Archive for the ‘Opinions’ Category

Diary of a freshman’s first week

September 11, 2011 Comments off

Graphic by Kelly Lyness

By Katie Richarson, Staff Writer

As some of you might know, two weeks ago was my first year of college at Young Harris. During the first week I was really nervous about what could happen. For days I had nightmares about living in a dorm with a psychotic girl that would kill me in my sleep, or giant bugs that would come into my room and hurt me if I did not make friends quickly.

It was the craziest anticipation period I have ever experienced. However, now I have not only adventured through my crazy case of anxiety, but I have made it through my first week.

When it came time for me to move into my dorm room, I had no idea what to expect. In my mind I pictured some terrible girl with fiery breath and a rancid flatulence problem. I was so scared that I had my mom go in before me and survey the premises so I could ready myself for anything terrible that may happen.

Graphic by Chance Alexander

However, when I walked into my new room, I was happy to learn everything was better than I could have ever dreamed. My roommate is a wonderful person and I get along with her magically. Did I mention she lets me eat her mac and cheese and even shares her toilet paper? This is awesome!

Once I was over my living situation worries, there were other worries still on the horizon. I wondered whether or not my teachers would hate me, or if I would ever find anything in the dining hall that actually tasted as good as it looked. My main source of caution, however, was when people, even professors, said to watch out for wild animals, specifically a raccoon.

One night I began to head to my car and I stopped suddenly. About ten or so feet away I had spotted a raccoon sitting in the shadows. My first thought was, “how am I going to protect myself when it attacks me and tries to eat me?” Fortunately, once I took a step forward, it scattered away and my life had been spared.

I thought my worries had finally come to a halt, but little did I know there was another terror coming my way. Each day when I go to walk into the Goolsby building I always walk down the wrong hall.  I walk in, smile and make eye contact with people sitting in couches and walk down the hall like I know what I am doing. Once I look up at the room numbers, however, I realize that I have to turn around and go down the perpendicular hall to reach the correct room.

I have now personally deemed this turn-around process “The Walk of Shame” because I have to walk past the same people again. This has happened to me countless times in the first week. Diary, what should I do?

Now that I have survived my first week of college I feel like I can do anything. I try to walk around with my head held high and my schedule in hand. Yes, Diary, I still haven’t memorized my schedule, but I think by the end of the semester I may have it down.

Though some parts of my week have been unnerving I think I am going to like it here. The people are great, and I have had a lot of fun so far. Every time I turn around there is another activity to participate in and new friends with which to spend time.

Please cross your fingers for me Diary as I enter into the coming weeks at Young Harris, because after the last couple days, I do not even know what to expect.

Granted, they are afforable

April 26, 2011 Comments off

By Cathy Cox, Guest Contribution

Regrettably, the Staff Opinion piece in the recent issue of the Enotah Echoes contained a number of factual errors that painted an overall unjustified picture of YHC’s decision to construct new student apartments.

First, the article suggested students had no input into the decision to build apartments. In fact, students were  consulted in surveys prior to design and construction of the apartments to gain a clearer insight into what students desired in a new addition to the residential options available on campus – and the units were designed with that feedback in mind.

Secondly, the article suggested that the College acted extravagantly, and wastefully, in putting granite countertops in the new apartments — but no one from the newspaper ever asked any College official to confirm this. The truth is that due to an anomaly in the commodities market in Georgia at the time of procurement for the Senior Village project, granite countertops ended up being approximately 25% less expensive than the Avonite countertops that were included in the Enotah Hall project (and that are included in long-term focused student housing projects all over the country).

The granite countertops avoid significant and costly maintenance issues that student housing facilities around the country face when forced to use solid surface or plastic laminate surfaces.  These types of surfaces require regular replacement, invoke end user complaints, and cause the depletion of project’s reserve funds, which YHC will be able to use to maintain and enhance other parts of the project.  Additionally, the granite countertops allowed YHC to use a very natural product, which is line with the overall campus commitment to sustainability in its new facilities.

