Happy Birthday Chattanooga State!
Jon Stoner, Staff Writer
This year marks the 50th anniversary of Chattanooga State Community College, and the Communicator wants to make sure you have heard. Maybe you’ve read one of the many flyers posted around campus or maybe you were around the amphitheater during the first week of school and got a tropical lei to wear around all day while listening to a number of musicians performing live on stage. If you weren’t quite sure what everyone was doing crammed tight in the area, students and administration were socializing, getting to know each other and making everyone feel a little more comfortable as we all settled in for a semester of school in what is known as “Welcome Week”. The Communicator got a chance to talk with Student Life Secretary Blaire Ryan and get her thoughts and feelings about the upcoming school year. Ryan said, “We’re really trying to push engagement with the students here. We want the students to have a chance to come to us and open up, to show that we’re not uptight but actually friendly and helpful. That’s what Welcome Week is all about, everyone getting to know each other as well as showing the students that this is an environment everyone can feel at ease in.” If student involvement is their goal, it would be hard to argue they didn’t reach it. There’s been a ping-pong tournament, registration for sports like flag football and softball, as well as other events like open mic poetry. All it takes is one glance at the school’s calendar online and you’ll see several upcoming activities.
Why all the celebration for an anniversary, you may ask? Well for starters, this year is certainly unique. We have an ambitious new president here at the campus, Dr. Flora Tydings. During welcome week, there was a “cutting of the cake”, ushering in Dr. Tydings’s first semester as president here at the school. This year also marks the first implementation of Tennessee Promise, which is providing education for thousands of students statewide across twenty-seven different colleges. The Promise has made such an impact at Chattanooga State that chances are you either are a promise student or share a class with one or two. More than likely, you had a parking space taken during the great parking fiasco of the 2015 Fall Semester in the Humanities parking lot. The increase in attendance has not only contributed to the diversity of the campus, from non-traditional students to students fresh out of high school, but it is also plays a significant role in the activities taking place around campus as well as everyone’s ambitions for the school year ahead of us.
All around campus, both faculty and students alike are optimistic for the year ahead. Several students that we’ve gotten the opportunity to talk to all share the same emotion: hope. “I’m really excited for the school year!” said student Gracie Connerly. “I’m ready to get things done and hopefully have a great year.” When asked about her thoughts on the college’s fiftieth, she said “I think it represents 50 years of scholastic excellence!”