Debate Team Starts Strong

William Hawks, Contributing Writer

The Mississippi College Debate Team went to their second debate competition of the semester at the University of Arkansas at Monticello last weekend. The team, coached by Dr. Merle Ziegler, consists of five members at different proficiency levels and experience.

Students compete against other students from all over the country in formal debating at four levels. New participants compete at the novice level, and move up into junior varsity and then varsity levels. The highest level is professional, where experienced debaters compete.

Graduate students are required to enter into the professional level regardless of experience, and that’s where Political Science grad student James Tulp found himself in the first competition of the semester at Lee College in Houston, Texas. With no debate experience whatsoever before his first competition, Tulp finished “middle of the pack.”

“I was content with this, considering I was competing in the Professional class and going up against professors and debate coaches with years of experience,” Tulp said of his results.

Also a newcomer to the debate team is Junior Finance major Will Earnhart. Earnhart competed among 33 other novice level debaters and was announced one of the eight finalists in his category.

The debate team prepares for their competitions at weekly practice meetings. The novices learn how to structure arguments well, and everyone does mock debates.

“The worst thing you can do in a cross examination is ask a question you don’t know the answer to. You want to ask them a question you think they’ll answer in a particular way,” Ziegler said.

Debate is not only for law students or future political candidates. “I can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t benefit from debate,” Ziegler said.

Tulp shared this thought. “What drew me to the debate team was the opportunity to improve my public speaking skills, my critical thinking skills, and my ability to think on my toes,” he said.

Earnhardt further backed the point up: “You don’t have to be a law major; a lot of employers are looking for people who can communicate well.”

Ziegler continued, “In real life, this is what we do. We present an idea to our business, or company, and they’re going to want to ask questions like ‘why is that a good idea? Why do you think we should do it?’ And you’re going to have to be able to defend why you think this is a good idea.”

Ziegler said anyone can join at any point during the semester, though it is better to start at the beginning to get the full experience. Those interested can email him at


Camp Blessing

-Hailey Elder, Contributing Writer

People were created to need other people. This might seem like a simple statement, but college is a place that at times both magnifies and meets this need. As graduation and summer lurk in the shadows, the idea of missing one’s community for the months ahead can threaten the pressing anticipation and freedom of finishing finals. Goodbyes are hard and separation anxiety is real, but the opportunities, experiences, lessons, and memories that come from the summer are worth it.

MC students have a reputation of spending their summers in a camp, volunteer, or mission setting, but there is a stigma at times that to qualify as a mission trip it must be an outside-of-your-comfort-zone or be a cross-cultural experience with a language barrier and unreached people groups. Camp Blessing is a camp in Texas that serves children and adults with special needs and their families. This summer, they will have eight terms of camp and need young volunteers to help make it happen.

Camp Blessing requires getting outside of your comfort zone because it requires putting someone else’s needs above your own for six days. It is uncomfortable because being selfless is hard. It is cross-cultural because the special needs community includes people of all backgrounds (and it is in a state whose residents like to claim their history of being their own country). Language barriers exist because communication can occur without spoken words. “We have some campers who say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ by blinking once or twice or raising one hand or the other,” said staff member Kaitlin Smith. “It’s easy to assume they don’t understand, but we have to remember that we all have the desire to be known and heard, even if we aren’t capable of making comprehendible sounds.”

It can be labeled as an unreached people group because it really is. “The vast majority of families affected by disability do not attend church because they are either blatantly not welcome, because the church doesn’t know what to do with their child, or because it is simply too exhausting mentally, physically, and emotionally,” said Laura Elder, the Camp Blessing director’s wife and mother to two children with special needs.

Camp Blessing is unique in that each camper has his or her very own counselor, who understands the value of community and strives to meet each camper’s individual needs. Counselors basically get to be their buddy, their new and long-lasting best friend for the week.

