giving away two pairs of TOMS and a pair of TOMS wrap boots,” Pack said. A line up of local musicians will fill the evening with free tunes to enjoy. West Fifth (formerly The Runaways), Kaleb Buckner, Amelia Tritico, Blakely Estes, and Matt Mercer comprise the performers lending their skill to the Pack, Mercer and TOMS’ cause. “We have music from folk to country to poppy goodness,” Pack said. “In between sets, we are going to talk about what the company is doing right now and the impact that one pair of shoes can have. We’re hoping to have the video (a film about TOMS shoes mission) playing in the back room. If nothing else, we just want someone to come to Poet’s and buy a drink. We’re not expecting everyone to buy some TOMS.” “Just to come, buy a drink and listen, that’s helping,” Mercer said. The raffle for prizes goes beyond TOMS products, including gift certificates from Char, Maddux Station Bar and Grille, Sweet Sallies Bakery and Café, and Crawdaddy’s.
Kings of Convenience“Declaration of Dependence”
Alex Hatcher reviews the newest set of tracks from the Norwegian indie-folk pop pair. By ALEX HATCHER Staff Writer It’s been a long five years since Kings of Convenience released their “Riot on an Empty Street” LP. The Norwegian duo consisting of Erlend Øye and Eirik Glambek Bøe has finally released their highly anticipated follow up album “Declaration of Dependence.” Øye and Bøe have composed a mellow, relaxing album with hints of melancholy intertwined throughout. While some have pushed the band to adapt Øye ‘s dance and techno background and incorporate it into the new album, they instead chose to use the simplicity and strategic instrumental texturing as the premise behind the album. The album has some fans and critics wanting more songs like “I’d Rather Dance With You” and “Misread” from Riot on an Empty Street. The single off the record
“Mrs. Cold” uses a layering of stringed instruments including acoustic guitar, cello and stand-up bass. The constant percussive slapping of the guitar’s neck gives the song an upbeat tempo without losing any of the whimsy and charm of the song. “Boat Behind”, a single in other countries, layers a simple violin line over a bouncing bass and guitar line that could make a guard at Buckingham Palace want to grab a partner and dance. The overall feel of the album creates an imagery of a cool and foggy autumn day, which seems fitting with its release date. Whatever the reason for the long lapse of time between albums, it was worth the wait. The record is well produced, lyrically and instrumentally inspiring, and evokes intimate emotions. It leaves you with the feeling that people are better off together than apart, as the title suggests.
Mike Ford’s picks for Halloween viewing
This year, I suggest harkening back to some classics to get those freaked out thrills you thrive on. Here is a short list to add to your repertoire of spooky viewing: The Shining (1980) Rosemary’s Baby (1968) Night of the Living Dead (1968) The Exorcist (1973) The Omen (1976) Evil Dead, Evil Dead 2 and Army of Darkness (1981, 1987 and 1993)
Concert Choir and Chorale look ahead Haunted Homecoming Activities to busy holiday season, audition time By CHRISTINA RIDDLE Staff Writer
Friday, Oct. 30
Pep Rally 5:00 p.m./Memorial Gym TTU Athletics Hall of Fame Dinner 6:30 p.m./Multipurpose Room Students interested in attending must register with Mandy Thatcher at 931-372-3949 NPHC Step Show 8:00 p.m. /Derryberry Hall Auditorium
The music department at Tech is about to embark on two busy seasons. From the fall concert to the candlelight Christmas concert, there is much in store for students who want to experience musical entertainment this semester. At the beginning of the fall semester, the music department was busy with the Festival of Voices and the Mozart Coronation Mass concert; both in the Bryan Fine Arts building. Now they are looking forward to three scheduled concerts and other small performances taking place throughout the community. They are very excited about the concert, said Sarah Dingwall, junior
vocal music major. “Our (fall) concert on Tuesday was a really big deal,” Dingwall said. “It was a combination of Concert Choir and Chorale which involves more than 125 students on campus.” This year’s fall concert was made up of pieces from composers like Bach, Eric Whitacre, Mark Butler, and a few others. According to Dingwall, one of the pieces by Eric Whitacre was especially impressive. It included an array of instruments with handbells and thunder sheets. “Chorale performed ‘Cloudburst’ by Eric Whitacre. This is a pretty spectacular piece involving more than just our ordinary voices,” Dingwall said. Not only are the vocalists busy, the band is also looking forward to an engaged semester.
