New SGA Executive Council Plans Big Things

-Tiffany Babb, Contributing Writer

Near the end of the spring semester every year at Mississippi College, Student Government Association elections are held and a new group of students step up as leaders. On March 24, MC’s students elected the 2015-2016 Executive Council. The Council consists of the following members: Mary McRae, President; Rowan St. John, Vice President; Emma Carroll Waller, Secretary; Zach Burns, Treasurer; Andrew Borho, Chief Justice; Grant Gilliam, Christian Development Coordinator; Kaitlin McCarty, CAB Chairperson. Some of the council members have moved from other SGA positions, while others are new to MC student government.

SGA, which consists of the Executive Council and the Senate, offers the opportunity for students to have a voice in campus affairs including parking, food services, and student resources and events. SGA teaches the importance of good leadership and good citizenship.

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McRae said “I love being able to have a voice for students and build relationships with staff.”

While the newly elected council has not yet held an official meeting, many had formed relationships with one another prior to the election and express excitement to work as a team. Additionally, a reception was held at the President’s Mansion on March 31 for the student body to get to know their new leaders.

SGA is looking forward to several changes for next year. Members plan to improve SGA as a whole to make it more unified and involved on campus.

McRae explained, “SGA is great but you want to keep improving on something that is good to make it even better.” SGA also plans to focus more attention in the direction of the athletic department. “My number one goal is to promote student athletics as something students enjoy.”

The new members of SGA will welcome back MC students into the fall with new changes across campus and even more ways to enhance their college careers.

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Dear Miss Collegian… My roommate is driving me crazy!

Dear Miss Collegian,

My roommate is driving me crazy! She borrows my clothes, takes way too long in the shower in the morning (and we are in East, so I have to wait), and her side of the room is always messy. She even leaves food from the Caf out on her desk overnight! She transferred in so we’ve only been roommates since January, and I know that the semester is almost done, but I’m not sure I can last the next month. She was really nice and considerate when she first moved in, but after Spring Break, she just sort of snapped and has no concern for my personal things or our space. I’m not sure I should talk to my RA because I don’t want to make it any more awkward than it already is and I’m pretty sure that it’s too late to switch rooms since the year is almost up. I try to talk to her about it, but she just leaves the room and doesn’t come back until I’m gone or in bed. What do I do?!

-Really Frustrated Roomie


Dear Frustrated Roommate,

First of all I’d like to say that I understand completely what you are going through and you are definitely not alone in this. I struggled with a difficult roommate my freshman year as well. I would say that it is probably too late to ask to switch roommates because there is only a month left. The main thing I learned freshman year is that communication is key. The next time you are both in the room together, I would sit down with her and ask if you two can discuss some things that have been bothering you. I know confrontation is difficult sometimes, but it definitely is worth it once you express your concerns and are able to come to a solution.

If she doesn’t want to talk about it and avoids the situation all together, just know that you did try and you did the best you could. And there is only less than a month left so just sticking it out the rest of the way would be the best option right now. If it gets worse, I would talk to the RA and see what can be done. I wish you the best of luck! Hopefully things will get better with your roommate, and if not, now you know what to look for in your future roommate next year! It’s definitely a learning experience that everyone goes through in college.

Best of luck,

Miss Collegian

Celebrate Spring Fever Week Mar. 21

-Megan Cole, Reporter

One of the most exciting times on Mississippi College’s campus is slowly approaching as the weather warms up and our season shifts into spring. Yes, it’s Spring Fever Week and CAB has a lot in store for the student body. Get ready to relive memories and create new ones while recapturing some joy in life this semester. Don’t let exams get you down or watch the semester fly by without taking some time to relax and be a part of this week of fun and exciting events!

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On Mar. 21, the events will kick off with the ever-famous Crawfish Boil. Come out and join the SFW’s annual tradition by enjoying a delicious, seasonal meal outdoors. You’ll get the chance to visit with CAB members and reconnect with our campus’s community – not to mention take up the opportunity to step out of the Caf for a while.

