Lipscomb Postal Services deliver community to campus

Lipscomb Postal Services deliver community to campus

In recent months, the United States Postal Service has found itself becoming deeply politicized ahead of November’s election. Amid a global pandemic, the USPS is critical in order to handle the expected record number of mail-in ballots. Last month, United States President Donald Trump expressed opposition to funding an additional $25 billion in aid to the postal service, citing fears over fraud from mail-in voting. Despite Washington battles, the bipartisan agency is still held in high regard with the public (a Pew Research survey in April found that 91% of Americans have a favorable view of the Postal Service). The USPS’s critical role takes shape in communities across the country, including here on Lipscomb’s campus. “The post office is a vital part to keeping us connected,” said Ronnie Farris, postmaster at the Lipscomb post office. Farris has been involved with the Lipscomb office for nearly 40 years, starting first as a student worker and evolving over time just as the postal service has. “You know, it’s just, it’s changed so much…I always have been asking this question, ‘what’s next?’ What is the next thing we need to be doing that we need to be aware of to serve our community?” These changes took shape this spring when coronavirus concerns shut down the campus. “We never closed. We were here…we still had packages coming in, we still have mail going out there, all these other functions were still happening.” Similar to other campus institutions, the postal office adapted by installing plexiglass to pick up windows, enacting mandatory temperature checks for employees, and using a whole bunch of hand sanitizer. “What we’re trying to do...
Lipscomb students affected by fires ravaging the West Coast

Lipscomb students affected by fires ravaging the West Coast

Lipscomb students, with families trying to survive the firestorm consuming the West Coast, anxiously await word from home while also watching news reports about the most-extensive wildfire carnage in history. The West Coast, from down near Los Angeles all the way up into Washington State, is on fire, forcing states of emergency to be declared in the big cities as wildfires incinerate whole towns, flames lick at the edges of urban areas and skies turn orange/yellow as fire and smoke pollution filters out the sun. “There’s really hazardous air quality, smoke everywhere, ash on all the cars,” said Sophie Corwin, a Lipscomb nursing major from Salem, Oregon. “My sister says it smells like a campfire no matter where you go and feels like you’re coughing up ash.” The flames are not the only safety concern for regions affected, air quality from smoke settling in valleys has created hazardous conditions that are only expected to worsen. The areas around Corwin’s hometown are under advisory for these conditions. “It’s tough, because I keep calling my family…. It’s hard to see everything being affected by it and just seeing pictures. It’s just completely insane. … I just like feel like I wish I could be there with them,” said Corwin.  “My family camps every year.… We had a reservation for this year but it got canceled for COVID, and so my grandpa hopped on (the computer) and made sure to get it for next year because we all wanted to go camping….  They emailed him and sent a refund because literally everything was destroyed,” Corwin said.  “It was terrible, I cried, and I was like, out...
Lipscomb announces intent to return to campus for fall semester

Lipscomb announces intent to return to campus for fall semester

Ever since the close of the spring semester, uncertainty has been in the air over the slowly approaching fall semester. Lipscomb announced its intention to move ahead on the fall semester; however, what that will look like depends on a variety of factors in the coming months. “The challenge is really how do you figure out how to bring 1,500 people back and live in dorms two to a room and use a common bathroom down the hall and take care of those that might get sick along the way,” said President Randy Lowry in a video call to faculty on May 7. A return to campus would come with potential adjustments, due to the spread of COVID-19 across the country. “The No. 1 concern will be our health security,” said Lowry, announcing his intentions to appoint a new director of Health and Wellness. Lipscomb follows in the steps of several other colleges and universities, each grappling with the impact of COVID-19. “We also are planning to be able to open not just the middle of August, but also right after Labor Day, and also the first of October,” Lowry said. “Students generally are not going to change their plans, especially if we have through the summer done all the things we’re trying to do to connect with them. They can tolerate three weeks online before we open the door.” Another possible plan mentioned by Lowry was an early finish before Thanksgiving. “Now, that may sound kind of screwy, but that’s a 12-week period of time,” Lowry said. “It’s essentially what a quarter would be in the other system....
SGA Election Day turns electronic 

SGA Election Day turns electronic 

Election season has once again made its way to Lipscomb’s campus; however, this year campaigning is being done in an electronic format. SGA is hosting their elections for the 2020-2021 school year Tuesday, April 14; polling will be conducted via email for the offices of president, vice president, secretary and treasurer as well as tenators. “I really wish I could be with you guys in person,” said Mimi Vance in her campaign video to students. Vance is running uncontested for the office of SGA president. “If I’m elected my top priority and number one goal will be to listen to you guys,” Vance said in her video directed towards students. “I think SGA can do a lot better on being transparent with our student body, to me that looks like using social media a lot better…using our blog and website better…as well as thorough recaps of all our meetings to be posted.” One commitment Vance is aiming towards is creating open-door office hours to encourage transparency, which has become a popular issue among SGA candidates. “The vice president must communicate clearly, keep discussions open and clear and be a leader on campus for those whose voices need to be represented.” Says vice president candidate Will Huff. The running for vice president is high contested this year. Alongside Huff, the candidates are Nate Messer, Patrick Smith, and Dexter Woods. The election will take place between the hours of 9 am to 3 pm CST. Students will be emailed a ballot by election day morning. For more information and campaign videos from those running for office, check out the email sent from the...
Commentary: COVID’s social distancing forces virtual adjustments for Biden, Trump and other campaigns

Commentary: COVID’s social distancing forces virtual adjustments for Biden, Trump and other campaigns

In an era of deadly pandemic-spurred social distancing and mandated hibernation, the 2020 presidential election seems to have been moved to the back burner. Concern over how to best campaign for national and local elections amid a global pandemic has been the subject of debate among Democrats and Republicans.  Manny Sethi — a Republican first-time candidate running for Tennessee’s open Senate seat that’s being vacated by Sen. Lamar Alexander, who is retiring — said he misses the world of full-on rallies and public forums. Sethi spoke with the Nashville Scene on the loss of person-to-person style campaigning due to the virus. “What we’re trying to do is recreate that feeling through these virtual town halls,” he is quoted as telling the Scene. Virtual campaigning is becoming a popular solution for those running for office. Joe Biden — who is going to be the Democratic nominee after he overwhelmed Bernie Sanders on Super Tuesday, spurring the latter to drop out — has been implementing virtual roundtables via live streams. Each of the “roundtables” cater to specific voter demographics. They also feature guests alongside Biden via remote video calls. “In some ways, this is the world that every digital person in every digital story you’ve ever written has said would come,” Biden digital director Rob Flaherty told BuzzFeed News. “We were just focused on getting him out there as soon as we could get him out there.” For President Trump, the halt on traditional campaigning is playing to his favor. As the sitting President, Trump’s coronavirus press conferences are broadcast daily and draw high ratings (averaging 8.5 million viewers). What stands in Trump’s way is the...