Interested in publishing your poetry or short ficition? Make submissions and questions to
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email@example.com The Oracle’s place for creative publication:
The Ink Well Soon in print and online at www.tntechoracle.com
In the upcoming months, the All Star Symposium will take place in the BFA. This involves over 300 high school students from around the state. Also, auditions for the symphony band and concert band are coming up. This is particularly important, according to Dingwall. “The audition involves more than 200 people because there are many non-majors who could get scholarships for this.” There are more events scheduled for later in the semester as well. Chorale will travel to Santa’s Workshop and sing Christmas carols for shoppers on at 2 p.m. Nov. 22. Also, the annual Candlelight Christmas concert is scheduled for 7:30 p.m., Dec. 4 and 5, at the BFA. Admission is free for students with their Tech I.D.
Only three publication dates left this semester, so get that work in!
Page 6 | October 30, 2009
vs. Football preview: Tech and Tennessee State on Haunted Homecoming 2009 Golden Eagles can claim Sergeant York Trophy for first time with a win against Interstate 40 rivals BY BRANDON GOODWIN
Assistant Sports Editor
Courtesy of Sports Information
Front row: Blake Adams, Seth McDonald, Jerry King, Matt Moran. Back row: Kelechi Ordu, Tommie McBride, linebacker coach and defensive coordinator Billy Taylor, Howard Griffin, Jake McIntosh
A linebacker’s mission: seek and destroy
BY BRANDON GOODWIN
Assistant Sports Editor
Linebacker: (n) a rare breed of a man whose sole purpose is to inflict the upmost pain upon a ball carrier. In the mind of a linebacker, there exists no such thing as tackling an offensive player, only destroying him. What do you do when a 230 pound man is thundering at you full speed? You pray. These men, these machines, are built like tanks, running over anything in their paths. They smell fear and live for the big hit. Take the 6-foot, 225-pound Junior Kelechi Ordu, for example. “I don’t stop till he’s down and out,” said Ordu. “The hit is the good part, but what’s even better is the reaction,” he added. To these brutes, seeing a player take a few extra seconds to stand up
after taking a blow is like pouring gasoline on a fire. Sophomore linebacker Howard Griffin said, “I’m way more hyped after a big hit. It gets your adrenaline rushing a lot more.” Is adrenaline really the best term to use? Perhaps madness or rage seems more fitting. “That’s why I play;” Griffin said, “Just to explode through somebody and let my anger out.” But how does one measure the fierceness of these beasts? Is it by the scars left on their helmets? Or the scars left on their opponents? Sophomore Dwight Evans said his goal is to “Hit them as hard as I can”. Hit hard: one simple idea, the sole commandment that these beasts live by every play. “I’ll hit them anywhere, everywhere. Legs, chest, helmet, I don’t care,” he added. Whose sick, demented plan was it for these men to grow up to become the most feared players on
The Power Play BY CHRIS BROOKS
Sports Editor Before I get started, I want to show some love to all the ladies of Delta Gamma and to the gentlemen from Pi Kappa Alpha for the banner on the first floor of the University Center. It’s very classy and just flat-out cool. Nice work. Also, I want to wish the Golden Eagles good luck in the Haunted Homecoming game against our neighbors from just
down Interstate 40, Tennessee State. Tech needs this game to stay in the OVC race, plus a victory would clinch the Sergeant York trophy, given to the OVC school in Tennessee that has the best record against all other instate conference opponents. Let me qualify this now: this is not a rant against the officials that called the UT-Alabama game. I’m not here to complain
turf? Perhaps these animals were bred for this. Linebackers have been said to be ‘so strong they can pitch horseshoes while they’re still on the horse’. Freshman Matt Moran summed it up by saying, “When you know you have the chance to lay somebody out, there’s no feeling like it. As it builds up and right before you hit, you want to give it everything you can with your body to knock this guy down.” When asked about the mindset of a linebacker, he said, “There’s not a whole lot going through your mind. You just want to take them out and hit them as hard as you can.” Maybe their stats should not be measured in tackles, but rather in the number of weeks it takes their victims to recover. Griffin smiled and said, “That’s why I play.” “That gives me a thrill right there, just killing somebody,” he said, joking. Or was he joking?