The week will continue through the Mar. 26 with a wide-variety of events and end with a bang at the SFW annual concert.

“Spring Fever Week is one of my favorite weeks during the school year. It has become such a big MC tradition that helps us welcome spring to campus,” commented Dannie Woods, Assistant Director of Student Life for Student Activities.

“I think this year’s SFW is going to create a fun and care-free atmosphere all around campus,” shared Hunter Sandoval, CAB Chairperson, senior and Christian Studies and Spanish major.

According to Sandoval, the week is designed to let students relax from tests, meetings, and deadlines. The week is meant to “create a buzz of high-energy to kick-off the last half of the semester” and allow students to reconnect to MC’s community.

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SWF makes up some of the year’s most popular events all year. From dinner nights, new activities, good food, skating, and some surprises, the week is chock-full of fun for our Choctaws!

Students are encouraged to come out and meet some new faces – or reconnect with some old ones.

Sandoval believes that SWF is a great time to “make lasting memories with those friends you’ve kept around since freshman year” as well as “the best opportunity to make new friends.”

“You really get a sense of the awesome community we have on campus because everyone comes out for this week,” Woods shared.

“There truly is no better way to jump full force into the spring than by coming to a week’s worth of events,” said Sandoval.

“I hope that this year’s students love our lineup of events just as much as we do,” shared Lauren Livingson, freshman and communication major.

“We have some new events coming out this year and some twists on traditional events, but we think campus is going to be excited to participate,” said Woods.

So mark your calendars and stay tuned for more details about SFW (including the musical act for this year’s concert) from MC’s Campus Activities Board. Follow @MC_CABevents on Twitter.

Symphonic winds concert to be an emotional and entertaining performance

 – Megan Cole, Reporter

Mississippi College’s concert band, Symphonic Winds, will be performing for their spring tour on Tuesday, Mar. 3. All students, faculty, and staff are invited to come and enjoy the emotion-packed performance at 7:30 p.m. in Swor Auditorium. The event will showcase a variety of pieces from different symphonies and evoke a wide spectrum of emotion from listeners.

Music is something that can strike us in a way nothing else can. There is something about a sweet melody or a fast-paced beat that can open up some of the deepest parts of our soul and elicit unforeseen emotions.

According to Craig Young, Director of Band Activities at Mississippi College, this performance will put the audience through “lots of emotions” and is “all over the place.” From foreboding feelings, to excitement, peace, and joy, this symphony brings it all through the students’ talents.

“The show has students soloing all over the place,” Young proudly shared while describing a Memphis Blues piece called “Way Down Yonder in New Orleans.”

“This song really lets the students show their skills through a second-line New Orleans-Style beat.” “Slidin’ Down The Mississippi” is another Southern-themed song showcasing student solos.

“I am looking forward to seeing how all of our hard work the past couple months will pay off,” shared trumpet player Courtney Morgan, sophomore and Christian Studies major.

On the darker end of the spectrum, “March to The Scaffold” by Hector Berlioz will be performed. Young believes the piece is meant to be ominous “but exciting.” The song features a story about a man marching to his death within his own imagination.

One of the concert’s faster-paced songs is “Short Cut Home” which evokes excitement, and, according to Morgan, is rather advanced.

“I’m super excited about ‘Shortcut Home.’ It is another piece that we’re doing that is very technical,” stated Morgan.

On the lighter side, there are two hymn-based tunes and a song of prayer included in the performance. “Give Us This Day” by David Maslanka deals with the reconciliation of the Christian people to the whole world.

Young believes that the song moves from “joy to sadness” and includes “all of the things any good symphony would have.”

A symphonic rendition of “It is Well With My Soul” and another hymn, written by one of MC’s own, will be performed.

The second hymn piece is from James Sclater, MC’s professor emeritus. Young shared that the piece is based on “A Mighty Fortress is Our God.”

“The song is pure joy,” noted Young. “And really the emotional content of the show is quite something. It’s gonna be a great show, I hope everyone comes!”