Many may think they have no experience and are completely unqualified to do something like this, but being “qualified” is not a requirement. Each week is a new term, which means a new group of volunteer counselors. “Each new group is trained for 24 hours prior to the arrival of campers on topics such as communication, disabilities, team building, and caretaking. But the goal of all this training is not to create experts on Down syndrome or autism or cerebral palsy. We don’t want our counselors to know everything about their camper’s disability- we want them to know everything about their camper. It’s about the relationship,” said a Camp Blessing counselor.

“People are people are people. Just like we need and want to be known and valued, so do they,” said Smith.

“The Lord knew what He was doing when I got the opportunity to work at Camp Blessing for a summer. I saw God move in mightier ways that summer I worked at camp. The volunteers, the campers, and the other staff made up this heaven on earth place- a place of so much joy and love!,” said MC junior and 2013 summer staffer, Danielle Clinton.

This summer will be Camp Blessing’s 10th summer since opening in 2006, and they are in need of over 500 volunteers (especially guys). So consider going for six days with your family, church, a group of friends or a group from your tribe, club, or other campus organization. They promise it will be the cheapest and most rewarding mission trip you ever go on.

Lexi Frautschi, MC sophomore whose smiling face is easily recognized on campus will be serving on staff this summer. “If I am being completely honest, the first draw to Camp Blessing for me was the simple fact that my friend would be there,” she said. “It was not until after I applied when I realized the impact that this place would leave on me. I have not even been to camp yet, but I am already changed because of it. I know that when I step foot on the Camp grounds that my soul will learn a level of compassion and caretaking that it has never known. This place is called Camp Blessing for a reason, and I think that it is going to change my life more than I will change it. However, I am beyond ready to get to be a part of a place that is such a clear picture of love, community, and the kingdom of God.”

For more information please visit their website at or contact Hailey Elder at

Eric Clark to speak at Graduation

-Megan Cole, Reporter

Eric Clark, former Secretary of State, will be speaking at Mississippi College’s graduation ceremonies on May 9 at the A.E. Wood Coliseum. There will be two ceremonies for the undergraduate students, at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Clark previously served 12 years as Secretary of State, in addition to sixteen years as a member of the Mississippi Legislature. As of January 2008, Clark currently serves as Executive Director of the Mississippi Community College Board.

According to Mississippi College president Lee Royce, this position, as well as other accomplishments, make him a primary candidate to speak for the commencement ceremonies this year.

Clark attended Jones County Junior College and received a bachelor’s degree from Millsaps College in Jackson. He obtained a master’s degree from the University of Mississippi, and a doctorate in History from Mississippi State University. In addition, Clark has taught history and government at Jones County Junior College, Belhaven University and our very own Mississippi College.

Other accomplishments include being awarded with the American Family Association’s “God and Country” honors, as well as authoring the law which outlawed the possession of child pornography in the state of Mississippi.

Clark is also recognized for his action in preserving natural lands on the Gulf Coast, and was given the Mississippi Wildlife Federation’s Conservation Legislator of the Year award. He was awarded twice for the Mississippi Nature Conservancy’s Public Service award.

“I asked him to speak because he is a very prominent educator in this state supervising the community college system, taught history here, and as a Baptist will well represent MC,” shared Royce.

Clark is married to Karran, who grew up in Durant and Forest, Mississippi. They have two children, Charles and Catherine. Clarke and his family are currently active members of First Baptist Church in Jackson.

To the graduates, Royce also has some parting words of wisdom.

“I would remind them to live out Proverbs 3:5-6, pray for MC, and come back to see us,” Royce shared.

(Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV)

Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.

Mississippi Joins National Day of Prayer

-Abbie Walker, Editor

On Thursday, May 7, Christians all around the country will gather in schools, churches, businesses, and other public places to lift up their prayers to God during the National Day of Prayer. In addition to a main event in the nation’s capitol of Washington D.C., Mississippians have also responded to the call by hosting NDP events across the state.

The NDP is a tradition that predates the founding of the U.S.A. when the Continental Congress proclaimed a day set aside for prayer in 1775. In 1952, Congress established an annual day of prayer, and in 1988, the law was amended to designate the NDP as the first Thursday in May.