Lastly, the bathroom vanities in the project will also be granite, in lieu of cultured marble (as in Enotah), due to the same decrease in commodity cost, which provides a significantly greater long-term focus on maintenance and overall cost to students for the project.  In generally, granite countertops are an investment that most institutions regret not making and the market realities allowed YHC to capitalize on its ability to include these in the project.

The article also said Winship is being closed because it is old and dated, but the fact is that Winship is only being closed because it is in the preferred location, along with the old gym/pool building, for construction of the new Campus Center which we hope will begin before the end of this year. The Campus Center will provide greatly expanded dining facilities for the campus, along with a new three-story library and all new student center to serve the entire campus.

We have tried to provide housing options for YHC students at a variety of price points, while adding new options that offer upperclassmen more privacy, independence and some separation from other residential halls on campus – all in response to student requests. We have also designed the new Campus Center, library and student center with student requests in mind – and it will provide far more group study spaces (indoor and outdoor), advanced technology, student organization work and meetings spaces, student government chambers, dining space that doubles the size of the campus restaurant, convenience store and café, 350-seat banquet room, and much, much more.

I hope that future articles concerning campus construction projects will rely on a more accurate recitation of the facts – I’m always available to get the right information to you!

Thanks for letting me add this clarification –


Cathy Cox

The aftermath of ‘Keygate’

April 25, 2011 Comments off

By Delta Lambda, Guest Contribution

“Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes.”
—Oscar Wilde

As another academic year ends, the natural habit of students and faculty alike is to reflect upon the past year. This time of reminiscing upon memories, events, successes, failures, and lessons-learned from the past year serves as a tool for analyzing the effects of our decisions and molding our mindsets as people. For the former members of the now disbanded Delta Lambda, this year has definitely been a memorable one. To be part of one of the largest scandals during a semester is not a pleasant experience. Our actions sent out shockwaves, and the waters are only now beginning finally to settle. Our mission since being discovered has been “community restoration.” How do we as a student body, as a communal family, begin to restore such negative effects?

Much like ourselves, these “effects” are not only the reactions to our punishment but the deeply rooted ideals held by many of the students, here. Most Young Harris College students will agree that a sense of entitlement is easily fostered. Most students feel like this campus is their home and that they may act according to their own wishes. This thinking is not malicious. On the contrary, feeling “at home” here in the Enchanted Valley seems to be a beneficial effect of a loving campus. The problem lies when this sense of comfort and “at home” morphs into unquestioned entitlement, when we begin to act against established rules out of some sense of superiority.

So what have the former members of the now disbanded Delta Lambda learned from this year’s reflection? We have learned that acting without thinking can be devastating. We have learned that forgiveness can be instant but restoration is ongoing and difficult. We have learned that the actions of a few can speak for an entire group and that relationships are exceptionally hard to repair when damaged. Out of all the things we have learned, the most important by far is this: every person is solely responsible for his/her own actions.

So where do we stand now? Each of us is in a very different place after this year. We have attempted to restore this community from the effects of our actions and have strived towards our goals. However, there is still work to be done. As the semester ends and we all part ways, we can only extend advice and wisdom that we have learned through tears, meetings, struggles, hours of reflection, and prayer:

Live with integrity and remember that you alone are responsible for the decisions you make, yet—consciously or not—your decisions affect more than just you.

Learned to rise again and continue in the face of adversity and shame.

Everyone will face obstacles at some point, the difference is in how we deal with the troubles we encounter.

Learn to forgive others and yourself and persevering despite the odds is a valuable lesson for everyone.

These lessons sharpen our vision of this past year and guide our gaze into the future.

