The Golden Globes Kick Off Awards Season/by Morgan Miller

COVID-19 has bent the entertainment industry into impossible shapes, forcing it to start, stop, adapt, and move forward at its own pace.

Now, almost a year removed from the beginning of the pandemic, awards season has finally huffed and puffed its way to the starting line. In a normal year, the Golden Globes kick off the beginning of the awards circuit. This year’s Golden Globes will take place on Feb. 28, much later than its typical start time in early January. It is the first major awards show since last September’s Primetime Emmy awards, and it is the first awards show to honor films made in 2020.

Nominations were announced on Feb. 3. Netflix’s “The Crown” nabbed the most nominations for a TV show while David Fincher’s “Mank” has the most nominations out of the films. Netflix’s “Ozark” grabbed a few unsurprising nominations along with “The Mandalorian” from Disney Plus. New favorites like “The Queen’s Gambit” and “Emily in Paris” have enjoyed nominations as well. However, there were a few surprises to the nominations as well.

Of the five nominees for Best Director, three of them are women. This marks the first time in the award show’s history that more than one woman has been nominated in a given year. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s acclaimed musical “Hamilton” also picked up a couple of nominations. The musical was released as a film on Disney Plus earlier this summer, making it eligible for the awards season despite the show being taped in 2015. Chadwick Boseman has also earned a posthumous nomination for his role in George C. Wolfe’s “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.”

The show will be held virtually and streamed in two separate locations. One will be in Beverly Hills, and the other will be in New York City. Amy Poehler is slated to host the Beverly Hills location while Tina Fey will host the New York City location. 

The Golden Globes look decidedly different given the COVID-19 accommodations, but we are living in a different age now. Things may never be the same as they once were, but the entertainment industry has done its best to hold onto some semblance of normalcy. Movies are still happening. Award shows are still taking place. They may not be on schedule and may be produced with extra precaution, but they’re still there. 

And hasn’t that been the moral of the past year? Trying to maintain what was once familiar to us and adapting it to fit new standards. The arrival of the Golden Globes is next in a long line of many examples of that adaptation, a line that says, “Yes, things are different, but we still carry on.” Because of that, it certainly makes the show something not to be missed when it airs on Sunday, Feb. 28.

New Pre-Law Society Comes to Campus/by Kienna Van Dellen

The Mississippi College School of Law is located in downtown Jackson in the heart of the legal community. It prides itself on superior education, support, and real-world experience. Something that MC has been missing, however, is support for pre-law students attending MC’s Clinton campus.

MC Instructor of Legal Analysis and Communication Professor David Parker saw this need and brought an idea up to MC student Ethan Coats, who became the founder of the new society. “We talked over Christmas break about starting a society for people who are interested in the legal field,” said Coats. “After a month of research and bringing in charter members, the Amicus Society was born.” The name is derived from the Latin term “amicus curiae,” which translates to “friend of the court.”

The Amicus Society is oriented towards assisting students who have the potential desire to attend law school. “The hope is to give them a chance to get tips for the LSAT, hear from practitioners of the law, build community with other interested students, and increase their knowledge about what it means to be a lawyer,” said Coats. 

This society is open to any student who is even slightly interested in the legal field. It was created as a support system for students who are looking at law school and offers advice and mentorship. “I hope to see students who are interested in the legal field grow and develop their skills and discover the path that’s best for them,” said Coats. 

The society plans to have meetings as soon as they become an official organization on campus. The new organization hopes to host events in the future and partner with different experts in order to expand the community’s grasp on what it means to be a lawyer. 

For more information about the Amicus Society, email Ethan Coats at ejcoats@mc.edu.

Meet the New MC Dance Team/by Marquisha Mathis

Heads up! Mississippi College has a new dance team. MC offers a number of extracurricular activities for students to participate in. There’s sports, cheerleading, club and tribes, student organizations, and now a new addition: a dance team!

The team was created in late July to be an outlet for dancers who don’t have the opportunity to dance anymore. It will consist of dance forms such as jazz, hip hop, and pom performances with technically trained execution.

