Tag: Lyndsey Bonner

SAA hosts 7th annual Etiquette Dinner

On Wednesday March 4, 2015 JSU’s Student Alumni Association hosted their 7th annual Student Etiquette Dinner.

This year, SAA had the largest attendance to date. They required students to make RSVPs, and one hundred and fifty were in attendance, and Director of Alumni Relations Kaci Ogle said there was even a waiting list of around twenty students.
The goal of the dinner was to teach students a few tips about etiquette, in case they have a business dinner after they leave college and enter the work force.
“We want everyone to learn at least one thing tonight that can possibly help them in the corporate world when they graduate,” said Ogle.

The dinner was very interactive for students. Throughout the dinner, SAA had different students read from tip cards that were placed on the tables. For example, one of the cards read, “If you are ordering from a menu, do not order the most expensive item. Avoid finger foods or foods that are hard to eat. Order the same number of courses as your host.”

SAA Vice President Kelsia King said, “This event is one of my favorites because it really gives everyone a taste of something they could very possibly experience to get a job in the future, and I truly believe it helps us all to prepare for a situation like that.”

After the meal was over, several students involved in SAA had a “fashion show” to show what appropriate attire is for a business dinner.

“The Student Alumni Association is probably the most useful organization to be a part of here at JSU, because it really helps prepare you for life after college. In addition to the etiquette dinner, we learn how to present ourselves professionally, how to speak to future employers, do’s and don’ts for interviews, and tons of other things. Every student can benefit from what SAA has to offer,” King emphasized.

SAA even gave away several door prizes for those in attendance including a gift card to Effina’sTuscan Grille. To get information about SAA, contact Kaci Ogle by email at kogle@jsu.edu or SAA Advisor Alan Renfroe at arenfroe@jsu.edu.

Lyndsey Bonner
Staff Writer

Marriage equality comes to Alabama for Valentine’s Day

This Monday, February 9, many same-sex couples were lined up outside probate offices all across Alabama, with the hopes of finally being able to be wed. In Calhoun County (and many other counties) however, those hopes were crushed—temporarily.

U.S. District Judge Callie Granade overturned Alabama’s same-sex marriage ban on January 23, ruling it unconstitutional. Two days later, she placed a stay on the ban, giving state legislatures the chance to take the issue to the circuit court, which took no action regarding the matter.

The U.S. Supreme Court then denied a request that would have extended the state’s ban on same-sex marriage. Sunday night, Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore ordered probate officers around the state to refuse to issue or recognize same-sex marriage licenses. For many, it is unsurprising that Moore voiced his biblical views again after the dispute about the Ten Commandments display forced him to leave his post.

On Monday morning in Calhoun County, Probate Judge Alice K. Martin upheld Moore’s orders.

“We were prepared to give licenses this morning… We will follow court orders, but this is a direct order to me, and I am just trying to follow the law. We will be prepared to give licenses as soon as we hear from the next court order,” she said to all the same-sex couples, supporters, and those opposed.

This, of course, disappointed Calhoun County residents Vicky Miles and Melissa Angle, who were at the probate office two weeks ago hoping to get a license.

Miles said, “We are still going to try here in our county—this is our home.”

Another couple expressed similar feelings; Alisha Gordon and Teresa Smith were also in line to receive a marriage license.

Gordon, dressed in a bridal veil said, “I’m very disappointed, and a little angry! We’ve been together eleven years. We feel like since this is a federal law, we should be following it.”

The couple, along with at least five other couples, then left the Calhoun County probate office to travel to Bessemer, where they were wed.

There were several others who were happy about Judge Martin’s decision to uphold Justice Moore’s order.
Josh Weldon stood at the probate office in support of marriage being defined as one man and one woman.

“We are not here out of hate; we are here out of love. If this were hate, we wouldn’t be telling them this is wrong,” said Weldon.

Brett Skinner, another supporter of traditional marriage, said, “God bless Alabama for what just happened.”

Cassidy McDougale and her girlfriend Shelby Youngblood were among the group of JSU students that attended this event in support of same-sex marriage.
“A lot of change is gonna be with our generation, so it is important for us to be here to show that. But, it is also important for older generations to be here supporting this cause as well. This is a human rights issue, so everyone should be involved,” said McDougale.

Jessica Forbus also attended and she was happy to support the same-sex couples that were here.
“Especially in this county, it is important for people to be here supporting. It is important to show that there are gay people and they are here. They aren’t out hiding in the dark, and we need to support them,” Forbus said.

Forbus returned on Wednesday after Alabama Governor Robert Bentley stated that probate judges across the state would not face punishment for issuing same sex marriage licenses.

Judge Martin personally called Miles and Angle Tuesday evening and told them that they could come back to the probate office in the morning and get a legal marriage license. Martin had a written statement prepared for those who came back to the probate office Wednesday morning.

“While I am of the opinion an Order with further instruction to the Probate Judges is necessary,” Martin wrote, “that has not been forthcoming, and the Supreme Court’s decision, by a 7 to 2 majority, has been the ultimate deciding factor in my decision today to issue marriage licenses to same-sex applicants.”

Calhoun County joined one of about twenty counties across the state of Alabama to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. It is expected that an official decision regarding the state as a whole will be made over the course of the next few weeks.

Lyndsey Bonner
Staff Writer

Mad Hatter secures spot on the square

In the next few weeks, students will no longer be able to snag a cupcake from the Mad Hatter Cupcake Shop on Coffee Street—they can pop in to their new and improved location on the square, instead.

