Get to Know Our New President

Dr. ThompsonSeptember 4, 2018

The start of a new school year is best described as a wave of change and excitement. For some students, it’s meeting up with old friends they haven’t seen all summer, finally getting into the circus arts class, or being one semester closer to that “ring by spring”. But for Dr. Blake Thompson, our new MC president, this fall brings its own changes and plenty of excitement. As a husband and a father of three, it was no small task to move his family and become part of the Mississippi College family. Nevertheless, he seems up to the task.

Dr. Thompson and his wife are both from Mississippi, but they and their children have lived in a number of places, including Washington, D.C. and Columbus, Ohio. When given the chance to become the next president of MC, his family saw it as an opportunity to come home and contribute to this community.

So far, Dr. Thompson has enjoyed his time at MC and has found it hasn’t been too hard of an adjustment. He thoroughly enjoys meeting students, being able to build relationships with the faculty, Pimento’s homemade chips, and getting to use his new golf cart. If you see any random scooters around campus, they probably belong to his children, who are also getting used to this new way of life.

“Everyone has been so welcoming and warm and kind. We really just appreciate it and find it a joy to even be here.”

Being president of a university was not originally one of Dr. Thompson’s ambitions. However, he and his family “pursued opportunities as they came,” and when God opened this door for him, he did not hesitate.

When comparing working at a smaller, private university to working at a large, public university, he notes that while the size is a noticeable difference, they are more alike than they are different. Both private and public universities have relatively the same problems, but they also the same possibilities and potential. However, parking at private universities is noticeably better.

Dr. Thompson is also very active on social media (@DrBlakeThompson) . Recently beating the MC Clocktower (@MCClocktower) in a race to 1,000 followers, he hopes his presence on the world wide web will allow him to interact more with students, as well to boost morale by letting them know that they are heard and cared for.

When asked to describe Mississippi College in one word, Dr. Thompson gave three.

“Family,” for how close knit and inviting MC is, not only to him and his family, but to anyone who walks through its doors. “Faith,” not only due to the faithfulness MC has shown and will continue to show, but also in regards to God’s faithfulness to His people here on campus.  “Love,” because people love MC. Our alumni and students are loyal. The faculty loves students, and the love of God is present on this campus, a love that is formed by faith.

Dr. Thompson’s current mantra is simple, but rich in meaning: “Head and Heart.” To him, this can mean many things. It describes how he wants to be a headstrong but also compassionate leader. In addition, it delves further into a sense of purpose, describing us as an institution. Mississippi College produces intellects who are in touch with those around them, combined with a smart and compassionate culture, full of faith and academic success.

So what’s next? Dr. Thompson plans to spend these next weeks getting to know the campus and everyone who makes MC what it is. So be on the lookout, and be sure to give our newest president a warm MC welcome!

Nathalie Rowell

Volume 100, Issue 1

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Fees, Fees, and Parking Decals!

September 4, 2018

Parking Decals

“I actually like the fact that we have parking decals, and that people can only park in a particular area. I don’t like the fact that a parking space in your assigned area is not guaranteed,” said Kristian Brent, a commuter and Sports Media student at Mississippi College. She continued, “If we are going to pay almost $200 for a decal, then I think we should have a guaranteed parking spot.”

Mississippi College’s tuition alone is a little more than $8,000 per semester. Along with that cost, the registration fee is $405. Other expenses include fees relating to technology, health services, and extracurricular activities. These fees are expected to be paid by each student. In addition, each student at Mississippi College who has a car and parks anywhere on campus must have a parking decal.

With over 5,000 students, each person competes for a parking spot daily. Some students carpool to places off-campus because of the difficulty of finding a spot when they return.

The parking spots are in various areas on campus, and they are labeled based on the students’ residency classification.

To avoid paying almost $200 for a parking decal, some students park as far as Kroger and walk to campus. A few students even ride their bicycles to school.

Some commuters said that sometimes they have to drive around for lengthy periods of time searching for a parking space, which makes them late for class.

Many students dread paying this fee every year because of how expensive it is. So, why do the decals cost so much? Is the price expected to increase every year? What is the money from the decals used for?