This is not just any dance team. It’s the “MC Dance Team.” It was not given a different name specifically because it is not a club or social group. This team wants to showcase something simple but awesome. It’s a team that truly enjoys being one.

MC is a Christian university that believes in the Lord and putting your faith first in all things that you do. So it’s only right that the team represents this through their dancing.

Co-captains Bailey Bradshaw and Rachel Graham stated that “Scripture says to praise the Lord with dancing and to work in everything that you do as though working for the Lord and not for men.”

Because of this, their mentality is to wake up every morning to train and rehearse, working hard to give their all. And while doing it, they give glory to God through hard work, dedication, and great joy in dancing.

Both Bradshaw and Graham auditioned a number of students this year with a great turnout. They selected a total of 12 girls for the team.

The team consists of 14 members, including Bradshaw and Graham, who train together, hang together, and are student-athletes under the athletic department. Students at MC can expect to see a collective passion for dance and performing from these girls.

Although the fall semester did not go as they planned because of COVID, Bailey, Graham, and the rest of the team are ready to hit the ground dancing. Some adjustments have been made, but they are definitely excited to finally be performing this semester.

They are currently performing at the MC basketball games and plan to perform at the football games when they’re able to. They also have a showcase coming up that they will attend in April. Also, if they happen to be asked to perform at any other event, they will be happy to do it.

The team may have just started, but there has been so much interest received from both current and incoming students. There is no doubt that this team is expected to grow in talent as the next year rolls around.

This is going to be a brand new scene for MC, the dance team, and other students who show an interest in being a part of this team. This dance team is ready to bring skills and excitement, and show it through their faith all around the campus.

How to Spend Spring Break Day/by Collegian Staff

In an ordinary year, Spring Break is the pinnacle of second semester breaks. It is the holiday students far and wide look forward to, seizing the opportunity to escape and have fun. It can mean trips to faraway places or simple respites spent at home with family. 

However, since this is no ordinary year, the occasion looks decidedly different. Instead of a week of festivities spent away from campus, it has been reduced to a singular day during the week. Rather than despair at the loss, there are still ways this day can be spent so that some semblance of fun is maintained. 

If you’re unsure about how to capitalize on this short break, the Collegian’s staff members have a few suggestions on how to spend the day.

Kyle Hamrick: “Hike on one of the Natchez Trace Trails, then come back and write a history paper.”

Meredith Stratmann: “Try a new restaurant with friends.”

John Mark Pinter: “Sleep.”

Rachel Faulk: “Go to a nice bookstore or coffee shop.”

Marquisha Mathis: “Netflix and Hulu.”

Kienna Van Dellen: “Head to a coffee shop with a few friends!”

Elliot Reeder: “Sleep in, catch up on homework, and hang out with friends.”
Morgan Miller: “Go for a walk at the Clinton Nature Center, watch a movie with friends, and write some poems.”

“Crime Scene: The Vanishing at Cecil Hotel” Disappoints Viewers/by Meredith Stratmann

Last week, my brother came to visit me in Clinton. As one evening wore on, the everlasting discussion of what to watch on television surfaced.

Overall, we have very different tastes, and it has taken us over an hour to make a decision on multiple occasions. After circling through any number of options, we finally agreed to watch “Crime Scene: The Vanishing at Cecil Hotel.” 

Before watching it, I knew nothing about the Cecil Hotel. Apparently, the hotel is quite infamous, and the fifth season of “American Horror Story” is loosely based on it. This true crime docuseries dives deeper into the dark past of the Cecil Hotel and the events that made it so famous. While the main storyline focuses on the disappearance of Canadian student Elisa Lam, it includes the aspects of prostitutes, drugs, murder, and suicide that gave the Cecil its reputation. I especially liked how the series chronicled the downward spiral of the Cecil from its glorious inception in the 1920s to its crime-ridden self in the present day.

Split into four parts, “Crime Scene: The Vanishing at Cecil Hotel” features interviews from an array of people, including the hotel manager, previous guests, journalists, and members of the Los Angeles Police Department. The diversity of these interviewees is one of the best aspects of the docuseries and adds to the overall quality of work.

