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Ways to get involved on Johnson TN campus

There are many different things to do on campus such as joining a student organization, an extracurricular activity, or a sports team. Below is a list of several ways a student could get involved on campus.

Student Organizations

The Student Government Association (SGA):  Serves and represents the student body by hosting campus events and voicing student concerns

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Harvesters: Promotes World Missions and Evangelism through events and initiatives

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International Justice Mission: Promotes awareness about human slavery around the world and works globally to eradicate it.

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Cheerleading Team: Leads the student body in cheering at athletic events

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Johnson Ultimate: Open club team that competes against University teams (NCAA Division 1 teams) and hosts campus Frisbee events

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International Student Association: Helps promote intercultural appreciation and diversity through events

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Students Promoting Social Unity: Raises cultural awareness to promote advocacy against social injustices

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Royal Scribe: Tell stories and upcoming events about what is happening on campus

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Pep Band: Plays during athletic events– open to all students who can play an instrument

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Hiking Club: Group of faculty, staff, and students who hike TN trails throughout the year

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Scripture Memory Group: Dedicated to the discipline of Scripture memorization and recitation – recites scripture in chapel services

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Intramural Athletics: Various teams leagues and pick-up games throughout the year

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Royal Spirit Council: Work to increase athletic school spirit on campus

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Theatrical Production: Auditions for a part in Fall/Spring plays or help out with production crew

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Mens: Baseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Golf, Tennis, Soccer

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Womens: Basketball, Cross Country, Tennis, Soccer, Volleyball

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Juniors, seniors encouraged to compete in annual ethics essay contest

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The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity has officially announced the beginning of the 27th annual Prize in Ethics Essay Contest.

The contest challenges any full-time junior or senior, in any major, to write a personal essay on ethics.

Students are to select an urgent ethical issue and develop a rational argument for action regarding it.

The deadline for the contest is Dec. 14.

All the entries will be evaluated by a panel of readers and the winners will then be decided by a jury, headed by Wiesel himself.

The winner will be announced in the spring of 2016.

According to the Wiesel Foundation, the first-place easy writer will receive a $5,000 scholarship award.

  • Second place — $2,500 scholarship
  • Third place — $1,500 scholarship
  • Two honorable mention awards — $500 scholarships

“These contests give students a chance to apply their academic skill beyond the classroom setting,” Johnson University English Professor Ron Wheeler said. “Too often classroom exercises seem like just that: Exercises that don’t go anywhere.”

He said that this contest allows students a real opportunity to take what they’re learning and make a difference.

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Intramural Floor Hockey to begin soon


The last day to sign up for Intramural Floor Hockey, October 2nd, is quickly approaching. September 25th was the original deadline for sign-ups, but due to having not enough people sign up, the date was extended a week. There are currently fifteen students signed up for Intramural Floor Hockey.

Steve Cook, the Intramural Floor Hockey coordinator, said they had thirty-three members last year. Their record is forty-six members. “Floor Hockey is the greatest sport on earth,” said Cook, “A day without Floor Hockey is like a day without sunshine.”

Nine people are needed to make a team. Dylan Lockridge, sophomore, said they played all summer just five on five. “It works, but it’s really tiring. Floor Hockey is a great way to relieve stress and anger.”

Intramural Floor Hockey is once a year every fall. The games will be on Tuesday and Thursday nights starting at 9:00p.m. and 10:00p.m.

Every year the Intramural teams compete for the Francis Cup. This is the championship trophy given to the winning Johnson Intramural Floor Hockey team.

Players convene back in the middle for

Players meet back in the middle for “ball drop” after scoring a point.

Before signing up for the Intramural team, it is asked that you attend at least one pick-up game. These are held every Wednesday night in the old gymnasium, starting at 9:00p.m.

All students are welcomed to participate in pick-up games.

Tate Abernathy, senior, says that just like any other Johnson Intramural sport, Floor Hockey is a great way to let energy out with fellow Christians. He also said it creates a lot of camaraderie.

Michael Alexander, sophomore, says playing Floor Hockey is a great way to get to know other people and also a great way to connect with professors at the school. “It is a very competitive sport, but you get to hit stuff really hard,” Michael says.

Wyatt Whewell, freshman, says Floor Hockey is a great game with great people. He went on to say, however, that if they had more people it could be more fun.

During the pick-up games, there are two teams that will play two games of three, twelve minute periods. After the first game, the teams will switch up.

Extra players sub in every two or three minutes, depending on how many players there are.

There were seventeen people present for the pick-up game Wednesday night, September 23rd. Of the seventeen in attendance, there were four alumni, two seniors, three sophomores, and eight freshman. No juniors were in attendance.

Also of the seventeen present, there was only one girl.

Floor Hockey is not a male reserved Intramural sport, and females are welcomed and encouraged to come join the fun.

Pregame prayer

The team has a pregame prayer huddle.

Floor Hockey began back in 1995, when Tyson Chastain, a Johnson Alumni, and a few other guys started hitting around a tennis ball in the old gym. The goals were created out of metal pipe, and construction fencing was used as the nets. They played half court because there were so few players. Each year more and more people began to join the sport.

The first Intramural season began in 1998. They had three teams of six players each. They played with four on the floor and a goalie.

