Atlanta’s March for Social Justice and Women

img_0305By Jacob Kryzsiak

On January 21st, 2017, Americans from across the country traveled to Washington D.C. to participate in the Women’s March on Washington. Similar marches, now being called “sister marches,” were organized to support the protesters in Washington D.C. These sister marches took place nationally in multiple American cities Internationally, marches took place in London, Paris, and Nairobi, for example. Continue reading “Atlanta’s March for Social Justice and Women”

WELCOME BACK TO SCHOOL! The 2016/2017 Special Issue Is Here

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The Hilltop News welcomes LaGrange College back to campus for the spring semester. As we swing into 2017, it is worth looking back at the year that was. And what better way to do that than with our 2016/2017 special issue: STRANGER THINGS

Why call this special print issue, “Stranger Things”? Well, the year 2016 was—to put it mildly—strange. Continue reading “WELCOME BACK TO SCHOOL! The 2016/2017 Special Issue Is Here”

Farewell, Dr. Garrison

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By Emily Webb

Dr. David Garrison will be leaving LaGrange College in February, but his impact on this campus will remain here for many years to come.

Dr. Garrison has worked for LaGrange College for six and a half years. He has been in the Provost’s role since he began working at the college. He taught English and Cornerstone classes before he stopped teaching in 2014.

“It was one of those experiences where I had a terrific teaching experience with an exceptionally wonderful class, and I thought, why go on?” He joked.

Continue reading “Farewell, Dr. Garrison”

The JanTerm: An Opportunity for Adventure

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LaGrange College Student Joshua Daniel (Religion ’16) interacts with a child in the Philippines.

By Sadie Gibson

At LaGrange College, the Interim, or “JanTerm” is a month-long period between the Fall and Spring Semesters that allows students to take courses outside of their major studies and even travel abroad. The period offers a less stressful time of the year because for many courses students can choose pass/fail credit, and they don’t have to worry about the maintenance of other course assignments. They can also choose to go outside of their own interests and explore topics that can open their minds to new ideas and subjects that were unavailable at high school, home, or in their majors.

Continue reading “The JanTerm: An Opportunity for Adventure”

STRANGER THINGS: The Hilltop News Seeks Submissions for its Fall Special Issue

 

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Over the summer, television audiences across the country got swept up in the universe of the Netflix series Stranger Things, the story of a missing boy and the supernatural secrets of his fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana. Written and directed by Matt and Ross Duffer, Stranger Things is set in the ‘80s and uses that decade’s popular culture as touchstones for a deeper investigation of family, friends, and all the passions and pitfalls of growing up in a country that’s growing up right alongside you.

Continue reading “STRANGER THINGS: The Hilltop News Seeks Submissions for its Fall Special Issue”

SGA Motions to Remodel Speed Bumps in Fraternity Court

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The Fraternity Court at LaGrange College

By Diego Torres

On Sept. 14, SGA President Corey Morgan and Senior Senator Matthew Crawford developed a resolution that would remodel the speed bumps surrounding fraternity court. The Morgan administration acted on complaints received from fraternity members over the summer. River City Contractors are expected to break ground this Oct. 6.

Continue reading “SGA Motions to Remodel Speed Bumps in Fraternity Court”

Spring 2016 Special Issue: Generation Change

Called one of the most self-absorbed and ignorant generations, Generation Y certainly hears a lot about themselves. Generation Y has a say, however, and they want change.

But how hard are they willing to work for it?

This semester, The Hilltop News’ talented staff of writers set out to discover what Millennials care about and how they expect to make a difference. Within this issue are discussions about the 2016 Presidential race, transgender equality, and student activist movements. Others looked into current hot millennial topics such as the effects of college blogging and injustices regarding colleges and universities. We have included personal experiences that defy stereotypes and dived into personal reactions to the “Body Acceptance” movement.

Perhaps Generation Y has more to say. The Hilltop News invites you to listen to our voices.

