Tag: paris coleman

A walk with royalty: Meet the 2017 Homecoming King and Queen

President John Beehler, Shea O’Donnell, Paris Coleman and Dr. Pam Beehler pose at halftime of the JSU vs. SEMO game after O’Donnell and Coleman were named the 2017 Homecoming Queen and King (photo by Matt Reynolds and Katy Nowak/JSU)

Katie Cline, Editor-in-Chief

It may have literally rained on their parade, but the weather didn’t dampen the spirits of JSU’s 2017 Homecoming King and Queen, Paris Coleman and Shea O’Donnell. The pair qualified for candidacy at the annual Homecoming Showcase on October 11. After voting on October 24, Coleman and O’Donnell learned that they had made the top five, and they were crowned at the homecoming pep rally on October 26. The King, Queen and their court were honored during halftime at the JSU vs. SEMO football game on Saturday, October 28.

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A line of royalty: Carson Bruce (left), Homecoming King 2016; Ranger Rumrill (center), Homecoming King 2015 and Paris Coleman, Homecoming King 2017 try to stay dry. The 2017 Homecoming parade was cancelled due to weather. (photo via Carson Bruce/Facebook)

A recent addition to JSU’s Homecoming Court requirements is that each candidate must choose a philanthropy and that the King and Queen must conduct one or more events benefitting those two groups during their reign.

Coleman’s philanthropy is Active Minds, a national non-profit mental health advocacy group.

“I chose Active Minds because I know that, through the teachings and plethora of information, this organization is able to not only change lives but to save them,” Coleman, a senior psychology major, said. “I’ve seen it happen firsthand. I helped a student through suicidal thoughts and actually stopped them from completing suicide. If I had not learned so much from my time with Active Minds, I don’t believe I could confidently say I would have been able to save them.”

Coleman hopes to raise money for Active Minds’ Send Silence Packing program, where backpacks containing the names, pictures and stories of people who have committed suicide are put on display in a public place. The goal is help visitors put faces and experiences together to combat the stigma behind depression and suicide.

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Shea O’Donnell and Paris Coleman smile after being crowned JSU’s 2017 Homecoming Queen and King at the homecoming pep rally on October 26. (photo by Katy Nowak/JSU)

O’Donnell’s philanthropy is music education in elementary schools. As an elementary education major and a Marching Ballerina, the philanthropy unites her two passions.

“I know that Homecoming elections used to be just a popularity contest, but now with the philanthropy portion added in, it has become much more than that,” O’Donnell, a sophomore, said. “Now we have an opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life. I chose my philanthropy because I was personally affected by it. As a Jacksonville native, I attended the local elementary school, Kitty Stone Elementary. I grew up with a mom who played piano, and began taking lessons in the third grade. I joined Kitty Stone Singers—the choir—in the fourth grade, and then joined band in sixth grade. I grew up in a family that was blessed enough to be able to allow me to join these musical groups and to grow in music. However, I know some families are not as fortunate as mine. Therefore, with my service project, all the proceeds raised would go back to the Kitty Stone music program to help buy instruments for students that might not have been able to have otherwise.”

One of O’Donnell’s plans for a fundraiser includes hosting a concert that brings back Kitty Stone alumni to show the community where how far music education can take a student.

For both Coleman and O’Donnell, the philanthropic element of their titles has been more important than the crown.

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Paris Coleman and DeLena Harris, a member of the 2017 Homecoming Court, smile in the lobby of Meehan Hall following recognition at the JSU vs. SEMO football game (photo via DeLena Harris/Facebook)

“I felt so ecstatic when I heard my name being called over the speaker in the Burgess-Snow Stadium,” Coleman said. “I felt so relieved that my message of a better community experience, and hard work paid off. My favorite part of the Homecoming experience was the ‘hope’ that came with the title. Students that I had never even met before came up to me stating that they supported who I was and what I stood for. They said that they were really happy that I could be a representative for them on this campus. They hoped that I could start a movement of mental health awareness and really bring light to the stigma that no one really wants to talk about. I’m just glad that I could be that hope for someone until they can be that hope for themselves.”