Vice President Steve Stanford of Administration and Government Relations said, “The fees are approved by the board of trustees.” He continued, “The money goes to public safety, repairs on the parking lot, security coverage, security cameras, and so much more.” Parking decals, along with a few other fees, are not included in Mississippi College students’ tuition. Stanford said that the cost of Mississippi College’s decals is compared with the cost of other colleges and universities. “We do know we are not the cheapest,” he said, “but we are not the most expensive.” Stanford said that as Mississippi College continues to grow and expand, the cost of decals will increase incrementally.

Although the cost of decals will continue to increase, some students suggest ways to potentially decrease the future cost of parking decals.

“I feel like if they bring down the cost of decals and raise the ticket fines, the increased price of those tickets would make up the difference,” said a Mississippi College student who chose to remain anonymous. The student continued, “The consequence of not having a decal should be greater than the price of the decal itself.”

Some students said that it would feel like less of a burden if the price of decals were split between the fall and spring semesters.

So, will those suggestions be considered or will the prices continue to incrementally increase?

Jez Massey
Volume 100, Issue 1

Not Just a Security Officer

MC Security Officer Robert Donohue

September 4, 2018

Robert Donohue, a Mississippi College security officer, published a book after 25 years of dedication to the story.

The book “Child of Creation: Book One of Then Came a King” was “originally slated to be a trilogy, but Book One ended up being too long,” according to Donohue. So he decided at that point to make the first book into two books.

“It took so long to get to the end of Book One, to get it to where I wanted it to go,” said Donohue.

The fantasy book is about a young man by the name of Lark whose parents are murdered. His village is burned down by marauders. The marauders are on a mission to destroy him to ensure that nobody will be able to say they witnessed the crimes done by the marauders.

“He’s never been anywhere else, and his family was killed along with everyone else he’s ever known. He kind of has to figure it out on his own,” said Donohue. Throughout the story, Lark has to learn “how to live in medieval times without any kind of help.”

“What he finds is that the world is a lot bigger than the little village that he was in, with different types of people and danger,” he added. Donohue chose to write a fantasy drama because fantasy is limitless.

“The story can go literally anywhere you choose to go, so you have complete freedom,” Donohue said. Even though writing fantasy “has no limits,” he said that he likes to write in a way “that also makes the story believable.”

Donohue said, “I want people to think that this is possible.”

The idea for the book came from the typical fantasy books, but there was an area that Donohue thought needed more attention.

“A lot of times in fantasy, the religious stuff kind of goes way off into left field, and I thought that it doesn’t have to be that way,” Donohue explained. He wanted to show people that “you can write a fantasy novel that has more of a Christian-style religion.”

Throughout the years, Donohue created an Excel spreadsheet in order to “keep up with what character is what and even how to spell names.”

When the book was finally published after the editing process, Donohue described the experience as “huge and just a whole different level of satisfaction.” The book has already received several good reviews from bloggers. A review came as far as a woman from England. “People from all over the country are reviewing my book,” said Donohue, who added that these positive reviews make him want to “keep going.”

Donohue has been working in police work since 1992 and earned his master’s degree in homeland security from MC in 2016. However, he said that finding time to finish the book was “just like anything else — because if you enjoy what you’re doing, then you make time.”

Donohue published the book through Page Publishing, which is a self-publishing agency. His book was featured at the Mississippi Book Festival in Jackson this summer, where he talked about the book, did book signings, and talked to other authors.

The second part of the first book is not too far from being published as well. “I have some people looking at it right now, being sure that it flows like the way it should and that I stayed true to the storyline and characters,” Donohue said.

“Child of Creation” can be purchased on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and Google Play.
Joelle Youngblood

Volume 100, Issue 1

Residence Life Announces Changes for Fall 2016

February 16, 2016

There will be many changes in MC Residence Life for the upcoming 2016-2017 school year. Residence Life sent out an email to all students on Feb. 1, telling of the new changes that would be made to the university’s housing.  For freshman, the changes include the moving of freshman males to Hederman and Whittington. This means that for the first time in many years, freshman males will no longer call Chrestman home. Although the demographics of Chrestman have changed, senior Jerry Ainsworth will still remember his time in the hall. “It fosters community among male students. I met some of my best friends there,” said Ainsworth. For freshman girls, there is not much changing apart from the addition of Gunter to the list of housing options.