According to a press release from the Mississippi Chapter of the NDP, the purpose is to “intercede” for the country, the state, and the community: “As our nation struggles with continued economic insecurity, vast healthcare change, and continual challenges to basic constitutional rights, citizens of the United States are preparing to exercise one of their most precious freedoms – the right to gather, worship, and pray to God.”

The theme for this year’s NDP is “Lord, Hear Our Cry,” emphasizing the need for every citizen to cry out to God in prayer. The inspiration for this theme is 1 Kings 8:28: “Hear the cry and prayer that your servant is praying in your presence this day.”

“NDP has been around for a long time, since our founding fathers. It’s a tradition in our history; it’s a part of our heritage,” said Debra Brown, the state director for the MS National Day of Prayer and a high school teacher. According to the NDP website, “The mission of the National Day of Prayer Task Force is to mobilize prayer in America and to encourage personal repentance and righteousness in the culture.”

The NDP focuses on seven major areas of influence that the communities in America pray specifically for: government, family, church, education, military, business, and media (entertainment). With over 2 million attendees and 30,000 observances across the country, this event is a chance for believers to express their Judeo-Christian faith to the world.

Jack Graham, pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, TX, will serve as the 2015 honorary chairman and give the keynote address at the national observance in Washington, D.C., which will be held at the Cannon House Office Building. While prayer will also be lifted up throughout the entire state of Mississippi, an NDP event in Jackson is scheduled for May 7.

Starting at 10:30 a.m. at the Mississippi State Capitol, there will be a time for children to pray over the state’s public safety officers and law enforcement officers. Families will also enjoy picnic lunches. From 12 to 1 p.m. the National Day of Prayer event will take place on the south steps of the Capitol as thousands lift up their prayers of healing and protection over their government, city, and community. Mississippi governor Phil Bryant and his wife will give the NDP proclamation. Mayor of Jackson Tony Yarber and others will also lead in prayer along with Vision United Ministries leading worship. Children will then release prayer balloons, followed by tours of the state capitol. Guests are invited to bring a lawn chair or blanket. In case of rain, the Jackson observance will be held in the Rotunda.

“This year we are excited to have a time of prayer by children from across Central MS for our Public Safety Officers,” said Cathy McCraw, member of the MSNDP task force. “We prayerfully ask people to come and participate in this year’s event. We believe that the prayer that goes forth on May 7 will be a watermark in our lives as we appeal to Heaven for one another, our city, state, and nation.”

There is also a NDP event scheduled for 12:15 p.m. in Clinton in front of Clinton City Hall. While exams will be coming to a close for Mississippi College and many will have headed home by May 7, MC students are urged to either find an NDP gathering in their area or create their own. “We need volunteers to go into their county or city and create their own gathering,” said Brown. She encourages people to not just pray with those they know but to “move out into the area.” “It’s a great gateway to reach out to people in businesses or in the community without focusing on a certain agenda. We are simply praying for our community,” she said.

Those who are wanting to head up a NDP event in their own city are advised to post their event on the National Day of Prayer website so that others in the area will know about it. “Even if it’s just a small gathering, we want to know what ‘s happening across the state,” said Brown. “And we also send free resources and support throughout the year.”

Some hold gatherings with churches, youth groups, or schools the Wednesday night before as a way to prepare and rally for the next day of prayer. Brown said that the goal is to get more of the younger generation involved and create a “unity of the spirit” by people of all ages praying and gathering together.

Brown added that the NDP should be something that Christians celebrate continuously. “We are going to be standing in the presence of the Lord that day and exercising our freedom of religion,” she said. “It’s once a year, but it doesn’t have to be once a year.”

As the NDP event in Jackson draws nearer, volunteers are needed to help make it a success. Approaching churches in the area and inviting them to participate is a big way to help. There are also needs for volunteers who can assist with children’s activities, blow up balloons, set up and clean up for the event, and more.