Having Our Say: Millennials and The 2016 Presidential Race

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Rebekah Lee, Associate Editor of Student Publication, English, ’18

In November of 2016, the future of America will be placed in the voting population’s hands. As of now, half of the voting population is made up of Generation Y, or “Millennials” as some call them, and they have had more say during this election process than in the past. After all, there has been a wide variety of diverse and persuasive candidates. From Senator Bernie Sanders’ position on government-funded higher education to Donald Trump calling for a reawakening of American pride and greatness to Hillary Clinton’s position on women’s choice issues. This election lacks  nothing  in terms of Millennial interest and the variety of changes in direction the country can take with “just one” vote.

Continue reading “Having Our Say: Millennials and The 2016 Presidential Race”

Blank Faces in a Crowd: A Look at Transgender Invisibility

 

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Toni Anne Ball, Contributing Writer, Sociology, ’18

June 26, 2015 is a date that I will remember as the day for a significant accomplishment for the United States government. If you are not familiar with this day, it is the day that same sex marriage became legal in all fifty states. I am sure that a majority of Generation Y is familiar with the grand celebration. It was a day that will live on in the hearts of all Americans no matter what side of the debate you were on.

Since then, many companies and television programs have shown full support for the gay and lesbian community, another beautiful thing. However, the Transgender community was left behind in the movement. According to LaGrange College Student Breckin McCoy, the gay and lesbian community gaining is more attention for one simple reason: “Visibility.” He says, “Gay people have taken their spot in society. LGB people have utilized visibility and time to generate the courage it takes to live their truths out loud.  The ‘T’ in ‘LGBT’ is just getting started.”

It is now time to give the transgender community the spotlight that it needs.

When I was a kid, I had a best friend named May. May was a little shy and always dressed in baggy clothes to hide the body inside it, and May never really liked to talk much. As we got older, May started to shy away even more and became so detached that I was scared to ask what’s wrong until May said, “I am transitioning, female to male.”

This was in 2013, at graduation.  May officially changed his name to Christopher William in October of 2014. “It was the greatest damn day of my life,” he states. “Well, maybe second, the first was when I started hormone blockers and testosterone.” His deeper voice, defined jawline, and new name are medals to accompany his newfound freedom.

His proud parents stand by his side, tears streaming down both of their faces. “I hope now he can be proud to be himself; that is all we ever wanted for him,” says his mother. Sounds like the perfect ending to a beautiful story of acceptance and strength, and it was.

Sadly, this is not the case for many other transgender individuals. But, how do you expect people to respect you and accept you when there are politicians who are trying to segregate you from the cisgender community andurn you into a pariah?  

Breckin had to say this about the recent bill passed on transgender bathroom use in North Carolina: “Those of us in the ‘T’ are going to demand respect as well. I think it is safe to say that Americans have learned the hard way. When you restrict entire groups, categorically, from completing and engaging tasks that are very much considered ‘every day’ -history is not on your side.”

I know what you are thinking. Toni, it is just a bathroom; aren’t there bigger things to worry about? And, to take a quote from my interview with the wonderful Venus Simone, [whom I don’t know and we should get a bit more information here],“They’re bathrooms, no one actually cares. These transphobes are just trying to scare people into believing that we all must conform to standards and never change. But we always do. Unfortunately, sometimes it takes a long, long time.”

Granted, this isn’t the only problem that is damaging the transgender community. In 2015, twenty-one transgender women alone were murdered. Another forty-eight killed in Brazil this past January.

Many skeptics will say that the trans community is everywhere with shows like Orange is the New Black, Transparent, and I am Cait. Sadly, in my opinion, only Orange is the New Black  gives us a “non-glamorized” portrayal of a trans person played by actress Laverne Cox, who is also transgender and a trans activist.  The problems are just adding up.

Where can we start to make solutions? Venus responds, “I would like to see people with privileges, whether that be classrooms, auditoriums, an audience/following or money. To give space to trans people. Have real trans people from the street on a panel at your school, listen to trans folk who don’t fit in the binary. Let us tell our own stories and stop trying to force us to your gender standards. I guess I’d just like to see people that could help, actually help. Whether that’s celebrities, professors at schools or even students. Talk about us, spread the word. And listen when we tell you what we need.”

Breckin also added, “The first step in giving respect and support is understanding what the struggle is and understanding that my struggle is no different than yours; it is just a different type of battle.” There is no denying that the country is slowly moving to change; however much work needs to be done in order to reach full equality. There is also no information on how long that will take. Nevertheless, I believe that the first step in support and understanding, in order to make change happen is to do your research on the community and the problems that they face.