Most of the changes will affect upperclassmen and transfer students. For the males, the housing options will include, University Place, College Plaza, New Men’s, and Ratliff. Females will choose among University Place, College Place, West Tower, Latimer-Webb, and Chrestman.

Hederman will no longer house upperclassman women in need of a private room. These rooms will be fewer and farther between, as they will now be available in Latimer Webb for the female students and Ratliff for male students.

The new housing changes are just the beginning of the plans Residence Life has in store for the new school year. The department is also working to bring each aspect of housing closer together to better suit the needs of on-campus students. The department is working to establish three initiatives for the different areas of housing. There will be a Freshman Experience Initiative, an Upperclassmen Experience Initiative, and an Apartment Experience Initiative. Each new area will bring new opportunities that are catered specifically toward each student demographic.  

Residence Life is making great strides to find the most fitting housing arrangements for the coming years. “MC is growing exponentially, which is great news! The Res Life staff have done their job by trying to figure out the best way to house all the residents, and it’s best if we understand that they know what they’re doing and that we need to trust and rely on their decisions,” Rowan St John, the Vice President of SGA.
As MC begins preparing for the new school year, the student body can look forward to the changes that will bring about improvements to all areas of residence life and get excited for the future.

-Emily Greer, News Editor

this article appeared in Vol. 97, Issue 8 of The Mississippi Collegian

College Republicans at a Glance

February 16, 2016

College Republicans, as an organization in Mississippi, has had a rich history in our state’s political system for decades. Since 1969, College Republican chapters from across the state have worked to elect strong conservative leaders to bring new ideas to the table after years of Democratic control. College Republicans at Mississippi College is one of nine chapters that are a part of the Mississippi Federation of College Republicans (MFCR). The MFCR serves as the senior organization for College Republican chapters across the state and is celebrated its 48th anniversary as an organization on Feb. 13 at their annual convention. Each year, delegates are sent to convention to elect new leaders, listen to numerous speakers, attend breakout sessions, and plan for the upcoming year.

 

College Republicans at MC provides numerous opportunities for students on campus. Whether it be an internship, networking opportunities, campaign work, or even community service projects, the College Republicans at MC have a variety of ways for students to get involved in our political system. The main purpose of the organization is to get students on campus involved in the political process and engage them in a way that challenges students to understand why they identify as a republican. The club’s goal is to register students to vote, educate them on Republican policies, and create an environment in which students can grow and build from the opportunities that we offer.

The MC College Republican Chairman is James Tulp, who has done a tremendous job along with his Executive Board to expand the club’s reach on campus and on social media and host events that will engage students and get them excited about being a Republican on campus. The MC College Republicans had a busy fall semester campaigning for statewide and local officials to bring a Republican victory in 2015. This semester has started out busy and successful with meetings every other Wednesday night at 9:15 p.m. In Nelson 311. For this semester, the College Republicans have numerous restaurant nights, a debate, voter registration drives, debate watch parties, and speakers planned, and the group is looking forward to a great semester.
-Hunter Foster, Contributing Writer

this article appeared in Vol. 97, Issue 8 of The Mississippi Collegian

Introducing MC’s College Democrats

February 16, 2016

As MC continues to grow, new on-campus groups have started to form, filling some of the gaps

previously left in MC’s fabric. In the past, many discussions took place about creating a group that represented those with views not commonly held in the MC student body. Will Ballard decided to follow words with actions and put in the “leg work” of filing paperwork in order to make a College Democrats group on campus. He and several friends worked together last semester along with Jonathan Nutt and the Office of Student Development to make this an official part of MC’s campus. Between drafting a potential constitution, finding the paperwork from a previous, similar club, all while juggling schoolwork, the process took a while. As of the Spring of 2016, however, Mississippi College has a College Democrats club.