Derby Week 2015

-Tiffany Babb, Contributing Writer

“Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Derby” will be the theme for this year’s Derby Week, which will take place from Mar. 16-21. The week will include a relay race, a dodge ball tournament, an inflatable jousting competition, a service project, and Derby Day, which will be on the Quad on Saturday, Mar. 21. Anyone is welcome to come and view the events. However, only club and tribe members are permitted to participate. The purpose of Derby week is to help clubs and tribes engage in friendly competition, spirit, and service to the community.

These events will vary in location depending on what event is taking place. McCarty said, “Proceeds from the ticket sales to view the dodge ball tournament will be donated to Make-a-Wish. Derby week t-shirts sold by the council during that week will also be donated to Make-a-Wish.”

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So you think you can dance? On Mar. 16 at 9 p.m. in Swor Auditorium, club and tribe members will have an opportunity to show off their moves in the annual competition known as Swerve. This competition is designed to showcase choreography, creativity, and dance ability. There will be three winners, which include best tribe, best club, and an overall winner. This year seven groups will be competing. These include Swannanoa, Kissimmee, Laguna, Nenamoosha, Shawreth, Kokoa, and Civitan. Clubs and tribes break up into teams for their activities and each of these teams represents a philanthropy that the team members will be donating to if they win the overall award.

In addition, all of the proceeds of the ticket sales will automatically be given to the winning team’s philanthropy. Tickets will go on sale the week of Mar. 16, during lunch in the Caf. The presale price for the tickets is $5 and $7 at the door. Swor holds 800 guests and tickets will be sold until seating is no longer available.

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Dannie Woods, Assistant Director of Student Life for Student Activities, said, “I think Swerve is a great tradition on MC’s campus. Each year student dances highlight how great our students are, as well as diversity among different groups.”

CAB member Kaitlyn McCarty said, “Swerve is a fun, MC-centered, competitive night that is a good time for audience members and participants alike. It is a chance for the various social organizations to showcase their creativity in dance, costuming, music selection, and choreography winners will be determined by a panel of skilled judges.”

Woods added, “I am always excited to see it all come together each year.”

So after spring break, come out and enjoy the many events that will be a part of MC’s annual spring tradition—Derby Week.

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Life is a Team Sport

-Tyler Normand, Contributing Writer

Recently, MC intramural basketball season started, and as someone who loves to compete, I wanted not only to play, but to win. A few of my Shawreth brothers started a team, and I gladly joined. My teammates are competitors too, but there was a difference between them and me—I wanted to do it all by myself. My mindset was that if the ball was in my hands, I alone was going to get the ball through the basket.

My strategy proved to be a terrible one. I did not make a single shot. The whole game, I was trying so hard to make the dazzling play all by myself that I didn’t even hear my teammates trying to communicate with me. Now that I think of it, I don’t remember passing the ball the entire game. Out of pride, I wanted so badly to be the go-to guy who makes every shot and leads his team to victory. When my pride failed to receive its reward, I became frustrated and even began lashing out at my teammates—teammates who never stopped motivating me even though I was missing shots and we were losing. In the end, we lost as a team, but I was still focused only on myself. This time though, instead of thinking I could do it all, I didn’t think I could do anything. In practice later that week, one of my teammates looked at me and said, “This is a team sport.”

What did it mean to be a part of the team? Processing that thought in my head, I realized something important; all the weight of achieving the goal and winning the game was not solely upon my shoulders. In that first game, I tried to play a game of one versus five and that was never how it was supposed to be. Maybe I can make a few shots here and there, maybe I’ll have a hot hand for a few minutes, maybe I’ll get a steal or two, but every shot and every steal? For whatever reason, I am not going to make it happen all by myself. That’s why I have my team; so they can help me and I can help them and we can achieve something great together.