So, how can someone who has no access to information of the transgender community find information?  Breckin stated, “Susansplace.org and the Human Rights Campaign website are great basic places to start. When we learn about anything new we are all guilty of picking up the cell phone and doing basic searches. You will be surprised what you have at your fingertips in the way of information.

Here on campus, we have a Gay-Straight Alliance group that is ready to provide a safe place for anyone who may need to talk. That means that anything you say will not be judged or repeated. Whatsoever.” I am the president of the Gay-Straight Alliance and though I am personally not transgender nor have I had any gender identity issues it is a safe place to come ask questions.

If you personally have had your own questions on gender identity or you are wondering if you are transgender yourself, Breckin has offered to help in any way. “I am willing to be public with my story and struggles and will answer any questions (even if they seem silly or sensitive) because I firmly believe that the difference maker for the ‘T’ is visibility. I am just like you and I am here.”

Venus also states, “Network! YouTube, tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, snapchat! Also look up local PFLAGS or GSA’s in your area! Also if you want to learn more, go online, use Wikipedia, or buy books written by trans folks. I would highly recommend redefining realness. Lastly if you know someone who is queer/trans or whatever, ask them politely if they’d mind helping you understand more about it.  Just keep in mind that all of our trans experiences are different; some people don’t feel comfortable talking about their transness, others (like myself) never shut up about it! Just be polite and also do your own research. We are people just like everyone else.”

For further questions or concerns, email Breckin at brmccoy@student.lagrange.edu. And of course, I am always available for questions at taball@student.lagrange.edu.  

Author’s Note: I would like to personally thank Breckin and Venus for agreeing to do this interview; I greatly appreciate you for all your help. Also, thank you to Breckin, Venus and Christopher William for allowing me to share their stories, I cannot say how grateful I am to you all.  Finally, a Thank you to The Hilltop News for allowing me to have a platform to get the information out, no matter how brief. Every little bit of acknowledgment helps.

“500 Words On” The Negative Effects of College Blogging

 

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Layla Zeitouni, Contributing Writer, English, ’17

I have great respect for any college student who can find the time to write an article every week and not cave to watching another episode of Criminal Minds. I have even more respect when the article is political, controversial, informative, or thoughtful.

The most popular current platform for this is The Odyssey Online, with articles from our very own LaGrange College students with titles like “A Reminder to Always Fight For Yourself,” “How Sustainability Can Affect Christmas,” and “Dear God, Thanks for NOT Answering My Prayers.” While these articles are well-researched and well-considered, these are few and far between. The outpouring of support towards social trends such as these displays how our generation is moving towards opinionated pieces instead of fact-checked journalism.

 

The Odyssey is a website with different branches throughout the country, and colleges are encouraged to start their own branch. Any interested student can apply to start a branch and become the editor, and then find students to write for the blog. Students can choose to write for different categories, like “Sports,” “Humor,” or “Adventure,” but the most popular categories are “500 Words On” and “The List.”

In “500 Words On,” the student can write 500 words on any topic. “The List” is exactly what it sounds like, from “21 Signs You’re an Education Major” to “11 Signs That You Are a Baton Twirler.”

Blogging

The Odyssey Online’s website states, “Through its proprietary technology ecosystem, Odyssey is revolutionizing content creation and discovery, enabling compelling, high-quality content to be created and discovered at speed and scale.” In lots of big words, it’s saying that Odyssey is the first website allowing easy access to reading and writing “compelling, high-quality” articles.

Despite such high personal praise, the Odyssey has very few quality control checkpoints. When skimming through these pieces, the reader expects—and deserves—a certain level of professionalism and a certain quality of writing, which is lacking in many of the articles. When reading through the articles that friends share on Facebook, it’s unnerving to see errors in grammar, spelling, punctuation, and usage. Some are little things, like the use of “peak” instead of “peek.”

The problem is not with the concept of the Odyssey or with any other media-sharing platform. The problem is that the credible, good writers are buried in heaps of rehashed articles about spring break and getting your first sorority “rush crush.” Recently, I read an article that included multiple malapropisms and misspellings. The article was incredibly hostile toward the college, while at the same time not being informative or having credible—or correct—information about many of the college’s projects.