When asked why he felt like MC needed College Democrats, Will pointed out that “the

culture of MC is very homogenous,” lacking outlets for the students that do not fall into the

“prescribed” categories. He felt that a group like College Democrats was “needed especially at a

time where we are rapidly approaching the presidential elections.” As of yet, the group as a

whole has not chosen to publically support one candidate over another, but the members have

been following the election and will use this space to discuss their opinions and reactions. Despite

being a new group, there are already students willing and grateful to be a part of this club. If students

wish to join the group, here are some answers to questions they might have.

 

Students may be concerned about their place in the club if they do not consider themselves to be a Democrat. The club is welcoming to all who feel they might not fit in politically with the more conservative side of campus, but you do not need to identify as a democrat. The group does not expect everyone to

subscribe to a certain ideology. Already, several consistent members of the group do not consider

themselves democrats. The club itself is not affiliated with the National Democratic Party as

the club does not support all of the NDP’s platforms and stances. Honestly, if everyone agreed on every point, it would not make for very interesting meetings.

 

The goals of this club are straightforward and geared towards starting conversations and creating change. The club hopes to offer more diversity to the campus of MC, encourage informed opinions and discussions, and provide a safe place for students. They hope to grow and expand just as MC continues to grow. Their goal is to be a safe place for intellectual political discussion. Finally, the members of College Democrats want this to be an enjoyable experience for themselves as well as a learning experience for those unfamiliar with what it might mean to be a democrat.

The College Democrats meet on Thursdays at 8 p.m. on the second floor of Alumni Hall.

-Sarah Moore, Copy Editor

this article appeared in Vol. 97, Issue 8 of The Mississippi Collegian

Mississippi: The State of the State

February 1, 2016

creds- Governor Phil Bryant
photo: Governor Phil Bryant

During the hectic political season of pre-Presidential elections and post-Gubernatorial elections, few days stand apart as ones where civil servants stop to rest and reflect on how far their government has come.  Most continue working, hoping to create a better future for themselves and those around them. However, on Jan. 12, Miss. inaugurated Phil Bryant to his position as a second term governor. The inauguration gave voters a chance to reflect back on the leaps and bounds that Mississippi has made in the four years since Bryant took office in 2012. Over the four weeks prior to the ceremony, contractors had built a massive podium and grandstand on top of the Capitol steps to house foreign dignitaries, members of the press, and the Mississippi National Children’s Choir.  The 2016 Inauguration theme was “Imagine Mississippi”, and all of the inaugural events reflected this theme. Visitors and spectators were able to hear several of Mississippi’s finest vocalists, as well as the inaugural speech from Governor Bryant.  During his address, Bryant played on the theme for the week, asserting his belief in the greatness of the state of Mississippi.  

“We have done so in the past, and I have no doubt here today, we can accomplish greatness. When I imagine Mississippi, I think of the words of our own Zig Ziglar, ‘You were designed for accomplishments, engineered for success and endowed with the seeds of greatness.’ These designs are not by accident, nor are they only recent. Our potential has always been here. Not in the form of new economic development or an undiscovered technology or a new government program. The seeds of greatness were planted generations ago inside every Mississippian. We have always felt it within our hearts and souls. We have always known we could do great things. We could always Imagine Mississippi. It is now time to release our talents and potential. To rise together to a higher and better place. In reality, that special place is where we have always been. It has always been here. Here in Mississippi.”

After the ceremony came the inaugural parade, an event that had been unfortunately postponed and then cancelled previously in 2012 due to unfortunate weather that had also pushed the inaugural ceremony indoors.  This year, the parade went off without a hitch, passing through some of the most historic and governmentally significant streets of Jackson, including passing in front of the Governor’s Mansion and the grandstand set up for the viewing pleasure of the governor, his wife, their family, and other visiting dignitaries.  For many of those members in the grandstand, Tuesday was a packed day, with the Inaugural Ball commencing a few hours later at the Jackson Convention Center.  This event was open to the public, with the tickets listing the attire as “black tie and boot optional” in a nod to Governor Bryant’s fondness for his cowboy boots.  The event was an opulent affair, with over three hundred guests in attendance.  They were able to enjoy three performers representing various genres on the main stage, as well as making use of the dance floor.  