“But our citizenship is in heaven, and it is from there that we are expecting a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. He will transform the body of our humiliation so that it may be conformed to the body of his glory . . . .“
—Philippians 3:20-21a

Granted, they are granite counter tops

April 17, 2011 1 comment

Staff Opinion

With all of the new developments happening on campus, it’s clear that Young Harris College is coming into its own as a newly-transformed four-year institution. Enrollment is steadily growing with each year. New majors are being added to meet the increased enrollment. New faculty and staff are hired by the dozen to fill the demand for education.

Along with this growth comes construction. Last year marked the opening of Enotah Hall to much fanfare. Students were given the opportunity to live in an eco-friendly, modern building.

However, this living comes at a price, as the cost of living is quite a bit more than the other residence halls on campus.

This coming fall, yet another new residence hall will open on campus, the Senior Village. Senior Village will provide students with a fully-furnished, apartment-style housing option meant to prepare them for living after college.

However, with the new addition comes trade-offs. As students welcome Senior Village as a new housing option, Winship Hall will be going “offline.”

In other words, Winship Hall will still be on campus in the fall, but it will be empty and out of commission.

Winship Hall is being closed due to the fact that it is old and outdated. The College has been trying to close Winship Residence Hall for some time now. While many may think that is a step in the right direction, it may create a problem with housing more students next school year.

This issue raises a question. Where are students going to sleep?

In a time where people are pinching pennies, the cost of living is increasing. Granite counter tops demonstrate the elegance of the Senior Village; however they are not practical for college students and speak directly to the impracticality of the decision to install granite counter tops where they are not necessary. I do not even have granite counter tops in my kitchen at home. For the price you will pay for housing in Senior Village, you could go to KSU with tuition, room and board, and campus fees paid for.

Winship was considered Tier 1 housing. Senior Village will be considered its own sector of housing. There is a significant price difference in the two.

Since the college is anticipating the largest enrollment in its 125-year history, it is important to note that more students mean more problems. With that in mind, it makes more sense to inform students of the options they have rather than leaving them in the dark about something that is as major as this until two weeks prior to room assignments.

A college that disregards the input of the students by making choices that directly affects the students without consultation or merely a heads up is choosing to engage in inconsiderate and irresponsible decisions.

As students, it is without question, indubitably disrespectful to take away the option of living that is feasible for many and replace it with a more expensive living option.

In addition to the removal of a low cost option, the cost of living for all residence halls is increasing.

In doing so, it directly affects the purse strings and/or wallet hinges of those that are already finding it difficult to afford housing in Young Harris.

There is not even an option to live off of campus to students unless certain requirements are met. As far as students are concerned, there are not many other low-cost option residence halls available for students.

And with no consultation, what choices do we as students have to choose where we live and how much we will pay? The answer is none.

You should only ask how much if and when you are told to bring your checkbook.
This post copyedited on April 18, 2011.

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Elderly invasion?

April 15, 2011 1 comment

By Lauren Robinson, Opinions Editor

Photo by Karen Rodriguez

It’s Friday night. I am about to go to a concert with my friends. However, what you don’t realize is that the combined age of my friends is 300. As a college student, I look forward to the weekends where I can go dancing at a club with friends and let go of the week’s stresses. However, I do not take any particular interest in doing the Charleston or The Twist. For goodness sake, I’m a college student. That does not tickle my fancy.

If you look around campus, you will notice a surprising amount of attendance from elderly people in the community. Weekends seem to be a time where they migrate to campus and the actual students seem to make an exodus elsewhere. The crowd at any given event held on the weekend consists of people that have salt and peppered hair, and that may have retired or live in the community. However, on the contrary, college students should be at school, doing things with people their own age.

When you think of college, it is usually not associated with mingling with people that are older than your parents or grandparents. I am in no way saying that hosting the community or alumni is a negative thing, it is just quite unusual for a college. Young Harris College hosts the ICL Program, which helps senior citizens become computer savvy.