Back then, the goalies were lucky if they even had a baseball chest protector. Nowadays though, proper goalie protection padding and gloves are provided, along with the hockey and goalie sticks.

working hard to get past the golie

The players work hard to get past the goalie.

If one is looking for a fun and fast paced way to let out all that stress college can build up throughout the week, Floor Hockey may be the way to go.

The next pick-up game is Wednesday, September 30th.


Biggest Winner participants fight to finish

Students work for a common goal In the weight room.

Students work for a common goal in the weight room.

Johnson University’s Biggest Winner Program officially started its fourth year this September. IMG_1710

Participants can choose between two tracks, either  the weight loss track or the fitness track, depending on their own personal goals.

There are a variety of classes to choose from in the program, such as beginning weight lifting, personal training, Royal Fit, ( A version of Cross Fit) Yoga, and Zumba.

A majority of these classes take place during the evenings.

“My friends got me into it the first time I did it, and I continue to do it now for myself,” said Grace Ann Williams, who is returning to take on Royal Fit for another year.

Participants are also encouraged to keep track of their body fat percentage, weight and Body Mass Index throughout the semester. If a student shows significant transformation after completing the program, they may have a chance at receiving the Barnabas Scholarship.

Trainer Monica McKnight monitors Grace Ann Williams and Jonathan while they lift weights.

Trainer Monica McKnight monitors Grace Ann Williams while she lifts weights.

All participants in the Biggest Winners program should  come out of the program with better energy, self-confidence and improved health.


Being salty — Students provide service hours for school year

Carrie Overdorf is the SALT hour coordinator.

Carrie Overdorf is the SALT hour coordinator.

Johnson University students have a long tradition of service around the Knoxville community. The traditional Christian Service Hours have ben replaced with SALT hours, and students are still figuring out all of the details.

SALT hours represent Service Learning Hours.

Many classes here have  both optional and required SALT assignments, especially in academic areas such as Intercultural Studies, and Non-profit Management.

No matter what major students are studying, they must complete 60 SALT hours for an associate’s degree, or 120 for a bachelor’s degree. Teacher Education students complete their SALT hour through field experience.

“The main goal for Service Learning is to make a difference in the community,” said SALT Coordinator  Carrie Overdorf.

Given some confusion about the switch from Christian Service to SALT hours, Overdorf clarified the requirements for SALT hours.

“It must be with an non-profit organization, (doesn’t have to be faith-based) meet a community need and it has to be volunteer work,” Overdorf said.

SALT hours can be done during the academic year and during the summer. However,  for mission trips, where there is an abundance of volunteer work being done at one time, there is a 20 hour cap However, students are encouraged to log all the hours they’ve served.

Students are responsible for keeping track of their SALT hours on Sakai. On Sakai, they will fill a form describing what they did, provide supervisor information, then write a single reflection of their work at the end of each semester.

Some students who come to Johnson from different towns or states may not know about many non-profit organizations nearby. Some places students have volunteered at in the past include YOKE, Emerald Youth Foundation, KARM, and Operation Backyard. A full list of places to volunteer is on the Sakai page for Service Learning under resources.

A way to start service hours is to sign-up for the K-15 Day of Service. Classes will be canceled for the day and students have the chance to sign up to volunteer at various locations in Knoxville.

Sign-up sheets are available in the Galley, but students keep track of where they serve and how many hours were served. The Sakai site for Service Learning is not fully up and running yet, but will be soon.


Perspective on K-Day: Allison Chaney

K-day is coming up Sept. 30 at Johnson University. For the JU students, it is an opportunity to serve different organizations as one community. For Allison Chaney, it will be the third K-day in which she will participate. Chaney calls K-day an opportunity to show God’s love in action to people in the community.


Perspectives on K-15: Tiffany Smelcer

K-15 is around the corner, and this year the Johnson University basketball teams are working together at a local elementary school. Tiffany Smelcer is one of those players.  The coach’s for both teams signed them up to help at Gap Creek Elementary School.  The athletes will be picking weeds, building fences and preparing the field for the local softball team.


Perspectives on K15 — Kaleb Smith

With Sept. 30 approaching, students prepare to volunteer at a variety of locations around Knoxville as part of Johnson University’s K15 service day. Junior Kaleb Smith talks about his previous experience serving with Keep Knoxville Beautiful and his expectations for this year.


Christmas show auditions begin

Hopeful students audition as a group.

Hopeful students audition as a group.

Preparations for the SGA Creative Arts Council’s Christmas play began Monday as hopeful students gathered for the first day of auditions.

Auditions will continue Tuesday and Wednesday in the Old Main Auditorium.

Auditions consisted of cold readings, where each actor read different characters’ lines without prior knowledge of the script. The directors, JU senior Jared Randall and sponsor Tammie Weatherly, oversaw the readings.

Randall said they will present  two one-act plays, The Christmas Movie, by Carrie Varnell, and Nativity on the Square, by Tom Long.

The Christmas Movie is a spoof on four major Christmas movies,”Randall said. “It kind of takes out the value in [the movies] and points out why they’re not the real point of Christmas.”

Randall said The Christmas Movie should be interesting to the audiences with it’s shattering of the fourth wall, which means that actors will speak directly to the audience.

The other half of the show, The Nativity Square, focuses on a nativity scene that comes to life but doesn’t know the meaning of Christmas. In the play, an inebriated homeless woman stumbles upon the scene and recounts her own story as well as the story of Christmas.

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