To learn more about The National Day of Prayer, find an event in your area, or register your own event, visit For information about the Jackson Prayer Observance or to volunteer, email or

What’s Your Study Soundtrack?

–Megan Cole, Reporter 

Nearly everyone listens to music. Some people prefer certain genres, while others are open to anything and everything. But what kind of music is the best to study to? Finals are approaching and students everywhere are preparing. This typically includes stocking up on plenty of snacks, taking well-deserved Netflix breaks, and of course, listening to lots and lots of music.

In fact, music keeps us focused, motivated, and awake. According to Stanford School of Medicine’s recent research, music engages the areas of the brain involved with paying attention, making predictions, and updating the event in memory. Music has also been found to lower cortisol (the body’s stress hormone) and anxiety more effectively than most drugs do. Apparently music not only makes us feel good, but provides many physiological benefits.

This explains why music is of great importance during the most stressful week of the semester: finals week. As students settle in to the stress that comes with the end of the semester, we asked students what kind of music they recommend for studying.


Many students find instrumental, lyric-free songs the most helpful when focusing.

“[Music with] no words [is] important,” said senior instrumental music education major Jonathon Cason. “Because then I’ll sing, and not study.”

Classical music and other relaxing movie-soundtracks were recommended several times by many MC Students who preferred study music with no lyrics. Among these recommendations were The Piano Guys, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Mozart, and other classical composers. The most popular composer named was Hans Zimmer, a German film composer and music producer. Zimmer has composed music for over 150 films, including various film scores such as The Lion King, Interstellar, and the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. This means many students are probably more familiar with Zimmer’s work than they realize.

In addition to the well-loved movie scores and classical movements, students’ study playlists represent a variety of genres. There are many popular platforms to listen to music as well, which include Pandora Radio, Youtube Playlists, iTunes, and Spotify. Here are some of the most popular MC student recommendations and some tips as you prepare for finals.

“Hardcore rock ‘n’ roll and metal rap.” – Chris Fisher, sophomore chemical physics major.

“Post-Rock. It’s instrumental, no words. Long. Beautiful. It’s good for sleeping and for staying up, as it provides enough stimulation to keep one aware. My favorite choice is ‘Godspeed You!’ by Black Emperor.” – Joshua O’Neal, senior English literature major.

“Pretty much just whatever comes up on my Christian station on Pandora, but I especially like the Afters and Sidewalk Prophets.” – Joy Rittenhouse, freshman biology medical sciences major.

“I don’t study to music, but I’d imagine ‘Living On a Prayer’ would be good.” – Alex Dougherty, senior chemistry medical sciences

“I listen to classical, relaxing music during the studying. No words. Every ten minutes I take a break and listen to a pop song. When the song is over, I go back to homework.” – Jessyca Bryan, senior English education major.

“Elvis Presley, all day every day.” – Kristi Ralston, junior elementary education major.

“Christian rap.” – Jonathan Poe, sophomore Christian studies major.

“Instrumentals, ABBA, and indie!” – Casey Clark, senior art major.


Player Profile – Will Weber

-Marcelo Maziero, Sports Editor

The spring sports season is officially over now, and Mississippi College is still evaluating the effects of changing from Division III to Division II. The results are being analyzed, and a lot of preparation is on its way for the next seasons. One of the seasons that came to a close recently was golf, and with the end of the season also came Will Weber’s goodbye to college golf.

Weber has played golf for Mississippi College for the four years he studied here. A graduating senior in Public Relations who will be pursuing his Master’s degree in Business Administration, Weber described the feeling of leaving college golf behind.

“It’s bitter sweet. I feel like it’s time for a new chapter but I know I’m going to miss it. I have had some great rounds and some terrible rounds but no matter what, deep down I always loved the game,” he said. He started playing golf because of the influence of his father and grandfather when he was 12 years old.

will weber

“My grandfather and dad got me interested in golf when I was 12. I was hooked. I started competing at 13,” Weber said. His father and grandfather are also in the best memories he has when he thinks about golf. “[My best memory is me] playing with my dad and grandfather. The memories I’ve made with them on the golf course over the years I will never forget.”