It’s almost as if there is no confidence in our peers. If you were to visit Georgia Tech or UGA, there is school spirit. People who are proud of their school and tend to show up to events, whether they are on weekends or weekdays. That is what college students do. The fact that we are in college inherently means that we stay on campus to get the “college experience” our parents rave about. It does not make sense that the parking lots are empty by Friday afternoon. Because we attend a small college in the north Georgia mountains, it is more difficult to find something to do because we do not live in a  major city. But that is no excuse for the pathetic atmosphere you can cut with a knife on weekends.

My challenge to you is to take some initiative in what happens on campus on weekends. The senior citizens in the community attend campus events more than the actual seniors do. They have already been to college and it’s quite pathetic to have more in common on weekends with people that have already lived the majority of their lives.
This post copyedited on April 18, 2011.

Eat, sleep, Facebook, repeat

April 6, 2011 1 comment

By Kathleen Layton, Editor-in-Chief

531      7      3      1

These numbers are not a safe combination, or even fragments of a social security number. Instead, these numbers can be found by scrolling through the list of your 531 friends on Facebook, clicking on your seven friend requests, reading your three messages, and responding to your one notification.

In the past couple of years Facebook has evolved beyond a simple means to contact friends and stay in touch. Now, Facebook is an integral part in our daily lives, with few people going more than a day without checking their profiles.

Facebook’s popularity has managed to eclipse other social networking sites such as Xanga and Myspace. This popularity has even allowed Facebook to capture the attention of Hollywood through the movie The Social Network, which later won three Academy Awards.

With all the accolades and attention, it is no surprise to find that Facebook has slowly and silently crept into our daily routines. Facebook is typically the first website people go to in the morning and the last page they visit before they go to sleep.

While Young Harris College is located in the mountains, its students are not immune to this social trend. At YHC, Facebook is a way of staying informed about what is happening, or going to happen on campus. Invitations to campus events are sent through Facebook, with even Enotah Echoes having a Facebook page.

It keeps students connected with their peers, and while it is not scientifically proven, late-night Facebook chats and creeping through someone’s profile are probably the leading cause of student procrastination and late assignments.

While I currently do not actively use Facebook, I can see why so many people do. Socially, it is a place to see and be seen, a source of gossip and an easy way to catch up on what you missed over the weekend. Professionally, it is an easy way for future employers to check up on potential candidates by sifting through his or her Facebook profile.

Besides these uses, Facebook has grown into a part of our culture and history. In the same way that history studies the pony express and hand-written letters, one day in the future people will look back at the phenomenon called Facebook.
This post copyedited on April 18, 2011.

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Making the last push of semester

April 6, 2011 Comments off

By Lauren Robinson, Opinions Editor

Photo by Karen Rodriguez

As final exams grow closer with each passing day, we grow closer to summer break, and for some, graduation. The atmosphere on campus reeks of the aftermath of spring break. Students returned to campus with a look of exhaustion plastered on their faces. Professors are placing pressure on everyone and really kicking this ship into high gear.

Thankfully, the winter weather is packing up and moving along. Hopefully, this will help bring some life back to the campus. Spring is moving in, and the campus outdoor recreation is starting to pick up. The beautiful flowers and trees are blooming.

Students are lying on the lawn, playing Frisbee, catch, studying in hammocks and soaking up some sun. This will definitely aid in repairing the attitudes and outlook around campus as things become a little more stressful.

Now that the school year is coming to a close, keep in mind that this is a place in the semester where students, faculty and staff alike are pressed for time. Nevertheless, it is pertinent that we, as students, remain diligent about finishing the best way we know how.

The last stretch is the notorious area of the race where the athlete becomes tired and will reason with him- or herself to either slow down and quit, or really challenge him- or herself to sprint towards the finish line.

Additionally, this is the place where we, as students, need to really push and try as hard as we can. This is what we have been working toward all school year. Essentially, this is the part of the race that counts the most. I dare you to do better than you have done previously. My mom never fails to mention a quote by a great man, you never started a race unless you finish it.
This post copyedited on April 18, 2011.

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