Clearance set for May 6-8

By Samantha Whittle

Clearance is the process at Northwest where students make sure to pay all outstanding fees and return all uniforms, books or equipment to the appropriate places.

The deadline to return all library books is May 6. If books are not returned, the student is put on a list where they cannot get through clearance until the book is either returned or paid for. Students will be able to complete the clearance process between 8 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. on May 6-8.

“If you return the book before May 6, everything is much easier,” Courtney Hicks, reference librarian on the Senatobia campus, said.

The clearance process will go as normal. Students start off by returning books and will be instructed if they need to complete anything else. Next, the student will go to the Business Office window in the Administrative building on the third floor to pay any fees. Then, their clearance slip will be signed.

“I don’t think we should have to go through clearance,” Alexandria King, a sophomore studying liberal arts from Holly Springs, said. “We have been through school this long, so we should know what to do.”

Without a signed clearance slip, students cannot take their finals and will therefore fail the course. Although some students do not agree with this process, it is important to make sure everyone’s dues are paid.

April is a busy month for music department

By Larry Mason

The month of April will be a very busy month for the music department at Northwest. There will be five major musical performances in April. The performances will be held in the Fine Arts Auditorium on the Senatobia campus.

The first show was a brass ensemble on Tuesday, April 21 at 7 p.m. That performance will be followed by a jazz orchestra on Thursday, April 23 at 7 p.m., a percussion ensemble on Monday, April 27 at 7 p.m., a steel drums performance on Wednesday, April 29 at 7 p.m. and a wind ensemble on Thursday, April 30 at 7 p.m.

The promoters of the performances advise audience members to arrive a few minutes before the starting times, so that they may find an open seat and get settled in.

According to Jeff Triplett, the assistant director of bands at Northwest, the brass ensemble concert on April 21 will feature several chamber orchestra groups. The end result of these chamber orchestras is a very personal and intimate experience for those playing, as well as those that are in the audience.

“One of the goals of the music department at Northwest is to provide a wide array of performance opportunities for our student musicians.

The jazz concert on April 23 will incorporate songs by some pretty famous jazz musicians.

According to Jonathan Bass, the director of the Northwest Jazz Ensemble, they have selected some favorite tunes from their catalog. Songs by musicians such as Dizzy Gillespie, George Gershwin, Johnny Mercer and Sonny Rollins.

“We are also excited about our special guest, Sadie Shannon, who will be singing jazz standards with the band,” Bass said.

The percussion ensemble on April 27 will incorporate traditional and modern composers.

According to John Ungurait, the director of Bands at Northwest, the students have worked really hard on the performance.

The steel drum performance will be held on April 29 at 7 p.m.

According to Ungurait, the students just got back from Chicago where they performed at a festival. They are pumped about the upcoming performance.

The wind ensemble will perform on April 30, the 100th anniversary of the Star Spangled Banner.

According to Ungurait, the show will be a montage of patriotic tunes.

Five things that hinder students during finals

By Reagan Pepper

Every semester, students are faced with finals. Along with the stress that comes with final exams, the fatigue of school usually causes students to slack off during those last weeks of their semester. While some students smoothly sail through their finals, others fall short, failing an exam or even skipping it altogether. Countless articles have been written and countless studies have been conducted, as to how a student can better prepare for finals. But what should a student not do? A student can easily get caught up in the latest study tips or the best-working energy drink without ever being productive. The truth is, students can take all the advice they want from the Internet on what to do but never be successful, because they don’t know what not to do. There are five major “don’ts” when it comes to the end of the semester.

Don’t skip class. Every  class counts, especially now. A lot of students skip class during the last few weeks. This costs them vital information that will no doubt be on the final. Teachers are not giving up on the next few weeks; neither should students.  In the event that a class must be skipped, find someone in the class who can provide good thorough notes on what was covered that day. Simply showing up to class has the potential to increase a student’s final grade.

Don’t disregard the syllabus. The syllabus was designed by the teacher to help students by informing them of what is to come in the class. The syllabus will list what assignments are coming up, allowing students time to see what they will need to be prepared for. It also usually tells how much the assignments are weighted in regards to a student’s final average. In addition, the syllabus conveniently lists all of the teacher’s contact information on it, as well as that teacher’s office hours.

Don’t procrastinate. The last thing needed during this time is added stress due to procrastination. It is rare, if not completely unheard of, that a teacher will wait until the week before finals to tell students of a large paper or project. If there is a large project due before or during finals week, break the project down into parts. Dedicate however much time is needed to completing these parts, that way the project gets done over time without becoming overwhelming. This will take a large amount of stress away from finals week and allow time to study for important tests.