This concept is not reserved to a field or a court. This concept transcends sports. We need other people, and other people need us. Maybe someone is working to get their grades up, but they struggle to understand the material. They are not stupid or dumb, but they may begin to believe they are. They try and try, studying longer and harder, but the exam is getting closer and they feel that their comprehension of the material has not gotten any stronger than it was when they first started the class. They need someone to show them how to study or to better understand the material.

Maybe someone struggles with depression. Their burden makes them feel alienated, isolated, and alone. They can fight it all they want, but often the thoughts and the feelings seem like an overwhelming adversary. They may think that nobody can do anything to help them, and even if they could, they probably don’t care enough anyway. They take the weight of this fight completely upon their shoulders, and it wears them down so much, what was once only an illness of the mind manifests itself into physical symptoms. They need someone to listen to them and understand them.

Maybe someone is married, but they have hit a rough patch. So many problems seem to pile up one after another, but they insist on trying to fix it themselves. They put on an act so the neighbors never have to know. The burden weighs so heavily that they can’t even look their spouse in the eye because they feel they have failed the one they promised to love for better or worse.

Maybe the fight is against an opposing army, and the teammates are the fellow Americans in camouflage. A soldier needs to be reassured that no matter how bad the fight gets, his brother is going to fight with him. He asks, “Do you have my six?”

Maybe someone has just been diagnosed with cancer, and their entire world has come crashing down. They have been thrown into a fight for their life, a fight they didn’t even want to fight. The physical toll upon their body is one very few people could ever fathom as survivable.

In the words of Stuart Scott, former ESPN anchor known for his energy and kindness, who recently passed away from cancer, “So, live. Live. Fight… And when you get too tired to fight then lay down and rest and let somebody else fight for you. That’s also very, very important. I can’t do this ‘don’t give up’ thing all by myself.”

Maybe you are fighting something. I have no clue what, but maybe you are. I can’t begin to understand how you feel, but I tell you this; life is a team sport. Sometimes you can’t do it alone; you can’t make the grade; you can’t give 100 percent; you can’t fight anymore. Maybe you are temporarily unable and just too weary to go on. Please, surround yourself with good teammates who will motivate you, encourage you, instruct you, guide you, and if it comes down to it—will carry you.

Town and Gown: The Saga of Clinton and Mississippi College

-James Osborne, News Editor

Now available in local bookstores is the new book “Town and Gown: the Saga of Clinton and Mississippi College” written by Walter Howell, Ph.D. The book is being sold at local stores including Pentimento Books and Lemuria Bookstore for $29.

“My intent was to write a history of Clinton, but I soon found out that you cannot write a history of Clinton without including a history of the college,” said Howell. “Not only are they so intertwined, but the college ran the town really for most of its history. Many of the mayors of the town have been former college professors of MC.” Howell himself is the most recent mayor of the town and was also a professor at MC.

Howell has a bachelors and master’s degree in history from MC and holds a Ph.D. in history from the University of Georgia. He gives credit to his education at MC for his ability to graduate number one out of a class of 12 with his Ph.D. He taught history at MC for 13 years and served as president of the Mississippi Historical Society. He served as a Clinton city alderman from 1977 to 1981 and as mayor of Clinton from 1981 to 1985. Howell was named official town historian in 2013 by the current mayor and town aldermen. He also gave the MC faculty convocation lecture at the beginning of the semester.

Howell said that when thinking of a title for the book, he included the word “saga” which is a reference of the chronicling of worthy people and events.

There have been previous books on the history of the college, but Howell said those books were written from a college administrator’s viewpoint and did not touch on any controversial information, which Howell said he was not afraid to do. “I found a wealth of information and I’d like to think that I brought a faculty members perspective.”

“Mississippi College is a very unique college and invaluable to the town,” added Howell. He went on to explain that the college was started before there was officially a town. Hampstead Academy started in 1826 which then became Mississippi Academy in 1827, and then Mississippi College in 1830. The men who founded the college laid out the plans for the town in 1829, and it was then chartered in 1830.

The book focuses on the beginning of the college and the town in the civil war era, but it also tells of the town during two world wars, the Great Depression, and the history of the town and college up to present day.