Another facet is that the episodes follow Elisa Lam and her extensive use of Tumblr. Like other recent true crime documentaries, this allows the audience to become more familiar with the victim. Lam used Tumblr like her own personal journal, so it really was like a sneak peak into her mind. 

While the first two and a half episodes keep the viewer guessing, the final episode and a half is a disappointment. Key details are withheld from the viewer to increase drama. It doesn’t unravel organically. On multiple occasions, I was left thinking, “That would have been nice to know earlier.” There’s a massive amount of buildup, the viewer is drawn in, and then it ends in disappointment. 

After being dissatisfied with the ending myself, I took to the Internet to see how others ranked it. Unfortunately, “Crime Scene: The Vanishing at Cecil Hotel” is currently at 45% on Rotten Tomatoes and only two out of five stars from Google reviewers. It seems a majority of people agree it was sensationalized, including my brother and roommate who has now seen it.

I will say that I truly did enjoy the history of the Cecil Hotel. It was intriguing, and I have never heard of anything like it. I really wish I could recommend “Crime Scene: The Vanishing at Cecil Hotel” on that alone, but unfortunately I can’t. Overall, I give this series a 6/10. That’s roughly how much of it I enjoyed. If you’re looking for a true crime series with a similar vibe, I recommend “Don’t F**k With Cats.” It’s good to the end.

Exciting Changes from Residence Life/by Emilyn Gray

On Wednesday night, Feb.10, students at Mississippi College were emailed the details of the dorm changes for the fall semester of 2021. 

Some of the major changes included changing New Men’s dorm into a co-ed freshman dorm. The east side will be renamed “Cockroft-Caldwell Hall” for the men and the west side to “Quick Hall” for the women, with a shared lobby in Holloway Rotunda. Whittington will also become a co-ed non-premium choice for freshmen. East Tower will house upperclassmen males and the lobby will be shared between the males in East and the upperclassmen females in West Tower and Mary Nelson.

Although these changes came as a surprise, the administration of MC has been looking at making them for the past two years. 

“We felt that this was the right move at the right time for Mississippi College,” said Dr. Jonathan Ambrose, Dean of Students. The administration at MC continually looks at projections for the next several years and makes decisions that will be best for the institution as they move to their future goals. They evaluate the students’ wants and needs in conjunction with their vision of what MC should be to make these big decisions.

“We believe in an idea of creating community through curriculum,” Ambrose said. MC’s residential policy requires students to live on campus or with their legal guardian until they are 22 in order to retain institutional aid. The reason for this is to create the feeling in students that MC is their home and the people within their dorm are their family. The connections made between students during their years at college, especially their freshman year, fosters community within the school. 

One of the ways the administration is hoping to accomplish this is through the co-ed lobby space. Over winter break the lobbies in the dorms were thoroughly renovated with new paint, lighting, and furniture. Julie Kerr, director of Residence Life, said, “I don’t want beautiful lobbies with no students in them, so we started tossing around the idea of how we are doing our housing.”  Several students have voiced concerns that MC’s campus has very few places for students to study or hang out together at any time of day. Making the changes to the dorms to have co-ed lobbies will provide students with a space to be together to watch movies, meet with their study group, and more.

Another way that Residence Life will attempt to create connections across the classes of the students is in the new mentoring program. “If you’re passionate about living with freshmen and being a part of that community, we want you there,” Kerr said. Upperclassmen will be able to live with freshmen and be a helper, encourager, and listener whenever the freshman need them. Freshmen look up to upperclassmen because they are a little bit older and have been in college longer, so this program will bring them together.

Students are encouraged to voice their concerns to the school. One major concern that has been circulating is whether the proximity of guys and girls will create more opportunities for sneaking into dorms. Kerr said in response that a few years ago Gunter and Hederman housed freshmen and “we actually saw a decrease in our number of visitation type violations or warnings that the RAs were giving because we gave the students a space to hang out, co-ed, in the lobby together.” She also explained that they are going to add ID scanners so that there will not be easy access between male and female halls. 