about the penalties that were called in that game. Instead, my fire is stoked by the mere suggestion that coaches can’t criticize officiating. In a nation where free speech is a wellprotected right, public officials who hold political office can be attacked on the air through political campaigns and other mediums. Meanwhile, a college or professional head coach cannot come out and say that he or she thought the officials did a terrible job. Each officiating crew is subject to review following every game they work. More often than not, it’s not necessary, because nobody really brings anything up unless it’s serious. Things don’t
The Tennessee Tech football team sets its sights on the Sergeant York Trophy this week as it hosts rival Tennessee State for homecoming on Saturday. The Sergeant York Trophy is the only travelling trophy in all of collegiate sports that involves more than three teams, including Austin Peay, TSU, Tech, and UT Martin. Prior to this year, Tech was a combined 1-5 in the competition since its inception in 2007. The Golden Eagles (4-3, 3-2 OVC) has won three of its last four games and are the only team in the Ohio Valley Conference to be undefeated at home this year (3-0), outscoring its opponents at Tucker Stadium 110-49. “We’re looking forward to the game,” said head coach Watson Brown. “We’re playing an outstanding football team,” he added. Tech comes into the game averaging nearly 25 points per game, but will face the 2nd stingiest defense in the conference as TSU allows just 18 points per game. “This is the best defensive team we’ve played except
Eastern Illinois Tennessee State Eastern Kentucky Tennessee Tech Austin Peay UT-Martin Murray State Southeast Missouri Jacksonville State*
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get reviewed unless someone wants them reviewed. There is a Code of Ethics that governs such items as public criticism of officials. Kiffin violated it. He was punished. But he wasn’t wrong to do so, because that was his opinion. He even stated in the postgame news conference that he feared a penalty on the final drive, and that’s why he didn’t call a series of more aggressive plays to move the ball closer for the game-winning field goal attempt. I fully believe that if coaches are muted from openly criticizing game officials, then the officiating will only get worse. When an entire SEC officiating
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for Kansas State, but I think TSU is very close to them,” said Brown. “The defense is just unbelievably good.” The Golden Eagles are still in the hunt for the OVC Championship, just one game behind the first place teams. “I think with two losses it would be very hard to win this league,” Brown said. In fact, no team has won the OVC with two conference losses since 1971 when there were only eight teams in the league. “We have to beat TSU this week for us to have that opportunity,” he said. Senior quarterback Lee Sweeney is moving up in the Ohio Valley Conference records books, needing just five more completions to surpass Tony Romo and Brady Wahlberg and move into third all-time with 585. Sweeney has already set Tech career records this season for most passes attempted, most passes completed, most touchdown passes, most touchdowns responsible for, most passing yards and most yard of total offense. Kickoff is set for 1:30 p.m. and the game will be broadcast live on Magic 98.5 as well as online via Teamline.
crew gets suspended for their performance, then something’s wrong. Bad calls are a part of sports. They have happened, are happening and will happen in the future. They’re debatable. And coaches should have the right to say so themselves, without fear of fines or suspensions. We live in a nation where you can criticize President Obama all you want, but if you are an SEC head coach you can’t say that a referee got a call wrong or didn’t see something. It’s wrong. Absolutely wrong. If you’re an official, it’s because you chose to be one. You weren’t appointed, you weren’t elected, you weren’t voted, and you weren’t nominated. You chose to do it. In doing so, you should be subjected to fair criticism from everyone who witnesses your job performance. You should be held to a higher standard if you’re an official. You should have enough integrity and honor to do your job to the best of your ability. There are judgment calls, obviously, but when those calls are made, they should be in the best (and fairest) interest of the game, and not a particular team. It took two blatant instances for an SEC crew to be reprimanded, and what’s to say that it won’t happen again before the season is over? The fans can say
all they want about the officiating, and the media can do just as much. In fact, if it wasn’t for the media, would any officiating crew ever be reprimanded? I highly doubt it. The SEC is judged by many to be the best conference in college football. If that’s truly the case, then why are the most blatant conspiracy theories linked to Florida and Alabama getting favorable treatment from officials? Because the conference is scared. It’s been dominant as far as national titles this decade, and now that dominance is in danger because the teams at the top are going to beat each other up getting back to the title game. The officials can do just enough to affect the outcome of a game, and a lot of people are wondering if that’s just the case. In short, I have no problem with a Code of Ethics. But the ability to publicly criticize officials should be embraced, not frowned upon. When you hold people accountable, they either do a better job, or they quit. There’s no middle ground there. Right now, SEC officials are not being held accountable enough to say that they’re doing a good job. So I’m throwing the flag on the SEC. And at least 10 SEC coaches should, too, because there’s a rat in the house, and it’s stinkin’ up the joint.
