A much-needed break

Laying out by the beach, sun beating down on your face, sand between your toes.  This describes what many students will be experiencing in just a few days.  Spring Break is right around the corner and everyone is getting antsy.  But not all students have the perfect beach getaway planned for their week.  However, regardless of their agenda, not having to go to class or do homework is enough to get excited about.

After asking several students what the week had in store for them, many were quick to confess that a sandy beach was calling their name.  Chris Grover, a senior, joyfully shared that his destination was Cocoa Beach, FL “because I need the beach and the sun on my face,” he said.  Sophomore Anna Long, expressed her concern for whether or not it will be warm enough down in Fort Myers, where she will be spending her Spring Break, but said that despite the weather, she is looking forward to just relaxing.

Although a number of students were happy to tell of their coastal destinations, Sophomore Lindsay Herndon will be going to Florida for a different reason.  She will be going with the Toccoa Falls Choir, touring parts of South Georgia and Florida throughout the week.  Herndon said she is most looking forward to singing at her home church and getting to stay with some of the other girls at her home in Coffee County, GA.

And then you have some people who steer away from Florida completely.  Sarah Beth Adams, a sophomore, is excited to go backpacking in the mountains of North Carolina, with 15 other students from the Outdoor Leadership Department.  Adams said they will be “learning how to fully rely on both God and the skills He’s blessed us with.”

In addition to these things, some students are using this time to go home and visit family.  It will be nice to “just do nothing,” noted Allison Gibson, a sophomore, headed home to Virginia.

Essentially, everyone agreed that it didn’t really matter what they were doing, as long as they weren’t at school.  Whether in the sunshine on the beach or in the comfort of home, the week will be a time for all students to just get away from, as Grover put it, “stressful college life”.

Snow impacts class schedules

A constellation of white, fluffy snowflakes began to descend from the thick, gray sky.  They clustered on the limbs of trees and on the tops of cars. With tips barely showing, the grass was lightly coated and the roads were covered in snow that quickly turned into slush.

Last Tuesday, Toccoa Falls College administration announced their decision to cancel classes via WRAF radio station and the TFC website due to a wintry weather mix.

Logan Seckinger enjoyed the day off.  “I had a research paper to write, so I didn’t even get to play in the snow,” she said.

Tuesday classes, especially night classes, however, suffered from the cancellation.  Dr. Barbara Bellefeuille, the Academic Dean, mentioned that professors, who teach Tuesday and Thursday classes lost a class and a half worth of teaching time and were concerned about making up the loss.

The Administration, therefore, decided to use May 6, marked as a study day in the TFC calendar, as a make-up day.

“But students should not be worried, the day was already there,” Dr. Bellefeuille said, “we are using the study day as a make-up day, as was originally intended in case of snow.”

24/7 Prayer stresses freedom and joy

I always find myself looking forward to 24/7 because it is a special time that has been set aside to intentionally seek the Father—one full week of unbroken prayer. One of the cool things about 24/7 is that it is part of a nationwide picture—campuses across the nation are involved. Each campus chooses a week or two of the year to pray for 24 hours each day with the hope of “achieving” an entire year of unbroken prayer.

But I’m not the only one who looks forward to 24/7. Sophomore Natalie Hawkins, who has now been involved with 24/7 Prayer four semesters, expressed “I’d like to have it more often; I love it. It’s one of my favorite times in the semester!” The nearly filled sign up sheets also attest to people’s sentiments about 24/7 which took place this past week.

The theme this semester was freedom and joy, hopefully with the result of a pure heart. Although people didn’t need to pray just for those things—people could pray for personal issues, friends, working out things with God, etc.—prayers for freedom and joy were encouraged. Those who took the time to set up 24/7 felt as though this theme was particularly relevant to our campus in reflection of the freedom and joy being poured out by the student body from healing (last semester’s theme).

In this time, the Lord glorified himself in his revelations, his joy, his healing and his freedom. He also blessed the school with the privilege of seeing him glorified through others. The willingness of students to go out of their dorms in the early hours of morning (2-5am) to spend time with God in the prayer tent, for example, was a blessing in its simple beauty.

Of course, the opportunity to glorify the Lord in prayer is here all the time. We just need to seize it. As Hawkins put it, “Just because we don’t have 24/7 all the time doesn’t mean that we can’t still have 24/7 prayer.”

Student’s raise concern over dismissed employees

Released female counselor reinstated after TFC students express concern.

On Feb. 12, the Toccoa Falls College administration announced they were applying financial cuts to help maintain a balanced budget.

According to Dr. Wayne Gardener, TFC president, many institutions in Georgia are facing financial difficulties, not just Toccoa Falls.  He mentioned that it is imperative to budget expenses in order to remain financially stable” in times like this. “Don’t spend it, if you don’t have it,” he said.

Among the financial cuts, however, 12 out of 200 full time and part time employees were released or given reduced hours.  One of the released was Brenna Vickers, a counselor on the Toccoa Falls Campus.

Since she was the only female counselor on campus, according to resident assistant Ginelle Gordon, many students, especially females, were concerned about Vickers’ release.

Gardener said when the decisions were made, “we tried not to affect the students in any way, and we didn’t, except in the case with Brenna Vickers.” Gardener explained that he had been in this situation before, except that, last time, he was the one let go.

After hearing the students concerns, on Mar. 9, President Gardener announced in a chapel service that Brenna Vickers had been reinstated.  Gordon mentioned that she was very happy to hear that Vickers was given her job back and that the administration had heard the students’ concern.

The students were not the only ones affected though.  This was a personal loss for the administration as well.  These are our friends,” Gardener said, “and under normal circumstances, we wouldn’t have done this.”