There has also been disappointment over New Men’s no longer housing upperclassmen. However, incoming Honors students may decide that they would rather live with the rest of the freshman in nicer dorms and possibly open up more space in the pods for upperclassmen. Ambrose and Kerr recognize the frustrations that this decision can cause and want students to have these conversations with them.

Both Ambrose and Kerr have stated that they are “really excited” for these changes and their effects on life at MC and hope students will be too.

Flying Away From Extremism With Both Wings/by Kyle Hamrick

F. Scott Fitzgerald believed a good way to test one’s mind is to hold two opposite ideas before the other and try to continue functioning as normal. 

My mind, hopefully in a similar fashion, is occupied with two things: the recent vote not to convict former President Donald Trump of inciting the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, and how this country can move forward from political extremism. Here are the facts, and the solution that follows from them. 

Trump made history as the first president to face impeachment twice; now, he has made history again as the first president to evade impeachment twice. 

Some may see that sentence as a credit to the man’s political record, that the indefatigable Trump has beaten the rap and won the day from the Washington establishment once again.

I, however, see nothing of which to be proud. How can a president be impeached twice in one year? Most importantly, how can a president whose rhetoric against our nation’s democratic election dripped with lies and incited individuals to attack our seat of government escape punishment for his actions?

With help from members of the Republican party, who seem to have no problem with populism and immoderation, Trump was not convicted by a two-thirds majority in the Senate, even though the final vote was 57-43 in favor of finding him guilty.

If seven Republicans had not crossed the aisle in favor of conviction, the vote would have been tied along party lines. I believe they were right in breaking with their party mandate to protect and defend the President of the United States, because they demonstrated they could survey the evidence presented before them and draw their own conclusions. If they had stuck with their party, the vote would have been a perfect (read flawed) polar split.

And that is the other problem. Nowadays it seems that the extremists on the left and the right have all the power, and the American people are trapped in a Newton’s cradle of political ideology that ricochets back and forth every election cycle. 

How can a nation founded “by the people, for the people” survive when it only hears perspectives from five percent of the population on the far left and five percent of the population on the far right?

We must run our government with a sense of moderation and of decency. We should certainly make stands for what is right, and we should never forget to consider all sides before we act.

We as a nation must reform together as citizens of a democratic republic, united around the things we have in common and acknowledging the things that make us different. We can only continue the mission we began with the ratification of our Constitution 232 years ago if we come together around the ideas which made us unique.

I fear that with all this talk about left and right wings we’ve forgotten about the bird in the middle. It is the bird, after all, that flaps the wings, that steers them the way it wants to go. Rather than assigning ourselves to either wing, why don’t we find a seat between the head and the heart. If we approached things with moderation, maybe we would avoid extremism of any feather, as long as we focus on the bird, and not the wings.

Winter Storm Causes Sports Chaos/by Elliot Reeder

When we embarked a few weeks ago on this very busy semester, we knew that there would be schedule changes forced by COVID-19, but we did not expect a whole week of action to be wiped out by a winter storm.

It delayed the start of some seasons, it postponed some games, and cancelled games altogether. Much like school, it was touch and go from day to day on whether games would happen, so let’s look at the impact of this winter storm that knocked out a full week of in-person classes and altered numerous athletic events. 

Arguably the biggest impact was the postponement of the GSC Indoor Track & Field Championship. It was originally scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 16, but it was postponed with the men’s and women’s teams already in Birmingham (the teams had been able to compete on Feb. 13 at the Samford Invitational in Birmingham). After a few days of deliberation, the championship meet was rescheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 24. 

The women’s basketball team was set to take on West Alabama on Feb. 12-13. That two-game set was then pushed back to Feb. 13-14. The teams were able to play on the 13th with the Lady Choctaws falling 52-44 after a rough second half. After that, though, they were unable to play the second game as the weather forced a postponement. The Lady Choctaws were then set to take on rival Delta State (whom they swept in a two-game series earlier in the season) on Feb.19-20, but those games were postponed as well.

The men’s basketball team was looking to make their return to the court on Feb. 19-20 against Delta State (after their previous six games were postponed due to COVID-19 protocols), but those two games against the rival Statesmen were also postponed. 