Don’t stay up late cramming the night before a final. This is the number one mistake a student makes. UCLA conducted a study that found that students who stayed up late cramming the night before a test, reported of having poor academic performance the next day, which is the exact opposite result of what the student was hoping for. The whole idea behind this is sleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation, teenagers/young adults require 8.5 to 9.25 hours of sleep. They also reported that most teens are not getting this amount. This lack of sleep means that students are not allowing enough time for their brains to rest. Sleep is crucial and completely necessary for healthy brain activity.

Don’t study somewhere popular. During finals, students crowd the school’s library. This results in a social hour more than a productive study environment. If studying alone is the best option, then pick somewhere secluded. However, continue to be wary, because being alone still doesn’t ensure a productive environment.

“My distraction is wanting to be outside doing everything but homework,” Candy Morrow, a sophomore studying elementary education from Senatobia, said.

When it comes to finals, stress can elevate to new levels. Just remember that there are only a few weeks left, so persevere, breathe, follow these guidelines and make finals week a breeze.

Graduation time set for May 15

Graduation season is in full swing as students prepare to finish strong and grace the stage in their caps and gowns. The 2015 graduation ceremonies will be held on Friday, May 15, in the Howard Coliseum on the Senatobia campus.

The ceremony will be divided into three segments: 8 a.m. for students receiving Associates of Arts, 11:30 a.m. for students receiving career certificates and 2:30 p.m. for students receiving an Associate of Applied Science. The graduation ceremony for Associates of Art was originally set for 2 p.m. but was changed in April.

According to Larry Simpson, dean of Enrollment Management and Registrar, the ceremony program had been under the same schedule for the last several years and

the altered time was simply made to bring a rotation.

“I just wish that it was still set for 2 p.m. so that my grandmother wouldn’t have to wake up at 5 a.m. to make it to my graduation,” Lauren Benton, a sophomore studying

journalism from Olive Branch said.

While some are unhappy about the last minute time change , others find it beneficial.

“I’m glad they moved the time up, because it gives me time to make it to my baby sister’s very first prom,” Rudy Armstrong, a sophomore studying social work from Calhoun City, said.

According to Simpson, caps and gowns will be distributed at the graduation rehearsal. The rehearsal is scheduled at 2 p.m. in the Howard Coliseum on May 4 for students receiving Associate of Applied Science, May 5 for students receiving Career Certificates and May 6 for students receiving an Associates of Arts.

By Kreneice Reid

According to Simpson, Northwest President, Dr. Gary Lee Spears, will be speaking at the graduation ceremony. According to Simpson, students can expect to receive their

degrees in the mail within eight weeks. However, students are immediately rewarded their degree through their transcripts.

According to Simpson, 989 applications have been submitted for May 2015 and 760 applied to walk. Simpson says that 714 students participated in the May 2014 ceremony, which included 352 from Associates of Arts, 172 from Career Certificates and 190 with an Associate of Applied Science.

“A couple of years ago, the college launched a comprehensive plan to try to improve the number of people graduating. It was called “Crossing the Finish Line.” We feel confident it was successful, and these large numbers are a reflection of that,” Dr. Spears said.

Aaron Payne, a sophomore studying general college from Byhaila, is a student who decided not to participate in the ceremony.

“I’m excited about transferring, because I’m moving up another step toward my future, but I don’t feel that it’s necessary to walk because I plan to walk at Delta State,” Payne said.

Students who did not wish to walk at first but have had a change of heart are in luck.  According to Simpson, students who missed the February deadline to submit their graduation application and participate in the ceremony, still have a chance to walk the stage. To do so, students must go to the Yalobusha Building and complete the graduation application form that can be found in the Registrar’s office. According to the American Association of Community Colleges, Community colleges are a vital part of the post secondary education delivery system. They serve almost half of the undergraduate students in the United States, providing open access to post secondary education, preparing students for transfer to four-year institutions, providing workforce development and skills training.

“I’m excited for graduation, because it’s going to be the end of this two year journey which has been more incredible than I could have ever imagined,” Christy Hart, a sophomore studying general college from Coldwater, said.

Blood drive held April 14-15

By Kreneice Reid

Gear up for the end of the semester

By Samantha Whittle, Kreneice Reid & Reagan Pepper