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

Opinion: Taylor Swift’s ‘Reputation’ gets personal

Taylor Swift’s highly anticipated sixth studio album, “Reputation,” was released at midnight Nov. 10, and immediately shot to number one album on the iTunes charts.

It is hard to believe that the girl who just wanted to find “A Place in the World” is the same woman 11 years later who released the pop anthem, “Look What You Made Me Do.” However, artists change their style as they grow in the music industry and Swift is no exception.

Reputation opens with already well-known “…Ready For It?” which was teased in late August. The album is full of fun pop songs that will make you want to get up and dance as well as few surprises for Swift. Songs such as “Dress” and “Delicate” show a more sensual side of the singer that has not been as prevalent in previous albums.

The album also features one hip-hop-esque collaboration between Swift and artists Future and Ed Sheeran titled “End Game.”

For fans concerned that when the “old Taylor” died, the “new Taylor” would lose her strong lyrics and love ballads, Reputation has proven them wrong. Songs such as “Getaway Car,” “Call It What You Want” and “New Year’s Day,” remind fans of music from Swift’s previous albums but with new twists.

As a singer, songwriter, phenomenal performer and cat enthusiast, Swift is always changing the game when it comes to the music industry. Between her six studio albums, an app to be released later this year, sold-out tours, hundreds of appearances in movies and on television and so much more, there is nothing that she cannot do when she puts her mind to it.

Overall, this album is sure to please any dedicated “Swiftie” and anyone interested in listening to a confident, happy, in love and powerful woman perform her most personal and revealing album to date.

Swift may believe that her reputation has never been worse, but to her loyal fans, Swift has never been better.

To purchase “Reputation,” visit iTunes, Target, Walmart or the online Taylor Swift store.

Featured image by GabboT

Edited by Kaitlin Flippo

Howl-O-Ween brings costumed pups to UT Gardens

On Sunday, Oct. 22, Knoxville and surrounding communities could be found at the UT Gardens for the fourth annual Howl-O-Ween pooch parade and pet expo.

The event, which lasted from 1-5 p.m., encouraged dog owners to bring their furry friends in Halloween costumes, tour the pet expo, grab something to eat at the food trucks and watch or participate in one of the four pooch parades.

Freshman Riley Doty knew she wanted to attend the event upon hearing the details.

“I heard dogs and that they were going to be in Halloween costumes,” she said. “That’s like my two favorite things coming together!”

The pooch parade was divided into four categories: Funny Bone, Bad to the Bone, Do(g) It Yourself and Pup Culture. Each category had a separate parade for dog-lovers and dog-owners to watch and enjoy or for dressed up dogs to walk in. The dogs and their owners paraded through the UT Gardens, passed the judge’s table, and down a path lined with eager dog-lovers.

“The parade was just so funny,” freshman Erin Young stated, “I love dogs. It makes me miss my dog more.”

The Howl-O-Ween event featured a variety of vendors including grooming services, pet supplies, advocacy groups, pet rescue facilities, veterinary hospitals and many more. One vendor, known as Dogwood Dogcamp, even had a few puppies available for adoption at the event.

Dogs of every breed and size could be found lounging in the sun and playing with their owners. Food trucks served hot dogs, barbeque, and a variety of other treats for hungry event attendees. For hungry or thirsty pets, many vendors provided treats and the event put together a “Hydration Station” to keep the dogs cool on the warm day. The event brought together people and pooches of all ages for an afternoon of awareness and fun.

For more information and pictures from the Howl-O-Ween event, visit the Tennessee Journalist Facebook page for live videos or the UT Gardens Howl O Ween Facebook page.

Featured image by Abby Hamilton

Edited by Kaitlin Flippo

Volapalooza brings end of year celebration for UT students, celebrates 15th anniversary

Volapalooza ended the semester with a bang for UT students.

Since 2003, Volapalooza has taken place on the last day of classes and has featured musical acts from every genre. This year’s lineup featured X Ambassadors, COIN, Pell, Luke Pell, Mountains Like Wax, Electric Darling and DJ A-Wall.

The event was moved from Worlds Fair Park to Thompson-Boiling Arena due to inclement weather; a move that upset some students.

Allie Barnes, a UT student, remarked on the move.

“I understand that they had to move it here because of the weather, but I still wish we could have been outside,” she said.

Many students, however, were happy with the move saying they enjoyed the “concert environment more than the festival vibe.”

The show featured two stages, one for local bands and the other for bigger acts. Concert goers could go back and forth between the two stages in between acts. The event also featured many different vendors giving away free items like Coca-Cola, water, t-shirts and free henna tattoos.