The men’s and women’s soccer teams were set to open up their season the weekend of Feb. 13-14 at home against Christian Brothers. After some reshuffling of the schedule that weekend, both games were ultimately postponed. The men’s game was rescheduled for Feb. 23, and the women’s game for Feb. 24. Also, the men’s team was scheduled to face off with Union on Feb. 18, but that game has been postponed to a later date. The women’s soccer team was also scheduled to play Alabama-Huntsville on Feb. 18, but that match was pushed back several days to Feb. 21. 

The Lady Choctaw softball team had a turbulent weekend on Feb. 12-13. They were originally scheduled to play four games at the McGhee/Hawkins Invitational which included matchups with two top-5 teams in Division II at the time (Angelo State and Southern Arkansas). That tournament was cancelled on Feb. 10. The Lady Choctaws were able to turn around later that day and find two replacement games to take place in Alabama as they scheduled games for Feb. 12 against 6th-ranked Young Harris and Columbus State. The games themselves also did not go as planned for MC as they dropped both games in very close fashion, 6-5 to Young Harris and 4-2 to Columbus State. 

The baseball team was set to take on West Alabama for their second series of the year. After their schedule for the weekend got pushed back some, they were able to play the Tigers on Feb. 13. The Choctaws fell behind 11-1 in the third, but they battled back and made it a game at the end although their comeback fell short and the Choctaws fell 12-8. The final two games of the series (a double-header on Feb. 14) were postponed with only the one game being played.

The men’s golf team had their fall season debut cancelled as the Battle for the Belt, scheduled to be hosted by Henderson State on Feb. 15-16, was cancelled. They will return to action March 1-2 in Madison as they host the MC Spring Invitational.

The men’s and women’s tennis teams also had the start of their seasons pushed back as well. Both teams were scheduled to open up play on Friday, Feb. 12 against New Orleans, but those matches were postponed, as were matches against Jackson State on Feb. 17. Both teams were also scheduled to play in the Ouachita Baptist Invitational. The men’s tournament was scheduled to play on Feb. 13-15, but the invitational was cancelled. The women’s team was scheduled to play on Feb 19 (against Angelo State) and 20 (against Ouachita Baptist) before playing Henderson State on Feb. 21, but all three of those matches were cancelled. 

The volleyball team’s match against the Mississippi University for Women has been postponed from Feb. 18 until Feb. 25 as they look to begin GSC play soon.

While we can expect more games to be moved around due to COVID-19, and while the snow was fun, hopefully we will not have another week like this one in terms of sports. 

The Super Bowl Introduces New Ads and a Floptime Show/by Sophie Hawkins

2020 felt like we had been transported to medieval, plague-ridden Europe, only this time with murder hornets and toilet paper shortages.

With this apocalyptic backdrop, there were lofty expectations for the Super Bowl to restore a sense of normalcy. Overall, it went off without a hitch, with nary a mention of the dreaded C-word (COVID-19). I am mostly happy to report that they did an impeccable job of keeping spirits high, even if there were the occasional letdowns. 

Of course, it wouldn’t be the Super Bowl without a dash of capitalistic grandstanding. So without further ado, let’s dive into the Super Bowl ads. Notable exclusions this year included Pepsi, Budweiser, and Coke, who usually put out an ad every year. However, they decided that spending five million dollars on a 30-second ad wasn’t economical, especially during these difficult times. But the world’s richest man, Elon Musk, had no qualms and took the chance to advertise his new Inspiration4 space mission, which involves a sweepstakes looking for two intrepid explorers to go into space. Apparently, it’s open to anyone who wants to donate money, so it could potentially be you. Or Jojo Siwa. Either one. 

Other notable additions included Bruce Springsteen making a rare appearance in a Jeep commercial to implore a politically divided America to come together. Ironically, it achieved its goal; it seems like everyone, both right and left, hates it. Timothee Chalamet starred in a Cadillac commercial as Edgar Scissorhands, the son of Edward Scissorhands, who was the protagonist from the dreamy Tim Burton movie. Winona Ryder appeared as his mother, complete with a terrible Karen-esque wig. Clearly, the budget was spent elsewhere. Michael B. Jordan fared better, playing an Amazon Alexa upgrade, able to perform tasks such as taking off his shirt and answering “How many tablespoons are in a cup?” with equal sensuality.  