“I think that overall, my absolute favorite part of Homecoming was meeting everyone,” O’Donnell added. “I am a people person, and I love getting to meet new people. Through the showcase and all of the campaigning, I have gotten the wonderful opportunity of meeting some of the most incredible people at JSU. Along with these people, I have heard their hearts about their philanthropies, and seen them work to promote awareness about something much bigger than they are.”

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Abbie Beatty (left) and Destiny Allen (right) pose with Shea O’Donnell at the homecoming pep rally. Beatty, O’Donnell and Allen are all sisters of Alpha Xi Delta fraternity, the group that sponsored O’Donnell for Homecoming Queen (photo via Abbie Beatty/Facebook).

The other members of the 2017 Homecoming Court who were recognized at the homecoming game are DeLena Harris, Jalia Wilkins, Carlee Waits, Leah Strain, Patrick Hubbard, Cory Deerman, Skylar Fontaine and Kyle Burt.





Being “clubbed” to death: With so many clubs, some students find time for everything

featured photo by Matt Reynolds/JSU

Brittany Robertson, Staff Writer

Entering freshman year at college comes with a lot of options. Be the stereotypical lazy college student whose idea of a good night is an extra-large cheese pizza, copious amounts of beer and video games, or the over achiever whose only interest is to finish that research paper that is due in two weeks. So, what is a happy middle? Joining a on campus organization. But how far is too far?

All the Choices

Jacksonville State University is home to over 100 on campus clubs, organizations and religious groups for students to join. At the beginning of each school year, the Student Government Association holds an event called Get On Board Day, which showcases a majority of the groups on campus as a way to encourage students to get involved on campus. However, for some, one group is not enough.

“Originally, I wasn’t going to join anything,” junior Patrick Yim said, “but I found one that I enjoyed and started joining more and more until I got where I am now.”

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Patrick Yim, a junior communication major. (Photo courtesy of Morgan Worsham/Student Photography Corps)

Yim is a communication major, so being involved in multiple organizations makes sense for his major. Yim is currently a member of eleven organizations including, and in the spring of 2017 was the President of Students for Equality, the President of Zeta Phi Eta and the Vice President of the Student Alumni Association.

Another student, senior Psychology major Paris Coleman, is also a member of multiple organizations. Coleman has placed himself in eight organizations, four of which are a part of the Greek order: Alpha Kappa Psi, Sigma Alpha Pi, Psi Chi and Kappa Alpha Psi.

“I joined so many because I enjoy being able to have a direct, positive influence on people,” Coleman said, “and what better way to do so than to place myself in the correct positions to do so?”

Corin Manning, a sophomore double major in political science and geography, channeled her enthusiasm into the nine organizations she joined, including Delta Zeta, the Student Senate, where she served as Publicity Committee Head, the Honors Program and the Student Activities Council.

“Honestly, I like being involved and meeting new people,” Manning said. “Being in organizations as résumé builders is the least of my concerns. Personally, I like to see active involvement, students feeling at home and giving equal opportunity to everyone to join something on campus. My goal for anything I do is to improve and keep the organization moving upward. I love this campus and the people who go here and being in several organizations helps me meet new people constantly.”

Balancing Studies and Activities

But with being involved comes the added stress of being active without letting grades and GPA plummet. So, how does one keep the balance?

“During registration, I normally plan my schedule around the times that my organization would have events, so I can participate in them,” Coleman said. “I also don’t try to go over 17 hours, because involvement in all of my organizations is like a course load in itself. I try to make sure my studies come first, but I have such a passion for people that I often do the exact opposite. But for me to dedicate so much to other people, I have time to look at my studies and complete what is necessary.”

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Paris Coleman has also served as an RA for Housing. (Photo via JSU Housing and Residence Life/Facebook)

Active members of clubs could spend up to eleven hours a week at basic meetings. That does not include the bake sale that goes on during an English class or the 5k that is being held the morning before a huge exam. So being a part of a club and actively doing something requires a lot of effort, timing and scheduling, but that does not mean it is impossible.

“Granted, I do not attend every activity by every organization, but that does not make me a bad member,” Manning said. “I attend the majority of the events we host, but if I cannot attend…they understand what is going on with my coursework and are fine with me missing the activity. Normally, I will do my work during my breaks or when I have down time at work. Any free time I have is dedicated to my classes or the organizations that I am in charge of. What I do that helps is treat the organizations like homework and say they are assignments to be completed like filing paperwork or doing new things.

