My name is Kiarra Walden and I am the President/Founder of The Liberator Magazine. This magazine was created to keep the black student population at Vanderbilt abreast of a plethora of different information. We send out printed issues of The Liberator each semester and keep an updated blog platform on our website. We hope that you enjoy this special newsletter dedicated for you! If you have any questions, comments or concerns then please email us at vandyliberator.com
Class of 2014
A Few Words to the Class of 2017
By Elizabeth Hunter
You are here to learn.
The only reason you are receiving this newsletter in the first place is because you are very, very intelligent and hardworking (trust me on this, we’ve all heard about your ACT scores). Please don’t come to college and forget that. Vanderbilt is truly an institution of higher learning that strives to prepare its students to excel in every aspect of life.
You are here to grow.
If I had to pick the most valuable learning experience from my last three years at Vanderbilt, It would be hard to say because they are all quite personal. In confronting issues with classmates, teachers, employers and that girl down the hall that you just can’t stand you uncover knowledge about yourself. The way you choose to respond reveals your character, and the internal battle you face each time an opportunity arises (whether it’s an improvement or a retrogression) shapes that character. This is what defines not only your identity on campus but also your sense of self. But hold on! Before you get caught up trying to recreate your image to meet –more often than not— impossible standards, learn what yours are first. You must remember that you are young and still quite flexible in terms of personal perspective. In my momma’s terms, you ain’t grown! No matter your background you can’t possibly know everything about the world or the people in it. What I ask is that you devote sufficient time and effort to learn all that you can about the most important one—YOU.
Don’t waste it.
Someone is paying $244,000 for your education whether it’s your family, Sallie Mae, Mr. Vanderbilt himself, or your checkbook over the next 30 years. No matter where it’s coming from someone is making a huge investment in you. Your benefactor finds you not only deserving of such a commitment, but also capable of upholding their standards of excellence. Over the next four years, you have complete control over shaping that standard. No matter how you choose to do so, do it well. Utilize all resources available to you no matter how large or small. Everyone affiliated with this university is committed to seeing you excel. Join them.
Welcome to home Baby ‘Dores!
Nashville Rallies for Trayvon Martin
By Dacia Green
When unarmed 17 year-old Trayvon Martin was fatally shot on February 26th 2012, his death sparked nationwide outrage. In July, six jurors heard the case of George Zimmerman, the man behind the gun, as millions of Americans watched anxiously from their homes. After a sixteen-day trial ending on July 13th 2013, the jury ultimately found George Zimmerman not guilty of second-degree murder and manslaughter.
Nashville was one of the many cities to call for action following the news.
Although many members of the black community were angered and disheartened by the verdict, several others took the opportunity to come together and rally for Trayvon Martin.
A “Justice for Trayvon” prayer vigil was held the following Saturday following the verdict, in downtown Nashville in front of the federal courthouse. Over the course of two hours, several sermons from local preachers and rounds of gospel singing broke out. Protesters also prayed for God to bring justice for Trayvon Martin.
Other events were held around the city soon after Zimmerman’s acquittal as well. A two-mile-long march was held the next Tuesday at Tennessee State University. The NAACP Nashville chapter attended the event, along with approximately 200 protesters. Despite the anger surrounding the events, both the rally and march peacefully honored Martin.
Efforts to change Tennessee’s “Stand Your Ground” law were also made following the verdict. The Tennessee Black Caucus of State Legislators want the law to be reconsidered to prevent similar cases from happening. The law, which is in effect in 25 states and has been cited as one reason George Zimmerman was found to have acted in self-defense, states that if a person is acting under “reasonable belief that there is an imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury”, said person is legally justified in harming and even killing the aggressor.
State representative Larry Miller wrote in a press release, “No child should ever have to be afraid to walk peacefully down the sidewalk without being attacked because of the way they dress or the color of their skin”. Miller reassured Tennesseans that Martin’s death would not go in vain.
Vanderbilt University Law Professor Chris Slobogin weighed in on the efforts by saying, “If the law is going to be changed, this is the moment for it to change, because of what's happened in the Zimmerman/Martin case. But if that moment passes, my guess is there won't be any change in the legislation. Even during this moment, it's not likely Tennessee will change it's law.”
Freshman Fifteen…. Is it Inevitable?????
By: Lindsey Rice
We’ve all heard the warnings about the dreaded Freshman Fifteen!!! But are those 15 pounds of unwanted weight gain really as unavoidable as we think? Studies reveal that many freshman college students are indeed likely to gain weight. On average, college students gain 3 to 10 pounds during their first 2 years of college, and most of this weight gain occurs during the first semester in college.
The many delectable temptations of Vanderbilt are lurking around every corner. With the all night Munchy Marts, 4th Meals , and more flex meals than you’ll ever need, it’s easy to see how the pounds pack on. You're on your own and free to eat what you want, when you want it. Piling on the portions in the dining halls, eating dinners of french fries and ice cream, and indulging in sugary and salty snacks to fuel late-night study sessions become the “college way.”
Additionally, college is a time of adaptions, and stress. The stress of acclimating to school away from home can trigger overeating in response to anxiety, homesickness, or sadness. Plus, stress slows the metabolism, making weight gain nearly inevitable.
Luckily, Vanderbilt has many options that help to avoid the feared Freshman Fifteen.
One of the best ways to avoid unwanted weight gain is to monitor what you eat. Both The Commons and Rand Dining Halls are equipped with salad bars, fruit choices, and healthy options. Grins Vegetarian Café is also a great place to grab a healthy vegetarian meal. And yes, Vanderbilt also has options for those who would rather grab a burger and run than a salad and sit.
The best way to avoid weight gain or shed pounds is to exercise. Exercising has also been proven to alleviate stress and increase happiness. Vanderbilt Recreation Center is home to basketball courts, a swimming pool, fitness equipment, racquetball courts, and even an outdoor track. Classes such as spinning, Zumba, and yoga are all offered at the recreation center. A schedule can be found at http://www.vanderbilt.edu/studentrec/fitness/. For those freshmen who do not have time to travel to main campus, the Martha Ingram Commons Center offers fitness equipment on the top floor.
Vandy also offers many intramural teams including basketball, soccer, tennis, and softball. Information for these teams is available at the recreation center and online at http://www.vanderbilt.edu/studentrec/intramurals/calendar/officials-meetings-clinics/
So, avoiding weight gain during your first year at Vandy is not inevitable. However, a few simple changes to your daily routine can help you fight off excess weight and keep you both physically and mentally fit.
Commodore Quake, Have you gotten your TICKET?
By: Alexis Jackson
Vanderbilt’s Music Group is known for bringing some of the hottest acts in the music business to campus for Commodore Quake. Lil Wayne, Snoop Dog, B.o.B, Lupe Fiasco, Ludacris, and Kanye West have all graced the stage of Memorial Gymnasium. Last year Childish Gambino and J. Cole both gave amazing performances. This year the Music Group coming back bigger and better than ever before by brining two top charting artists and leaders of new school rap, Wale and Kendrick Lamar to campus on October 3rd at 8pm in Memorial Gymnasium for homecoming. Tickets went on sale for students on Friday August 20, 2013 at 10am at the Sarratt Student Center. Student tickets are 25 dollars. Have you gotten your TICKET?!