Unfortunately, I wish I could say that the halftime show was as entertaining as the ads. The Weeknd’s performance had me feeling like it was a weekday; I just didn’t see or feel the excitement I would’ve expected to see from him. However, the start of the performance seemed promising. To open the show, The Weeknd (née Abel Tesfaye) looked suitably suave and debonair while “riding” through a miniaturized Las Vegas. Then, in a sudden coronal burst of light, Tesfaye made his triumphal appearance on stage, flanked by a berobed (and socially-distanced!) choir of techno-gothic angels. However, as soon as he launched into his 2016 hit “Starboy,” the effect was ruined because the sound mixing was atrocious. Under the shadow of this development, he sang one of his biggest hits, “The Hills,” before fleeing into a mirror maze. Once again, the technical issues overshadowed his performance because the cameraman kept jerking around like an over-caffeinated child. It was giving me motion sickness. After a few more recent bops, he played “Earned It,” which was a definite highlight for me; his vocals were gorgeous, and he pulled some Michael Jackson-esque moves that were groovy. 

To be frank, I expected more from him since I believe he’s wondrously talented. This performance just didn’t surprise me or showcase his prodigious talents as a performer and Grammy winner. Knowing COVID-19 all too well, I understand some constraints had to be made, and I think he did the best he could. But at the end of it all, I felt “meh.” It didn’t reach the artistic and creative pinnacle that Lady Gaga achieved in her 2017 Super Bowl show. However, what The Weeknd lacked in pizzazz, he made up for in philanthropy: he ended up partnering with a local Tampa restaurant to provide meals for healthcare workers. So I can appreciate that, at least. 

I heard that he spent seven million dollars of his own money on this performance. If I were him, I’d be wanting a refund.

New Stimulus Fund For MC/by Marquisha Mathis

COVID-19 has really done a number in the past year on multiple fronts, such as the closing of businesses, jobs, and schools.

Mississippi is going to be getting a large amount of relief money for this crisis soon. In December, Congress passed a bill known as the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act that will allot $1 billion to the state of Mississippi.

Across the country, a total of $54 billion will go to K-12 schools, $23 billion to postsecondary institutions, and governors will receive $4.1 billion. The remainder will go to the Bureau of Indian Education.

Last year, when COVID affected a number of states, postsecondary schools in Mississippi were given $149 million dollars in a care relief package that was used for education, technology, and other expenses that could help with the school year. This year, $246 million has been given to Mississippi colleges, universities, and occupational schools.

Mississippi College is on the list to receive some of this stimulus money. The new fund will be used for food, housing, course materials, technology, and healthcare for students. The remaining can go towards lost revenue that schools may have endured, along with payroll and technology costs.

At the start of last semester, MC released an email that allowed students the opportunity to fill out a form on what they wanted to do about their tuition that they missed in the spring of 2020. Things will look a little different for the 2021-2022 school year. Students who have opted to go online for the remainder of 2021 did not receive any money back from the previous fund. But they may qualify for it in the new emergency student aid.

According to Mississippi Today, colleges and universities that receive this funding will have a year to spend this money on student aid. This is great news for Mississippi College, which shall be awarded $4,766,371. Out of that sum, at least $1,505,713 is to be used for emergency financial aid grants to students.

These funds will allow students who live on campus as well as those who are remote to receive some kind of aid. This will help those who may not be able to afford tuition, as well as providing the school with the necessary funds to operate in a fit manner.

COVID has created some tough moments for everyone involved. It caused a crisis across the nation. But the new funding delivered by Congress can help alleviate some of the disaster that has shaped such a vital moment in the world.

This COVID relief package of millions of dollars is here to help all schools on all levels get back to a point where they once were. With the amount having tripled from last year, schools will have the chance to move forward.