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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Royals ready to be crowned true queens of Johnson

Antonia Whatley practices her lay-up.

Antonia Whatley practices her lay-up.

Johnson University’s women’s basketball team is already off to a great season. Their first official practice was held Monday, in the Phillips-Welshimer Building Gym.

The first game of the season will tipoff at 7 p.m., Nov. 6, here, against Pensacola Christian College.

Players took to the hardwood Monday with some new additions to the Royals, include Johnson’s newest recruits Marissa Hill, Hannah White and Antonia Whatley. With these three representing Johnson, along with several veteran players, the team hopes to be crowned as true royalty.

While players are excited about the upcoming season, they do feel somewhat anxious.

“I’m nervous and excited for the first game,” Royal, Antonia Whatley, a freshman, said. “This is a huge transition from what I’m used to because this is now college level basketball.”

Whatley said women’s basketball is incredibly exciting, and that there are some misconceptions about it versus men’s basketball.

“The Boys do a lot of dunks and girls don’t,” she said. “So people don’t think we are as interesting — but we are.”

The team takes a group picture before the first practice begins.

The team takes a group picture before the first practice begins.

Coach Doug Karnes said he is extremely excited for what the new season will bring and is confident that the Royals will do well. He hopes that there will be more victories and most of all fun for the ladies.

“Basketball is my first love,” he said. ” For this season I expect no injuries, for everyone to stay healthy and for you girls to just have fun,” he told the team at practice

For more information on the Royals and their upcoming games, and other Johnson University athletics, visit the Johnson University athletic Sports page.

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The Wandering JU’s embark

It is safe to say that not all those who wander are lost.

The 23 members of the hiking club posed in front of the trail before they took off.

The 23 members of the hiking club posed in front of the trail before they took off.

Saturday marked the first hike for the Wandering JU’s hiking club. They journeyed all the way to The Great Smokey Mountains at 8 a.m. to hike the Middle Prong Trail in the Tremont area.

The Middle Prong Trail is 8.3 miles, with steep hills and jagged rocks along the way. Once the hiking club made it up to the tip of the trail, they were rewarded with an astonishing waterfall, at which they had lunch. When they came back down the trail, they got to view the gorgeous streams that ran along the path and saw the golden leaves slowly falling to the ground.

For the first hiking trip, the Wandering JU’s had 23 students attend, 10 of which were completely new to the club. The day started off cool for those who hiked, but gradually warmed up to turn into a perfect early fall day.

Pictured is a Johnson University student enjoying the view of the waterfall and taking in the scene around her.

Pictured is a Johnson University student enjoying the view of the waterfall and taking in the scene around her.

The club got back to campus around 4 p.m., and it was obvious the trail had worn them all out. They are, however, excited for the next hiking trip in October. The Wandering JU’s will travel to Meigs Creek Trail Oct. 17.

For more information on how to get involved with the Johnson University hiking club, contact Tommy Smith at Tommy.Smith@johnsonu.edu


First open dorm of year provides fun for all

Austin Spidell hosts Karaoke

Austin Spidell hosts Karaoke.

The walls were much more stark and less decorated that the women’s dorm. The surrounding was unfamiliar — but most of the women attending the Open Dorm at Brown Hall agreed that the guys dorm smelled better than they expected.

Open Dorms began at 7 p.m. and lasted until 10 p.m. Thursday night.

The men of Brown Hall welcomed the rest of the campus community as part of Open Dorms, a long-standing tradition at Johnson University.

Students who do not live in the hall were treated by the smell of coffee, the sound of loud music and lots of games and activities.

“I think it’s a good social event,” said Robert McPherson, who was serving coffee to three of the guests in the dorm.

The freshman generated some of the craziest get-togethers by hosting karaoke parties, selling coffee, and playing good, old fashion board games.

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Johnson’s ultimate club spins into action

Johnson students who are interested in playing Ultimate Frisbee.

Johnson students who are interested in playing Ultimate Frisbee.

Johnson University’s Ultimate Frisbee Club is kicking, or in this case, throwing off the semester by putting together a community for those interested in the sport of Ultimate Frisbee.

According to Riley Scheyder, leader of the Ultimate Frisbee Club, the club is open to everyone, even those who have never picked up a Frisbee in their life.

He said the club’s main focus is to introduce new people to  the game and to get new Johnson students, who have an interest in the game,  to join back into a sport they love.

“There’s no initial requirements for people wanting to join the team,”  Scheyder said. “The only thing we ask is that people are willing to come out and participate.”

Anyone is welcome to join the club at any point during the school year.

“We have people on our team who had never picked up a Frisbee before they came to Johnson and some of those became our best players,” Scheyder said.

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Start thinking about where to serve — K-15 is near

The Student Government Association K-15 Service Day is rapidly approaching. To get involved, students should find an organization they are interested in helping and sign up in advance. Sign up sheets will be available at the Gally Commons during lunch hours Wednesday through Friday and Sept. 21 through Sept. 23. K-5 will be Sept. 30. Chapel will be at 9 a.m. Immediately following chapel, SGA leader Caleb Jeffries will dismiss students to meet with their respective groups. The day will conclude at 5 p.m. with a picnic on the Gally Commons patio.

For more information about the event, you can contact Caleb Jeffries at caleb.jeffries@johnsonu.edu.

Students have a variety of organizations to choose from

  • Beardsley Farm
  • The Children’s Center
  • KARM
  • Salvation Army
  • Volunteer Ministry Center
  • Angelic Ministries
  • UT Christian Student Fellowship
  • Habitat For Humanity
  • Emerald Youth Foundation
  • The Kings Academy
  • Boys/Girls Club TN Valley
  • Boys/Girls Pigeon Forge
  • Losndale Community Center
  • YMCA
  • Global Seeds
  • Child Help Center
  • Mobile Meal Service
  • Family Promise of Knoxville
  • Cross Food Ministries
  • Catholic Charities of East TN
  • The Love Kitchen
  • Restoration House
  • Boys/Girls Pigeon Forge
  • KCAB
  • Fair Garden Preschool
  • Keep Knoxville Beautiful