Throughout the year playing golf, Weber said that the biggest lesson he learned from this sport is also applicable for his life. “Patience. Golf requires so much patience already, but college golf was a new level. If anyone reading this knows me, they probably know how impatient I am. I learned new levels of patience over these 4 years.”

Weber, who is very close to his family, did not think twice when asked who inspires him the most. “My parents and their unconditional love for me and my sister. They have done everything in their power to make our lives as great as possible. I could never do enough to thank them for that. We are very close as a family. Me and my sister consider our relationship rare as far as siblings go,” he said.

He is leaving the golf team soon, but he wishes a future full of victories to his teammates and the new players to come, and will have in his memory the good times he spent his the team in the last four years. “[I will have carry with me] the memories with my teammates not only on the course but on the trips as well. I don’t think any one can understand that bond unless they lived it,” Weber said.

Bass Fishing Team

-Rob Crochet, contributing writer

Devin Millis held his fishing rod firmly, upright in his boat, drifting slowly through the middle of a wide pond. His attention was only half-tuned to calm water, but with a sensitive touch born from years of practice, he felt a small, insistent tug on his line. Reflexively, he jerked the rod back and over his head; a few seconds later, Millis held a floundering bass in his free hand. “The method I use is called ‘finesse fishing,’” he said. “It’s slow and steady. Requires a sensitive touch.”

Millis, a Mississippi native from Mendenhall, came to Mississippi College to play basketball, but an injury forced him to retire. He was not content to do nothing, however, as a self-proclaimed “busybody.” His junior year he decided to join the bass fishing team, and today he competes in tournaments and is in charge of the MC bass fishing club.

“The club learns. It is not as expensive; it is $25, which is not expensive, because it is meant to be enjoyable. The team (costs) around $250, which is a little bit more, but it is worth it in the long run, because you get discounts on clothes and other supplies,” said Millis. “We have speakers who come in and bring stuff and give us little freebies.” He pointed to the lure on the end of his line and said, “In fact, the lures I’m using right now was a gift from Jeff Roberts, a professional bass fisherman.”

Millis will travel with the bass fishing team to Tennessee in May to compete in a College Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) tournament. He expects it to be a well-attended event. “The state record was just caught out of the lake we will fish on, so things are going to get a little crowded,” he said with a snicker. “There will be 200 college guys and about 200 semi-pro guys there.”

“At the Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) tournaments, there is the biggest five fish limit. Say I caught ten fish that weigh one pound. What if there is a two-pounder in there? The two-pounder is going to get weighed with the four biggest one-pounders I have. In this ACA tournament I’m going to, it is the biggest six fish, which can help you out a little bit,” he added.

Millis explained that anglers have different strategies in the tournaments. “Some anglers catch a lot of fish and weigh the biggest ones. Some only go for the big fish, which is typically what you see at these tournaments. Me, I fall into the former group,” he said. “I like to get numbers before size. That’s the most fun for me. After I catch my five or six, then I start looking for the big fish.”

            It is a common policy in bass fishing to catch and release in order to preserve the fish population. The Mississippi College fishing team observes this diligently. Jim Turcotte, the vice president of enrollment and student affairs at MC, has served as the team’s advisor for six years and believes that the entire outdoor sports program at MC – including fishing, clay shooting, equestrian, and the new archery team – is committed to conservation. “We want to be able to enjoy the great outdoors with our children and grandchildren one day,” Turcotte said.

The bass fishing program will continue to attract new students to MC from around the Southeast, as it is one of few competitive teams. To Millis, however, the best thing about the team is the people. “I didn’t rush after I left the basketball team,” he said, “and so I was a bit of a loner for a while. Bass fishing gave me a group of people that I could be a part of. Yeah, there’s benefits to being a member; the tournaments, and you get discounts on clothes and fishing gear, but it’s really the people that makes it so good for me.”