In addition to the time demands, there is also the issue of money. A majority of on-campus organizations have a fee that incoming members pay each year or semester. Fees are what usually scare off potential members; however, some groups do not require such fees, such as the Writers’ Club or the Student Government Association.

“On the financial aspect, I was conscience of the group I joined,” Yim said. “I almost refused to do anything social because it literally is costing you money to be a part of it. While it is good for some, it is not for me. I prefer academic groups because it is more about your skills and strengths as opposed to your social standing.”

Fighting the Stigma

At Get On Board Day, incoming freshmen are able to shop around for clubs and groups that they may find enjoyable. However, most are intimidated by the stigma that if they join more than two groups they will be seen as just adding things to build their résumés. While for some that may be true, Manning disagrees.

“I do not really think there is a stigma other than the fact with being in multiple I have more connections than maybe someone who is in two organizations or one,” Manning said. “However, for incoming freshmen, I would not do it until you get used to being in one or two, so you can get used to the workload of your classes and try to find who you are. People change majors a lot or find they are too swamped from classes to participate, so I suggest to join one or two and gradually add organizations as you wish to start getting to what you like specifically.”

It is also worth noting that just by being a student at the university, incoming freshmen are already a part of the Student Government Association. Certain departments have their own groups as well, such as the Earth Club for Earth science majors, business fraternities for Business majors, Alpha Psi Omega for theatre majors and minors and many more. So even if freshmen do not know which group to join, they have the option of being involved in something pertaining to their major.

Coleman and Yim, however, feel that there is a stigma but have decided to ignore it and break through it.

“There is a stigma to being part of so many, even close friends have told me that they feel like I don’t need anymore résumé boosters,” Coleman said. “But they don’t see my intrinsic motivation. Yes, those extra lines are a small perk to what I do, but that’s not why I do it. I do it because if I don’t, I don’t know if anyone else will. I am more than capable, I am more than willing, I am more. People often mistake my actions for giving up my time, when I am really just gaining more time and experience for the future.”

To incoming freshmen and upperclassman students alike, let it be known that there is so much more to being in multiple organizations than just résumé building.

“I think being in multiple organizations helps me personally,” Manning said. “I am a very outgoing person and I mean that. I love to surround myself with people and do things. Aside from making friendships, I make connections with people that I could be able to access for help with certain courses and other organizations to make joint events.”

Officers for Zeta Phi Eta communication professional fraternity for 2017-2018 are, from left: Bethany Hunt; Brett Thornburg; Corin Manning; Patrick Yim, President and Monica Nabors. (Photo via Morgan Worsham/Student Photography Corps).

Jacksonville State Drama Department to present “The Mousetrap” this weekend

At 7 pm, on Thursday, November 13, 2014, the Jacksonville State University Drama Department will begin its weekend long presentation of Agatha Christie’s “The Mousetrap” at the Stone Center.

“The Mousetrap” is based on Christie’s short story “Three Blind Mice,” a murder mystery set in a snowy British winter.

Agatha Christie’s masterpiece “The Mousetrap” first opened in London in 1952 and has been frightening audiences ever since.

Newlyweds Mollie and Giles Ralston open an English country guesthouse the same day a murder takes place in nearby London.

Travelers arrive as snow begins to fall, eventually cutting them off from the outside world.

(Drama Department/JSU) “The Mousetrap” is based on Christie’s short story “Three Blind Mice,” a murder mystery set  in a snowy British winter.
(Drama Department/JSU) “The Mousetrap” is based on Christie’s short story “Three Blind Mice,” a murder mystery set in a snowy British winter.

Tension turns to suspicion when a police inspector arrives with the news that they may all be in danger.

When his prediction comes true in the guise of another murder, the race is on to find the murderer before they strike again.

As the play goes on, the tension in the house causes the line between possible victim and attacker to blur.

“Everyone has secrets,” says Tanner Cain, “and it is fun for the audience to figure out all those secrets during the show.”

Cain, a JSU senior, and the director of “The Mousetrap”, says that this production brings “knowledge that the students get to learn from the staff and the technicians.”

Tanner wanted to showcase the abilities of the students to the JSU audience, so he made the show mostly student run.