Some of the interesting stories in the book include General Sherman providing 15,000 rations to the people of Clinton to prevent starvation during the Union Army’s 1863 occupation and the Clinton Riot in September 1875, which led to the overthrow of Carpetbagger government in Mississippi and the end of Reconstruction in the state in 1877. The book also tells of the Mississippi Baptist Convention’s vote to move the college to Meridian and the town’s fight to make sure the college stayed in Clinton. Other stories include Clinton acquiring MCI WorldCom, which was then the third largest telecommunications company in the world at the time, and later the largest bankruptcy in American history.

Since the book’s release on Nov.18, Howell has attended book signings at various locations such as the Quisenberry library, Lemuria book store, the MC Library, and Pentimento books, and he spoke recently about the book on the morning show of MC’s own Star 93.5.

“We did have a very nice crowd the two days we had Mr. Howell for the book signing,” said Tammy Smith, manager of Pentimento Books in downtown Clinton. “I enjoyed listening to his stories. I enjoyed learning about the riots of the late 1800’s, Dr. Todd’s house, and Violet Banks house. I think it is important to see the role that Clinton played in the history of Mississippi.”

“Mississippi College has enjoyed a long and rich history with the City of Clinton,” said Steve Stanford, vice president of administration and government relations. “It is exciting that Dr. Howell has worked diligently and conducted extensive research to capture some of that history. His book will undoubtedly serve as an enjoyable read and an informative reference for readers for years to come.”

Stanford and the rest of the administration at MC are recognizing the relationship between the college and town this school year under the campaign called “Celebration Clinton: Town and Gown since 1826.” “Our purpose in identifying this year as ‘Celebrating Clinton – Town and Gown since 1826,’” said Stanford. “Is to express our appreciation to our host city for the support it offers to our students, faculty, staff and university. Our histories are certainly intertwined and our futures undeniably connected. We are a part of a wonderful city that reflects our values, beliefs, and commitments to God, family, education and community.”

One part of this campaign is the production of “Our Town” by the MC theater department being shown in the spring. “We chose to do ‘Our Town’ by Thornton Wilder as our spring main stage production for several reasons,” said MC theater teacher Phyllis Seawright. “Yes, the idea of ‘Town and Gown’ is one we have embraced for several years with our casting for ‘The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.’ Ms. Sandra Grayson has used children from the Clinton area for many roles in ‘Best Christmas.’ Another reason we chose ‘Our Town’ is because it has not been done here for many years, if ever. That means we will be introducing it to a fresh audience,” said Seawright.

Seawright said that “Our Town” is about the life cycle of a town and its residents. The play illustrates the ordinary routine of living and dying, even as it captures the beauty of that routine. The message of the play is to enjoy every day to the fullest.

“Dr. Walter Howell’s convocation lecture made me aware of so many people I never knew of before,” said Seawright. “I had not known that so many professors had also held the office of mayor of Clinton. That gave me a new appreciation for why MC has remained so strong for so many years. The backbone of a college is its town, whether an MC student ever knows that. Those of us who are here for more than four years provide that necessary stability, and those of us who live here nurture the soul of this place.”

Howell said that the college has had a tremendous impact on education in Clinton due to so many teachers and administrators in the Clinton school system graduating from MC. “Considering the strong influence MC has on Clinton,” said Howell. “Look at the ranking of Clinton schools in MC compared to the Oxford, Starkville, Hattiesburg, and Cleveland schools. There’s no comparison! To me, that is tangible evidence MC has had a greater impact on its host city than any other college city in the state. They can put that in stone, cause it’s true.”

Lighting of the Quad brings Christmas cheer to MC’s campus

-Alexa Jenkins, Copy Editor

The Campus Activities Board welcomed Mississippi College students to a “Candyland Christmas” themed Lighting of the Quad on Dec. 2. Guests were welcomed by CAB members to walk among Christmas trees and through a gingerbread house for cocoa and cookies. This year, for the first time, Lighting of the Quad was hosted as a community event for the city of Clinton, and a large turnout of MC students and Clinton families attended.