Miss Collegian – Going home for summer

Dear Miss Collegian,

Right now, I’m kind of freaking out about going back home for the summer. Home life isn’t the greatest and I’ve gotten so used to being away from home this year. Right now, I love being independent and I’m afraid that when I go back home that my parents will bother me about my plans after graduation or that they’ll try to dictate what I can and cannot do. Since I’ve been at college, I haven’t had to tell my parents when/where I’m going all the time, and I’m not sure I can get used to that again this summer. How can I be expected to act the same as I did at home when I’ve changed as a person and become more of an adult since I’ve been away at MC?

-Don’t Want to Leave MC

Dear Don’t Want to Leave MC,

I don’t think you should be expected to act the same when you go home. Going to college changes you and gives you a lot more freedom than you had back at home. I think your parents will understand and will give you the freedom you have gained since being away, and if not, I would suggest sitting down with them and discussing what worries you and explaining to them the ways you have changed and what you expect when you are home. I’m sure they know exactly what you are going through and how they felt their first summer back at home after college, so don’t be too hard on them!

Have a great summer,

Miss Collegian

Review of the book “Motivation Manifesto.”

-James Osborne, News Editor

“There comes a time in the lives of those destined for greatness when we must stand before the mirror of meaning and ask: Why, having been endowed with the courageous heart of a lion, do we live as mice? We must look squarely into our own tired eyes and examine why we waste so much time sniffing at every distraction, why we cower at the thought of revealing our true selves to the world, why we scurry so quickly from conflict, and why we consent to play small. We must ask why we participate so humbly in society’s frantic race, allowing ourselves into mazes of mediocrity and settling for scraps of reward when nature has offered unlimited freedom, power, and abundance to the bold, the determined, the creative, the independent – each of us.”

This is taken from the first page of the book “Motivation Manifesto” by New York Times bestselling author Brendon Burchard, who also wrote the books “The Charge,” and “Life’s Golden Ticket.”

You may be a graduating senior looking for extra encouragement and motivation to chase a dream job, or someone chasing a dream or personal goal. If you are seeking to believe in yourself, to improve in your classes next semester, to overcome fears and obstacles, or just looking for a good book to read, then the “Motivation Manifesto” by Brendon Burchard is for you.

The book is powerfully written and at times poetic. It has simple yet profound statements. Parts of the book are as if the reader has travelled back in time and has the opportunity to hear from the great orators like the founding fathers during America’s revolutionary war or even as far back as the Greek scholars and academics like Plato. Unlike some books on motivation like Daniel H. Pink’s “Drive” or the famous “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey, there is no technical jargon or pages that read like an academic journal. Instead, the “Motivation Manifesto” contains powerful and easy to read prose that gets straight to the point of what is needed in life to push ourselves to greatness.

Burchard writes about simple yet powerful subjects that we often overlook in society like being intentional, being present in daily life, being determined and focused on our goals, and seeking joy and thankfulness. The book has an introduction which is written like the Declaration of Independence, and two sections. Section One deals with human nature on freedom, fear, and motivation. Section Two is called the Nine Declarations which all start with “We Shall” and are titled: We Shall Meet Life with Full Presence and Power, Reclaim Our Agenda, Defeat Our Demons, Advance with Abandon, Practice Joy and Gratitude, We Shall Not Break Integrity, Amplify Love, Inspire Greatness, and We Shall Slow Time.

The theme of the book is seeking “personal freedom.” Being intentional, staying present in our lives, seeking joy and gratitude, moving past our fears, being motivated, and seeking to be the best we can possibly be are lessons we all need to learn.

Brendon Burchard also has a popular YouTube channel and blog. Burchard is giving away the “Motivation Manifesto” book for free after the $7.00 shipping and handling fee along with a 12 week online course when ordered at

“Let us awaken now and realize there is greater vibrancy, joy, and freedom available to each of us. There is more feeling. There is more power. There is more love and abundance. But gaining access rests on our shoulders, for only two things can change our lives: either something new comes into our lives, or something new comes from within. Let us not hope for mere chance to change our story; let us summon the courage to change it ourselves.”

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