Page 7 | October 30, 2009
Sports TTU Season Preview: Women’s Basketball BY JAMES SCHIERMAYER
A new regime begins Thursday night in Cookeville as Coach Sytia Messer will patrol the sidelines for the first time as head coach of Tech’s women’s basketball team. “It’s time to get back to the tradition and heart we have had here,” Messer said. “Tech is a diamond in the rough and I’m excited about getting our program back to the top of the Ohio Valley Conference.” The early schedule appears grueling for a squad predicted to finish 8th in the OVC and dominated by underclassmen. Four opponents on this year’s slate were in last season’s NCAA Tournament. “Every night we are going to bring it,” Messer said. “We’re going to work hard and leave sweat on the floor. Being chosen eighth has become a motivational tool for the season. Eighth is an embarrassment.” Tech tips off the pre-season at home against Tennessee Wesleyan on Nov. 5 before hitting the road for the Texas A&M-
Corpus Christi Tournament. The Golden Eagles then square off against preseason 22nd-ranked Baylor in Waco and last year’s national runnerup Louisville. A contest at MTSU concludes Tech’s longest road trip of the season before the home opener versus Lipscomb Nov. 30. Tech’s other non-conference games include: Drake, Southern Illinois, Belmont, St. Louis, and the Bluefield College Lady Rams. Conference play begins Dec. 5 at Jacksonville State and features marquee home matchups with pre-season OVC favorite Morehead St. on Jan. 7 and last year’s tournament champion Austin Peay Jan. 21. “One of the things I want to see early is our transition offense,” Messer said. “We’ve worked really hard getting that ready. We want to shoot and score early and then set up offensively.” The OVC Conference Tournament begins Mar. 2 at campus locations and concludes at the Sommet Center in Nashville on Mar. 6.
2009-10 Golden Eagle Women’s Basketball Schedule Nov. 5 Tennessee Wesleyan Nov. 13 vs. Alabama % Nov. 14 vs. Air Force % Nov. 17 at Baylor Nov. 22 at Louisville Nov. 28 at Middle Tennessee Nov. 30 Lipscomb Dec. 5 at Jacksonville State * Dec. 9 at Drake Dec. 12 Southern Illinois Dec. 20 Belmont Dec. 23 at St. Louis Dec. 30 Bluefield College Jan. 2 at Southeast Missouri State * Jan. 4 at Eastern Illinois * Jan. 7 Morehead State * Jan. 9 Eastern Kentucky * Jan. 14 at Tennessee-Martin * Jan. 16 at Murray State * Jan. 21 Austin Peay * Jan. 23 Tennessee State * Jan. 28 Eastern Illinois * Jan. 30 Southeast Missouri State * Feb. 4 at Eastern Kentucky * Feb. 6 at Morehead State * Feb. 11 Murray State * Feb. 13 Tennessee-Martin * Feb. 15 at Tennessee State * Feb. 20 at Austin Peay * Feb. 23 SIU-Edwardsville Feb. 27 Jacksonville State * * - denotes Ohio Valley Conference game % - @ Texas A&M CC Tournament
Courtesy of Sports Information
A computer-generated image of the proposed Strength and Conditioning center, which is now in the design stage thanks to an anonymous donation of $250,000 - the largest single Athletics donation. The building will be 24,000 square feet, including weight room space, indoor practice and locker room space. Construction is scheduled to begin early in 2010.
Strength and Conditioning center closer to reality after anonymous $250,000 donation TTU SPORTS INFORMATION PRESS RELEASE A quarter million dollar gift to the Tennessee Tech University Athletics Association has put some muscle behind the proposed Strength and Conditioning center, moving the facility into the design stage with plans to begin construction in early 2010. The anonymous donation of $250,000 is the largest single gift made to the TTU Athletics Association. “We cannot tell you how excited we are about everything that is going on with Tennessee Tech athletics,” said Director of Athletics Mark Wilson. “The generosity of this anonymous donor and so many others is really helping us to achieve something we have needed for a long time in a strength and conditioning center and indoor
4th and Long BY BRANDON GOODWIN
Assistant Sports Editor
I observed games during flag football season in which I witnessed perhaps the worst officiating I have ever seen. A player was literally dragged down by the collar of his shirt, no penalty was called. One player was wearing shorts with pockets in them (illegal), which led to a member of the opposing team breaking his finger; again, no penalty was called. There were six obvious calls in one
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down the front of his pants for most of the game. Just this week, I saw him texting while he was ‘officiating’ a soccer game. Give me a break. I think it is pathetic that this official could not overcome a personal grudge in order to do his job fairly. This is not the first time I have heard of such a thing happening in the Intramural department. That is why I am not revealing this official’s name. I understand these guys are students, but come on, they volunteered for these jobs, and they should have the decency to perform them fairly. I mean, here at The Oracle, we are expected to do the work of professional journalists. Should these officials not be held to the same standards? To those officials who take pride in what they do, thank you. There are several who do their jobs to the best of their abilities. To the official whom I have been talking about, you disappoint me.