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The evening began with a telling of the Christmas story by professors Ivan and Mary Ann Parke, whose lively and truth-filled account was enjoyed by many. They were followed by CAB Chairperson Hunter Sandoval, who took the stage to welcome visitors and explain the various aspects of the event.

CAB has adopted the Lighting of the Quad as a night of philanthropy—a way to give back to the community. A collection of Christmas trees was admired by the guests and donated the next day to the 4 C’s, a local charity that will give the trees to families in need. Students also filled a sleigh with donated t-shirts for the fourth year in a row. These shirts will be sent to a missionary in Nicaragua, who will distribute them as needed. The final way that Lighting of the Quad was used to give back was through their t-shirt sales. Event t-shirts were available for students to purchase, and proceeds were given to the Make-a-Wish foundation.

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In addition to celebrating the act of giving this Christmas, Lighting of the Quad also provided a fun diversion for students as finals week nears. All of MC’s clubs and tribes built gingerbread houses to be voted on by the students. Laguna took first place this year, followed by Civitan in second place and Nenamoosha in third. Guests also enjoyed hot chocolate, cookies, and other sweet treats as they mingled and listened to music provided by a variety of MC musicians.

CAB members Elizabeth Rogers, Jarvis Stampley, and Emily Boyd were recognized at the end of the event for their work putting Lighting of the Quad together. Their efforts are appreciated by many MC students. Several mentioned the tradition that Lighting of the Quad has become throughout their time at MC, and everyone was excited to see the community participate in this MC tradition. Students and families alike enjoyed the opportunity to celebrate with loved ones as the semester and the year nears an end.

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Students seek to spread laughs through ‘A Very MC Christmas’

-Cole Angel, contributing writer

‘Tis the season to be goofy, and that’s exactly what a number of Mississippi College students are doing through their involvement in “A Very MC Christmas,” a Christmas album consisting of classic Christmas songs covered by MC students and sung with MC-themed lyrics. The idea came to MC sophomore Benny Warnick after sharing multiple humorous songs with his friends and taking their advice to write similar songs about MC.

“I wrote a couple of trial songs for my friends to get their feedback,” Warnick said. “I wanted to make sure that there would be enough interest before I put a lot of time into the writing process. When my friends saw the lyrics and got a real kick out of them, that inspired me to write the rest of the album.”

The songs are fairly innocent in nature but do poke fun at a lot of hot topics at MC, including mandatory chapel and the “ring before spring” phenomenon. Most of the ideas came from various MC students, with Warnick acting as the driving force behind putting pen to paper. Warnick’s writing process began midway through October and wrapped up shortly before Thanksgiving break. The songs were recorded in makeshift studios set up in participating students’ dorm rooms on campus between the latter half of November and the first week of December.

The album is a collaborative effort involving multiple MC students singing and playing on the tracks. In featuring a variety of voices and playing styles, each song on the album provides a unique take on the popular Christmas songs in more ways than just lyrical changes.

“I think it’s cool how many of the stereotypes and traditions at MC can be put into song, especially during a time like Christmas,” said MC freshman Matt Holman, who sings on a cover of “Do You Hear What I Hear?” called “Do You Hear What Chocs Hear?” “I think MC students will love the humor and the truth behind each and every song.”

Copies of the album will be on sale for $5 each between Dec. 9 and Dec. 16 or until every copy is sold. More copies can be made if enough students wish to purchase the album, but letting designated CD distributors know in advance of intent to purchase a copy will best secure a purchase within the first week of CD sales.

“We’ll make as many copies as we have to,” Warnick said. “We just want to spread a bit of fun and joy this holiday season, and in the spirit of the holidays, we’ll spread it to as many people as we can.”

To reserve a copy of “A Very MC Christmas,” email Benny Warnick at brwarnick@mc.edu or David Welch at tdwelch@mc.edu.

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