Several Mississippi College students had an important part in the planning and execution of the inauguration.  Nick Hall, a junior from Brandon, Miss. was on the inaugural staff with former Aide-de-Camp Scott McClintock, who took over the planning of the impressive event.  In addition, junior Hunter Foster of Brookhaven was involved in the festivities.  Foster is the current chairman of the Mississippi Federation of College Republicans, as well as being involved in MC’s College Republicans chapter.

After the inaugural events took place on Tuesday, Jan. 12, the Governor gave his annual State of the State address to both houses of the state congress in the Capitol chambers on Jan. 26, 2016.  The address was delivered after a similar one given by Lt. Governor Tate Reeves.  During his exposition, Governor Bryant touched on the future of funding for community colleges, as well as the whole of the public system of education in the state, expressing hope and belief in the structures set up to help students succeed.  He also discussed his belief that Mississippi needs to encourage the training of skilled laborers for specific positions in workforce development.  As Gov. Bryant succinctly finished his address: “To sum it up, we will keep Mississippi working.”

-Hannah Richards, Reporter

this article appeared in Vol. 97, Issue 7 of The Mississippi Collegian

Patterson: the Professor and the Person

February 1, 2016

College is a constant state of “doing.” It is easy for us to get tunnel vision, moving from one class to the next, only seeing what lies directly in front of us and forgetting that we are not the only ones with lives moving forward. For example, you would think after two and a half years, I would stop being startled by seeing one of my professors at the Healthplex. Professors care about their health, too, but we often lose sight of that humanity and see our professors only in their proverbial tweed jackets.  Steven Patterson from MC’s History Department is a ready reminder that there is more behind that picture, as can be seen in his life both inside and outside of Jennings Hall.

Patterson has undergone many of the same struggles students experience. He even attended MC for his undergraduate degree, graduating in 1990. He brags that he pulled out an A in  Howard’s Constitutional Development class, an infamous subject on the second floor of Jennings, and recalls it as “one of [his] proudest A’s.” During his four years of undergraduate studies here, Patterson played on the club soccer team. After a fifth year as a graduate student passed, Patterson made the move to the University of Southern Mississippi to complete his graduate degree in history. It was during this period that young Patterson traveled to Europe for a summer. “I held memos written by Winston Churchill,” he recalled, pointing out that MC students can see Churchill’s memos and other artifacts from World War II if they participate in the London semester. This trip began to shape Patterson and direct his focus to what would become his concentration during his doctoral studies: the British Empire.

Before earning his PhD, however, Patterson had a five-year layover working at the Jackson airport. He continued playing soccer through an airline league, even travelling to Malta for their own World Cup. While working for the airlines was good to get the “travel bug” out of his system, Patterson decided to return to school at the University of Memphis in order to get his doctorate degree. “It was there that I met my lovely wife, Nancy,” and now the couple has two sons, Dean and David. Patterson received his PhD in 2003 and immediately started working for Lambuth University, before returning to MC in 2009.

Having come full circle in a sense,  Patterson makes an effort and “enjoys getting to know the students out of the classroom.” He has taken many of his classes sailing, a hobby that he has picked up in recent years and that his sons love.  Patterson also plays soccer with many students after classes in Alumni Gym. Inside the classroom, he makes an effort to keep things fun and interesting; on Fridays, he might even read from a hilarious book of academic errors, “Non Campus Mentis. Students who take a class with Patterson should not be surprised to learn something about assassinations. World Civilization classes can make their own history in the Time Travelling Assassins. In a current Patterson class, Ancient Rome, the tribune for the plebian group can be assassinated by the patricians when trying to pick the class book. He wants students to “feel comfortable, engaged, and willing to speak up.” Perhaps the most unusual class Patterson teaches, though, is his physical education course Circus Arts which Chris Washam of the Kineseology Department allowed him to develop. Students learn to juggle and attempt to unicycle in this class, and there is a service learning aspect in which the class help with Northside Baptist Church’s after school program. It is an opportunity for these students to give back and contribute to their community, an experience that  Patterson feels is “good for both sides.” He personally gives back through coaching youth soccer in Clinton.

