UTPD partners with Panhellenic Council to promote self defense

The University of Tennessee aims to empower and educate women in the age of #MeToo. From April 2 to April 6, the University of Tennessee Police Department and Panhellenic Council invited the female campus community to attend a self-defense class at the Sorority Village Center.

The event taught individuals easy ways to protect themselves around campus or in cases of imminent danger. Each 30-minute session allowed for practice and increased confidence.

Stephanie Cornejo, a UT student and member of the Panhellenic community, said she came to learn the basics.

“Women are the main targets on college campuses,” Cornejo said. “I wanted to know these defense moves because I often walk back to my car from the library, and it’s dark, and you never know what you could be faced with.”

Two officers accompanied by a police dog instructed students to partner in groups of two. Partners practiced moves useful in different situations.

Freshman student Abigail Baker believes all women should take a self defense class.

“[Women] shouldn’t have to depend on someone else to save them” Baker said. “You are important, so you need to know how to protect yourself.”

UTPD also encourages all women to attend the Rape Aggression Defense program to learn more about protection in harmful situations. UTPD holds classes free of charge. The program does not require women to be students, faculty or staff to participate.

Featured Image: Wikimedia Commons

UT alumnus shares business success story

On Saturdays in the fall, Vols wear orange. And a Knoxville-based store plays a large roll in creating the sea of orange that fills Neyland Stadium.

The Delta Sigma Pi business fraternity hosted Alumni Hall owner and UT graduate Jeff Goodfriend Tuesday, April 3 for a professional speaker event.

In 2006, Jimmy Dawahare opened the first Alumni Hall in Lexington, Kentucky. According to Goodfriend, Dawahare took the name “Alumni Hall” from the winner of a thoroughbred horse race.

Though founded in Lexington, the collegiate store found a home in Knoxville where the company finds its largest customer base. Goodfriend said Volunteer fans’ loyalty and passion keep sales alive despite a disappointing football season.

Niche identification remains his key to success. Goodfriend said the ability to recognize what fans like to wear to the football games and the ability to identify the most popular sports make or break a store’s success. For example, University of Kentucky basketball often proves more popular than its football team. Basketball apparel is more lucrative in that market.

Goodfriend worked for Goody’s, the store his grandfather founded in 1953, until his departure in 2007. His family sold the company in 2005. Goodfriend took over as owner of Alumni Hall when he joined the team.

Alumni Hall features popular clothing brands like Nike, Under Armor, Columbia, Adidas and other regional brands.

Alumni Hall now possesses 27 storefronts for almost 20 different universities. Alumni Hall offers products in six Tennessee locations: one store in Bristol, two locations in the Nashville region and three locations in Knoxville.

Boy receives ultimate gift of hearing

Story and video by Cayla Graner

Two-year-old Thomas Creech received the ultimate gift of hearing this past month.

Thomas was adopted from China 10 months ago by Bryan and Mollie Creech. The family had seven biological children, but felt that they were supposed to adopt kids as well.

After hearing that the family had seven kids, the adoption agency told them that they could only adopt overseas. Although the family went to China to adopt one child, they ultimately brought back two.

When the Creech family came back from China, they realized that one of their sons had vision problems, and their other son Thomas was completely deaf.

Immediately, the family started looking into getting Cochlear implants for Thomas. The surgery was going to cost $50,000, but the family was sure that their insurance would pay for it.

Unfortunately, the family soon learned that the insurance wouldn’t pay for the surgery.

Just when all hope seemed lost, a miracle happened.  A foundation called Advance Bionics heard about Thomas’s dilemma and decided to completely pay for his implants.

The family was overjoyed and said they are excited to walk through these next steps with Thomas.

Thomas had his surgery to attach the implants in late January and goes in soon to turn on his hearing.

Thomas will never have the chance to hear on his own and will still be deaf when they turn off his hearing when he sleeps.

However, he will now have the chance to hear all eight of his new siblings running and playing in the house.

Edited by Taylor Owens

UT to implement smoke-free policy

The University of Tennessee will be a smoke-free campus effective Aug. 1, 2018. The policy takes measures to protect the health of all university students, faculty and visitors.

Senior Vice Chancellor for Finance & Administration, Chris Cimino, sent out an email saying that smoking will be prohibited in and on all university property.

“Smoking means inhaling, exhaling, burning, or carrying any lighted cigar, cigarette (including any electronic cigarette or similar device), pipe, or other lighted tobacco product” Cimino said.

The policy prohibits smoking in private vehicles on university property. Students can report violations to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards. Faculty can report violations to faculty supervisors. The policy applies to anyone on campus.

“As we transition to a smoke-free campus, those interested in smoking cessation options can visit the Be Well website for a full list of campus and online resources including cessation products and programs, help line, and apps” Cimino said.

Additionally, the website lists both tips for and the benefits of quitting smoking.

More than 2,000 colleges and universities across the nation implemented smoke-free campus policies. UT’s full policy can be viewed here along with frequently asked questions.

Featured image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

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UTK unites against racism, promotes diversity

“Hate my guts, not my genes,” graduate student Margaret Cross said as she took her place to stand against hate.

Cross, along with other students, faculty and community members, gathered at the University of Tennessee Friday, Feb. 9 in a show of solidarity against racism. “United at the Rock Against Racism” invited the UT community to leave its mark on the Rock, a campus staple and free speech forum. Each handprint represented campus unity, a university vision.

“It feels like a physical representation of the community,” Crystall-Marie Alperson said. “Hand in hand we stand together and we are together.”

The Student Government Association, Faculty Senate and the UTK Campus Ministries Council organized the event. Athletic teams, academic departments and individuals gathered to celebrate love and unity.

“We have a very diverse team, and I think it is really important that, as an athletic department and a university, we celebrate diversity. It is really important for us to spread love and not hate,” UT Volleyball team member Alyssa Andreno said.

Supporters filled Volunteer Boulevard which closed to traffic during the event.

Earlier this week, Chancellor Beverly Davenport sent an email to the UT community condemning racism and hate. Davenport spoke to attendees at the Rock to further her message.

“I wanted to come today to make clear the University of Tennessee views. Our views about unity, our views about peace, our views about acceptance, our views about what kind of future we want. That is what I want us to celebrate,” Davenport said.

During Davenport’s address, she turned to 7-year-old Reed Burgin and asked if he knew why everyone gathered at the Rock.

“[We are here] to not hate people for the color of their skin or where they are from,” Burgin said.

Before the event, Chancellor Davenport sent another message to address a white supremacist group’s intent to speak on campus Feb. 17.

“I want to let you know that after consultation between UTPD and senior advisors, we have decided that this group will not be allowed to use McClung Museum due to safety and security concerns,” Davenport said.

Davenport encouraged students to “get involved, get informed, and take care of each other.”

Following Chancellor Davenport’s speech, the UTK Campus Ministries Council organized a brief vigil. Vigil attendees raised their voices in song as the Rev. John Tirro and Dr. Loneka Battiste led “Draw the Circle Wide.”

“No one stands alone, we’ll stand side by side. Draw the circle, draw the circle wide.”

Featured Image by Ainsley Kelso

Video by Ainsley Kelso

Edited by Lexie Little