Alumni game scheduled for Saturday morning Staff Writer
Alumni, Students & Friends
of the 44-minute games that should have been called by the line judge, but he never made them. Why? It was later brought to my attention that a player from one of the teams had been in a verbal altercation with that official earlier that week. I watched this same official at a few other games to better judge the quality of his work. At one game, he was wearing sunglasses, at night. At another, he stood with his hands
and conditioning space. It will feature approximately 10,000-square feet of weight room space, 10,000-square feet of indoor practice space, and 4,000square feet of support and locker room space. The new building is planned to be located adjacent to the TTU softball complex, on the western edge of campus. This location will allow for access to the new outdoor strength training area, which includes an obstacle course, speed training sand pit and a natural grass practice surface. With structural funds for the building secured, the TTU Athletic Association’s fundraising efforts are now focused on outfitting the facility with the necessary equipment. For more information or to make a donation, please contact Grant Swallows at (931) 372-3929.
Tech rugby falls to Lee University in tough match BY KATIE BARNHILL
Welcome to John’s Place
practice facility.” Up until now just an idea, this donation has allowed Tech Athletics to begin the process of building the 24,000square foot, state-of-the-art facility. “This donor shares our vision for an improved space to train our student-athletes, and this gift has made an immediate and significant impact,” Wilson said. “This gift is really a tribute to this donor’s vision and leadership, and we are very grateful to this commitment to enhancing the student-athlete experience,” Wilson added. In addition to funding construction of the building, Athletics is also working toward raising the money needed to equip the facility. The new facility will help propel Tennessee Tech to the top of the OVC and the nation in terms of strength
In a controversial rugby match on Saturday, Tech fell to Lee University 19-10, but only after a tough fight to the end. Winger, Danny Hickman, and Fullback, Gerome Govero scored for Tech. After Hickman scored a try, Govero scored the extra point, as well as a penalty kick field goal. Junior, Ben Hobbs, a flanker for Tech, felt his team “played really well this game, especially under some tough circumstances.” Tech disagreed with a few of the referees’ calls, in which they believed cost them momentum in the game. Also, because of the excess amount of rain recently, Hobbs said they all had a tough time getting footing in their scrums on such a “water-logged field.” More controversy was presented when a player from Lee tried to tackle Tech Rugby President, Nate Xanders. Then, when a teammate from Lee came to help out, he ended up blow-
ing out his knee. The ambulance was called and they wheeled the player off the field. Despite a few discrepancies throughout the game, Tech had many highlights in which allowed them to walk away feeling confident. “Our strengths in this game would have to be our ability to play as a team, which we have been working on this season,” Hobbs said. “We communicated well with each other this time.” Hobbs also mentioned that Tech shined on Saturday with their ability to ruck and set up their defense to hold their opponents. “Our scrums are getting better every game we play, we are not getting beat as easy like earlier in the season,” Hobbs said. As Tech prepares for their season next semester, Hobbs said he feels “very confident in [his] team.” They are not losing many players, so Hobbs believes it will be a good opportunity to continue to learn and grow together through experience. “The new kids we have in the pack are getting more knowledgeable about the sport and catching on to what they
need to do on defense as well as offense,” he said. Tech has had a lot of practice this semester with playing teams in upper divisions; Hobbs feels this should give them an edge on their in-season matches. Through a series of tough, upperlevel matches this year; they realized a few things necessary for improvements in order to be ready next semester. Among their focuses for the rest of the semester will be improving their fitness and ball handling skills, better communication on the team, better defense, rucking and scrums. “We pretty much need to focus on polishing up the little things that just hold us back from being a contender in the South Championship, and the National Championship,” Hobbs said. Tech has one game left this season before their offseason training begins. Their last game should be an entertaining one as they “have some guys that just graduated coming back that are really excited to see if we still have it,” Hobbs said. The alumni game will take place at Tech this Saturday at 10 a.m.