The acting is done completely by students, along with the designing and building of the costumes and set. The lighting, and of course the script, is the only thing that isn’t student-developed.

Tanner says that the “student perspective” creates a different atmosphere surrounding the show in the fact that it helps to enforce Christie’s point that not everyone is who they say they are.

The combined effort of all the students who have donated time and effort into “The Mousetrap” really comes to life on the stage.

The set is intricately designed with pieces that would be signature for the time era including an antique dial radio and telephone. Also, the furniture that is brought to the main stage shows off the homey feel to portray a bed and breakfast setting.

The student actors have worked for several months developing authentic sounding British accents and at times, an audience member can forget they are actually sitting in a darkened theatre instead of observing the events in the bed and breakfast; the characters could easily walk off the stage and have a realistic encounter with the audience.

The actors know their way around the stage, and have developed the characters they portray nicely, which makes it easy for audience members to see into each character’s mind and have an insight into both the motives of that particular character, but the situation as a whole.

Dillon Everett, another JSU Senior, plays Christopher Wren in the Mousetrap, an unusual young man whom he describes as “crazy, suspicious, very entertaining, and artistic.” His character is undoubtably energetic and humorous, he has questionable motives that create more hysteria in the show.

Join the JSU Drama Department on this murder mystery roller coaster of envy, jealously, secrets, and criminal intent.

The performances will be at the Ernest Stone Performing Arts Center on November 13, 14, 15 at 7 p.m. and November 16 at 2 p.m.

Tickets prices are $12 for adults and $8 for students, JSU personnel, senior citizens and members of the military. Tickets are available for reservation at the box office or on the JSU website.

Paris Coleman
Staff Writer

Lights, camera, action

Magic and witchcraft might not be on everyone’s mind now that Halloween is over, but Tuesday night, students could see real magic happen at Longleaf Studios. People weren’t casting spells or riding around on broomsticks. Instead, they were bringing the creative film process to life—and it was enchanting.

The JSU Film Club shot their first film of the semester from the comfort of Jacksonville.

The project was a first person film where audiences could witness firsthand what it’s like to do the job of a director in a studio on a film set. It showed the process of creating a film from the chaotic and fun perspective of the director.

Although the process became somewhat repetitive after running the same shot twelve times, it was necessary for absolute artistic perfection. There are many factors that contributed to ensuring this project went as smoothly as possible.

Megan Wise, a sophomore at JSU and the resident the wardrobe and makeup artist for this particular shoot, took an actress with beauty pageant potential and transformed her into Freddy Krueger’s stunt-double.

“You get your hands dirty, but it really is fun,” Wise said while putting the finishing touches on a makeup masterpiece. “Especially come Halloween time, I think people enjoy being turned into a monster or another person for a night.”

Brenton Cunningham, a senior here at JSU, was an actor in the short film portraying a producer giving his approval on the filming process. As a film student, he has seen the fruits and labors behind most of positions of the film crew.

“It’s like the circus and the army had a baby. There’s a lot of organization, but at the same time, there’s a lot of being on your own and doing your own thing,” Cunningham remarked.

Both Wise and Cunningham have participated in the film courses offered here at JSU.

Artist-in-residence Jeffrey Nichols is the instructor of all things film at JSU.

In regards to Jacksonville, Nichols said that the university “needed this type of entertainment, this type of value. Students are hungry for it in the area. Louisiana, Atlanta, North Carolina, South Carolina—they have their fruits. Now, I’m here to plant fruit and I want to see it prosper. I want to see people grow.”

One student who has grown under the guidance of Nichols is Alex McFry, the director of this promotional video. McFry, along with the club’s president, Aaron Bryant, and several others are some of the founding members of this group.

“I left leaving accomplished and refreshed. I want everybody to get a taste of that feeling when they work on our projects,” McFry said to others who might be on the fence about getting involved.

In regards to the creative ideas behind this project, McFry says, “I wanted to show audiences what it was like to be a part of the film club. Essentially, that’s what this promo does. It shows you how the Film Club operates when it’s in ‘project mode.’”

The magic that the JSU Film Club creates might not be so literal, but it is worth being a part of. For more information about the JSU Film Club, contact Aaron Bryant at and follow all the group’s events on Facebook.

Paris Coleman
Staff Writer