The free henna was the most popular booth of the night with some students waiting almost three hours. Volapalooza also featured many different food trucks with items like corndogs, ice cream, burgers, fries and many other options.

Hunter Malone, a student who attends Berea College in Berea, Kentucky, drove in for Volapalooza. He said he made the drive because of the personal connection he has with X Ambassadors.

“X Ambassadors have really helped me through many difficult times in my life. Some of their songs got me through some very dark times when I was battling depression,” Malone said. “They’re part of the reason I am alive and seeing them live reminded me of where I am now, loving myself for who I am.”

Volapalooza proves that there is much more to music than meets the eye.

Images by Gabrielle Harman

Edited by Kaitlin Flippo

Market Square gets splash of color from ninth annual Chalk Walk

Thousands gathered in Market Square and Krutch Park on Saturday, April 1 to witness various chalk murals for the ninth annual Dogwood Arts Chalk Walk.

The chalk artists ranged from families and adults to children and high school art classes.

Every mural had an image1inspiration behind it. “It was a combination of mine and my children’s favorite things because they wanted to participate this year, too. Butterflies are my favorite. My daughter wanted a rainbow and my son wanted the Smoky Mountains, so we just combined all those together,” Amber Willis said.

Artist Fawne DeRosia decided to go with somebody who people would instantly recognize in East Tennessee.

“Honestly, I did a little digging on who is famous around Knoxville, because I knew I was coming here and Dolly was the first person who popped up, so I was like she’s awesome, let’s do a portrait of her,” DeRosia said.

Connie Passarella, one of the over 25,000 attendees, was amazed at the level of talent of the artists.image2

“It’s really interesting because I’ve never seen anything like it. I have seen it in books before and I wanted to do it at home, so I always like to take back ideas like this,” Passarella said.

Founder Kathy Slocum discusses the reasoning behind the use of chalk for the festival.

“The chalk is used because it’s water soluble and we don’t have to worry about it lasting forever, good and bad. Monday it’s going to rain and this will all be gone,” Slocum said. “But that’s part of the intrigue of this art, is that it’s not permanent. It’s here today and gone tomorrow.”

Artists began their pieces at 8:30 a.m. and had to be finished by 4:30 p.m. Attendees could vote for their favorite piece and the awards were given later in the afternoon.

For the list of winners for this year’s Chalk Walk, check out their website.

Feature Image by Vanessa Rodriguez

Edited by Katy Hill

Asian American Association, CEB host 865 Night Market

The Asian American Association and Campus Entertainment Board hosted the first 865 Night Market March 31 at 8 p.m. They gathered many organizations from UT showcasing different cultures from around the globe.

The 865 Night Market marked the conclusion of Culture Week, ending with a bang. The festival was open to the public to learn about different music while eating their nation’s cuisines.

Rapper Dirty performs at 865 Night Friday, March 31 during Culture Week 2017. Students listened to music and enjoyed food from around the globe to end the week.
Rapper Dirty performs at 865 Night Friday, March 31 during Culture Week 2017. Students listened to music and enjoyed food from around the globe to end the week.

The Filipino-American Association displayed the Tinikling dance, a traditional folk dance done with long bamboo sticks. A person stands on both sides of a stick, tapping it on the floor and sliding them together. The audience participated in the dance.

Pellissippi Community College student Simmone Smith enjoyed learning a new dance.

Students perform traditional dances at 865 Night March 31 during Culture Week 2017. Groups showcased talent and cultures from around the world.
Students perform traditional dances at 865 Night March 31 during Culture Week 2017. Groups showcased talent and cultures from around the world.


“I really liked the different organizations and the different foods,” Smith said.

Many clubs from UT had their own stand offering food and drinks from their culture. The Asian American InterVarsity offered bubble tea and fried rice. The Latin American Student Association offered homemade churros and the German Club sold fresh bratwursts. The Korean Student Association also sold tteokbokki, a spicy rice cake.
During the night, different clubs performed for the audience. Devin Huggins, a member of the German Club, recited a poem called “Der König” by Johann Wolfgang Goethe. The Korean Student Association members performed a dance to K-Pop music. Rap group StudyBreak Cypher also performed.

“I never knew about these kinds of clubs,” UT student Jaime Baizen said.

Baizen was amazed at the number of clubs and organizations centered around different races and diversities.

“I wish we would have more of these festivals,” Baizen said. “Looking around UT, I wouldn’t have thought there was a lot of diversity but seeing stands for countries like Bangladesh and the German club surprised me.”

Images and Audio by Sage Davis

Edited by Lexie Little