Everyone in Jacksonville (and surrounding towns, too) knows that when a craving for an extraordinary cupcake kicks in, Mad Hatter’s is the place to go. Currently located just off of the square with their signature “hat-sign,” it’s the place with all the cupcakes that are not only gorgeous to look at and delicious to eat—but are each cleverly themed, too. With names like, “Buddy the Elf,” “Sharp Dressed Man,” and yes, even “Maple Bacon,” Mad Hatter Cupcakes offers one of the most unique dessert experiences on this side of the state.

Over the past few weeks, the company has been gearing up for their next big renovation—a change in scenery.
Owner Carol Watts explains why they are leaving their location on Coffee Street to the square, located between That Shop and the dance studio in the building that was formerly Joe Beer.

“I have always wanted to have a bigger space… the old building is nice but it’s small and kind of a cramped space for eating in and this building provides more space for just that. It is a sudden move, and I am not very big on change, but I think this is going to be great for our business!”

Mad Hatter offers a wide selection of twelve unique flavors, with a different menu every day, ensuring customers that the tiny treats are baked fresh each and every day.

Another thing that this new building might bring to the business is the opportunity of hosting birthday parties and other events hopefully at some point in the future.

The goal for the opening of the new Mad Hatters is set for the first week of February; however, Watts assures us that they will definitely be settled into the new location before Valentine’s Day—their biggest holiday for deliveries and dine-ins alike.

“We hope it will be a seamless transition from the old location to the new location. We don’t want our customers to have an operating day where we don’t sell our cupcakes,” regarded Watts.

Micah McNair, an employee at Mad Hatter, was nothing but positive about the store’s grand re-opening, which could happen as soon as next week.

“Let’s do it! People seem excited,” McNair said.

“All we gotta do is get the word out before Valentine’s Day.”

Andrew Record, a JSU student majoring in finance, has been working part-time at Mad Hatter’s for about two years, and he loves every minute of it.

When asked what makes Mad Hatter such an enjoyable play to work, Record said, “the fun environment. Its a really fun place to work, and the people are great. I’m really excited for the move.”

If this move is successful and Mad Hatter’s business continues to grow, Watts hopes to someday open up a food truck to be able to sell cupcakes in the Anniston and Oxford areas. Don’t worry—the much-needed cupcake pit stop isn’t leaving Jacksonville anytime soon. The Mad Hatter Cupcake Shop can be found on Facebook, where photos of the menu items are posted on a daily basis.

Miss JSU Pageant turns heads

Last Friday night, Leone Cole Auditorium was booming with people who came to watch the singing, dancing, and funny jokes at this year’s annual Miss JSU scholarship pageant.

The Miss America program has 53 pageants throughout the country (including Miss JSU) and remains the world’s largest scholarship giver to young women.

Nine of our very own JSU students participated in this event which was themed “Old Hollywood.” Jessica Hill, Ashton Hamil, Jesslan Sharp, Alexis Gravlee, Kacey Jacobs, Marissa Law, Abbey Walker, Kaleigh Garner, and our new Miss JSU Cortlyn Watson were among the competitors.

The competition is scored is based upon the following categories: evening wear (20%), private interview (25%), lifestyle and fitness in swimsuit (15%), talent (35%) and the on-stage question (5%).

The talent competition was especially tough, with acts ranging from opera singing to piano playing to clogging and dancing and even several monologues.

This year there were many prestigious judges, including head judge Tanya Pettway, who in 1986 was the first African American to take home a Miss America title.

Before our new Miss JSU was crowned, however, our past Miss JSU 2014 Jayme Wagner took her emotional final walk. Wagner then joined this year’s contestants in a final dance to “That’s Entertainment,” and finally Kacey Jacobs took the second runner up position and Kaleigh Garner took the title of first runner up.

Taking home not only a scholarship worth up to sixteen hours for two semesters, a JSU Campus Bookstore scholarship, a free manicure and several other prizes.

Watson also took home the title for the Swimsuit competition.

When asked about her reaction to being crowned Miss JSU, Watson said she was “excited, speechless… I just busted out in tears, I was so happy.”

Watson’s father, Stan, was also very excited about his daughter’s new title. “She has worked so hard to get here ever since she has been a baby… Her dream has always been to be in the Miss Alabama pageant and now she’s just one step closer. We are very supportive of all these girls and are very proud of everyone who competed!” he said.

Watson will go on to compete at the Miss Alabama competition this June.

Lyndsey Bonner
Staff Writer

“A Fault in Our Stars” showing to raise money for St. Jude’s

On Monday, October 6, the sisters of Zeta Phi Beta and brothers of Phi Beta Sigma partnered to have a movie night in Merrill Hall. They showed “The Fault in Our Stars.”

It was the first philanthropic event of the semester for the sisters of Zeta Phi Beta. Their goal was to raise money for St. Jude’s Research Hospitals. Popcorn and other refreshments were provided for those in attendance.

Zeta Phi Beta member Mariah Allen said that they chose “The Fault in Our Stars” because while it is not only a very popular movie, it helps those watching understand a little bit more about how people with serious medical conditions cope.

The movie follows a 16-year-old cancer patient, Hazel Lancaster (played by Shailene Woodley,) and her trials concerning the boy she has fallen in love with, whom she met at a support group.

“St. Jude’s is one of our newest philanthropies. This is our first event of this school year, and we really hope that a lot of people show up and we have a lot of money to donate,” said Allen.

Several people did show up to make this a successful event.

Lyndsey Bonner
Staff Writer