Page 8 | October 30, 2009
News Redesign CONTINUED from page 3
specialist at the technology institute said. “We merely want to assist them the same way chalk and a blackboard initially helped teachers long ago.” After a brief introduction of the redesign idea, educators and administrators were sub-divided into discipline groups for focused discussions, with a member of the technology institute acting as a moderator and answering questions.
The sub-groups were humanities, social sciences and computational science. Moderators were quick to dismiss the notion that this was simply adding technology to a classroom because Tech can. “This is not solely aimed at online classes,” said Hunter Kaller, an instructional media specialist at the technology institute said. “This is the systematic treatment of an art or craft, not just technology for technology’s sake.” The University of Tennessee, Knoxville researched an intermediate Spanish transition class and found no significant difference in the retention rates between the traditional and redesign groups.
The redesign groups had their class time reduced by one hour a week, lab time eliminated, and instead of online instruction students went to the book publisher’s online materials for grammar and vocabulary exercises. This allowed each Teaching Assistants to teach an additional section, increased the course by 19 sections per year and serviced 513 more students, while reducing institutional costs by one-third. Voices of concern were immediately raised concerned about what a significant difference was and the impact of TA instruction compared to a professor who is an expert in the field. “It’s almost like we are
teaching so students can just pass a test rather than learning the material,” Chandra Elkins, a visiting instructor in English said. Andy Smith, American Association of University Professors president was quick to support the idea of a professor in the classroom instructing being instrumental to a courses success. “There is something dynamic that happens in the relationship between a professor and a student that cannot be replaced,” Smith said. “I think technology is great, as long as students don’t lose interaction with faculty.” More forums will be held regarding how to implement more technological tools into
the classroom. As budget crunches loom and classroom sizes increase, what Tech decides to do to address these issues over the next several semesters may determine what the University becomes in the future. “These course redesigns are a step in the right direction, opening dialogue among faculty and colleagues,” Dr. Christine Miller, president of the faculty senate said. “We just need to be sure we implement these ideas responsibly and maintain the quality of education at Tech.”
Christmas CONTINUED from page 3 Samaritan’s Purse, an international relief group, is the organization in charge of OCC. OCC delivers gifts to children in more than 100 countries on six continents. Kerlegan says that it’s another way for people to give back this holiday season. “I watched a video of people delivering these shoeboxes last year,” Kerlegan said, “and to see those kids opening those shoeboxes just touched my heart. It’s a great way for us all to give back.” The program is not limited to Tech students and personnel. Anybody who wishes to donate to OCC can go online to www.samaritanspurse. org/ezgive to receive more information. Donors who contribute online are also able to find out the destination of their shoeboxes.
New book club forms at Women’s Center By BAILEY DARROW Staff Writer
A new opportunity to read and discuss literature is available for book lovers at the Women’s Center. Students are invited to take part in a book club lead by Katey Perkins, a student worker at the Women’s Center. The club will meet at dead hour on Tuesday in the Women’s Center to discuss “The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood. However, new members who have not read or not finished the book are also welcome to join. “The idea for a book club came out of discussions with incoming freshmen at the SOAR sessions this past summer,” Perkins said. “A student asked if we had a book club and we decided there certainly could be one if others were interested.” The group picks a book each month to read and then meets at the Women’s Center on the first Tuesday of each month to discuss it. “The objective is mainly to create an atmosphere where students can discuss books that open their minds to new ways of thinking and looking at the world around them,” Perkins said. “It’s also a way to create new connections at Tech, as well as to introduce more people to the hidden gem that is the Women’s Center.” Book selection is not limited to any specific topic. “Originally, we started with the idea that we would read books that specifically addressed women’s issues,” Perkins said. “That felt a little too binding. So, we broadened our search to books that we or important literary critics felt needed to be read and then discuss them from a woman’s perspective.” The December selection is “Mansfield Park” by Jane Austen and the group will meet 11 a.m. Dec 1 at the Women’s Center. Book selections for the spring term will be made at the December meeting. The Women’s Center is located in Pennebaker Hall Room 203. For more information, stop by or email firstname.lastname@example.org.