There are many people who helped to shape Patterson into the teacher and man he is today. Like many students, he was influenced by the people he came across during his academic studies, later followed by those he encountered in his work as a professor. He took classes under both Howard and  Ford here and names Jonathan Judaken was a mentor and friend at University of Memphis that helped  Patterson get his first article published. He now works alongside many fantastic professors, such as Randle and Miller, who share a mutually enriching relationship through the Freshmen Honors Program. There is the “invisible thread of history” that extends from him back to those who taught him and forward to those he teaches. Patterson does not take this for granted, saying, “part of their legacy is in me.”

Patterson is not just a professor here at MC, though he is a great one. He is a person much like us who went through school, played sports, and has hobbies. He wants to make class fun and help students develop “active intellectual courage” through the ability to form arguments and then defend them. Through this he teaches an academic skill, but, more importantly, provides a life skill. There is always a flair to a Patterson class, and they are discussion based, rather than lectures. His writing assignments may be frustrating, but he has students do them in order to learn their personality. He is funny, giving, and encouraging. He is a husband and a father. And his students would agree that Patterson makes the best 80’s references.

-Sarah Moore, Copy Editor

this article appeared in Vol. 97, Issue 7 of The Mississippi Collegian

City of Clinton Continues Downtown Development

February 1, 2016

Main Street Clinton is an organization aimed at creating downtown Clinton, Miss., a place students want to be.

“When our program first started in 2007, the goal with Main Street was to revitalize our downtown. We do that through events and bringing life to our downtown, but part of our role also is to recruit businesses and beautification,” said Tara Lytal, director of Main Street Clinton.

When the program began in 2007, many of the buildings were vacant, but only four spaces remain unused. The organization is now making efforts to get the last few spaces occupied with new retail and restaurants.

The process is made possible in part by two grant programs that provide businesses help getting started. Main Street raises money for a “facade grant” that they give to business to improve the presence of their store. The front deck and handicap ramp of Cups was funded by the grant in 2008. More recently, the signage outside of Paxton Peak was made possible by the grant, as well as much of the renovation for Brick Street Pops and the Bufkin Building on Clinton Boulevard.

The other part of the program is a business development grant. This goes to help business bring their buildings to code and add other vital restorations. Meme’s Bakery in the Potter House used the grant to add a hood vent to their kitchen.

Still, Main Street has “had trouble giving that money away,” Lytal said. “We have a couple of property owners who own a majority of the property,” she said, “the main one being a guy out of Texas.”

This particular owner owns the entire strip next door to city hall aside from Pentimento’s book store, The Potter House, the Wood House, and another house downtown. The property owner’s disconnection to the community has created some trouble for Main Street’s progress.

Others have been more eager and present to help Main Street Clinton achieve their goal. Clay Mansell has owned many businesses over the last few years, and currently owns the Clinton Courier and other small town newspapers. When the building on the corner of Monroe and Leake Street became available, he wanted the space for his offices and bought it. He didn’t need all the space for offices, so, working with Lytal, Mansell created Brick Street Pops.

“In order for Main Street to thrive, we must fill it up with retail, boutiques and restaurants. If we continue to [fill it with] more lawyers, CPA’s, etc, it will kill the area,” Mansell said.

“People perceive that this is the cheapest rent in town,” said Lytal, “and that does have some validity to it.” However, Main Street’s strategy is to recruit restaurants and retail, and she’s not afraid to tell those who don’t fall under that category, “you need to be on the perimeter.” If it’s just going to be used as office space, she said, “you could be anywhere.”

A couple blocks away, new development has promised to bring additional retail and restaurant space. Property owner Dave Riley owns the building that houses Brick Street Pops, which is fully occupied, and the building currently in construction next to it. In the new building, around 5,000 square feet of space will be available. Lytal said they’ve sent several prospects to Riley looking for space to open new stores.

Students at MC, as well as Clinton residents, benefit from the grants and individuals who are investing in the development of Old Towne. Main Street Clinton has made great strides over the past several years, and their continued progress is not to be missed.

-Will Hawks, Contributing Writer

this article appeared in Vol. 97, Issue 7 of The Mississippi Collegian

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